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 Post subject: Re: Kebreni and Chinese
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:35 pm 
Lebom
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 Post subject: Re: Kebreni and Chinese
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:51 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 6:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 6:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:15 pm 
Lebom
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Well, then I'm not sure that I understand. Possibly I'm simply being dense - I don't really understand intellectually what the perfect means in English, and I've been using that all my life.

[edit: changed "perfective" to "perfect". English doesn't have a specifically perfective aspect, unless you count the unmarked case, and I've got a good handle on what it means anyway.]


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:44 pm 
Lebom
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Well I have to say it's the same thing as the English pair of:

I've gone to the shop.
I went to the shop.

They don't really differ, except that the first seems to emphasize the "completeness" while the second stresses the "pastness".
I guess that doesn't really make sense, yet we can instinctively tell which one to use.

Similarly, let's say for Chinese (which works similarly to Kebreni)

duan3 xiu4zi
duan3(duan3) de xiu4zi

Again, they both mean "short-sleeves", but the first emphasizes the "characteristic" and the second, the "descriptiveness"...
Well it's really hard to explain, but I hope you see my point.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:23 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:53 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 1:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 6:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 12:00 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 6:48 pm 
Lebom
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Nice link, butsuri! I'll certainly be looking over it.

Anyway, here's the next tidbit(s):

First of all, the counters. Some of you might know this, for those who don't:
all Chinese nouns are uncountable. Yes, that's right. To count air in English, you need to measure it by liters or something, you can't say "two airs". This applies for all Chinese nouns:

yi4 pi2 ma3
one-counter horse
"a horse"

san3 pi2 ma3
three-counter horse
"three horses"

this allows for distinctions like:

yi4 duo3 hua1
one-flowercounter flower
"a flower"

yi4 ke1 hua1
one-treecounter flower
"a flower plant"

yi2 cu4 hua1
one-bunchcounter flower
"a bunch of flowers"

There are no rules to which counter goes with which noun. You have to memorize all of them! (there're more than 100 counters) But there are general guidelines, like you'll have a stickcounter, a masscounter, a personcounter, a machinecounter, etc.

for those of you who don't find this news... the next tidbit should be coming in soon.

Another thing: If you know any interesting Feature from Non-IE languages or exotic IE languages, please post them.. Chinese may be different from IE but it only goes so far.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 7:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 8:00 pm 
Lebom
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Yeah, you can say that all nouns are pretty much mass nouns. Ma3 means "horse" in the same way "water" means water and not bottles of water.

On the other hand, there's a weird phenomenon in Chinese involving these counters, basically making mass nouns even more "mass-like":

Ma3pi3
horse-horsecounter
"horses" (in general)

Zhi3zhang1
paper-papercounter
"paper" (in general)

Hua1duo3
flower-flowercounter
"flowers" (in general)

This is, however, not a productive process, and only applies to a very tiny number of nouns. A reason for these extra-masslike mass nouns could also be because Chinese prefers disyllabic nouns to monosyllabic nouns.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 1:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 1:37 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 1:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:20 pm 
Lebom
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Mmm, well this thread seems to expand my mind quite a bit, especially the tidbits coming in about Uralic languages or Quechua... anyway, I've already started converting my half-baked conlang from a stress-system to a hybrid "tone-pitch-stress" system. It's getting very interesting so far.

well back to the topic...

In fact, the boundaries of "there is" and "to have" seem to merge in Chinese...

you3 yi4-benr3 shu1
there-is one-counter book
"there's a book"

nei4bianr1 you3 yi4-benr3 shu1
over-there there-is one-counter book
"over there there's a book"

wo3 you3 yi4-benr3 shu1
I there-is one-counter book
"(As for) me, there's a book" = "I have a book"

you3 is also the only irregular verb in Chinese (so to speak). All verbs, every single one, takes bu4 for negative. Only you3 changes itself to mei2, or mei2you3.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:35 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:54 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 5:00 pm 
Avisaru
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Just to throw in an example from an Altaic language into the discussion of possessive forms:

Kazakh (a Turkic language) normally expresses possession in a manner similar to that in Hungarian (a Uralic (Finno-Ugric) one), by using a possessive noun/pronoun plus an indication of existence or nonexistence.
For example:

(Mening) mysyghym bar = I have a cat.
(Mening) mysyghym zhoq = I don't have a cat.

Mening" is "my" (the genitive form of "I", optional here),
"mysygym" is "my cat" (mysyq + -ym, required for a possessed noun),
"bar" = "(there) is, (there are)"
"zhoq" = "(there) isn't, (there) aren't"; also the word for "No".

So the literal translation is "My cat is" and "My cat isn't".

A different negative form, "yemes", is used for sentences like this one:
Bul mening mysygym yemes = This isn't my cat.

On the other hand, most other negative verbal forms (except for one of the past tenses) use an infix incorporated into the verb, as follows:
"Mysyghym tyrnamaidy" = My cat doesn't scratch.

I don't know if this is of interest, but I just wanted to provide another example...

p@,
--G.


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 Post subject: Tidbits from beyond IE
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 3:27 am 
Smeric
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[quote="Glenn Kempf"]Kazakh (a Turkic language) normally expresses possession in a manner similar to that in Hungarian (a Uralic (Finno-Ugric) one), by using a possessive noun/pronoun plus an indication of existence or nonexistence.
For example:

(Mening) mysyghym bar = I have a cat.
(Mening) mysyghym zhoq = I don't have a cat.

Hi Glenn,

just curious: I met people (mostly Kazakhs with only little command of their native language and Russians trying to speak Kazakh) using the construction

Mende mysyq bar / zhoq = I have / don't have a cat

This seems to be a calque of Russian "u menya est' koshka / net koshki".

Did you also encounter this construction?

Sau bol,

Hans-Werner


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