(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat »

cedh wrote: 12 Jun 2020 08:55
Creyeditor wrote: 12 Jun 2020 00:10 German allows the construction but I don't know if it's completely parallel. You can either say (1) or (2) without much difference in meaning:

(1) Mein Frühstück heute
my breakfast today
`my breakfast today'

(2) Mein heut-iges Frühstück
my today-ADJ breakfast
`my breakfast today'
I don't think this is completely parallel, because the suffix -ig is a derivational adjectivalizer and not a genitive. It's more or less the equivalent of a hypothetical English "my today-y breakfast".

Google Translate gives kyō no watashi no chōshoku as the Japanese equivalent. I'm not an expert for Japanese, but AFAICT this is indeed a double genitive construction that would be glossed as "today=GEN 1SG=GEN breakfast" or similar.
My understanding of Japanese tells me that kyō no watashi no chōshoku is an acceptable construction but may be a little awkward. However I am not a native speaker.
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Post by Creyeditor »

cedh wrote: 12 Jun 2020 08:55
Creyeditor wrote: 12 Jun 2020 00:10 German allows the construction but I don't know if it's completely parallel. You can either say (1) or (2) without much difference in meaning:

(1) Mein Frühstück heute
my breakfast today
`my breakfast today'

(2) Mein heut-iges Frühstück
my today-ADJ breakfast
`my breakfast today'
I don't think this is completely parallel, because the suffix -ig is a derivational adjectivalizer and not a genitive. It's more or less the equivalent of a hypothetical English "my today-y breakfast".

Google Translate gives kyō no watashi no chōshoku as the Japanese equivalent. I'm not an expert for Japanese, but AFAICT this is indeed a double genitive construction that would be glossed as "today=GEN 1SG=GEN breakfast" or similar.
Right, so the Indonesian one would be more similar, since the same construction [NOUN NOUN] is also used for possessor [POSSESSOR POSSESSED] without any additional marking, as in (4).

(4) Sepatu ayah
shoe father
`Father's shoe(s)'

Still, regarding bracketing it looks more like `today's my breakfast'.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by jimydog000 »

The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

jimydog000 wrote: 14 Jun 2020 17:23 The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
Are people confusing it with "condemn"?
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Post by eldin raigmore »

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 14 Jun 2020 18:48
jimydog000 wrote: 14 Jun 2020 17:23 The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
Are people confusing it with "condemn"?
Or “condign”?
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KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 14 Jun 2020 18:48
jimydog000 wrote: 14 Jun 2020 17:23 The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
Are people confusing it with "condemn"?
People say “I do not condone...” way too much imo, because it’s so much more wishy-washy than “I condemn”.

Also wait until you hear about “sanction”...
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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

qwed117 wrote: 17 Jun 2020 02:32 Also wait until you hear about “sanction”...
Ah, yes, "sanction", my favorite contranym. Means both to approve something and to penalize.

Like "clip", which means both to attach and to cut off.
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Post by qwed117 »

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 17 Jun 2020 02:34
qwed117 wrote: 17 Jun 2020 02:32 Also wait until you hear about “sanction”...
Ah, yes, "sanction", my favorite contronym. Means both to approve something and to penalize.

Like "clip", which means both to attach and to cut off.
and cleave, to glue together and to chop off
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Post by Salmoneus »

qwed117 wrote: 17 Jun 2020 02:32
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 14 Jun 2020 18:48
jimydog000 wrote: 14 Jun 2020 17:23 The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
Are people confusing it with "condemn"?
People say “I do not condone...” way too much imo, because it’s so much more wishy-washy than “I condemn”.
Contrariwise, if more people were able to understand that it's possible to not condone a thing without needing to condemn it, or to not condemn it without needing to condone it, the world would be a far better place...[/quote]

"Cleave" is a slightly different phenomenon to 'clip' and 'sanction', in that the latter are single words with two meanings, while 'cleave' is two different words that are homophonous in some, but not all, forms. This is seen in the past tense: "cleaved" (stuck to) vs "clove" (split; archaic "cleft" or "clave"); and similarly in the participle (cleaved vs cloven/cleft).


On the other hand, "sanction" is also different from "cleave" and "clip" in another way: it's still autantonymous in the noun form.
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Post by qwed117 »

Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jun 2020 21:22 [quote=qwed117 post_id=301602 time=<a href="tel:1592353949">1592353949</a> user_id=3056]
[quote=KaiTheHomoSapien post_id=301527 time=<a href="tel:1592153304">1592153304</a> user_id=3391]
[quote=jimydog000 post_id=301526 time=<a href="tel:1592148195">1592148195</a> user_id=3412]
The word condone is reversing it's meaning or is it just me?
Are people confusing it with "condemn"?
[/quote]

People say “I do not condone...” way too much imo, because it’s so much more wishy-washy than “I condemn”.[/quote]

Contrariwise, if more people were able to understand that it's possible to not condone a thing without needing to condemn it, or to not condemn it without needing to condone it, the world would be a far better place...[/quote]

"Cleave" is a slightly different phenomenon to 'clip' and 'sanction', in that the latter are single words with two meanings, while 'cleave' is two different words that are homophonous in some, but not all, forms. This is seen in the past tense: "cleaved" (stuck to) vs "clove" (split; archaic "cleft" or "clave"); and similarly in the participle (cleaved vs cloven/cleft).


On the other hand, "sanction" is also different from "cleave" and "clip" in another way: it's still autantonymous in the noun form.
[/quote]
well, clip has nominal forms derived from the autantonymous definitions. A “clip” can be a portion of an object (“a video clip”) as well as something used to hold disparate objects together (“a paperclip”)
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Post by Parlox »

Is a uvular later trill attested in any natlangs? I have it contrasting with a "typical" uvular trill and a palatalized version in one of my conlangs, thus yielding /ʀ ʀʲ ʀˡ/.
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Parlox wrote: 22 Jun 2020 19:41 Is a uvular later trill attested in any natlangs? I have it contrasting with a "typical" uvular trill and a palatalized version in one of my conlangs, thus yielding /ʀ ʀʲ ʀˡ/.
What exactly do you mean by that? A uvular trill with an alveolar lateral release? A uvular trill with a velar lateral release? As for a uvular lateral release, people have argued that uvular laterals are impossible. Anyway, I don't think any of these is attested in any natlang I know of. The closest I can think of is Mee /g͡ʟ/ which has an intervocalic allophone [ɣ͡ʟ].
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Post by Ser »

Pabappa wrote: 11 Jun 2020 23:47Are there languages in which the equivalent of "my today's breakfast" would be grammatical? It seems to be a common mistake among English learners, perhaps including young native speakers. The only way to properly express this in English is to take one of the modifiers out of the clause and either say "my breakfast (for) today" or, less commonly, "today's breakfast for me". Or else reword the sentence entirely and have "the breakfast I ate today".

But it seems like such a simple construction .... I'd expect there must be at least some languages that allow it. Ideally from an inflecting language that uses the genitive inflection on both the 1st person pronoun and the word "today", such that the two words fulfill identical roles in the sentence.
Very acceptable in Spanish. Mi desayuno de hoy.
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Post by eldin raigmore »

Pabappa wrote: 11 Jun 2020 23:47 Are there languages in which the equivalent of "my today's breakfast" would be grammatical? It seems to be a common mistake among English learners, perhaps including young native speakers. The only way to properly express this in English is to take one of the modifiers out of the clause and either say "my breakfast (for) today" or, less commonly, "today's breakfast for me". Or else reword the sentence entirely and have "the breakfast I ate today".

But it seems like such a simple construction .... I'd expect there must be at least some languages that allow it. Ideally from an inflecting language that uses the genitive inflection on both the 1st person pronoun and the word "today", such that the two words fulfill identical roles in the sentence.
I believe it’s perfectly acceptable/accepted English.
Your post is the first time I’ve heard its grammaticality questioned.
I not only understood it immediately and unambiguously; it didn’t sound weird to me.

I don’t even know whether in my idiolect I’d be unlikely to choose it over “my breakfast today”. I think I would, but ...

I propose or hypothesize that it may be unlikely in certain dialects (or registers; or maybe also genres?), but it isn’t ungrammatical for the language as a whole.
Not a *asterisk for ungrammatical.
And not really an entire ?question-mark for “marked” or “questionable” grammaticality.
If there were such a thing as half of a question-mark, maybe that.
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Ser wrote: 05 Jul 2020 02:30
Pabappa wrote: 11 Jun 2020 23:47Are there languages in which the equivalent of "my today's breakfast" would be grammatical? It seems to be a common mistake among English learners, perhaps including young native speakers. The only way to properly express this in English is to take one of the modifiers out of the clause and either say "my breakfast (for) today" or, less commonly, "today's breakfast for me". Or else reword the sentence entirely and have "the breakfast I ate today".

But it seems like such a simple construction .... I'd expect there must be at least some languages that allow it. Ideally from an inflecting language that uses the genitive inflection on both the 1st person pronoun and the word "today", such that the two words fulfill identical roles in the sentence.
Very acceptable in Spanish. Mi desayuno de hoy.
Depends what he's asking. Semantically, sure - and semantically there are fine ways of saying it in English too - "my breakfast for today" is probably the easiest, or indeed just "my breakfast today". "My breakfast of the day" is also possible, though only found I think in specific contexts (sory of suggests having different things for breakfast each day, etc).

But the reason it's absolutely impossible in English is not semantic, but syntactic: we can't have two genitives modify the same head, and we can't have a possessive adjective modify something that's already modified by a genitive.

I think there's probably three reasons for this. Semantically, of course, such a double-genitive is rarely needed. And in terms of parsing, such constructions have to be avoided because they're formally identical to a construction where one genitive modifies the other ["My aunt's breakfast", for instance - is the breakfast yours, or the aunt? Well, because in English we use this construction to say that the aunt is yours, we can't also use it to say that the breakfast is yours].

That second reason in turn is because of English word order, and the rule can be reordered to say 'possessives must modify the adjacent noun phrase': because our fixed word order puts all our possessives to the left of the noun, they would have to act 'through' each other and this couldn't be distinguished from acting on one another. Notably, most of the ways to rephrase this in English use postpositive adjectives and prepositional phrases specifically because they come after the noun, letting us put the two modifiers on different sides of the same noun and hence have their scope be unambiguous.

We can only put both possessives on the left, but both modifying the same head, when the medial possessive is actually part of a lexical item with the head. So "his widow's peak" is "his [widow's peak]", not "[his widow's] peak" because "widow's peak" has become covertly lexicalised. Similarly expressions like "day's work" are effectively fixed lexical units now. [note that it's common to say "finished my day's work" or "finished my life's work", but "finished my year's work" sounds, at best, really weird, and we'd almost always prefer "finished my work for the year" or "finished this year's work" or the like].

[prediction: languages with suffixaufnahme may well allow these double-possessive structures, because the ambiguities do not arise]


Finally, AIUI/AIR, there's a deeper issue here about definiteness in Germanic languages - AIUI/AIR, there was already an (albeit weaker) prohibition on double-definitising nouns in Old Germanic, before the word order became fixed. As possessive adjectives, definite articles and genitives all make a noun definite, you can only have one of them at a time: no "the Gandalf's staff" or "my the cat" [instead, the staff of Gandalf and the cat of mine - prepositional phrases don't inherently make the noun definite, so a definitiser is still allowed].
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Salmoneus wrote: 05 Jul 2020 18:12
Ser wrote: 05 Jul 2020 02:30Very acceptable in Spanish. Mi desayuno de hoy.
Depends what he's asking. [...]
Well, I would also accept a more explicitly doubly-marked possession with a human NP: el desayuno de hoy de Elvira, el desayuno de hoy de las enfermeras. It's a rather uncommon construction to use though, because typically the head noun has been modified as being "of today" before, or because the human possessor has also been mentioned before and so appears with the more common construction with a pronoun: mi desayuno de hoy 'my breakfast for today'.

It's pretty interesting that you mention a larger pattern in Germanic of avoiding double definite marking with articles, possessive adjectives and genitive nouns, unless a prepositional phrase gets involved. Romance languages of course don't have such a history with their basic determiners, with constructions like:
- Old Spanish (and some dialectal Spanish today) la su casa 'his house'
- Spanish esta su muñeca 'this doll of hers', esa su muñeca 'that doll of hers'
- Salvadoran Spanish una su muñeca 'a certain doll of hers, a doll of hers'
- Spanish todas las casas 'all houses, all the houses, every house'
- Portuguese ambos os lados 'both sides' (interestingly considered "vulgar" in some Brazilian dialects, but always prestigious in Portugal!)
- Old Gallo-Romance cadhuna cosa 'each thing' < κατὰ ūnam causam
- Middle French chacune chose 'each thing' < quamque ūnam causam
- Spanish alguna casa 'some house or other, a house somewhere' < aliquam ūnam casam

I'm not aware of any language with "which?" + article though (imaginary Spanish *cuál la cosa 'which thing?'), although as a relative pronoun (not an interrogative one) many or most medieval and early modern Romance languages have article + "which" + redundant/generalizing noun (Spanish fuimos a la plaza, el cual lugar nos esperaba 'we went to the townsquare, a place that was waiting for us', literally "..., the which place was waiting for us"), a usage that still tends to stick around in literary/fanciful writing.
Last edited by Ser on 05 Jul 2020 22:01, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by qwed117 »

Ser wrote: 05 Jul 2020 20:22
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Jul 2020 18:12
Ser wrote: 05 Jul 2020 02:30Very acceptable in Spanish. Mi desayuno de hoy.
Depends what he's asking. [...]
Well, I would also accept a more explicitly double possession with an NP: el desayuno de hoy de Elvira, el desayuno de hoy de las enfermeras. It's a rather uncommon construction to use though, because typically the head noun has been modified as being "of today" before, or because the human possessor also has and so appears with the more common construction with a pronoun: mi desayuno de hoy 'my breakfast for today'.

It's pretty interesting that you mention a larger pattern in Germanic of avoiding double definite marking with articles, possessive adjectives and genitive nouns, unless a prepositional phrase gets involved. Romance languages of course don't have such a history with their basic determiners, with constructions like:
- Old Spanish (and some dialectal Spanish today) la su casa 'his house'
- Spanish esta su muñeca 'this doll of hers', esa su muñeca 'that doll of hers'
- Salvadoran Spanish una su muñeca 'a certain doll of hers, a doll of hers'
- Spanish todas las casas 'all houses, all the houses, every house'
- Portuguese ambos os lados 'both sides' (interestingly considered "vulgar" in some Brazilian dialects, but always prestigious in Portugal!)
- Old Gallo-Romance cadhuna cosa 'each thing' < κατὰ ūnam causam
- Middle French chacune chose 'each thing' < quamque ūnam causam
- Spanish alguna casa 'some house or other, a house somewhere' < aliquam ūnam casam
I’ll just add that in Sardinian, determiners are obligatory with possessives so you get stuff like “sa domo mea” (my house) or “sos gattos tous” (your cats)
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Post by Parlox »

Creyeditor wrote: 24 Jun 2020 23:37 What exactly do you mean by that? A uvular trill with an alveolar lateral release? A uvular trill with a velar lateral release? As for a uvular lateral release, people have argued that uvular laterals are impossible. Anyway, I don't think any of these is attested in any natlang I know of. The closest I can think of is Mee /g͡ʟ/ which has an intervocalic allophone [ɣ͡ʟ].
Sorry for the late reply.. I mean a uvular lateral in the truest sense, no alveolar lateral or velar lateral release. I personally can pronounce a uvular lateral trill so I'm kind of curious about who argued it isn't possible?
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Parlox wrote: 05 Jul 2020 20:47
Creyeditor wrote: 24 Jun 2020 23:37 What exactly do you mean by that? A uvular trill with an alveolar lateral release? A uvular trill with a velar lateral release? As for a uvular lateral release, people have argued that uvular laterals are impossible. Anyway, I don't think any of these is attested in any natlang I know of. The closest I can think of is Mee /g͡ʟ/ which has an intervocalic allophone [ɣ͡ʟ].
Sorry for the late reply.. I mean a uvular lateral in the truest sense, no alveolar lateral or velar lateral release. I personally can pronounce a uvular lateral trill so I'm kind of curious about who argued it isn't possible?
They are definitely not attested in natlangs and the English example on Wikipedia is a uvularized lateral. I am actually not sure who argued that they are impossible, but it might be connected to the flacity of the uvula and the stiffness required for a lateral articulation. Maybe it is even in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996): The Sounds of the World's Languages. When I try to pronounce a uvular lateral, my tongue reaches back to a post-velar position, but it does not really fully reach the uvula, but I might be wrong.
Edit: Ladefoged, Peter, Ann Cochran & Sandra Disner (1977). Laterals and trills.JIPA7:2, 46–54. is another source, I found.
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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

What is the semantic process that led to the grammaticalization of the word "have" (and similar words in Romance languages)? What makes "have" become a signifier of the perfect aspect? Are there any other words that are likely to indicate the same aspect in other languages?
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