LINGUIST List 9.1771

Fri Dec 11 1998

FYI: Dialect, Agent Communication, Ling. Diversity

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>


  1. gbarrett, New American Dialect Society Site
  2. Vladimir Fomichov, Agent Communication Languages/Partners Needed
  3. Alison Henry, Linguistic Diversity

Message 1: New American Dialect Society Site

Date: 11 Dec 98 09:36:01 -0500
From: gbarrett <>
Subject: New American Dialect Society Site

The American Dialect Society has a new web site:

Please change it in your bookmarks, links or indexes. 

Grant Barrett
American Dialect Society Web Geek
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Message 2: Agent Communication Languages/Partners Needed

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 06:37:45 +1100 (EST)
From: Vladimir Fomichov <>
Subject: Agent Communication Languages/Partners Needed

Dear Colleagues,

Proceeding from my original approach to mathematical describing
semantics and pragmatics of natural language (NL), I elaborated a
powerful and flexible formal metagrammar for determining Agent
Communication Languages (ACLs). It is sufficient to choose a concrete
vocabulary in order to transform that metagrammar into a formal
grammar determining an ACL. The diapason of opportunities provided by
the new approach may be shortly characterized as follows.

In October 1997, the international Foundation for Intelligent Physical
Agents published in Geneva a new standard of an ACL (FIPA ACL). The
main advantages of the new approach in comparison with the FIPA ACL,
KQML, KIF are the possibilities to represent arbitrarily complicated
goals (or actions) and structured meanings of arbitrary discourses in
NL (in particular, from business, technical, and medical
documentation). Besides, the new approach is convenient for doing the
same things as it would be convenient for the designers of multi-agent
systems with the help of FIPA ACL, KQML, KIF and for doing a lot of
other important things.

This result will be published in December in the Special Issue on
Natural Language Processing and Agent Communication of INFORMATICA. An
International Journal of Computing and Informatics, Slovenia (edited
by V.A.Fomichov and A.P.Zeleznikar), 1998, Vol. 22, No. 4.

I am looking for the partners in applying that new approach to the
design of widely applicable ACLs (e.g., for the realization of
Electronic Commerce).

Knowledge of natural languages: Russian - mother tongue; English,
German - fluently; French - read very well, can write and speak.

Vladimir A. Fomichov (Fomitchev)
Professor of Computer Science
Department of Information Technologies
K.E.Tsiolkovsky Russian State Technological 
University - "MATI", 121552 Moscow, Russia
Home page:


Address for surface mail:
Department of Discrete Mathematics, Faculty of Mech and Math, 
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119899 Moscow, Russia
E-mail addresses (for simultaneous use): and
Fax: 007-095-939-2090 (Dept of Discr. Math.)

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Message 3: Linguistic Diversity

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 10:44:40 GMT
From: Alison Henry <>
Subject: Linguistic Diversity

I have proposed to the University of Ulster that a Centre for
Linguistic Diversity should be established, to undertake research and
support practice in the area of linguistic diversity, both locally and
more generally. The recent political agreement in Northern Ireland has
included in its provisions a commitment to support linguistic
diversity, particularly in relation to Irish, but also in relation to
Ulster Scots, local dialects and other minority languages spoken in
the area. The Centre would hope to support these efforts, to undertake
linguistic research into minority and endangered language varieties
locally and more generally, and to provide training in linguistics for
language activists. There is a particularly interesting linguistic
situation locally, with Irish reviving after having ceased to be
spoken as a community language well over a century ago, a number of
very interesting dialects of English eg Belfast English, West Ulster
English, and a traveller community with its own linguistic heritage.

The proposal has been very favourably received within the University,
and I am now preparing detailed proposals and a final case for
approval; one of the things I have been asked to do is to show that
there is support for work on Linguistic Diversity, and for the
establishment of such a centre here, within the Linguistics
community. To do this, it would be very helpful if anyone with an
interest in this area might email me with messages in support of the
establishment of a Centre.

Alison Henry 
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