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Chung at work / Chung pri práci

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Chung
Diglot
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Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 289 of 541
25 February 2013 at 9:35pm | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
Do you get those comic strips from different sources or from a common source, Chung? Online newspapers or something like that?


I get them from different sources. Some are webcomics, others are lifted from fans' translations of webcomics or syndicated strips. Still others I've stumbled on just by typing the equivalent of "comic strip" plus "[name of target language]" (e.g. for Hungarian comics, I'd type "magyar képregény" in Google Images). Because I grew up with American comics, I've relied a lot on these strips in translation even though I have a slight preference to include original strips in my target language (I have a lot to work with in Finnish and Polish compared to Slovak or even BCMS/SC).

I was hoping that online newspapers in my target languages would have a section for comic strips that appear regularly and frequently but unfortunately I haven't had much luck with that.
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hribecek
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 Message 290 of 541
27 February 2013 at 9:09pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:

About Ukrainian's exoticness, I'd say that Russian is more exotic. Ukrainian to me is a little bit as what you could get if a Muscovite were trying to express him/herself in a vague Polish-Slovak hybrid. You get stereotypical Eastern Slavonic traits in Cyrillic, pleophony (e.g. kl, mko ~ король, молоко) and limited to no copula (e.g. Já jsem Chung ~ Я Chung) with a substantial amount of lexicon that's more recognizable to a Pole or Slovak than a Russian (e.g. Dziękuję / Ďakujem ~ Дякую, (Ja) muszę pracować / (Ja) musím pracovať ~ Я мушу працювати) and the frequent shift of the *g to h that's observable in Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian among a few others (e.g. gniazdo ~ hniezdo / гніздo.)
I was thinking more along the lines of Ukrainian not being studied by many foreigners when I mentioned its exoticness.

The similarities to Slovak and Polish are an attraction to me, rather than a turn off compared to Russian.
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Chung
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 Message 291 of 541
04 March 2013 at 7:08am | IP Logged 
BCMS/SC

I finished reviewing Chapter 4 of "Beginner’s Serbian" and Chapter 5 of "Teach Yourself Serbian". The former refreshed my knowledge of the accusative while the latter continued with numerals and by necessity introduced the genitive plural since numerals other than the teens and those whose final digit is between 5 and 0 (inclusive) force the relevant noun to take that case’s ending. By conincidence the dialogues in both books involved ordering at a restaurant and so had much basic vocabulary related to food and drink.



(From Politikin Zabavnik)

1) “Incorrigible, insensitive, ignoramus, insolent. And what is worst of all…”
2) “[He’s] mine!”
3) “Hägar never listens to what I say to him. And I’ll prove [it] too.”
4) “I sold your boat!”
5) “The house is on fire! I want to divorce!”
6) “My mother is moving to our place!”
8) “You sold my boat?!”

- безобраз|ан / -на / -но (безобразн|ог(а) / -e) “insolent” (bezobraz|an / -na / -no) (bezobrazn|og(a) / -e)
- непоправљив / -a / -o (непоправљив|ог(а) / -e) “incorrigible” (nepopravljiv / -a / -o) (nepopravljiv|og(a) / -e)
- неос(j)етљив / -a / -o (неос(ј)етљив|ог(а) / -e) “insensitive” (neos(j)etljiv / -a / -o) (neos(j)etljiv|og(a) / -e)
- незалица (незалицe) “ignoramus” (neznalica (neznalice))
- разводити се > развести се (разводим се, разводе се > разведем се, разведу се) “to divorce” (razvoditi se > razvesti se (razvodim se, razvode se > razvedem se, razvedu se))
- пресељавати се > преселити се (пресељавам се, пресељавају се > преселим се, преселе се) “to change residence, relocate” (preseljavati se > preseliti se (preseljavam se, preseljavaju se > preselim se, presele se))

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary) (this will be put in both scripts partially to accommodate those unused to Serbian Cyrillic and also so that I get at least a little bit of practice using the keyboard layout for Serbian Cyrillic).

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

FINNISH

I finished Chapter 32 of "Kuulostaa hyvältä". The chapter’s monologue had Jutta reading an acceptance letter for an internship that she had applied for. The first point of "new" grammar was the use of the passive past particple partitive with a possessive suffix and/or pronoun as part of a structure to mark an action that occurs before that of the main clause. This structure is an alternative to clauses that contain the conjunction kun “when” and turns up more frequently in writing than speech. It seems to correspond to constructions in English that begin with “upon” followed by a gerund.

Kun Jutta oli nähnyt mistä kirje tuli, Jutta avasi sen nopeasti.
Nähtyään mistä kirje tuli Jutta avasi sen nopeasti.

“After [When] Jutta had seen where the letter came from, she opened it quickly.” / “Upon seeing where the letter came from, Jutta opened it quickly.”

The second point of grammar introduced was a structure comprising a verb’s 3rd infinitive in illative complementing tulla in present tense which is used for future action. Although this does not seem to violate statements that Finnish lacks a future tense see this commentary), I could make a case for this being how Finnish can indeed conjugate for the tense even though it’s controversial not only because it is not used often (rather it’s used for purposes of clarification or emphasis in written register and so useful when context and/or suitable adverbs are lacking) but also it’s a calque of Swedish kommer att and thus the target of purists who are reluctant to encourage propagation of an example of Swedish morphology in Finnish in addition to having long professed the absence of future tense in Finnish for whatever reason (perhaps it’s a point of childish bragging about Finnish’s “specialness” compared to neighboring languages?).

I actually first came across this usage while watching an episode “Pasila” some time ago and now remember how it seemed sufficiently strange to me that I then asked one of my Finnish friends to explain it.

Kyösti Pöysti has a hangover and is hearing the voice of a movie trailer’s announcer. The announcer taunts Pöysti saying that he won’t be able to sleep to which Pöysti retorts that he will. This clip starts at the moment in the scene with this example of tulla + 3rd infinitive illative but the voices are a few seconds behind the action on screen.

Movie trailer announcer: Hän ei tule saamaan unta. (“He won’t get [any] sleep”)
Pöysti: Tulen saamaan! (“I’m going to get [some]!”)

If Finnish verbs lacked a way to mark for future, then the exchange could make less sense even though it’d still be grammatical.

Movie trailer announcer: *Hän ei saa unta. (He does not/will not get sleep)
Pöysti: *Saan! (I do/will get [some]!)

(My friend also explained that from this particular exchange, Tulen saamaan can also be interpreted as “I’m gonna get [laid / some pu$$y]!”. A handy but potentially vulgar tidbit, I’d say. :-))

The unit’s introduction of this grammatical item and the related commentary made me recall the recent flaring up of Keith Chen’s controversial paper where he concluded that native speakers of languages which have what he labels “weak future-time reference” [FTR] are more likely to save money, abstain from smoking, or use birth control. In addition to the questionable dichotomy of “weak” and “strong” that Chen made up to predicate his regression models (to the unease of the linguist whose work was cited by Chen), Finnish’s use of tulla plus 3rd infinitive in illative indirectly weakens further his use of Finnish to show how it’s a “weak FTR” language because it lacks explicit conjugation for the tense in example sentences that counterparts in other languages do require distinct conjugation. In my post where I criticized Chen’s understanding of his Finnish examples, the sentences used by him were:

Tänään on kylmää “It’s cold today”
Huomenna on kylmää “It’ll be cold tomorrow”

Not only does Chen fail to realize that a future tense conjugation in the second sentence is technically redundant (and hence not having been adopted/used here by the Finns) given that the future event can be discerned from the temporal adverb or context, but he didn’t care to dig further to see that Finnish does have that aforementioned explicit marking of the tense as calqued from Swedish kommer att even though it’s not used often.



(From NEN Sarjakuvat)

1) “There’s a wide-angle lens in this Canon and the frame rate is 5 photos per second.”
2) “What kind of camera do you have? – This is a *Nikon.”
3) “When will I get it back?”

- laajakulmaobjektiivi (laajakulmaobjektiivin, laajakulmaobjektiivia, laajakulmaobjektiiveja) “wide-angle lens”
- sarjakuvaus (sarjakuvauksen, sarjakuvausta, sarjakuvaksia) “frame rate” (literally “series-photography/shooting”)

Convention for unfamiliar vocabulary in the comic strip (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular, partitive singular, partitive plural)
VERBS: 1st infinitive (1st person singular present tense, 3rd person singular past simple tense, active past participle)
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

*This is a pun on the Finnish male given name Niko and the sentence could also be interpreted as “This is Niko’s [camera]” with Nikon being the genitive of Niko.

***

NORTHERN SAAMI

I finished Unit 2 of Davvin 3 which focused on the simple past of “contracting” or dual-stemmed verbs in 3rd person singular, the contrastive suffix -bat and comparison of the verb for obligation in Northern Saami and Finnish which conjugates for all subjects in the former but is an impersonal verb in the latter (i.e. täytyä). The chapter also reviewed using the illative.

Here is my understanding of the chapter’s “new” main points (any misunderstandings of the material are mine alone).

1) Simple past tense of “contracting” verbs in 3rd person singular

The affirmative conjugation is made by replacing the final -t of these verbs’ infinitive with -i. For verbs whose infinitives ending in -et or -ot, the vowel preceding -t becomes -i or -u under the influence of the -i of the simple past tense

E.g.

- fuobmát “to notice” ~ fuobmái “he/she noticed”
- riŋget “to telephone” ~ riŋgii “he/she telephoned” (N.B. -e > -i)
- duddjot “to make handicrafts” ~ duddjui “he/she made handicrafts” (N.B. -o > -u)

The negative conjugation is made by conjugating the negative verb and placing it before the the past participle of the main verb.

- fuobmái “he/she noticed” ~ in fuobmán “I did not notice”, ii fuobmán “he/she did not notice”
- riŋgii “he/she telephoned” ~ in riŋgen “I did not telephone”, ii riŋgen “he/she did not telephone”
- duddjui “he/she made handicrafts” ~ in duddjon “I did not make handicrafts”, ii duddjon “he/she did not make handicrafts”

2) The contrastive suffix -bat signals mild bewilderment or surprise on the part of the speaker

E.g.

Gos Ánde lea? “Where is Ánde?”
Gosbat Ánde lea? “Where [in the world] is Ánde?” (i.e. I’m really curious or I’ve been looking for him for a while since I have something urgent to ask of him)

Iigo vuolgge Norgii? “Isn’t he/she going to Norway?”
Iibat vuolgge Norgii? “Isn’t he/she ever going to Norway?” (i.e. I’ve been thinking that he/she was supposed to be there already, if not currently on his/her way there)

3) Obligation is marked by fertet and conjugates for all subjects similarly to the auxillary verb “must” with the second verb in infinitive.

E.g.

Dál mun ferten riŋget Márjái. “I must telephone Márjá now.”
Gii ferte vuolgit dál? “Who must leave now?”

See 2) of this entry for details on using the illative as reviewed in this chapter

Vocabulary of Unit 2

álkes (attr.), álki (pred.) “easy”
dahkat – “to do, make”
dinet – “to earn [a salary]”
duddjot – “to make handicrafts”
easka – “recently”
eske – “just now; a moment ago”
geargat – “to finish, graduate [from a school]”
imaš – “wonder”
fuobmát – “to notice”
joatkkaskuvla – “high school”
márkan – a municipality’s village which has the main church
orrunsadji – “apartment”
suhttat – “to get angry”

In addition the chapter contained a list of vocabulary for body parts but I’m not sure how this fits since the dialogues don’t focus on basic anatomy. Just for fun I tried to recall the Estonian, Finnish, Mari or Hungarian cognates of the terms if anything on the list seemed familiar. Here’s what I came up with:

- beallji “ear” (cf. Meadow Mari пылыш, Hungarian fül)
- čalbmi “eye” (cf. Estonian silm, Finnish silmä, Meadow Mari шинча, Hungarian szem)
- čižži “woman’s breast” (cf. Meadow Mari чызе, Hungarian csecs; szügy “chest of a horse”)
- čotta “throat” (cf. Estonian, Finnish suu “mouth”, Meadow Mari -шу: имышу “eye of a needle”, Hungarian száj “mouth”)
- giehta “hand” (cf. Estonian, Finnish käsi, Meadow Mari кид, Hungarian kéz)
- juolgi “foot, leg” (cf. Estonian jalg, Finnish jalka, Meadow Mari йол, Hungarian gyalogni “to walk”)
- nierra “cheek” (cf. Meadow Mari нер “nose”)
- njálbmi “mouth” (cf. Meadow Mari йылме “tongue”, Hungarian nyelv “tongue”)
- njunn “nose” (cf. Estonian nina, Finnish nenä)
- oalgi “shoulder” (cf. Estonian õlg, Finnish olka, Hungarian váll)
- raddi “bosom” (cf. Estonian rind “breast”, Finnish rinta “breast”)
- suorbma “finger” (cf. Estonian sõrm, Finnish sormi)
- vuokta “hair” (cf. Meadow Mari ÿп)

Lastly this talk about anatomy made me think of the joik Du Čalmmit “Your Eyes” by Sofia Jannok and Anna Kärrstedt.

***

POLISH

I finished Chapter 15 of "Polish in 4 Weeks - II". The dialogue consisted of John helping Basia restart her old computer that’s prone to crashing and advising her to get a new laptop. The main topics for grammar were the use of certain verbs related to the operational status of a business (e.g. działać “to function, work” as in Firma działa na polskim rynku już dwa lata. (“The company has been operating in the Polish market already for two years”), wynosić “to total, amount to” as in Nasz czynsz wynosi 500 złotych. (“Our rent amounts to 500 zlotys”)) and distinguishing between imperfective and perfective verbs as exemplified by zawieszać się and zawiesić się (“to hang up” (of a computer)) respectively. A rather annoying bit in the chapter’s notes is that the authors refer to imperfective and perfective as “imperfect” and “perfect” which belies the course’s origination from native Poles unfamiliar with linguistic jargon in English and the somewhat sloppy effort of the English proofreader who likely wasn’t sufficiently informed to know about the distinctions.



(From Real life via Smiech.net)

1) “What are you eating?”
2) “I’m eating my morning serving of breakfast cereal. I won’t start the day without them.”
3) “Well, OK, but it’s about one in the afternoon!”
4) “As I’ve already said, I won’t start the day without them.

- porann|y /-a / -e (porann|i /-e, porann|ego / -ej) “morning, matinal, pertaining to the morning”

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (nominative plural, genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 2nd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

SLOVAK

I did my week's allotment of at least 3 pages from "Hovorme spolu po slovensky! B - Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk" by working through pgs. 26-27 of the first textbook and pg. 23 of the first workbook which consisted of exercises on vocabulary related to leisure or spending vacation, and verbal aspect.



(From Shooty | Karikatúra)

- “The situation is serious. We must immediately rebuild the football stadiums.”*

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (3rd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

* The potholes (výtlky in case you’re wondering) in Slovakia have been getting some press lately, hence the cartoon poking fun at seeming idleness by the government as represented by Prime Minister Robert Fico's car driving over the potholes. See this interview on Slovak channel TA3 from Mar. 3, 2013, this article in SME from Mar. 1, 2013, and this opinion piece in The Slovak Spectator from Feb. 21, 2013.

***

UKRAINIAN

I did my week's allotment of at least 3 pages from "Modern Ukrainian" by working through pgs. 55-57. The exercises provided practice with using the present tense, accusative, reading/listening comprehension and creating logical questions or statements to correspond to responses given. I need to finish some homework for my class consisting of exercises in genitive (I sound like a broken record player).

***

OTHER LANGUAGES

The next deadline for Hungarian is coming up.

In my Ukrainian class we were talking briefly about Rusyn and afterwards I surfed the internet to see what's available. In brief the Rusyn variants are generally held to be dialects of Ukrainian by Ukrainian linguists but forming a distinctly pluricentric Eastern Slavonic language by non-Ukrainian linguists. After checking out Unilang's forum for Rusyn I came across a surprisingly large amount of learning material for such a small and fragmented language (roughly as much as I had come across for Sorbian last year). What really caught my eye were a new textbook issued in Slovakia Rusínsky jazyk pre začiatočníkov and the online textbook Курс Лемкiвского Языка which uses Polish as the intermediary language.

Reading the Slovak textbook was especially fun since I got a taste of the contrast between the languages, but also indirectly how distinct Rusyn is from Ukrainian (notwithstanding the conclusions of most Ukrainian linguists) when I see calques, loanwords or structural analogies from Slovak that are absent or even ungrammatical in Ukrainian.

However I'm unlikely to act on Rusyn no matter how much it reminds me of a glorious mess of Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian since what I've found are courses without audio. If audio were accompanying those texts, I'd then be strongly tempted to start dabbling in Rusyn in the near future.

______



Edited by Chung on 05 March 2013 at 5:53am

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tarvos
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 Message 292 of 541
04 March 2013 at 8:43am | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:


About Ukrainian's exoticness, I'd say that Russian is more exotic. Ukrainian to me is a
little bit as what you could get if a Muscovite were trying to express him/herself in a
vague Polish-Slovak hybrid. You get stereotypical Eastern Slavonic traits in Cyrillic,
avic_languages">pleophony (e.g. kl, mko ~ король,
молоко
) and limited to no copula (e.g. Já jsem Chung ~ Я
Chung
) with a substantial amount of lexicon that's more recognizable to a Pole or
Slovak than a Russian (e.g. Dziękuję / Ďakujem ~ Дякую, (Ja) muszę pracować /
(Ja) musím pracovať ~ Я мушу працювати
) and the frequent shift of the *g to
h that's observable in Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian among a few others (e.g.
gniazdo ~ hniezdo / гніздo.)


About that last thing - that also exists in the Southern Russian version of Russian as
well as Ukrainian Russian.
1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
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 Message 293 of 541
04 March 2013 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Chung wrote:


About Ukrainian's exoticness, I'd say that Russian is more exotic. Ukrainian to me is a
little bit as what you could get if a Muscovite were trying to express him/herself in a
vague Polish-Slovak hybrid. You get stereotypical Eastern Slavonic traits in Cyrillic,
avic_languages">pleophony (e.g. kl, mko ~ король,
молоко
) and limited to no copula (e.g. Já jsem Chung ~ Я
Chung
) with a substantial amount of lexicon that's more recognizable to a Pole or
Slovak than a Russian (e.g. Dziękuję / Ďakujem ~ Дякую, (Ja) muszę pracować /
(Ja) musím pracovať ~ Я мушу працювати
) and the frequent shift of the *g to
h that's observable in Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian among a few others (e.g.
gniazdo ~ hniezdo / гніздo.)


About that last thing - that also exists in the Southern Russian version of Russian as
well as Ukrainian Russian.


Indeed. I recall an anecdote about Mikhail Gorbachev, the champion farmboy hailing from the north Caucasus and whose mother was Ukrainian, in how he typically pronounced г as something close to English 'h' rather than 'g' as used by other Russians to the north (including his classmates at Moscow State University). I think the word that gave him away was гриб ("mushroom") - pronouncing it like 'hreeb' instead of 'greeb'.
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Serpent
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 Message 294 of 541
04 March 2013 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
Oh, he said many things in a funny way :D like with a different stress etc.
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maxval
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 Message 295 of 541
04 March 2013 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:

Indeed. I recall an anecdote about Mikhail Gorbachev, the champion farmboy hailing from
the north Caucasus and whose mother was Ukrainian, in how he typically pronounced
г as something close to English 'h' rather than 'g' as used by other Russians to
the north (including his classmates at Moscow State University). I think the word that
gave him away was гриб ("mushroom") - pronouncing it like 'hreeb' instead of
'greeb'.


In reality this is one of the two main differences between North Russian and South
Russian dialects:
- northerns say г as [g], sooutherns as [h] or [ɣ],
- northerns say unstressed о as [o], sotherns as [ɐ] or [ə].

Standard Russian is a mix of the two: g is [g] and unstressed о is [ɐ] or [ə].
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Chung
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 Message 296 of 541
17 March 2013 at 10:47pm | IP Logged 
BCMS/SC

I finished reviewing Chapter 5 of "Beginner’s Serbian" and Chapter 3 of "Spoken World: Croatian". By coincidence the dialogues of both courses involved living spaces with new vocabulary related to furniture, location and homes in general. The main grammatical topics introduced in the former were the genitive, possessive forms of names, and conjunctions. The latter introduced demonstratives in nominative and accusative, the concept of prepositional governance of cases, and the possessive forms of names just as in the former course.







(From Qolombo)

1) “Good morning, Columbus!”
2) “Either I’ve gone crazy or the ship said something to me. – It did address you! It’s me, Santa Maria!”
3) “It’s OK. I’ve gone crazy!”

4) “Juan, this ship talks! – Nonsense, Admiral!”
5) “Nonsense indeed!”
6) “Aaaahhh!!”

7) “Ow! Argh! Ouch!”
8) “What is it now? – How would you feel when someone steps on your deck?! Why won’t you do something [about it]?”
9) “Why did the admiral order us to walk on [our] tiptoes? – Better that you don’t know!”

- gaziti > zgaziti (gazim, gaze > zgazim, zgaze) “to ford, step, wade” > “to step on, trample; run over” (газити > згазити (газим, газе > згазим, згазе))
- obraćati se > obratiti se (obraćam se, obraćaju se > obratim se, obrate se) “to turn to; to address, call out” (обраћати се > обратити се (обраћам се, обраћају се > обратим се, обрате се))
- paluba (palube) “deck, plank” (палуба (палубе))
- zapov(ij)edati > zapov(j)editi (zapov(ij)edam, zapov(ij)edaju > zapov(j)edim, zapov(j)ede) “to command, order” (запов(иј)едати > запов(ј)едити (запов(иј)едам, запов(иј)едају > заоив(ј)едим, запов(ј)еде))

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary) (this will be put in both scripts partially to accommodate those unused to Serbian Cyrillic and also so that I get at least a little bit of practice using the keyboard layout for Serbian Cyrillic).

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

In contrast to my introduction to the language many years ago with a blatant “Croatian” slant, I’ve been more aware this time of where Croatian and Serbian intersect as well as diverge and I’ve played a bit of a game by making the transcripts of the dialogues in “Beginner’s Serbian” and “Beginner’s Croatian” a little more similar to each other while still following to the best of my knowledge what’s grammatical in each standard. On one hand this means that I’ve been regularly converting certain occurrences of da combined with a conjugated verb to one infinitive as is typical in standard Croatian (and still grammatical in standard Serbian), while on the other I have replaced words where feasible that are marked Croatianisms and Serbianisms with synonyms common to both standards and still suitable for the registers of the relevant dialogue. As I’ve noted ”What to do with pluricentric languages”, I’d like to refine my knowledge of the standards with a more descriptivist approach and go beyond the simplified word lists and prescriptivist guides for those keen on emphasizing the divergence between the Croatian and Serbian standards. My limited experience so far makes me think that even more is acceptable / grammatical in both standards than what’s let on in newer textbooks, let alone prescriptivist manuals sponsored by the language planning bodies. My resources are the descriptive dictionary of standard Croatian, Benson’s SerboCroatian-English Dictionary and discussions on usage in BCMS/SC from Unilang and WordReference – the latter two are quite interesting for me since they can deal with fuzzier matters of usage and style which cannot usually be presented succintly in a dictionary.

Starting with this entry, I’ll put down notes of this little exercise in linguistic rapprochment ranging from examples of codified differences to examples of differences that are less clear-cut than presented otherwise. To make things a little clearer and less burdensome/tedious I’ll put the examples in the Latinic alphabet of BCMS/SC, and won’t typically list differences marked by the evolution of the ě into modern -(i)je- or -e- since standard Croatian and one of the Serbian standards show a common reflex in -(i)je-.

Chapter 1

1) Cr: Jeste li Vi…? | Sr: Da li ste Vi…? “Are you...?” (formal address)
Using li in an interrogative as in the Croatian example is also grammatical in Serbian but tends to occur more often in formal register. Using Da li… in an interrogative as in the Serbian example is possible in Croatian but is generally restricted to colloquial settings. In a formal situation it would almost certainly be treated as ungrammatical / incorrect in addition to a Serbianism.

2) Cr: tko | Sr: ko “Who”
Codified difference but the difference exists only in nominative with the sets of declensional endings being the same.

Nominative: tko vs. ko
Accusative: kog(a) vs. kog(a)
Genitive: kog(a) vs. kog(a)
Dative: kom(u) vs. kom(u)
Locative: kom(e) vs. kom(e)
Instrumental: kim(e) vs. kim(e)

Moreover the monolingual dictionary of Standard Croatian lists ko as both colloquial and literary. Thus the difference is not as stark as can be portrayed by fixating on the codified forms in nominative.

3) Cr: Možemo li prijeći “na ti”? | Sr: Možemo li da pređemo “na ti”? “Can we switch over to [informal] ‘you’?” ~ “Can we switch over to using our first names?”
Using li and then an infinitive as in the Croatian example is grammatical (but not highly common) for Serbs (a Serb from outside Serbia would then use Možemo li prijeći... while the Serb from Serbia would likely use Možemo li preći...). The Serbian example sentence is typical for its combination of li with the conjunction da preceding a conjugated verb (especially true when the subject of the auxillary/modal verb is the same as the main verb’s). Croats do not use da as often when using an infinitive is possible but there are instances where using da is the only grammatical option and even confers a certain stylistic force that may not be perceived when using only infinitives. See here for discussion among native speakers on the function of da.

4) Cr: studentica | Sr: studentkinja “[female] student”
-ica tends to occur more often in Croatian to mark a female’s title/role. -(k)inja tends to occur more often in Serbian but there are cases where -ica turns up in Standard Serbian while -(k)inja turns up in Standard Croatian. The distribution is not as skewed as sometimes let on

E.g.

Cr: boginja / božica, ekonomistica / ekonomistkinja, turistkinja, učiteljica
Sr: boginja, ekonomistkinja, turistkinja, učiteljica
“goddess”, “[female] economist”, “[female] friend”, “[female] tourist”, “[female] teacher”

***

FINNISH

I finished Chapter 33 of "Kuulostaa hyvältä". The chapter’s monologue was a rather dense but short text about the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic. The "new" grammar introduced was the instructive case of the 2nd infinitive which marks a second action that occurs simultaneously with or is relevant to an action mentioned in the same sentence.

Tarkaan katsoen Jonasilla ei ole uutta tyttöystävää. “On a closer look Jonas does not have a new girlfriend.”



(From Plaza.fi – Viivi ja Wagner)

1) “Are we getting married? This won’t make it [i.e. the current relationship] special* – I never marry** anyone just for sex.”
2) “The inheritance is waiting. My father has money. – He’s also as fit as a fiddle***”
3) “I promise to worship the ground that you walk on.**** – Don’t you do that already?”

* literally “This won’t change from this [i.e. the current relationship] to [something] special”)
** This is a pun. See naida below.
*** literally “He also has iron health”
**** literally “I promise to worship the ground under your feet.”

- kummempi (kummemman, kummempaa, kummempia) “odder, wierder (rare); special (idiomatic)”
- naida (nain, nai, nainut) “to marry; to have sex with (vulgar)”*
- palvoa (palvon, palvoi, palvonut) “to adore, worship”
- perintö (perinnön, perintöä, perintöjä) “heritage; inheritance; legacy”

Convention for unfamiliar vocabulary in the comic strip (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular, partitive singular, partitive plural)
VERBS: 1st infinitive (1st person singular present tense, 3rd person singular past simple tense, active past participle)
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

* In an affirmative sentence with naida, the direct object being in genitive/accusative means that the verb refers to marriage. When the direct object is in partitive in this otherwise same affirmative sentence, then naida is a vulgar way to express “to have sex with”.

Janne nai Jennan viime vuonna. “Janne married Jenna last year.”
Janne nai Jennaa viime vuonna. “Janne ғц¢кеð Jenna last year.”

The pun arises from a negated direct object taking the mandatory inflection into partitive.

Janne ei nainut Jennaa viime vuonna. “Janne did not marry Jenna last year.” or “Janne did not ғц¢к Jenna last year.”

Wagner’s response can be likewise interpreted as “I never marry anyone just for sex.” or the absurd but grammatical “I never ғц¢к anyone just for sex.”

This use of a word related to “woman” to refer to marriage (especially from the man’s point of view) reminds me of verbs in some Eastern European languages describing marrying from the man’s point of view. A crude way of thinking of it using English is to say that a man “womans” a lady rather than marries her.

Cf.

BCMS/SC: ženiti se > oženiti se “to get married” “to get married” (of a man) (“to woman oneself”) (cf. žena “woman”)
Finnish: mennä naimisiin “to get married” (~ “to go into womening”); olla naimisissa “to be married” (~ “to be in womening”); naida “to get married; have sex with [vulgar]” (Cf. nai: nainen “female, woman”)
Hungarian: megnősülni “to get married” (of a man) (“to be made woman”); nős “married” (of a man) (“womanish, womaned”) (cf. “woman”)
Polish: żenić się > ożenić się “to get married” (of a man) (“to woman oneself”); żonaty “married” (of a man - literally “womanish, womaned”) (cf. żona “wife”)
Slovak: ženiť sa > oženiť sa “to get married” (of a man) (“to woman oneself”); ženatý “married” (of a man - literally “womanish, womaned”) (cf. žena “woman”)
Ukrainian: женитися > oженитися “to get married” (of a man) (“to woman oneself”) (cf. жінка “woman”)

***

HUNGARIAN

I have finished Selection 5 of "FSI Hungarian Graded Reader". The text was bland one about the post office meant also to familiarize me with terms for correspondance and telephones (for those too young to have seen it, post offices usually had several public telephones since private telephones (never mind cellphones) were not a typical household appliance – especially in a communist country). The accompanying exercises involved changing present tense forms to past ones including those in conditional (e.g. “would do” > “would have done”), and converting conditional forms to forms using kell “be necessary” combined with infinitives (e.g. “would speak” > “must speak”). Exercises on this last topic were a little tough for me since verbal prefixes are often seperated by the modal verb and their exact placement depends on subtleties in the sentence’s emphasis/focus. I also completed a few more exercises from “Magyarországon szeretnék dologozni” in eMagyarul-2 which focused the conditional. One of the exercises was a simple joke turned into an exercise in listening comprehension. It was slightly encouraging for me to get it on the first hearing before confirming my understanding by filling in the blanks of the joke’s transcript.



(From Garfbob - Dodó)

1) "I’ll count to three then go!"
2) "One hundred…, ninety-nine…, ninety-eight..."

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary).

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (nouns only: nominative possessive for 3rd person singular)
VERBS: 3rd person singular present tense (infinitive)
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

POLISH

I finished Chapter 16 of "Polish in 4 Weeks - II". The dialogue consisted of Basia going to a job interview and then complaining to Alice about how it went (i.e. her reaction to the hackneyed HR question about what kind of animal she would like to be as well as a question about plans to have children). The main topics for grammar were the declension of irregular nouns exemplified by subgroups of feminine nouns ending in a soft consonant (e.g. radość “joy”) and neuter nouns ending in ę (e.g. kocię “kitten”), conditional sentences, and a few expressions related to outrage or indignation.



(From Gustaw Biurowy)

1) “The boss is calling you on to the carpet. – Me? That’s terrible!”
2) “Don’t overreact, it’s nothing terrible. There’s nothing to worry about! Just go! Be a man!”
3) “Just don’t forget to mention that you’re going in my place!”

- wzywać kogoś na dywanik > wezwać kogoś na dywanik (wzywam kogoś…, wzywasz kogoś… > wezwę kogoś…, wezwiesz kogoś…) “to call someone onto the carpet”

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (nominative plural, genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 2nd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

SLOVAK

I’ve fallen short here and have done less than the intended minimum of 3 pages per week of Slovak homework using “Hovorme spolu po slovensky! B - Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk”. Since my last entry, I’ve worked through pgs. 24-27 of the first workbook which consisted of exercises on vocabulary related to sports, and use of rád etc. to express affinity to something/someone or an activity.



(From Shooty – Som Grogy…)

1) “Bla-bla-bla – Hm”
2) “Bla-bla-bla – Of course.”
3) “Bla-bla-bla, hm? – Definitely.”
5) “Or no?”
6) “Yes as well?”
7) “Am I able to ask a friend on the phone?”

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (3rd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

TURKISH

I finished Unit 7 of “Teach Yourself Beginner's Turkish”. The unit's dialogues and notes expanded on the personal suffixes (e.g. -im / -ım / -um / -üm for forms translateable to English as “I am” or “My”) which I first encountered in the greeting nasılsın / nasılsınız “how are you?” whose function makes it unnecessary for the verb olmak “to be(come)” to act as a copula verb similar to European languages. There were also notes on using and forming adjectives and tag questions. The unit’s new vocabulary focused on nationalities and traits indicated by the suffix -li / -lı / -lu / -lü.

***

UKRAINIAN

As with Slovak, I fell short of my weekly goal. Here it is to work through at least 3 pages per week from “Modern Ukrainian”. All that I’ve managed to do over the past two weeks is to finish the reading/listening comprehension questions on pg. 57 which conclude Chapter 3. In class we’re still working on the genitive but this time on the case’s endings for adjectives.

***

OTHER LANGUAGES

I haven’t done any work on Northern Saami since the end of February but my next deadline for it is at the end of the month so I am not disappointed about the lack of activity.

______



Edited by Chung on 26 January 2015 at 5:37pm



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