8.1638, FYI: NWCL, ELRA, Listserv-Generative Ling

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LINGUIST List:  Vol-8-1638. Sun Nov 16 1997. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 8.1638, FYI: NWCL, ELRA, Listserv-Generative Ling

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Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 15:23:13 GMT0BST
From:  "Wiebke Brockhaus" <mflstwb at fs1.art.man.ac.uk>
Subject:  FYI: North-West Centre for Linguistics (UK)

Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 15:10:06 +0100
From:  info-elra at calva.net (Valerie Mapelli)
Subject:  ELRA new resources

Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 23:37:32 +0300
From:  "Solovyev V.D." <solovyev at tatincom.ru>
Subject:  questions on generative linguistics

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 15:23:13 GMT0BST
From:  "Wiebke Brockhaus" <mflstwb at fs1.art.man.ac.uk>
Subject:  FYI: North-West Centre for Linguistics (UK)

North-West Centre for Linguistics (UK):
Launch Event on 26 November 1997

The North-West Centre for Linguistics (NWCL) was set up by a group of
linguists from five institutions in the North-West of the UK in May
1997, with the aim of providing an umbrella organisation for research
in linguistics in the region. It is intended to help anyone with an
interest in linguistic research join a network of active colleagues,
to encourage cross-fertilisation between institutions and so to raise
the profile of the North-West as a centre for linguistics.

Responsibility for the day-to-day running of the NWCL lies with the
members of the Steering Committee (whose names appear at the end of
this message), but the NWCL can work successfully only if other
linguists in the region also make a contribution. The Steering
Committee intends to involve itself in the organisation of annual
autumn conferences, postgraduate training days (to be run in
conjunction with the Manchester Postgraduate Linguistics Conference)
and the Manchester Phonology Meetings. It also maintains a mailing
list, a website (http://www.art.man.ac.uk/german/nwcl) and an e-mail
discussion list (NWCL at mailbase.ac.uk), enabling linguists in the area
to keep in touch with each other and to publicise events taking place
at their respective institutions.

Although the NWCL is based in the North-West of the UK, its activities
will involve linguists from around the world, and anyone with an
interest in linguistics is welcome to participate, regardless of
specialism or geographical location.

Most of the five 'founder' institutions (UMIST and the Universities of
Lancaster, Manchester, Salford and Wales Bangor) have either granted
formal recognition to the NWCL already or are in the process of doing

The official launch of the NWCL will take place in the Arts Theatre
(Arts Building) at the University of Manchester on 26 November at 5.00
pm. The Centre will be introduced by Professor Nigel Vincent
(Department of Linguistics, University of Manchester) and Professor
Katharine Perera, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development at the
University of Manchester. To mark the occasion of the inauguration of
the NWCL, Professor Neil Smith (University College London) will then
give a lecture on "Language, Intelligence and Modularity", to be
followed by a reception in the foyer of the Arts Building. The
Vice-Chancellors and Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Research from the five
'founder' institutions have all been invited to this event.

Linguists from anywhere in the UK (or elsewhere in the world) are
cordially invited to attend, and we would ask you to e-mail Wiebke
Brockhaus (Wiebke.Brockhaus at man.ac.uk) to let us know whether to
expect you. On request, we will gladly send you a Campus Guide to help
you find the way to the venue.

The NWCL Steering Committee:
Paul Bennett (Department of Language Engineering, UMIST)
Bob Borsley (Department of Linguistics, University of Wales Bangor)
Wiebke Brockhaus (Department of German, University of Manchester)
Paul Rowlett (Department of Modern Languages, University of Salford)
Anna Siewierska (Department of Linguistics & Modern English Language,
University of Lancaster)
Nigel Vincent (Department of Linguistics, University of Manchester)

(Dr) Wiebke Brockhaus         tel: +44 (0)161 275 3180 (direct line)
Department of German          tel: +44 (0)161 275 3182 (secretary)
University of Manchester      fax: +44 (0)161 275 3031
Oxford Road
Manchester                    e-mail: Wiebke.Brockhaus at man.ac.uk
M13 9PL           URL: http://www.art.man.ac.uk/german/brockhs.htm

-------------------------------- Message 2 -------------------------------

Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 15:10:06 +0100
From:  info-elra at calva.net (Valerie Mapelli)
Subject:  ELRA new resources

                                ELRA News

      ELRA is happy to announce the update of its catalogue
      of Language resources for Language Engineering and Research.

      * ELRA-W0015 "Le Monde" Text corpus *

Electronic archiving of "Le Monde" articles started on 1 January 1987.
Some 200 articles are added every day, and as of October 1997 the
database contains more than 500,000 articles, making it the biggest of
its kind for all French daily newspapers.

The corpus is available in an SGML-tagged ASCII text format. Each
month consists of some 10 MB of data (circa 120 MB per year).  Data
ranging from 1987 until present date are available through ELRA(each
buyer may purchase up to 5 years of data).

        Price for ELRA members (for research use only):
                o 1 year:         291 ECU
                o 2 years:        581 ECU
                o 3 years:        872 ECU
                o 4 years:       1163 ECU
                o 5 years:       1454 ECU

        Price for non members (for research use only):
                o 1 year:         378 ECU
                o 2 years:        756 ECU
                o 3 years:       1134 ECU
                o 4 years:       1512 ECU
                o 5 years:       1890 ECU

      * ELRA-L0029 CELEX Dutch lexical database *

The Dutch CELEX data is derived from R.H. Baayen, R. Piepenbrock & L.
Gulikers, The CELEX Lexical Database (CD-ROM), Release 2, Dutch
Version 3.1, Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA, 1995.

Apart from orthographic features, the CELEX database comprises
representations of the phonological, morphological, syntactic and
frequency properties of lemmata. For the Dutch data, frequencies have
been disambiguated on the basis of the 42.4m Dutch Instituut voor
Nederlandse Lexicologie text corpora.

To make for greater compatibility with other operating systems, the
databases have not been tailored to fit any particular database
management program. Instead, the information is presented in a series
of plain ASCII files, which can be queried with tools such as AWK and
ICON. Unique identity numbers allow the linking of information from
different files.

        This database can be divided into different subsets:
        - orthography: with or without diacritics, with or without
 	  word division positions, alternative spellings, number of
        - phonology: phonetic transcriptions with syllable boundaries
	  or primary and secondary stress markers, consonant-vowel
	  patterns, number of phonemes/syllables, alternative
	  pronunciations, frequency per phonetic syllable within
        - morphology: division into stems and affixes, flat or
	  hierarchical representations, stems and their inflections;
        - syntax: word class, subcategorisations per word class;
        - frequency of the entries: disambiguated for homographic

        Price for ELRA members:
                - for research use, contact ELRA:
                - for commercial use:
                     o Complete set of data:                56182 ECU
                     o Subset Orthography:                   6000 ECU
                     o Subset Phonology:                    12273 ECU
                     o Subset Morphology (Inflectional):     6000 ECU
                     o Subset Morphology (Derivational):    13636 ECU
                     o Subset Syntax:                        6000 ECU
                     o Subset Frequency:                    12273 ECU

        Price for non members:
                - for research use, contact ELRA:
                - for commercial use:
                     o Complete set of data:                93636 ECU
                     o Subset Orthography:                  10000 ECU
                     o Subset Phonology:                    20454 ECU
                     o Subset Morphology (Inflectional):    10000 ECU
                     o Subset Morphology (Derivational):    22727 ECU
                     o Subset Syntax:                       10000 ECU
                     o Subset Frequency:                    20454 ECU

       For more information, please contact:
       87, Avenue d'Italie
       75013 PARIS
       Tel: +33 1 45 86 53 00
       Fax: +33 1 45 86 44 88
       E-mail: info-elra at calva.net

-------------------------------- Message 3 -------------------------------

Date:  Thu, 13 Nov 1997 23:37:32 +0300
From:  "Solovyev V.D." <solovyev at tatincom.ru>
Subject:  questions on generative linguistics

Dear Colleaques, It is proposed to discuss unsolved problems in the
generative linguistics in the frame of the on-line conference "The
40-th Anniversary of Generativism", December, 1-12,

In order of preparing to the conference, I've put below the list of
problems, suggested by Martin Everaert (Martin.B.Everaert at let.ruu.nl,
Utrecht institute of Linguistics).  You will receive all discussion,
if you subscribe to the conference.  It is necessary to send the file:

                       subscribe generate YOUR-E-mail

to the address:        solovyev at tatincom.ru

You can send your opinion, questions to the address: generate at ksu.ru
It is necessary to indicate the number of problems, which you would
like to discuss. New problems are welcome too.

Organization Committee Chair
Valery Solovyev
Kazan State University, Russia
E-mail: solovyev at tatincom.ru

The  Everaert's list of problems:

To begin with, the question what 'unsolved problems' there are in the
context of generative grammar is difficult to answered satisfactorily
because 'problems' only exist in the context of an explicit theory,
and theories change. That means that problems disappear or are created
when new theories arise. The minimalist program (Chomsky 1995) is a
good case at hand. Some of the basic assumptions in this model are so
radically different from the 'standard' P&P model that we can almost
start afresh, which means that whatever was supposed to be solved, is
either not a problem any more or has become a problem again.

Let me give an example. Binding Theory as we know it in generative
grammar has been an area in which much work has been done, and some
progress has been made. Still numerous issues remained far from
resolved. In the minimalist program the theoretical goal is that
syntactic operations should be driven only by purely formal and
mechanical considerations, like checking morphological
features. Chomsky notes that "indices are basically the expression of
a relationship and they should be replaceable without loss by a
structural account of the relation they annotate". This has
far-reaching consequences on how a theory of anaphora should like. How
are we to encode binding in the computational system if computations
are limited to a morphology-based vocabulary, which excludes indices?
(cf. Reuland, NELS 1996)

Below I have listed some issues that are mentioned in the context of
the research program of my own institute. The list below contains
areas (both more general and purely (morpho-)syntactic) in which we
have gained some insight but in which we have either successful but
incompatible analyses, or just no satisfactory analysis (in random
order and very limited):

- To what extent does first language acquisition differs from second
language acquisition, and what is the role of explicit instruction in
the latter.

- How is knowledge of different languages stored and accessed? Are
they mentally represented as separate systems, or largely identified,
only being different in fairly late options?

- Is parameter setting an irrevocable act, or can the child resort to
previous or coexisting systems of grammatical knowledge?

- What is the relation between structure and word-order

- What is the status of the strict cycle,

- What are the legitimate boundaries of the feature systems used in
syntactic computations.  (Should, for instance, the syntactic
codification of notions such as referentiality, definiteness,
familiarity, be allowed?)

- Why would natural languages have a contrast between anaphors and
pronominals at all?

- What are the links between argument structure and properties of
aspect and/or event structure?

- What is the role of the feature specification for local binding of

- Is inherent reflexivity a unitary phenomenon, and is it correctly
understood as a lexical property?

- Does 'morphological' computation differ from 'syntactic'
computation, and if so, what are the differences?

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