To hear/see something happen

xBlackHeartx
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To hear/see something happen

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-06-22, 16:33

This is actually something I asked about over on lernu. I was wanting to know how to translate a sentence such as:

Bob heard someone behind him yell 'hey!'.

No one could answer me, so I figure that maybe I should just come up with my own solution. I am a linguist after all.

This kind of construction of course causes problems for languages with case systems, so you have one noun phrase which is simultaneously the direct object of one sentence, and the subject of another.

I'm only really familiar with the English method of solving this, and honestly it doesn't feel quite right for Esperanto. It feels too configurational. And yes, I know English isn't exactly a case language, but most of our pronouns do still have distinct subject and object forms.

And while I'm an intermediate in German, I don't think I've ever really learned how to form such a construction. I did hear it once though, in a Rammstein song:

keiner hört dich schreien

This translates as 'no one hears you scream'.

Of course, saying you hear something happen is different from hearing someone say something. I can't figure out how to handle that quotation part of a sentence like this.

And sadly, the LCK 2 makes no mention of ways to solve this problem, even though it does mention it as something you should think about.

I did come up with a work-around, by re-phrasing the sentence, but it feels a bit off to me. Instead you basically say 'Bob heard behind him(self) someone who yelled 'hey!':

Bobo auxdis malantaux sin iun kiu kriis 'he!'

This feels off to me, because to me it feels like its implying that Bob heard this person for some other reason other than for what he said (such as he heard his foot steps or something like that).

I don't know. Like I said, the people over at Lernu were unable to supply me with an answer. I have no idea if there's anyone here who even knows Esperanto (I've noticed the Esperanto forum rarely gets a new post). But hey, we're all linguists, right? At the very least we should be able to conjure up a solution of our own. Obviously Zamenhof didn't put much thought into the grammar when he wrote down just '16' rules, as if that would be sufficient.

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby Ser » 2017-06-24, 0:22

xBlackHeartx wrote:This is actually something I asked about over on lernu. I was wanting to know how to translate a sentence such as:

Bob heard someone behind him yell 'hey!'.

No one could answer me, so I figure that maybe I should just come up with my own solution. I am a linguist after all.

[...]

I don't know. Like I said, the people over at Lernu were unable to supply me with an answer. I have no idea if there's anyone here who even knows Esperanto (I've noticed the Esperanto forum rarely gets a new post). But hey, we're all linguists, right? At the very least we should be able to conjure up a solution of our own. Obviously Zamenhof didn't put much thought into the grammar when he wrote down just '16' rules, as if that would be sufficient.

What? Esperanto has a literature. As a linguist you should try finding out what people actually use, not try to make it up by looking up what other languages do. Esperanto is Esperanto, Latin is Latin, Czech is Czech; they're different things.

I find it hilarious that people at Lernu don't know the answer and don't seem to use Esperanto that much. There are likely better Internet holes for you to find Esperantists who do wield the language.

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-06-24, 17:52

I managed to find my answer by asking on duolingo.

Some guy told me the way to translate this sentence is:

Bobo auxdis iun malantaux li krii 'he'.

He claimed that having that second verb makes a second direct object ok.

I think part of my problem was I was assuming the language had a freer word order than it apparently does. Of course, most people who speak this language speak a European language (and their influence is pretty obvious, and rather annoying), so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that the language is fairly confrontational.

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-06-24, 18:04

xBlackHeartx wrote:This kind of construction of course causes problems for languages with case systems

It does?

Malayalam has at least seven cases, but the way you say something like "Bob heard someone behind him yell 'hey!'" is by taking the embedded clause and making it into a complementizer phrase using the cliticized pronoun -[əˈd̪ɯ] 'that', so something like "Bob heard that someone behind him is yelling 'hey!'" If you wanted to say "Bob heard that someone behind him was yelling 'hey'!" in Malayalam, then you'd use the quotative particle instead.

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby Ser » 2017-06-24, 20:26

Yeah, this is a very common construction so it shouldn't be a problem for any translator who knows the language they're translating into, regardless if it has cases or not.

xBlackHeartx, are you sure this isn't a situation where it's more common to use ke instead? So, Bobo auxdis ke iu malantaux li kriis 'he!' This is how you would say it in Malayalam and Classical Arabic (both of which are languages with cases), for example. Your construction, which is typical of English (and some languages with cases like Czech), might not be what's commonly used in Esperanto. Who knows!

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-06-25, 2:20

There seem to be several ways to translate this.

And I did get an answer on lernu. A Russian guy who gave three different solutions:

1. Li aŭdis, ke iu post li kriis "He!"

2. Li aŭdis iun post li krii "He!"

3. Li aŭdis post si ies krion "He!"

He also claimed that you should use 'li' in the first two cases, because he thought using the reflexive pronoun would refer 'to the one who yells' and not 'to the one that hears'. I can see that in the first sentence (due to the use of 'ke'), but I don't get that for the second. Oh well.

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Re: To hear/see something happen

Postby Lemanensis » 2017-09-21, 19:17

xBlackHeartx wrote:There seem to be several ways to translate this.

And I did get an answer on lernu. A Russian guy who gave three different solutions:

1. Li aŭdis, ke iu post li kriis "He!"

2. Li aŭdis iun post li krii "He!"

3. Li aŭdis post si ies krion "He!"

He also claimed that you should use 'li' in the first two cases, because he thought using the reflexive pronoun would refer 'to the one who yells' and not 'to the one that hears'. I can see that in the first sentence (due to the use of 'ke'), but I don't get that for the second. Oh well.



It's 'malantaux' not post. No 3 isn't right. I would definitely use 2 or 1 in that order. Auxdi iun krii is perfectly normal.You might also use li auxdis iun malantaux li kriantan he!
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