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  • Author: Alexandre François x
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Abstract

The typologist reader is presented here with an overview of the most interesting characteristics of Mwotlap, an Oceanic language of Vanuatu. After a short presentation of its phonology, its main morphosyntactic categories are described and explored from a functional angle. The construal of noun phrases reveals a cognitive asymmetry between human individuals and other referents. Nouns, just like verbs or adjectives, are predicative, and are even sensitive to tense-aspect-mood markers and actionality properties. The argument structure of a verb can regularly be affected by its modifiers. Finally, deictics can be shown to play a major role in the structuring of discourse and complex sentences. Whenever relevant, the grammar of Mwotlap is briefly compared to other languages, and assessed in the light of existing typological generalisations.

Abstract

The Torres and Banks Islands, two small archipelagos of northern Vanuatu, are home to 9400 inhabitants and to 17 distinct languages. With an average of 550 speakers per language, this region constitutes an extreme case of the linguistic fragmentation which is typically observed throughout Melanesia. This study presents the linguistic diversity of that area, examines its social underpinnings and outlines its historical dynamics.

These islands form an integrated network where a variety of social forces interact, sometimes in conflicting ways. A long lasting bias toward cultural differentiation of local communities has led historically to the linguistic mosaic observable today. This traditional fostering of diversity was correlated with a principle of egalitarian multilingualism. But while these ancient social attitudes have survived to this day, the linguistic diversity of northern Vanuatu has already begun to erode, due to various recent social changes. These changes have reshaped the language ecology of the region and already resulted in the partial loss of earlier linguistic diversity. While northern Vanuatu is still linguistically diverse today, the increased imbalance of power among languages potentially makes the weaker varieties vulnerable in the decades to come.

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Abstract

Even if not so ancient, the history of the heat engine efficiency at maximum power expression has been yet turbulent. More than a decade after the publication of the seminal article by Curzon and Ahlborn in 1975, two older works by Chambadal and Novikov were rediscovered, both dating from 1957. Then, some years ago, the name of Yvon arose from a textual reference to this famous relation in a conference article published in 1955. Thanks to a historical study of French-written books not published for a long time, and since never translated into other languages, we bring to light in this paper that this relation was actually first proposed by Henri B. Reitlinger in 1929.

Abstract

Silicate perovskite-magnesiowüstite assemblages synthesized from natural olivine in the multianvil press and diamond-anvil cell were studied by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS). Spectra of crystalline silicate perovskite, and its post-amorphization phase, as well as magnesiowüstite were collected at the Fe and Si L2,3 edge, and in the low loss (<50 eV) domain. The technique of line spectra ensuring very low beam doses allows good quality spectra to be collected from crystalline perovskite prior to amorphization and permits characterization of coexisting crystals of perovskite and magnesiowüstite. Spectra at the Si L2,3 edge show that the beam-induced amorphization of silicate perovskite is accompanied by a change from sixfold to fourfold oxygen coordination of silicon atoms. Spectra at the Fe L2,3 edge show that Fe2+ is the major form of Fe in olivine, ringwoodite, and magnesiowüstite, whereas Fe3+ is dominant in crystalline silicate perovskite and its amorphization products. In magnesiowüstite and silicate perovskite observed in contact in these samples, Fe3+ is strongly partitioned into the silicate phase.

Careful experimental substraction of zero-loss peak by off Bragg acquisition of electron energyloss spectra allows good quality low loss spectra to be collected from crystalline silicate perovskite and magnesiowüstite. In magnesiowüstite, interband transitions are well characterized, leading to a measured gap of 7.8 eV, in agreement with previous theoretical calculations. Interband transitions at 10 eV and 12.5 eV are also well resolved in crystalline silicate perovskite, leading to a gap of about 9.5 eV.

Abstract

Reinforcement corrosion is one of the major structural performance issues that need to be solved to extend the service lifetime of a concrete structure. It is influenced, on the one hand, by the concrete itself sound or contaminated (with chloride or carbonated) and, on the other hand, by the environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity (controlled or outdoor). To characterize the corrosion of steel rebar in concrete prisms, several electrochemical measurements such as half-cell potential, linear polarization resistance and impedance were performed and corrosion rates were then calculated. A database containing >3000 values has been established. These data have been firstly analyzed with basic statistics and secondly they have been modeled as symbolic data and studied with a principal component analysis. It is shown that symbolic principal component analysis is a powerful tool leading to more refined results.

Abstract

Following the completion of sequencing of the human genome, there has been a very rapid increase in the development of new molecular diagnostic tests. However, the numerous genetic tests and genetic testing technologies offered do not always satisfy essential quality criteria required to ensure confidence in the results that are produced. This is of particular importance for genetic tests since many patients may be tested for a particular genetic defect only once in their lifetime. Thus, there is a pressing need for comprehensive guidelines for the validation of molecular diagnostic tests and procedures, including DNA sequencing, the latter being a fundamental aspect of the development and validation of most genetic tests. To that end, the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) Committee for Molecular Diagnostics has prepared the following paper that describes a possible approach to the development of a reference method for sequencing of haploid DNA. We discuss various aspects which should be considered before, during and after applying the sequencing procedure, in order to achieve results with a known level of confidence, including robustness and assessments of quality.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:1343–50.