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

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Fasulye
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 Message 1497 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 9:31am | IP Logged 
Since yesterday I have a nice language-exchange contact on You Tube with a 17-year-old Danish girl (speaking English and German) who wants to learn Dutch and would like to become a polyglot. I asked her to write her comments in Danish and I give my replies in Dutch and with easier topics I write bilingually Danish/Dutch. This way she has got an impression of my Danish and she was very surprised when I told her that I have been studying this new language for only 4 weeks. She is the first female person who has contact with me on my You Tube channel. So yesterday I wrote quite a lot of Danish, using my dictionary of course.

Fasulye
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Iversen
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 Message 1498 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 12:27pm | IP Logged 
Splendid - in that way you both learn something. And we get one more female polyglot here in Denmark.   

Btw there is a good introduction to Danish grammar in the Danish Wikipedia. The rules for Word order in Danish are described with a reference to a Danish linguist Diderichsen, who invented description based on fields. Basically the order in Danish main sentences is

SVO (subject, verb, objects etc):    Jeg spiser smørrebrød

However if something else - typically and adverb - occupies the initial position, then the subject is crowded out and moves to the position after the finite verb:    
Sommetider spiser jeg smørrebrød   <--- notice the inversion

The same two sentences, but with a compound perfect (where the finite finite verb is the auxiliary 'har'):
Jeg har spist smørrebrød   
Sommetider har jeg spist smørrebrød   <--- notice the inversion

In subordinate phrases the rules are different:

completive phrases:
Det sjove er at jeg spiser smørrebrød
Det sjove er at jeg sommetider spiser smørrebrød <--- NB no inversion

Det sjove er at jeg har spist smørrebrød
Det sjove er at jeg sommetider har spist smørrebrød    <--- NB no inversion

relative phrases:
.. det smørrebrød som jeg spiser ..
.. det smørrebrød som jeg sommetider spiser .. <--- NB no inversion


Questions have normally inversion - but from the position of the adverbial it seems that it here is the verb that is moved to the front of the sentence, and not the subject that is moved to the right:

Spiser jeg smørrebrød?
Spiser jeg sommetider smørrebrød?
Har jeg spist smørrebrød?
Har jeg sommetider spist smørrebrød?

But "sommetider" is not the only kind of adverbial. Let's try a prepositional phrase:

Jeg spiser smørrebrød i dag
I dag spiser jeg smørrebrød    <--- inversion

Det sjove er at jeg spiser smørrebrød i dag OR Det sjove er at jeg i dag spiser smørrebrød   <--- no inversion
Det sjove er at jeg har spist smørrebrød i dag OR Det sjove er at jeg i dag har spist smørrebrød   <--- no inversion

Notice that 'i dag' is more mobile than 'sommetider', which however doesn't alter the basic rule: inversion in main phrases if you put something in the first 'box' in the sentence, no inversion in subordinate phrases. And this is of course a system that is quite different from the one in High German.


There is a weird twist to this thing about SVO: "Dansk (og de andre nordiske sprog og tysk er egentlig et VSO-sprog. Engelsk og de romanske sprog har næsten altid VSO (selv om engelsk har rester af OSV). "

How can any sane person claim that Danish 'really' is a VSO language, when you only see this word order in main phrases with an adverbial at the first position? I have read the answer somewhere, but the explanation was so complicated and contrived that I have forgotten all about it. You have to go back to Old Norse to find 'clean' VSO sentences (quotes from Völuspá):

Fleygði Óðinn
og í fólk um skaut
....

Sá hún valkyrjur
vítt um komnar,
...

And here you also find the order OVS (where the object has 'pushed out' the S from the first position, just as the adverbials above did):

Sal sá hún standa
....

But instead of objects you also find subject- and object predicates:

Ein sat hún úti
þá er inn aldni kom
yggjungur ása
...

In short, I find all this talk about basic word orders rather odd, and it seems particularly silly when the proposed basic worder of a language has been stonedead for centuries. If anybody has a good defense for this typology, then please enlighten me.


Edited by Iversen on 18 November 2009 at 10:04pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 1499 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 3:50pm | IP Logged 
DK: Det er mange interessant! Jeg kender allerede lidt / noget reglen pa inversion pa dansk. Det er lignende hvor pa tysk og nederlansk, synes jeg. Fasulye
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mick33
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 Message 1500 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 8:21pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I have been wasting my time writing in a thread about foreign city names - should they be adapted to your native language or pronounced more or less as the original name? I'm still somewhat baffled by the strong feelings that it apparently evokes when a foreign city name is used in its original form instead of an adapted form. But now to something completely different.

I have reread an article about fads in language learning, written by W.Decoo. The tale begins in the 1860s with some language professors who attacked the traditional grammar- and translation orientated teaching methods. No no, now the direct method should be tried. The motives were humanistic and well-meant, but the results didn't match the expectations. So after 1910 a more eclectic philosophy became the predominant one. Grammar and translation were reintroduced, together with the 'reading method', quote "intensive reading of graded readers". Then behaviourism and the 2. worldwar came, and methods based on endless drills became predominant. And from the late 1950s the audio-lingual method was introduced, based on the availability of language labs and an ideology that completely excluded translation and grammar. But it was soon ditched and language teaching based on communicative strategies became the politically correct choice. And since the mid 90s grammar and translations slowly creep back into the palette of preferred methods, because some people realized that these things actually served a purpose.

The whole thing is slightly hilarious. I have of course formulated my own credo in my Guides to language learning, and I can see that my own little revolt against the purely 'natural' and communicative strategies fits the general pattern, - according to Decoo's description. However I don't see that these strategies have been discredited as much as he writes, I rather see a mixed situation where several tendencies compete. Ultimately the ideal situation is one where everyone can try out a number of different strategies, and for me the really new thing is a factor which Decoo doesn't value too highly, namely the emergence of the internet, which makes access to genuine materials easier than ever. For home learners this is excellent news.

IC: En auðvitað hafði ég líka tíma í dag til að lesa svolitið. I fyrradag las ég danska vísindi tímaritinu sem kallast "Videnskabens Verden". Í dag las ég vefsíðun á íslensku tímaritið "Lifandi Vísindi". Ég sá fyrst blaðið á ferð minni til Reykjavíkur fyrr á þessu ári, og það var ekki sérstaklega erfitt að lesa. .Í allir atburður, ekki þegar þú hefur nótað umtalsvert magn af tíma um að læra tungumálið uppi þar (án þess að það tókst fullkomlega). Ég íhuga jafnvel áskrift að henni, en burðargjald vildi sennilega vera dýrkeypt. A vefsíðunni hef ég meðal annars lesið, að rannsóknir sýna að innkaupa- og spilafíkn virkja eins og amfetamíni á heilunni. Um þenn grun hef ég rennað í langan tíma! Og kannski mikla rannsóknir tungumál hafa sömu áhrif á verðlaunustoðen heilans?

----

But of course I did find time to read a little bit today. Sunday I read the Danish science magazine "Videnskabens verden", and today I read a few articles at the homepage of "Lifandi Visindi", which is a counterpart to the Danish magazine (which also has a Swedish version and maybe also a connection to the site "living Science". Among other things I read that shopaholics and gamblers show brain activity that ressembles that of Amphetamine addicts. Somehow I am not too surprised. Maybe extreme language learning also has those effects in the brain.
The first part of this post was very interesting to read. I sometimes think those who attempt to research learning and teaching methods in general get confused; every few years they present us with an idea that is supposed to "radically change" how subjects such as math, science or foreign languages are taught and therefore how we learn them. Then every previous method or technique must be considered a pointless waste of time, not necessarily because these were demonstrably shown to be ineffective, rather any new method is inherently better simply because it's new, and if this one doesn't actually work well; simply devise yet another method in a few years. I wonder if many of the researchers actually use the methods they so vigorously promote or if they simply jump from one method to another without actually completing one method to determine whether it actually works for them individually. A similarly strange thing I've found since I started learning languages is that some people don't appear to learn languages so much as debate about which technique or combination of techniques is most effective and if someone has success with a certain technique or combination of techniques then automatically everyone else should do the same thing. I sometimes read these debates and laugh because the longer a debate on how to learn languages progresses the more those involved seem to contradict themselves.

When I read the excellent article you linked to at the top, I was surprised that behaviorism had ever played much of a role in education. Behaviorism is intriguing, but problematic when applied to human learning methods because it discounts things like individual temperaments and unexpressed thoughts to focus only on actions that can be outwardly observed. Behaviorism ultimately says that humans are just very curious, and that curiosity about various subjects or stimuli is our only motive for doing anything, never mind that curiosity is something which can't actually be outwardly observed. It's also funny that many who actually learn languages know that, like you wrote, we can and do use many techniques to learn languages or other subjects, but the research rarely mentions this.

I'll definitely have to track down the article about shopaholics and compulsive gamblers having similar brain activity to that of amphetamine addicts since I remember reading an article in English that claimed something similar but the English article was so short there was no explanation as to why this might be.

Edited by mick33 on 18 November 2009 at 8:55pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 1501 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 9:08pm | IP Logged 
NL: Iversen, zijn er specifieke Deense astronomie tijdschriften? Hoe heten die? Als ik in 2011 in Köbenhavn zal zijn, dan wil ik me graag zo'n tijdschrift kopen. Dat andere algemene tijdschrift heet dus Videnskabens Verden. Goed om te weten voor mij. Videnskabens Verden = Wetenschapswereld? Maar misschien kun je mij nog wat informatie geven, het is nu nog veel te vroeg, maar ik ben nu al nieuwsgierig.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 18 November 2009 at 9:09pm

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Iversen
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 Message 1502 of 3959
18 November 2009 at 10:25pm | IP Logged 
Hier zijn een aantal websites van Deense astronomisch tijdschriften:

www.tycho.dk/astronomi: tijdschrift van de Tycho Brahe Planetarium

www.astronomibladet.dk: tijdschrift van sterrenkunde

www.rumfart.dk: tijdschrift van ruimtevaart (met focus op de Deense bijdrage)

www.kvant.dk: Kvant - tidsskrift van natuurkunde en sterrenkunde


Link to the article about shopaholics and gamblers in "Lifandi Visindi" (in Icelandic, - written by Gorm Palmgren)


Edited by Iversen on 18 November 2009 at 10:46pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 1503 of 3959
19 November 2009 at 9:34am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Hier zijn een aantal websites van Deense astronomisch tijdschriften:

www.tycho.dk/astronomi: tijdschrift van de Tycho Brahe Planetarium

www.astronomibladet.dk: tijdschrift van sterrenkunde

www.rumfart.dk: tijdschrift van ruimtevaart (met focus op de Deense bijdrage)

www.kvant.dk: Kvant - tidsskrift van natuurkunde en sterrenkunde


Link to the article about shopaholics and gamblers in "Lifandi Visindi" (in Icelandic, - written by Gorm Palmgren)


Bedankt, voor mij zullen vooral interessant zijn "Astronomiebladet" en "Kvant", het lijkt me leuk om van tijd tot tijd wat op "Astronomibladet" online te lezen, maar eerst wil ik nog wat meer Deense woordenschat leren.

Wat zijn de prijzen (~ ongeveer) van zo'n astronomietijdschrift ongerekend in EUR and ik wil ook graag weten wat zo'n Gyldendahl - woordenboek kost. Alleen, dat ik zo ongeveer een idee krijg, want ik weet al dat bijna alles in dit land duurder is dan hier.

De tijdschriften heb ik me genoteerd, als ik in Köbenhavn kom, dan zal ik daar zeker niet weggaan, zonder mij zoiets te kopen.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 19 November 2009 at 9:52am

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Iversen
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 Message 1504 of 3959
19 November 2009 at 10:21am | IP Logged 
Ik weet niet wat de bovengenoemde tijdschriften kosten, maar Illustreret Videnskab kost 8-9 euro in kiosken - zie ook het menu "Universum" in 't site van dit laatste tijdschrift - het heeft onlangs geopend zijn archief van 6000 artikelen.




Edited by Iversen on 20 November 2009 at 1:32am



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