Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Query Details

Query Subject:   learning trills
Author:   Julian Bradfield
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
History of Linguistics
Subject Language(s):  French

Query:   I am one of those unfortunate native English speakers who seems
unable to learn to pronounce [r]. (At least, on good days I can
produce a 2 or 3 tap [r] in easy (e.g. intervocalic) positions, but I
can't make the sustained trill that should be simple---though I have
no problem with a sustained bilabial trill :-)

I think this particular mental block is not all that uncommon, so I
wonder if any of the colleagues on this list who teach practical
phonetics have any helpful pieces of advice on producing this sound:
ranging from precise descriptions of the tongue position before the
trill starts, to impressionism and tricks.
(There was a discussion on the ''vocalist'' list last year, which gave a
few singing-teachers' tips, so no need to refer me to that.)

If you would like to give any such advice, please send it to me; I
will then summarize to the list later.

As a sub-question, one of the contributors to the vocalist discussion
asserted that there is a significant number of people who are
physically unable to produce a genuine [r] as they have ''sub-standard
mouths'' (!). This sounds implausible to me: is there actually any
wide-spread physical inability to produce *any* common sound?

Tue, 3 Aug 1999 12:01:40 -0400 (EDT)
Vincent DeCaen
Q consecutives?

languages like biblical hebrew, ancient egyptian, as well as zulu and
swahili, have special forms for modal coordination in sequences: there
are two forms, negation is a problem, keying on realis/irrealis
distinction, etc.
my question, do we not have such robust sequencing with special
modal-coordinate forms in other language families around the world?
Palmer in his 1986 study of mood only pointed to Fula.

Dr Vincent DeCaen
c/o Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor
University of Toronto, Toronto ON, CANADA, M5S 1A1

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative, www.chass.utoronto.ca/~decaen/hsei/

Wed, 04 Aug 99 12:03:56 +0200 (MET)
Elmar Schafroth
''Verlan'' in Italian

Dear Linguists,

Does anyone know literature about the phenomenon of ''verlan''
(reverse of syllables, e.g., to cite a French example, bran-che' -
che'-bran) in ITALIAN?
Perhaps some Italian native speaker remembers the use of such
language games or even some examples.

Thanks a lot


PD Dr. habil. Elmar Schafroth
am Lehrstuhl fuer Romanische Sprachwissenschaft
Philosophische Fakultaet II
Universitaet Augsburg
Universitaetsstr. 10
D-86135 Augsburg
Tel.: (0821) 598-5738 (Univ.)
Tel.: (0821) 57 29 33 (priv.)
Fax.: (0821) 598-5501
e-mail: Elmar.Schafroth.@phil.uni-augsburg.de
Internet: http://rzsun2.rz.uni-augsburg.de/~kanada/schafr.htm
LL Issue: 10.1160
Date posted: 04-Aug-1999


Sums main page