Anton Sherwood (
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 19:38:40 -0700 (PDT)

(Hey, now I can say I've seen an address error. Second attempt.)

quoth Wesley Schwein (whose name I haven't noticed before;
welcome, if applicable):

: Some languages (especially creoles such as the various Caribbean
: languages, Swahili, und so weiter) rely entirely on intonation to
: indicate a question (ie, a question that doesn't require a wh-
: word); there is no change of word order.

No particle, either? (must retrieve my Swahili book from its box)

: All intonation languages allow this feature,
: including English. "You have a new car." "You have a new car?"
: I couldn't say how tone languages or pitch accent languages (like ancient
: Greek or Sanskrit or modern Swedish or Japanese) handle this. Anders?

Japanese has a particle: every question, even wh-, ends in _ka_.

: Loan word use is a cultural trait, not a linguistic one in itself;
: some use of loan words is inevitable when one language is in contact
: with a number of other languages, but loans as extensive as we find in
: English may represent a lack of linguistic chauvinism. It is equally
: possible to get by entirely without loan words, using only neologisms from
: morphemes already found in the language in question. I don't know offhand
: if total neologism-ism has ever happened; I think it would require a
: completely isolated, unified speech community.

Doesn't Chinese come close? -- I often wonder whether Chinese
fantasy writers invent characters for fantasy countries, or what.

Poul Anderson has written a couple of scientific articles in
pure (Germanic) English: one of them is called "The Round-and-round
Board of the Firststuffs" (the periodic table of the elements).

: BTW, does anyone else on this list have much in the way of
: a linguistics background?

I took a few courses. My main interest is hist.ling., which (I
gather) was once central but has become a peripheral specialty.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*