February 28th, 2009

Milwaukee Art Museum (closed)

Mickey Noonan....

It is with great sadness that we report the unexpected death of Dr. Michael
Noonan, Professor in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, at his home on February 23rd, apparently of a brain aneurysm. Mickey (as he was fondly known) was a well-known contributor to functional and typological linguistics. Following publication of his Grammar of Lango, Mickey wrote extensively on the languages of Nepal and published numerous articles, grammars, dictionaries, and text-collections. He also worked for some time on Salish and on Irish, his heritage language.

In addition to his invaluable grammatical studies of previously undescribed languages, Mickey was a frequent contributor to the literature on syntactic
typology, with notable co-edited collections on word order, voice, and formalism and functionalism, as well as articles on complementation (his paper in the Shopen volume has become part of the essential canon on this topic), converbal constructions, subjectless clauses, nominalization, and many other topics.

Mickey was an editor, with Bernard Comrie of Studies in Language. He was also the founding editor of Himalayan Linguistics; it was his vision to produce a web-based journal which is free and accessible to all, with a separate "Archive" section devoted to the publication of grammars, dictionaries, and texts. He was also the editor of the John Benjamins' Series Typological Studies in Language and with Werner Abraham, of the Studies in Language Companion Series. Mickey was strongly devoted to the communities with which he worked. He played for them an important role of teacher, sponsor, mentor, and friend. He had a deep interest in language preservation and worked with members of the communities to increase the awareness of the importance of their languages as well as to provide practical support of language maintenance efforts. Notable among his publication is a book of children's stories, the first work ever produced in the Chantyal language, distributed free to schools in three Chantyal speaking villages and to interested members of the ethnic organization of the Chantyal people.

Mickey was the supervisor of numerous doctoral students and was a devoted mentor to many other young and developing scholars. His contributions to their work were invaluable and he ceaselessly promoted the highest academic quality in the work of his students and others.

Mickey had a truly encyclopedic mind: he had a very wide range of knowledge in various areas such as history, economics, and biology, which he readily and joyfully shared with people on social occasions. He was also a great connoisseur of food and wine and took great pleasure in his garden and in his table - both were rich and abundant! (The last wine he recommended to me was a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio from the Trentino in Italy, so if you come across this, have a glass and think of him!)

Mickey will be remembered for his deep linguistic analyses, his lasting descriptive works, his constructive and insightful criticism, and his leadership in Himalayan linguistics and beyond. He will be greatly missed.

The family requests that those wishing to make a contribution in his name
contact the Endangered Languages Fund (http://www.endangeredlanguagefund.org). People making contributions should write on their checks: "In memory of Michael Noonan".
Carol Genetti
pop-tarts kitty

Question about the Spanish verbs for 'to drive'

As the Spanish-speaking members of this community know, the language has two verbs for 'to drive.' (conducir, manejar) My question is this: How interchangeable are they? Is one verb more common in one area of the world?

I mainly use 'conducir,' and my I am most familiar with the general Latin American dialect.
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Three Languages and No Idea

Check this out: An excerpt from a German film about traffic women in North Korea. The women are speaking Korean, the narration is in German, and the subtitles are in English!

A friend of mine asked me to translate the German. She wanted to know if the English subtitles were accurate. (They're not!) Can anyone pick up any of the Korean in this?

At one point the narrator tells that the woman is comparing herself and her fellow traffic directors to flowers, and flowers must be pretty. The subtitle says she was asking a major if there were any perks to be a traffic warden during the flower comparison.

The narrator also never says anything about them being popular in American on the internet.

When the subtitles go on about being the best traffic wardens in the world, and going around the world to untangle traffic jams, the narrator is talking about clothes like jackets, gloves, and underwear.

PS - I love the music for this piece. Very grandiose communista! :D
capitol red scarf ds

(no subject)

Could someone translate this into English for me? I've tried but I can't seem to get it!

"Erst von diesem sozialen Militarismus her, demzufolge das Militär nicht nur an die Spitze der Prestigeskalarückte, sondern mit seinen Wert- und Ehrvorstellungen, seinen Denk- und Verhaltensweisen die ganze Gesellschaft durchdrang, kann man die eigentümliche Sonderstellung des Soldaten in der neuen deutschen Geschichte bis 1945 begreifen."
  • dunv_i

(no subject)

When my English class was watching Apocalypse Now, one of my classmates, who is Thai, said that he could understand what the 'villagers' were saying, though it wasn't Thai. How closely and in what way are the languages familiar?
Hudson 1

The oldest English words, and a joke on radio

People in Reading university in England have identified the oldest English words in existence.

"Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousands of years."

A radio presenter was talking about this, and said the oldest words included "I", "three", "five", "two" and "we". He then explained that someone had texted in to the studio and said they thought the words had been, ""I", "three", "five", "POO" and "WEE". The immature radio people fell about laughing in the studio.

Anyway, the researchers also worked out which words were most likely to go extinct next.
"The team says it can predict which words are likely to become extinct - citing "squeeze", "guts", "stick" and "bad" as probable first casualties."

Personally I'd be shocked if 'bad' was more likely to go extinct than other words ... it's a very commonly used word. So I suspect they're wrong. (But that's my opinion, it's not science.)

French question

Dear Linguaphiles who have installed the confidence in me that allowed me to further learning French,

Gazillions of Thanks to everyone who's commented in my last entry here. I've another simple question again which i can't figure out the meaning.

Q: Tu as des freres et des soeurs?
A: J'en ai deux.

My lecturer scribbled on the board the above two sentences. I can understand the meaning of the question but I can't for the life of me decipher the usage of "en" here. Isn't J'ai deux enough to answer the question?

Thanks in advance!

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