Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

vijayjohn
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Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-07-13, 7:30

Dinka, apparently known by its speakers as Thuɔŋjäŋ [t̪uɔŋɟa̤ŋ], is a Nilotic language (dialect cluster) spoken in South Sudan. I've secretly been thinking of trying to learn this language for a while now (several months at least), and now, at last, I'd like to start actually doing it.

For now, I'm just starting out with what I can find on Wikipedia and Omniglot about the phonology. I also used this to learn that kudual means 'hello' (I'd actually noticed that before, because I'd seen this website before when I was looking for that); today, I also learned that the word for 'greetings' is apparently muɔth. I think I'll use that website some more (starting with that page). Not sure yet how much success I'll have with finding resources for this language, although hopefully, at least it shouldn't be as bad as it is for certain Papuan languages that I'm learning. :P :lol:

Finally, I used this video along with this link so that I could listen to the names of some colors in Dinka and guess how they were spelled in the orthography before checking what the link said. This link doesn't have the first word the guy in the video mentions for 'red' (or what sounded like "marron" for 'brown', heheh), but it's still useful for figuring out how the spelling corresponds to the pronunciation for some of the words. I suspect dialect variation may also come into play here (the dialect in this video is probably not the same as the one used in that link):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XMmNfismek

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-08-15, 8:43

Veeeery short Dinka lesson today

So I'd already learned:

hi = kudual
and
greetings = muɔth

A few more expressions listed there:

good morning = cï yï ruɔn (bäk)
good afternoon = cï yï thɛi
good night = wɛɛr lɔyum

EDIT: OK, one more phrase:

I greet you = yïn ca muɔɔth (mäthë)

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-22, 9:07

And this time, I'll just include 2-3 more Dinka expressions :lol:

welcome (apparently this is a noun?) = luɔɔr (cööl)
goodbye until next time = ok bë rɔm/wuɔk bë yök

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-23, 0:34

I think I should post this on the Nilo-Saharan languages thread, too, but I'll post it here first. It's a paper from SIL (in PDF format) on the Dinka spelling system:

http://www.sil.org/system/files/reapdat ... 04_003.pdf

I think this will end up being a pretty useful paper for my purposes. :D I look forward to reading it!

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-24, 9:00

Two more expressions:

How are you? = Ye këdë/Looi ye dï/Looi adï kennë yïn?
Fine, thanks, and how are you? = Acïn kë rac, alɛɛc, ku looi adï?

Also, I looked through that paper, and it has some interesting stuff in it that I guess could help. For example, it seems there are really three vowel lengths in Dinka, not two, because in addition to short and long vowels, there are also extra-short vowels. So for example, Bòl ámòc means 'he/she is shooting Bol' (Bol is presumably a personal name), but if the last syllable of that sentence has an extra-short vowel, then it means 'you are shooting Bol'! It seems, unfortunately, that we can't really tell what tone a word has based on its representation in the orthography.

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-19, 4:34

I'm gonna be really lazy this time and make this reeeeeeally easy on myself by posting just one new expression this time! :lol: (Honestly, at this point, given how much Malayalam I've forgotten, it's probably the most reasonable thing I can do without skipping Dinka altogether...). Fortunately, I did at least manage to remember everything I'd posted in this thread before!

So, here it is:

I welcome you = Yïn ca loor/Yïn ca cɔɔl

Interesting vowel alternation there, compared to the word for 'welcome'!

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-08-25, 15:31

Okay, y'know what? I'm just going to add some more words for me to learn in Dinka because the small number of words I've been learning (and just generally the tiny amount of this language I've been learning) is just ridiculous! So I'm going to start out by reviewing the words I posted in the alphabet game:

cheek = gëm (high tone)
cheeks = gëm (low tone)
intestine = cïïn
intestines = cïn
fish = rɛ̈c (rising tone)

There, that's better! :)

EDIT: Also, according to this, in Southeastern Dinka, evening is thɛ̈i. I'd use that as a review word, but I should take a look at that some other time.

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby oldnews12 » 2015-12-27, 22:11

absolute maaadman

There is a dictionary.
http://www.rogerblench.info/Language/Ni ... verted.pdf

But no grammar I know of.

vijayjohn wrote:Also, I looked through that paper, and it has some interesting stuff in it that I guess could help. For example, it seems there are really three vowel lengths in Dinka, not two, because in addition to short and long vowels, there are also extra-short vowels. So for example, Bòl ámòc means 'he/she is shooting Bol' (Bol is presumably a personal name), but if the last syllable of that sentence has an extra-short vowel, then it means 'you are shooting Bol'! It seems, unfortunately, that we can't really tell what tone a word has based on its representation in the orthography.

I would understand bòl ámóc to be "Bol is being shot". For active sentences with a subject, I wouldn't drop the pronoun, it just doesn't sound right. "She/he is shooting Bol." is yen amoc Bol and "you are shooting Bol" is yïn amoc Bol to me. bòl á'mòc/bòl ámòc might be grammatical but it is by no means the only way of saying it. Inflecting verbs for person by vowel length sounds unintuitive and confusing.

South Central Dinka (dib) is my point of reference.

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby oldnews12 » 2015-12-27, 22:48

I'll go through your vocab.

:hi = kudual
?
:greetings = muɔth
muɔth is the act of greeting. It is a verbal noun. Greetings the expression is yïn cha muɔɔth or cï yï bäk. You can't just use the verb.
:good morning = cï yï ruɔn (bäk)
literally "you have risen/sun-risen"
:good afternoon = cï yï thɛi
literally "you have evening-ed"
:good night = wɛɛr lɔyum
I personally don't recognise this.
:I greet you = yïn ca muɔɔth (mäthë)
Yes. I would understand yïn ca mäthë to be "I have befriended you". It's not a set expression and I have never heard it spoken.
:welcome (apparently this is a noun?) = luɔɔr (cööl)
There is lor(l), the imperative form of lak, it means enter or go forth. You can extend this to mean welcome, I guess.
:goodbye until next time = ok bë rɔm/wuɔk bë yök
Yes. We will meet/We will meet (lit. find).
:How are you? = Ye këdë/Looi ye dï/Looi adï kennë yïn?
Yep. literally "It is how" and "work is how with you"
:Fine, thanks, and how are you? = Acïn kë rac, alɛɛc, ku looi adï?
Yep. Acïn kë rac = nothing is bad. I don't recognise the rest. "Ku looi adï" is what are you doing? or more accurately how is the state of what you are doing? (what. work. is how.)
:cheek = gëm (high tone)
:cheeks = gëm (low tone)
Yep.
:intestine = cïïn
:intestines = cïn
I personally make the same sound with a long vowel.
:fish = rɛ̈c (rising tone)
Yep.

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-04-01, 5:40

I know this is really late, but thank you so much, oldnews12! :mrgreen:
oldnews12 wrote:absolute maaadman

That sounds like an accurate description of me, yes. :D

Now I think I'll make a new version of my earlier vocabulary lists, but there are still some things I haven't figured out yet, so I'll ask about those and only present my new list below my questions for you. :)

So does Ɣɛn mean 'I' and 'me'? And does mean 'you'? Is it ever used at the beginning of a sentence? Or do you have to use yïn in that case instead?

Can yen mean 'him' or 'her', e.g. could you use it in sentences like "I saw him" or "I saw her"? And are you saying that ye këdë literally means 'it is how'? So then does looi ye dï? literally mean 'work is how'? And looi adï kennë yïn? means 'work is how with you'?

And here's my new list, based on your comments combined with another post on that blog I was using to learn words! (I ended up not using that link too much this time. I think I'll do that later):

the act of greeting = muɔth
present tense marker = a/aa
past tense marker = acï/cï
future tense marker = abï/bï
good morning = cï yï ruɔn (bäk), literally you have (sun-)risen
good afternoon (or evening?) = cï yï thɛi, lit. you have evening-ed
good night? = wɛɛr lɔyum (I'm including this just in case it really is an expression that some Dinka-speakers use)
I greet you = yïn ca muɔɔth

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-11, 19:48

So the blog I was using to learn words no longer exists! Fortunately, the Wayback Machine has the first link I posted from that blog. It doesn't have the second one, though. Oh well!

I just found this link, which is pretty useful for learning Dinka greetings: http://www.worldnextdoor.org/magazine/o ... guage-101/. It includes this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY_kNMAGNvc
There are also a few videos I've seen in Dinka before from Australia(!), and they're just useful for listening to what Dinka sounds like, so I guess I might as well post them here. One of them is this video about incontinence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdE6OR4oeqU
And the other is this one dubbed in Dinka. I can hear the Arabic loanword maktab for 'office':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjE9f8d6NQ8
Then there are some videos from a website called MyLanguage. This is the first one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ylgSwm1T1I
Hmm, this also looks useful...

Also, based on what oldnews12 told me here:
(to?) enter, go forth = lak
enter!/go forth! = lor(l)

And here's a word that I've encountered before but didn't learn on its own:
go = bäk (low tone)

Here are two words with slightly different pronunciations but completely different meanings to two other words I've tried to quiz myself over before:
spoil = rɛc
always = bak

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Re: Dinka (Thuɔŋjäŋ)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-02, 6:58

Okay, and now the link actually does work again! :o And it turns out that the resources I've been using for Dinka are all in different varieties of Dinka. The blog I have the link for is for the Bor variety, the PDF article uses the Rek variety, and oldnews12 speaks the Agar variety. Whoopsie.

In other interesting news, I found out from here last night that Dinka has Austronesian alignment!! :!:

So apparently, Ɣɛn with a low tone is a subject pronoun, the Dinka equivalent of Tagalog ako, whereas the equivalent of Tagalog ko in Dinka would I guess be ca. Similarly, Tagalog ikaw = yïn. I'm not sure what the equivalent of Tagalog ka is, though; I think maybe and also sometimes yïïn. But it looks like it can also be yïn?? Or maybe I just thought so because that word isn't always in initial position.

'My name is' is translated in that link I used to use as Ɣɛn cɔl. 'I come from' is translated as Ɣɛn abɔ në. 'What is your name?' can be either ye yïn cɔl ŋa? or cɔl rinku ŋa?. 'Where did you come from?' is e yïn bɔ tëno?, and 'where are you coming from?' is bär tëno?.

Ako = Ɣɛn
ko?? = ca
Ikaw = yïn
ka = apparently yï, yïn, yïïn
What's your name? = Ye yïn cɔl ŋa?/Cɔl rinku ŋa?
My name is = Ɣɛn cɔl
Where(?) = tëno
Where did you come from? = E yïn bɔ tëno?
Where are you coming from? = Bär tëno?
I come from = Ɣɛn abɔ në


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