Natural languages, communication, etc

Archive for November, 2009

Which newsgroup to post in?

During a discussion in sci.lang, a
couple of people said that the real
place where the discussion belonges
belonged was soc.culture.esperanto.
I have now done some looking at a
few threads in soc.culture.esperanto
and I note something that seems to be
relevant. In several cases, even when
the thread was begun by someone writ-
ing in English, responses to him were
in Esperanto. Therefore it seems to
be assumed that readers of SCE are
fluent enough in Esp’o to read it
on the fly. I am certainly not — I
do not even like Esperanto, so I am
not going to learn the language well
enough to develop that kind of fluen-
cy. I could probably figure out an
Esperanto article, by constant refer-
ence to a dictionary, but with more
difficulty than I could an article
in German or French.
When the subject matter was ALs in
general, nobody doubted that sci.lang
and not SCE was appropriate, and the
only point at dispute was where posts
discussing the pros and cons of Esp’o
among artificial languages in general
I cannot see them going in SCE be-
cause that puts those of us whose
fluency in Esp’o is not great at a
disadvantage. Besides, the actual
point was that, as far as I am con-
cerned, Esp’o is not THE world lang-
uage, as some Esp’ists would have it,
but only one among many — conceding
that it may be in 1991 the biggest in
number of speakers, but it may not be
any more likely to be the winner than
Volapuek was, even though, before the
1887 invention of Esp’o, it had that
"largest" title.
                  Bruce R. Gilson
Replies in English, please. Replies
in Esperanto will be ignored. Replies
in Interlingua, Ido, Intal, Occiden-
tal, or other ALs I know or can fig-
ure out will be read eventually, but
not immediately.

Topamax .
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script characters

Both English and Hebrew have different characters for the script (cursive) form
and the printed form.  Are there other languages for which this is true?

I’m also curious whether there are other character sets that have a notion of upper
and lower case (e.g., sanskrit?).



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English synonyms creeping into Bahasa Malaysia

Regarding English words creeping into Bahasa Malaysia when there are
already Malay words of the same meaning there: I’ve heard this kind of
thing is a natural process that you can’t do much about.  [Personally,
I say "go with the flow" in such cases.]  Perhaps some sci.lang folks
might want to comment.

Dan_Jacob…@ATT.COM  Naperville IL USA  +1 708 979 6364

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Chinese "dialects" [usual frequently asked question material]

>>>>> On 10 Mar 91 03:13 GMT, k… (Kok Yong Tan) said:

Kok> One interesting thing is that those are dialects of Chinese, not
Kok> separate languages.  That means that the written forms mean
Kok> exactly the same but the pronounciation is different.  This is
Kok> difficult to understand with a romanised language that has
Kok> alphabets but in a hieroglyphic (i.e. picture-based) language
Kok> like Chinese, it is possible.  The closest analogy would be the
Kok> word "tomato": the Americans pronounce it "to-may-to" whilst the
Kok> British pronounce it "to-mah-to" (it’s spelled the same way but
Kok> pronounced differently).

This applies only to the written style of the language, which is
pretty close to one "dialect"’s (Mandarin) spoken form.  For the
spoken forms of the various "dialects", a substantial number of the
words are not commonly the same root between the "dialects".  To sum
up: many Chinese "dialects" are mutually unintelligible to the ear.

Dan_Jacob…@ATT.COM  Naperville IL USA  +1 708 979 6364

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Where can documentation on E-prime be found?

  In the last issue of J’ui Lobypli (The Lojban community newsletter (for
  which I have yet to pay… Hi Bob…)) I saw mention of an "artificial
  language" called E-prime, which apparently bears the relationship of
  subset to English, in that no form of "To Be" occours in it.

  I have an interest in finding more out about this abstraction.

  Thank You,


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Conference "Narrative and Psychotherapy"

             ***     CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT     ***

             The Houston-Galveston Family Institute
                  The Department of Psychiatry
      University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston


                   NARRATIVE & PSYCHOTHERAPY:

                      May 10, 11. 12, 1991
            University of Texas Health Science Center
                     Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Concepts from social constructionism, hermeneutics, narrative, and
gender theory increasingly influence social sciences.  Human
beings are described as thinking, perceiving, feeling, imagining,
and making personal and moral choices–all in accordance with the
personal narrative structures they create in dialogue with each
other.  Unlike the mechanical abstractions of traditional
cybernetic and positivist clinical theory, the narrative
perspective portrays story-tellers and story-telling that yield
pictures of villains and heroes, actors, who perform and dialogue
together.  As we consider the role of social constructionism and
narrative, a strong case can be made for thinking of first-person
stories as central to understanding human conduct, social
practice, and social organization.    

A pioneering event, this conference brings together theoreticians
and clinicians currently exploring the significance of social
constructionism, hermeneutics, narrative, and gender perspectives
on psychotherapy and research.  As these perspectives influence
the mental health field, it must be asked what is new and what is
useful in this way of thinking?

*  What is the role of conversation and dialogue in the
   construction of human narrative and how does this relate to

*  Can narrative theory and social constructionism integrate the
   fragmented clinical theories currently available?

*  What are the connections between story-telling, problems, and  

*  How do narrative and constructionist theories address gender


 Tom Andersen, M.D., University of Tromso Medical School, Norway

Harlene Anderson, Ph.D., Houston-Galveston Family Institute, USA

         Kenneth Gergen, Ph.D., Swarthmore College, USA

Harold Goolishian, Ph.D., Houston-Galveston Family Institute, USA

      Rachel Hare-Mustin, Ph.D., Villanova University, USA

John Shotter, Ph.D., State University of Utrecht, The Netherlands


       Daniel Creson, M.D., Ph.D., George Pulliam, CSW-ACP
    University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA

The conference format will include theoretical and clinical
presentations and discussions.  Small group activities will permit
presenters and participants to work together to address the
implications of narrative, language, story, and dialogue in
clinical work and clinical research.

Early registration discount until March 31, 1991.  For further
information, please write to Houston-Galveston Family Institute,
P.O. Box 540965, Houston, Texas 77254-0965, USA, call (713) 488-
8404, or send e-mail to Dr. Solomon Yusim at
syu…@thesis1.hsch,, or, after March 15, to

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HyperCard XCMD for Tandberg CAI machines wanted

I am looking for Hypercard XCMDs (external commands) which can
control a Tandberg Computer Aided Instruction deck from a
Macintosh.  If anyone has or knows of such an XCMD, I would
greatly appreciate the information.

Thank you!


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Language names

Ron House says that "Farsi" is too
atypical as a language name because
the -i ending is not normal in Eng-
lish. Well, there are a number of
other languages I can think of that
are known in English only by names
ending in -i: Bengali and Gujarati,
as well as Swahili (though the latter
-i is not really an ending!)

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Visiting position

                   Job Announcement:

  Subject to availability of funds, the Dept. of Linguistics and
Cognitive Science at the University at Albany, SUNY, seeks a
theoretical syntactician or phonologist to fill a one year visiting
assistant professor position.  Candidate should have demonstrable
teaching experience at the undergraduate level.  Salary will be
commensurate with qualifications.  Send CV, letter of application
which specifically addresses and documents teaching experience, and 3
letters of recommendation to:

        Ann K. Farmer
        Dept. of Linguistics & Cognitve Science
        University at Albany, SUNY
        Albany, NY 12222

               Closing Date: April 19, 1991

  The University at Albany, is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action
Employer.  Applications from women, minority persons, handicapped
persons, and or special disabled or Vietnam era veterans are
especially welcome.

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Lojban (the green language)

OK, fols here it is….

You should all be proud of the Lojban languge.  I
endorse this language and have, after further
consideration, found it pleasing and original.  You
should all check this out.


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