Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-05-24, 21:15

Osias wrote:
Não entendo a dificuldade de imitar um sotaque...
A dificuldade em imitar é uma, a dificuldade em fazer a sério são outros quinhentos...


Como assim? Qual que é a diferença entre imitar brincando e imitar fazendo a sério?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-25, 5:24

Vlürch wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I guess. Maybe it has something to do with the way symbols in Indian writing systems tend to be organized, by place of articulation from back to front and by manner of articulation in this order: voiceless unaspirated, voiceless aspirated, voiced unaspirated, voiced aspirated, nasal. Tamil script, however, did away with all the Indo-Aryan nonsense, so it just has voiceless unaspirated plosive followed by nasal for each POA.

It's always interesting to learn how different writing systems are ordered, even if I'll forget within an hour. :para:

Indian ones are mostly pretty straightforward, though, since they're like phonology charts. (It's just that they're ordered from back to front instead of the other way around, which seems more common in English-language linguistic literature at least).

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-05-25, 10:50

Ciarán12 wrote:
Osias wrote:
Não entendo a dificuldade de imitar um sotaque...
A dificuldade em imitar é uma, a dificuldade em fazer a sério são outros quinhentos...


Como assim? Qual que é a diferença entre imitar brincando e imitar fazendo a sério?

Bom, posso estar errado mas geralmente quando se fala em 'imitar' um sotaque está se falando em uma imitação cômica, como alguém imitando Donald Trump por exemplo (making an impression of Trump). Nó caso do Trump só uma pessoa faz ele a sério, que é ele mesmo.

Se eu 'imitar' um sotaque americano numa reunião polícia séria, eu acho que ninguém vai dizer que foi uma 'imitação', mas que eu 'fiz' um sotaque americano.

Mas eu li um blogueiro uma vez dizer que o segredo pra aprender uma língua era ir imitando o sotaque (comicamente) 24 horas por dia até perder a graça e você sem perceber estar fazendo o sotaque a sério.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-05-25, 11:54

Osias wrote:Bom, posso estar errado mas geralmente quando se fala em 'imitar' um sotaque está se falando em uma imitação cômica, como alguém imitando Donald Trump por exemplo (making an impression of Trump). Nó caso do Trump só uma pessoa faz ele a sério, que é ele mesmo.

Se eu 'imitar' um sotaque americano numa reunião polícia séria, eu acho que ninguém vai dizer que foi uma 'imitação', mas que eu 'fiz' um sotaque americano.


Mas como é que você poderia "fazer" um sotaque sem imitar aquele mesmo sotaque? A única diferença é a intenção. Talvez quando você faz o sotaque comicamente você exagera algumas características demais, mas isso significa que você pelo menos sabe quais são as características pra exgerar. É só fazer uma versão mais fraca disso e pronto, você está falando como um nativo.

Osias wrote:Mas eu li um blogueiro uma vez dizer que o segredo pra aprender uma língua era ir imitando o sotaque (comicamente) 24 horas por dia até perder a graça e você sem perceber estar fazendo o sotaque a sério.


É isso mesmo. O fato de você achar cômico o sotaque é talvez o problema, que você acha estranho falar imitando os nativos. Mas quando você para pra pensar, não é ainda mais estranho falar a língua sem usar o sotaque que os nativos usam? Faz parte da língua também, né? Para mim, perderia a graça de falar a língua se eu não conseguisse falar com o sotaque.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-05-25, 12:28

Tudo isso tem a ver com o uso da palavra 'imitar' como estou acostumado a ouvir, ela tem um sentido mais cômico quando se trata de imitar pessoas ou sotaques.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-25, 16:28

I did just a little bit of job hunting recently and tried to apply for a few jobs for teaching English in China. Then all of a sudden, I got five six e-mails (and counting) in my inbox, which I'm honestly kind of scared to respond to just because I'm shocked. I kind of knew English teachers were in high demand in China, but I didn't know the demand was that high. :shock:

Hopefully it's not some kind of hoax. :P

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-05-25, 16:37

vijayjohn wrote:I did just a little bit of job hunting recently and tried to apply for a few jobs for teaching English in China. Then all of a sudden, I got five six e-mails (and counting) in my inbox, which I'm honestly kind of scared to respond to just because I'm shocked. I kind of knew English teachers were in high demand in China, but I didn't know the demand was that high. :shock:

Hopefully it's not some kind of hoax. :P

They recently issued a law that only people from native English speaking countries can be English teachers. Americans especially are in high demand, as most people want to learn American English.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-05-28, 2:03

A Swede told me recently that NO/SW/DA are all the same language and just a bunch of different dialects of the same language. And told me that if Swedes truly wanted it they'd be able to understand Danish without any issue either.

"Swedish was a mistake. It's a language that solely exists to be spoken in the period from 1890 to 1925." he says. I wonder how many people share his sentiment. Then again he's kinda against the idea of nation states, so that might play into it...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Lur » 2019-05-28, 13:29

I don't know how to make myself like Swedish. There's no hope of ever assimilating in Toronto or Ottawa or Montreal and I hate the idea of English or French, but here is another large northern city and it's in Sweden and I dunno.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby md0 » 2019-05-31, 19:49

Fun little headline mistake
Ο Έλληνας που ανακάλυψε πως μπορούν να αναπνέουν στον Άρη

The Greek who discovered that [people] can breath on Mars

They meant:
Ο Έλληνας που ανακάλυψε πώς μπορούν να αναπνέουν στον Άρη

The Greek who discovered how [people] can breath on Mars

It comes down to πως being phonologically cliticised to the embedded verb, while πώς has its own stress, afaik.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-06-03, 18:35

I've noticed a few word pairs in Portuguese where there's an alternation between <oi> and <ou> in words that have the same or almost the same meaning:
loiro / louro - blond
baloiçar / balouçar (/ balançar) - to move up and down, to swing
coisa / cousa (archaic) - thing

I wonder where this comes from. Presumably this was a sound shift which didn't affect all dialects, and then the alternative forms were both adopted into the mainstream separately...?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-03, 19:56

Ciarán12 wrote:I wonder where this comes from. Presumably this was a sound shift which didn't affect all dialects, and then the alternative forms were both adopted into the mainstream separately...?

I remember years ago being puzzled by Sp. Duero vs Pt. Douro, especially once I discovered the Latin etymon is Durius. It could be folk etymology at work (i.e. as if from de + ouro) but given the other examples, I think it might be an instance of a broader phenomenon. Perhaps a form of progressive assimilation that only affected part of the lexicon?

(Not for the first time I regret buying that book on the historical phonology of Portuguese I saw for sale in a local used bookstore.)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-06-03, 20:23

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:I wonder where this comes from. Presumably this was a sound shift which didn't affect all dialects, and then the alternative forms were both adopted into the mainstream separately...?

I remember years ago being puzzled by Sp. Duero vs Pt. Douro, especially once I discovered the Latin etymon is Durius. It could be folk etymology at work (i.e. as if from de + ouro) but given the other examples, I think it might be an instance of a broader phenomenon. Perhaps a form of progressive assimilation that only affected part of the lexicon?

(Not for the first time I regret buying that book on the historical phonology of Portuguese I saw for sale in a local used bookstore.)


I just looked up "doudo" (a word I didin't know existed, but speculated that it might do on account of the word "doido" existing meaning "crazy", and sure enough Wiktionary lists "doudo" as an archaic version of "doido".
It seems the versions with <ou> in most cases seem to be the more archaic ones. I also saw that Galician shares the word "cousa" for "thing" but not "coisa", which would make me think "cousa" was the earlier form as well.
There's a phenomenon in Brazilian Portuguese dialects at least whereby an /i/ or /j/-off-glide appears in speech before /z/: e.g. "faz" is pronounced as if spelled "faiz", "fez" as if spelled "feiz". There's also the pronunciation of "mas" as "mais". Is that due to the following consonant being articulated in the front of the mouth? If so, would that explain what is going on with the others above? (sorry if that's what you meant by "progressive assimilation", I wasn't sure exactly what that means).

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-03, 20:52

Ciarán12 wrote:There's a phenomenon in Brazilian Portuguese dialects at least whereby an /i/ or /j/-off-glide appears in speech before /z/: e.g. "faz" is pronounced as if spelled "faiz", "fez" as if spelled "feiz". There's also the pronunciation of "mas" as "mais". Is that due to the following consonant being articulated in the front of the mouth? If so, would that explain what is going on with the others above? (sorry if that's what you meant by "progressive assimilation", I wasn't sure exactly what that means).

No, this is an unrelated phenomenon[*].

"Progressive assimilation" (also called "lag assimilation") means that the feature spreads "rightwards". For instance, the enclitic form of is in English takes its voicing from the preceding segment:

he + 's > /hiːz/
Dad + 's > /dædz/
Dan + 's > /dænz/

but:

it + 's > /ɪts/
beef + 's > /biːfs/

In this case, the offglide /j/, which is [+high],[+front],[-round], would be retaining its height but taking backness and roundness from the preceding /o/.

Note that regressive/anticipatory assimilation is more common. That's where, for instance, we get cousa from causa. The following /w/ raises and rounds the /a/.

Now elsewhere in Romance (and to some extent in Portuguese as well), there follows an elision of this offglide, i.e. /kowza/ > /koza/. But what if the pressure to keep /ow/ and /o/ from falling together leads to dissimilation? That is, what if /ow/ becomes /oj/ in order to increase its distinctiveness from /o/? This would explain examples like cousa > coisa, but not the reverse, like *Duiru(m) > *Doiro > Douro.

[*] Insertion of /j/ before /ʃ/ is just another form of anticipatory assimilation. /j/ is much closer to /ʃ/ than /a/ or /e/.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-06-03, 23:36

linguoboy wrote:Now elsewhere in Romance (and to some extent in Portuguese as well), there follows an elision of this offglide, i.e. /kowza/ > /koza/. But what if the pressure to keep /ow/ and /o/ from falling together leads to dissimilation? That is, what if /ow/ becomes /oj/ in order to increase its distinctiveness from /o/? This would explain examples like cousa > coisa, but not the reverse, like *Duiru(m) > *Doiro > Douro.


I see, interesting. You said you think this only affected part of the lexicon, you mention above that elision of the offglide is what would be expected here, I wonder now what were the factors that determined which words would undego the normal elision and which were dissimilated. Would the pressure to dissimilate have come from other words already existing with close or identical pronunciation to those that the dissimilated words were going to become had it not been for said dissimilated? i.e. was "cosa" already a word that speakers didn't want to confuse "cousa" with and thus shifted it towards "coisa"?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-06-04, 5:10

There's a remarkable number of abugidas. Is there any reason for this other than convention in the Indosphere? ("other languages in the region are creating their own writing system, so we should too!")
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-06-04, 9:34

Ciarán12 wrote:It seems the versions with <ou> in most cases seem to be the more archaic ones.


Yeah, but there are plently of words in which the version with <oi> is the archaic one: oiro, toiro, tesoiro, coiro, etc.

Anyway, apparently no one really knows how this came about, but many authors seem to attribute it to the Jewish community. Originally, only <ou> was used, even in common words such as dous or cousa (and that's still the case in Galician today). The medieval playwright Gil Vicente (one of the first to write in Portuguese and not in Latin) consistently used <oi> when Jewish characters were speaking but <ou> otherwise, so that's why people assume it was perhaps something characteristic of their speech at the time.

«O "oi dos Judeus" é [...] a primeira manifestação de uma tendência muito geral que se encontra em seguida em alguns falares regionais e, em menor grau, na própria língua comum. Esta tendência geral é, por seu lado, um caso particular de um fenómeno fonético ainda mais geral que consiste em transformar os ditongos com -u em ditongos com -i, cf. multu- > muito. [...] [O] fenómeno ou > oi de que os Judeus nos fornecem o mais antigo testemunho é mais poderoso e geral. Trata-se de uma verdadeira vaga de fundo que, a pouco e pouco, vai alcançar toda a língua. Sob o ponto de vista fonético, ou > oi [...] é uma diferenciação. No ditongo ou, o elemento vocálico inicial e o elemento vocálico final estão extremamente próximos um do outro e tendem portanto a aproximar-se ainda mais por assimilação e a fundir-se numa vogal única (o fechado). Hoje, é este o ponto de chegada normal de ou, em toda a metade sul de Portugal e no Brasil. A diferenciação ou > oi é um modo de lutar contra esta tendência, um modo de salvar o ditongo. Consiste, de facto, em substituir o elemento vocálico -u (velar e portanto próximo de o) pelo elemento vocálico -i (palatal e portanto mais diferente de o). As formas duplas do tipo côsa-coisa, como hoje se pronunciam na língua comum de Lisboa, manifestam esta dupla tendência: em côsa desapareceu o ditongo de cousa, por força da assimilação; em coisa salvou-se o ditongo, mas este teve de transformar-se por meio de uma diferenciação.»

Paul Teyssier, in A Língua de Gil Vicente (Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2005, págs. 235-268)

(the last part of this paragraph basically says the same thing linguoboy said earlier ("what if /ow/ becomes /oj/ in order to increase its distinctiveness from /o/?")

Nowadays, only a few words are perfectly interchangeable (loiro/louro, louça/loiça, oiço/ouço). Most speakers will alternate between the two forms.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-06-04, 13:29

linguoboy wrote:(Not for the first time I regret buying that book on the historical phonology of Portuguese I saw for sale in a local used bookstore.)

You mean you regret not buying?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Johanna » 2019-06-05, 22:06

Prowler wrote:A Swede told me recently that NO/SW/DA are all the same language and just a bunch of different dialects of the same language. And told me that if Swedes truly wanted it they'd be able to understand Danish without any issue either.

"Swedish was a mistake. It's a language that solely exists to be spoken in the period from 1890 to 1925." he says. I wonder how many people share his sentiment. Then again he's kinda against the idea of nation states, so that might play into it...

The sentiment that they're not really separate languages is pretty common, but the part about Swedish being a mistake and only truly spoken for a short time in the late 18th and early 20th centuries is pretty much unheard of. Yikes!
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Lur » 2019-06-06, 8:00

Johanna wrote:
Prowler wrote:A Swede told me recently that NO/SW/DA are all the same language and just a bunch of different dialects of the same language. And told me that if Swedes truly wanted it they'd be able to understand Danish without any issue either.

"Swedish was a mistake. It's a language that solely exists to be spoken in the period from 1890 to 1925." he says. I wonder how many people share his sentiment. Then again he's kinda against the idea of nation states, so that might play into it...

The sentiment that they're not really separate languages is pretty common, but the part about Swedish being a mistake and only truly spoken for a short time in the late 18th and early 20th centuries is pretty much unheard of. Yikes!


Is this person calling "Swedish" only to some sort of standard? If they're all the same language wouldn't Swedish just be the dialect or wherever this name comes from?

I've become against the idea of nation states but I don't see how that would have to be with this.
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