The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Salmoneus
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:00
I apologize for putting words in your mouth. I misinterpreted where you wanted to go with the conversation.
Wow, thank you. Wasn't expecting that.

Sorry for snapping. I instinctively react badly to silencing tactics.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:12
Ser wrote:
02 Apr 2020 23:56
By the way, did you notice that Samuel Pepys uses the construction "few..., that..." instead of "so few... that..."? I was pretty surprised by it, since, well, Classical and Late Latin and the the bits of Old Spanish I'm familiar with have the same kind of construction you see in modern eurolangs today (namely "so few... that...", with "so...what" as correlative function words).
That's not quite what he's doing, AIUI. The 'so' isn't missing from the 'few', it's missing from the 'that'. In Early Modern English, "that" can introduce clauses of consequence all by itself, where now we'd need 'so that' (or just 'so', or in dialect 'so as'). So closer to your Mandarin example, I guess.

Although admittedly I can't off hand think of any quotes, or find a citation (wiktionary only mentions older uses of 'that' as introducing purposes and suppositions, and introducing clause after prepositions; but then, wiktionary doesn't even mention non-purposive 'so that', so...)
John 3:16
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:13
Wow, thank you. Wasn't expecting that.

Sorry for snapping. I instinctively react badly to silencing tactics.
It's okay. I was too quick on the draw, too. There's been a lot of people sharing bad information on my Facebook feed, so I suppose I'm primed to expect it.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Khemehekis wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:25
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:12
Ser wrote:
02 Apr 2020 23:56
By the way, did you notice that Samuel Pepys uses the construction "few..., that..." instead of "so few... that..."? I was pretty surprised by it, since, well, Classical and Late Latin and the the bits of Old Spanish I'm familiar with have the same kind of construction you see in modern eurolangs today (namely "so few... that...", with "so...what" as correlative function words).
That's not quite what he's doing, AIUI. The 'so' isn't missing from the 'few', it's missing from the 'that'. In Early Modern English, "that" can introduce clauses of consequence all by itself, where now we'd need 'so that' (or just 'so', or in dialect 'so as'). So closer to your Mandarin example, I guess.

Although admittedly I can't off hand think of any quotes, or find a citation (wiktionary only mentions older uses of 'that' as introducing purposes and suppositions, and introducing clause after prepositions; but then, wiktionary doesn't even mention non-purposive 'so that', so...)
John 3:16
You mean in the KJV?

Not necessarily!

The "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish" clause is a subjunctive 'that' clause of purpose (archaic today but still found).

The second clause is the interesting one. To a modern reader, it reads as though it's correlated with 'so' (he so loved it that), so isn't an example.

I think perhaps originally it was an example, and that the 'so' there might not originally have been read as a correlative, but only as an intensive - modern intensive so has to go at the end ("he loved him so!"), but AIUI it used to be freer in word order ("he so loved him!" - actually, come to think of it that order is STILL allowed, provided you emphasise the 'so' - from which we get the 'so' of overridden denial).

I think that the "so X that Y" construction originated from an earlier "X that Y" construction, with the "so" originally being only an intensifier in the first clause that then was reanalysed as a correlative. ['so' was already used as a correlative, but paired with 'so', or sometimes 'as' (and likewise 'as' could be paired with 'so' - as 'as' was only an emphatic form of 'so'. The so...as remains a feature of rural dialect, and is still found before an infinitive in the standard (so large as to...), while as...as is still found in equative comparisons (as X as Y), but they weren't originally specialised in this way... and so...so no longer exists]

[and then again, 'that' as a conjunction itself was originally 'swa that swa', iirc]

We probably need some comparative grammars of old, middle and early modern English here...


EDIT: couple of interesting points interesting points from other translations of your biblical line there. Wycliffe has the "so" after "loved", looking more like a modern intensifier. The Challoner, at least in the 1899 version, uses "so loved the world as to give...", which has an interesting feel for a modern reader.

And then the original Douay actually has "For fo God loued the vvorld, that he gaue his only-begotten sonne: that euery one that beleeueth in him, perifh not, but may have life euerlasting". So this, combined with the Wycliffe, reinforce my thought about the mobility of 'so', but doesn't prove that it's unnecessary - although the fact that Douay no longer puts 'so' next to the verb at all does make it look rather less correlative, I think. And then the purpose clause is still in the subjunctive, but here it's in a direct subjunctive rather than a periphrastic expression with a modal. Although it does also use modals elsewhere in the paragraph: "for he that doeth verity, cometh to the light, that his workes may be made manifest".

Damnit, I thought there was an interesting one in the next paragraph: "Your felues do beare me vvitneffe, that I faid, I am not C H R I S T: but that I am fent before him". But then I realised that of course these are plain indirect 'that's - although "bear me witness that" is no longer valid. Although I do think now that maybe my so-less indicative that clauses might best be found in "but that" clauses?

[there's a fun bit of grammar in the next chapter, actually, though not related: "How doest thou being a Ievve, aske of me to drinke, vvhich am a Samaritan vvoman"? You don't get enough "me which am" clauses in modern English...]

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Apr 2020 06:27
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:13
Wow, thank you. Wasn't expecting that.

Sorry for snapping. I instinctively react badly to silencing tactics.
It's okay. I was too quick on the draw, too. There's been a lot of people sharing bad information on my Facebook feed, so I suppose I'm primed to expect it.
Yeah, there seem to have been a few instances of that around here lately; people responding to things based on what they're primed to expect those things to mean... I think we (and this includes me) need to remind ourselves to apply some benefit of the doubt before posting. A post or opinion that seems objectionable might simply be coming from a significantly different mental framework than the one it's getting interpreted through.

In any case, I don't think we actually have any real disagreement on COVID-19 here. There's just a sort of knee-jerk objection to any comparison to the flu, because, well, some people used such comparisons to downplay the seriousness of the situation early on. Now, Sal obviously didn't, considering he already posted this a while back, but I still felt that it needed to be spelled out that yes, this is more serious than the flu. But of course, again, it's also true that the flu itself should be taken rather seriously as well.

However, it's also very much the true that this is most definitely not the plague. COVID-19 will kill a truly depressing number of people in terms of absolute numbers – but it won't be a significant fraction of the whole population. With the plague, it could be a half or more.

As for measles, it's also much worse than COVID-19. I'd argue that COVID-19's estimated R0 value of about 2 is actually pretty bad, because if every infected person infects two more, then the rate of infection will keep doubling in the time it takes to do so (varies, but less than two weeks). But yeah, for measles, R0 is well into the double digits, so in a population with no pre-existing immunity, once one person has it, pretty much everyone has it. And even though most people survive it (and develop immunity against further infections), apparently in such populations, it can have had a death toll that comes close to approaching the plague. As that linked article mentions, it also used to kill millions of children every year before the vaccine was developed. That is, several million each year, and we're talking relatively recent past here.

So yeah, I guess that does give one some perspective on COVID-19. This sucks in many ways, but hoo boy did diseases use to suck a lot more.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 »

Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Apr 2020 06:27
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:13
Wow, thank you. Wasn't expecting that.

Sorry for snapping. I instinctively react badly to silencing tactics.
It's okay. I was too quick on the draw, too. There's been a lot of people sharing bad information on my Facebook feed, so I suppose I'm primed to expect it.
I think we saw that above as well (with the politics, well, argument). I think we're all starting to feel a bit snappy at the moment. I'm definitely feeling a bit more... "tetchy" with everything going on right now, which definitely isn't the best frame of mind to be in when bringing things to an open forum. More likely to skip over a point, or an an important word, jumping to conclusions on that basis.

Sorry to Sal for basically jumping down your throat. Definitely not the best moment I've ever had. Hopefully you're right and we can come away from this having learned something, not just about COVID-19, but how we deal with difficult, stressful situations in general, and how we interact with each other and talk to each other outside of those situations.
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 »

On a related note, my friend's university, or at least their history department, while allowing translations within an essay, does not allow translations as a source, i.e. you have to find the original source (whether you or the lecturer can understand it or not), the cite that and then the translation you used. I assume this is relatively standard, but I never had to worry about it (I was freely allowed to cite translations of works by Knorozov and Champollion in my dissertation without having to track down the originals).
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

That policy makes sense. The original original is the version most likely to correspond with the author's original intent.

It's no secret, for example, that a number of books in Spain, and even in Latin America, bear the censorial mark of Franco. Not only would Spanish scholars need to be aware, but so would anyone else outside of Spain who is studying or working with 20th century originals or works in Spanish translation.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Dormouse559 wrote:
03 Apr 2020 06:27
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Apr 2020 03:13
Wow, thank you. Wasn't expecting that.

Sorry for snapping. I instinctively react badly to silencing tactics.
It's okay. I was too quick on the draw, too. There's been a lot of people sharing bad information on my Facebook feed, so I suppose I'm primed to expect it.
Whereas I'm deluged with reposted stories of so-and-so who had coronavirus and it was the worst thing ever you wouldn't believe how bad it is here is the real story of what it's like but here are some handy medical tips we all have to follow (on the basis of their personal anecdote and no actual medical advice).

[I also have two direct friends who have had it, and for them - as for almost every young person - it was basically a bad cold with a bit of a fever. But stories like that don't get passed on...]

And the panic can cause more harm than the disease. It's panic that's caused difficulties getting food and basic goods from the shops. It's panic that's just led the US to invade Thailand to hijack Canadian face masks. Panic that's lead to NHS workers attacked and abused in the streets.

And now apparently we have to destroy the internet and telephones, because they give you covid. People are setting fire to telecoms masts and threatening engineers.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis »

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My Kankonian-English dictionary: 66,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

Weird and wonderful, that! The categories of words are probably of much more interest than any of the words themselves, most of which are slightly altered English.

Not much info on either Spellhawk of Gimbolt, but the former has a sort of mædgycqckal blogge of some sort.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote:
09 Apr 2020 03:40
Weird and wonderful, that! The categories of words are probably of much more interest than any of the words themselves, most of which are slightly altered English.
"Weird and wonderful" is a great way to put it. And I agree that the lexicon disappointingly veers little from English.

Just look at those animal species they had on Atlantis! (I've heard Jim Jopkins' Itlani was inspired by the name of Atlantis.)
Not much info on either Spellhawk of Gimbolt, but the former has a sort of mædgycqckal blogge of some sort.
What a great word "mædgycqckal" is!
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Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 66,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Khemehekis wrote:
09 Apr 2020 05:21
"Weird and wonderful" is a great way to put it. And I agree that the lexicon disappointingly veers little from English.
I have to admit I was hoping you'd found documentation of Marc Okrand's Atlantean. Ah well [xD] Why can't we live in the universe where "Atlantis" was a smash hit and there are whole wikis about the conlang?

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

For Atlantean, I think one would have to write to Okrand or Diznee.

The "reconstruction" or decipherment seems to be about all there is.

On the other hand, for the die hard fans of Ygyde, a fellow over on one of the discordion servers dug up the notes to Ygyde's predecessor, Ebubo.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Dormouse559 »

elemtilas wrote:
15 Apr 2020 01:06
For Atlantean, I think one would have to write to Okrand or Diznee.

The "reconstruction" or decipherment seems to be about all there is.
Ooh, thank you for the link! [:)]

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

Dormouse559 wrote:
15 Apr 2020 02:45
Ooh, thank you for the link! [:)]
No worries!

Not sure how useful it would actually be, though! I didn't see anything specifically by Okrand there, mind.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Dormouse559 »

elemtilas wrote:
15 Apr 2020 03:15
Not sure how useful it would actually be, though! I didn't see anything specifically by Okrand there, mind.
Yeah, one takes what one can get, at least until one figures out how to jump timelines based on box office figures.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

A general announcement of the publication of a new book that I think might be of interest here:
David Tait has just published a collection of essays -- On Glossopoetics: A Collection of Essays on Language As Art

http://www.frathwiki.com/Conlangers_Bibliography
Last edited by elemtilas on 16 Apr 2020 02:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis »

Dormouse559 wrote:
15 Apr 2020 00:17
I have to admit I was hoping you'd found documentation of Marc Okrand's Atlantean. Ah well [xD] Why can't we live in the universe where "Atlantis" was a smash hit and there are whole wikis about the conlang?
I'm just happy that we're finally getting a cornucopia of new Klingon words every year.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Growing out of the listening/watching thread, but I didn't want to take it TOO far off-topic...

...here's a quick trivia question for you: who are the most succesful 20th and 21st century opera composers?


So, operabase has a statistics function, and for my own curiosity I set about making a list of composers from this time period, in order how many performances of their operas had been recorded between 2004 (when their records begin) and 2019.

This relies on the companies submitting data, and in particular companies that see themselves as purely in the 'musical theatre' business (i.e. the West End and Broadway) don't get involved - so 'Hamilton' doesn't feature in the stats (yet), for instance, and some musicals will be considerably undercounted. However, the distortion is probably not as great as you might think - the number of west end/broadway theatres is dwarfed by the number of opera companies (there's something like 100 in the UK alone), and the big theatres are generally pretty bad at reviving old works, which you're more likely to find put on by an opera company than by a dedicated "musicals" theatre. So 'musicals' writers are still well-represented here. Some musicals and operettas (eg Gilbert and Sullivan!) also get a lot of amateur performances, which of course aren't counted here.

I got bored after the first 75. But please, have a guess... I've divided it into three groups - composers most known for work between 1900 and the war; composers most known for work between the war and 2000; and composers most known for work between 2000 and now.

Here's 35 composers from the first period. Can you a) guess them in advance, and b) recognise their names or think of any opera they wrote?

I've given the number of performances for the top three; and then every time we drop under a 1,000 threshold; and then under 500, 400, 300, and 200. I've put a few famous opera composers from earlier eras in brackets for context and comparison.
Spoiler:
Giacomo Puccini – 30,844
(Wagner)
Richard Strauss – 6,944
Franz Lehár – 5,847
Emmerich Kálmán – 4,229
Leoš Janáček – 3,326
(Gluck)
Kurt Weill – 1,943
(Monteverdi)
(Purcell)
Ralph Benatzky
Sergei Prokofiev
Cole Porter
Igor Stravinsky
Dmitri Shostakovich
Alban Berg
George Gershwin – 914
Claude Debussy
Maurice Ravel
Paul Abraham
(Rameau)
Béla Bartók
Erich Korngold
Paul Lincke - 442
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Francesco Cilea – 400
Paul Hindemith
Leo Fall
Arnold Schoenberg
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Oscar Straus
Viktor Ulmann – 275
Jenő Huszka
(Meyerbeer)
Karol Szymanowski
Amadeu Vives
(Salieri)
Ruperto Chapí
Franz Schreker – 199
Jerome Kern
Hans Krása
Ernst Krenek – 185
There's a couple of names there that even people who don't listen to classical music should recognise!

And here's 30 from the second half of the century:
Spoiler:
Benjamin Britten – 4,123
Leonard Bernstein – 2,905
Frederick Loewe
(Gluck)
(Monteverdi)
(Purcell)
Poulenc – 1,377
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Stephen Sondheim – 992
Richard Rodgers
Jerry Bock
Philip Glass
Gian Carlo Menotti
(Rameau)
Jerry Herman
Bohuslav Martinů – 496
Hans Werner Henze
Frank Wildhorn
John Adams – 361
Astor Piazzola
Giovanni Rota – 289
Mitch Leigh
John Kander
Peter Maxwell Davies
Jule Styne
(Meyerbeer)
Paul Burkhard
Grigory Frid
Miecyslaw Weinberg
(Salieri)
Pablo Sorozábel
Wolfgang Rihm
Francis Lopez
Salvatorre Sciarrino – 201
Eberhard Streul
Carlisle Floyd
Aribert Reimann – 175
For those who aren't classical fans: can you name works by Loewe, Lloyd Webber, Sondheim, Rodgers, Bock, Herman, Wildhorn, Leigh, Kander and Styne?

And finally, nine from the last twenty years:
Spoiler:
Jake Heggie – 441
Jonathan Dove – 346
Péter Eötvös – 292
(Meyerbeer)
Thomas Adès
Leonard Evers
Detlev Glanert
(Salieri)
Peter Lund – 202
Kaija Saariaho
Elisabeth Naske – 177
What did I learn from all this? Not a lot. Here's a couple of interesting things, though:
- it's easy for non-Germans to underestimate the sheer volume of German opera - Germany is the centre of the modern opera world. As a result, it's easy to underestimate the success of German and central european light opera composers, who may be little heard in the UK or US, but who a constantly replayed in Germany. I'd heard of Kálmán and Die Csárdásfuerstin, but I'd never even heard of Benatzky or Abraham (who wrote operas with delightful titles like "Roxy and the Wonderteam"). The same is true to a lesser extent of the Spanish zarzuelistas.

- nobody likes modern opera. In particular, I was shocked by the low placement of Saariaho, whose L'amour de loin is constantly touted as one of the defining works of the genre - and yet she's performed less often than Salieri, a man virtually synonymous with being forgotten!

- kudos to Evers and Naske, who don't even have wikipedia entries (in English - obviously, German wikipedia has a lot more opera entries!), but who are following the Engelbert Humperdinck route to fame, by writing works specifically for children.

- I didn't even know Nino Rota wrote opera! (he's the guy who wrote the music for The Godfather).



-------

On a sombre note: by an unpleasant coincidence, not one but two of these composers were murdered at Auschwitz. Hans Krása wrote two operas, but he's best known for Brundibár, a children's opera written shortly before his arrest, and famously first performed by the children of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Viktor Ullman, also at Theresienstadt, was less fortunate: his <i>The Emperor of Atlantis</i> was actually written in Theresienstadt, and was due to be performed there, but the concentration camp guards at the last moment banned the performance, because they were worried it might harbour a degree of coded criticism of the government (it's about a man world-emperor who declares a permanent war, but offends Death, who refuses to let anybody die until the emperor sacrifices his own life; the Nazis worried that the emperor might be read as an analogue for Hitler, and that this might encourage covert anti-Hitler sentiments among the concentration camp inmates).

As a result, it wasn't performed until 1975, when Ullman helpfully revealed some important lost details of the score through the medium of... well, a medium [Rosemary Brown, who was very kind to accept Ullman's dictation, given that she spent the whole decade incredibly busy transmitting new music from Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, etc...]. Its popularity has only started to spread since the late 90s, when a new, less metaphysically-assisted but more academically robust score was assembled.

Ironically, a similar late rediscovery has also occured in the case of Moise Wainberg; ironically, because although he wasn't in a concentration camp himself, his most famous opera is about Auschwitz. Wainberg's problem was instead Stalin - although he survived (narrowly - only Stalin's death while Wainberg was under arrest saved him), his music was largely forgotted until the 21st century...

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