LINGUIST List 9.221

Sat Feb 14 1998

Qs: ASL as L2, Horn-honking, Tobacco Ads.

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  1. Megan Elizabeth Melancon, Re: ASL as L2
  2. Prof. R.M. Chandler-Burns, horn-honking & door-knocking
  3. Andrew Hayes, research about the language of tobacco advertising

Message 1: Re: ASL as L2

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 11:40:14 -0600 (CST)
From: Megan Elizabeth Melancon <>
Subject: Re: ASL as L2

Dear Linguists,
As an addendum to my original query about ASL, I should make it clear that
I am referring to an American child living in the States and going to
school in the States, but who happens to have parents who speak little or
no English.

Megan Melancon 
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Message 2: horn-honking & door-knocking

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 00:44:15 -0500 (EST)
From: Prof. R.M. Chandler-Burns <>
Subject: horn-honking & door-knocking

I don't know if anyone has done a serious cross-culture study of 
communication using doorbells, knocking on doors, beeping car horns 
to announce one's arrival and to insult someone; however, I would 
like to know if such has been carried out in other cultures besides
the Mexico-USA environment.

In Mexico the sequence da-dada-da-da, da-da (corresponding to the 
sound of "Shave and a haircut, six bits!" in the U.S) can provoke 
fights and even death due to the horn-doorknock sequence being charged 
with extreme emotion and aggression, demanding immediate retaliation
because of its meaning 'Go [the "f" word] yourself and your mother!'
While in the US it has only the meaning or purpose of expressing
excitement at visiting a house, knocking on the door with the sequence
or even singing it outloud; arriving by car and honking the horn 
to the same pattern, expresses the same sentiment.

There are cases where people who live in the two cultures (US-Mexico) 
at the same time but learn only the former use for such horn honking 
or door knocking and employ it on their arrival with relatives, 
friends or acquaintances this sequence as an announcement of happiness 
to visit them, only to be met by a stream of coprolalia from the occupant(s)
of the house until the latter discover the visitors are relatives, 
friends not foes. Learning the other meaning is immediate and 
unforgettable. The invasion of lanes by cars into the path of another is 
not an infrequent cause of violence and death after the 'da-dada-da-da, 
da-da' of the offended driver is given and gunfire is exchanged.

Does this horn-honking/doorbell/door-knock phenomenon occur in other 
cultures? What should we call this kind of language-culture use of
the horn, the doorbell, the door-knock that is unknowingly or knowingly 
aggressive? Would there be a technical or forensic term that could be
used to do a further search?

R. M. Chandler-Burns
Medical College
Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon
Monterrey, MEXICO
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Message 3: research about the language of tobacco advertising

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:39:34 +0100
From: Andrew Hayes <>
Subject: research about the language of tobacco advertising

Dear collegue, 
I am doing a research about tobacco advertising adressed to young people
for the international union agaist cancer in Brussels. 
The aim of this research is to underline the persusive strategies employed
by tobacco ads to persuade young people to smoke and will follow a
discourse analysis approach as in Kress, Hodge, Van Djik, Myers, Cook and
so on. 
I will therefore analyze a corpus of about 100 newspapers all over Europe.
This research will support the campaign for banning tobacco ads in Europe. 

Hope You can give me some suggetsions about bibliography resourses and
libraries in which I could better find literature about this topic.
Suggetions about statistical methods are also welcome.


Dr. Maria Consiglia Mosella
Andrew J. Hayes
UICC / ECL EU Liaison Office, Brussels
e-mail :
Tel (32) 2 230.20.27.
Fax (32) 2 231.18.58.
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