LINGUIST List 12.2454

Wed Oct 3 2001

Qs: British Eng Survey/Cancel, Prefabricated Units

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thanks those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.


  1. Kerstin Heinig, British English Language change
  2. Tommy Wasserman, Prefabricated unit

Message 1: British English Language change

Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 09:31:16 +0200 (MEST)
From: Kerstin Heinig <>
Subject: British English Language change


We published a questionnaire here on Monday (Linguist 12.2427), asking
people to answer it. Unfortunately we didn't know that the program is
not working properly, therefore we have to withdraw the questionnaire
and ask people to not answer it any more. Thank you very much and we
are sorry for any inconveniences.

Kerstin & Mandy

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Message 2: Prefabricated unit

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 22:14:06 +0000
From: Tommy Wasserman <>
Subject: Prefabricated unit

Dear listmembers

In an introduction to Semantics I - a Swedish student of linguistics,
and newcomer to this list - read about "prefabricated units" and the
claim that language users store not just individual words but also
longer idiomatic expressions and whole sentences in their vocabulary.
Then followed a reference to Bolinger's Aspects of Language, 1975: 30,
107-11 (2nd ed.). Are there any more studies on this matter? (e.g.
contra Bolinger). What methodology would one utilize in trying to prove
that there are differences between prefabricated word formations and
composite syntactic constructions, created according to the general
grammatical rules of a language?

With kindest regards

Tommy Wasserman
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