Random language thread 6

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-31, 18:40

I'm willing to take your word on Estonian, but I think even languages with a lot more speakers than Estonian are worse off on the Internet in some ways. You can't even access eBay in Switzerland in French or Italian, only German, even though all three are both official in Switzerland and widely spoken in several countries (not that that has implications on whether French or Italian are endangered, though). Apparently, Amazon used to have the same problem.
Saim wrote:If you honestly think Icelandic is endangered you’ve been reading too much generalistic press instead of actual research on language endangerment.

Actually I haven't read either. :P I did once see an Icelander worry that the death of Icelandic was imminent, though. I don't really think it is, and he also admitted that Icelanders are alarmist so he was surely exaggerating, but I don't think his worries are completely unfounded, either, and he explained why he was worried. So no, I don't think it's endangered per se.
Linguaphile wrote:I suspect that my mental map of languages has more classifications than Vijay's does; mine is much like the EGIDS scale that I posted above.

That could be. I'm not very good at telling how close to death a language is (if that makes sense), but I agree with you. Mostly I'm just sick of other people failing to understand that languages can be badly off even if they're not literally on their last legs.

Linguaphile
Posts: 2179
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-08-31, 21:53

vijayjohn wrote:I'm willing to take your word on Estonian, but I think even languages with a lot more speakers than Estonian are worse off on the Internet in some ways.

Well, definitely. That's the point I was trying to make about Estonian being the one that's an outlier in that area. It's not really a fair comparison because Estonia's internet presence is disproportionately high given the number of speakers the language has.

vijayjohn wrote:You can't even access eBay in Switzerland in French or Italian, only German, even though all three are both official in Switzerland and widely spoken in several countries (not that that has implications on whether French or Italian are endangered, though). Apparently, Amazon used to have the same problem.

Are those even good examples of a language's internet presence, though? I mean, both eBay and Amazon are multinational, but they are American companies. They probably weren't developed by people who had any understanding of the idea that a country would have multiple official languages and at first didn't envision (or understand) the need to have that capability. That may not be a good excuse, but it's also not a symptom of a language not having a good internet presence; it's more a symptom of a foreign company not adapting itself well to a country's internal needs.
There's also the fact that on a site like eBay, even if parts of the site are translated into other languages, the item descriptions are still going to be written by individual sellers who speak one language or another and are probably not translated, no matter what the company's overall intentions are.
Honestly, I don't know if you can access eBay or Amazon in Estonian in Estonia either. But I know there are similar Estonian companies whose sites are entirely in Estonian, just not necessarily those two American companies. In Estonia they are more popular than either eBay or Amazon. That's the kind of thing I was thinking of: sites made by speakers of the language themselves, not necessarily American sites translated into the language.

vijayjohn wrote:
Saim wrote:If you honestly think Icelandic is endangered you’ve been reading too much generalistic press instead of actual research on language endangerment.

Actually I haven't read either. :P I did once see an Icelander worry that the death of Icelandic was imminent, though. I don't really think it is, and he also admitted that Icelanders are alarmist so he was surely exaggerating, but I don't think his worries are completely unfounded, either, and he explained why he was worried. So no, I don't think it's endangered per se.

vijayjohn wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:I suspect that my mental map of languages has more classifications than Vijay's does; mine is much like the EGIDS scale that I posted above.

That could be. I'm not very good at telling how close to death a language is (if that makes sense), but I agree with you. Mostly I'm just sick of other people failing to understand that languages can be badly off even if they're not literally on their last legs.

(EDIT:) I get that, but to me my reaction to it is more the other way around... if we were to categorize a language like Icelandic and a language such as Votic in the same category, it gives people the impression that the situation with a truly endangered language like Votic (or any other critically endangered language) is stronger than actually it is. I mean, people who don't even know much about languages may have seen that the local bookstore has Teach Yourself Icelandic books on its shelves and crime novels by Arnaldur Indriðason translated from Icelandic, and they know Icelandic is the national language of Iceland, and that it has words like Eyjafjallajökull, and so on. So it has a presence, albeit a very small one, even in decidedly non-Icelandic-speaking areas like the one I live in. That situation is worlds away form being in the same category as Votic, which has about 20 native speakers. Categorizing them together can actually reinforce that lack of understanding about languages that you mentioned, making people think "well, if Icelandic is threatened and this language I've never heard of is in the same situation, it's probably not really so bad for that language either, because I know [insert random facts here] about Icelandic and that doesn't seem so bad. I wonder how many books the local bookstore has translated from [critically endangered language]...."

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-01, 13:43

vijayjohn wrote:I tried looking it up, and I suspect 天馬 in the older literature wasn't considered a common noun, but rather the name for a kind of horse (a Ferghana horse). However, the narrators in this literature did not necessarily use the term themselves, only mentioned that this was a name for it (perhaps in the vernacular, perhaps even in a non-Chinese language).

That's really interesting, thanks. Funnily enough there's tamma in Finnish, but obviously they're not related. (And looking up the etymology just to make sure that there isn't even a 1% chance, it turns out that just like 9001% of all words in Finnish, it apparently comes from Swedish... :para: )

Anyway, a little weird and kind of a shame if there was no Old Chinese term for the mythological horse (and whatever weird ass animal the secondary mythological meaning refers to according to Wiktionary), but well.
vijayjohn wrote:Is there some way that we can view any of those characters?

The font HanaMinB includes them, here's a screenshot:
Image

And here's the Khitan horse, except as two characters that I'd expect to exist in Unicode but haven't been able to find:
Image
There's a picture of the single-character form (as in the actual Khitan script), which obviously doesn't exist in Unicode, in this BabelStone post.
vijayjohn wrote:Wait, I think maybe now I get what you're asking. 'Curry' in Malayalam is [kəˈri], but at least in my sister-in-law's variety of Hindi, it's [kəˈɽi].

Yeah, that's what I meant. Thanks. :)
vijayjohn wrote:I don't think they care how much of the paper you read.

So closing a tab of a paper and then opening it again later will count as reading two papers, even if it's the same paper? :para: Or did you mean the opposite? Ugh, my brain sucks.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-01, 19:22

Vlürch wrote:Anyway, a little weird and kind of a shame if there was no Old Chinese term for the mythological horse (and whatever weird ass animal the secondary mythological meaning refers to according to Wiktionary), but well.

I'm starting to suspect that while both of those meanings may be attested in Chinese mythology, they didn't necessarily refer to mythical creatures per se but rather were slightly fanciful descriptions of actual, existing animals. Ferghana horses existed, but it was only the Han Empire that seems to have been concerned with acquiring them since no earlier (Chinese) empire had tried to extend into Central Asia. As for the "white dog-like beast with a black head, which flies when it sees people," well...when I looked for "天馬 dog-like" without quotes, the first search result I got in Google Images was this! :P
Image
The font HanaMinB includes them, here's a screenshot

Thanks! :)
And here's the Khitan horse, except as two characters that I'd expect to exist in Unicode but haven't been able to find

Yeah, I don't think those exist in Unicode since they're not used outside Khitan Small Script AFAIK. Thanks for these characters, too, though!
vijayjohn wrote:I don't think they care how much of the paper you read.

So closing a tab of a paper and then opening it again later will count as reading two papers, even if it's the same paper? :para: Or did you mean the opposite? Ugh, my brain sucks.

Oh, no, I didn't address that. I think it should be okay to open the same paper more than once. I just misunderstood your question. :D

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-01, 23:29

vijayjohn wrote:I'm starting to suspect that while both of those meanings may be attested in Chinese mythology, they didn't necessarily refer to mythical creatures per se but rather were slightly fanciful descriptions of actual, existing animals. Ferghana horses existed, but it was only the Han Empire that seems to have been concerned with acquiring them since no earlier (Chinese) empire had tried to extend into Central Asia.

Makes sense. A part of me wonders if it's possible that someone from China went to Africa in the ancient past and took zebras, giraffes, etc. back with him (or at least drawings of them that may have been lost), and they came to be regarded as legendary animals since they were never seen again (or at least not until modern times). Maybe that could explain how Mongolian has native words for African animals, too... or not, if they only exist in Khalkha, which IIRC is the case? Well, whatever. :P
vijayjohn wrote:As for the "white dog-like beast with a black head, which flies when it sees people," well...when I looked for "天馬 dog-like" without quotes, the first search result I got in Google Images was this! :P
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... 3,200_.jpg

What, lol. :lol: That dog looks kinda sad, maybe because he could've been called only dog-like and not a full dog by the ancient Chinese... or something...
vijayjohn wrote:Yeah, I don't think those exist in Unicode since they're not used outside Khitan Small Script AFAIK.

Oh well...

Well, at least there will apparently be some interesting and weird ones in Extension G: 306C4 and 306C5 which are like half-waters (???), and 3114 is a quadriplication of 山, 30F53 is a quadriplication of 鏡, 310DC is a triplication of 风... 3083C is 子犬, 31114 is 馬地, 3113E is 马马 (simplified 騳), 31151 is 马马马 (simplified this one, which for some reason is unsupported here) and 30CE5 is 虫花心心. 30C1B is literally 黑 wrapped inside 色. :o

But however long it will take for them to include Khitan in Unicode, at least there's Tangut already. The main reason I wish Khitan would already be encoded in Unicode is conlanging tbh; mixing Khitan and Tangut for a conlang would be, like, epic... :lol: Not that it'd require Khitan characters to be used, especially since so many of their meanings are still not even known, but... like... like...
vijayjohn wrote:Oh, no, I didn't address that. I think it should be okay to open the same paper more than once. I just misunderstood your question. :D

Then I'll try to register there, even if just for one particular paper that I've randomly come across being cited in other papers at least twice (about the origin of the Mandarin suffix -們). Not tonight, though, but definitely sooner or later.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-03, 1:13

Vlürch wrote:A part of me wonders if it's possible that someone from China went to Africa in the ancient past and took zebras, giraffes, etc. back with him

Are you familiar with Admiral Zheng He? (See especially the third paragraph of the "Expeditions" section).
Maybe that could explain how Mongolian has native words for African animals, too

Really? Like what?
That dog looks kinda sad, maybe because he could've been called only dog-like and not a full dog by the ancient Chinese... or something...

:lol:
Then I'll try to register there, even if just for one particular paper that I've randomly come across being cited in other papers at least twice (about the origin of the Mandarin suffix -們). Not tonight, though, but definitely sooner or later.

Good luck!

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-03, 12:16

vijayjohn wrote:Are you familiar with Admiral Zheng He? (See especially the third paragraph of the "Expeditions" section).

Huh, I knew he went to a lot of places but at least consciously didn't remember that he'd gone to Africa too. There was a documentary about him either on TV or that I watched on Youtube or something, which probably mentioned it at least in passing, but honestly all I remembered was that he'd gone to Arabia and Indonesia, etc.

Really interesting, especially learning that he literally was given zebras, camels, giraffes, etc. and that he actually took at least one giraffe back to China, because then maybe it could be possible that they influenced mythology to some degree, if new "neo-mythological" animals were "invented" as a result. Then again, the Wikipedia article says at least the giraffe was simply matched to an old legendary creature rather than becoming thought of as a new one...
vijayjohn wrote:Really? Like what?

Mongolian (mn) анааш - giraffe
Mongolian (mn) хирс - rhinoceros
Mongolian (mn) армаана - hippopotamus
Mongolian (mn) үчимбэр - cheetah

The first one is the only one that's definitely "mysterious" (according to Wiktionary) while the second one's etymology is also stated to be unknown on Wiktionary but compared to 麒麟 (lol, the same mythological animal mentioned as connected to giraffe in the Wikipedia article you linked; I knew the Chinese mythological animal has been compared to the western unicorn and had assumed that if it was connected to a real animal, it would be rhino, but apparently not at least in Chinese (I didn't know it can refer to a giraffe, or if I did, I forgot)).

I can't find an etymology for the third one either, but it doesn't have an entry on Wiktionary so I don't know if it's considered unknown. I guess the fourth one could maybe be from Middle Persian with some suffix if the č~z alteration that happened in at least the word wāzār~wāčār ("bazaar") happened in this one too, since the Middle Persian word for cheetah is yōz? Cheetahs did exist in Persia in the past (and a few still exist in Iran!?!?! :o ), so it wouldn't be that weird imho...

Maybe the first and third one could be somehow connected etymologically, if the ана part in both is the same; apparently ан can mean "beast", so maybe it's related to that? If that was the case, it wouldn't really be mysterious at all, but then what would the rest of the etymologies be and who coined them? At least I can't find anything that could make sense in any online dictionaries. If only the Mongolian dictionary I ordered came already... but the post office is having a strike right now, too, so it might be delayed...

Anyway, I could've sworn there was an article or blog post or whatever on the "mystery" of how Khalkha has apparently native words for animals that exist nowhere near Mongolia and aren't found in other Mongolian dialects or other Mongolic languages; I even remember the detail that it was on a site that had some red text, so based on that I'd have thought it was on amritas.com or maybe BabelStone, but judging by Google, apparently not, and I can't find any results about the "mystery". :para: Then again, Google has gotten more selective recently... but still...

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-04, 4:21

I'm not really sure about any of that, but some Turkic languages seem to have forms similar to хирс for 'rhinoceros'.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-04, 16:36

vijayjohn wrote:I'm not really sure about any of that,

Well, I'm just speculating. :P Honestly there may not even be a good answer, like maybe the Mongolian words for African animals were literally coined at random by some dude who decided Mongolian needed unique words for them and included them in a dictionary or something and people just started using them... probably not, but...
vijayjohn wrote:but some Turkic languages seem to have forms similar to хирс for 'rhinoceros'.

Which ones? None of the ones listed on Wiktionary are that similar and all are from Persian (except Chuvash's one from Russian) AFAICT, but looks like Arabic has حريش (ḥariš) and خرتيت (ḵartīt), which could be similar enough to maybe be related? Not sure how Mongolian could've gotten an Arabic loanword, though...

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-04, 18:00

Vlürch wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I'm not really sure about any of that,

Well, I'm just speculating. :P

I mostly just meant that I don't know enough about any of those words to say anything about them.
vijayjohn wrote:but some Turkic languages seem to have forms similar to хирс for 'rhinoceros'.

Which ones? None of the ones listed on Wiktionary are that similar and all are from Persian (except Chuvash's one from Russian) AFAICT, but looks like Arabic has حريش (ḥariš) and خرتيت (ḵartīt), which could be similar enough to maybe be related? Not sure how Mongolian could've gotten an Arabic loanword, though...

Kyrgyz керик and Turkmen kerk. These are apparently from Persian کرگ, which is apparently from Middle Persian klg (pronounced karg), which in turn comes from Sanskrit खड्ग khaḍga 'rhinoceros' (literally 'sword bearer', apparently). Persian also has کرگدن from Middle Persian klg + -dʾn' (-dān, 'bearer, holder').

User avatar
Prowler
Posts: 1946
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-09-05, 11:37

Being referred to as a "Mainlander" by a British person is strange. OK, it's the truth, so it's not like it's offensive, but it's still a bit strange. I don't go around referring to British, Irish, Icelanders, Maltese, Cypriots, Sicilians, Faroese, etc. as "Islanders" or "Island People" nor do I see or hear others referring to them as such.

Being called a "Mainlander" doesn't really say anything about me at all except the fact that I live in the Continent of Europe instead of in an island. The majority of Europeans live in Continental Europe. It's like if someone referred to Portugal as an Atlantic nation as if that says anything about the country except for the fact it's by the Atlantic Ocean... just like a lot of other nations in the world.

Idk maybe I'm taking this too seriously.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-05, 16:28

vijayjohn wrote:I mostly just meant that I don't know enough about any of those words to say anything about them.

Oh, ok. Still, I'm not sure if any of my speculation is even remotely plausible tbh. I think so myself, but then I literally believe the Palaeosiberian languages' words for person could be related to each other (and to those of Eskimo-Aleut languages), which AFAIK not even Starostin has suggested, so... :lol:
vijayjohn wrote:Kyrgyz керик and Turkmen kerk.

I guess I can kind of see the similarity, but to me the Arabic synonyms seem closer. Not sure how Mongolian could've gotten a random Arabic loanword for one animal, though... maybe there's just something rhinocerous about the words for rhinoceros, that doesn't require an etymological connection for them to have turned out similar, kinda like with the words for butterfly... :hmm:
vijayjohn wrote:These are apparently from Persian کرگ, which is apparently from Middle Persian klg (pronounced karg), which in turn comes from Sanskrit खड्ग khaḍga 'rhinoceros' (literally 'sword bearer', apparently). Persian also has کرگدن from Middle Persian klg + -dʾn' (-dān, 'bearer, holder').

Although I knew the Persian term (one of the few animal terms I remember because it sounds cool), I didn't know it came from Sanskrit (or at least didn't remember if I did), and that's really interesting and cool. Definitely one of the most badass etymologies, heh.
Prowler wrote:Idk maybe I'm taking this too seriously.

I think the distinction could make sense to be made in some contexts, like "Mainland Europeans are less likely to have to worry about rising sea levels than the populations on European islands" because obviously the reduction of habitable land is going to have a bigger impact on islands that are already surrounded by water from all sides than on a whole contiguous continent (except for the Netherlands). In most contexts, though, I agree it's a meaningless distinction politically... but as a purely geographical one, it's not that weird.

What kind of weirds me out, though, is when people say that Finland and Scandinavia are not part of continental Europe because... like... they literally are...?

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2206
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-09-05, 16:44

Prowler wrote:Being referred to as a "Mainlander" by a British person is strange. OK, it's the truth, so it's not like it's offensive, but it's still a bit strange. I don't go around referring to British, Irish, Icelanders, Maltese, Cypriots, Sicilians, Faroese, etc. as "Islanders" or "Island People" nor do I see or hear others referring to them as such.

Being called a "Mainlander" doesn't really say anything about me at all except the fact that I live in the Continent of Europe instead of in an island. The majority of Europeans live in Continental Europe. It's like if someone referred to Portugal as an Atlantic nation as if that says anything about the country except for the fact it's by the Atlantic Ocean... just like a lot of other nations in the world.

Well, there is such a thing as island mentality, and the British have got a bad case of it.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-05, 20:57

I thought that was what the Brits called "Continental."
Vlürch wrote:I guess I can kind of see the similarity, but to me the Arabic synonyms seem closer.

Remember, though, that Khalkha Mongolian doesn't have /k/ (except maybe in loanwords, and even then I'd guess probably more recent ones).

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-07, 12:04

vijayjohn wrote:Remember, though, that Khalkha Mongolian doesn't have /k/ (except maybe in loanwords, and even then I'd guess probably more recent ones).

Good point, but my reasoning for why both of the Arabic ones seem more similar is that both /ʃ/ and /θ/ are closer to /s/ than /k/. I mean, it's not like Mongolian usually has /s/ where Turkic languages have /k/ in coda, and if хирс was borrowed from Persian, which has a final /g/, wouldn't it still have a final /g/ or something? Judging by the loanwords section of the Wikipedia article on Mongolian, it even seems that Mongolian turns sibilants (and fricatives in general) into stops rather than the other way around (гяндан from زندان, гариг from ग्रह, etc.) so /g/ -> /s/ would be pretty weird.

But Mongolian probably hasn't gotten any loanwords directly from Arabic, so it's probably not like it being an Arabic loanword would be realistic even in crackpot land... weeeell, if it's considered a mystery, there probably have been numerous attempts to figure out its etymology by actual experts spending decades on it, and if they haven't succeeded... :lol:

EDIT: I now have the Mongolian dictionary I ordered from Amazon! :D It would've been delievered yesterday, but of course it was the only day of the week when I wasn't home around the time (because I had a doctor's appointment; I got antibiotics for my skin problems! :D ) so I had to pick it up myself, but thankfully the pick-up place is a grocery store very close to where I live. It's bigger than I expected; 595 pages and the pages are like A4 or something. So, I'm gonna try to seriously learn at least a little bit of Mongolian now and am super motivated. :D Also, it started raining literally a minute or two after I got home, which is nice because yesterday I was drenched on my way to the doctor. So, today is a great day!? Not that anyone cares, but... I mean, the thing about the Mongolian dictionary is a random language thing... so it's kind of relevant...

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 5912
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-09-07, 13:58

Gyraffe is 长颈鹿 (long-neck deer) in modern Chinese, but has remained 麒麟 the mythological animal in Japanese (kirin) and in Korean (gilin).

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 5912
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-09-07, 13:59

To me, Mainlander means someone from Mainland China.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23263
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-09-07, 16:38

OldBoring wrote:To me, Mainlander means someone from Mainland China.

Same—unless you’re actually on an island, in which case it may mean anyone from off the island.

I’m used to the distinction being “British” vs “Continental” (with Ireland being subsumed under “British” and Iceland, the Faroes, etc. being erased). It’s a very oldschool imperialist distinction and it’s odd to hear it used today unironically.
"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

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24180
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-07, 16:43

"Continental breakfast," though?
Vlürch wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Remember, though, that Khalkha Mongolian doesn't have /k/ (except maybe in loanwords, and even then I'd guess probably more recent ones).

Good point, but my reasoning for why both of the Arabic ones seem more similar is that both /ʃ/ and /θ/ are closer to /s/ than /k/. I mean, it's not like Mongolian usually has /s/ where Turkic languages have /k/ in coda, and if хирс was borrowed from Persian, which has a final /g/, wouldn't it still have a final /g/ or something?

It probably wasn't borrowed directly from Persian (when does Mongolian ever do that? It seems more likely that it borrowed it from a Turkic language), and loanword adaptation ≠ inherited sound changes. If /k/ is preserved differently in other loanwords, that still doesn't mean it couldn't have ended up becoming [s] in this particular word.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 847
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-09-08, 20:26

So I just realised that I might have overestimated the freeness of Japanese word order in a brain fart moment, but I'm not 100% sure. Is a sentence like 猫の熱狂的に足を掴む (to mean "enthusiastically grab the cat's paw") grammatical? This isn't the exact sentence that made me question it, but the order and "form" of it is the same. In hindsight I'm pretty sure it's not acceptable, but tbh it was in some really shitty lyrics I wrote and it didn't sound fitting in a normal word order no matter what, and I also wrote a line in Russian that I absolutely butchered the pronunciation of, so I figure it doesn't really matter anyway... but I'd want confirmation that it's not an acceptable word order... right?

vijayjohn wrote:It probably wasn't borrowed directly from Persian (when does Mongolian ever do that? It seems more likely that it borrowed it from a Turkic language), and loanword adaptation ≠ inherited sound changes. If /k/ is preserved differently in other loanwords, that still doesn't mean it couldn't have ended up becoming [s] in this particular word.

Hmm, true... I'll see if I can try to find other Mongolian words that are similar to words in Turkic languages (either native or Persian loanwords) that have /s/ where the Turkic languages have /k/, tomorrow.


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest