Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-04-28, 16:44

vijayjohn wrote:Guys, I wasn't going to say anything because I meant to respond to a whole bunch of things on this thread, but I think this one is more important to me than anything else. :P

-endra and -endar are just different pronunciations for the same suffix in (some) Indian languages. My brother's father-in-law's name is spelled <Surendra>, but everyone pronounces it [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] because he's from North India and a lot of North Indians (such as him!) are allergic to word-final schwa. :lol:

I know a Rajender, plus several Rajinders (and other -nders :D : Jaswinder, Sukhjinder and so on), and all are from northern India/Punjab. To be honest I've never known anyone who spelled it with a -dra ending but I knew that Rajendra was an equivalent name used further south (like a Hindi version and Rajinder is a Punjabi versions?). But I didn't realize that Rajender and Rajendra could be consider the exact same name (as in spelling it Rajendra and pronouncing it Rajender) - all of the "-nders" I know spell and pronounce their names with -der at the end. Good to know! When I have seen Indian names spelled with -dra at the end my reaction has generally been to assume they are from further south.
Not that I'm oblivious to the issues of transliterating from different alphabets, which is probably a factor here too (the people I know are immigrants who ended up with their names spelled in English in a way that reflected the way they pronounced them, to an American English-speaker's ear)... and on that note I know a family in which the three siblings each ended up with their surname transliterated in a different way in official documents. Naturally :ohwell: American English speakers who don't realize they are brothers (and even some who do) tend to pronounce their surname three different ways and consider them three different names, but of course, the siblings themselves don't.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-04-29, 12:48

vijayjohn wrote:If you're wondering about the pronunciation of Mahal, apparently in Gujarati, /ahaː/ becomes something like [ɛ̤].
TIL Mahal is [ˈmɛɦ(ə)l] in Hindi and even though this jibes with what I know about Indic phonology, it feels so wrong. I would've guessed the original would be [məˈɦaːl], [maːˈɦaːl] or even [məˈɦəl].

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-04-29, 15:04

The general phonological rule in Hindi is /a/ > [ɛ] / _ha, so [ˈmɛɦ(ə)l] or [mɛl] or whatever is an exception since the vowel after the /h/ is long (well, "long" :twisted:). Maybe you're right and there was an intermediate stage where that vowel got shortened or something. Note also, though, that I'm not sure my sister-in-law's pronunciations are exactly representative of Hindi-speakers more generally (they do seem pretty common for the Delhi area in particular, though).
Linguaphile wrote:To be honest I've never known anyone who spelled it with a -dra ending but I knew that Rajendra was an equivalent name used further south (like a Hindi version and Rajinder is a Punjabi versions?).

Hindi is spoken all over India and is official in Himachal Pradesh, which is to the north (and northeast) of (Indian) Punjab.
Not that I'm oblivious to the issues of transliterating from different alphabets, which is probably a factor here too

I think it can be spelled both ways in Devanagari, too. -endra is closer to the original Sanskrit; it comes from Indra IIRC. However, I'm not sure anyone north of Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh (or maybe Maharashtra) and west of Odisha actually pronounces it that way nowadays, and I'd guess they were more likely to switch the last consonant and vowel instead. I would honestly not be at all surprised if there are also people who instead say both -[en̪d̪r] and [ɪn̪d̪r]. I have heard such word-final consonant clusters pretty frequently from some native speakers of Hindi.
the people I know are immigrants who ended up with their names spelled in English in a way that reflected the way they pronounced them, to an American English-speaker's ear

Maybe the -inder spelling is common for Punjabis since they were the earliest Indian immigrants to the US.
I know a family in which the three siblings each ended up with their surname transliterated in a different way in official documents. Naturally :ohwell:

Yeah, I'm sure that happens pretty often, too. :P

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-04-30, 4:51

Hindi is the national language of India. Fuck Tamil and all those other worthless Indian languages.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-01, 1:36

I hope you weren't trying to summarize my post again. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-05-01, 9:14

vijayjohn wrote:-endra and -endar are just different pronunciations for the same suffix in (some) Indian languages. My brother's father-in-law's name is spelled <Surendra>, but everyone pronounces it [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] because he's from North India and a lot of North Indians (such as him!) are allergic to word-final schwa. :lol:

Interesting! Do you know why the pronunciation of North Indians became like that? Is it somewhat attributable to Persian influence or something? Or even analogisation with Alexander/Iskander...?

Also, [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] sounds like "surrender". :para:
vijayjohn wrote:If you're wondering about the pronunciation of Mahal, apparently in Gujarati, /ahaː/ becomes something like [ɛ̤].

Reminds me of when you said something about "amen" being reduced to [ɨ̃ː]. :o
Linguaphile wrote:I know a family in which the three siblings each ended up with their surname transliterated in a different way in official documents.

That sounds really cool tbh, even if it might get pretty confusing.
mōdgethanc wrote:TIL Mahal is [ˈmɛɦ(ə)l] in Hindi and even though this jibes with what I know about Indic phonology, it feels so wrong. I would've guessed the original would be [məˈɦaːl], [maːˈɦaːl] or even [məˈɦəl].

Same, I'd always assumed it was something like the first of those three... probably because that's closest to how it's pronounced in English, of course, and in Finnish I've only heard /mɑhɑl/ for obvious reasons. Even though I'm sure I'd heard it pronounced by Indians in documentaries and stuff even before that episode of that series, I don't think I'd ever paid attention to it being pronounced so differently. :oops:

~

Does anyone know where the progressives in Turkic languages came from? The Turkish -yor-, Uzbek -yap- and Uyghur -iwati- are so different, they probably don't have the same origin?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-05-01, 10:24

This article makes me cringe.

TL;DR: American woman living in Paris for 15 years can't speak French properly. She concludes it's impossible for people over 30 to learn languages
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-05-01, 11:11

Luís wrote:This article makes me cringe.

TL;DR: American woman living in Paris for 15 years can't speak French properly. She concludes it's impossible for people over 30 to learn languages


It's funny how she undermines her own thesis throughout the text.

I feel like a lot of this is just due to the fact that:

1) People often overestimate the amount of time (in terms of hours) and effort that it takes to get to basic fluency, but massively underestimate the amount of time it takes to get from basic fluency to a near-native level.

2) People think in terms of years rather than hours, and definitely not in terms of quality hours (compelling input).

3) People don't realise how useful engaging in native media for pleasure is ("If required, I can read French books."; i.e. as a general rule I don't do so). They see foreign languages as stuffy academic subjects and don't binge reality TV, silly dramas, cheesy romance novels, catchy songs, etc... [of course at a certain age you have other responsabilities, but it's the lack of free time that's the problem, not the age itself]

Honestly these are pretty common misconceptions and it's frustrating to see someone use quotes from a scientific source to blame it on age. Hopefully she'll read some of the angry responses her article has gotten across the internet and discover Anki and extensive reading. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-05-01, 13:29

vijayjohn wrote:The general phonological rule in Hindi is /a/ > [ɛ] / _ha, so [ˈmɛɦ(ə)l] or [mɛl] or whatever is an exception since the vowel after the /h/ is long (well, "long" :twisted:). Maybe you're right and there was an intermediate stage where that vowel got shortened or something. Note also, though, that I'm not sure my sister-in-law's pronunciations are exactly representative of Hindi-speakers more generally (they do seem pretty common for the Delhi area in particular, though).
No, I understand that. What's fucking me up is that the second vowel is not supposed to be long.

All of the articles about the Taj Mahal that are in an Indic language have the vowel as short. Here is the one in Hindi. It comes from Arabic محل.

It's not an exception but follows the phonological rules of Hindi: [ˈməɦəl] > [ˈməɦl] (schwa deletion) > [ˈmɛɦl] (fronting of /ə/ before /ɦ/) and then I guess > [ˈmɛl] (deletion of /ɦ/, which I'm not sure is a common thing in Hindi but it is cross-linguistically).

My whole life I assumed the name was /məˈɦaːl/, more or less like in English. I knew we fucked up the "Taj" part but now I've learned we fuck up both of the words.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-02, 8:00

Oh, I probably learned it wrong myself because English. But I'm not the only Indian to pronounce it wrong. The Marathi Wikipedia says ताजमहा. The Tamil Wikipedia also says தாஜ் மகால் or alternatively தாஜ் மஹால்; those have long vowels as well. (They're pronounced identically, but ஹ ha is not part of the Tamil alphabet proper. It's a letter that was historically used only in the context of transcribing Sanskrit. க is /ka/, and [h] in native Tamil words at least is an intervocalic allophone of /k/).
Vlürch wrote:Do you know why the pronunciation of North Indians became like that? Is it somewhat attributable to Persian influence or something? Or even analogisation with Alexander/Iskander...?

It has nothing to do with any of that. Deletion is a very common sound change.
Also, [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] sounds like "surrender". :para:

It looks like that far more than it sounds like it, but yes. And his house used to be on Surrender Avenue, if I remember correctly. :P
Same, I'd always assumed it was something like the first of those three...

I think a lot of Hindi-speakers probably do pronounce it that way. I still do.
Does anyone know where the progressives in Turkic languages came from? The Turkish -yor-, Uzbek -yap- and Uyghur -iwati- are so different, they probably don't have the same origin?

-Yor comes from yorımak 'to go, walk', -yap in Uzbek is probably related to yapmak 'to do' in Turkish, and -iwati in Uyghur is apparently related to -tadır, -tudur, etc. in Turkish, which is used for indicating something that's literally happening at the present moment (from 'in' + 'is').

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-05-02, 17:31

vijayjohn wrote:It has nothing to do with any of that. Deletion is a very common sound change.

Oh, ok. I thought there could be some more exciting reason, but... :lol:
vijayjohn wrote:It looks like that far more than it sounds like it, but yes.

Huh, so the first syllable in "surrender" isn't supposed to be pronounced /sʊ/. I'd always thought it was, and I could swear I've heard it pronounced like that...
vijayjohn wrote:And his house used to be on Surrender Avenue, if I remember correctly. :P

W-why is there a street with that name? :o But anyway, that's a hilarious coincidence. It'd be even funnier if his house used to be there but is now somewhere else... like, you know, if the house literally got up and left because it didn't want to be on a street with that name. Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny to imagine a house physically moving on its own.
vijayjohn wrote:I think a lot of Hindi-speakers probably do pronounce it that way. I still do.

That's good to know, I guess.
vijayjohn wrote:-Yor comes from yorımak 'to go, walk', -yap in Uzbek is probably related to yapmak 'to do' in Turkish

Thanks! I didn't even think to think that they could be related to actual verbs, even though now that you say it, it makes perfect sense and it's kind of obvious. For some reason I assumed they had some kind of mysterious origin or something, or at least not one that should be so obvious... Image
vijayjohn wrote:and -iwati in Uyghur is apparently related to -tadır, -tudur, etc. in Turkish, which is used for indicating something that's literally happening at the present moment (from 'in' + 'is').

Interesting. Again, thanks.

~

I have no idea why, but when you google "comparative and superlative adjectives in Kazakh", the results are almost exclusively about Russian. The first actual result actually about Kazakh is at the very bottom of the page, since the first result that looks like it's about Kazakh is actually not; I guess it's about teaching English to Kazakh-speaking kids or something :?: , but I can't really figure out if it's even that or just an intentionally misleading thing. Spoiler because it's a long ass screencap:
► Show Spoiler


Maybe I'm being paranoid and there's no conspiracy or anything and Google is just broken, but... I've noticed the same before with other searches about Kazakh, never this bad though. The fact that "Russian" is highlighted in the results just like "adjective" and the other words actually being searched and that only one of the results shows the strokethrough "Kazakh" indicating that there's nothing about Kazakh on it, though, is what makes me feel a bit unnerved. :para:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-05-03, 10:22

I'm not sure why I'm so surprised that the Québécois have their own word for political correctness that isn't used in France.

Québéc: la rectitude politique
Ce n'est pas facile de nos jours d'être critiques du multiculturalisme et de l'immigration, ça ne passe pas dans un monde où la rectitude politique est portée aux nues.
[from r/Quebec]

France: le politiquement correct
Le politiquement correct renvoie à l’habitude d’agir positivement à l’égard d’un certain groupe, pour la seule raison que ce groupe a été maltraité par le passé, et de dénigrer quiconque se montre critique vis-à-vis dudit groupe.
[from the French Wiktionary]

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-05-03, 17:36

La rectitude politique c'est tabarnak !

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-05-03, 21:10

OldBoring wrote:La rectitude politique c'est tabarnak !

C'est ostie de tabarnak, putain!
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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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-05-05, 0:14

These Anglophones talking about "Cinco de Tres" and "Cinco de Cuatro" on my Facebook timeline are really getting on my nerves. :roll:
N'hésite pas à corriger mes erreurs.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Lur » 2019-05-05, 8:56

We need a decent ortography for Nahuatl.
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-05-05, 15:30

People from smaller countries with less commonly spoken languages: do your countrymen often overstate their language skills? A lot of Portuguese people think Portuguese are some of the biggest polyglots in the world. But, from my experience, the only foreign language I see Portuguese people actually speaking fluently is English. Some middle aged people will speak French fluently but that's it. A lot of Portuguese people also overrate their English skills as well.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-05-05, 16:06

Dormouse559 wrote:These Anglophones talking about "Cinco de Tres" and "Cinco de Cuatro" on my Facebook timeline are really getting on my nerves. :roll:

Supposedly it comes from a tv show, originally (from what I understand) poking fun at people for not knowing the meaning of the words.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-05, 16:19

Vlürch wrote:Huh, so the first syllable in "surrender" isn't supposed to be pronounced /sʊ/. I'd always thought it was, and I could swear I've heard it pronounced like that...

Maybe in a Scottish or northern English accent or something? :P
vijayjohn wrote:And his house used to be on Surrender Avenue, if I remember correctly. :P

W-why is there a street with that name? :o

I have no idea, but I can't really complain when I myself live on a street called "Del Mesa Lane..."
But anyway, that's a hilarious coincidence. It'd be even funnier if his house used to be there but is now somewhere else... like, you know, if the house literally got up and left because it didn't want to be on a street with that name. Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny to imagine a house physically moving on its own.

Nah, that's pretty funny. Although somehow it doesn't make me laugh, as if it's an old joke or something. :hmm:
vijayjohn wrote:I think a lot of Hindi-speakers probably do pronounce it that way. I still do.

That's good to know, I guess.

Oh, sorry, I forgot to delete that after writing it in an earlier draft of that post! :lol:
I have no idea why, but when you google "comparative and superlative adjectives in Kazakh", the results are almost exclusively about Russian.

Probably because it's a hell of a lot easier to find information on that sort of thing in Russian than in Kazakh and possibly also because Russian is co-official with Kazakh in Kazakhstan, in addition to surely being by far the most widely spoken language in the region for which such information is readily available.
Saim wrote:I'm not sure why I'm so surprised that the Québécois have their own word for political correctness that isn't used in France.

Eh, North American varieties of French pretty much always manage to surprise me.
Lur wrote:We need a decent orthography for Nahuatl.

Why, what's wrong with the current one?
Prowler wrote:People from smaller countries with less commonly spoken languages: do your countrymen often overstate their language skills?

Indians (including Indians born outside India) do this a lot and often claim that they're native speakers of English when they're not because they have no idea what people actually mean by the term "native speaker." I personally kind of feel like I have to overstate my language skills because ironically, from what i can tell, it's the only way to give most people a reasonably accurate overall idea of how well I speak them.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby md0 » 2019-05-05, 16:58

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=42665
On modifier-head order developments in French.
It's a phenomenon that also bothered me in Greek tech journalism (and generally the kind of journalism which is secretly just translating articles from English outlets and passing it as one's own work). Things like "SSD δίσκος", "Android κινητά" and so on.

It's apparently much more common in French though, while in Greek it still comes across as Translationese.

PS. The adjective can move to the left in Greek, but it triggers determiner spreading, which has a semantic effect. Example: "δίσκος SSD" -> "ο SSD ο δίσκος".
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