LINGUIST List 2.585

Sat 28 Sep 1991

Misc: Responses

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "Bruce E. Nevin", hopefully
  2. Geoffrey Russom, Re: 2.578 Of Mice and Mouses
  3. , be, bes and Nfld. English
  4. , Re: 2.563 Queries
  5. BROADWELL GEORGE AARON, left and right, alienable and inalienable
  6. Logical Language Group, multilingual childhood

Message 1: hopefully

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 11:17:03 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
Subject: hopefully
The problem with hopefully appears to be that it modifies an elided
performative "I say" in e.g.
(1) Hopefully, the train will be on time.
	I say, hopefully, the train will be on time.
In Michael's lovely suggested riposte, frankly can easily be understood
as modifying "give (a damn)" and so hearers do not balk, though in fact
it does IMO modify the performative say just as in (1).
(Hi Michael. What was the group called that xeroxed itself on the cover
of its first album?)
	Bruce Nevin
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Message 2: Re: 2.578 Of Mice and Mouses

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 91 13:22:42 EDT
From: Geoffrey Russom <>
Subject: Re: 2.578 Of Mice and Mouses
I have been struck by the fact that "reliefer," once the standard
designation for a relief pitcher, is being replaced by "reliever."
This could have happened if the relief pitcher's function were
described increasingly by the verb "relieve," in which case "reliever"
might be re-formed from the verb rather than from "relief"; but I'm
not at all sure that that has happened.
 -- Rick Russom
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Message 3: be, bes and Nfld. English

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 12:20:56 EDT
From: <hharleyAthena.MIT.EDU>
Subject: be, bes and Nfld. English
I just thought I'd note that Nfld. English doesn't derive from Scottish
much (although I think there are a couple of communities of mostly
Scottish origin), nor does it derive *strictly* from Irish, as remarked
by someone else. The original settlers were more or less one part
Irish, one part Southern English (Dorset, Devon...) and one part
French from, I think, the Jersey islands, or Geurnsey, or something
like that (it's been awhile since my course in dialects of Nfld. and
Lab.). I'm not sure whether be/bes distributes according to mostly
Irish settlements or mostly English settlements, but my suspicion is
neither, since much mixing and matching went on. (However, the generally
more affluent Irish on the Avalon did have a bigger effect on the
language of the remainder of the province than vice versa, so if
the pattern crops up in English-settled communities that could be why)...
For a discussion of the facts try Harold Paddock at Memorial
University, who's done lots of work on this... he was probably the
CBC interview.
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Message 4: Re: 2.563 Queries

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 10:12:41 EDT
From: <jharrisAthena.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.563 Queries
Carole Chaski ( asks about "double modal" questions.
I am a native "might could" speaker, born in Atlanta, GA (but not a syntac-
tician). For me, "we might could get a new car" is perfect, and "we might
could get a new car, couldn't we?" is OK, but everything else (e.g. "...
*mightn't we?", "... *might couldn't we?', "... *might we couldn't?", "...
couldn't we might?") is hopelessly bad. Also, there is no possible non-tag
question like "*might we could get a new car?" or "could we might get a...?"
or, worst of all, "*might could we get a ...?".
These and similar judgments should be easy to (dis)confirm since there must
be zillions of us out there.
Jim Harris
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Message 5: left and right, alienable and inalienable

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 10:37:55 -0400
Subject: left and right, alienable and inalienable
A previous post asked whether directional systems based on the cardinal
points and systems with alienable/inalienable possession distinctions.
Choctaw provides evidence that alienable/inalienable possession need
not imply cardinal directions. In Choctaw, directions are left/right/
front/back and there is also an alienable/inalienable distinction.
I believe most Siouan languages have the same conjunction of features.
(Can some one confirm this?)
I suppose the implication might work the other way, but I can't see
why the two things have any necessary connection.
Aaron Broadwell, Dept. of Linguistics, University at Albany -- SUNY,
Albany, NY 12222
"Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice
would have been quite enough." -- Confucious
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Message 6: multilingual childhood

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 91 09:54:32 -0400
From: Logical Language Group <>
Subject: multilingual childhood
>From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
>Subject: multilingual childhood
>An acquaintance here at BBN, Damaris M. Ayuso <dayusoBBN.COM>, posted
>the following query on BBN's bboard:
>>I'm interested in people's experiences in trying to speak to an infant
>>a language other than English from the start, assuming the child will
>>pick up English anyway with friends and in nursery school, so that the
>>child will grow up to be bilingual.
>>I have several Spanish-speaking friends who have done this
>>successfully, speaking only Spanish at home as they normally do, and
>>the children have no problem picking up both languages, the English
>>through socializing, toys, etc. I know cases too of one parent being
>>more comfortable in one language, and the other parent speaking
>>another, and again, the children learn both. I have not heard of any
>>negative side to this, other than the child may take a little longer
>>to start talking (in one case).
>>I'm looking for personal experiences/comments or other tips on the ups
>>and downs of this. Any recommendations on books on this topic?
The few documented cases of Esperanto native speakers may fit in this
category. Usually both parents have only Esperanto as a common language,
or at least only speak Esperanto at home. However, the child apparently
never has any trouble learning the national tongue, and indeed apparently
these 'native Esperantists' have little or no role in the Esperanto
culture, tending to drift away from the language.
I am also interested in the posted topic, since I am leading a research
effort involving an artificial language (Loglan/Lojban) that is intended
for linguistics research and quite different in some ways from natural
languages (having a predicate grammar). Many students of the language
have expressed interest in teaching it to their young children,
presumably in addition to the local national tongue. The ethical
factors of such teaching are of course a concern, as well as the problem
of methodologies (since the parents will obviously not be native
speakers). For the latter, therefore, I am interested in reports where
the language taught to the children was not parent's native or most
comfortable language, and the use of the non local tongue was
intentional for pedagogical reasons, rather than for parental comfort.
 lojbab = Bob LeChevalier, President, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA 703-385-0273
For information about Lojban, please provide a snail-post address to me
via mail or phone. We are funded solely by contributions, which are
encouraged for the purpose of defraying our costs, but are not mandatory.
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