Random language thread 5

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Vlürch
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Vlürch » 2017-09-13, 13:41

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
księżycowy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:Yes, that. I just couldn't remember how to spell it properly (and I also forgot it's 'r' and not 't' in the second one).

There's no ti in Japanese. :)

Depending on how one interprets/romanizes ち.

I'm pretty sure he'd Romanize that as chi though.

Yeah I've always romanized it as chi. It'd just been so long since I did any Japanese that I couldn't remember off hand the proper phonetic sequence. But I do recall seeing ti used before for ち.

I've seen it (and tu, si, etc.) used in the romanisation of names, sometimes obviously for stylistic reasons but in other contexts where various inexplicable mixtures of the different romanisation schemes are used. IIRC I've even seen り and ろ rendered as li and lo simultaneously with the common transliteration of ら, る and れ as ra, ru and re, and ふ as hu actually seems pretty common.
linguoboy wrote:I think the women at the table next to ours were speaking Kazakh or some other Central Asian Turkic language. I almost asked, but didn't want to be rude.

Hopefully, one day, I can hear Kazakh being spoken in person...
voron wrote:In his translation, he left the Kurdish lines untranslated, and put the comments 'in K*rdish' and 'in Ku*dish' next to them. Yes, like that, with the asterisks. Of course I can't tell with certainty what he meant by those asterisks, but, having encountered this kind of sentiments many times before, I can guess that it is because 'Kurdish language doesn't and can't exist'. It's amazing how a person can have a considerable linguistic background and at the same time deny an apparent linguistic fact.

I've seen the asterisk used as a reference to the oppression of Kurds in Turkey, where the word "Kurd" was apparently not allowed to be used until recently, also as a meme that an ethnicity/religion/whatever group of people is so bad that it has to be censored, as if it was a dirty word (often ironically, and probably originating from the Turkish oppression of the Kurds considering "T*rk" is the most common realisation of said meme).

Assuming he isn't memeing, since the context it's used in isn't banter on an imageboard, it could be either a political statement on the oppression of Kurds being an ongoing reality, but more likely a statement that Kurds are bad and/or, like you said, that Kurds don't exist. Since he's Turkish, it's probably the latter... :?
linguoboy wrote:my late husband died recently

Sorry to hear that. :( I remember that you posted something about him being hospitalised, but didn't realise he was dying. I hope you're doing okay, or at least as okay as you could be, considering.
linguoboy wrote:One bit in particular made me chuckle: "One holy son" was rendered as "Hid bro qaddisho". (Bro here is cognate with the bar in bar mitzvah.)

Just that sentence by itself looks like some strange Celtic/Latin hybrid, with "hid" somewhat resembling "hic" and "bro" meaning "country" in Welsh and Breton. "Qaddisho", though, sounds like some kind of food...
vijayjohn wrote:[ɨ̆ː]

How can a sound be short and long at the same time? :hmm: Did you mean [ɨ̃ː], nasalised? Or was that a joke.
vijayjohn wrote:I don't use a phone and don't have the app; I do everything on my desktop computer.

Same. I made an instagram account because I didn't realise that you actually can't upload anything from a computer, and since I don't have a smartphone... well, my account will probably be deleted for inactivity since there's no point in logging in at all if I can't do anything. Kinda annoying that they allow registering with a computer if it can't be used on one, although I guess maybe that should've been obvious; I just didn't think that literally everyone has a smartphone these days, and thought some people use it on their computer. :?
dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:You know, I honestly don't think it ever occurred to me until you said that that people might really think they were 20% fluent or whatever in a given language. (Like, I didn't even think of that because I completely ignore those things except insomuch as it's indicative of what I've done on Duo specifically). I suppose it's encouraging, though (even if it's also a lie), which is perhaps what most American users would want. *shrug*

Maybe that's what they want. I used to fall into that trap with these sites: believe that if I only finished their course I would become fluent in the language. I've since learned that it takes a lot more than one or even several courses or books to become fluent or even conversational!

I've pretty much given up on learning any languages because of the realisation that I'll never be fluent or even barely able to make sense, considering I have no way of interacting with native speakers of any of the languages that I'm interested in in any way that's beneficial to the learning process... and when I do come across native speakers who aren't completely opposed to the thought of interacting with someone learning their language, they turn out to be people I want nothing to do with for any variety of reasons, often political like in the case of Turkish and Russian.
vijayjohn wrote:I mean, it depends on a bunch of things, I guess. Books and courses obviously can help, but some are better than others, and of course, there is no substitute for listening practice, speaking practice, etc. Fortunately, international communication is easier nowadays than ever before what with the Internet, e-mail, and social media, which in turn makes it just that much easier to find opportunities for all these kinds of practice.

If only people could put up with it... all the Russians on VK that were positively surprised I'm interested in learning the language always get fed up with my inability to memorise words in a matter of hours, and I've probably offended a bunch by making up words as I go without realising that they're not real words. :P
vijayjohn wrote:
Luís wrote:So, in Hebrew Mexico City is מקסיקו סיטי. Seriously? They could have used the Spanish word or translated the first part into Hebrew (as many other languages do).

"Mexico City" is a valid term in Swedish. In a bunch of Iranian minority languages, apparently, it's Mekzeeko Seetee. :P Some Indian languages and some other languages spoken in the former British Empire also use "Mexico City," including Malayalam.

vijayjohn wrote:I forgot to mention Korean and Japanese as languages where the term for Mexico City is just "Mexico City."

Finnish, too.
vijayjohn wrote:I've only been on Reddit for about two weeks, but I've already met someone who learned some Wenzhounese and a Qingtianese heritage speaker.

Reddit is full of everyone, including speakers of extremely endangered minority languages... or at least people claiming to speak extremely endangered minority languages, who turn out to be pretty much certainly exposed as conlangers, like the Forcuc dude.

Although I have an account there, I barely ever log in or post anything, since the whole downvoting thing is kinda annoying to me (and a lot of other people, but of course some do like it). Way too often, users dig through others' previous posts to find something, anything, that the particular subreddit as a community will get up in arms over and start flinging shit at them for things that had nothing to do with the argument; this happens with any opinion that goes against the hivemind of any given subreddit's userbase. Also, people are automatically banned from some subreddits if they subscribe to and/or post in certain other ones, and the moderators all over the site tend to be very eager to use the banhammer... on top of that, there's shadowbanning, so you may not even know that your posts don't show up and are left to wonder why people are ignoring you no matter what you say to them.

Overall, it's a pretty good site, but you have to be careful about what you post. They have rules against "brigading" or whatever, but that's never stopped people from mass downvoting people whenever someone points out that the person in question posted something in another subreddit that they don't approve of, like expressed an opinion on any random politician/artist/band/writer/film/literally anything that the majority of users in the subreddit where that comment was pointed out in have a different opinion on... and they have some contradictory rules, like the use of throwaway accounts; it's not allowed at all in some subreddits (which leads to any new accounts getting banned), while in others it's encouraged or even a necessity.

All this, though, is mostly based on what others have said, not what I've experienced myself, so maybe it's blown out of proportion.
dEhiN wrote:This might be a silly question, but do you guys ever experience learning fatigue, particularly when it comes to vocabulary? There have been so many times in the past where I've skipped out on or opted not to look up a word and instead just use Google Translate to get the gist, or I've looked up a word just for that moment to understand something but then decided not to write it down. And this has almost always been because I hit a point where I was tired of constantly writing out new words. The downside to this though is that now, there are many words which I have encountered in the past but I have no recollection of them at all.

Well, I practically always forget every word in every language I'm trying to learn, so I can easily recognise tons of words in a bunch of languages but have no clue what they mean. Sometimes, though, I completely blank out and everything is new even if I know for a fact I've learned it all before and even memorised the words. They just vanish from my head, probably because I don't use any of the languages I'm trying to learn... which is why I've more or less given up.

Something random that could be posted in either the false friend or true friend thread, but I'll post in this thread instead because I wonder if there could be some ancient connection:
Sumerian (sux) ĝe /ŋe/ - I
Tibetan (bo) (nga) - I <- from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋa
Korean (ko) , (na, nae) - I
...there probably isn't any ancient connection, but there could be one if they all originated from the Harappan language as it was spoken reasonably close to Tibet, they're theorised to have traded with Sumerians, and Korean could've gotten it from Old Chinese. Then again, borrowing pronouns is kinda weird, so it happening with at least three languages is a huge stretch and almost requires the assumption that the Harappans had near-divine influence over everyone. I just thought it was interesting, anyway.

Has anyone theorised that the Harappans were aliens like Sumerians? :P

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-13, 19:58

Vlürch wrote:ふ as hu actually seems pretty common.

I agree.
Hopefully, one day, I can hear Kazakh being spoken in person...

Maybe a stupid question but have you heard Kazakh being spoken before?
linguoboy wrote:my late husband died recently

Sorry to hear that. :(

He was saying his late husband's colleague died recently. His husband died almost a year ago IIRC.
How can a sound be short and long at the same time? :hmm: Did you mean [ɨ̃ː], nasalised?

Oh shit, yes. Those squiggles are too damn small for my eyes to distinguish them! :P Thanks.
If only people could put up with it... all the Russians on VK that were positively surprised I'm interested in learning the language always get fed up with my inability to memorise words in a matter of hours, and I've probably offended a bunch by making up words as I go without realising that they're not real words. :P

Idk what you've been experiencing, but personally, I find it very helpful. I don't think anyone's ever been particularly impatient with me when it comes to language-learning; on the contrary, I've seen them almost always be very helpful and encouraging.
Finnish, too.

Except in Finnish, you also have just México for the city, right?
Reddit is full of everyone, including speakers of extremely endangered minority languages... or at least people claiming to speak extremely endangered minority languages, who turn out to be pretty much certainly exposed as conlangers, like the Forcuc dude.

I haven't really found any so far. I have found people who are interested in such languages, though. I find it incredibly useful for practicing languages. I don't find Redditors very useful for language-learning tips, though. It's almost like every time I go "hey, I'm learning language X really slowly. Does anybody have tips for how I could maybe learn it a little faster?" someone just goes "use Memrise!" or "interact with native speakers like you just suggested!" :P
Although I have an account there, I barely ever log in or post anything

It may not be your thing, which is fine, and I stick mostly to language-specific subs, but I personally love it and use it all the time now. The only other subs I'm subscribed to (or post in) are r/Kerala, r/France, r/de (which maybe I should stop subscribing to because I never do anything there since all they ever seem to do is post memes), r/Serbia, r/Croatia, and r/languagelearning (which honestly doesn't seem that useful to me given what I just said about Redditors and language-learning tips), and even then mostly for practicing languages and being friendly with people.

r/Ukraine seems pretty English-free; even the rules are given only in Russian IIRC since it's basically all in Russian and Ukrainian (and they encourage the use of Ukrainian and offer to help out anybody who has trouble understanding it, at least if they know Russian). r/Kerala is I think mostly in English, but it has plenty of (usually Romanized) Malayalam, too, and they at least pretend to be friendly like all good Indians in polite company (despite also swearing a lot, especially in English) and encourage the use of Malayalam, which is pretty cool. I'm tempted to join some of the other subs like r/Mexico, but I have no idea what to say there. (I can participate in r/France and r/Serbia a lot more easily because there are random threads there, r/Croatia because they're currently making a series of Ask Me Anything threads featuring people from various cities in Croatia, and r/Kerala because my parents are from Kerala and some of my relatives are still there so current events there are of direct relevance to me and I can kind of intuitively understand wtf they're talking about even though I have no idea what the latest news from Kerala is otherwise. r/de has random threads sometimes, too).
Something random that could be posted in either the false friend or true friend thread, but I'll post in this thread instead because I wonder if there could be some ancient connection:
Sumerian (sux) ĝe /ŋe/ - I
Tibetan (bo) (nga) - I <- from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋa
Korean (ko) , (na, nae) - I
...there probably isn't any ancient connection, but there could be one if they all originated from the Harappan

Oh God, I'm going to stop you right there. I am so damn sick of people losing their shit because omg these totally different languages have words that begin with a nasal and all mean 'I'!

Dude, languages only have so many sounds, so coincidences happen. That's all it is.

(Sorry, I didn't mean that personally. It's just that some linguists say stuff kind of like this, too, almost as if it was conclusive proof of anything when it's not even close).

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2017-09-13, 20:45

Vlürch wrote:
linguoboy wrote:my late husband died recently

Sorry to hear that. :( I remember that you posted something about him being hospitalised, but didn't realise he was dying. I hope you're doing okay, or at least as okay as you could be, considering.

Didn't notice this particular brick in the WOT until Vijay pointed it out.

Yes, my husband died last December. (It would be pleonastic to say "my late husband died" because "late" in English usage is a euphemism for "deceased".) I've been mildly depressed but doing okay overall. Thanks for your concern.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-14, 4:16

Wow, I've forgotten so much basic stuff in Micmac (Lnuismk) and remember some stuff I always had trouble remembering. (Not that this should be surprising. I've been neglecting it for months, after all).

Now to see how my Michif is going. :para:

UPDATE: Not that bad, actually, but my God, how am I ever going to learn all those verb forms?!
EDIT: Also, I've been trying to brush up on all my other languages lately but forgot all about needing to practice my Tagalog. :roll:

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Karavinka » 2017-09-14, 11:47

vijayjohn wrote:
Something random that could be posted in either the false friend or true friend thread, but I'll post in this thread instead because I wonder if there could be some ancient connection:
Sumerian (sux) ĝe /ŋe/ - I
Tibetan (bo) (nga) - I <- from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋa
Korean (ko) , (na, nae) - I
...there probably isn't any ancient connection, but there could be one if they all originated from the Harappan

Oh God, I'm going to stop you right there. I am so damn sick of people losing their shit because omg these totally different languages have words that begin with a nasal and all mean 'I'!

Dude, languages only have so many sounds, so coincidences happen. That's all it is.

(Sorry, I didn't mean that personally. It's just that some linguists say stuff kind of like this, too, almost as if it was conclusive proof of anything when it's not even close).


I can probably accept if either Sumerian or Korean turned out to have borrowed a Sino-Tibetan personal pronoun. I mean, English borrowed "they" from Old Norse, it's not completely unthinkable although I would still be highly skeptical. Maybe, just maybe the "Harappan" turned out to be Proto-Dravido-Korean.

No, probably just a coincidence. (Personally, I think identifying the genetic affiliation of Korean and Sumerian to any other known language family is a lost cause. Even if there is a relationship to something, the divergence point must be far too back in the past to make it identifiable.)
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Vlürch » 2017-09-14, 15:28

vijayjohn wrote:
Hopefully, one day, I can hear Kazakh being spoken in person...

Maybe a stupid question but have you heard Kazakh being spoken before?

Outside videos on the internet and songs? No, but I wish I would because it sounds really epic. I mean, everything about it is so harsh, but in a way that's at the same time kind of beautiful since it's not as stiff-sounding as Kyrgyz.
vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:my late husband died recently

Sorry to hear that. :(

He was saying his late husband's colleague died recently. His husband died almost a year ago IIRC.

Oh... :oops: Well, I mean, I didn't know his husband had died, so... uh... I only remember him posting about his husband being hospitalised and never said anything about condolences or anything since I didn't realise he died, and if he hadn't posted about his husband's colleague dying and me mistaking it for him saying his husband died, I wouldn't have known. Also, I think a year ago is still recently when it comes to life-altering things, especially negative ones.
linguoboy wrote:I've been mildly depressed but doing okay overall. Thanks for your concern.

I can only imagine, again sorry for your loss.
vijayjohn wrote:
If only people could put up with it... all the Russians on VK that were positively surprised I'm interested in learning the language always get fed up with my inability to memorise words in a matter of hours, and I've probably offended a bunch by making up words as I go without realising that they're not real words. :P

Idk what you've been experiencing, but personally, I find it very helpful. I don't think anyone's ever been particularly impatient with me when it comes to language-learning; on the contrary, I've seen them almost always be very helpful and encouraging.

Same, I guess, but they get annoyed when my brain stops working and I type random gibberish like "ктобой ты дёрвий храюсьназ?" thinking it's a meaningful sentence and then "ӘӘӘӘӘ СПАСИБО Я ДЕРЬМО НА РУССКИЕ" because I realise that they weren't real words, and forget that спасибо means "thanks" rather than "sorry". :lol:
vijayjohn wrote:
Finnish, too.

Except in Finnish, you also have just México for the city, right?

Yeah, that too.
vijayjohn wrote:
Something random that could be posted in either the false friend or true friend thread, but I'll post in this thread instead because I wonder if there could be some ancient connection:
Sumerian (sux) ĝe /ŋe/ - I
Tibetan (bo) (nga) - I <- from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋa
Korean (ko) , (na, nae) - I
...there probably isn't any ancient connection, but there could be one if they all originated from the Harappan

Oh God, I'm going to stop you right there. I am so damn sick of people losing their shit because omg these totally different languages have words that begin with a nasal and all mean 'I'!

Dude, languages only have so many sounds, so coincidences happen. That's all it is.

(Sorry, I didn't mean that personally. It's just that some linguists say stuff kind of like this, too, almost as if it was conclusive proof of anything when it's not even close).

Heh, yeah, I know, but still, it's fun to think about and can be useful to the memorisation of similarities in them.

Besides, everybody knows that the Harappans were in fact large-nosed Communist aliens from the Pleiades constellation that came to Earth to teach humanity the secrets of creation through the introduction of nasal sounds, which have a mystical quality that opens the third nostril of anyone willing to smell the very essence of the universe... :mrgreen:

Maybe I should try to write a short story about that. Some ancient astronaut conspiracy theorists would probably take it seriously and I'd facepalm harder than I've ever facepalmed before.
Karavinka wrote:I can probably accept if either Sumerian or Korean turned out to have borrowed a Sino-Tibetan personal pronoun.

Korean is definitely possible, which is part of why I posted it in this thread since discussion on it wouldn't be derailing, but how could Sumerian have borrowed anything from any Sino-Tibetans? :o The only thing I could find mentioning any kind of relationship between Sumerians and any Sino-Tibetans is this, which seems to suggest the ancient Chinese had trade with Swahili people (apparently based on Gedi, but that was in the middle ages and at least according to Wikipedia indirect), and this, which... well, it suggests that all the Sino-Tibetan languages were originally spoken in Turkey, Armenia and Iran... so... I mean, everything is possible, and I'm not an expert on any of this (or anything) and only googled quickly for a few terms related to Sumerians and Sino-Tibetans, so I might've missed something legit that mentioned them having had trade or any other kind of contact.
Karavinka wrote:Maybe, just maybe the "Harappan" turned out to be Proto-Dravido-Korean.

I don't know the first thing about Dravidian languages, but I feel like maybe I should at least read a little bit about what their phonologies and grammars are like. For some reason, it's something I keep procrastinating over...
Karavinka wrote:No, probably just a coincidence. (Personally, I think identifying the genetic affiliation of Korean and Sumerian to any other known language family is a lost cause. Even if there is a relationship to something, the divergence point must be far too back in the past to make it identifiable.)

If only we could travel back in time... and fuck everything up by accidentally infecting the populations that would have become Sumerians, Egyptians, Harappans, Chinese, etc. with diseases that are completely harmless today thanks to vaccines and whatnot, that they wouldn't have immunity to. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2017-09-14, 16:35

Vlürch wrote:
Karavinka wrote:Maybe, just maybe the "Harappan" turned out to be Proto-Dravido-Korean.

I don't know the first thing about Dravidian languages, but I feel like maybe I should at least read a little bit about what their phonologies and grammars are like. For some reason, it's something I keep procrastinating over...

Basically phonology includes retroflexes and the grammar is agglutinative. :D I've actually never heard of a Dravidian-Koreanic connection before, but I have seen suggestions for both Dravidian and Japonic as well as some paper that tried to show similarities between Tamil and Ainu.

If only we could travel back in time... and fuck everything up by accidentally infecting the populations that would have become Sumerians, Egyptians, Harappans, Chinese, etc. with diseases that are completely harmless today thanks to vaccines and whatnot, that they wouldn't have immunity to. :lol:

Or you know...become your own grandfather. :rotfl:
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-14, 18:14

dEhiN wrote:
Vlürch wrote:
Karavinka wrote:Maybe, just maybe the "Harappan" turned out to be Proto-Dravido-Korean.

I don't know the first thing about Dravidian languages, but I feel like maybe I should at least read a little bit about what their phonologies and grammars are like. For some reason, it's something I keep procrastinating over...

Basically phonology includes retroflexes and the grammar is agglutinative. :D

Yeah, the phonology is basically like Finnish except with the rounded front vowels traded for retroflexes and possibly breathy voiced stops due to Indo-Aryan influence, but probably not. Unless we're talking about Toda. Then your phonology has some pretty weird shit by anyone's standards. The syntax is a lot like Turkish or Korean (e.g. agglutinative and with anything modifying a noun going before it, so I guess like Finnish, but also SOV), but with a case system comparable to Slavic languages, plus a bunch of quirks that are not characteristic of Eurasian at all, like two dative cases (in the case of Malayalam), suffixes on verbs that agree with the subject for gender only in 3rd person (in most other Dravidian languages, I think), different words for 'give' depending on whether the recipient is in 3rd person or not (in the case of Malayalam and maybe Tamil), and pro-drop regardless of overt verbal agreement (Tamil has verbal agreement all over the place whereas Malayalam has basically none at all, yet both apparently drop pronouns in the same contexts). Also, in Malayalam, there are no particular words for 'hi', 'thanks', 'yes', or 'no', and 'please' is never expressed as a separate word in any South Asian language I can think of other than Persian/Dari but rather implied in certain verbal suffixes.

So basically, we sound like y'all do! :D
I've actually never heard of a Dravidian-Koreanic connection before, but I have seen suggestions for both Dravidian and Japonic as well as some paper that tried to show similarities between Tamil and Ainu.

Oh, honey, people try to connect Dravidian to everything!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2017-09-14, 20:23

vijayjohn wrote:like two dative cases (in the case of Malayalam)

How does this work in practice?

suffixes on verbs that agree with the subject for gender only in 3rd person (in most other Dravidian languages, I think)

Do you mean that whole dative construction where some verbs take the subject in the dative and conjugate for the object?

pro-drop regardless of overt verbal agreement (Tamil has verbal agreement all over the place whereas Malayalam has basically none at all, yet both apparently drop pronouns in the same contexts)

Well except (at least in the case of Tamil) for A=B statements (I forget the name of these...existential? causative?), since there's no copula then you need a pronoun when it's the subject.

Also, in Malayalam, there are no particular words for 'hi', 'thanks', 'yes', or 'no', and 'please' is never expressed as a separate word in any South Asian language I can think of other than Persian/Dari but rather implied in certain verbal suffixes

In Tamil there's no way of saying 'good night', and I think by extension any other similar greeting: 'good day', 'good morning', 'good evening', etc. I also don't think there's a specific word for 'hi'. There's /ʋaɳəkːəm/ but I think that technically means 'welcome' or something. There's another word too, but I forget it now, and again I'm pretty sure it's more like 'welcome' as well.

Oh, honey, people try to connect Dravidian to everything!

When are they going to realize that we come from Kumari Kandam? :evil: :D :whistle:
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-14, 20:50

dEhiN wrote:How does this work in practice?

You use one of them only with verbs that have to do with speaking and the other one in all other cases.
Do you mean that whole dative construction where some verbs take the subject in the dative and conjugate for the object?

I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen. :hmm: But no, I don't mean dative experiencer subjects. I think Finnish might have something a little bit like that. I just meant how there's e.g. one word for 'he is seeing', another for 'she is seeing', a third one for 'it is seeing', a fourth one for 'they (sing.) are seeing', and a fifth one for 'they (pl.) are seeing' instead of the same form for at least the first three. (You'd think there might be the same form for the last two as well, but not quite!).
Well except (at least in the case of Tamil) for A=B statements (I forget the name of these...existential? causative?), since there's no copula then you need a pronoun when it's the subject.

Oh, yeah, there are other places where you don't have verbal agreement, too. Still, y'all have so much verbal agreement whereas for us, that's like something we have in old movie songs and poetry or something, and even then only to a very limited extent. :D
In Tamil there's no way of saying 'good night', and I think by extension any other similar greeting: 'good day', 'good morning', 'good evening', etc.

Same in Malayalam.
I also don't think there's a specific word for 'hi'. There's /ʋaɳəkːəm/ but I think that technically means 'welcome' or something. There's another word too, but I forget it now, and again I'm pretty sure it's more like 'welcome' as well.

I've seen வணக்கம் used as a greeting in a...relatively casual context. Maybe not completely casual, but still. Maybe that's subject to regional variation within the Tamil-speaking world? Idk. Anyway, 'welcome' AFAIK is வர வேண்டும் (see, that's another place where you don't have verbal agreement :)).
When are they going to realize that we come from Kumari Kandam? :evil: :D :whistle:

Well, maybe one day, we can get them all together and have a nice little meeting with rice and idli and tocai/dosai/whatever and sothi and sambar and rasam and kothu roti and...I'm making you hungry, but anyway!

...Wait, what was my point again?...Oh yeah! Then they'll all be so happy they'll gladly acknowledge that Mother Tamil is the mother of all languages and that Grandmother Malayalam is her mother.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2017-09-15, 20:34

vijayjohn wrote:I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen.

In Malayalam? Or in Tamil? It happens a lot in Tamil!

I just meant how there's e.g. one word for 'he is seeing', another for 'she is seeing', a third one for 'it is seeing', a fourth one for 'they (sing.) are seeing', and a fifth one for 'they (pl.) are seeing' instead of the same form for at least the first three. (You'd think there might be the same form for the last two as well, but not quite!).

Oh that, yeah I guess that is odd. I do remember thinking it odd like 16 years ago or so when I first learned that. But then I got used to it, so now it's old hat.

I've seen வணக்கம் used as a greeting in a...relatively casual context. Maybe not completely casual, but still. Maybe that's subject to regional variation within the Tamil-speaking world? Idk. Anyway, 'welcome' AFAIK is வர வேண்டும் (see, that's another place where you don't have verbal agreement :)).

Yeah வணக்கம் is used as a casual greeting, and I don't think that's regional per se. But iirc I learned once that the actual word means welcome. There's also நல்வரவு which means welcome. I remember seeing this word for the first time at a bank. They had a wall with the word welcome in different languages, and for Tamil they used this word instead of வணக்கம். I've never seen வர வேண்டும், well except for now!

Well, maybe one day, we can get them all together and have a nice little meeting with rice and idli and tocai/dosai/whatever and sothi and sambar and rasam and kothu roti and...I'm making you hungry, but anyway!

Of course you are! OT, but there's an ilangai unavakam near me that serves what they call a Sri Lankan breakfast for like $3.50, but they have it all day. It's 2 idli with 1 dosai (I just realized I've always said that with 'th' even though even in Tamil it would be தொசை /d̪ose͡i/!) with sambar and sambol, and a tea with milk.

On a separate note, I've got a question for those of you who are learning or have learned languages that are pretty diglossic. Have you found it easier to learn the standard/written form of the language first and then a specific spoken form, or to learn both simultaneously? I'm facing that problem with Tamil. I'm currently taking Tamil lessons and because I told my teacher I want to learn to read/write/speak/listen, she's currently teaching me written forms of words and sentences. But the written form is quite different from the spoken forms. My mom suggested that I ask her to teach me both simultaneously and I could write out (in the Tamil script) the written form, and then in brackets (in Latin letters) the spoken form. But I'm worried that'll be too much. Even though it might be harder at first, I feel like I would learn better if I first learn the written forms, and then the spoken variants. I think with the written form, I would understand better the morphology, the syntax, etc. What has been your experience?
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-15, 21:15

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen.

In Malayalam? Or in Tamil? It happens a lot in Tamil!

I was confused specifically about the "conjugating for the object" part. Can you give me an example of that in Tamil? Because I can't tell what you're talking about. :hmm:
Oh that, yeah I guess that is odd. I do remember thinking it odd like 16 years ago or so when I first learned that. But then I got used to it, so now it's old hat.

Oh, yeah, it isn't that big of a deal to me, either. It's just a bit unusual at least for a Eurasian language.
There's also நல்வரவு which means welcome.

That sounds like a calque from English because it's literally "well-coming"! Or at least "good-coming." :D
I've never seen வர வேண்டும், well except for now!

I have a comic book in Tamil of mostly Hindu legends (some of which are unique to Tamil Nadu AFAIK) where they seem to use that with this meaning (they consistently use it in the context of someone welcoming at least one other person into their house. Literally, it just means 'you should/must/have to come').
I just realized I've always said that with 'th' even though even in Tamil it would be தொசை /d̪ose͡i/!

It's தோசை with an [oː], and I think [t̪] is the usual pronunciation in Indian Tamil, actually. I know it's different in SLT, which, IIRC, does indeed use [d̪]. I forget which variety uses which pronunciation, but this is the variation that would seem to make sense, what with the purist language reform that took place in Tamil Nadu but not in Sri Lanka.

EDIT: Now I'm confused about where dosas came from in the first place, because in Malayalam, that word has [ɕ] in it, which is usually indicative of a Sanskrit loanword.
On a separate note, I've got a question for those of you who are learning or have learned languages that are pretty diglossic. Have you found it easier to learn the standard/written form of the language first and then a specific spoken form, or to learn both simultaneously? I'm facing that problem with Tamil. I'm currently taking Tamil lessons and because I told my teacher I want to learn to read/write/speak/listen, she's currently teaching me written forms of words and sentences. But the written form is quite different from the spoken forms. My mom suggested that I ask her to teach me both simultaneously and I could write out (in the Tamil script) the written form, and then in brackets (in Latin letters) the spoken form. But I'm worried that'll be too much. Even though it might be harder at first, I feel like I would learn better if I first learn the written forms, and then the spoken variants. I think with the written form, I would understand better the morphology, the syntax, etc. What has been your experience?

I always start out with the standard form because that's what there are more resources for anyway; then at some point, I find out about dialect variation and start learning that as well in conjunction with the standard. In the case of Tamil, learning both simultaneously actually feels easier to me because it clears up so many questions I had about the difference between what I see in lessons and what I see actual native speakers saying, and Malayalam is variable as to whether it's closer to centhamil or Madurai kodunthamil (which is pretty much the only spoken variety I know at all).

Dammit, every time I start thinking about centhamil vs. kodunthamil, I keep wishing I could find something on Kanyakumari Tamil. :doggy: (Kanyakumari, if you didn't already know, is the southernmost tip of India. It used to belong to the same kingdom as my parents' hometown and has had a large Malayalee population for a long time since it's right next door to Kerala, but it was ceded to Tamil Nadu after independence and the breakup of these kingdoms because the majority of the population is still Tamil). Kanyakumari Tamil apparently shows heavy influence from Malayalam. Then again, I think I actually have read something about it, and then once I read it, I was like "oh, well, there's nothing surprising about that." :P

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2017-09-16, 4:29

vijayjohn wrote:I was confused specifically about the "conjugating for the object" part. Can you give me an example of that in Tamil? Because I can't tell what you're talking about. :hmm:

For example எனக்கு இரண்டு பாதங்கள் இருக்கின்றன versus எனக்கு ஒரு பாதம் இருக்கிறது. The person suffix changes for the object, not the subject. (Well, at least in English it's the object). And the subject is in the dative form. Maybe "conjugating for the object" isn't the correct way of saying it? Because I see "feet/foot" in those sentences as the object, and because the person suffix on the verb changes for that object, I see it as conjugating the verb for the object.

It's தோசை with an [oː], and I think [t̪] is the usual pronunciation in Indian Tamil, actually. I know it's different in SLT, which, IIRC, does indeed use [d̪]. I forget which variety uses which pronunciation, but this is the variation that would seem to make sense, what with the purist language reform that took place in Tamil Nadu but not in Sri Lanka.

Thanks for the correction. Maybe that's why I use [d̪] (on a side not, I still need to get better at when to use / vs [). Also, I didn't know a purist language reform took place in TN, but I always thought SLT was supposed to be closer to centhamizh in terms of generally using vocabulary and grammar that's closer to centhamizh?

EDIT: Now I'm confused about where dosas came from in the first place, because in Malayalam, that word has [ɕ] in it, which is usually indicative of a Sanskrit loanword.

I assumed it was Sanskrit. I know it's not a native SL dish, but came from TN and I for some reason held the belief that it wasn't a native Tamil dish either.

I always start out with the standard form because that's what there are more resources for anyway; then at some point, I find out about dialect variation and start learning that as well in conjunction with the standard. In the case of Tamil, learning both simultaneously actually feels easier to me because it clears up so many questions I had about the difference between what I see in lessons and what I see actual native speakers saying, and Malayalam is variable as to whether it's closer to centhamil or Madurai kodunthamil (which is pretty much the only spoken variety I know at all).

Thanks for sharing; I think I'll try doing that then - learning both simultaneously.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-16, 5:04

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I was confused specifically about the "conjugating for the object" part. Can you give me an example of that in Tamil? Because I can't tell what you're talking about. :hmm:

For example எனக்கு இரண்டு பாதங்கள் இருக்கின்றன versus எனக்கு ஒரு பாதம் இருக்கிறது. The person suffix changes for the object, not the subject. (Well, at least in English it's the object). And the subject is in the dative form. Maybe "conjugating for the object" isn't the correct way of saying it? Because I see "feet/foot" in those sentences as the object, and because the person suffix on the verb changes for that object, I see it as conjugating the verb for the object.

Ahh, I see. I don't think that would be considered the subject from the point of view of a native speaker, though, since it literally means 'there is one foot/are two feet to/for me'. We use the same construction in Malayalam, too (in fact, a lot of languages do this or at least something very similar!).
I didn't know a purist language reform took place in TN

Yep, mainly active in the 60s from what I understand.
but I always thought SLT was supposed to be closer to centhamizh in terms of generally using vocabulary and grammar that's closer to centhamizh?

Well, centhamizh as I understand it is more representative of an earlier form of Tamil, sort of like how modern English orthography often represents pronunciation at earlier stages of English better than the current one. SLT obviously is spoken on an island, and when speakers of a given language are isolated from their original homeland, they tend to conserve a lot of the original features, so not surprisingly, it's much more similar to earlier stages of Tamil than Indian Tamil is.
I assumed it was Sanskrit. I know it's not a native SL dish, but came from TN and I for some reason held the belief that it wasn't a native Tamil dish either.

Weirdly, Wikipedia claims it's native to South India although there's disagreement over where exactly in South India it's native to. It has a source to back up this claim, but it doesn't look like a very reliable one, just some book on South Indian cooking that happens to mention a possible origin in Udupi in southern Karnataka/northern Tulu Nadu.

The initial voicing in that word doesn't require an Indo-Aryan language to explain it if the word originated in Kannada, Telugu, or Tulu (or any of various minority languages in South India) because all of those languages have word-initial voiced plosives in their native vocabulary. But [ɕ] in Malayalam only ever comes from one of two things: a) Sanskrit loanwords (usually) or b) earlier [t͡ʃ]. Kannada, Telugu, and Tulu all seem to have [s] in their words for this dish, which makes a Dravidian origin seem unlikely to me (though who knows, maybe I just don't know enough about the historical phonology of those languages). But then it's not clear what sort of connection with North India dosas might have originally had; all I know about that is that North Indian culture was supposedly much more similar to South Indian culture before the various Muslim invasions up north.
Thanks for sharing; I think I'll try doing that then - learning both simultaneously.

Good luck! :)

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Saim » 2017-09-17, 15:39

Am I the only one who actually finds Esperanto kind of... well, hard?

Maybe it's just because of the way it's advertised but I don't think I've made faster progress than in any Romance language after being fluent in Spanish and Catalan. Like ok, the cognate discount is huge, but I have the same trouble actually producing anything that I do with Portuguese or Italian. Maybe I'm not putting enough effort into it... or maybe it's the lack of rap songs and dubbed Disney films. :lol:

Also what kind of "easy language" allows the cluster /sts/ and differentiates /d͡ʒ/ and /ʒ/, /x/ and /h/? It's not hard for me because I've learned these distinctions studying all the other languages I have experience with but it would be for speakers of a great number of the world's languages.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-17, 16:18

I don't think you're the only one who feels that way at all; I've never tried learning it myself, but those seem to be common sentiments/criticisms I see from people who try to learn it. (Also, the fact that so much of it is just straight-up English. It took me so long to get over the fact that 'yes' in Esperanto is jes because that doesn't make much sense for a language that's supposed to be international :lol:).

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-09-17, 16:28

I've always found it sad that the most successful conlang in the world seems to be such a noobish creation (and also quite aesthetically jarring to be honest, but YMMV).

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Saim » 2017-09-17, 16:54

IpseDixit wrote:I've always found it sad that the most successful conlang in the world seems to be such a noobish creation


Yeah it's quite obvious that it was created by a polyglot (who knew a number of Romance, Germanic and Slavic languages), not a linguist.

I mean why does Esperanto have aspectual prefixes? Because of Slavic.
Why does Esperanto have so many (globally not so common) affricates? Slavic.
Why does it have an accusative case that allows free word order? Slavic.
Why does it have so much verbal morphology? Europe.

Its origin and varying influences are kind of interesting in themselves, and I'm going to keep learning it (or at least keep exposing myself to it, mainly texts and stuff I guess), but I don't buy the argument that it's the easiest language in the world!!! because... why exactly? It shares lots of cognates with languages I already know... so why would that be easier for me than Romanian, or Slovak, or German? It has less morphology than many European languages, but still much more than Malay? OK, great...

(and also quite aesthetically jarring to be honest, but YMMV).


Of course this is subjective, but when it comes to the orthography there is a practical consideration: what was the need to make up letters for this language? And who thought of using "x" of all letters (mi sxatas, sagxeco) as a replacement for this rare diacritic?

vijayjohn wrote:It took me so long to get over the fact that 'yes' in Esperanto is jes because that doesn't make much sense for a language that's supposed to be international :lol:).


The thing that kind of makes that weird for me is that in English we use yeah a whole lot more, and yes can sound weirdly formal or even aggressive in many contexts. But I guess those subtle differences in usage always crop up in languages with lots of shared vocabulary. I wonder if Zamenhof was aware of how widespread yeah is.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-17, 17:06

Saim wrote:The thing that kind of makes that weird for me is that in English we use yeah a whole lot more

This, too!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Saim » 2017-09-17, 17:13

Speaking of yeah, I was shocked (around a year ago I think) when I found out that it's related to the ja that's so common in other Germanic languages (and has been adopted in Hungarian and some Slavic languages), and that yes is related to Slavic jeste/jest/есть/etc.. Come to think of it, we even have the variant yah in some varieties. I remember as a kid I always thought it was a shortened, slang form of yes.

Going back to Esperanto, ja would've been a more logical choice than jes given where the rest of the vocabulary comes from, and it has the added benefit that it's coincidentally similar to Romance già/xa/yá/ya/ja/whatever (lit. "already"), which is also used to mean "yes" in some contexts (not sure if French, Portuguese, Occitan or Romanian do this as well; Spanish, Catalan and Italian definitely do).
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