Random language thread 6

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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.
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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:

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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?)

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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
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2021-05-13, 12:28

vijayjohn wrote:...


They’re accusing SNL of it, yeah.

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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
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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:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-05-19, 5:36

vijayjohn wrote:
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.

Sure you can. There are lots like these:

run
1. to move quickly (intransitive)
2. to transport quickly (transitive)
3. to cause to move quickly (transitive)
4. to flee
5. to flow (of liquids)
6. to spread (of dyes, liquids, etc)
7. to be a candidate in an election
8. to print or broadcast
9. to have a given duration
10. to function or operate
11. to unravel
12. to encounter (a risk, etc)
13. a route or trip
14. an unraveled strip
15. a period of time
16. a sudden demand for something
etc.

light
1. visible radiation
2. not dark
3. not heavy
4. a device for producing illumination
5. a device for starting a fire
6. to set on fire
7. to turn on
8. a point of view
9. gentle
10. low in calories, fat, etc.
11. trivial
12. easily interrupted (light sleep, etc.)
13. to find by chance
etc.

ball
1. a spherical object for playing sports
2. a round wad of something (ball of yarn, etc)
3. a formal dance
4. a good time
5. part of the foot
6. to form into a ball
etc.

chest
1. the front part of the upper torso
2. a trunk-like container for storing things (hope chest, etc.)
3. a dresser-like piece of furniture (chest of drawers)
4. a coffin
5. a quarrel

bank
1. a place for saving and/or borrowing money
2. a place to safely store a collection of something (blood bank, databank, etc.)
3. edge of a river or other body of water
4. a slope (embankment)
5. a group of clouds
6. to put into a bank
etc.

Edit: while trying to make the above lists more complete, I came across this article, which does a better job and makes my attempt at listing the meanings of "run" seem pretty insignificant, so I'll just post the link here instead of trying to add to my list. Yes, they're only talking about 10 words there (run, set, go, take, stand, get, turn, put, fall, strike), but those are 10 words with hundreds of meanings each. How many more words have "only" five or ten or fifteen meanings? I don't know but I'm guessing it's quite a lot, even if you remove meanings that seem "too similar" from the list and remove the less commonly-used meanings.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-19, 16:27

Linguaphile wrote:Edit: while trying to make the above lists more complete, I came across this article, which does a better job and makes my attempt at listing the meanings of "run" seem pretty insignificant, so I'll just post the link here instead of trying to add to my list. Yes, they're only talking about 10 words there (run, set, go, take, stand, get, turn, put, fall, strike), but those are 10 words with hundreds of meanings each. How many more words have "only" five or ten or fifteen meanings? I don't know but I'm guessing it's quite a lot, even if you remove meanings that seem "too similar" from the list and remove the less commonly-used meanings.

This is different from what we see in Sinosphere languages, because most if not all of the definitions of your head words like "run" share the same etymological origin. The Korean morpheme homophones of "su" (手, 水, 壽, 守, 秀) for example have no shared etymological origin AFAIK.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2021-05-19, 17:28

Yasna wrote:This is different from what we see in Sinosphere languages, because most if not all of the definitions of your head words like "run" share the same etymological origin. The Korean morpheme homophones of "su" (手, 水, 壽, 守, 秀) for example have no shared etymological origin AFAIK.

But is this a significant distinction to anyone but linguists? The average speaker doesn't walk around with an etymological dictionary inside their head.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-05-19, 20:05

Yasna wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:Edit: while trying to make the above lists more complete, I came across this article, which does a better job and makes my attempt at listing the meanings of "run" seem pretty insignificant, so I'll just post the link here instead of trying to add to my list. Yes, they're only talking about 10 words there (run, set, go, take, stand, get, turn, put, fall, strike), but those are 10 words with hundreds of meanings each. How many more words have "only" five or ten or fifteen meanings? I don't know but I'm guessing it's quite a lot, even if you remove meanings that seem "too similar" from the list and remove the less commonly-used meanings.

This is different from what we see in Sinosphere languages, because most if not all of the definitions of your head words like "run" share the same etymological origin. The Korean morpheme homophones of "su" (手, 水, 壽, 守, 秀) for example have no shared etymological origin AFAIK.


set
etymology 1: Middle English setten, Proto-Germanic *satjaną
1a. to put down
1b. to start
1c. to determine
1d. to adjust
1e. to locate
1f. to compile (etc., there are many more)
etymology 2: Middle English sette, Proto-Germanic *setą
2a. a device for broadcasting
2b. the fit of something
2c. young oyster
2d. pattern of tartan (etc.; various other technical uses)
etymology 3: Middle English set, from Latin secta
3a. matching collection
3b. series of parts
etymology 4: Middle English sett, from Old English ġesett
4a. fixed in position
4b. ready, prepared
4c. prearranged

nap
etymology 1: Middle English nappen, from Proto-Germanic *hnappōną
1. short period of daytime sleep
etymology 2: Middle English nappe, from Middle Dutch knappen
2a. soft or fuzzy surface
2b. the direction of hairs on such a surface
etymology 3: Old Swedish nappa
3a. to grab, to nab
etymology 4: from the name "Napoleon"
4a. a type of card game
4b. a type of bet
etymology 5: from French napper
5a. to cover with sauce
etymology 6: Middle English nap, from Proto-Germanic *hnappaz
6a. a bowl or cup

leave
etymology 1: Middle English leven, from Proto-Germanic *laibijaną
1a. to depart
1b. to deposit
1c. to transfer
etymology 2: Middle English leve, from Proto-Germanic *laubą
2a. permission
etymology 3: Middle English leven, from lef
3a. to produce leaves
etymology 4: French lever
4a. to raise to levy

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-20, 15:42

linguoboy wrote:But is this a significant distinction to anyone but linguists? The average speaker doesn't walk around with an etymological dictionary inside their head.

I'm just asking out of linguistic interest, although I imagine the question does have some relevance for vocabulary acquisition.

Linguaphile wrote:set
etymology 1: Middle English setten, Proto-Germanic *satjaną
[...]
etymology 4: French lever
4a. to raise to levy

For comparison, here is the full list of etymologically distinct (AFAIK) morphemes for Korean "su": 手, 水, 壽, 守, 秀, 受, 洙, 宿, 隋, 綬, 需, 隨, 鐩, 髓, 首, 艘, 囚, 數, 繡, plus two native Korean morphemes. Or for "jo": 俎, 調, 租, 曺, 曹, 粗, 組, 彫, 操, 竈, 條, 兆, 朝, 助, 趙, 詔, plus one native Korean morpheme. I doubt these are even the most extreme examples.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2021-05-20, 16:39

Yasna wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:set
etymology 1: Middle English setten, Proto-Germanic *satjaną
[...]
etymology 4: French lever
4a. to raise to levy

For comparison, here is the full list of etymologically distinct (AFAIK) morphemes for Korean "su": 手, 水, 壽, 守, 秀, 受, 洙, 宿, 隋, 綬, 需, 隨, 鐩, 髓, 首, 艘, 囚, 數, 繡, plus two native Korean morphemes. Or for "jo": 俎, 調, 租, 曺, 曹, 粗, 組, 彫, 操, 竈, 條, 兆, 朝, 助, 趙, 詔, plus one native Korean morpheme. I doubt these are even the most extreme examples.

The most extreme example I remember coming across was 기. Wiktionary lists 129 hanja with this reading and there are doubtless more if you include more obscure characters. (Which--whether you realise it or not--you've already done with your examples. 俎, for instance, is a character I don't recall seeing before. It's not one of the 1800 basic characters taught in schools when my Korean professor was a child; I can't think of a single compound which incorporates it and Korean Wiktionary doesn't list any. I'm kind of curious where you found it, in fact.)

But this all sort of begs the question of whether speakers even conceive of these as "separate morphemes". Only a couple of them function as free forms, plus a couple more as common derviational suffixes. Does the average Korean speaker recognise the -기 in 전화기 "telephone" as distinct from the one in 분광기 'spectroscope"? Both indicate a type of device, after all. And, if they do, is it only because they were taught hanja in school?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-05-21, 2:34

linguoboy wrote:The most extreme example I remember coming across was 기. Wiktionary lists 129 hanja with this reading and there are doubtless more if you include more obscure characters. (Which--whether you realise it or not--you've already done with your examples. 俎, for instance, is a character I don't recall seeing before. It's not one of the 1800 basic characters taught in schools when my Korean professor was a child; I can't think of a single compound which incorporates it and Korean Wiktionary doesn't list any. I'm kind of curious where you found it, in fact.)

I took those examples from Google, which apparently gets its definitions from "Oxford Languages". It gives the definition of 俎 (조) as 제사 때에 고기를 얹어 놓는 그릇. It wasn't marked as obscure, but who knows. If you include obscure hanja for 조, the list balloons into something like this (there are some variants mixed in there too).

But this all sort of begs the question of whether speakers even conceive of these as "separate morphemes". Only a couple of them function as free forms, plus a couple more as common derviational suffixes. Does the average Korean speaker recognise the -기 in 전화기 "telephone" as distinct from the one in 분광기 'spectroscope"? Both indicate a type of device, after all. And, if they do, is it only because they were taught hanja in school?

For that particular example, no. Otherwise, I think it would be fair to say that in Chinese and Japanese homophonous morphemes are conceived of as separate morphemes because Chinese characters scream that fact at users of those languages, whereas in Korean the associations are attenuated due to the lack of hanja competency. But I don't think Koreans would have any trouble distinguishing the -기 in 빙하기(氷河期) from the -기 in 전화기 (電話機), for example.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2021-05-27, 16:37

Yasna wrote:I took those examples from Google, which apparently gets its definitions from "Oxford Languages". It gives the definition of 俎 (조) as 제사 때에 고기를 얹어 놓는 그릇. It wasn't marked as obscure, but who knows.

Well, even the Korean Wikipedia article on 제사 doesn't use it. I strongly doubt it's in common use. It may only be known to specialists in the field of the history of Korean religion.

Martin's dictionary only lists six homophones of 조 which function as free forms, two native ("Italian or German millet" and "that little", a derogatory form of 저 "that") and four Sino-Korean ( 調, 條, 兆, 朝). Sure, you can find a lot more in compounds, but I think it's highly questionable to what extent a native speaker thinks of a word like 조각 "sculpture" as being composed of the morphemes 새긴 조 (彫) and 새긴 각 (刻). (In this case, there's even a homophonous native word with a similar meaning, so this may not even be recognised as a distinct Sino-Korean borrowing at all.)

Yasna wrote:I think it would be fair to say that in Chinese and Japanese homophonous morphemes are conceived of as separate morphemes because Chinese characters scream that fact at users of those languages

Well, except for the fact that the Japanese have a history of playing fast and loose with sound/character correspondences. You have ateji, where Sino-Japanese characters are used purely for their phonetic value, and gikun, where they're given quite arbitrary readings (which may not even be derived from Japanese at all but from foreign languages). And texting apps have given rise to a 1337-speak-like phenomenon of spelling common words with obscure kanji with the same readings.

Similar phenomena exist even in Chinese. After all, without any purely phonetic characters in the script, there's no choice for phonetic loans but to repurpose some "morphemes". Some characters whose original meanings are archaic or obscure are used so routinely for this purpose (e.g. 克, 爾, 維) that they effectively are phonetic characters to contemporary speakers.

Yasna wrote:whereas in Korean the associations are attenuated due to the lack of hanja competency. But I don't think Koreans would have any trouble distinguishing the -기 in 빙하기(氷河期) from the -기 in 전화기 (電話機), for example.

In that case, no--but those are pretty clearly distinct meanings. Then again--as with the English examples--sometimes highly divergent meanings come from the same etymological root while similar ones are just coincidences. In addition to meaning "period of time", Middle Chinese 期 also meant "to arrange a meeting", "expect", and "good fortune". So it shows up in S-K compounds like 기대 "expectation" and 기약 "pledge". How likely to you think it is that the average speaker connects these usages with the bound suffix meaning "period of time; age"? I think it's more likely these are simply learned and retained as single unanalysable morphemes, the same way we learn many common Greco-Latin compounds.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2021-06-01, 21:26

linguoboy wrote:Well, except for the fact that the Japanese have a history of playing fast and loose with sound/character correspondences. You have ateji, where Sino-Japanese characters are used purely for their phonetic value, and gikun, where they're given quite arbitrary readings (which may not even be derived from Japanese at all but from foreign languages). And texting apps have given rise to a 1337-speak-like phenomenon of spelling common words with obscure kanji with the same readings.

Sure, but as with the Chinese example you mentioned, educated speakers in most cases recognize what context a character is being employed in: kunyomi, onyomi, or ateji.
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