Pronominal inventories for 500 African languages!
Ok, on Thursdays I’m gonna give you tips on Free Online Linguistic Databases that you can poke around in and learn a lot. The databases will no require you to be a super-expert in grammatical theory or linguistic typology, but some basics in linguistics are probably needed. If you need help on linguistic terminology, go to Glottopedia, GOLD or SIL:s Glossary.
This week: pronouns in 500 African languages! Hurray!
If you, like we, are into African languages and/or pronouns you’ll love Guillaume Segerer’s database Les marques personnelles dans les langurs africaines. You find it here.
Here’s for example the distribution of logophoric pronouns.
Logophoric pronouns is a handy thing for distinguishing between several 3rd person pronouns. Take the sentences “David said that David is going to come” and “David said that Kim was going to come”, when pronominalized in English they’re indistinguishable (“he said that he would come”). In some languages, mainly West African, there’s different pronouns for the second 3SG in order to mark if it’s the same as the previous subject or not. The pronoun that marks that mark that it is the same subject is called “logophoric”. Handy, huh?
Segerer, Guillaume, 2002-2007 : Les marques personnelles dans les langues africaines, [base de données en ligne]. http://sumale.vjf.cnrs.fr/pronoms/
srry, out visiting family and didn’t schedual posts. you’ll manage for a bit I’m sure
Phylypo Tum of the Cambodian Humanitarian Organization for Peace on Earth, known as C-HOPE, hosts the spelling contest at the Khmer Language Gala.
The Khmer Culture Preservation Gala provides Cambodian children an opportunity to display their knowledge of language and culture, and to compete for cash prizes. The gala is hosted and sponsored by community and business leaders as a way to promote the development and retention of the Khmer language and culture in Long Beach. At these events, young Cambodians are introduced to key culture bearers and elders in the community, and meet young Cambodian professionals who can serve as role models.
2.Caducar- to expire
3.Cajetilla- pack of
9.Caleta- a creek
10.Calificar- to qualify
every time one of these approaches I’m like “yeah gonna make flash cards!” and then I keep scrolling and and here I am thinking sure Imna take a Spanish lit course this fall T___T
The high-tech poetry competition, which explored how computer code can be read as poetic language, is accepting submissions for the next competition.
(Source: publishunderground, via interalia)
Anonymous said: I don't know if you know this, but California recently raised its minimum wage and there is this bilboard that says "San Francisco meet your minimum wage replacement" with a picture of an iPad that says "Hello, may I take your order?" on it. This made me consider. If workers demand a higher wage, what's to stop capitalists from replacing them with machines like they threaten?
Well, on the surface what they’re saying has a grain of truth, but what they are actually trying to sell is a fallacy, namely that they would prefer to employ people than machines, and they wouldn’t replace people if they weren’t forced to by minimum wage laws. It’s an exercise in blame shifting.
If an iPad can do your job, then the major factor stopping your boss from replacing you with one is not the price of your labour - it’s the price of iPads. Ipads are infinitely preferable to employees, and they get cheaper over time while workers get more expensive. Not only that, they keep getting better and more efficient at what they do. Even if they keep wages low, the iPad will become the most profitable choice in a very short period of time, because of how quickly they lose value. They are attempting to hang a basic, yet destructive and highly unpopular feature of capitalism on minimum wage laws, blaming the worker’s greedy desire for basic sustenance for something they were going to do anyway, minimum wage or not. So yeah, I think what you’re seeing is a cynical slight of hand, trying to blame workers for their own exploitation.
also, if an iPad can do my job, hell I probably don’t want it anyway. I am so ready for the post-work society, let’s just get that living wage going. whereas you’ve seen google translate: still a hot mess, something interesting to actually work on. and latte art. still into that.
Heroes in a Noun Phrase (Turtle Power)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) were an integral part of my childhood. I’m not sure if I’ll see the creepy realistic new film, but seeing posters around for it has me humming the opening tune from the 1990s animated series (it’s as awesome as I remember).
One thing I’ve never really thought about before, is that it’s a rather spectacularly odd noun phrase. It’s more ridiculous than the kind of sentence that linguists make up when proving to new students that utterances can (and often do) consist of combinations of words that no person has ever said before.
To entertain myself (or annoy Andrew, depending on your perspective on the walk home from the bus) I took to reworking the order of the words in the phrase (with a bit of morphological tweaking):
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Mutant Ninja Turtle Teens
- Ninja Turtle Teenage Mutants
- Turtle Teenage Mutant Ninjas
- Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles
- Ninja Teenage Mutant Turtles
- Mutant Turtle Teenage Ninjas
- Turtle Teenage Ninja Mutants
Admittedly, some work better than others - teens at the end loses the two-syllable pattern that helps make it so catchy. It’s interesting that so many of them work, and offer slightly different perspectives on the reptilian wunderkinds.
This is because a noun phrase (NP) in English consists of the head noun (usually coming near the end of the noun phrase), and a number of pre-modifers. Some of these modifiers can be adjectives, which we’re taught in school are the things that modify nouns.
In the case of the TMNT, teenage is certainly behaving in that way. Nouns can also act as nominal modifiers, which is what mutant and ninja are doing in the canonical TMNT noun-phrase.
It means that when we move them around, either of them can become the head noun, and turtle can serve as a nominal modifier.
Mutant teenage ninja turtles
Ninja mutant teenage turtles
Teenage mutant turtle ninjas
Heroes in a half shell
other borrowing thing:
vamos > vamoose > mosey
from around the time of the US annexation of Texas in 1845. English what are we even doing. (from Translating Contemporary Mexican Texts)
Re-reading a poem about Mandarin made me want to post this. This is a table that shows the development of tones (聲調) in Chinese.
Key: C=consonant; circle below=voiceless; “v” below=voiced; superscript h=aspirated; / =上 tone; ~ =去 tone; t=入 tone; V=vowel; ring=neutral tone
The rows are: Old Chinese/上古漢語, Early Middle Chinese/中古漢語, Modern/Late Middle Chinese/現代(摩登)/近古漢語 (not to be confused with 近代漢語/Old Mandarin), Cantonese and Mandarin.
Voicing distinction was progressively lost in Chinese as a general picture. This led to the split in tones from Early Middle Chinese to modern Chinese varieties.
The more I read about Modern Standard Mandarin the more I see how it’s kind of like a lowest common denominator (+ political scheming)…like how the only finals are n and ng but Cantonese has p, t, m, and k. And you know I’m kind of down with that right now.
true that, I have so many thoughts on textbooks not even gonna start. I have only picked up a smattering of obvious things for spanish but:
que -> k
but then por -> x (cus in math) so porqué -> xk or por favor -> xfa
te -> t, de -> d (think, you -> u)
dos -> 2, so salu2
and vowel dropping, using b for v… some casual googling pulls up this and this but maybe you want to follow other people’s lead incase you’re going for “casual local” and not “vapid tween.”
(Source: whatismgmt, via transliterations)