Random language thread 6

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
Rí.na.dTeangacha
Posts: 183
Joined: 2020-12-31, 20:24
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath, Éire
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Rí.na.dTeangacha » 2021-04-11, 0:13

I found a nice proverb in Irish that I must remember to use if ever I need to explain the utility value of the Irish spelling system regarding how it handles inital mutations:

"Ní hé lá na báistí lá na bpáistí"
lit. "The rainy day is not the children's day"

"báistí" and "bpáistí" are homophones, but you can easily identify the latter as a mutated form of "páistí" by its spelling. In speech, you rely on context to do this, and obviously that works well enough in most circumstances, and a writing system could rely on context for that too (the Welsh spelling system, if I'm not mistaken, deals with this same phenomenon by respelling the word with the inital sound changed, without marking it as having been changed in any way, which would mean spelling these homophones identically and thus relying on context as in speech). I think that the Irish system is clearer though, particularly for non-native speakers who don't have enough contextual knowledge to easily or intuitively interpret what is meant in these situations.
(pt-br)(ga)(ja) - Formerly Ciarán12

Linguaphile
Posts: 3397
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-04-11, 2:16

Vlürch wrote:TIL that the eventive mood in Finnish, which is literally never used in practice but appears in Kalevala, was invented by a dude who also coined Finnish neologisms

Naava wrote:I guess making up new cases was where they drew the line.

The eventive mood issue in Finnish is turning out to be rather fascinating. See what I found:

Minor Uralic Languages: Structure and Development (from 1994, in Estonian):
M.A. Castréni surma tõttu vabanenud soome keele professori kohale kandideerisid 1853. a. nii E. Lönnrot kui ka C. A. Gottlund. Koha sai E. Lönnrot põhjavepsa keele kohta käiva väitekirjaga "Om det Nord-Tschudiska språket". Väitekirja kandvamateks osadeks on vepsa häälikulise ehituse ja verbivormistiku käsitlus. Viimase puhul äratab tähelepanu omapärane kõneviis modus eventivus (potentsiaali ja konditsionaali segavorm).

Basically: when Castréni passed away both Lönnrot and Gottlund applied for his Finnish-language professorship. Lönnrot got it apparently due to his dissertation on the Northern Veps language which focused on phonetic construction and the treatment of verb forms, with special attention to -- wait for it! -- the Veps language's unique eventive mood, which is a mix of potential and conditional.

So I found the dissertation:
Om det nord-tschudiska språket by Elias Lönnrot, 1853 (in Swedish):
Utom de för finskan och tschudiskan gemensamma modi, hafva de tschudiska verberna ännu en särskild modus, för att uttrycka möjligheten af en handling, hvilken i brist på annan benämning här må kallas modus eventivus. Den förekommer visst icke alltför ofta, höras dock emellanåt, t.ex. sada rublat minä netsiit hebos maksneisin (jag kunde möjligtvis betala 100 rubel för den hästen). Dess ändelse (-neisin) antyder, att den uppstått genom sammansättning af indefiniti och conditionalis modus-tillägg.

So if I've understood correctly Lönnrot is saying here that in addition to the moods that Finnish and Northern Veps have in common, Northern Veps has an additional one (in other words: one which Finnish does not have) which can be called "modus eventivus". It is not common, but is heard in sentences such as "I could possibly pay 100 rubles for that horse" (sada rublat minä netsiit hebos maksneisin) where it has the ending -neisin which suggests that it comes from the combination of the indefinite and conditional forms.

I'm unfamiliar with this form in Northern Veps and -neisi- and -neisin don't appear in the VepKar corpus; neither do -nuisi- or -nuisin.

Lastly I found this:
Kalevalan esityöt by Kaarle Krohn in Valvoja, Volume 16, 1896 (in Finnish):
Huvittavin kaikista Lönnrotin muodostuksista on n. k. modus eventivus, päätteellä ne + isi, jonka hän luuli keksineensä Vepsän kielessä, esim. maksneisin, mikä kuitenkin on oikeammin luettava maksnuisin s. o. maksanut olisin. Tätä muotoa on hän Uudessa Kalevalassa koetellakseen, sopisiko se kirjakielessäkin käytettäväksi, sovelluttanut kahteen kohtaan, nimittäin:
    UK. 23: 219-220. Tuosta sulho suuttuneisi, Mies nuori nuristuneisi.
    UK. 23: 427-8. Tuosta sulho suuttuneisi, Kaunosi kamaltuneisi.
Vanhassa Kalevalassa ei löydy vastaavia säkeitä, sen Lisissä tavattavat säkeet:
VKL. 15: 459-460. Tuosta sulho suuttunevi, Mies nuori vihastunevi,
    selvästi edustavat molempien paikkojen yhteistä alkumuotoa.
Which if I understand correctly is basically saying that the most interesting of Lönnrot's constructions is the eventive, which he thought he had observed (invented? :hmm: ) in Veps in forms such as maksneisin, but which should more correctly be maksnuisin. He did not use these forms in the Old Kalevala (where he instead used forms such as suuttunevi), and in the New Kalevala he changed them to the eventive mood (for example, suuttuneisi).

This is all very interesting! I came across it because I was looking to see if any Estonian dialects use something similar, since Wikipedia says the eventive mood is used in some Estonian dialects. I suspect they might actually have been referring to Veps there; Lönnrot's dissertation refers to Northern Veps as "Nord-Tschudiska" and "Chude/Chud/Tschudiska" (etc) was a term collectively for Baltic Finns or unspecified groups of Finnic languages (Karelian, Veps, Estonian, Seto, etc) so whoever edited that article may have misunderstood which "Tschudiska" group was referred to. (The earliest references to Chudic people are supposedly referring to Estonians, so it's not an entirely unreasonable mistake to make if one didn't actually read the dissertation in question and just knew the title.)

So I'm not sure whether this is support for the idea that the form was entirely invented (i.e. Lönnrot was quite aware that it did not exist in Finnish) or support for the idea that it wasn't entirely invented (i.e. it was taken from a neighboring language that did use it, at least as Lönnrot understood it). I'm kinda glad it wasn't just invented out of thin air but made from something that was actually used elsewhere, although I'm not sure that Lönnrot was correct about its usage in Veps. Its absence from the corpus makes me wonder. Guess I'll have to do more research.... :mrgreen:

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 1370
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Naava » 2021-04-11, 8:47

Linguaphile wrote:But then I found this (quoted below) about it.

Hey, that's great! Good to see some other proof than just a few sentences in Wikipedia.

Still, I do think Lönnrot must have expected it to become a commonly-used form or hoped it would. It wasn't rejected until the 1890's, after Lönnrot's death.

Hard to say. Did he use it anywhere else than in Kalevala? If he didn't, it could be eventive fit the metre better than conditional and potential, or that he just liked it and thought no one would complain they didn't know what it was if he added it to a book that was already written in a language that sounded unfamiliar to many *. Maybe he wished people would read Kalevala and copy the eventive and start using it. Maybe he thought it would become part of the standard language. There isn't really a way to know unless we can find a source where he himself would confirm what he thought.

* I mean, the Southwestern dialects had been the basis of written language before the 1800s and the battle of the dialects. A text based on Eastern dialects and Karelian was definitely different from what had been written so far.

Kirje, joka valitettavasti on seuran arkistosta kadonnut, herätti pöytäkirjan mukaan vilkkaan keskustelun.

Honestly these guys were always happy to fight about anything and everything. :mrgreen:

Minä eitin niin olevan

I wonder if this was another thing Kilpinen was promoting. I mean it was coined by him... :mrgreen:

Ja siten on eittämättä joka muoto ja sana kielessä alkunsa saanut, että joku henkilö sen on sepustanut.

Ooh I guess I've just passed some "are you a 19th century Finnish linguist?" test by reading this because I'd really want to argue with him now!

»Hra F. Ahlmanein viime lukukaudella tekemän ehdotuksen, että nämät konsessiivi & konditionaalin sekamuodot otettaisiin käytäntöön, seura vaitiololla tappoi.»

I also like the way they used language back then. "We killed his proposition", that's the spirit! 8-)

Vlürch wrote:I mean, the generational thing is mostly just old people being bitter about young people using words that they don't use (or not using words that they do use) . . .

That's probably a Helsinki thing then, but of course we should make a proper study if we wanted to be sure. Thank god I'm not looking for a thesis topic right now or else I might be stupid enough to try to study this! I can imagine how much I'd cry while transcribing interviews... And yes I would make my own interviews instead of using corpus or something because I'm always looking for ways to make my life harder than it has to be.

. . .she couldn't understand anything anyone was saying, like the dialect there was so different and the accents were so thick that it might as well have been a completely different language

I don't think this is an example of generations struggling to understand each other, but speakers of different dialects having difficulties understanding each other. I mean, I've had to change my speech in Tampere because people (who were the same age as me) kept staring at me with blank faces when they didn't understand what I was saying, and S. Ostrobothnian isn't even that far off from how people speak in Tampere... I can imagine what it'd be like if you had lived in South Finland most of your life, and then suddenly be exposed to Savonian.

At least the way WW2 was taught when I was in school was, well, not accurate... it was like "we were neutral and totally the good guys! what do you mean we were an Axis country? the Nazis occupied us and we fought against them just as much if not more as we fought alongside them, and when we fought alongside them it was TOTALLY separate! we had NOTHING in common with them ideologically! also Mannerheim did nothing wrong" but I guess every country has nationalism problems in history education.

Please keep in mind that your personal experiences are not exactly trustworthy source if we're talking about education in an entire country. "I've heard things" and "it seems to me" are not very convincing arguments either because we tend to notice whatever supports our own beliefs and ignore things that would contradict it. But maybe you're happy to hear that the situation with teens isn't quite as bad as you think? I don't know if you know but I'm a teacher so I've got like an insider view to the world of education in Finland, how kids are doing nowadays, what kind of problems there are, how teachers and other people in the field of education have reacted to it, what kind of discussions they're having etc. Of course that's also filtered through my own expectations, ideas, and beliefs, but I dare say I have had a larger sample of schools, their students, and discussions of the problems the schools and the students have than you. :) This is getting a bit off topic so I'll leave it here, but I just wanted to say that the situation isn't quite as hopeless as how you painted it.

Linguaphile wrote:The eventive mood issue in Finnish is turning out to be rather fascinating. See what I found:

Great job again, Linguaphile! :waytogo:

Linguaphile wrote:Which if I understand correctly is basically saying that the most interesting of Lönnrot's constructions is the eventive, which he thought he had observed (invented? ) in Veps

Keksiä means noticed, found, or observed in this context.

Linguaphile wrote:So I'm not sure whether this is support for the idea that the form was entirely invented (i.e. Lönnrot was quite aware that it did not exist in Finnish) or support for the idea that it wasn't entirely invented (i.e. it was taken from a neighboring language that did use it, at least as Lönnrot understood it). I'm kinda glad it wasn't just invented out of thin air but made from something that was actually used elsewhere, although I'm not sure that Lönnrot was correct about its usage in Veps. Its absence from the corpus makes me wonder. Guess I'll have to do more research....

If you do, I'll be very interested to hear what you've found!

(Personally, I still believe he just thought it sounds cool and maybe excotic. Kalevala was written in the time of Karelianism after all. I'm also very doubtful it's usage in Veps wasn't just a mistake made by Lönnrot. Besides, wasn't Kilpinen the one who said he had invented it himself before Lönnrot?)

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2506
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-10, 3:44

Going by the comment section, SNL screwed up Gen Z language use in this skit. I wouldn't know, it was all Greek to my millennial ears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF2Mf6HxIi0
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5683
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Brisbane
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2021-05-11, 1:44

Yasna wrote:Going by the comment section, SNL screwed up Gen Z language use in this skit. I wouldn't know, it was all Greek to my millennial ears.


I've seen some people argue that they're "appropriating" and mocking black culture and AAVE, which I find bizarre.

The sketch sure is awful, though.

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2506
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-11, 15:20

Saim wrote:I've seen some people argue that they're "appropriating" and mocking black culture and AAVE, which I find bizarre.

Hmm, nothing there stood out to me as an AAVE feature, but I'm also not familiar with Gen Z AAVE, whatever that might be.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5683
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Brisbane
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2021-05-11, 23:29

Yasna wrote:Hmm, nothing there stood out to me as an AAVE feature, but I'm also not familiar with Gen Z AAVE, whatever that might be.


As far as I'm aware a lot of it is indeed from AAVE, like possessive "they" ("they" hellcat), not using 3sg conjugations ("it hit different"), "give us the tea", "cuh" and "no cap". It is true that a lot of AAVE seems to be filtering out into newer internet slang, but I don't think all of the examples in the skit are AAVE ("take an L", "bestie", etc.), and some of the AAVE in the clip isn't as far as I'm aware common among white Gen Zers either -- "cuh" and possessive "they" stick out to me in particular. Then again, I don't use Tik Tok, so what do I know.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 25310
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-05-12, 18:50

Yasna wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:That's ignoring pairs, which, if I understand correctly what that page is saying, are a lot more common in English than triplets etc.

Yes, I'm looking beyond simple homophone pairs, which I imagine are abundant in most languages. I'm interested in knowing whether there are any languages outside of the Sinophere which have large quantities of morpheme homophone groups with 5, 10, even 15 homophones as we see in the languages of the Sinophere.

I think that kind of depends on how you define homophones. I think you could plausibly argue that English has these, too.
Vlürch wrote:That's a really good point, I'm an idiot sometimes (or always).

Don't worry. You're not an idiot.
Saim wrote:I've seen some people argue that they're "appropriating" and mocking black culture and AAVE, which I find bizarre.

What exactly do you mean? Were they accusing SNL specifically of doing this, or people in general of doing this, or what?
The sketch sure is awful, though.

My brother says SNL has always sucked at everything except (very explicitly) political sketches.

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5683
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Brisbane
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2021-05-13, 12:28

vijayjohn wrote:...


They’re accusing SNL of it, yeah.

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2506
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-14, 14:56

"Äh Leute, nehmt mir das bitte nicht Übel aber das ist so eine hässliche Sprache"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GFfQk2quCI
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

kevin
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2082
Joined: 2012-03-29, 11:07
Gender: male
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby kevin » 2021-05-15, 22:22

Yasna wrote:"Äh Leute, nehmt mir das bitte nicht Übel aber das ist so eine hässliche Sprache"

:arguing:

Well, I guess I may have to agree that he should try a bit harder. :wink:


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest