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Grammar charts vs your view of the world

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Serpent
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 Message 1 of 19
2012 February 16 at 1:37pm | IP Logged 
After the question in another thread I wondered whether I could conjugate Russian verbs easily. I sure could, but I realized I automatically listed them in a different order from the traditional one.

the order is roughly like this:

I am ____ he/she is
you are _ they are
we are __ y'all are

But here's a more precise overview of how I view the system, using the example from Portuguese. Excuse the ~artistic design, I love doing it like that (might deserve a separate discussion).



This one corresponds somewhat to the deixis concept but not entirely, as you can see. The reasons for this are largely sociocultural, I think. For example, as a female, I feel slightly more comfortable addressing a woman whom I don't know well, compared to a man. On the other hand, while I have female Portuguese-speaking friends, they don't know one another, so thinking of them as a group, or of any strictly female group, is something detached from reality.

For a more complete picture, I know I've never used vocĂȘs and those below it, and I doubt I've ever used elas in a natural context. I've never been to Portugal so I only use Portuguese online.

And this got me wondering and gave me hope. Perhaps I just need to make tables in my own order, especially for the Romance languages and their crazy irregularities?

I remember Iversen mentioning a fixed order for cases, on his "green sheets" :) Has anyone else made similar changes to make the structure more clear, more native? (not in the sense of making it more similar to your native language) I know the only way is to try, but it sure seemed worth sharing here:)

Edited by Serpent on 2015 December 19 at 4:31pm

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zenmonkey
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Germany
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 Message 2 of 19
2012 February 16 at 1:52pm | IP Logged 
Bingo!
Yes, I do this to try to understand language structure to my mental map. For example, I use the moods in Spanish and English as a native and do not see them so well when people describe them, but have to structure a visual map for my other L2/3s

An example from my log:


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Iversen
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 Message 3 of 19
2012 February 16 at 2:13pm | IP Logged 
In Russian I prefer the following order: (vocative) Nominative 'Accusative' Genitive Dative Instrumental Prepositional. It is pretty clear that this is a reflection of the order in Latin, but there is also a certain logic in it: instead of a real Accusative Russian uses forms from the Nominative and the Genitive so it is logical to keep the placeholder 'Accusative' between these two. And the Vocative is a dying and incomplete case, which in most situations has been squeezed out by the Nominative. With the place after the Nominative taken by the 'Accusative' the Vocative has to stand before the Nominative.

You could make a case based on morphology for keeping the Masculine and the Feminine substantives and adjectives together and let the Feminine follow. I have tried this order, but had to recognize that the order Masculine Feminine Neutral is too deeply engrained in my mind to be disrupted by simple logic and expediency.

With the verbs I keep the normal order in the present: 1 2 3 singular, 1 2 3 plural;. But you could make a case for keeping 1. singular and 3. plural together because they have a tendency to follow each other even when there are consonant changes in the forms in between.


Edited by Iversen on 2012 February 16 at 2:16pm

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Serpent
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 Message 4 of 19
2012 February 16 at 2:26pm | IP Logged 
Oh, so interesting! yes I remember seeing this :)
Do these grey, red, green, blue lines connect identical forms? To me these identical forms are more of a problem with German articles.
It's really interesting that Arabic helps you make sense of German:)

What's the software/site you used for this? And have you tried a similar system for verbs?
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Serpent
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serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 5 of 19
2012 February 16 at 2:59pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
In Russian I prefer the following order: (vocative) Nominative 'Accusative' Genitive Dative Instrumental Prepositional. It is pretty clear that this is a reflection of the order in Latin, but there is also a certain logic in it: instead of a real Accusative Russian uses forms from the Nominative and the Genitive so it is logical to keep the placeholder 'Accusative' between these two. And the Vocative is a dying and incomplete case, which in most situations has been squeezed out by the Nominative. With the place after the Nominative taken by the 'Accusative' the Vocative has to stand before the Nominative.

You could make a case based on morphology for keeping the Masculine and the Feminine substantives and adjectives together and let the Feminine follow. I have tried this order, but had to recognize that the order Masculine Feminine Neutral is too deeply engrained in my mind to be disrupted by simple logic and expediency.

With the verbs I keep the normal order in the present: 1 2 3 singular, 1 2 3 plural;. But you could make a case for keeping 1. singular and 3. plural together because they have a tendency to follow each other even when there are consonant changes in the forms in between.
Many thanks!

Do you mean Masculine Neutral Feminine vs Masculine Feminine Neutral?
Interestingly, when learning Latin at school and uni we used the Russian order.

Thanks for the rec about 1 sg and 3 pl. Is it specific to Portuguese or a general observation?
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tozick
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Poland
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 Message 6 of 19
2012 February 16 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
Well, when learning Polish grammar in our schools we use a case order that's slightly different to the one best known to foreigners. It can cause some confusion when talking to people used to the nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative and locative order, since I tend to think about the cases as 'the 1st/2nd/3rd... case' not as nominative/genetive etc. And the order we use is this:

1. nominative
2. genitive
3. dative
4. accusative
5. instrumental
6. locative
7. vocative
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Splog
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 Message 7 of 19
2012 February 16 at 5:20pm | IP Logged 
tozick wrote:
Well, when learning Polish grammar in our schools we use a case order that's slightly different to the one best known to foreigners. It can cause some confusion when talking to people used to the nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative and locative order, since I tend to think about the cases as 'the 1st/2nd/3rd... case' not as nominative/genetive etc. And the order we use is this:

1. nominative
2. genitive
3. dative
4. accusative
5. instrumental
6. locative
7. vocative


It is exactly the same in czech, using case numbers more often than case names.

Due to this, I have noticed that I have developed seven different "levels" or "shelves" in my head full of examples, rules, hints, tips, and bits and pieces.

As soon as I need to know the case of something, I actually feel my mind lowering or rising directly to the appropriate shelf, which eliminates a load of clutter, and gives my brain quick focus and access. It is not something I trained deliberately, nor something I am forcing to happen at "lookup" time, but seems to have just evolved on its own over the years.
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Serpent
Octoglot
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serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 8 of 19
2012 February 16 at 5:35pm | IP Logged 
We learned the Russian and Latin cases in this order too, but we never numbered them.


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