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

A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 441
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

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

Post by Pabappa »

"Bad apple" is not an opinionative adjective..... it means the apple is spoiled, something everyone will agree on. Other than that I agree with your post .... in fact I was looking for this thread earlier. Those rules may explain why brave new world sounded so wrong to me when I was a kid, but now I wouldn't say it any other way.

One other pair I thought of .... great big idea vs big great idea ... as in, "Okaaaaay.... so what's this big GREAT IDEA of yours that's going to solve our wiring problems? " but I'm not satisfied, because great big is a tightly bound phrase and is not usually used as a sum of parts.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
User avatar
Omzinesý
runic
runic
Posts: 2889
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 08:17
Location: nowhere [naʊhɪɚ]

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

Post by Omzinesý »

Are Greek compounds head final or head initial?

It seems to me that δημοκρατία (demokratía) is head final (people's power) while φιλοσοφία (philosophía) is head initial (love of knowledge).
User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 441
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

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

Post by Pabappa »

Yeah, Ive never understood that myself. Head-final is clearly the dominant pattern, as with most of IE, but those philo- words defy the trend. The same pattern exists with miso-, "hater of", though its possible a lot of the coinages with that prefix are modern. Its possible that the Greek -o- is just more flexible than other IE languages' compound joiners .... I remember reading that at least in Modern Greek, there are Japanese-style compounds like "man and wife" using -o-, for which the proper term is apparently "dvandva", suggesting Sanskrit also had them.

https://lisatravis2012.wordpress.com/20 ... ern-greek/
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 441
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

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

Post by Pabappa »

Looking over it again, the Cambridge site really only is helpful for inanimates. It doesnt tell us, for example, how to order the adjectives if you wanted to say something like "a short happy boy". Which led me to realize it doesnt always work for inanimates either, because we personify things, and because adjectives can also be attributive. Which is proper, "a sad short story" or "a short sad story"? I say both, with slightly different connotations. And since "short story" can be parsed as an atomic unit, i could also swap in "a sad short movie" ~ "a short sad movie". I'd lean towards the second here, but the first wouldnt be wrong if I wanted to emphasize that the movie made me feel sad.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
User avatar
Omzinesý
runic
runic
Posts: 2889
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 08:17
Location: nowhere [naʊhɪɚ]

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

Post by Omzinesý »

How does resources thread work nowadays.

Anyways, does anybody know interesting materials on linguistic history of Iranian languages?
Preferably from PIE to modern languages, because my understanding of Proto-Indo-Iranian is very scattered too.
User avatar
Vlürch
sinic
sinic
Posts: 352
Joined: 09 Mar 2016 21:19
Location: Finland
Contact:

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

Post by Vlürch »

Not sure whether to post this question in this thread or the conlang one, but considering it's about reconstruction and not for the purposes of conlanging but rather just general interest, I think it kinda fits better here?

If Finnish had a native word for shame, what would it be? I mean, obviously at least back in Proto-Finnic there must've been one before it was replaced by the Germanic loanword häpeä, but considering how long ago it was replaced, the pre-Germanic word is obviously not attested.

It seems like it'd end up being *vatsa, which is identical to the word for stomach... but is that actually what it would be? The bits and pieces of the sound changes seem to correspond leading to that, but I have to question it especially since, even if the two were originally not homophones, I don't think it could have avoided becoming homophonous with *waća ("stomach") for long. That is if *waća ever even existed to begin with, considering the etymology of Finnic *vacca is apparently uncertain; there is a possible cognate in Udmurt according to Starostin's site, but it's not mentioned in any of the online Udmurt dictionaries I can find (the closest I got is васям apparently meaning "hungry").

The words being homophones could explain why the Finnic languages borrowed the Germanic word for shame, but I mean, tons of core vocabulary was also replaced for seemingly no reason, so...
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2107
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

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

Post by Salmoneus »

Vlürch wrote: 28 May 2020 10:45 If Finnish had a native word for shame, what would it be? I mean, obviously at least back in Proto-Finnic there must've been one
How is that obvious? "Shame" is a classic example of a thick moral concept - it's a complicated concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate. Indeed, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture (philosophers have a concept of shame, and psychologists, and those concerned with history and historical literature, but I think most people at least in the UK have no real conscious shame-concept anymore, as distinct from other related concepts).

Every language will of course have words addressing social concerns and emotional experiences within broad areas, but the division of those areas into specific concepts is culture-dependent (just as, for example, all languages have a word to describe a blue colour, but how many words, and which hues exactly are included, and whether for example 'blue' is also the word for green, vary with the language).

In the case of shame, it lives in a crowded area. Every culture will have words to describe feeling bad about things that have happened, and yet at least partially responsible for them. But whether there is a word for "shame", as distinct from "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour", "self-loathing", "ambition" (to do better), "sadness", "vulnerability", "immodesty" and so on is much more questionable.
It seems like it'd end up being *vatsa, which is identical to the word for stomach... but is that actually what it would be? The bits and pieces of the sound changes seem to correspond leading to that, but I have to question it especially since, even if the two were originally not homophones, I don't think it could have avoided becoming homophonous with *waća ("stomach") for long. That is if *waća ever even existed to begin with, considering the etymology of Finnic *vacca is apparently uncertain; there is a possible cognate in Udmurt according to Starostin's site, but it's not mentioned in any of the online Udmurt dictionaries I can find (the closest I got is васям apparently meaning "hungry").
I don't understand. You sound as though you already know what the Proto-Finnish for 'shame' was and how it would evolve? So what's the question here?
User avatar
Vlürch
sinic
sinic
Posts: 352
Joined: 09 Mar 2016 21:19
Location: Finland
Contact:

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

Post by Vlürch »

Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37How is that obvious? "Shame" is a classic example of a thick moral concept - it's a complicated concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate. Indeed, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture (philosophers have a concept of shame, and psychologists, and those concerned with history and historical literature, but I think most people at least in the UK have no real conscious shame-concept anymore, as distinct from other related concepts).
Wait, are you saying people in the UK don't feel shame for things they've done or for historical wrongdoing? [:O] I mean, most Finns don't want to acknowledge the dark stuff in our country's past either so I get that, but those that do acknowledge it are ashamed of it (or at least I am, more and more as I learn more about history). I won't argue the politics of that, it's just that shame is what's felt for that kind of stuff even without a sense of collective guilt.
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37In the case of shame, it lives in a crowded area. Every culture will have words to describe feeling bad about things that have happened, and yet at least partially responsible for them. But whether there is a word for "shame", as distinct from "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour", "self-loathing", "ambition" (to do better), "sadness", "vulnerability", "immodesty" and so on is much more questionable.
Well, I don't necessarily mean a word that corresponds perfectly to the English word "shame" because like you said, these concepts won't map 100% clearly between any two languages, but generally a word for anything within the wider concept that includes most of what you just listed.
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37I don't understand. You sound as though you already know what the Proto-Finnish for 'shame' was and how it would evolve? So what's the question here?
That was just speculation based on the Proto-Uralic *waćV with sound changes applied to how it could be in modern Finnish... but I'm not sure about the sound changes either, so that's a big part of the question. It's also possible that there might be some obscure archaic word in Finnish that's simply no longer used, or in Estonian, etc. I tried to look for one but couldn't find any, which is why I looked at other Uralic languages and Proto-Uralic.

Anything relating to reconstruction is speculation to some degree, but there are different degrees of certanity and professionalism to it. It could totally be that, had the Proto-Uralic word not been replaced in Finnic, the sound changes leading to modern Finnish would be different from my attempt. There could be some detailed rules to how some specific sound changes affect each other that I'm not aware of; I just compared the correspondences to piece together a hypothetical descendant of the Proto-Uralic word, but it could well be that some wider sound change would invalidate that. If I'm sucking at explaining what I mean, I just mean there are correspondences that would point to a hypothetical *vatsa but it could also be *vatse, or maybe something else if the sound changes go differently.
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2107
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

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

Post by Salmoneus »

Vlürch wrote: 28 May 2020 14:52
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37How is that obvious? "Shame" is a classic example of a thick moral concept - it's a complicated concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate. Indeed, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture (philosophers have a concept of shame, and psychologists, and those concerned with history and historical literature, but I think most people at least in the UK have no real conscious shame-concept anymore, as distinct from other related concepts).
Wait, are you saying people in the UK don't feel shame for things they've done or for historical wrongdoing? [:O]
No, I'm saying that 'shame' is a classic example of a thick moral concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate; furthermore, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture, outside of specialist subjects.

In other words, the question of whether Bob feels shame over something clearly isn't a question that has an objective answer. Bob feels something, but there is no objective truth of whether what he feels is 'shame' (or equivalent to 'shame') or not. Different languages will describe it differently.
Obviously, people feel bad about things they've done. But I don't think most people really distinguish shame as a coherent category of bad sentiment.

Shame is arguably having a bit of a comeback, due to the increasing popularity of 'shaming'. But although the word is used, at least as a verb, I'm not sure it's really a coherent concept here (I think most people use it just as a nicer way of saying 'publically guilt-trip'). For instance, if you ask people "can you describe an occasion when it would be right to publically shame a person for something they did but that they should not feel guilty about?", I suspect most people could not give an example. But of course, if you asked the same question of people throughout most of European history, they'd have no trouble answering it, because for them, shame and guilt were two different feelings.

And as for historical wrongdoing by others - sure, the word 'shame' is found now and then, but actually no, I don't think it's talked about much. I think both sides of the debate are more likely to use concepts like guilt, regret and debt, rather than shame. Indeed, the idea of feeling shame over the actions of other people is strange to me - I can easily be embarassed by a parent's actions, for example, but I don't think I could be ashamed of them. I agree, of course, that shame for the actions of others is a prototypical element of the shame concept... but that just means, I think, that my instinctive shame concept is, like most people's, rather limited and largely in the process of merging with guilt.
I mean, most Finns don't want to acknowledge the dark stuff in our country's past either so I get that, but those that do acknowledge it are ashamed of it (or at least I am, more and more as I learn more about history). I won't argue the politics of that, it's just that shame is what's felt for that kind of stuff even without a sense of collective guilt.
Oh, well, if you have italics on your side, I can't see how I can rebut that!
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37In the case of shame, it lives in a crowded area. Every culture will have words to describe feeling bad about things that have happened, and yet at least partially responsible for them. But whether there is a word for "shame", as distinct from "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour", "self-loathing", "ambition" (to do better), "sadness", "vulnerability", "immodesty" and so on is much more questionable.
Well, I don't necessarily mean a word that corresponds perfectly to the English word "shame" because like you said, these concepts won't map 100% clearly between any two languages, but generally a word for anything within the wider concept that includes most of what you just listed.
Well, "the wider concept" there is just "feeling bad", so you've gone from one end of the specificity scale to the other!

Anything relating to reconstruction is speculation to some degree, but there are different degrees of certanity and professionalism to it. It could totally be that, had the Proto-Uralic word not been replaced in Finnic, the sound changes leading to modern Finnish would be different from my attempt. There could be some detailed rules to how some specific sound changes affect each other that I'm not aware of; I just compared the correspondences to piece together a hypothetical descendant of the Proto-Uralic word, but it could well be that some wider sound change would invalidate that. If I'm sucking at explaining what I mean, I just mean there are correspondences that would point to a hypothetical *vatsa but it could also be *vatse, or maybe something else if the sound changes go differently.
So your real question is "what are the sound-changes from Proto-Uralic to Finnish?", then?
User avatar
Sequor
sinic
sinic
Posts: 288
Joined: 30 Jun 2012 06:13

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

Post by Sequor »

Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24Shame is arguably having a bit of a comeback, due to the increasing popularity of 'shaming'. But although the word is used, at least as a verb, I'm not sure it's really a coherent concept here (I think most people use it just as a nicer way of saying 'publically guilt-trip'). For instance, if you ask people "can you describe an occasion when it would be right to publically shame a person for something they did but that they should not feel guilty about?", I suspect most people could not give an example. But of course, if you asked the same question of people throughout most of European history, they'd have no trouble answering it, because for them, shame and guilt were two different feelings.

And as for historical wrongdoing by others - sure, the word 'shame' is found now and then, but actually no, I don't think it's talked about much. I think both sides of the debate are more likely to use concepts like guilt, regret and debt, rather than shame. Indeed, the idea of feeling shame over the actions of other people is strange to me - I can easily be embarassed by a parent's actions, for example, but I don't think I could be ashamed of them. I agree, of course, that shame for the actions of others is a prototypical element of the shame concept... but that just means, I think, that my instinctive shame concept is, like most people's, rather limited and largely in the process of merging with guilt.
This is a fascinating discussion, and it reminds me of the common observation among learners of Spanish of how hard it is to translate verguenza ajena into English. The difficulty largely lies on that concept being a type of actual shame, as English lacks an adequate equivalent of it. Interestingly, the fallacy that it can be translated as simply "shame" doesn't show up here, as verguenza by itself is equivalent to the guilt-like concept of the contemporary English word "shame", and learners do notice verguenza ajena refers to a different concept.

This also makes me wonder whether the typical Japanese attitude towards the rape and pillage of Nanjing during WWII is more often than not misunderstood as denial or revisionism or believing it did not happen as opposed to a matter of shame in the philosophical/psychological sense (although I'm sure there are some of them who deny it). That is, guilt over the immoralities of that terrible event, combined with shame to be reminded of it or be portrayed with it.
hīc sunt linguificēs. hēr bēoþ tungemakeras.
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1072
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

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

Post by Xonen »

Vlürch wrote: 28 May 2020 14:52
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 13:37How is that obvious? "Shame" is a classic example of a thick moral concept - it's a complicated concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate. Indeed, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture (philosophers have a concept of shame, and psychologists, and those concerned with history and historical literature, but I think most people at least in the UK have no real conscious shame-concept anymore, as distinct from other related concepts).
Wait, are you saying people in the UK don't feel shame for things they've done or for historical wrongdoing? [:O] I mean, most Finns don't want to acknowledge the dark stuff in our country's past either so I get that, but those that do acknowledge it are ashamed of it (or at least I am, more and more as I learn more about history). I won't argue the politics of that, it's just that shame is what's felt for that kind of stuff even without a sense of collective guilt.
Well, I'm not ashamed, and the whole notion strikes me as rather weird. Why should I be ashamed for the actions of a some of the people who lived in this country long before I was even born? It's not like I chose to be born into it or anything. So, this form of shame certainly strikes me as culturally or even ideologically specific.

That being said, I do suspect tribalism is pretty much universal among humans, so collective feelings concerning the accomplishments of one's tribe might to an extent be that as well. Still, this kind of collective shame might take different forms in different cultures – and it's certainly different from individual shame, even if modern-day Finnish and English happen to use the same word for both.

In any case, as Sal points out, there are several words even just in modern English for closely related concepts, and it's entirely reasonable to assume that, while most human cultures might have concepts that broadly correspond to these, the exact number of words used and the division of semantic fields between them might have been wildly different for a tribe of stone-age hunter-gatherers. That is, Proto-Uralic might very well have had a word, or several words, that you could broadly translate as "shame", "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour" etc. – but almost certainly not a different exactly corresponding word for each of these.

The concept of shaming actually brings up an interesting possible parallel: I've seen people adapt it into Finnish as "sheimaus". Sure, you could use "häpäisy" or whatever, but such existing words have existing connotations which don't correspond exactly to the modern phenomenon. And since the modern phenomenon (like a lot of other modern phenomena) has been introduced to Finns through English, it's the English term that gets used. It's difficult to know exactly what the situation was between speakers of Proto-Germanic and (pre-)Proto-Finnic, but something similar could very well have happened here.

That is, I doubt any previously existing words were simply replaced in one go; I find it more likely that the loanword initially entered the language as a (near-)synonym, and then, as the language and surrounding culture changed over the following centuries, it happened to gain more ground while earlier words lost it. After all, there weren't that many historical linguists in the iron age with an ideological fixation on finding out which words went back to Proto-Uralic and preserving them.

As for Proto-Uralic *waćV... I don't have my books at my current residence, but apparently, the very existence of the phoneme /ć/ is highly uncertain. Unless it's an alternate reconstruction for /ś/? In any case, Finnish /ts/ usually corresponds to earlier */čč/; single affricates and sibilants yield either /t/, /s/ or /h/. So as far as I can tell, the expected form should be something like **"vata", **"vasa", **"vasi" or whatever.
Khemehekis
runic
runic
Posts: 2498
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

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

Post by Khemehekis »

Ser wrote: 29 May 2020 00:48 This is a fascinating discussion, and it reminds me of the common observation among learners of Spanish of how hard it is to translate verguenza ajena into English. The difficulty largely lies on that concept being a type of actual shame, as English lacks an adequate equivalent of it. Interest-ngly, the fallacy that it can be translated as simply "shame" doesn't show up here, as verguenza by itself is equivalent to the guilt-like concept of the contemporary English word "shame", and learners do notice verguenza ajena refers to a different concept.

This also makes me wonder whether the typical Japanese attitude towards the rape and pillage of Nanjing during WWII is more often than not misunderstood as denial or revisionism or believing it did not happen as opposed to a matter of shame in the philosophical/psychological sense (although I'm sure there are some of them who deny it). That is, guilt over the immoralities of that terrible event, combined with shame to be reminded of it or be portrayed with it.
I always thought it was vergüenza, with a /w/?
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 67,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
User avatar
Omzinesý
runic
runic
Posts: 2889
Joined: 27 Aug 2010 08:17
Location: nowhere [naʊhɪɚ]

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

Post by Omzinesý »

So *waćV is PU reconstruction for a shamelike thing?
What is the PU form for 'stomach'?

My understanding of Uralistics is very fragmented.
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1072
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

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

Post by Xonen »

Omzinesý wrote: 29 May 2020 11:51 So *waćV is PU reconstruction for a shamelike thing?
What is the PU form for 'stomach'?

My understanding of Uralistics is very fragmented.
Honestly, I think the only people who have anything more than a fragmented understanding of (historical) Uralistics are those who study it as a full-time job. And even then I'm not quite sure. Heck, even the same person seems to be holding two contradicting views at once; in the article I linked to in my previous post, Luobbal Sámmol Sámmol Ánte doubts the status of /ć/ as an independent phoneme, yet in his draft for an etymological dictionary, he nonetheless uses it (apparently in place of /ś/) in his reconstructions. And both the article and this dictionary draft appear to be from this year, so it doesn't seem like he's had a lot of time to change his mind – although I guess the etymological dictionary is a pretty long-term process, so maybe he just hasn't updated the reconstruction in the current draft. (He does mention /ć/ as a plausible alternative reconstruction for /ś/ in the article as well, so I suppose it could be that he simply doesn't consider the distinction important enough to warrant rewriting the draft. Still strikes me as a bit odd, considering that /ś/ seems to be the more generally accepted reconstruction, but what do I know.)

Anyway, the Álgu database, referencing the Uralisches etymologisches Wörterbuch from 1988, gives *ćowja as a possible (but uncertain) Proto-Uralic word for 'stomach' (which again has that */ć/, but this time, it could just be that the reconstruction is over 30 years old, and as noted above, even one researcher within a single year can apparently produce several different reconstructions). Notably, Ánte's draft dictionary doesn't seem to include this word, but it only includes words beginning with consonants until /ć/ at this point, and I'm not sure if his /ć/ is the same as UEW's /ć/, so go figure.

Álgu also gives a Mansi cognate for Finnish vatsa, but no reconstruction. FWIW, Wiktionary does have the expected geminate for Proto-Finnic, but nothing further back than that.
User avatar
Vlürch
sinic
sinic
Posts: 352
Joined: 09 Mar 2016 21:19
Location: Finland
Contact:

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

Post by Vlürch »

Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24And as for historical wrongdoing by others - sure, the word 'shame' is found now and then, but actually no, I don't think it's talked about much. I think both sides of the debate are more likely to use concepts like guilt, regret and debt, rather than shame. Indeed, the idea of feeling shame over the actions of other people is strange to me - I can easily be embarassed by a parent's actions, for example, but I don't think I could be ashamed of them. I agree, of course, that shame for the actions of others is a prototypical element of the shame concept... but that just means, I think, that my instinctive shame concept is, like most people's, rather limited and largely in the process of merging with guilt.
It's strange, yeah, but how can you control your feelings like that?
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24Oh, well, if you have italics on your side, I can't see how I can rebut that!
C'mon, you know I use italics without any implications of smugness or anything. [>_<] Just in my experience I'm not the only Finn who feels ashamed of our country's past, and I assumed everyone who acknowledges that there's some fucked shit in Finland's history would feel like it's a burden on them personally even if the feeling isn't one of collective guilt per se; that's why I thought it's shame, but maybe it's not. Maybe I'm also wrong and only a minority feel anything because of it, in that case I'm even more ashamed of being Finnish than I already am. Ultimately it'd be best if the entire concept of shame ceased to exist, but I can't be optimistic about that because I can't shake it myself with things like personal issues and politics even though I can mostly shake it with things considered shameful for religious reasons.
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24Well, "the wider concept" there is just "feeling bad", so you've gone from one end of the specificity scale to the other!
I never meant to imply specificity, at least not in the past, since in any case reconstructions are reconstructions and semantic shifts can happen even within short periods of time. The reconstructed *waćV is given as meaning "shame", but no one could ever know if that was specifically what it referred to or the only thing it referred to, etc. It's also possible there was at some point a word that didn't originally mean exactly "shame" that would more likely have evolved to mean that.
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24So your real question is "what are the sound-changes from Proto-Uralic to Finnish?", then?
Kind of, but it's not as simple as sound changes individually... and it's not only about this particular etymon, I'd be just as interested in knowing if there was some other word that would've likely filled that concept through semantic shifts.
Xonen wrote: 29 May 2020 01:47Well, I'm not ashamed, and the whole notion strikes me as rather weird. Why should I be ashamed for the actions of a some of the people who lived in this country long before I was even born? It's not like I chose to be born into it or anything. So, this form of shame certainly strikes me as culturally or even ideologically specific.
Obviously we shouldn't be ashamed, but how is it possible to accept without feeling at least some kind of bad feeling that our country has done some fucked up shit? Even if it's not 100% necessarily shame, since it might be I've completely misunderstood the specific concept my whole life and the word for it isn't shame (anymore?), I mean, there's some kind of bad feeling... [:S]
Xonen wrote: 29 May 2020 01:47That is, Proto-Uralic might very well have had a word, or several words, that you could broadly translate as "shame", "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour" etc. – but almost certainly not a different exactly corresponding word for each of these.
Yeah, I didn't even mean to imply that there necessarily were separate words for all of those feelings or anything. Originally I was just trying to ask about what a hypothetical native Uralic word in Finnish that would have a meaning that could be "shame" would be, but like every time I post a question here, it ends up turning into an argument about something related to the concept but not the linguistic part of it... it's my fault for asking weird questions and wording them unclearly (including in this case having just woken up after sleeping only a couple of hours), of course, so I can't really complain. [:x]
Xonen wrote: 29 May 2020 01:47That is, I doubt any previously existing words were simply replaced in one go; I find it more likely that the loanword initially entered the language as a (near-)synonym, and then, as the language and surrounding culture changed over the following centuries, it happened to gain more ground while earlier words lost it. After all, there weren't that many historical linguists in the iron age with an ideological fixation on finding out which words went back to Proto-Uralic and preserving them.
Mmh, good point.
Xonen wrote: 29 May 2020 01:47As for Proto-Uralic *waćV... I don't have my books at my current residence, but apparently, the very existence of the phoneme /ć/ is highly uncertain. Unless it's an alternate reconstruction for /ś/? In any case, Finnish /ts/ usually corresponds to earlier */čč/; single affricates and sibilants yield either /t/, /s/ or /h/. So as far as I can tell, the expected form should be something like **"vata", **"vasa", **"vasi" or whatever.
Huh... well, it's used in the reconstructions on Starostin's site as a distinct phoneme, admittedly those are older reconstructions so maybe they're not as close to reality as is understood now. All I did was compare the other modern Uralic words descended from similar Proto-Uralic words and it seemed like in Finnish /ts/ corresponded the most commonly, but if those reconstructions have been debunked... hmm, thanks. I guess it's impossible to know exactly how this particular etymon would have turned out in Finnish even hypothetically? Was there maybe some other word that could have likely semantically shifted to mean "shame" with time?

(And like I said, I'm not asking for any real reason, it's just curiosity about hypothetical words and this was the one I decided to post about because it came up in a conversation I was having with someone. I know everyone thinks it's because of nationalism, but it's not. I'll admit in theory I'd prefer if new loanwords that enter Finnish weren't Germanic, but realistically we'll only get more and more English loanwords and that's fine even if sometimes it can be a little annoying. It's only beneficial in the long term. I do still have to make amends for the period in my life when I was into nationalism, but losing interest in Uralic languages can't be a requirement for that... [:S] )

I won't even ask about other words in other languages at least for now because it'd only lead to prolonging the argument since I'd inevitably make a mistake in how I word the questions. I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now for having posted that question in the first place if it's not shame, but it's probably not shame if it no longer even exists in the west.
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 2107
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

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

Post by Salmoneus »

Vlürch wrote: 30 May 2020 18:59
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24And as for historical wrongdoing by others - sure, the word 'shame' is found now and then, but actually no, I don't think it's talked about much. I think both sides of the debate are more likely to use concepts like guilt, regret and debt, rather than shame. Indeed, the idea of feeling shame over the actions of other people is strange to me - I can easily be embarassed by a parent's actions, for example, but I don't think I could be ashamed of them. I agree, of course, that shame for the actions of others is a prototypical element of the shame concept... but that just means, I think, that my instinctive shame concept is, like most people's, rather limited and largely in the process of merging with guilt.
It's strange, yeah, but how can you control your feelings like that?
Could you please cut it out with the 'everyone but me is a heartless monster' business, please?

First, we're talking whether a feeling should be called 'shame' or not. That's nothing to do with the strength of the feeling or the moral worth of the person feeling it.

[to be clear: yes, this is a case where traditional shame can be felt; the fact that it's a case where I feel uneasy using my colloquial 'shame' for something that is traditionally a paradigm case of shame only further suggests that my colloquial or instinctive sense of 'shame' is no longer really coherently distinguished from other negative feelings]

Second, don't assume that everyone is you. I don't feel particularly ashamed OR guilty about the misdeeds of the British Empire - that doesn't mean I DO feel shame and then retrospectively 'control' that feeling.

I could just as easily ask you: "how are you able to fabricate this emotion?" or "how are you able to pretend to feel shame over this?" or just "how can you make yourself feel this shame?", as though you really felt nothing. One is as invalid (and insulting) as the other.

On the substantive point, though: I don't feel shame over the actions of other British people because I'm not a nationalist. I do not particularly identify with my 'nation', so the fact that some evildoer is said to have been of the same 'nation' as me does not much bother me. Not only did they live centuries ago in most cases (so we are not even products of the same millieu), but they weren't related to me, and very few of them came from any place I know or have any association with. My ancestors had almost as little say in the running of the Empire as anyone in the colonies. So why on earth should my feeling depend on what they did, just because some racist or fascist would like to insist that we're all part of the same great national socialist spirit or whatever likewise bollocks?

I don't feel shame about what "Britain" has done because I don't base my identity on obedience to The Nation.

I do, however, recognise that as someone living in Britain today I have benefitted from the economic and cultural strength of the nation, and that some significant (though incalculable) part of that strength is the result of dishonourable actions in the past. To the extent that I benefit from those actions, I do think I am in some sort of debt. I do think, for example, that Britain's colonial past has created a special obligation toward the people of its former colonies, both in geopolitical concern and in immigration allowances.

But I don't feel any particular guilt or shame or mark indelible of sin regarding this.
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24Oh, well, if you have italics on your side, I can't see how I can rebut that!
C'mon, you know I use italics without any implications of smugness or anything.
C'mon, you know that "it just is!" is not a good argument, regardless of typographical flourishes.
[>_<] Just in my experience I'm not the only Finn who feels ashamed of our country's past, and I assumed everyone who acknowledges that there's some fucked shit in Finland's history would feel like it's a burden on them personally even if the feeling isn't one of collective guilt per se; that's why I thought it's shame, but maybe it's not. Maybe I'm also wrong and only a minority feel anything because of it, in that case I'm even more ashamed of being Finnish than I already am. Ultimately it'd be best if the entire concept of shame ceased to exist, but I can't be optimistic about that because I can't shake it myself with things like personal issues and politics even though I can mostly shake it with things considered shameful for religious reasons.
I don't understand your position. You simultaneously say it would be better if Finns did not feel shame over their past, and that you'd be ashamed of them not feeling shame over their past. If it's a good thing, why are you ashamed of it?
I never meant to imply specificity
OK. For future reference, then, it's maybe misleading to pick a particular word, if you're asking a general, non-specific question - particularly if you pick an unusual and specific word. If I ask "what's the Finnish word for turnip?" and you answer, and then I say "oh, but I meant any sort of foodstuff, not turnips specifically", then you're likely to feel a bit mislead!
Salmoneus wrote: 28 May 2020 20:24So your real question is "what are the sound-changes from Proto-Uralic to Finnish?", then?
Kind of, but it's not as simple as sound changes individually...
Sound changes collectively are just a collection of individual sound changes. If you know the sound changes, you know how it would have regularly developed (and there's no point asking what irregular developments would have happened - if we knew, they wouldn't be irregular).
and it's not only about this particular etymon, I'd be just as interested in knowing if there was some other word that would've likely filled that concept through semantic shifts.
Certainly, but there's almost no limit to those!

Here's an example: maybe the word for 'shame' could come from "seeing in"?
[Latin in-video > invidia, "envy", and envy is very close to shame. Or how about "flourishing"? Latin invireo > viridus, "green", and English "green" > "envious", and from there to "ashamed"...]




Xonen wrote: 29 May 2020 01:47Well, I'm not ashamed, and the whole notion strikes me as rather weird. Why should I be ashamed for the actions of a some of the people who lived in this country long before I was even born? It's not like I chose to be born into it or anything. So, this form of shame certainly strikes me as culturally or even ideologically specific.
Obviously we shouldn't be ashamed, but how is it possible to accept without feeling at least some kind of bad feeling that our country has done some fucked up shit? Even if it's not 100% necessarily shame, since it might be I've completely misunderstood the specific concept my whole life and the word for it isn't shame (anymore?), I mean, there's some kind of bad feeling... [:S] [/quote]

Again, this seems just to come down to nationalism, no? Germany has done some 'fucked up shit' too. So has Japan. Do you feel shame about what the Japanese did in WWII? If not, why not? You were no more or less involved in that than you were in what the Finns of that time did.
every time I post a question here, it ends up turning into an argument about something related to the concept but not the linguistic part of it
I'm sorry I wasn't able to answer the linguistic question. I've no idea what the sound-changes from Proto-Uralic to Finnish were. But I don't think that should prohibit me from having an interesting question about the - frankly more important and more interesting - questions you raised tangentially.
Huh... well, it's used in the reconstructions on Starostin's site as a distinct phoneme, admittedly those are older reconstructions so maybe they're not as close to reality as is understood now.
Isn't Starostin a famous lunatic hack? I mean, he reconstructed Uralic to make it fit into Ural-Altaic, and constructed Ural-Altaic so that it would fit into Nostratic, and Nostratic so that it would fit into Borean - so how much can his reconstructions of Uralic be trusted as a fair representation of the limited facts themselves?
Maybe that can be, I don't know. But I'd be uneasy relying on him as my source.
I do still have to make amends for the period in my life when I was into nationalism, but losing interest in Uralic languages can't be a requirement for that... [:S] )

I won't even ask about other words in other languages at least for now because it'd only lead to prolonging the argument since I'd inevitably make a mistake in how I word the questions. I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now for having posted that question in the first place if it's not shame, but it's probably not shame if it no longer even exists in the west.
And now you're doing the Eddying thing - trying to guilt-trip people into not disagreeing with you by pretending that we're bullying you so horribly you can't resist and of course you completely agree with us but don't we see how much we're hurting you. Oh but masters, am I really so guilty that I must be forced to give up my native language in this way!?

Nobody's making you give up your language, nobody's making you give up interest in Uralic languages, nobody's telling you to make amends for any period in your life, this is all just a fantasy of persecution.
User avatar
Dormouse559
moderator
moderator
Posts: 2717
Joined: 10 Nov 2012 20:52
Location: California

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

Post by Dormouse559 »

Salmoneus wrote: 30 May 2020 20:51
Vlürch wrote: 30 May 2020 18:59 It's strange, yeah, but how can you control your feelings like that?
Could you please cut it out with the 'everyone but me is a heartless monster' business, please?
Salmoneus wrote:
[>_<] Just in my experience I'm not the only Finn who feels ashamed of our country's past, and I assumed everyone who acknowledges that there's some fucked shit in Finland's history would feel like it's a burden on them personally even if the feeling isn't one of collective guilt per se; that's why I thought it's shame, but maybe it's not. Maybe I'm also wrong and only a minority feel anything because of it, in that case I'm even more ashamed of being Finnish than I already am. Ultimately it'd be best if the entire concept of shame ceased to exist, but I can't be optimistic about that because I can't shake it myself with things like personal issues and politics even though I can mostly shake it with things considered shameful for religious reasons.
I don't understand your position. You simultaneously say it would be better if Finns did not feel shame over their past, and that you'd be ashamed of them not feeling shame over their past. If it's a good thing, why are you ashamed of it?
Salmoneus wrote:
I won't even ask about other words in other languages at least for now because it'd only lead to prolonging the argument since I'd inevitably make a mistake in how I word the questions. I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now for having posted that question in the first place if it's not shame, but it's probably not shame if it no longer even exists in the west.
And now you're doing the Eddying thing - trying to guilt-trip people into not disagreeing with you by pretending that we're bullying you so horribly you can't resist and of course you completely agree with us but don't we see how much we're hurting you. Oh but masters, am I really so guilty that I must be forced to give up my native language in this way!?

Time to move on from these lines of conversation (and any similar ones; there's a lot to go through). A reminder that this thread is for quick questions on linguistics and natlangs, so please keep the focus on those topics.
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1072
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

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

Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote: 30 May 2020 20:51
Vlürch wrote: 30 May 2020 18:59 It's strange, yeah, but how can you control your feelings like that?
Could you please cut it out with the 'everyone but me is a heartless monster' business, please?
I kind of doubt that was the intended interpretation. Again, benefit of the doubt, and all that.

Most people probably experience some unwelcome feelings about various kinds of stuff, and how one's supposed to learn to deal with them is a perfectly legitimate question, as such. And honestly, I don't know. If one has so deeply internalized nationalistic ideas of belonging to a "country" and being responsible for "its" actions (regardless of any personal connections to the people who were actually taking those actions), then I suppose feeling shame or something akin to it is perfectly natural, and I'm not going to advise anyone on how to control that.

The main problem here, I think, is the assumption that this kind of shame is somehow universal enough to be relevant to a discussion of Proto-Uralic, whose speakers didn't even live in countries... But then, it's not exactly surprising that someone growing up in Finland might internalize quite a bit of nationalistic thinking, so I can sort of see where that might be coming from.

I never meant to imply specificity
OK. For future reference, then, it's maybe misleading to pick a particular word, if you're asking a general, non-specific question - particularly if you pick an unusual and specific word. If I ask "what's the Finnish word for turnip?" and you answer, and then I say "oh, but I meant any sort of foodstuff, not turnips specifically", then you're likely to feel a bit mislead!
To be fair, we're not talking about Finnish, but Proto-Uralic; some vagueness concerning the semantics of a reconstructed word might be expected, especially when talking about abstract concepts. Also, I'm beginning to realize that the English word shame is more specific in meaning than Finnish häpeä. The latter doesn't really strike me as a highly specific concept, and, depending on context, it can also correspond to English words such as dishonor and embarrassment as well.

So perhaps there's a bit of a language barrier issue here. Then again, shame over the past actions of one's country is an extremely specific concept, so maybe not. [¬.¬] In any case, the main objection is still valid: even if we can sort of assume that speakers of Proto-Uralic experienced somewhat similar feelings to us, the way they divided the semantic fields between the words for them probably wouldn't map neatly onto ours (indeed, they don't seem map onto each other even between two modern-day Western languages such as Finnish and English). So the idea that there must have been a word for a concept familiar to us is questionable, to say the least. And since cultural concepts and the nuances surrounding them change over the millennia, so does the vocabulary for them, so it's even less certain that we could ever reconstruct the relevant Proto-Uralic word(s).
User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 5697
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

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

Post by eldin raigmore »

Can someone help me (re) find a/the natlang with the following maximal syllable structure?
One-syllable words: (C)(C)V(C)(C)
Word-initial syllables: (C)(C)V(C)
Word-final syllables: (C)V(C)(C)
Word-internal syllables: (C)V(C)

.....

I remember reading of one somewhere, but I’ve forgotten which one it is. (Maybe there’re more than one?)
I thought it was Polish; but boy, is it ever NOT!
User avatar
All4Ɇn
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1587
Joined: 01 Mar 2014 07:19

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

Post by All4Ɇn »

eldin raigmore wrote: 07 Jun 2020 02:01I thought it was Polish; but boy, is it ever NOT!
I could be wrong here, but it totally seems to fit in line with the general pattern in Hungarian, which would geographically explain why you thought it was Polish [:D]
Post Reply