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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Iversen
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 Message 3209 of 3959
20 March 2013 at 10:07am | IP Logged 
I have been somewhat slow to answer Teango's question about the Irish grammar and to update my log thread in general, because I was away on a family visit without internet this weekend, and both before and after (including Sunday and Monday evenings) I have been occupied more than full time on my job with some bothersome programming - some 20.000 signs in the betaversion (not counting all the lines which were dicarded). I have slightly more time right now, so it is time for a short update on my fairly limited study activites the last couple of days.

As for the grammars I prefer Gramadach na Gaeilge when I'm on the internet. At an earlier stage I also use Wombat's short grammar guide. At home I have three (or four) sources. I have bought the Teach Yourself Irish grammar, which I hardly ever use because I detest the format - a mixture of real grammar and exercises, with the symptomatic feature that some of the most important morphology is relegated to an appendix to make room for those idiotic exercises. This book is totally worthless. I also own a very old Teach Yourself Irish, which I use with some hesitation because it actually draws the attention to some relevant constructions. Here the format with exercises is of course more logical as it is a textbook and doesn't pretend to be something else. My main grievance with this book is that I don't trust its information. It uses "do" with imperfect verbs which start on consonants, and it shows synthetic verbal forms to a much larger extent than any other Irish material I have seen - not to speak about the situation in genuine texts. I also own a Kauderwelsch Irisch in German, which has some relevant information, but mostly on idiomatics. Finally I have a real grammar in book form, and to boot both in English and in Irish. The problem is that I don't remember the name of the author (It isn't the one by Christian brothers). I'll add the name the next time I write from my home PC. I should of course also mention my pocket dictionary from Collins, which has functioned so well that I don't really feel tempted to buy other dictionaries. For example it contains the irregular verbal forms with reference to the original verb, where there is some succinct morphological information in the article - and that's how it should be, as this system is much faster to use than the one where there is a cryptic code which refers to a paradigm in the back of the book. Or the system where the irregular forms aren't even listed in the dictionary so that you have to search through a whole grammar (or the internet) to find the meaning of those pesky imperfect verbal forms which in no way looks like the present forms. Luckily Irish only has nine offically irregular verbs, but the whole language is irregular so it's a limited solace that some corner of the grammar could have been even more complicated.

During the weekend visit I had brought a Russian dictionary to continue my wordlist project (I have now reached the end of 'O') plus the aforementioned TY Irish (the textbook, not the grammar). Most other evenings I have been woring, but yesterday I at last got time for a bit of studying, and I went to the usual intensive copying-takingnotes-tryingtounderstand routine for the following sequence of texts:

First a snippett in Russian from the article about the study of protoslavic cultures which I have mentioned before

Then a fairly long text about Epidauros in Greek

Thirdly a text fragment about the Irish revolutionary Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais, also known as Patrick Pearse, who was executed by the English in 1916.

And after that I did some wordlists in Indonesian.

I have brought the Portuguese science magazine "Quero saber" as my bus-back-home-from-work reading today. I can see on the front page that it has an article about pandemics, and last year I read a very similar article in a Dutch magazine, so maybe those two are somehow connected - like the group of magazines which include the Danish "Illustreret Videnskab" or the versions of "Geo" or "National Geographics" in different languages.
    

Edited by Iversen on 20 March 2013 at 12:25pm

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tarvos
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 Message 3210 of 3959
20 March 2013 at 10:20am | IP Logged 
By the way, Iversen, should you want both some native Russian and Dutch speech, I can recommend the two documentary series made by Jelle Brandt Corstius (a Dutch journalist who lived in Russia during the making of these documentaries). There is some background music but none of it is vocalised, and the series have Dutch subtitles over Russian audio mostly, except where the presenter himself is talking in Dutch (but he's easy to understand and doesn't speak that rapidly).

The titles are "Van Moskou tot Magadan" and "Van Moskou tot Moermansk" and you can find them at the following links

   Van Moskou tot Magadan

Van Moskou tot Moermansk

Edited by tarvos on 20 March 2013 at 10:24am

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Iversen
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 Message 3211 of 3959
20 March 2013 at 12:22pm | IP Logged 
I'll watch them when I get home - thanks for the tip.

... and now I'm back home. The English version of the grammar I mentioned is "Irish Grammar Book", the Irish version is (of course) called "Leabhar Gramadaí Gaeilge", and the author of both is Nolaig Mac Congáil.



Edited by Iversen on 20 March 2013 at 7:45pm

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 Message 3212 of 3959
20 March 2013 at 10:47pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I have brought the Portuguese science magazine "Quero saber" as my bus-back-home-from-work reading today. I can see on the front page that it has an article about pandemics, and last year I read a very similar article in a Dutch magazine, so maybe those two are somehow connected - like the group of magazines which include the Danish "Illustreret Videnskab" or the versions of "Geo" or "National Geographics" in different languages.


In connection with my early retirement from the job world I am on a severe saving trip, that means for me that I will not buy any more scientific magazines (they are all expensive!!!) but only rely on copies from the libraries of the three magazines "Sterne und Weltraum", "Bild der Wissenschaft" and "Spektrum der Wissenschaft" (which appears to be the German edition of "Scientific American", did you know that?). Fortunately also the library of Düsseldorf has all three magazines, so I can browse in them and make copies, before I go to my Danish course. This is not so favourable for my foreign languages, but anyway at least I can continue following the developments of astronomy and palentology...

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 20 March 2013 at 10:48pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3213 of 3959
21 March 2013 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
POR: Um fato astronómico para Fasulye: sabes que tem água nos poles de Mercúrio? A sonde messenger chegou a Mercúrio no ano passado, e ao analisar a superfície descobrí que tem gelo em áreas próximas das calotas polares, onde no fato nunca se viu um único raio de sol. Isto diz "Quero Saber", a minha leitura atual no autobus-na-casa-depois-de-trabalhar.

GER: Eine astronomische Tatsache für Fasulye: wüßtest du, daß es Wasser gibt auf Merkur in der Nähe der Pole, in Gebieten wo es nie ein einziger Sonnenstrahl fällt? Die Sonde "Messenger" erreichte voriges Jahr Merkur, und seine Analyse der Oberfläche hat gezeigt, daß es Wassereis in einigen Gebieten in der Nähe der Polkappen, wo niemals ein einziger Sonnenstrahl trifft, gibt. Dies bezeugt "Quero Saber", meine aktuelle Lektüre im Autobus-nach-Hause-nach-meiner-Arbeit.

Edited by Iversen on 22 March 2013 at 1:43pm

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 Message 3214 of 3959
21 March 2013 at 9:20pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
PR: Um fato astronómico para Fasulye: sabes que tem água nos poles de Mercúrio? A sonde messenger chegou a Mercúrio no ano passado, e ao analisar a superfície descobrí que tem gelo em áreas próximas das calotas polares, onde no fato nunca se viu um único raio de sol. Isto diz "Quero Saber", a minha leitura atual no autobus-na-casa-depois-de-trabalhar.

DE: Eine astronomische Tatsache für Fasulye: wüßtest du, daß es Wasser gibt auf Merkur in der Nähe der Pole, in Gebieten wo es nie ein einziger Sonnenstrahl fällt? Die Sonde "Messenger" erreichte voriges Jahr Merkur, und seine Analyse der Oberfläche hat gezeigt, daß es Wassereis in einigen Gebieten in der Nähe der Polkappen, wo niemals ein einziger Sonnenstrahl trifft, gibt. Dies bezeugt "Quero Saber", meine aktuelle Lektüre im Autobus-nach-Hause-nach-meiner-Arbeit.


DE: Ich kann kein Portugiesisch schreiben, daher antworte ich auf Deutsch. Ich habe einen Artikel in "Sterne und Weltraum" gesehen über genau dieses Thema mit den Forschungsergebnissen der Sonde "Messenger", leider habe ich den nicht gelesen. Wenn man bei einem so heißen Planeten wie Merkur (Temperatur am Merkurtag bis + 427 Grad C und in der Merkurnacht bis - 183 Grad C) Wassereis entdeckt, dann ist das schon sehr überraschend!

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 21 March 2013 at 9:25pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3215 of 3959
23 March 2013 at 5:47pm | IP Logged 
Maybe I will have more time for reading in the bus fromm now on, because one of the two free newspapers here closed yesterday ('24timer'), and the other ('MetroExpress') in the future will cater more for the young. And I know what that means: they will be dumbing down to the level of that category of teenagers whose telephones know more and are more intelligent than themselves.

OK, yesterday it still existed and I didn't have time to read my portuguese magazine after the two free and the one paid newspaper...

Today I have been studying Irish, and I got through a whole bilingual page (Irish -English) about Irish authors. Whose works I probably never will be reading, but that doesn't matter - I'll just find something else (like the patiently waiting Harry Potter volume I). I don't have the bilingual text with me here so I'll not say more about this activity. However it should be noted that I watched TV at the same time, first something as unexpected as an interesting program from Raiuno with decent music (read classical instrumental), and afterwards something in English from NatGeo about the find of an immense Anglosaxon hoard somewhere in England. The music here was abominable, but the subject was extremely interesting as finds from this period are quite rare. I can't comment more on it here as my Anglosaxon writing skills are somewhat limited, so you'll just get something about the Italian program.

IT: Oggi ho lavorato con uno testo bilingue in irlandese ed inglese, ed allo stesso tempo ho guardato la televisione, per esempio RaiUno da Italia. Si davvero, Raiuno, poché tutto inaspettatamente questo punto basso della televisione internazionale ha trasmesso una programma veramente interessante con musica tollerabile, chiamata Linea Verde Orizzonte. L'ho visto prima, ma allora con musica terribile e presentatori che parlavano troppo. Questa volta una dama ha presentato la città di Castelgandolfo, cioè il luogo ove il papa 'emerito' Benedetto XVI ha scelto di vivere dopo il suo resignazione tutta inaspettata dal trono papale. E un signore con un cappello rosa ha discusso il controllo biologico delle infestanti con un giardiniere ecologico. Quest'ultimo ha dato un suggerimento altrettanto inaspettato: si può riempire un secchio con 1 kg di erbacce e 2 kg di sale (o forse era viceversa), più un sacco di acqua, e se le foglie contengano ancora clorofilla verde dopo una settimana, la vile infusione si può utilizzare per spruzzare su crescite indesiderate nel giardino.

As I mentioned I didn't have time for my Portuguese magazine yesterday, but the day before I had a pizza in town and got through a number of pages. Then I came to think about the strange fact that Portuguese (especially the European variant) both has an inflected infinitivo pessal AND it is also the only modern Romance language which still uses the subjunctive future profusely. And it struck me that it might be because the forms and constructions form a continuum, whereupon I took a pencil and began marking useful examples with red circles.

The forms inflected or personal infinitive of "cantar" has the following forms: eu cantar, tu cantares, ele cantar, nós cantarmos, eles cantarem. And the futuro do subjuntivo has the forms eu cantar, tu cantares, ele cantar, nós cantarmos, eles cantarem. You see my point? The forms are identical, and unless you are a hardcore grammar nerd you won't care much about which of them you are using in a concrete situation. Or whether a 3. p singular "cantar" should be identified as the personal or the impersonal infinitive. But I'm somewhat nerdish, so let's take some examples and see how they should be analyzed:

(Quero saber no. 30 p. 31) A maioría dos ecrãs OLED é feita depositando as diferentes camadas numa folha de vidro que forma a frente do ecrã. Mas se trocar o vidro por plástico, como o PET, pode criar ecrãs OLED ainda mas finos e suficientemente flexíveis para embrulhar em torno de um lápis.

The first item in bold is found in a typical conditional phrase with "se" (if), and in any other language you would expect this to contain a finite verbal form ... and so we do the same in Portuguese and call it a future subjunctive. The first of the next two follows the modal verb "pode", the second a preposition (But if you would/might exchange the glass for plastic, like PET, you can create thinner OLED screens which are sufficiently flexible to wrap around a pencil). In any other Romance or Germanic language they would be analyzed as infinitives, and therefore we do the same in Portuguese.

But this interpretation breaks down when a form that simply can't be an impersonal infinitive is used with a subject after a preposition (p. 50) - then the analogy with other language tempts you to analyse it as a finite verbal form (since a Latin-like 'infinitive with accusative' isn't possible either):

Cria-se gás neste magma até ele entrar em erupção violanta com gás, rocha e vapor. .

Notice that the whole construction probably would change if a "que" is inserted after "até".

If you ever see something like "embrulhar" in the above text which undoubtedly must an infinitive then it could be either the personal or the impersonal one as the two are identical in the 3. person singular. If it had been "embrulharem" then it could only be the inflected personal one. So if you want to study the rules for the use of the two kinds of infinitives then you should look for anything but 3. person singular cases. We'll do that below, here at p. 43 (in an article about horses):

As potras juntam-se a outra manada mista, mas o potros juntam-se a uma manada só de machos até terem idade e força suficientes para tentarem desafiar o garanhão reprodutor de uma manada mista.

(The fillies join another mixed herd, but stallions join a herd solely of males until they have sufficient age and strength to try to challenge the reproductive stud of a mixed herd)

Here you see two words in bold which - if they are infinitives at all - clearly must be personal infinitives, which is logical because there are several stallions. Only the last infinitive (also in bold) could from its form alone be either a personal or an impersonal infinitive, but it appears that it is seen as enough to mark the number once and without the distinctive -em mark I would categorize it as a 'normal' impersonal infinitive.

But our main reason for seeing them as infinitives is that they are analyzed as infinitives in similar situations in most other Romance language (i.e. after a preposition), and that Portugal is far away from the Balkans where - as the only exception - Romanian use a phrase with a finite future (1) or subjunctive (2,3) instead (which comes with an introductory particle):

(...) până când vor avea suficientă vârstă i rezistență să-și încerc să conteste armasarul (...)

In reality the forms of the personal infinitive and the socalled subjunctive future are the same, and their uses merge seamless in constructions which in other languages would call for simple infinitives (or be rewritten to regular phrases).



Edited by Iversen on 24 March 2013 at 1:14am

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 Message 3216 of 3959
24 March 2013 at 4:43pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
In reality the forms of the personal infinitive and the socalled subjunctive future are the same, and their uses merge seamless in constructions which in other languages would call for simple infinitives (or be rewritten to regular phrases).

Those forms are the same in regular verbs, but not always in irregular verbs.

For instance, among many others, the subjunctive future is different from the personal infinitive for the very important verbs fazer, ver, vir:

quando eu fizer, tu fizeres, ele fizer ...
quando eu vir, tu vires, ele vir ...
quando eu vier, tu vieres, ele vier ...

I'd add that both the subjunctive future and the personal infinitive are also used in Brazil, although even people with a reasonable level of education often make mistakes about it, especially when speaking.

As a nerdy note, it should be added that subjunctive future seems to come from Latin as a fusion of the future perfect with the subjunctive imperfect.

The personal infinitive is one of my favourite peculiar features of the Portuguese language.


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