LINGUIST List 4.91

Fri 12 Feb 1993

Qs: Naming, Null Subject, Spellcheckers/Minority, Software

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Naming systems
  2. Richard Cameron, Null Subject Languages Inquiry
  3. Caoimhin P. ODonnaile, Spell check dictionaries and minority languages
  4. Uwe Hauck, Machine Translation Shareware & Freeware

Message 1: Naming systems

Date: 10 Feb 93 10:08:47 GMT+110Naming systems
From: <>
Subject: Naming systems

Can you help with information on the following:

1. Which countries/ethnic groups do NOT use the Anglo-Saxon type names,
 viz. Personal name(s) [a.k.a. 'Christian name', 'Forename', 'First
 name'] FOLLOWED by Surname [essentially the name parents and children
 all share; a.k.a. 'Family name'].
2. Any useful references on naming systems?
3. Anything on differences/conflicts between traditional naming and the
 official system?

 If you email me direct, I will summarise.

Peter PAUL, Linguistics, MONASH UNIVERSITY, 3168 Australia
<> or <>
FAX: +61.3.565.2294
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Message 2: Null Subject Languages Inquiry

Date: Tue, 9 Feb 93 15:14:03 ESTNull Subject Languages Inquiry
From: Richard Cameron <>
Subject: Null Subject Languages Inquiry

Does anyone know which of the following languages are considered
null subject languages?:
:Easter Island Polynesian

Thank you. -Richard Cameron (
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Message 3: Spell check dictionaries and minority languages

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 93 17:29:40 GMSpell check dictionaries and minority languages
From: Caoimhin P. ODonnaile <>
Subject: Spell check dictionaries and minority languages

Does anyone know whether it is possible to construct your own spell-check
*main* dictionary (not supplementary dictionary) in MS-Word for Windows?

What about other major packages with spell-checking - Which of them allow
the user to construct a "main" dictionary?

I teach at small college where all the teaching is in Scottish Gaelic.
There are no commercial spell-checkers yet available for small minority
languages like Gaelic, so we have constructed our own word list. We have
found that WordPerfect comes with a utility, SPELL, which allows you to
add and delete words from your own "main" dictionary. By naming the
dictionary file appropriately, and inserting an appropriate two-letter
language code into your Wordperfect document, you switch automatically
to Gaelic spell-check. It is all working very nicely and is proving very
useful. However, we use Word for Windows more than we use WordPerfect,
and I have not been able to find any mention of a similar facility in this

Can anyone tell me about standard codes for referring to languages?

We have to choose what two letter code to use for Gaelic in WordPerfect.
Since we deal both with Scottish Gaelic ("Gaidhlig Albanach") and Irish
Gaelic ("Gaidhlig Eireannach"), a natural choice would be "GA" for the
former and "GE" for the latter. However, WordPerfect already uses "GA"
for Galician. To complicate things further, I vaguely remember seeing an
ISO standard with two-digit codes for languages which had "GD" for Scottish
Gaelic and "GA" for Irish Gaelic. I also heard several years ago that
the ISO standard was going to be replaced with a three letter standard
because two-letter codes were not enough. Is this right?

I was wondering whether there was any bulletin board or newsgroup for
exchanging tips on computing in minority languages? Questions like how
to add spell-check main dictionaries to major packages are very important
for minority languages, but are of little interest to linguists dealing with
major languages.

 Kevin Donnelly
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Message 4: Machine Translation Shareware & Freeware

Date: Fri, 12 Feb 93 13:21:37 MEMachine Translation Shareware & Freeware
From: Uwe Hauck <UWEHAUCKdosuni1.rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE>
Subject: Machine Translation Shareware & Freeware

I am doing some research on machine translation software in the moment
and I am expecially interested in any software currently available as
free or shareware. Any ftp sites where I can get programs ??
Uwehauck at dosuni1.bitnet
uwehauck at
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