LINGUIST List 9.805

Fri May 29 1998

Qs: Constructivism, Radio System, Decipherment

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

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  1. Ralf, Constructivism and linguistics
  2. Leide Porcu, radio system
  3.>, Decipherment resources and hand shapes

Message 1: Constructivism and linguistics

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 20:01:15 +0200
From: Ralf <>
Subject: Constructivism and linguistics

Constructivism and linguistics

I am trying to construe concepts of linguistic approaches within the
science-theoretical thinking of constructivist theory. apart from the
fact that for construing something, one needs colleagues willing to
construe concepts in the same way or at least accepting the construction
one is construing, i am wondering whether there are already any models
and concepts and applications out there which are construed on the basis
of constructivism or whether there are linguists who had the same idea.
- -- At once i have to mention w.u. dressler (vienna) and
(international) colleagues in a child language research program. and I
would assume that the 'social construction of reality' approach might
have surfaced in sociolinguistic research. i don't know of any other
- -- In case anybody is simply interested in constructivism, i am
willing to send some information via email -- keywords:
self-organisation, system theory, social construction of reality.
- -- i will of course post a summary.
thanks & best regards,
ralf vollmann, 
institute of linguistics, university of graz, merangasse 70, A-8010
graz, austria;,
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Message 2: radio system

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 17:25:00 -0400
From: Leide Porcu <>
Subject: radio system

Dear subscribers,

I am an anthropology student and I am interested in language and humor
in a fishmarket in Sardinia, Italy. I am leaving for the field and I
would like to experiment some of the methodologies that linguists use. 
Among the books I read recently, there is Ben Rampton's on crossing
which I would keep as a model. I would like to use radio systems and
recordings to have a better grasp of the material of the field and start
familiarize with markers such as crossing and prosody that might pass
unnoticed if not properly recorded and analyzed after the event.

Can you please suggest me what technology I should buy? Where to buy it
in New York?

Thanks a lot!!!!
Leide Porcu
Dept. of Anthropology
Columbia University
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Message 3: Decipherment resources and hand shapes

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 11:58:44 EDT
From:> <>
Subject: Decipherment resources and hand shapes

This question is Forwarded partly on behalf of a deaf PhD 
who completed a dissertation on the interpretation of
ancient manual alphabets used on classic artwork.

He is already highly knowledgeable on published works on monastic signs.

Question (1):

At what universities are there programs focused specifically on methods
of decipherment? (He has received information that there do exist six of
but not the names of the universities where they exist.)

Question (2):

Does the International Society of Undeciphered Languages still exist?
What does it do, what are some of its publications, and could any
of you give short comments on any of those publications?

Question (3):

What suggestions can you make for reference works on conventional
language-like meaning of hand shapes and positions in European and 
in Ancient Near Eastern art? Or elsewhere if you know of them.

We will be grateful for any information you can provide.
Please respond with copies

Joseph A. Castronovo Jr. at

AND to
Lloyd Anderson at
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