Random language thread 5

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby atalarikt » 2018-04-30, 15:40

kevin wrote:I never knew that Unilang controlled so much of the internet!

Don't we all wish people acknowledged more about it and flooded it with actually useful language learning content though? :doggy:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِلْعَالِمِينَ۝
"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge." (Ar-Rum: 22)

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Luís » 2018-05-03, 7:09

I saw a guy reading an Assimil book on the train yesterday. I was curious to know what language he was learning, but I couldn't see the cover. When he got out I noticed it it was Il nuovo portoghese senza sforzo. So yeah, nothing too exotic, he was just learning Portuguese... :P
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Car » 2018-05-03, 8:47

:lol: Can't say I've ever seen anyone with a language learning book, apart from at university.

So I did another LingQ lesson yesterday. The text was about pronunciation (of Italian) and told you to listen closely - except that the audio was missing...
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-05-03, 14:24

So I have a friend who's currently habitationally challenged: he comes to Chicago often but he's mostly living at his deceased father's place in Wisconsin. He's asked to stay at my place before but I'm hesitant to say "yes" because I don't want to make it a regular thing. (If I wanted a roommate, I could get a roommate. I don't want a roommate.) Last time, he said he'd stay one night and ended up staying two. When he asked if he could extend his stay for the whole rest of the week, I put my foot down.

I almost didn't ask him to come to my party this Saturday because I knew he'd want to stay overnight. He did and I agreed--and no sooner had I then he asked, "Can I stay Friday night and Sunday night too?" I wanted to tell him, "Know what? Just forget it" but I value the friendship and knew there must be another way. He's fluent in Japanese, so I googled "ways to say 'no' in Japanese" and responded with "Chotto..." His response was "that's cool", showing that he totally grasped my meaning ("I feel awkward saying 'no' but I am saying it").
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-05-03, 17:53

linguoboy wrote:He's fluent in Japanese, so I googled "ways to say 'no' in Japanese" and responded with "Chotto..." His response was "that's cool", showing that he totally grasped my meaning ("I feel awkward saying 'no' but I am saying it").


Given the context, I'd say that was a good choice of phrase for that.

Right now I'm sitting in a pub beside two guys speaking in a language I cannot identify. I'm starting to think it's either Hebrew or a dialect of German that's radically different from Standard Hoch-Deutsch. They look more Israeli than German, but I think I heard "Isch" in there which I think is Lëtsburgisch for "Ich"...? There's a lot of strong voiceless uvular fricatives in there.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-05-03, 18:55

Ciarán12 wrote:Right now I'm sitting in a pub beside two guys speaking in a language I cannot identify. I'm starting to think it's either Hebrew or a dialect of German that's radically different from Standard Hoch-Deutsch. They look more Israeli than German, but I think I heard "Isch" in there which I think is Lëtsburgisch for "Ich"...? There's a lot of strong voiceless uvular fricatives in there.

[ɪʃ] is also Alemannic for ist. That plus the unvoiced uvular fricatives makes me wonder if it isn't Swiss-German.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Luís » 2018-05-03, 19:04

In Hebrew איש /iʃ/ means "man". There's also יש /jeʃ/, a very common word meaning "there is, there are" and that is also used to express possession (there's no verb "to have" in Hebrew, you have to say something like "there is to me", "there is to her", "there is to the man", etc.)
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-05-03, 19:06

linguoboy wrote:[ɪʃ] is also Alemannic for ist. That plus the unvoiced uvular fricatives makes me wonder if it isn't Swiss-German.


Swiss-German seems vaguely more likely, just because Switzerland is nearer and there aren't a lot of Israelis around here (though, I wouldn't say there are a lot of Swiss here either).
I heard the [ɪʃ] at the start of one man's utterance, it seemed like he was replying to the other's point (I got the impression he was about to launch into "well, I think such and such..."). That would make me think it was "ich" rather than "ist", unless there are circumstances in which you would start a reply with "ist" in Allemanic? He also hesitated and said it twice, which reminded me of how I would say "well I, I think X..."

Luís wrote:In Hebrew איש /iʃ/ means "man". There's also יש /jeʃ/, a very common word meaning "there is, there are" and that is also used to express possession (there's no verb "to have" in Hebrew, you have to say something like "there is to me", "there is to her", "there is to the man", etc.)


Would the איש in Hebrew come at the beginning of the phrase, as in English? If so, that would intuitively fit the way he was talking (i.e. I could imagine someone saying "There's, there's such and such...")

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Luís » 2018-05-03, 19:18

Ciarán12 wrote:Would the איש in Hebrew come at the beginning of the phrase, as in English? If so, that would intuitively fit the way he was talking (i.e. I could imagine someone saying "There's, there's such and such...")


Yes.

And if it means "to have", it comes first as well. For instance יש לי כסף /jeʃ li 'kesef/ (lit. there-is to-me money) = I have money

Pay attention to the vowels. Hebrew only has /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ while Swiss German has like a dozen different vowels, including stuff like /y/ and /ø/
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-05-03, 19:23

Luís wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Would the איש in Hebrew come at the beginning of the phrase, as in English? If so, that would intuitively fit the way he was talking (i.e. I could imagine someone saying "There's, there's such and such...")


Yes.

And if it means "to have", it comes first as well. For instance יש לי כסף /jeʃ li kesef/ (lit. there-is to-me money) = I have money


Weird. In Irish, tá airgead agam literally means "is money at-me" and idiomatically means "I have money" AND in Portuguese, tem can mean "there is" or "(it) has"!
It's a sign... I must learn Hebrew...

Luís wrote:Pay attention to the vowels. Hebrew only has /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ while Swiss German has like a dozen different vowels, including stuff like /y/ and /ø/


Ah, in that case, it couldn't have been Hebrew - at times I though there was French in there because the vowel went a bit /y/-y and /ø/-y, which also made me suspect Lëtsburgisch on account of the French loan words in that language.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-05-03, 19:38

Ciarán12 wrote:Weird. In Irish, tá airgead agam literally means "is money at-me" and idiomatically means "I have money" AND in Portuguese, tem can mean "there is" or "(it) has"!
It's a sign... I must learn Hebrew...

This is one of many well-known parallels between Semitic and Celtic which led Vennemann to develop his (now discredited) substrate hypothesis. (I think the current consensus is that most of the points of commonality are simply common features of VSO languages.)

Expressing possession via the use of an existential verb plus a pronoun isn't that unusual cross-linguistically. Just within Europe, it's found in Uralic, Balto-Slavic, and Turkic. And that's hardly a surprising use of tem given that Portuguese ter has encroached on the traditional functions of haver, one of which is to denote existence in a place (e.g. Há um banco aqui perto.; cf. Spanish hay, Catalan hi ha, French il y a, etc.).
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-05-03, 19:48

linguoboy wrote:This is one of many well-known parallels between Semitic and Celtic which led Vennemann to develop his (now discredited) substrate hypothesis. (I think the current consensus is that most of the points of commonality are simply common features of VSO languages.)

Expressing possession via the use of an existential verb plus a pronoun isn't that unusual cross-linguistically. Just within Europe, it's found in Uralic, Balto-Slavic, and Turkic. And that's hardly a surprising use of tem given that Portuguese ter has encroached on the traditional functions of haver, one of which is to denote existence in a place (e.g. Há um banco aqui perto.; cf. Spanish hay, Catalan hi ha, French il y a, etc.).


*slowly crosses Hebrew off his list*
I had heard about the supposed Semitic substrate to Celtic, but I wasn't aware it's common to VSO languages (and I still don't see why it would logically be so, though if you happen to know of any explanations of that particular argument, I'd be interested to read them). It seems if it's common cross-linguostically we don't need to appeal to the VSO nature of the languages to explain it. I already knew about those other Romance language examples, but I could have explained them away with the old Italo-Celtic hypothesis, but now you've added in Baltic md Turkic, so that's out the window.

Anyway, back to the actual language I heard - I recorded some of what they said. I won't publish the clip because it would be a privacy issue but I might analyse it for phonemes and words that I could try to use to work it out. The recording was made in a pub though, so it's barely audible...

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby kevin » 2018-05-03, 20:48

Ciarán12 wrote:That would make me think it was "ich" rather than "ist", unless there are circumstances in which you would start a reply with "ist" in Allemanic?

If it is Alemannic, the obvious option for "isch" at the start of a sentence would be a question, but it could also be a statement with an implied "es" as the subject (or of course something else I'm missing right now).

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-05-03, 21:24

Ciarán12 wrote:I had heard about the supposed Semitic substrate to Celtic, but I wasn't aware it's common to VSO languages (and I still don't see why it would logically be so, though if you happen to know of any explanations of that particular argument, I'd be interested to read them). It seems if it's common cross-linguostically we don't need to appeal to the VSO nature of the languages to explain it. I already knew about those other Romance language examples, but I could have explained them away with the old Italo-Celtic hypothesis, but now you've added in Baltic md Turkic, so that's out the window.

I'm reading some confusion in your response. Indirect expression of possession isn't one of the traits I was referring to as correlating with VSO word order. Vennemann originally drew up a list of something like 20 syntactic features and, as more VSO languages were examined in detail, at least half of these features were found to be common in them. I think that includes "inflected" prepositions and distinct relative forms, but it's been ages since I read anything on the subject, so I may be misremembering. (I know that Hawai'ian, for instance, is also VSO and has indirect possession. It might also have something similar to inflected pronouns.)
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-05-03, 22:56

linguoboy wrote:I'm reading some confusion in your response. Indirect expression of possession isn't one of the traits I was referring to as correlating with VSO word order. Vennemann originally drew up a list of something like 20 syntactic features and, as more VSO languages were examined in detail, at least half of these features were found to be common in them. I think that includes "inflected" prepositions and distinct relative forms, but it's been ages since I read anything on the subject, so I may be misremembering. (I know that Hawai'ian, for instance, is also VSO and has indirect possession. It might also have something similar to inflected pronouns.)


Indeed. I read your first point as saying that (although debunked) there was a theory linking VSO syntax to the use of indirect possession, as you call it. But then you seemed to suggest that other, clearly non-VSO languages share this feature and that it's quite common cross-linguistically, which would suggest it does not have anything to do with VSO word order. I'm clear on it now that you are saying that it may be the case that this feature was listed among a number of traits possibly linked to VSO word order by Vennemann, but that that hypothesis is now discredited, and that it is just one of those features you find in some languages but not others, but that it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with word order. Thanks for clarifying.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2018-05-04, 3:30

linguoboy wrote:Expressing possession via the use of an existential verb plus a pronoun isn't that unusual cross-linguistically. Just within Europe, it's found in Uralic, Balto-Slavic, and Turkic. And that's hardly a surprising use of tem given that Portuguese ter has encroached on the traditional functions of haver, one of which is to denote existence in a place (e.g. Há um banco aqui perto.; cf. Spanish hay, Catalan hi ha, French il y a, etc.).

I know in Tamil, there's no verb "to have" either, and it's expressed using the dative pronoun along with conjugating the copula for what we in English would consider the object being possessed. For example, "I have money" would be எனக்கு காசு இருக்கிறது /enəkːɯ kaːsɯ iɾɯkː(i)rəd̪ɯ/ (lit. for-me money is). Compare "I am a man" which would be நான் ஒரு மனின் இருக்கிறேன் /enəkːɯ oɾu manisən iɾɯkː(i)ɾeːn/ (lit. I a man am). I thought it was weird when I first encountered it, but that's because it was the first example of indirect possession I'd encountered. I wonder if getting used to Tamil is why it never surprised me when I learned about ter in Portuguese for possession?

Tamil also uses this dative-pronoun-plus-conjugating-verb-for-object structure with stative verbs. For example, "I want money" would be எனக்கு காசு வேண்டும் /enəkːɯ kaːsɯ veːɳɖɯm/ (lit. for-me money want), where வேண்டும் is the 3rd person singular inanimate present tense indicative form. Do you know if this structure is pretty common cross-linguistically?
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Karavinka » 2018-05-04, 4:38

Luís wrote:I saw a guy reading an Assimil book on the train yesterday. I was curious to know what language he was learning, but I couldn't see the cover. When he got out I noticed it it was Il nuovo portoghese senza sforzo. So yeah, nothing too exotic, he was just learning Portuguese... :P


What do you mean, Portuguese sounds like a cool exotic language to me. It's one of the indigenous languages of the European subcontinent, right? :D
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby md0 » 2018-05-04, 5:11

I love it when Europe is foreignised :lol:
Karavinka wrote:What do you mean, Portuguese sounds like a cool exotic language to me. It's one of the indigenous languages of the European subcontinent, right? :D
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby rmanoj » 2018-05-04, 5:58

dEhiN wrote:I know in Tamil, there's no verb "to have" either, and it's expressed using the dative pronoun along with conjugating the copula for what we in English would consider the object being possessed. For example, "I have money" would be எனக்கு காசு இருக்கிறது /enəkːɯ kaːsɯ iɾɯkː(i)rəd̪ɯ/ (lit. for-me money is). Compare "I am a man" which would be நான் ஒரு மனின் இருக்கிறேன் /enəkːɯ oɾu manisən iɾɯkː(i)ɾeːn/ (lit. I a man am). I thought it was weird when I first encountered it, but that's because it was the first example of indirect possession I'd encountered. I wonder if getting used to Tamil is why it never surprised me when I learned about ter in Portuguese for possession?

Malayalam has the same sort of thing, naturally, although we would use the verb ഉണ്ട് (உண்டு) rather than இரு.

Btw it's just நான் ஒரு மனிதன் 'I one man' as far as I'm aware, unless you want to say 'I, a man, exist'. இரு isn't really a copula, it's an existential 'be'.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-05-04, 10:01

Karavinka wrote:
Luís wrote:I saw a guy reading an Assimil book on the train yesterday. I was curious to know what language he was learning, but I couldn't see the cover. When he got out I noticed it it was Il nuovo portoghese senza sforzo. So yeah, nothing too exotic, he was just learning Portuguese... :P

What do you mean, Portuguese sounds like a cool exotic language to me. It's one of the indigenous languages of the European subcontinent, right? :D

Portuguese sounds exotic to me too, and I'm from Europe...


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