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

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

Post by Salmoneus » 10 Jun 2018 11:25

If you search for metaphony (the cunning codeword Romance linguists use so that specialists in non-Romance can't see what they're doing and realise that Romance is actually sort of not magically different from other families...), you'll find a bunch of stuff.

Essentially, vulgar latin(s) had three processes - vowel lengthening, metaphony and diphthongisation - that interacted in complicated ways, but it's only when you look at the details of the italian dialects (and other areas that have resisted standardisation, like Romansch) that you see how varied the realisations could be.

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

Post by Ælfwine » 11 Jun 2018 04:37

Zekoslav wrote:
10 Jun 2018 09:44
Ælfwine wrote:
10 Jun 2018 07:40
Salmoneus wrote:
08 Jun 2018 12:20
Ælfwine wrote:
04 May 2018 00:53
Also, what umlaut are we speaking of here? I know that /m/ might have preserved the height for a while longer, as Old Spanish evidence suggests.
Vulgar Latin appears to have had umlaut, seen in the mid-low vowels, both front and back. These were raised (or diphthongised) in umlauting environments. The dialects - particularly in Italy where this seems to be massively varied - disagree on the exact environments - either just before -i or -j, or also before -um, or also before -u generally. And the outcomes also obviously differ.
Interesting. Do you happen to know of any papers on this specific topic?
I can't remember any papers specifically about Italian, but there's this paper on metaphony (the usual term for umlaut in Romance linguistics) in Spanish and Catalan. It's concerned mostly about the development of verbs, but there is a section where general rules of sound change are laid out. I can try to find more papers later.
Very interesting. Thank you for this.
Salmoneus wrote:
10 Jun 2018 11:25
If you search for metaphony (the cunning codeword Romance linguists use so that specialists in non-Romance can't see what they're doing and realise that Romance is actually sort of not magically different from other families...), you'll find a bunch of stuff.

Essentially, vulgar latin(s) had three processes - vowel lengthening, metaphony and diphthongisation - that interacted in complicated ways, but it's only when you look at the details of the italian dialects (and other areas that have resisted standardisation, like Romansch) that you see how varied the realisations could be.
Dewrad is giving me a pdf on the Italian dialects. I'm aware of some crazy stuff in i.e. Bulgnais and Vastese but a more comprehensive analysis was appreciated.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Shemtov » 18 Jun 2018 17:40

Does anybody know where the Polish family name Chaś comes from? And was it carried by any Polish Jews?
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Re: Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keola_Kent » 19 Jun 2018 21:51

Maximillian wrote:
14 Sep 2010 19:13
Is there an example of a language that had definite article, but it fell out of use?
Syriac. The alef at the end of words represented a definite article, as it is in most Aramaic dialects, but using the word with a definite article became so common that the sense of definiteness was lost.

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

Post by Keola_Kent » 19 Jun 2018 21:54

Is Linguistics and Natlangs the correct place to post about an alternate time-line conscript for a natlang?

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

Post by shimobaatar » 19 Jun 2018 21:56

Keola_Kent wrote:
19 Jun 2018 21:54
Is Linguistics and Natlangs the correct place to post about an alternate time-line conscript for a natlang?
This thread may be kind of what you're looking for?

If you want to make your own thread, though, then yeah, I'd say that this is the right section of the board.

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

Post by Aszev » 20 Jun 2018 11:57

Shemtov wrote:
18 Jun 2018 17:40
Does anybody know where the Polish family name Chaś comes from? And was it carried by any Polish Jews?
According to this site:
Chaś - od hasać ‘skakać’ lub od niemieckiej nazwy osobowej Has.
Google translates this as: "from the password 'jump' or from the German personal name Has." But you'd probably want a Polish speaker to check that first part...

(It seems Chaś can also be a diminutive of the first name Michał, but I suspect that's mere coincidence in this case)
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by All4Ɇn » 16 Jul 2018 23:37

Apparently in Northern and Southern Vietnamese, the word for that is "đó", while in Central Vietnam it is "tê". Are there any known historical reasons for this development? It seems very strange to me for a dialect to differ that extremely from the dialects both above and below it without there being something else at play.

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

Post by Void » 17 Jul 2018 09:48

So recently, I've picked up Armenian and had a problem with the pronunciation of ր - almost every single academic resource gives it as /ɾ/, yet that's not what I hear in many cases. I usually hear some strange variation on /ʒ/ or even /ɹ/ (and not from the speakers of different Armenian dialects, but Eastern itself). Does anyone know of this phenomenon, and how one is truly supposed to pronounce ր?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » 17 Jul 2018 16:33

As some of you may know "Swaziland" has officially changed its name to "eSwatini" recently, but I can't figure out what's going on with this word. I know that -ni is a locative suffix, and the -swati- refers to, well, the Swazi people and language, but I can't seem to find out what the e- is. I'd assumed, drawing from Zulu, that it was the locative form of a Class 5 prefix i-, but apparently this prefix is li- in Swazi. Countries in Swazi do still take an i- prefix, though, as they do in Zulu, and they seem to fall into Class 5 as well, so does anyone have any idea why this might be?

The full name also seems to be "Umbuso weSwatini", but given that the full name of South Africa in Swazi is iRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu Afrika, I assume the /w/ is like an epenthetic thing.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Creyeditor » 17 Jul 2018 20:02

sangi39 wrote:
17 Jul 2018 16:33
As some of you may know "Swaziland" has officially changed its name to "eSwatini" recently, but I can't figure out what's going on with this word. I know that -ni is a locative suffix, and the -swati- refers to, well, the Swazi people and language, but I can't seem to find out what the e- is. I'd assumed, drawing from Zulu, that it was the locative form of a Class 5 prefix i-, but apparently this prefix is li- in Swazi. Countries in Swazi do still take an i- prefix, though, as they do in Zulu, and they seem to fall into Class 5 as well, so does anyone have any idea why this might be?

The full name also seems to be "Umbuso weSwatini", but given that the full name of South Africa in Swazi is iRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu Afrika, I assume the /w/ is like an epenthetic thing.
Do you know the glosses of the full name of South Africa? I looked at Thwala's 1996 grammar and it looks as if Proper names have special morphology, which is often a we- or ye- prefix. It is glossed as vocative case, but I am not too sure about that. Similarly borrowed nouns are said to take the i- prefix, maybe that might play a role (because other state names are borrowed and then analogy kicks in?). The claim is also that mid vowels are generally the result of coalescence of /a/ with a high vowel, so maybe there is another a- prefix? a- is definitely the genitive/associative marker in Swati.

tl;dr: my guess:

eSwatini
/a-i-swati-ni/
GEN-NOUNCLASS-Swati-LOC
'of the Swati place'
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » 18 Jul 2018 16:45

Xonen wrote:
06 Jun 2018 18:37
A similar situation would exist among many minorities in Finland; Finnish itself is similar to Welsh in having a standard variant that differs in many ways from the colloquial varieties, and people from linguistic minorities (with the exception of some monolingually Swedish-speaking areas) tend to be fluent in both colloquial and standard Finnish in addition to the minority language itself.
...and everyone knows English as well. [:P] But yeah, since no one speaks it natively except for maybe like a handful of immigrants, it doesn't really count. Considering I'm a monolingual Finnish-speaker myself, the only anecdotal evidence I can give is that I often overhear people in my neighbourhood talking to each other and they regularly code-switch between and mix Finnish and English with some including Russian and Arabic as well (and who knows what else). Then again, they are mainly immigrants and children of immigrants from Russia and Arab countries (well, duh, right?) rather than ethnic Finns... but I'd like to think they're Finns, too, and that they consider themselves such; maybe that's kind of an oppressive attitude or whatever, but well.
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(And IIANM there are some languages in India that are neither prakrits nor Dravidian?)
Yeah, there are Tibetan refugees and indigenous people in the north who speak various kinds of Sino-Tibetan languages and even apparent language isolates; examples of the former include Ladakhi and Meitei (in the northwest and northeast respectively) and of the latter, Nihali and Burushaski (the latter is native to Pakistan, but there are apparently some speakers in India as well). I assume there may still be some Persian-speakers, too, but I'm not sure?

Sorry for replying to old posts, I didn't see them until now and felt like I had something to contribute to the discussions.

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Does any natural language have voiced aspirated plosives without having voiceless aspirated plosives? AFAIK every language with the latter also has the former, but...?

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

Post by Xonen » 18 Jul 2018 17:27

Vlürch wrote:
18 Jul 2018 16:45
Xonen wrote:
06 Jun 2018 18:37
A similar situation would exist among many minorities in Finland; Finnish itself is similar to Welsh in having a standard variant that differs in many ways from the colloquial varieties, and people from linguistic minorities (with the exception of some monolingually Swedish-speaking areas) tend to be fluent in both colloquial and standard Finnish in addition to the minority language itself.
...and everyone knows English as well. [:P]
That seems to be a fairly commonly held belief, but it's really only true for young, urban and/or highly educated people - and even then, not everyone extensively code-switches into English on a regular basis.

Does any natural language have voiced aspirated plosives without having voiceless aspirated plosives? AFAIK every language with the latter also has the former, but...?
Well, that's quite (in)famously the standard reconstruction for PIE, but as Wikipedia notes, "such a system is not found in any descendant language (Sanskrit had all three, along with a fourth voiceless aspirated series), and it is vanishingly rare in any recorded languages".

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

Post by Vlürch » 18 Jul 2018 17:55

Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
That seems to be a fairly commonly held belief, but it's really only true for young, urban and/or highly educated people
I guess, but I'm fairly certain pretty much literally everyone, including the vast majority of old people, know some English even if they can't really form coherent sentences themselves or pronounce anything in a way that would be even remotely intelligible to anyone except other Finns. Maybe some 80-year-olds living in the middle of nowhere have had no exposure at all and/or have managed to not pick up any words or even the most basic grammar, but they'll never come in contact with English-speakers anyway so it doesn't really make a difference practically. Then again, that does mean not everyone knows English, so... yeah, I guess you're right.
Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
and even then, not everyone extensively code-switches into English on a regular basis.
Definitely true, but why would that matter?
Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
Well, that's quite (in)famously the standard reconstruction for PIE, but as Wikipedia notes, "such a system is not found in any descendant language (Sanskrit had all three, along with a fourth voiceless aspirated series), and it is vanishingly rare in any recorded languages".
Proto-languages don't really count, I think, because they're not directly attested. That implication that there are/have been a few languages with that kind of a system, though...

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

Post by Salmoneus » 18 Jul 2018 20:43

Vlürch wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:55
Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
That seems to be a fairly commonly held belief, but it's really only true for young, urban and/or highly educated people
I guess, but I'm fairly certain pretty much literally everyone, including the vast majority of old people, know some English even if they can't really form coherent sentences themselves or pronounce anything in a way that would be even remotely intelligible to anyone except other Finns.
Eurobarometer calculated half a decade ago that around 70% of the Finnish population spoke English. The number who know some English, but not enough to be considered English-speakers, is doubtless rather higher, however.

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

Post by Xonen » 19 Jul 2018 10:03

Vlürch wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:55
Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
That seems to be a fairly commonly held belief, but it's really only true for young, urban and/or highly educated people
I guess, but I'm fairly certain pretty much literally everyone, including the vast majority of old people, know some English even if they can't really form coherent sentences themselves or pronounce anything in a way that would be even remotely intelligible to anyone except other Finns. Maybe some 80-year-olds living in the middle of nowhere have had no exposure at all and/or have managed to not pick up any words or even the most basic grammar, but they'll never come in contact with English-speakers anyway so it doesn't really make a difference practically. Then again, that does mean not everyone knows English, so... yeah, I guess you're right.
Xonen wrote:
18 Jul 2018 17:27
and even then, not everyone extensively code-switches into English on a regular basis.
Definitely true, but why would that matter?
Well, you were responding to a discussion about diglossia, so I'd say the context sort of implied widespread fluency (as opposed to knowing a few words)... And by the more narrow definition of diglossia, there would also need to be regular context-based code switching. Now, no doubt there are environments in Finland where Finnish and English are indeed in a diglossic relationship (say, a company whose working language is English, so employees might use that at work and Finnish at home), but for the Finnish speech community as a whole, no.

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

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 20 Jul 2018 00:06

So...what are your guys' best theories about where the word "femur" comes from? I'm always interested in Latin words of obscure origin [:D]
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by qwed117 » 20 Jul 2018 00:16

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
20 Jul 2018 00:06
So...what are your guys' best theories about where the word "femur" comes from? I'm always interested in Latin words of obscure origin [:D]
My guess is that it is somehow derived from *bʰer- from PIE. I don't know enough about PIE suffixation and similar to make a good guess though
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » 20 Jul 2018 06:09

It comes from “fee” meaning a debt, and “mur” meaning a broken bone. If you didn’t pay on time they’d break your thighs.

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

Post by All4Ɇn » 20 Jul 2018 06:19

eldin raigmore wrote:
20 Jul 2018 06:09
It comes from “fee” meaning a debt, and “mur” meaning a broken bone. If you didn’t pay on time they’d break your thighs.
It's obviously an acronym for something. If random images on Facebook have me anything its that practically every word is really just an old acronym [xD]

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