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R: Re: R: Re: Uusisuom's influences

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Monday, April 2, 2001, 20:18
John Cowan wrote

> Mangiat scripsit: > > > It's intriguing enough, anyway, that the Finnish word for 'father' comes
> > Gothic. > > Really? I know this is true for "mother": Gothic aithei > Finnish a"iti. > (In Gothic spelling as in Greek, "ei" means /i:/.)
You're right. Kinship terminology has always been a pain for me... don't know why... the problem is that I sometimes have problems also in Italian (cognati, nuore, suocere...!)!
> > 2_ It has a difficult phonology (yessirs, and here's why): [...] > > It has vowel harmony. > > I grant your other points, but why should vowel harmony make things more > difficult? I was using it just the other day, in a Turkish restaurant, > to reconstruct which items on the menu were spelled with "i" and which > with "dotless-i": the printer obviously used a Latin-1 font that > had u" and o" but no dotless-i. If anything, I should think > vowel harmony would tend to make things easier, not harder.
? I have a word 'ev' (house) and a suffix which can be both 'ler' or 'lar'. I always have to choose the one I want to add (the solution is 'evler' = 'houses', I think). So the process here is: 1) take the word 2) analyse its phonemic structure (ie.: which kind of vowels are there? Front vowels? Back vowels? - the thing you did with the menu : ) 3) choos the suffix 4) add it to the word If I had only a suffix 'lar', say, I'd have a process like this: 1) take the word 2) add the suffix.
> > > Indeed, the only way, as far as I can see, that one can be completely > > > neutral is to take the a_priori approach. > > > > Which, anyway, using a vocabulary based on made up roots no language
> > would turn back as a boomerang. > > There is a third way: the Loglan "Chicken McNuggets" words, which are
> to resemble, without actually being the same as, words from various > (numerically) great world languages. Thus, *mrenu* 'human being' is
> to suggest both English 'man' and Chinese 'ren2'.
A very nice solution, this one... -------------------------------------------------------- Yoon Ha wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Apr 2001, Mangiat wrote: > > > Then it's not exactly the language I'd choose as model for an AUXLANG. > > Here's why: > > > > 1_ It's difficult to learn. Ok, every language is difficult to learn,
> > as someone said, 'if you can master Finnish, then you can learn almost > > everything'. Then why should anyone rely on a Finnish inspired
> > language, when there out there are about 5000 natural languages, most of > > whom do have a simpler syntax? > > Well, as they say, "simple" is relative. That being said, however, what > are the statistics on various traits--are most languages in the world > today agglutinating? Isolating? Inflecting? etc.
I think agglutinating.
> (I seriously doubt you'll get anything really useful out of such > statistics, but I do find myself curious.) >
> > This has, however, a dark side, as well. Picking up vocabulary from
> > and Lithuanian means using roots known by almost 10 mio. people, to say
> > least, while at least a fifth of the world population speaks a language > > whose roots have inspired Euroclones' vocabulary (English, French, > > Spanish...). > > Heh. And if they don't speak one of those languages, there's a good bet > they have loan-words floating around in their native tongue, e.g.
Exactly. It's much more common having English or Spanish loans than Lithuanian or Finnish ones. Especially if you live (as about 2,5 bio. people on this planet) in Asia, and you probably even do not know where Lithuania or Finland are.
> bbang in Korean (from Portuguese? pan--whatever it is that's cognate with > French pain) > terebi in Japanese and Korean > etc. > > > Funny to notice, I find beautiful conlangs terrible auxlangs... this is, > > anyway, probably due to the naturalness many conlangs aim to. And I love > > naturality, while auxlang *have* to be so neutral that they become
> > without an own spirit, losing naturalness. > > :-) Me too--which is why I'm on this list. I don't know enough > linguistics or languages to understand a lot of the features and > discussions and conlangs, but I like studying languages because of their > quirkiness (okay, the participles in Latin give me some trouble, but > that's my problem, not Latin's!), their individuality, what they tell me > about the culture (or conculture, if applicable) of those who might speak
it. I Agree 100%. -------------------------------------------------- John Cowan wrote:
> Mangiat scripsit: > > > [T]here is also in the way one pronounces the national > > language great difference between this and that region, or even between
> > and that town within the same region. > > But how great?
As far as I've been able to detect from our (to tell the truth, mostly yours, because I don't know very much abouth the matter) discussions about English dialects, about the same exsisting amongst different English dialects. No great differences within the vowel system, ok, at least not anymore. But you can always tell, as I've already said, where the guy you're talking to is from (correct, now? ;-).
>Enough to prevent mutual intelligibility?
Surely yes. But the same happens amongst English dialects, as well. Some days ago I've heard, on BBC world, a woman from /mEb@n/ who said something like /peipol/ instead of /pi:pl=/. But it was still intelligible.
> And are some pronunciations favored above others?
Yes. As you heve BBC English, we have our standard in the variety spoken on TV: generally Tuscanian without aspirated stops and such strange things.
> You state that Tuscan pronunciation is supposedly favored, except for > some features which are not, suggesting that there is an abstract > norm which is most favored everywhere, even if nobody actually > uses it.
You can hear it on TV and radio.
> > Then there's the sentence's intonation, by means of which every Italian > > speaker can understand where is the guy he's talking to from (hey, after
> > recent thread about relative clauses I seriously doubt the correctness
> > this last one. Would this cacophonious 'to from' be allowed?) > > No. It should be "where the guy he's talking to is from".
Thanks : ) ----------------------------------------------- Yoon Ha wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Apr 2001, Mangiat wrote: > > > Italian hasn't an established standard, as well. Besides different
> > and languages spoken in the peninsula (the Etnologue lists about 30 > > different languages), there is also in the way one pronounces the
> > language great difference between this and that region, or even between
> > and that town within the same region. The most troublesome problem is
> > realization of the infamous couplets /e/ - /E/ and /o/ - /O/. > > Hmm. So when you take Italian as a foreign language, say in the U.S. or > Britain or elsewhere, what kind do they teach you, and more importantly, > do they *tell* you which kind they're teaching you? :-)
I fear not. I think teachers will teach you their own variety of Italian, if they are mother tongue speakers, or the one they've learned. Personally, I'm not always sure of the Std. pronounciation... I'd have to check on the vocabulary - generally to discover that when I utter /e/ and /o/ I should pronounce /E/ and /O/, and vice versa. The problem, in my case, is probably caused by the fact that, while Lombard dialect/language or varieties of Italian rely very much on the 'openness' of a syllable (open syllable > /e/ - /o/; closed syllable /E/ - /O/), Tuscanian has almost completely retained the proto Romance vowel system. Thus, when Lombard guys had to pick up Tuscanian at school, in the early decades of this century, they started mangling and butchering vowels. I have an old Elementary school book (A. Stoppani, _Il bel Paese_, 1920) whose introduction states, about the way many teachers thaught the pronounciation of the national language: [...] e si tirava innanzi coll' u lombardo, inesorabilmente acuto come una lancia [...] tr.: and we got along with the 'Lombard u' (in Lombard, proto Romance u's reflex is /y/), inesorably sharp as a spear)...
> YHL, looking somewhat despairingly at her book on Italian, which she > isn't touching until she gets through this semester of Latin, and > wondering if she should settle for being able to read and write but not > speak, someday
; ) C'm'on, it's not that hard, anyway! Luca


Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>