Random language thread 6

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Saim
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-10-13, 15:17

Image

Well this is new.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Naava » 2019-10-13, 15:20

Vlürch wrote: you can't change it to a name that's too common or too rare, yet it has to be a well-established Finnish-language name; with surnames, you have to have some kind of family connection to the name (but it still can't be too common or too rare). Celebrities are exempt, of course, which I also think is wrong.

Do you have any source for this? I've never heard of any "not too common, not too rare" or "doesn't apply to celebrities" rules. :hmm: I even checked the name laws but couldn't find anything.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby md0 » 2019-10-13, 15:35

Maybe not, but I used to be extremely paranoid about mispronouncing people's names and logically the same extends to pronouns.

Fair enough - and I admit to my bias: I'm not too fussy about name pronunciations. For example, I expect my name to be pronounced differently even within my native language community, let alone when used in other languages.

Just to be clear, that's not about nicknames. Nicknames are pretty much tied to intimacy and everyone has the right to set intimacy boundaries.
My understanding, which may be totally wrong as I've barely ever talked to people who use pronouns other than the standard ones (either masculine, feminine or singular they) and never about this, is that most neopronouns are not gender-neutral but rather used for specific neogenders?

My experience is the opposite. Most proposals are for gender neutral pronouns. I do think I've seen neopronouns proposed for some non-binary gender labels but I can't find them by searching the internet for a few minutes, which makes me think they are very rare and limited to specific closed communities, unlike "they" and the few other semi-popular ones like "xe".

I won't answer line by line to the otherkin part of your post but regardless of what one thinks about these communities (and I am very libertarian about this: if you don't harm others, you do you), it's simply unreasonable to demand that as part of politeness people should grammaticalise distinctions that no natural language ever known does. Even in some language families with a huge number of noun classes, like the Bantu language family, you don't get neat and clearly defined distinctions like this.

If the demand evolves into "we need a pronoun for every personal identity", it will be unfair and setting up everyone to fail in being a decent person. It would be akin to asking us to acquire nonconservative quantifiers - it's likely a hardcoded limitation.

I guess, but if people were allowed to choose their names, then they should also be allowed to choose their pronouns, and vice versa.

People should be allowed to chose their gender, and they should be allowed to demand not be misgendered.
But it would be unfair to ask people to do something whatever computes Language in human brain can't do by design. There can't be an arbitrarily large set of pronouns assigned to an equally arbitrarily large set of hyper-specific gender and/or animacy categories.

The thing is by the way, that those demands don't really exist out there. It's an internet thing, it's discussions inside intentional communities, it's intellectual experimentation and there's honestly no harm in it. Those who stumble upon them, if they are already even unconsciously negatively predisposed to all those newfangled gender things, take them way to seriously and hence the backlash.
All we ever asked was a way to not have to use he and she when they can't do the job, and at least in English, a very good solution emerged.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-10-13, 16:23

Saim wrote:https://i.imgur.com/xm0CMbA.png

Well this is new.

Hey, that’s neat. Probably can’t account for all the possible interpretations, but at least it could make users aware they exist. Now to see if it works with Romance possessive pronouns.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-10-13, 16:30

Saim wrote:Image

Well this is new.

New, unexpected and impressive.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-10-13, 16:45

Dormouse559 wrote:
Saim wrote:https://i.imgur.com/xm0CMbA.png

Well this is new.

Hey, that’s neat. Probably can’t account for all the possible interpretations, but at least it could make users aware they exist. Now to see if it works with Romance possessive pronouns.


Nope. I put in Dijo que su primer embarazo fue difícil and got He said his first pregnancy was difficult in English.
Doesn't work for Estonian either.
But yeah, that's impressive. Hope they expand it to include more languages.

Edit: found this:
In an effort to reduce gender bias in its translations, Google Translate will now show gender-specific translations for some languages. Previously, Google Translate would only show one translation for words that could either have a feminine or masculine form. Translations for words like “strong” or “doctor” would skew masculine, while “beautiful” and “nurse” would skew feminine. Now, Google Translate will show both feminine and masculine translations for words in select languages.
...
Currently, the gender-specific translations are only available for translating single words from English to romance languages like French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. Turkish to English is the only language pair that provides both translations for sentences. Google gives an example, seen above, in which typing “o bir doktor” in Turkish will turn up both “she is a doctor” and “he is a doctor.

Image

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-10-13, 19:24

Naava wrote:Do you have any source for this? I've never heard of any "not too common, not too rare" or "doesn't apply to celebrities" rules. :hmm: I even checked the name laws but couldn't find anything.

Embarrassingly only Wikipedia for the "too common" thing (and it was only about surnames apparently), which also turns out to state that the law has been updated, so I'm not sure if it still applies. I remember hearing from somewhere, IIRC either my mum or dad, that a friend tried to change their name to something rare and "un-Finnish" several times and it was rejected every time for the same reason(s). That must've been like a decade or more ago, though, so it could be that it's not like that anymore; it could also be that I misunderstood and it was just what was given as the reason for that particular name not being allowed and not a general rule, even though I'd expect it to be a rule.

As for celebrities, well, haven't some changed their names to pseudonyms legally?
md0 wrote:I'm not too fussy about name pronunciations.

I wish I could be like that, and nowadays I am when it comes to my pseudonym that I use everywhere online, but with my real name I have this "trauma" ( :lol: ) from when I told an Argentinian friend (online friend, obviously) my real name and he kept sending me voice recordings on Windows Live Messenger of himself trying to pronounce it but it coming out somehow wrong every time, back in like 2010 or 2011... :rotfl:

The most embarrassing part was that it's a meaningful word in Spanish. I won't say which word (and please don't speculate publicly (even though I think I might have posted it before (and it is possible to find it with one Google search, but hopefully nobody ever figures it out (I regret the fact that it's out there)))), but... well, thankfully it's a guys' name. The implications if it was a girls' one could be pretty unfortunate.
md0 wrote:My experience is the opposite. Most proposals are for gender neutral pronouns. I do think I've seen neopronouns proposed for some non-binary gender labels but I can't find them by searching the internet for a few minutes, which makes me think they are very rare and limited to specific closed communities, unlike "they" and the few other semi-popular ones like "xe".

Hmm, I guess that's the case with the big ones, and I can't remember any specific ones supposedly tied to gender identities either, but I do remember a post on Tumblr years ago that had a long list of genders and corresponding pronouns. It may have been a troll, though, back then I legit couldn't tell whether someone was trolling or not most of the time... I just remember being annoyed by it because I was transphobic at the time.
md0 wrote:if you don't harm others, you do you

Yeah, that's what I think too... or at least try to think, and am becoming more successful in thinking more and more with time and through being torn new assholes over my prejudices. :para:
md0 wrote:it's simply unreasonable to demand that as part of politeness people should grammaticalise distinctions that no natural language ever known does. Even in some language families with a huge number of noun classes, like the Bantu language family, you don't get neat and clearly defined distinctions like this.

If it's about grammaticalisation, then yeah. If it's just about making pronouns an open class... well, it could be possible especially in English since it doesn't have gendered inflections. In languages with gendered inflections, it gets a lot trickier, but I imagine if people (almost) universally accepted neopronouns, then the inflections would work themselves out as the correspondences would begin to form new patterns that can then be expanded even to new neopronouns. It shouldn't be done forcibly, that could accelerate language death by making languages too complex to learn, but if it happened in a way that's in equal parts natural (by the speakers' intuition) and engineered (by the speakers' will to alter the language), why wouldn't it be possible?
md0 wrote:It would be akin to asking us to acquire nonconservative quantifiers - it's likely a hardcoded limitation.

I tried to make sense of that paper, but I'm waaaaaayyy too stupid. :oops:
md0 wrote:But it would be unfair to ask people to do something whatever computes Language in human brain can't do by design. There can't be an arbitrarily large set of pronouns assigned to an equally arbitrarily large set of hyper-specific gender and/or animacy categories.

Oh, yeah, I agree with that completely. The number of pronouns (and corresponding inflections in languages with gendered inflections) shouldn't be explosively expanded exponentially or anything like that, but gradually and only to the extent that the speakers felt is necessary to convey the changes that are occurring in the recognition of genders. Not saying that an extremely transphobic country's language(s) should be exempt from such reforms, but if the attitudes of the people changed, then the languages would naturally follow to reflect that as is happening with at least English.
md0 wrote:All we ever asked was a way to not have to use he and she when they can't do the job, and at least in English, a very good solution emerged.

Yeah, singular they shouldn't be abolished or anything, and probably no one is even suggesting that. It may be the most important pronoun in the language (if the importance of pronouns is even something that can be measured (it's not, but you probably know what I mean)), so while I think it should be fine for people to say "don't call me they" and that should be respected, that'd be on a case-by-case basis and I do think they should remain the default.
Linguaphile wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:
Saim wrote:https://i.imgur.com/xm0CMbA.png

Well this is new.

Hey, that’s neat. Probably can’t account for all the possible interpretations, but at least it could make users aware they exist. Now to see if it works with Romance possessive pronouns.


Nope. I put in Dijo que su primer embarazo fue difícil and got He said his first pregnancy was difficult in English.
Doesn't work for Estonian either.
But yeah, that's impressive.

I agree, that's cool and might be useful. How they'll handle it with Japanese will be interesting to see (unless it leads to even more errors, in which case it'd be annoying (but still interesting, I guess (especially if the errors were funny (but that could also have serious negative consequences, so even if it was somewhat funny for a moment, I hope that won't happen))))).

I always nest parentheses way too much...
Linguaphile wrote:Hope they expand it to include more languages.

Yeah, but really I just wish they added some new languages. It'd be high time to at the very least add Tibetan, Uyghur and Tatar... :doggy:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Naava » 2019-10-13, 20:20

Vlürch wrote:Embarrassingly only Wikipedia for the "too common" thing (and it was only about surnames apparently), which also turns out to state that the law has been updated, so I'm not sure if it still applies.

I guess it doesn't because there's nothing about that in the name law I linked in the previous post. But now that I think of it, I have a feeling I've heard of that "too common" thing. And there used to be a list of protected surnames that were rare but it hasn't been used for 30 years because nowadays all surnames are protected.

I remember hearing from somewhere, IIRC either my mum or dad, that a friend tried to change their name to something rare and "un-Finnish" several times and it was rejected every time for the same reason(s).

It'd probably still be rejected because of the un-Finnishness unless they had a connection to another country or they had a very good reason for choosing that name. Or if 5 other people had managed to smuggle that name into the väestötietojärjestelmä. :lol:
And now I got curious if there's any Naavas yet. Turns out there are! Väestörekisteri says there's "less than 32" people with that name. :lol:

As for celebrities, well, haven't some changed their names to pseudonyms legally?

I don't know? I don't really care about celebrities. :P The only odd celebrity name I remember is North West because I still can't believed they did that!

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-10-14, 4:21

Sorry, md0, I don't think I really agree with you on this whole pronoun thing. Sure, singular they exists and is mostly safe, but if someone says "use these pronouns for me!" I think it's a matter of common courtesy to use them. There are people who don't like to be referred to using singular they, and I don't agree that the likely future should be a guide on what pronouns to use for people now. (Of course, if they don't tell you so beforehand, then that's another matter).
Osias wrote:
Saim wrote:Image

Well this is new.

New, unexpected and impressive.

I disagree on this, too. Saim's example sentence could just as well mean:
"He said I'd leave you, and sometimes he wanted..."
"She said I'd leave you, and sometimes he wanted to drag her away..."
"...she wanted to drag him away..."
etc.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-10-14, 4:49

vijayjohn wrote:
Osias wrote:
Saim wrote:Image

Well this is new.

New, unexpected and impressive.

I disagree on this, too. Saim's example sentence could just as well mean:
"He said I'd leave you, and sometimes he wanted..."
"She said I'd leave you, and sometimes he wanted to drag her away..."
"...she wanted to drag him away..."
etc.

Yeah, but it's an improvement; at least it points out that the pronouns can be of either gender. It doesn't indicate whether or not multiple third-person pronouns used in this particular sentence refer to the same person (or, as an extension of that, whether they should refer to the same gender or not if it's different people), but it's a start, even though it decided somewhat arbitrarily that either all-third-person-pronouns-are-male or all-third-person-pronouns-are-female, when both are possible but are not the only options.
What would be better would be if it would just pick one, but then highlight the pronouns in a different color to draw attention to the fact that you could click hover over it to see more options. I mean, sometimes you can do that with Google Translate already (not for gender of pronouns AFAIK, but for some words/phrases with multiple translations), but you have to know to do that and it would be too easy to just assume the pronouns it came up with the first time were correct, so having a different color would help to draw to your attention the fact that there are other possibilities.
Something like
"She said I'd leave you, and sometimes he wanted to drag her away..." where clicking on or hovering over the blue words would bring up the possible other option(s). Now that would be useful!

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby md0 » 2019-10-14, 5:36

If it's just about making pronouns an open class... well, it could be possible especially in English since it doesn't have gendered inflections.

I'm not going to rule it out, because I don't know if that's how Japanese developed its honorific system (did they come from opening up the pronoun class, or by casting a semi-permeable net around some nouns?). But it will be a very marked development to say the least.

I tried to make sense of that paper, but I'm waaaaaayyy too stupid. :oops:

Don't worry too much about it. The first ten times I read that paper as part of a class I had the same problem. But the relevant bit is that there are semantic distinctions possible in formal logic that human language cannot capture.

Yeah, singular they shouldn't be abolished or anything, and probably no one is even suggesting that. It may be the most important pronoun in the language (if the importance of pronouns is even something that can be measured (it's not, but you probably know what I mean)), so while I think it should be fine for people to say "don't call me they" and that should be respected, that'd be on a case-by-case basis and I do think they should remain the default.

Same.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-10-14, 8:23

Linguaphile wrote:Yeah, but it's an improvement

Sure, it's an improvement. What I disagree with Osias on is whether it's impressive. :P

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-10-14, 10:51

It's not the end results that are impressive, it's still stupid GT. It's the fact the google bothered to try something like this at all.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-10-18, 23:31

In Brazilian Portuguese Cordon Bleu is pronounced as if spelled "Cordom Blê". How they hear (or someone heard) the vowel in (fr) bleu and mapped it to /e:/ rather than /u:/ I'll never understand...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-10-18, 23:46

Ciarán12 wrote:In Brazilian Portuguese Cordon Bleu is pronounced as if spelled "Cordom Blê". How they hear (or someone heard) the vowel in (fr) bleu and mapped it to /e:/ rather than /u:/ I'll never understand...

/u/ for the vowel in "bleu" is a very Anglophone thing. The actual French vowel is /ø/, which is just /e/ with lip rounding. :P
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-10-19, 7:52

In Serbian this is pretty regular and done for words from lots of languages.

Malmö > Malme, Győr > Đer, Schönefeld > Šenefeld, Cologne (Köln) > Keln. In Russian there is also chef d’œuvre > шедевр. It happens in Polish too but not as much because they don’t have to transcribe anything so you end up with some spelling pronunciations with “o” and such.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-10-19, 9:10

Dormouse559 wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:In Brazilian Portuguese Cordon Bleu is pronounced as if spelled "Cordom Blê". How they hear (or someone heard) the vowel in (fr) bleu and mapped it to /e:/ rather than /u:/ I'll never understand...

/u/ for the vowel in "bleu" is a very Anglophone thing. The actual French vowel is /ø/, which is just /e/ with lip rounding. :P


Yeah... "eu" in French sounds nothing like /u/.

In European Portuguese that "eu" would be mostly liked transformed into /o/, not /e/, though.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-10-19, 9:57

Luís wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:In Brazilian Portuguese Cordon Bleu is pronounced as if spelled "Cordom Blê". How they hear (or someone heard) the vowel in (fr) bleu and mapped it to /e:/ rather than /u:/ I'll never understand...

/u/ for the vowel in "bleu" is a very Anglophone thing. The actual French vowel is /ø/, which is just /e/ with lip rounding. :P


Yeah... "eu" in French sounds nothing like /u/.

In European Portuguese that "eu" would be mostly liked transformed into /o/, not /e/, though.


Pff, /u/ is basically just a slightly more rounded /ø/, clearly much closer to /ø/ than /e/ which makes it sound like a completely different word. PT-BR and Sebian are simple objectively wrong about this, I'm afraid. :hmpf:

/o/ is an acceptable compromise. The point is that "eu" in French is rounded and that's pretty much the most important characteristic of that sound, so if you try to use some sort of unrounded sound then you're just plain wrong.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-10-19, 13:51

Ciarán12 wrote:In Brazilian Portuguese Cordon Bleu is pronounced as if spelled "Cordom Blê". How they hear (or someone heard) the vowel in (fr) bleu and mapped it to /e:/ rather than /u:/ I'll never understand...

As a German-speaking Midwestern, this is very natural to me. We routinely anglicise German names with <oe> (i.e. /ø:/) to /e:/, e.g. “Boehner”, “Spoede”. (The latter is /‘spe:di:/, not */spo:d/.)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-10-21, 1:34

Does anyone else see the "dragon heads" of the oracle bone rainbow character as two horses facing opposite directions? Not suggesting it's actually supposed to depict two horses or anything (since it being a two-headed dragon is proven beyond any doubt AFAIK and that's also a lot more badass than some boring ass horses (I mean, horses are cool but dragons are cooler)), but I can't be the only one who thinks it looks more like horses than any kind of heads? Like, I can see them as dragon heads, but the impression of two horses still persists.
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