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Stupid questions

From:Steve Kramer <scooter@...>
Date:Monday, August 20, 2001, 15:33
I am not a linguist, nor do I play one on TV, so for me the construction of my
language has been a combination learning experience and artistic pursuit.  (I
consider this a very *good* thing, btw.)  And I have done my best to educate
myself before bringing stupid questions to the list...however, I'm not quite
able to understand some of what's going on, and I'd appreciate any help from the
list's more educated members.

1. I've noticed the term "ergative" used to describe some languages, but I'm
not able to find a definition or, more importantly for me, an example.  Is there
anyone who could explain the concept?

2. Similarly, I've noticed that there's an ASCII translation for the sounds of
the IPA, which I've only recently discovered.  Unfortunately, I don't know all
the sounds represented by the IPA, and the one Web page I found which gives the
ASCII equivalents was rather opaque for me.  Are there any layman's explanations
available, perhaps with references to sounds in relatively common languages?

Thank you in advance....

Steve Kramer   -=oOo=-   scooter at buser dot net
Thought for today:
"To get as many goals as Wayne Gretzky got last week."
Hockey player Glenn Anderson, on what his goals were
for the rest of the season


Muke Tever <alrivera@...>