OT: Citation forms of words, and the cynicism required to study Georgian [was Re: sorta OT: cases: please help...]
|From:||Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, December 9, 2001, 4:17|
Quoting Muke Tever <alrivera@...>:
> > In a dictionary, you don't find entries listed in the dative or
> > genitive or locative or whatever other case.
> The 'citation form' isn't always universal anyway. You can just
> look at verbs for this: do we list under the infinitive (like
> Spanish, English), first person present (Latin, Greek), or, oh,
> third person past (Semitic, I think)?
Indeed. In Georgian, verbs aren't even listed in dictionaries as
verbs, but rather under the so-called "mostar" form, which is a
Sakartvelos aaoxres vsc'avlobdi.
Georgia.GEN destroy.M 1P.study.PFF.IMP
I was studying the destruction of Georgia
(At least, I think that's how you'd say it. I might be confusing
this with the sentence meaning "I was studying how to destroy
Georgia", which is just as amusing. I bet the people of Abkhazia
actually use that one!)
This brings up an interesting and cynically humorous tangent.
In my first-year Georgian class we were getting in to our first
real reading of noncontrived Georgian texts. The first was a
brief history of Georgia from Christianization in the early fourth
century upto about the 13th century. Before we started, however,
my teacher paused to give us a little clue about learning Georgian
vocabulary. Normally, he said, when you're learning vocabulary
there are a few words that (stereo-)typically come up over and
over again. So, in German, you get words like "Bier", "Leberkäs",
"Lederhosen" and in French "fromage", "vin", "Champs Elysee", etc.
In Georgian, the same type of words will typically be things like
"destroy", "take into one's hands", "lay waste" and "burn". Thus,
he says, you learn not just about the Georgian language, but Georgian
history as well!
Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <http://home.uchicago.edu/~trwier>
"...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..."
University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought /
1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn"
Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers