LINGUIST List 2.448

Mon 02 Sep 1991

Disc: Linguistic Terms in Titles

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. "Bruce E. Nevin", linguists in novels
  2. Laurie Stowe, linguistic novels
  3. , Dr. Syntax
  4. "Michael Kac", Re: Linguistic Novels
  5. Tibor Kiss, Re: Linguistic Novels
  6. Hartmut Haberland, Re: Linguistic Novels
  7. Dennis Baron, linguistic titles
  8. Chris Culy, More linguistic title summary
  9. Nancy L. Dray, Linguistics in novels, etc.
  10. , linguists in fiction
  11. , Re: Linguistic Novels

Message 1: linguists in novels

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 12:39:03 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevin%ccb.bbn.comRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: linguists in novels
No one has mentioned the many philologically inclined characters in
Tolkein's Ring novels.
I recall a short story comprising dialogue between two creatures of
unfamiliar sort, filled with polyperverse puns. The only line I
remember now is "I decline to conjuge with you!" Perhaps
20 or 25 years ago. Author escapes me.
	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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Message 2: linguistic novels

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 13:38:05 EDT
From: Laurie Stowe <stowe%shs.ohio-state.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: linguistic novels
Nobody seems to have mentioned a short stroy by H. Beam
Piper called Omnilingual, concerning the Rosetta stone used
to decipher the defunct Martian script.
Frances and Richard Lockridge wrote several murder mysteries
(one called Accent on Murder) where one main character can
identidy people's origin within narrow limits, rather like the
Smith radio program that was popular at the time. In at least
one novel, this ability provides a crucial clue.
Going back to Piper for a moment, he also has a bit in one novel
where a character adrift across possible timelines identifies
the language that is being spoken around him as Indo-European
based on its similarities to the Greek and Latin he learned in
seminary. Unfortunately, from a linguist's viewpoint, the cognates
he reports are mama and papa words, so dubious support for the
hypothesis.
Laurie A. Stowe
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Message 3: Dr. Syntax

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 15:58:32 EDT
From: <marantzATHENA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Dr. Syntax
After you've read the book and seen the movie -- listen to the recorder suite:
AUTHOR: Joubert, John, 1927-
 TITLE: [Dr. Syntax] * Dr. Syntax : opus 85 : a suite for recorder ensemble
 for descant, treble (div.), tenor (div.), and bass (div.) recorders
 IMPRINT: London : Nova, c1981.
 PHYSICAL FEATURES: 1 miniature score (15 p.) ; 21 cm.
 NOTES: "For either solo quartet or consort performance"
 Duration: 10 min., 15 sec.
 CONTENTS: March : Dr. Syntax at a review --
 Pastorale : Dr. Syntax sketching the lake --
 Country dance : Rural sport --
 Quodlibet : Dr. Syntax entertained at college.
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Message 4: Re: Linguistic Novels

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 17:41:19 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels
I think Vicki Fromkin may have misunderstood my suggestion that in
identifying novels with linguists as characters we limit ourselves to
ones written by nonlinguists. My only reason for making the suggestion
was that if what's of interest is how far awareness of linguistics (however
distorted or muddled) has advanced at least among those who read and write
books,to include books written by linguists somewhat stacks the deck.
As long as I'm on the subject: I forget whether anyone has yet mentioned
David Lodge; in the books ofhis I've read I don't recall any linguists per
se, but there are certainly references to lx. and the influence it's having
in lit. crit. circles. Some of that bothers me a bit, I'll confess; the im-
pression that Lodge gives is that linguistics is just another trendy fad that
has been picked up by English departments. That is my only criticism of an
otherwise wonderful writer.
Michael Kac
P.S. I MUST have a Dr. Syntax poster and am not good at delaying gratifi-
 cation. Is anyone out there willing to sell me one?
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Message 5: Re: Linguistic Novels

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 91 10:53:28 CET
From: Tibor Kiss <KISS%DS0LILOG.BITNETCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels
Concerning linguistic novels, and linguists as characters in novels,
what about linguists in the movie scene. I know only of one movie,
in which a linguist is involved, viz. the sci-fi PHASE IV (U.S. 1973).
In this movie, due to celestial contigencies, ants are becoming intelligent.
They even develop a kind of language. Two guys -- a biologist and a linguist
-- try to uncover what the plans of the ants are. (The movie is quite famous,
I think everyone knows about it, especially since it does not leave us with
a happy end.)
I found one novel which could be termed 'linguistic' but unfortunately it
is written in German, and I do not believe that it has been translated.
It is called WELTGEIST SUPERSTAR (Weltgeist is the counterpart of Zeitgeist,
I assume) and written by an anonymus abbreviated as P.M. It's a sci-fi
story in the conspiracy lead, but it is not to be taken too serious.
It includes, however, a 60-page-appendix on the grammar of the extra-
terrestrials plus dictionary. This language is alledgedly a kind of
proto-indoeuropean.
Tibor Kiss.
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Message 6: Re: Linguistic Novels

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 91 13:49:35 MET DST
From: Hartmut Haberland <hartmutruc.dk>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels
May I take the opportunity to run an ad for the review of SHE (viz.
Suzette Haden Elgin)'s 'Native Tongue' by Jacob L. Mey in Journal of
Pragmatics vol. 13, issue 6 (1989), pp. 1035-1045?
Hartmut Haberland
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Message 7: linguistic titles

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1991 08:33:45 -0500
From: Dennis Baron <baron%ux1.cso.uiuc.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: linguistic titles
Two more bits of trivia--there are 2 musical groups with quasi-linguistic
names: _Bad English_ and _American English_, though the latter from
what I can tell from its poster is called what it is because it performs
only Beatles music and is thus not an overt reference to a World English.
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Message 8: More linguistic title summary

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1991 17:20:37 CST
From: Chris Culy <cculy%vaxa.weeg.uiowa.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: More linguistic title summary
Hi all,
As promised, here is a summary of works with linguistic terms in their titles.
I have not included works with linguist characters but non-linguistic titles
(Ron Smyth has summarized those; this list includes a few titles that were
sent directly to me).
Thanks to Barbara Abbot, Dennis Baron, Ellen Contini-Morava, , Richard Davis,
Helen Dry, Hannele Dufva, Gisbert Fanselow, Georgia Green, Tom Green, Barbara
Johnstone, Michael Kac, Jack Morava, Joyce Neu, Bert Peeters, Paul Saka, Norval
Smith, Ron Smyth, Maggi Sokolik, C. Jan Wouter Zwart, and please excuse me if
I omitted anyone.
Chris
cculyvaxa.weeg.uiowa.edu
________
??, _The Cunning Linguist_
Appel, Rene _Het[De?] derde persoon_
Carkeet, David _Double Negative_
Combe,William _The Adventures of Doctor Syntax_
Elgin, Suzette Haden _Native Tongue_
Esterhazy, Peter, _Sydmen apuverbit_ [Auxiliaries of the heart] (translated from
Hungarian)
Handke, Peter "Repetition" The New Yorker 2/29/88, also part of a book?
Highsmith, Patricia ??
Ionesco, Eug`ene _Pre'sent passe' passe' pre'sent_
Mooser, Tilman _Die Grammatik der Gefuehle_
Petracca, Michael _Dr. Syntax_
Watson, Ian _The Embedding_
There is also a painting called _the irrecoverability of deleted traces_, as
well as jazz/ragtime piece called "Doctor Syntax."
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Message 9: Linguistics in novels, etc.

Date: Thu, 29 Aug 91 15:25:52 CDT
From: Nancy L. Dray <dray%sapir.uchicago.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Linguistics in novels, etc.
Broadening the scope to TV shows: I once saw part of a truly
awful TV show (one of those silly crime shows from the '70s,
e.g., Charlie's Angels, Simon & Simon?) that contained some
horrifyingly botched "linguistics." Specifically, as I recall,
it concerned a chimp or related creature who has been taught
to sign as part of an experiment, and who then witnesses a
murder. During the murder, or perhaps in a phone call
shortly before or after the murder, someone within earshot
of the chimp calls the murderer or victim a "cheater" and an
"embezzler." Later, the agitated chimp keeps making the signs
(manual) for "cheetah" and "buzzard" (!); the clever (?)
sleuth then determines that the chimp is trying to say "cheater"
and "embezzler" (!) and thus discovers the motive, identifies the
killer, solves the case, and, above all, reveals the writer's
complete misunderstanding of, among other things, the nature
of the linguistic sign. (I leave the unraveling of all the
presumed misconstruals to Linguist List participants.)
It's possible I've misremembered this, but I found it startlingly
funny--or simply startling--at the time.
A colleague here recalls hearing about a mystery novel that also
included a signing chimp witnessing a murder. Perhaps someone
out there knows more about this?
As for other media, how about films? Aside from "Pygmalion"
and "My Fair Lady," there is, I understand, a film called "Ball of
Fire," in which a/the main character is an academic sort who
specializes in current slang. I've never seen it, though. Does
anyone know of others? Perhaps in conjunction with CLS or
some other conference we could have a film night...
Nancy L. Dray
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Message 10: linguists in fiction

Date: Fri, 30 Aug 91 09:41:59 EDT
From: <jharris%ATHENA.MIT.EDURICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: linguists in fiction
Has >>Rate of Exchange<< by Malcolm Bradbury appeared in these postings? It's
a novel about the academic, amorous, social, etc., (mis)adventures of a
linguist on a government-sponsored lecture tour in some E. European country.
The linguistic theory is a bit vague, but the story and characters are funny.
It's a good read for vacation or bedtime. Jim Harris
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Message 11: Re: Linguistic Novels

Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1991 14:48 MST
From: <CAROLGCC.UTAH.EDU>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels
Didn;t Ursula Leguin write a novel about linguistics research of some kind?
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