Linguistic Puzzle

Matthew Anstey manstey at
Thu Jun 3 17:00:33 EDT 1999

Gday all,

Here is a good linguistic puzzle for someone to solve (or maybe someone
already has). There are 7372 occurences of 'et in the MT, traditionally
called the marker of the definite direct object, although we all know that
this is not the full picture. In our software for translators we currently
use a two-letter abbreviation for all 7372 of these, which is {tm}, standing
for "transitivity marker" but we would like to improve on this. We would
like to know if anyone can think of a better two-letter abbreviation that
captures the essence of this little critter. We don't want to have to gloss
using several different tags if at all possible, so does anyone know of the
central feature of the use of 'et that  is present in all 7372 cases (or as
close to this number as possible?).

First prize is the comfort gained from knowing your abbreviation will occur
7372 times in each copy of the software that will go all around the world to
hundreds of people, which will approximate over 2.5 million abbreviations.

With regards,

Matthew Anstey
on behalf of Summer Institute of Linguistics.
BART (Biblical Analysis and Research Tool) Software Development
Carl Follingstad, Coordinator  cfollingstad at
Todd Hoatson, Programmer Todd_Hoatson at

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