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Re: Prescriptivist grammar

From:Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Date:Monday, May 24, 1999, 15:13
On Sun, 23 May 1999, FFlores wrote:

>=20 > Ha ha! This is exactly what the missionaires did with > Mapuche/Mapudungu (which I mentioned in another post). They > made it fit into the Latin pattern. A Father Havestadt > wrote a grammar where the language inflects its nouns > and pronouns for all the Latin cases, even the ablative, > and the verbs are "conjugated" after the Latin model, > with tenses named after the Latin ones. I don't know > about Denden, but Mapudungu is a highly agglutinative > language with almost none of the features of Latin > grammar, so the result must have been both hilarious > and useless. Imagine how this guy could have analized > words like >=20 > kutranfororkey "they say he has a toothache" > r=FCngk=FCkonfemtuaymi "you will immediately jump back inside" >=20
When studying Himalayan languages I often had to work with these 19th century grammars - they are hilarious (there are Hannah's grammar of Tibetan comes to mind), but some of them are still awe-inspiring because of their painstaking accuracy!
>=20 >=20 > > Really quite a fun project :-). I've also lying somewhere the > > rudiments of a real, native, Denden prescriptive grammar... >=20 > In Denden? I'd like to do that for and in Drasel=E9q, but > such things require a proper set of pedantic high-sounding > words and phrases that I don't have :-). But it could be > in the form of commandments, say "Thou shalt not say _n=FCmp_". >=20
I'm afraid that of the native grammar by Master Hinadan only=20 a Dutch translation survives. Chatyan pedants just use the Classical language, and they're set. They have quite an original style of writing such works, though: every rule is given in=20 an aphorism with a larger commentary by the author himself. None of the endless commentaries Panini has inspired, the author did it himself.
>=20 > --Pablo Flores >=20
Boudewijn Rempt |