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Re: [QUESTION] Interlinear translations

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Thursday, May 30, 2002, 17:16
At 8:10 AM +0100 05/30/02, Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
>Hi everyone, > >Shortly before the start of a new relay, I think this is the right moment to >ask a question that has been bothering me a while now. > >Is there some kind of standard "syntax" for making interlinear translations? >If so, could someone explain the rules to me in brief, or point me >to a link of some kind?
I don't know if there is a "standard," so I'll describe how I handle the interlinear apparatus in my work (both professional and hobby). I have at least four lines in a typical gloss: i) phonetic/phonological form, ii) morph-by-morph parse, iii) morpheme glosses in English, iv) idiomatic English translation. Only the second and third lines are aligned vertically with each other to facilitate reading the interlinear analysis; this is done by spacing in a monowidth font or by setting tabs in a proportional font. For the third line I use small caps (when available for grammatical labels) or their abbreviations (or regular caps when small caps are not available), and lower case for glosses of items with "lexical" meaning. If a lexical gloss is phrasal, I separate the words in the gloss by periods rather than spaces. If there is no clear morpheme boundary which can be drawn in complex forms, I separate the morphological glosses with a colon (this is especially common for non-concatenative morphology such as is found in Semitic). In the second and third lines an affix is separated from its stem by a hyphen (-); a clitic is separated from its host by an equal sign (=), and an infix is separated from the base by enclosing the infix in <angled brackets>. Here's an example of a glossed sentence from Miapimoquitch showing some of these conventions (best viewed in a monowidth font): hamukunpuu pitteka asata ha= mu= ku= n- puu pitte -ka a= s- ata IMP= NEG= 2= TR- go see:U -UN DET= 3P- father 'Don't visit his father!' (Abbreviations are: IMP 'imperative', NEG 'negative', 2 'second person', TR 'transitive', U 'unbound phase', UN 'unbound phase (suffix)', DET 'determiner', 3P 'third person possessive'.) This sentence contains a complex predicate /puu pite/ 'visit (lit: go see)'. Mood, person, and transitivity are marked on the initial element of the complex predicate, while phase (and other categories -- directionals and possibly tense) is marked on the second element. The second element _pitte-_ is glossed 'see:U'; the "U" glosses 'unbound phase'. Unbound phase is marked by gemination of the medial consonant, so there isn't a "morpheme" as such; hence the colon in the gloss. For prosodic reasons, the suffix _-ka_, glossed '-UN', is also attached in some cases to a predicate which is unbound in phase. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile. 'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.' - Old English Proverb