Date: Sun, 4 Dec 1994 08:58:25 -0800 From: "CAVEMAN -- San Bernardino, Calif. USA" Subject: Article Use w/ Freeway Names > Subj: ADS-L Digest - 2 Dec 1994 to 3 Dec 1994 > Date: Sat, 3 Dec 1994 22:14:03 -0600 > From: "James C. Stalker" > Subject: Re: "the" 101 > An interesting question. A great many languages don't have articles. Do > we have evidence that articles are universal (so unmarked) and lack of > articles are non-universal (so marked)? The relevance here is that "the > 496" (our local interstate bypass) is unmarked, but that "496" is marked. > 496 is the more common designation here. I will not make strong claims > because I have not yet asked. I reckon I will. Please excuse my ignorance here, but what exactly is being said here? I don't quite understand this. It's possible Mr. Stalker studies a different area of linguistics than I do, so maybe that is the source of my confusion. In my admittedly limited experience, most languages I have come across (number of languages, NOT number of speakers of those languages) do NOT use articles. Assuming all languages were equal, I would have to say I believe articles to be unusual, and not having articles to be the norm. In the 6,000 languages spoken around the world, I still have to examine about 5,990 of them, so take my opinion for what it's worth. Listening to speakers of English as an L2, I would say that the Romance languages use articles, but others such as Russian, do not. Again, just an over-generalization and opinion -- not knowledge. Could article usage be tied to typologies such as SOV vs. SVO (e.g. English) maybe? Any thoughts? I realize this is getting away from American English dialects, but we have many non-native speakers of English here in Southern California -- I tried an informal count of the languages a few years back, and remember the number being over 100. Chuck Coker CJCoker[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CSUPomona.Edu PS: Years ago, when I was a truck driver, we would refer to, for example, Interstate 10, as I10 (pronounced eye-one-oh, as in, "I'm an eastbound on eye-one-oh."), although now, as a commuter, I take "the 10" from San Bernardino to Pomona each day. PPS: I just remembered! This goes back a few threads, but those little knobs attached to steering wheels were called "suicide knobs" by truck drivers. They were very dangerous when driving in less-than-ideal conditions (e.g., on ice, etc.). I would not recommend anybody putting one on their steering wheel (professional opinion here). =============================================================================== There have been no dragons in my life, only small spiders and stepping in gum. I could have coped with the dragons. -- Anonymous (but wise) ===============================================================================