Linguistics thread

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Vlürch
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-20, 17:18

linguoboy wrote:I feel like a lot of what is expressed by these sorts of particles in Korean would be handled by sentence adverbs in European languages, at least Germanic ones. In at least some situations, I would translate a Korean sentence with -이야 into a German one with ja.

Hmm, alright. My German is extremely newborn-level, but AFAIK ja like that corresponds to niin and kyllähän in Finnish, especially in responses? For example, niin, kyllähän ihmisen pitää syödä ("yeah, of course a human has to eat"). The suffix can also be attached to verbs, so (niin,) pitäähän ihmisen syödä means the same thing, although (at least to me) that feels like there's an implication that it's a response to someone suggesting that people don't have to eat.

Strangely, the same suffix attached to nouns has an entirely different implication: for example, ruokaahan ei heitetä hukkaan means "food is not thrown to waste" as an imperative/prohibitive that's a degree stronger than ruokaa ei heitetä hukkaan, but in some cases like sinähän syöt lautasen tyhjäksi ("you will eat until your plate is empty") it could be either an imperative, "you WILL eat until your plate is empty", or a mirative, "whoa, you'll eat all of it". No idea why it's different, but well. I don't think there's a suffix in standard Finnish to express "of course" used for nouns, but I wouldn't be surprised if some dialects had one?

So, is the Korean -이야 pretty much the same thing as Finnish kyllähän or the suffix -han/hän when attached to verbs, except it's attached to nouns? And German uses ja for all of that? And they're more "neutral", as in they're not restricted to responses? (Not that the Finnish ones are either, really, but they have that kind of an implication.) If so, I get it. :) If not... I'm incredibly stupid... :para:

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-08-20, 17:48

Vlürch wrote:Hmm, alright. My German is extremely newborn-level, but AFAIK ja like that corresponds to niin and kyllähän in Finnish, especially in responses? For example, niin, kyllähän ihmisen pitää syödä ("yeah, of course a human has to eat"). The suffix can also be attached to verbs, so (niin,) pitäähän ihmisen syödä means the same thing, although (at least to me) that feels like there's an implication that it's a response to someone suggesting that people don't have to eat.

Yeah, I'm talking about the use of ja as a sentence adverb rather than an interjection. The implication is that this is something the listening knows already, e.g.: "Kochen ist ja kein Hobby, man muss ja essen" ("Cooking isn't a hobby, you know, a person's gotta eat").

If you were contradicting someone, you'd use doch, e.g.: "Aber man muss doch essen, um leistungsfähig zu sein!". ("You've gotta eat if you're going to get anything done!") [A response to someone suggesting a person should fast for better health.]

Vlürch wrote:So, is the Korean -이야 pretty much the same thing as Finnish kyllähän or the suffix -han/hän when attached to verbs, except it's attached to nouns?

No, I wouldn't say it's the equivalent of either of those uses.

This page has some examples: https://koreantutors.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/%EC%9D%B4%EC%95%BC/.

Ultimately, though, I would urge you not to try to understand its usage in reference to suffixes or words you already know. IME it's one of the trickier Korean particles to master because it doesn't have a near equivalent in other languages.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-20, 19:36

linguoboy wrote:Yeah, I'm talking about the use of ja as a sentence adverb rather than an interjection. The implication is that this is something the listening knows already, e.g.: "Kochen ist ja kein Hobby, man muss ja essen" ("Cooking isn't a hobby, you know, a person's gotta eat").

If you were contradicting someone, you'd use doch, e.g.: "Aber man muss doch essen, um leistungsfähig zu sein!". ("You've gotta eat if you're going to get anything done!") [A response to someone suggesting a person should fast for better health.]

Interesting. The fact that there can be ja kein is kinda funny, even though in Finnish there can be ei kyllä which is pretty much the same but even weirder logically since it's literally "no yes" (but meaning-wise it's more like the doch), like tästä ei kyllä tule mitään ("well, nothing will come of this") or minä/mä en kyllä juokse ("I'm not going to run"), and actually the -han/hän suffix can be used for this purpose too, like minähän/mähän en juokse, which can be intensified with ja (literally "and", kinda funny how it's a false friend with the German ja; it's apparently borrowed from Proto-Germanic, too, lol), as in ja minähän/mähän en juokse ("I will NOT run").

I swear I'm not trying to teach you Finnish... :lol:
linguoboy wrote:No, I wouldn't say it's the equivalent of either of those uses.

This page has some examples: https://koreantutors.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/%EC%9D%B4%EC%95%BC/.

Ah, ok. Pretty sure I get it now, seems really logical and convenient, surprising if there isn't anything exactly equivalent in any other languages because it just seems like a highly practical "elementary thing" or whatever.
linguoboy wrote:Ultimately, though, I would urge you not to try to understand its usage in reference to suffixes or words you already know.

Mmh, probably. I have a bad habit of trying to learn things in other languages by mentally mapping them to Finnish and English (and langauges where I've learned the thing in question), which usually works well enough with nouns and adjectives as long as I can get a good mental match (since I'm a very visual thinker) and with inflections and whatnot if they're straightforward enough, but with verbs it's already shaky... so yeah, for things like particles and adverbs and whatnot a better method would be beneficial, but I have no idea how.
linguoboy wrote:IME it's one of the trickier Korean particles to master because it doesn't have a near equivalent in other languages.

Well, you just gave me another reason to wanderlust Korean, if it has stuff like this. :P

Maybe I'll finally have to get around to learning Hangul for real, even if it'll probably once again end up in total failure because to me a lot of the syllable components just look too similar to differentiate even if I try my hardest (or at least that's how it's been on my previous attempts). Actually, the same is true of the different plosives and sibilants... and how it's Korean pop stars, etc. who've had so much plastic surgery that a lot of them look the same... :para:

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-20, 20:47

Vlürch wrote:Well, even though that may have been Chomsky's intent, ideas could be argued to have colours the same way certain colours can be associated with certain political/religious/whatever values, even if it depends on the culture and context.

That's a metaphorical extension of the concepts of ideas and colors, though. You could do this with literally anything. I think perhaps Chomsky was also trying to use this as an example of how humans are innately (according to him) able to determine what is grammatically or semantically acceptable in their (our :P) native languages.
Random question: are there any (predominantly) VSO or VOS languages with topic markers (or focus particles or whatever),

Yes. Malagasy is VOS and has a focus particle (no).
and if so, how does that work? Would verbs be topicalised all the time, and/or prepositional topic markers be used? Or would they be used only when the verb-initial word order is deviated from?

From what I vaguely remember, whatever is being focused comes first in the sentence and is immediately followed by no, which is then followed by the rest of the sentence. Everything else in the sentence stays the same. Here's a paper on it.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Naava » 2019-08-20, 21:40

Vlürch wrote:. . .and actually the -han/hän suffix can be used for this purpose too, like minähän/mähän en juokse, which can be intensified with ja (literally "and", kinda funny how it's a false friend with the German ja; it's apparently borrowed from Proto-Germanic, too, lol), as in ja minähän/mähän en juokse ("I will NOT run").

Don't forget ja minähän en kyllä juokse! :)

I swear I'm not trying to teach you Finnish... :lol:

Don't stop, we need more Finnish learners here! 8-)

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-08-21, 3:16

linguoboy wrote:
Vlürch wrote:So, is the Korean -이야 pretty much the same thing as Finnish kyllähän or the suffix -han/hän when attached to verbs, except it's attached to nouns?

No, I wouldn't say it's the equivalent of either of those uses.

This page has some examples: https://koreantutors.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/%EC%9D%B4%EC%95%BC/.

Ultimately, though, I would urge you not to try to understand its usage in reference to suffixes or words you already know. IME it's one of the trickier Korean particles to master because it doesn't have a near equivalent in other languages.

After reading that page, while I agree that it's best to learn particles like this in each language independently and not rely too much on direct translation from another language, I do think there is extensive overlap in the way Korean -이야 is used and the way Estonian uses küll, ju and -ki/-gi. (As with Korean -이야, these don't have a direct equivalent in English.) Sometimes -이야 would be translated as küll and other times as ju or -ki/-gi, so it really isn't the same as any one of them, it is just sometimes equivalent to each. Perhaps knowing that they are used that way, knowing that there is a lot of overlap in meaning but not an exact match, could help? It is not the same, but each of these three words seem to be a much closer match than any English words. This probably :?: applies to the Finnish equivalents as well.

Giving it a try with some of the sentences from the article:

(ko) 김치 가장 유명한 한국 음식 중 하나니까.
(en) Kimchi is of course one of the most well-known Korean food.
(et) Kimchi on ju üks kuulsamaid korea toite.

(ko) 피자를 먹고 싶기야 하지만 다이어트 중이라 안 돼요.
(en) I do want to eat pizza, but I can’t because I’m on a diet.
(et) Tahangi pitsat süüa, kuid ma ei saa, kuna olen dieedil.

(ko) 파티에 가기야 하겠지.
(en) I will go to the party.
(et) Lähen peole küll.

(ko) 장미가 예쁘기야 한데, 너무 흔해요.
(en) Roses are pretty, but they are too ordinary.
(et) Roosad ongi ilusad, aga liiga tavalised.

(ko) 동물 중에서 치타가 제일 빠르기야 하지
(en) Cheetahs are, of course, the fastest among animals
(et) Gepardid on ju kõigist loomadest kiireimad.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-22, 12:14

vijayjohn wrote:That's a metaphorical extension of the concepts of ideas and colors, though. You could do this with literally anything.

Mmh, true...
vijayjohn wrote:I think perhaps Chomsky was also trying to use this as an example of how humans are innately (according to him) able to determine what is grammatically or semantically acceptable in their (our :P) native languages.

Probably. I wonder what Chomsky thinks about pidgins that don't have a standardised variety or anything. Trying to google for answers, I couldn't find anything... it seems like Chomsky hasn't explicitly ever mentioned pidgins? Or maybe I just suck at googling...
vijayjohn wrote:Yes. Malagasy is VOS and has a focus particle (no).

Oohh, Malagasy... every time there's some weird feature I can think of, but doubt whether it exists, it turns out at least one language spoken in Africa has it. :D
vijayjohn wrote:From what I vaguely remember, whatever is being focused comes first in the sentence and is immediately followed by no, which is then followed by the rest of the sentence. Everything else in the sentence stays the same. Here's a paper on it.

Interesting, thanks.
Naava wrote:Don't stop, we need more Finnish learners here! 8-)

Considering the best way to make people want to not learn Finnish is to tell them about Finnish, because they'll end up considering it either too SAE to be interesting (if they speak non-SAE languages) or not SAE enough (if they only speak SAE languages), the best way to encourage people to learn Finnish is probably to not post about Finnish. :P

...but yeah, more people should learn Finnish. It's actually a pretty cute language, and we as Finns tend to be too hard on it and probably drive away learners by being like "noooo don't learn Finnish, it's useless and sounds ugly".
Linguaphile wrote:This probably :?: applies to the Finnish equivalents as well.

Yeah, based on those examples, I would say it's similar, and actually the first one in particular could be translated with the suffix -han/hän on the noun to have pretty much that same implication:

Finnish (fi) Kimchihän on yksi kuuluisimmista korealaisista ruoista.

In some contexts this could have an additional implication, though. Like, a kind of smugness if it was in response to someone telling you they ate kimchi and you assumed they were trying to be all cool by flaunting their expertise on Korean cuisine, which, in all honesty, most Finns would probably think, and as such the appropriate response would be to let them know that everyone and their grandma knows what kimchi is.

But that implication of smugness/snarkiness/whatever isn't inherent, it could be a neutral statement of it being common knowledge that kimchi is one of the most famous Korean foods.

With the second one getting the same implication in there is a bit more tricky. Formally the conditional would be used, and at least to me it looks/sounds weird without it if the rest of the sentence is formal, so:

Finnish (fi) Kyllä minä haluaisin syödä pitsaa, mutta en voi koska olen dieetillä. (formal)
Finnish (fi) Kyl mä haluun pizzaa, mut emmä voi kun oon dieetillä. (informal)

As for the third one, it has so many possibilities and none of them singularly feels the most natural to me, but this translation would be the most concise. It almost feels like it requires a follow-up about how you'll be running late or something, though...

Finnish (fi) Menen kyllä juhliin.

And the one about roses, I'd say formally the most exact translation implication-wise has the -han/hän suffix on the verb:

Finnish (fi) Ovathan ruusut kauniita, mutta liian tavanomaisia.

For the last one, I feel like I have to include at least these three possibilities:

Finnish (fi) Ovathan gepardit nopeimpien eläinten joukossa.
Finnish (fi) Gepardithan ovat nopeimpien eläinten joukossa.
Finnish (fi) Kyllähän gepardit ovat nopeimpien eläinten joukossa.

There are subtle differences in the implications of all three, which I'm not professional enough to explain in detail and the exact implications might vary depending on the context, so under some circumstances the order of the below matches could possibly even be different, but basically something like:

1) well, cheetahs are among the fastest animals
2) well, of course cheetahs are among the fastest animals
3) of course, cheetahs are among the fastest animals

...if that makes any sense.

All in all, they're similar but I get Linguoboy's point about them not being equivalent. The Finnish and Estonian ones presumably match too closely with the English and German ones to be considered similar enough to the Korean to be worthy crutches, even if there's a lot of overlap?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Naava » 2019-08-25, 17:04

Vlürch wrote:
Naava wrote:Don't stop, we need more Finnish learners here! 8-)

Considering the best way to make people want to not learn Finnish is to tell them about Finnish

No need to tell, just add Finnish here and there until they've learnt to speak it. :twisted:

With the second one getting the same implication in there is a bit more tricky. Formally the conditional would be used, and at least to me it looks/sounds weird without it if the rest of the sentence is formal, so:

Finnish (fi) Kyllä minä haluaisin syödä pitsaa, mutta en voi koska olen dieetillä. (formal)
Finnish (fi) Kyl mä haluun pizzaa, mut emmä voi kun oon dieetillä. (informal)

I would use conditional even informally. The indicative sounds odd to me. (Btw is there a reason why your pizza is pitsa in formal language but pizza in informal language? :D Please don't tell me you pronounce them differently...)

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Vlürch » 2019-08-25, 20:10

Naava wrote:No need to tell, just add Finnish here and there until they've learnt to speak it. :twisted:

:lol:
Naava wrote:I would use conditional even informally. The indicative sounds odd to me.

So would I, most of the time, but I think with the implication of that sentence it'd be fitting to use the indicative. Of course, though, it could be misunderstood as "FUCK MY DIET, GIVE ME PIZZA" so using the conditional would probably be better unless it was obvious that the pizza wasn't actually wanted; that's why I also left out the syödä.
Naava wrote:(Btw is there a reason why your pizza is pitsa in formal language but pizza in informal language? :D Please don't tell me you pronounce them differently...)

Just that pitsa is supposed to be used formally. As for pronunciation, of course they'd be the exact same; I'm pretty sure pizza is one of the few words where I don't pronounce <z> as /t͡ʃ/ or whatever, because that'd just be... really weird... :P Not that pronouncing <z> as /t͡ʃ/ is ever not weird, but like... even weirder... :para:

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-25, 22:32

Naava wrote:
I swear I'm not trying to teach you Finnish... :lol:

Don't stop, we need more Finnish learners here! 8-)

FINNISH STUDY GR...!
(Also Hungarian and Uralic study gr...!)
Vlürch wrote:I wonder what Chomsky thinks about pidgins that don't have a standardised variety or anything. Trying to google for answers, I couldn't find anything... it seems like Chomsky hasn't explicitly ever mentioned pidgins?

Chomsky is known for not testing his theories empirically and mostly focusing on English.
Oohh, Malagasy... every time there's some weird feature I can think of, but doubt whether it exists, it turns out at least one language spoken in Africa has it. :D

Well, probably other languages outside Africa have some of these features, too; it's just that Eurasian languages don't (or at least they're harder to find among Eurasian languages), and sometimes, it's easier to find data on African languages than on other non-Eurasian languages. :)
Interesting, thanks.

Ei kestä!
All in all, they're similar but I get Linguoboy's point about them not being equivalent.

Yeah, I think you could say something similar about -അല്ലോ -[əlˈloː] in Malayalam, too (for example), but I don't think that's equivalent, either.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Synalepha » 2019-11-30, 19:31

Greetings all :) I'm new here and I need someone to help me navigate the bewildering world of syntax. I don't study linguistics at an academic level but I would like to find some good university book on syntax because I have great passion for it (no dumbed-down stuff for the general public please!) however it seems to be not so quite an easy task. At my local library I've found Element of Structural Syntax by Lucien Tesnière and I wonder if it could be a good starting point. I do have many misgivings about it because the guy is quite old indeed and because his framework is dependency grammar (apparently he's the father of it?) which I don't know how accredited it is nowadays. What do you you think? Do you have any good alternative? Where should I start?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Osias » 2019-12-02, 21:13

I have no idea how to answer that but I'm posting here just to say welcome to our forum!
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.


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