(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 03:37

So this evening I learnt that there's a northern Welsh word, lle chwech, that means "toilet", i.e. the room. Literally, though, it translates as "six place"... How does that mean "toilet"?! [:P]
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 15:36

Pay toilets in Europe used to cost a cent, hence the expression "spend a penny" ... I guess the Welsh were a little more generous with that particular custom. I'm told it was 50 cents in Spain until recently.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by esoanem » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 16:07

Yeah, it possibly used to cost a sixpence pre-decimalisation.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 18:06

I thought it was because it was a room intended for all six bodily functions [O.O] [:P]

I'm just being goofy. I looked it up here and apparently it's not too clear. The sixpence theory is one viable explanation, but it's not the only one. There are others:

https://english.stackexchange.com/quest ... the-toilet

"Another possible explanation I've found is that lle chwech (which translates to "six place") refers to the workers toilets which commonly have six seats. "

"The other possibility (explaining why the term exists in some northern areas only) is that it comes from the areas of quarries and copper mines, where there was a 'small house'(toilet) cabin for just six people."

Interesting and bizarre. Never heard of this in my life. Euphemisms often have strange origins!
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by ixals » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 18:12

Yeah, there are a lot of different explanations on the internet regarding this euphemism. Another one I found was that it comes from English "six" meaning "back". To quote Wiktionary "(military slang, by ellipsis of six o'clock) Rear, behind (rear side of something)". It'd be really interesting to know which one of all these origins is the real one :wat:
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Mon 08 Jan 2018, 18:22

That's the fun part. You don't get to ever know for sure! At least no one's come up with a silly backronym for this one...
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Tue 09 Jan 2018, 08:47

I'm going to personally lobby for the one with the military slang. It seems cool to me.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by All4Ɇn » Wed 10 Jan 2018, 21:03

According to Wiktionary the character 殿, which now means hall, originally meant buttocks. How did a change like that take place?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 09:49

All4Ɇn wrote:
Wed 10 Jan 2018, 21:03
According to Wiktionary the character 殿, which now means hall, originally meant buttocks. How did a change like that take place?
If it went the other way around, I would guess a euphemism by anal sex lovers. But from buttocks to hall? That is odd.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by cedh » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:29

All4Ɇn wrote:
Wed 10 Jan 2018, 21:03
According to Wiktionary the character 殿, which now means hall, originally meant buttocks. How did a change like that take place?
'buttocks' > 'area to the rear of sth.' > 'place where people go during a break' > 'place where people meet' > 'hall', maybe???
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lao Kou » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 12:13

cedh wrote:
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:29
All4Ɇn wrote:
Wed 10 Jan 2018, 21:03
According to Wiktionary the character 殿, which now means hall, originally meant buttocks. How did a change like that take place?
'buttocks' > 'area to the rear of sth.' > 'place where people go during a break' > 'place where people meet' > 'hall', maybe???
Pretty much, I think. Also, consider timespans -- 殿 as "palace" or "palatial hall" takes us well back into the dynasties -- Lord knows how far back you'd have to go back to find a text with 殿 as "buttocks" (though that etymology is preserved in modern 臀).

buttocks >
rear (cf. 'kick in the rear') >
rear guard >
palace/temple (in a palatial or temple complex, not placed at the front gate) >
palatial/temple hall (and if you want to go further, hall)
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 00:51

How do people with hypodactyly fingerspell?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Imralu » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 22:39

Khemehekis wrote:
Sat 13 Jan 2018, 00:51
How do people with hypodactyly fingerspell?
I'm sure it'd depend a lot on how different their hand plan is from a regular hand. I heard of a Deaf Australian guy who was missing a whole hand and BANZSL fingerspelling is two handed and he would apparently just sign as if the other hand were there and context made up for most things.

If someone is missing, say, the index finger, I'd imagine they'd use the middle finger for index finger things. In BANZSL fingerspelling, where each finger represents a vowel, pointing towards the space of a missing finger would probably be clear enough. I can imagine numbers being more tricky with missing digits than fingerspelling would be ... but it depends on how many and which fingers are missing and to what extent, and how mobile everything else is. Deaf people tend to have a lifetime of experiences having to be creative to communicate with various people, so I'm sure it'd probably a lot less of a problem than you might be imagining ... although it may take some getting used to understanding someone when you're not familiar with them.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 23:41

when I was very young I came up with a system for forming the numbers 0-9 with my hands. I was just being creative ... Ive never learned sign language or even the signed alphabet . I only used three fingers. Most numbers can be easily formed with three or even two fingers, but for the number "5" i just formed the top part (looks like a long-division sign) and for "4" I rotated the 5 sign CCW by forty-five degrees.

Only thing is, it depends on which fingers are missing. I dont know if i could make the 8 or 9 signs so well if the index or middle finger was missing ... I'd probably just revert to holding up fingers, figuring that the last finger held up would count as teh total. so e.g. left-hand ring finger = 9.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 04:24

Fascinating.

When I was a baby/toddler/preschooler I had severe speech impairments. My vocabulary and grammar were excellent, but I couldn't pronounce most of my consonants. I would use both hands and make them into the shapes of letters to spell out words to my parents and other people with whom I needed to communicate.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Parlox » Sat 03 Feb 2018, 21:24

Does anyone know of a good Proto-Tai grammar, and a good lexicon?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Axiem » Mon 05 Feb 2018, 05:44

My google-fu is failing me.

English has a set of verbs that conjugate through ablaut—changing a vowel—and are considered irregular by modern standards: things like sing/sang/sung, drink/drank/drunk, sleep/slept, and so on. It seems as though there are internal patterns to those (see the i/a/u examples), which indicates to me that at one point, ablaut was a much more common way of conjugating English verbs.

Does anyone know when abouts that is, or an online reference/article that can go into the history of what was going on in English that gave us some ablauts amidst our now-standard -ed form? Are there like, conjugation charts/references available?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by DesEsseintes » Mon 05 Feb 2018, 08:02

Axiem wrote:
Mon 05 Feb 2018, 05:44
My google-fu is failing me.

English has a set of verbs that conjugate through ablaut—changing a vowel—and are considered irregular by modern standards: things like sing/sang/sung, drink/drank/drunk, sleep/slept, and so on. It seems as though there are internal patterns to those (see the i/a/u examples), which indicates to me that at one point, ablaut was a much more common way of conjugating English verbs.

Does anyone know when abouts that is, or an online reference/article that can go into the history of what was going on in English that gave us some ablauts amidst our now-standard -ed form? Are there like, conjugation charts/references available?
The Wikipedia article on the Germanic Strong Verb might be a good starting point.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 05 Feb 2018, 22:21

DesEsseintes wrote:
Mon 05 Feb 2018, 08:02
Axiem wrote:
Mon 05 Feb 2018, 05:44
My google-fu is failing me.

English has a set of verbs that conjugate through ablaut—changing a vowel—and are considered irregular by modern standards: things like sing/sang/sung, drink/drank/drunk, sleep/slept, and so on. It seems as though there are internal patterns to those (see the i/a/u examples), which indicates to me that at one point, ablaut was a much more common way of conjugating English verbs.

Does anyone know when abouts that is, or an online reference/article that can go into the history of what was going on in English that gave us some ablauts amidst our now-standard -ed form? Are there like, conjugation charts/references available?
The Wikipedia article on the Germanic Strong Verb might be a good starting point.
Very much so.

But to give a summary:

- most English ablaut descends from PIE ablaut - alternation between /e/, /o/ and zero in old verbs [newer verbs produced by derivation worked differently - those became 'weak' or now 'regular' verbs]
- [we don't know the cause of PIE ablaut. It seems to have had a lot to do with patterns of stress shifting]
- from this pattern, differences in surrounding consonants produced three ablaut paradigms in Germanic.
- to these were added a fourth due to analogy from a reduplicating verb, and this then split in two due to the addition of an epenthetic vowel to break up illegal clusters in some forms of some verbs.
- a six paradigm appeared out of nowhere
- a series of other, simpler paradigms gradually evolved in Northwest Germanic out of reduplicating verbs via some complex analogies and cluster simplifications
- hence late Northwest Germanic had only about 13 ablaut paradigms to memorise

- however, in the development of English, those paradigms fell apart due to further influence from surrounding consonants
- also, Germanic past tense verbs from the older ablaut paradigms (the first five) had two ablaut forms (singular and plural). In English, this was simplified away, but different verbs picked different forms. So "ride/rode" (generalising the past singular) but "bite/bit" (generalising the past plural). This basically doubled the paradigms in one stroke.
- there were too many paradigms with too few verbs in many of them. Some verbs were moved into more common paradigms, or into new paradigms; lots of verbs were just taken out of the strong verb paradigms altogether and made weak verbs because it was much simpler (or else were replaced by their weak-verb doublets, which often had coexisted alongside the strong verbs all along). The rest became 'irregular' (though some are more irregular than others). Being 'irregular' of course encouraged further ad hoc, unique changes through analogy etc.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by GrandPiano » Tue 06 Feb 2018, 00:06

Sleep/slept is different, though, isn’t it? According to Wiktionary, Old English slǣpan was a strong verb with present 1st-person singular “slǣpe” and past 1st/3rd-person singular “slēp”. This seems to suggest that sleep historically changed from a strong verb to a weak verb and then ended up with “slept” as its past tense form instead of “sleeped” through an unrelated development (I would assume that the same development occurred in verbs such as leave/left and bend/bent).
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