Random language thread 6

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linguoboy
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-19, 16:21

I have a weekly gaming group where we play tabletop RPGs. Then tend to like the looser, more cooperative kind where we all build the setting together. They are all essentially English monolinguals so naturally, when they name things, they restrict themselves to coinages which adhere to the restrictions of English phonology.

I've been trying to push them a bit out of their comfort zones with my contributions. The name I chose for my character in the current campaign is [ˈpʰʊɬdy]. They've wrestled with that a bit and seem to have converged upon the pronunciation [ˈpʰʊʃti], which rather surprised me. (I've never seen [ɬ] mapped to [ʃ] before.)

Last night I coined a name with all English phonemes but an unusual initial cluster, namely /dl/. A couple of them managed it while a couple others inserted an epenthetic shwa. I'm interested to see whether their pronunciations converge around one or the other.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby kevin » 2018-12-19, 16:37

linguoboy wrote:(I've never seen [ɬ] mapped to [ʃ] before.)

I have.

[ɬ] is not a sound I encounter much, but I once happened to be in a group with a guy named Llewelyn (?) (never saw his name in writing, so I'm not sure about the exact spelling he used) who got his name butchered by everyone. And [ʃ] was very common, if not even the only variant people settled on. And to be honest, when he first introduced himself, before I realised that he was Welsh and I remembered seeing a name like this written somewhere before, I also thought it was some weirdly pronounced /ʃ/.

What other sound would you expect it to be mapped to?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-19, 16:41

kevin wrote:What other sound would you expect it to be mapped to?

/l/, /x/, and fricative-lateral clusters (e.g. /xl/, /fl/, /θl/) all strike me as more likely.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-12-20, 5:02

I have seen it replaced with /ʃl/ so it's not a big shock to me.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2018-12-20, 23:42

I've never come across anything like that (except something kind of similar twice on TV; both were Southern American men who had a speech impediment causing them to pronounce /ʃ/ and /t͡ʃ/ as [ɬ] and [t͡ɬ] or whatever, one a prepper dude and the other a Louisianian shark enthusiast or something), but I'll admit that if I wasn't careful, I myself would probably mispronounce /ɬ/ and /t͡ɬ/ as [ʃ~ɕ] and [t͡ʃ~t͡ɕ] more likely than as [l] or anything else.

Related: once, I came across a Reddit post where someone said they consider [t͡ɬ] closer to [kl] than [tl], which made me feel a bit relieved since that's how I've always felt/heard it unless it's dental [t̪͡ɬ̪]. I'm not sure why, but maybe that /ɬ/ and /t͡ɬ/ may be (at least perceived as) at least slightly velarised or palatalised (and/or labialised) depending on various factors (I guess most importantly the phonology of the languages the speaker is most familiar with), similarly to /ʃ/ and /t͡ʃ/. Even though the same applies to /l/, maybe the voicing and lack of frication exclude that as the sound they'd be substituted with? So, the most obvious substitution would be /ʃ/ and /t͡ʃ/ since they (may) share the same secondary features.

Meanwhile, [t͡ɬˠ~t̠͡ɬ̠ˠ] and [t͡ɬʲ~t̠͡ɬ̠ʲ] sound a lot like [k͡ʟ̝̊] and [c͡ʎ̝̊] respectively, and since English (and most languages) don't have lateral affricate phonemes, the velarisation and palatalisation may lead to them being interpreted as similar to clusters of /k/ and a velarised and palatalised /l/ respectively, in the latter case the palatalisation naturally occurring on the /k/ as well.

It's also possible that none of that makes any sense, though...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2018-12-22, 19:07

IpseDixit wrote:Also, I need to study words in a serious way because if I only relied on lexical similarity, I would always be left wondering "am I just 'portuguesizing' Italian words or are they real Portuguese words?"


What about writing and speaking?

Yasna wrote:The idea is that this combined with a little additional "normal" studying should allow me to access compelling content to use for comprehensible input earlier than would normally be possible. I have come to this point after my struggles with Korean. Between the quasi-abandonment of Hanja and the divergent pronunciations compared to Japanese, Sino-Korean vocabulary just wasn't transparent enough on a whole to make Korean "transparent" to me, and I can't see myself spending years learning any more relatively opaque languages by traditional methods.


Good luck, let us know how it goes!

Have you thought of using an etymological dictionary for Korean to make some of the Sinitic loanwords stick more easily? It helps me with Perso-Arabic vocabulary in Turkish.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-12-22, 19:29

Saim wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Also, I need to study words in a serious way because if I only relied on lexical similarity, I would always be left wondering "am I just 'portuguesizing' Italian words or are they real Portuguese words?"


What about writing and speaking?


Non ne ho voglia.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2018-12-23, 23:33

Saim wrote:Good luck, let us know how it goes!

Thanks, will do.

Have you thought of using an etymological dictionary for Korean to make some of the Sinitic loanwords stick more easily?

The dictionary I use (Naver) gives the hanja for Sino-Korean words, and the hanja generally reveal to me both the Japanese equivalent word and the etymology. That's all good and well, but I guess what I'm complaining about is having to look up the Sino-Korean words at all. There have only been maybe a couple hundred cases where I have seen an unknown Sino-Korean word in context and been able to identify with high confidence its meaning without looking up the word. The rampant homophony and near-homophony of Sino-Korean morphemes and the considerable divergence between Sino-Korean and Sino-Japanese pronunciations obscure matters too thoroughly to do much better than that.

Compare that to Mandarin where in thousands of cases I get the meaning of a word for free, even if I still need to look up the pronunciation if I haven't yet learned the pronunciation of a constituent hanzi from other words.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2018-12-29, 6:01

A fun little comparison between standard Japanese (the guy in the middle), Kansai dialect (girl on the left), and Nagasaki dialect (girl on the right).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLyRDXE__Zs&list=WL&index=3
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

Surgeon

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Surgeon » 2019-01-02, 15:27

So çanta (bag) comes from Persian. I have encountered this word in Turkish, Greek (tsanta), Bulgarian and Georgian. Nice. :D

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby voron » 2019-01-02, 15:43

Surgeon wrote:So çanta (bag) comes from Persian. I have encountered this word in Turkish, Greek (tsanta), Bulgarian and Georgian. Nice. :D

Levantine Arabic, too:
http://www.livingarabic.com/dictionarie ... t=1&q=شنتة

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Lur » 2019-01-02, 16:23

linguoboy wrote:I have a weekly gaming group where we play tabletop RPGs. Then tend to like the looser, more cooperative kind where we all build the setting together. They are all essentially English monolinguals so naturally, when they name things, they restrict themselves to coinages which adhere to the restrictions of English phonology.

One the cool things I wish I'd be able to do with learning languages is playing RPGs in other languages.

Of course, when I said this my partner pointed out I play on the weekends in English, and I hadn't realized that :lol:
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-02, 16:26

Lur wrote:Of course, when I said this my partner pointed out I play on the weekends in English, and I hadn't realized that :lol:
:D

I've always wanted to belong to an RPG group that played in something besides English, but so far that hasn't happened. It really seems like it would be a terrific way to practice, since you could work through all sorts of real-life scenarios in a very low-pressure environment.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-06, 5:15

Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-01-06, 14:26

Itto mattarusu foru shuru!

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-08, 16:26

"Why do we pronounce indict \in-DYTE\? Other legal terms in English that share the Latin root dicere ("to say") are pronounced as they are spelled: edict, interdict, verdict. [...]

We pronounce this word \in-DYTE\ because its original spelling in English was endite, a spelling that was used for 300 years before scholars decided to make it look more like its Latin root word, indictare. Our pronunciation still reflects the original English spelling"

I'd love to have a word with these "scholars".
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-01-08, 16:29

Trying to make English more like Latin is one of the worst things to happen to English. I go out of my way to split infinitives just to own the classicists.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-08, 16:31

mōdgethanc wrote:Trying to make English more like Latin is one of the worst things to happen to English. I go out of my way to split infinitives just to own the classicists.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-01-08, 16:35

TO BOLDLY GO

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-09, 11:36

I just read a bit of the Arabic Wikipedia on things relating to India and they're really starting to irritate me. :evil:

"Hinduism (in Hindi: varnashrama)" [why Hindi? and the translation isn't even correct]
"Hindi is the official language of India" [no it's not]
"Indian subcontinent (in Hindi: भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप, in Urdu:برصغیر)" [why specifically Hindi and Urdu?]

It doesn't help that the words for Hindi and Indian are the same in Arabic (because the Arabic word for India is Hind and is a productive adjectival suffix).


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