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zompist bboard • View topic - How are conjunctions handled cross-linguistically?

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:40 pm 
Sanci
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For example, in IE languages you tend to do something like:

[noun phrase], [noun phrase], [...] AND [noun phrase]

There's also the enclitic -que used in Latin, as in:

Senatus Populusque Romanus

What other options are used? For example, I imagine there's probably some language where the conjunction is required in between each word. But I'm interested in other options: are there options where the conjunction agrees with the noun phrases it joins? Are there languages where the nouns have to be inflected in a certain way to be conjoined?

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:43 pm 
Smeric
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In Malayalam, usually, you add a suffix to each noun phrase that's conjoined. So it's like [noun phrase]-[ʊm] [noun phrase]-[ʊm] [noun phrase]-[ʊm]...


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:49 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 pm 
Smeric
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I don't think you would.

EDIT: Actually, there is one trick you can use for that: "ketchup-[ʊm] mustard-[ʊm], salt-[ʊm] pepper-[ʊm], then mayo-[ʊm] relish-[ʊm]."


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:24 pm 
Avisaru
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Verbal/clausal conjunction and nominal conjunction . Verbal is generally the same as clausal, but sometimes different, either with a three-way contrast or clausal versus verbal/nominal. It's fairly common to have an explicit nominal conjunction but mark verbal conjunction purely by juxtaposition.

Nominal conjunction is to the adposition "with."

The line between "and" and "or," or further differentiation between the two, (page 30 w/source).

Someone mentioned on here a language where nominal conjugation inflects like a transitive verb, the first noun being the "verb's" subject and the second the object, but I don't remember what it was.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:47 pm 
Avisaru
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Some languages seem to lack a word for 'and', such as Middle Egyptian, and just adjoin the words. I've seen this in Thai for closely linked words, like 'father and mother'. In Sanskrit, one can form dvanda compounds, where all but the last word lose their inflections.

The word for 'and' can affect the following word, e.g. Welsh a(c) is supposed to take the aspirate mutation on the following word, so 'pen and paper' is pen a phapur. The use of a preposition meaning 'with' is widespread amongst languages, and that can have all the effects that a preposition normally does.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 6:26 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 6:32 pm 
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Might be worth pointing out that in french, CONJ NP CONJ NP has a special meaning:

et Jean-Pierre et son frère = both Jean-Pierre and his brother
ou bon ou mauvais = either good or bad

Logically, one would expect that CONJ NP NP would be attested somewhere, but I can't find any examples by quick Googling.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 4:06 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:16 pm 
Avisaru
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There's and and there's and. Not all conjunctions are equal and the nuances can be quite tricky to point down.

Icelandic has no independent conjunction akin to English "yet", conflating it with en which primarily means "but". But Icelandic en can be used to form semi-dependent clarification clauses, usually translated into relative clauses in English or replaced by a dash:

Nýji starfsmaðurinn kom í gær en hann hafði áður unnið hjá PepsiCo
"The new employee came yesterday – he had previously worked for PepsiCo"

So that's weird.

Icelandic also has the conjunction enda which has no English equivalent, meaning something like "as", "granted that", "which as you know" or "which makes sense as" something like that. It's especially weird in that it demands V1 word order, moving the verb in front of the subject:

Nýji starfsmaðurinn kom í gær enda var samninginum hans hjá PepsiCo lokið
"The new employee came yesterday which makes sense as his contract was up at PepsiCo"

So that's also weird.

Latin had like four-five ands: -que, et, atque, ac, nec non. The last one's more like "and besides" and atque is sometimes more appropriately translated as "as well as" or "and moreover" but not always. It also had two ors, sed and aut. But it has no "yet" or "enda".

Greek has those particles like oun and de which are sort of like conjunctions but a little bit like discourse particles, too. And they appear as the second word in a sentence, breaking up even a noun from its article.

There's a lot that can be done with conjunctions…

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:05 pm 
Avisaru
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Note also that Ancient Greek δέ can mean "and" or "but". This actually makes sense—the meaning of the sentence is often enough to tell you whether it is consistent with, or contrary to, the speaker's expectations.

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Ο ορανς τα ανα̨ριθομον ϝερρον εͱεν ανθροποτροφον.
Το̨ ανθροπς αυ̨τ εκψον επ αθο̨ οραναμο̨ϝον.
Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν. Θαιν.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:22 am 
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