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

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Fasulye
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 Message 201 of 3959
24 January 2009 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
NL: Terwijl jij op de Filipijnen met vakantie bent... Hoe is eigenlijk het weer daar zo op het moment? ...ben ik hier bezig om me heel wat videos van Prof. Arguelles op "You Tube" te bekijken. Ik vind wel interessant hoe hij de Germaanse talen analyseert met tekstvoorbeelden van het Nynorsk / Bokmal, Deens, Fries, Nederlands en Afrikaans. Zeer verbaast ben ik daarover dat het Noors geschreven zo zeer op het Deens lijkt. Het Deens ken ik qua uiterlijk natuurlijk, want daar heb ik een leerboek van, maar het geschreven Noors had ik nog nooit gezien. Dat is bijna verwarrend, zo gering zijn de verschillen van de schriftelijke taal. Zeer informatief, deze videos!

Fasulye-Babylonia

Edited by Fasulye on 24 January 2009 at 3:43pm

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Iversen
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 Message 202 of 3959
25 January 2009 at 1:42am | IP Logged 
DU: Ik heb natuurlijk ook de videos van professor Arguelles gezien en vind ze erg interessant. Ik hoop dat hij snel zal vinden tijd om video's over de Romaanse en andere talen te maken. Ik zit juist nu in een internet cafe cafe waar ik heb gekocht een uur voor de 1/4 van een euro (15 pesos) ... maar er is heel veel mensen hier, dus er is een beetje luidruchtig. En zeer warm!

De statistieken verbaast mij een beetje: Tagalog en Pilipino (Filippijns) zijn eigenlijk twee namen voor dezelfde taal, voor zover ik weet.

ENG: I have bought a small book about the Cebuan language, and I have read most of it on the ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran. It seems to bee a fairly straightforward language, almost but not completely isolating. As far as I can see there aren't any articles, and the gender distinction is not very clear. For instance 'siya' referes for both he and she, and it seems that toi first indicate 'sibling' and only then mark whether it is a brother or sister:
What is the name of your brother/sister = Unsa'y ngalan sa imong igsoong lalaki/babaye.
But... the same thing with elder brother/sister:
Unsa'y ngalan sa imong magulang nga lalaki/babaye.

Note the little word 'nga', which looks like some kind of preposition (in Tagalog I have seen lots of 'ng's , - probably the same word). But it is often written together with the preceding word. Let's take it in steps:

Today= karong adlawa (or niing adlawa)
Tonight= karong gabii (or niing gabii)

Tomorrow= ugma or ugmang adlawa

We have just seen that 'adlawa' must be 'day', so ugmang adlawa must be something like 'the day of tomorrow'. It isn't quite the same as flexion, but you could imaging how this could involve into something like flexion. There are of course other small words of this kind:

tomorrow noon: ugma sa udto
tomorrow afternoon: ugma sa hagon

About flexions> I have seen one case in the book with a clear example of gender flexion, but on a word of Spanish origin:

He is handsome: gwapo siya
She is beautiful: gwapa siya

I can't see any gender flexion in the indigeneous adjectives. But number seems to be a common flexive category: hein ka = where are you? (one person), hein kamo = where are you (several persons). It even seems that this sometimes entails the use of infixes: Small = gamay (sing.) / gagmay (plural), gigh = taas / tagas   

When I see things like that my immediate reaction would be to reach out for a grammar to get things straightened out. But I haven't got one for Cebuan, and .. what the heck, I'm not going to learn the language. But it strikes me that the first man who meets a foreign language and who has to write its grammar and compose its dictionary must work on the basis of this kind of riddle solving. And maybe you can learn a language in this way without the recourse to grammars and dictionaries, but I personally can't see any reason why you should do it when somebody else already has learnt the language the hard way and written those books.

Apart from these glimpses of a totally foreign language group I have brought a few micro dictionaries so that I can do some word lists in at least a few of my languages. But I can't carry my whole library so I feel somewhat limited in that respect here. Other kinds of travel experiences will have to compensate for that.

Jar-Ptitsa: you shouldn't despair, because there actually is a semantical side to any grammatical discussion. It is just not the kind of stuff you should build a grammar on.

Imagine how actions must be seen in an ergative context. You have an action (expressed through the verb) and it affects something in the world: I start the motor / the motor starts. The motor is the thing that actually starts, and in the ergative languages it would be in the same case in these to - sorry about the pun - cases. In our languages it is in two different cases. You can't freally see this in English, but try French:

le bois, je LE fend   (transitive verb)
le bois, IL fend (intransitive verb).

In a truly ergative language 'le bois' would be in the same case in both these constructions. In our languages we just see the strange phenomenon that a verb sometimes has a certain thing as its object (when there is a subject), sometimes as its subject (when there isn't an animated agent). As far as I can see this only occurs with inanimate subjects/objects, - it would be interesting to know how Basque and Georgian tackles animates, but I haven't studied that question. But for me it is clearly a sign that non-ergative languages try to come to terms with the basic idea behind the action verbs in ergative languages.

In quite general terms you could say that ergative languages preserve the identity of the affected entity, while non-ergative languages preserve the identity of agents, the ones that do something. But again, this kind of philosophizing is something you can do after having made a grammar on visible evidence, not the kind of things that you should use as a foundation for your grammar - though some text book writers and even (Anglophone) linguists seem to have a problem understanding that.

Let me finish with one more complication, namely the construction with 'make' and its parallels in other languages: I make the motor start. In Latin you find the well/known 'Accusative with infinitive" where the motor actually is the 'deep' subject of the infintive, even though it is in the Accusative case. Let that be my last contribution to the general confusion for today.


Edited by Iversen on 06 October 2009 at 2:53pm

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Iversen
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 Message 203 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 1:21am | IP Logged 
LAT: Post ultimam contributionem meam rursus in Cebuum (in Insulis Filippinis) reditus sum ac interretium cafeum idoneum inveni ubi in pace scribere possum. Ratio latine hic scribenda mihi est quod glossiarium bidirectionalem Latine-Anglicum emessus sum - libri hic viles pretio sunt: 5.99 libris 708 paginarum non male est. Et glossiarium "New College.." etiam vocabularium lingvae latinae tardivi et adhuc modernae contineat. Credo ut mihi utilissimus fiat.

ENG: Apart from the Latin dictionary I have also bought a Tagalog - English bilingual dictionary, which likewise was very cheap, but it seems to be very comprehensive in both directions and contains some grammatical information which may or may not be useful. However leaving aside my Cebuan language guide I have now opened the Tagalog language guide from Lonely Planet which I brought from home (though I could probably also have got that book cheaper here). The first 30 pages or so contains some of the grammatical information that I have been craving for, as mentioned in the preceding post. Besides it contains some very informative ultraliteral translations (in the styole of Kauderwaelsch). Tagalog (= Filipino) and Cebuan seem to be closely related languages so I can just continue the discussion from above.

The small words like "ng" which I called prepositions in the preceding post for want of a better term aren't called anything specific in this book, - sometimes they are called linkers, at other times they are called particles or determinatives. There is an interesting example: if you have a sentence with an agent (the one that does something) and a patient (the one that suffers the consequences) then you put "ang" before the one of those two that is in focus, "ng" in front of the other (pronounced 'nang' when in isolation). If the 'ang' thing happens to be the agent, then the verb is put in a form called Active, but with the patient as the 'ang' you use a 'passive' form. To my unexperienced eyes this looks like a totally normal situatuion with active and passive sentences, except that there a specific markers for being in focus or not. I fail to see anything ergative about this mechanism.

It complicates matters slightly that the Filipinos use other words instead of ang and ng when speaking about persons (singular or plural), but let's keep that out of the discussion. Another minor problem is that especially "ng" has a strong tendency to fuse with a preceding word, but there is also another funny thing about this "ng". It happens to be the case that there are two series of personal pronouns, one connected with "ang", the other with "ng". Both the ng-series and combinations with 'ng' have a second job, namely to indicate possession: 'something' ng 'the owner'.

I haven't planned to write a scholarly tome about Tagalog on the basis of 30 pages from a language guide, but so far I haven't seen anything that would make it more difficult to learn Tagalog than a European language, except maybe the vocabulary (and the lack of ressources outside the Philippines). And even the vocabulary learning process would be be aided by the number af old Spanish and new English loanwords. For instance all the days of the week except Sunday and all the months and the names of the hours (no. 1 - 12) are expressed through Spanish words, and the Philippines are said to mingle their own language(s) and English quite freely so it wouldn't shock anybody here if you didn't know a Tagalog word and inserted an English one instead, - which reminds me of the discussion about intermediary languages in connection with Dutch and Afrikaans earlier in this thread.

So much about the local languages here. When I return home soon I will have to put my Cebuan and Tagalog books on the shelf and limit my view to the series of Indoeuropean languages that I already am committed to, but it is fascinating to get a glimpse of the linguistical worlds outside the Indoeuropean straightjacket.

By the way the sun shines, it is hot, food is cheap and quite good (though the number of places that serve edible seafood is surprisingly low for a country with so many fish species), and I'm feeling quite well here. I'm leaving for Manila tomorrow, time will tell how well I can cope with that place.

And yes, everything above should have been written in Tagalog or Cebuan, but I'm not quite there yet even after one week here. <--- irony, but I'm a wee bit tired of speaking English all day long.


Edited by Iversen on 28 January 2009 at 1:53am

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Fasulye
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 Message 204 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 9:00am | IP Logged 
NL: Ik weet het te waarderen dat je ergens in een internetcafé zittend op de Filipijnen de tijd hebt genomen om een bijdrage te leveren aan mijn TAC log. "Gewone mensen" gebruiken in Duitsland geen boeken of technische handleidingen geschreven in de Engelse taal. In dit land is men het gewend dat alles materiaal wordt vertaald in het Duits, dat is een groot verschil met Nederland of Denemarken. Mijn studiepartner is van jouw leeftijd en heeft behalve twee VHS-cursussen Turks na zijn schooltijd geen vreemde taal meer geleerd. Ik ben al heel blij dat hij zo goed meewerkt in onze studiegroep en ik wil hem geen polyglotte dingen opleggen met het risiko dat onze studiegroep uit elkaar breekt.

Ik wil graag nog ingaan op jouw citaat in andere threads:

IVERSEN:"...there are evidence that some language learners build each language as a seperate entity in their brain, while others build them as a big interconnected system of translations."

Inderdaad, ik ben juist zo iemand die elke taal apart leert en ook als aparte taal in een map in mijn geheugen (hersenen) opslaat. Dus heb ik als het ware in mijn geheugen (hersenen) 9 aparte mappen met daarin de 9 talen zitten. Dat werkt dus goed zo. Jij behoort juist tot de andere groep die alle talen onderling door vertalingen verbindt. Dat is interessant voor mij om te weten, dat zo'n manier ook bestaat. Het is net zo als met de "sequential learners" (waarvan ik deel uit maak) en de "holistic learners".

Dus als je zo geörienteerd bent, kun je polyglot worden, en als je anders geörienteerd bent, dan kan dat ook. Ik vind dat interessant om dat te kunnen constateren, want ik kan mezelf in mijn dagelijks leven niet met polyglotte mensen vergelijken. Als ik in mijn dagelijks leven omga met mensen, die één of twee vreemde talen spreken, dan kan ik zo structurele dingen niet vaststellen. Dat is een van de redenen ervan waarom ik in zo'n forum wil communiceren.

Ik wens je een prettig bezoek toe aan de hoofdstad Manila!

Fasulye-Babylonia



Edited by Fasulye on 29 January 2009 at 2:00am

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Fasulye
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 Message 205 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 9:18am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:

And yes, everything above should have been written in Tagalog or Cebuan, but I'm not quite there yet even after one week here. <--- irony, but I'm a wee bit tired of speaking English all day long.


Yes, that's too onesided speaking only ONE foreign language! I can understand your curiosity of wanting to learn Tagalog of Cebuan as well, because I had the same feeling when I came back from Denmark in 2001 after having heard the Danish language for the first time in my life.

Fasulye-Babylonia

Edited by Fasulye on 28 January 2009 at 9:19am

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Jar-ptitsa
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 Message 206 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 11:23am | IP Logged 
Fasulye wrote:

Ik wil graag nog ingaan op jouw citaat in andere threads:

IVERSEN:"...there are evidence that some language learners build each language as a seperate entity in their brain, while others build them as a big interconnected system of translations."

Inderdaad, ik ben juist zo iemand die elke taal apart leert en ook als aparte taal in een map in mijn geheugen (hersenen) opslaat. Dus heb ik als het ware in mijn geheugen (hersenen) 9 aparte mappen met daarin de 9 talen zitten. Dat werkt dus goed zo. Jij behoort juist tot de andere groep die alle talen onderling door vertalingen verbindt. Dat is interessant voor mij om te weten, dat zo'n manier ook bestaat. Het is net zo als met de "sequential learners" (waarvan ik deel uit maak) en de "holistic learners".

Dus als je zo geörienteerd bent, kun je polyglot worden, en als je anders geörienteerd bent, dan kan dat ook. Ik vind dat interessant om dat te kunnen constateren, want ik kan mezelf in mijn dagelijks leven niet met polyglotte mensen vergelijken. Als ik in mijn dagelijks leven omga met mensen, die één of twee vreemde talen spreken, dan kan ik zo structurele dingen niet vaststellen. Dat is een van de redenen ervan dat ik in zo'n forum wil communiceren.

Ik wens je een prettig bezoek toe aan de hoofdstad Manila!

Fasulye-Babylonia



Iversen,

ik ook wens je een prettig bezoek aan Manila en aan de andere bestemmingen van jouw reis.

Fasulye,

ik ben niet zoals jij: ik ben globaal learner (holistic). Ik moet altijd meteen zien wat gedaan moet worden en dan het liefst zelf bepalen wat gebuurd wanneer en maak mijn eigen plan. Ik studeer beter alleen dan met anderen. De leraren vinden dit acceptabel en ik krijg het werkschema en dan werk zelf door. Soms volg ik de plan soms doe ik alles op een andere volgorder. Het gebuurd vaak dat ik niet kan beslissen en niet weet, dan spreek ik met de lerares en wij maken samen een plan.

Wat talen betreft weet ik niet of ik zoals jij of Iversen ben. Ik denk meer in de richting van Iversen, want het is me gebuurd dat ik een taal heb gesproken hoewel ik dacht dat ik in een andere had gesproken!!! Ik realiseerde me niet totdat de persoon me vertelde (en had ook niks begrepen LOL!!!) Dat is meermaals gebuurd, trouwens. Vaak meng ik Duits en Nederlands, maar dat is meer in mijn Gedachten, want ik meng de talen daarvan. Eigenlijk, het vermengsel is opzettelijk, maar niet wanneer en woord of zin in de andere taal ter gedachten komt. Ze zouden dat soort ding goed in de MRI kunnen bekijken maar ik raad het niet aan, in zo'n vreselijke tunnel met zulke geluiden te gaan liggen.

With translating, I think that for discover the significations of a new word or phrase, to translate is very convenient and I prefer it than to get a stupid description, because nevertheless you make after this in your thoughts a translation. But, if you read a paragraph and undertsnad it excepted one or two things, it would be absolutely annoying if the teacher would translate all the paragraph. I find that a teacher must better wait and if you don't understand it, the teacher can translate it, but if it's ok, not. In general, I prefer to not have the teachers, although I like to ask them when I'm not sure of the correct answer because I'm feel quickly very unsure. My teachers now are much better and it's possible study with them, but in my old school they were bossy and stressful, it's a big difference to have 6 or 10 people in the class as 24 (approximatley).

Another benefit of translation is to compare the related languages for learn more efficiently and quickly, of course if you know German and English, and you read Dutch it's possible understand about 90% because of this connections, this without no type of study of Dutch. This is why I can read Occitan, Italian, Afrikaans etc.. I never had a lesson or learned something of those but they are decipherable using the other languages. fasulye, you also do it, I think, despite you make all the separated places in your brain. those places can be nevertheless connected.

Edited by Jar-ptitsa on 28 January 2009 at 11:25am

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Jar-ptitsa
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 Message 207 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 11:37am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Jar-Ptitsa: you shouldn't despair, because there actually is a semantical side to any grammatical discussion. It is just not the kind of stuff you should build a grammar on.

Imagine how actions must be seen in an ergative context. You have an action (expressed through the verb) and it affects something in the world: I start the motor / the motor starts. The motor is the thing that actually starts, and in the ergative languages it would be in the same case in these to - sorry about the pun - cases. In our languages it is in two different cases. You can't freally see this in English, but try French:

le bois, je LE fend   (transitive verb)
le bois, IL fend (intransitive verb).

In a truly ergative language 'le bois' would be in the same case in both these constructions. In our languages we just see the strange phenomenon that a verb sometimes has a certain thing as its object (when there is a subject), sometimes as its subject (when there isn't an animated agent). As far as I can see this only occurs with inanimate subjects/objects, - it would be interesting to know how Basque and Georgian tackles animates, but I haven't studied that question. But for me it is clearly a sign that non-ergative languages try to come to terms with the basic idea behind the action verbs in ergative languages.

In quite general terms you could say that ergative languages preserve the identity of the affected entity, while non-ergative languages preserve the identity of agents, the ones that do something. But again, this kind of philosophizing is something you can do after having made a grammar on visible evidence, not the kind of things that you should use as a foundation for your grammar - though some text book writers and even (Anglophone) linguists seem to have a problem understanding that.

Let me finish with one more complication, namely the construction with 'make' and its parallels in other languages: I make the motor start. In Latin you find the well/known 'Accusative with infinitive" where the motor actually is the 'deep' subject of the infintive, even though it is in the Accusative case. Let that be my last contribution to the general confusion for today.


Thanks for explaining. I think that I understand, although I thought before as well LOL!! (Before the post telling my suggestion would make the specialists to be angry). It's true that it's possible analyse the ergative onyl in a language which has it. Probably it's helpful understand this concept in French or English before to learn this in an ergative language. It would be very interesting if a Georgian or Basque-speaker would give us some examples. Before I knew a Basque-speaker from the south of France, but I haven't contact with him since about one and half year.

I don't understand why was my explanation semantic, but I don't despair at all, it's ok.
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Fasulye
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 Message 208 of 3959
28 January 2009 at 12:25pm | IP Logged 
Jar-ptitsa wrote:
But, if you read a paragraph and undertsnad it excepted one or two things, it would be absolutely annoying if the teacher would translate all the paragraph. I find that a teacher must better wait and if you don't understand it, the teacher can translate it, but if it's ok, not.


Hi Jar-ptitsa,

That's exactly what I mean: A good teacher should offer a translation if something is not understood!!! In that case I also would accept it. But to translate every easiest word - like my Turkish teacher does - is nonsense in my opinion.

Fasulye-Babylonia

Edited by Fasulye on 28 January 2009 at 12:26pm



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