LINGUIST List 3.908
Wed 18 Nov 1992
Editor for this issue: <>
"Ellen F. Prince", Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
, Articles in geographical names
Thomas E Payne, Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
"J.J.Higgins - Education", Re: 3.904 Names
Message 1: Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 92 11:40:35 ESRe: 3.904 Names, Spanish
From: "Ellen F. Prince" <ellencentral.cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
for Ian MacKay <IMACKAYacadvm1.uottawa.ca>:
i'm not ukrainian, much less a ukrainian nationalist, but from my understanding
the switch to article-less _ukraine_ is not so stupid as you might think. the
crucial fact, which you didn't mention in your post, is that the word
/ukrayna/ *means* 'border'. with the article, the noun itself has the syntax
and therefore perhaps sense of a common noun, which evokes a russian point of
view--it's the border from the point of view of russia, after all, not of
(the) ukraine! without an article, it becomes more like a 'sense-lacking'
the fact that ukrainian lacks articles simply means that, in ukrainian, it's
ambiguous between an np containing a common noun and an np consisting of a
simple proper noun. (there may actually be subtle syntactic/morphological
differences between the two--i don't know.)
of course, i have no idea what _yukon_ means, but, if it doesn't mean 'border'
or something similar, the analogy doesn't quite hold.
Message 2: Articles in geographical names
Date: 17 Nov 92 13:41 EST
Subject: Articles in geographical names
Two or three years ago I became aware of an interesting and apparently
rather abrupt language change which relates to articles in geographi-
cal names -- in this case, the names for freeways in Southern Califor-
nia. Most of the freeways in metropolitan L.A. have both names (the
Hollywood Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway) and highway numbers, from
either the interstate or the old federal highway system (I-5, 101,
etc.). When I was living in California, when we used numbers to refer
to the freeways they were bare: "Follow 5 until you get to 101."
This was still the case in 1975 when I left California to move east.
In the mid- to late 80s three of my kids returned to (three different
places in) California to go to college. After they had been there for
a while, I was struck when visiting them by the fact that they all use
"the" with the numerical names of the freeways -- the 5, the 101.
Apparently this change is widespread; my mother, who is 80 years old
and has lived continuously in California for over 40 years, now does
Have any of our California colleagues noted the source, diffusion
pattern, and time course of this change?
Message 3: Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
Date: 17 Nov 1992 15:21:20 -0800Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
From: Thomas E Payne <TPAYNEOREGON.UOREGON.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.904 Names, Spanish
In response to Ian Mackay, Yes, in English 'the' in front of a place name
definitely is associated with colonial names. Some examples that readily
come to mind: The Cameroons, The Philippines (from the Philippine Islands,
which is the colonial term), the West Indies, etc.
Tom Payne, University of Oregon
Message 4: Re: 3.904 Names
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 92 15:52:05 GMRe: 3.904 Names
From: "J.J.Higgins - Education" <J.Higginsbristol.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 3.904 Names
There must be many examples of the local word for river being misunderstood
as the name of a particular river by visiting geographers. There are
numerous River Avons in England. One other case is the Chao Phraya River
which runs through Bangkok; on some old maps this appears as the Menam, mae
nam being the Thai for river.
John Higgins, J.HigginsUK.AC.BRISTOL