LINGUIST List 2.594

Mon 30 Sep 1991

Qs: Punjabi, Whorf, Text Analysis

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  1. Anthony Aristar, The Punjabi Genitive
  2. "Michael Kac", Re: 2.588 Responses: Whorf, Einstein, Change
  3. Michael Newman, queries

Message 1: The Punjabi Genitive

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 91 09:17 CDT
From: Anthony Aristar <e311aatamuts.tamu.edu>
Subject: The Punjabi Genitive
In Punjabi you have constructions such as:
 hi:r di: bhen "Hir's sister"
 hi:r da: pra "Hir's brother"
where the genitive marker agrees with the head noun of its
phrase. Does anyone know anything of the diachronic origin
of these constructions?
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Message 2: Re: 2.588 Responses: Whorf, Einstein, Change

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 91 15:43:59 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.588 Responses: Whorf, Einstein, Change
Here's this week's subject for an empirical study of attitudes toward
language. On the basis of unsystematic observation and impressionistic
judgements which are confirmed by all other linguists I've consulted, it
would appear that the view that one's world view is determined by the
language one speaks is nearly universally accepted by educated people
who aren't linguists. I guess I don't find that particularly strange
(a lot of my friends, however, consider ME extremenly strange for
being skeptical on this point); I DO find it somewhat odd that people
who accept this view seem to think that it is (a) obviously correct, and
(b) profound, a contradiction in terms. I welcome further data and insights.
Michael Kac
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Message 3: queries

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 91 18:17:38 EDT
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.BITNET>
Subject: queries
I have two queries:
1. Does anyone know of any text analysis software for the Mac? I mean something
which will count, isolate and show the context of lexical items.
2. Can anyone tell me how to sort out the terminology around the semantic con-
cepts dealing with the presence or absence of specific, existing, concrete
referents for NPs and pronominals. I have noticed "referential," "concrete,"
and "specific" being used more or less synonymously, or so it would seem. On
the other hand, referential might not be appropriate because we often speak of
"quantified" or "generic" referents. These would be, then, nonreferential
referents. "Concrete" is not great either because if I say "Someone broke into
my apartment" that person is perfectly concrete; I just don't know who they
are. "Specific" has problems too because of its generality. On the other hand
I have heard from collegues that "specific" is different than "referential"
tho' no has so far been able to explain that difference to me, and as I say
there is no consistent difference in how they are used in the literature.
Anyone have any ideas?
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