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When frustration is about to stop you

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When frustration is about to stop you

Postby annis » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:41 am

Sometimes when studying these languages, you just get worn down. You master one declension, turn the page, and some freakish apparition like fero, ferre, tuli, latum or [face=spionic]fe/rw, oi)/sw, h)/neika[/face] leaps out at you. And you might get dispirited, and lose sight of why you're doing this in the first place.

But take heart!

You're not studying Old Irish!

Some quotes from Fortston's Indo-European Language and Culture (for the Unicode un-enabled, I use a circumflex for the macron):

14.45. As these examples hint at, the effects of syncope [loss of sounds in the interior of a word, annis] and apocope [removal of final syllables, annis] in Irish are nowhere as apparent or as devastating as in verbal conjugations, especially those of verbs compounded with one or more preverbs. The effects are particularly widespread partly due to the fact that Old Irish had an especial fondness for piling preverbs together, giving syncope and apocope no shortage of syllablic gallows-fodder. ...

14.46. The amount of allomorphy (that is, variation in the form of a given morpheme) that these changes created was incredible, and it is worth digressing to give some examples. The Irish root fêd- 'say' appears in such varied guises as fét, id and d, as in the following forms of the compound verb *at-fêd- 'relate': 3rd sing. present ad-fét 'relates', perfective present ad-cuïd (*ad-com-fêd), and 2nd pl. conjunct perfective present -éicdid. Sometimes the root is reduced to a single sound, particularly in the conjunct 3rd person singular s-subjunctive. Thus the 3rd sing. conjunct s-subjunctive of the verb as-boind (*as-bond-) 'refuses' is simply -op (pronounced -ob, the regular outcome of *-óss-bod-s-t!); and from *ret- 'run' (present rethid 'runs') we have the compound do-fúarat 'remains over' (*di-fó-uss-ret-), whose conjunct 3rd sing. s-subjunctive is -diúair (< [i]*dí-fo-uss-ret-s-t), with only the -r remaining of the original root, subjunctive suffix and personal ending (and very little left of the preceding preverbs).


Latin and Greek are a snap compared to these amazing evaporating verbs.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby chad » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:06 am

it must have taken people weeks in old Dublin to prepare linguistically to go down to the market and buy a sack of potatoes, given that :)
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Postby Kasper » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:22 am

chad wrote:it must have taken people weeks in old Dublin to prepare linguistically to go down to the market and buy a sack of potatoes, given that :)


no wonder they starved.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Re: When frustration is about to stop you

Postby Eureka » Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:45 am

annis wrote:...And you might get dispirited, and lose sight of why you're doing this in the first place.

That's not very likely; I [face=SPIonic]ga\r[/face] have no idea why I'm doing this in the first place. :?
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:14 am

chad wrote:it must have taken people weeks in old Dublin to prepare linguistically to go down to the market and buy a sack of potatoes, given that :)


Just for historical accuracy - is this "old Irish" modern Gaelic (19th century/present), or middle-ages Irish (6th century or something - their golden literary age, from what little I know). Because if it's medieval Irish, they wouldn't have had potatoes, being a plant imported from America over a thousand years later. [/snobbishness]

Trust me, I went into Greek knowing there are harder languages. One native speaker of Hebrew told me that "nobody understands Hebrew grammar" and that many verbs have presents and pasts completely different from each other - like the English "go" and "went". And this same Hebrew speaker tried to learn Arabic, and decided it had an even more hideous grammar.
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Postby Eureka » Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:20 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Trust me, I went into Greek knowing there are harder languages. One native speaker of Hebrew told me that "nobody understands Hebrew grammar" and that many verbs have presents and pasts completely different from each other - like the English "go" and "went". And this same Hebrew speaker tried to learn Arabic, and decided it had an even more hideous grammar.

If nobody could learn it, then nobody would have spoken it, and it would have simplified itself of it's own accord.

We're not learning an alien language here, or deciphering a code. We are treading well-trodden ground.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:28 am

Eureka wrote:If nobody could learn it, then nobody would have spoken it, and it would have simplified itself of it's own accord.

We're not learning an alien language here, or deciphering a code. We are treading well-trodden ground.


I agree. I believe this "nobody can speak it" syndrome was the fate of several bizzare Renaissance reconstructions of the pre-Babel or perfect-science language, but most languages invented do have some method amid the madness - which are understandable to people of ordinary intelligence.
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Postby annis » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:41 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Just for historical accuracy - is this "old Irish" modern Gaelic (19th century/present), or middle-ages Irish (6th century or something - their golden literary age, from what little I know). Because if it's medieval Irish, they wouldn't have had potatoes, being a plant imported from America over a thousand years later. [/snobbishness]


This is Old Irish, floruit 6th-10th centuries. Pre-potato, but we do have a charming ode in praise of herring (which I cannot find at the moment... it's somewhere online).
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Kopio » Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:52 pm

annis wrote:This is Old Irish, floruit 6th-10th centuries. Pre-potato, but we do have a charming ode in praise of herring (which I cannot find at the moment... it's somewhere online).


Myself....I've never seen a herring I didn't like....mmmmmmmmmm :P
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Postby annis » Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:29 pm

Kopio wrote:Myself....I've never seen a herring I didn't like....mmmmmmmmmm :P


Same for me, but I must say, it takes pickling to really make herring sing.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Kopio » Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:29 am

annis wrote:Same for me, but I must say, it takes pickling to really make herring sing.

You know it's funny....but I love pickeled herring too :P :P :P

It always busts me up when sturgeon fishermen come in and buy it for bait though.....what a waste :evil:

Pickeled herring and a few saltines is a meal fit for a god!

Ok Will....how about pickeled pigs feet, or sausage (you are from Wisconsin right??) can you handle those too?? Or have we stretched the boundries of what is edible for you? My father is an Okie (from Oklahomah) so pretty much anything that is d e a d (dang filter) is fit for eating there!
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Postby annis » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:06 am

Kopio wrote:Ok Will....how about pickeled pigs feet, or sausage (you are from Wisconsin right??) can you handle those too??


Yes, I am a free-range, BGH-free Wisconsine person.

I have had pickled heart (venison, as I recall), a number of beef tongue preparations, pork stomach, but never pigs feet. What's it like?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Kopio » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:35 am

annis wrote:I have had pickled heart (venison, as I recall), a number of beef tongue preparations, pork stomach, but never pigs feet. What's it like?

The trick is to get pigs feet from a very reputable butcher. They tend to be a bit chewy, very pickled, and sometimes a bit fatty...which is why you look for a good butcher, they usually trim them, and sometimes you can even get pickled hocks, which are much meatier. The meat is very tender, the skin is chewy. My wife cannot handle being in the same room when I eat one, and it has been quite a while since I'vef had one. Anymore it's more of a novelty than a "regular menu item"....but I love to grab a few when I'm grabbing my bratwurst and take them over to dad....he still LOVES them.
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Postby rimon-jad » Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:02 pm

:shock:
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Postby Phylax » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:01 pm

Back to Irish, for a moment ...

It's often seemed to me that Irish and its cousin Scots Gaelic have a lot of letters in their orthography which aren't actually pronounced. So a profitable enterprise would be to round up these lazy glyphs, pack them and ship them say, to the Poles, whose language does not seem to have really enough letters to make it easy to pronounce. :D :D :D What do you reckon?

Actually, English has a number of silent letters too, and French is notorious for it. We could get quite a trade going - ethical, too, in that it involves recycling and the elimination of waste!
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Postby annis » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:37 pm

Phylax wrote:So a profitable enterprise would be to round up these lazy glyphs, pack them and ship them say, to the Poles, whose language does not seem to have really enough letters to make it easy to pronounce.


Try Georgian. They love their vowels very much, and only bring them out on special occasions.

An Alternate History of the languages on the British Isles.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Phylax » Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:48 pm

Wonderful link, William! And oddly enough, not all that untruthful!

Georgian. We're talking Euxine Georgian here, right? Not Gonewiththewindian Georgian, which if my memory serves me right, is very lavish with its vowels: simple ordinary English vowel sounds being elongated into tri- or even tetraphthongs. One might even accuse those Georgians of being vowel-mouthed ( :D :oops: sorry!)
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Postby annis » Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:33 pm

annis wrote: but we do have a charming ode in praise of herring (which I cannot find at the moment... it's somewhere online).


Medieval, with partial translation: Mo-chean do theacht, a sgadáin.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby annis » Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:40 pm

Phylax wrote:Georgian. We're talking Euxine Georgian here, right?


Yes, Kartvelian.

Not Gonewiththewindian Georgian, which if my memory serves me right, is very lavish with its vowels: simple ordinary English vowel sounds being elongated into tri- or even tetraphthongs


It's the heat. One doesn't rush in Georgia.

Actually, it's interesting how often English in its history has been subjected to the reduction of the diphthong /ai/ (like hide). In the change from proto-germanic, /ai/ was reduced to /a:/ (so Goth. 'stáins', OE 'stân'). And now large chuncks of the American south are again turning /ai/ into /a:/ (as in the stereotyped 'Ah do declare!').
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Phylax » Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:52 pm

And now large chuncks of the American south are again turning /ai/ into /a:/ (as in the stereotyped 'Ah do declare!').

Interestingly (well, interesting to me, at least, and I hope to William), the Lancastrian dialect and a few other Northern English dialects say "Ah" for "I", or did when my Boltonian grandparents were alive. The following is a passage of 'Lanky' dialogue from "Lancashire Laughter" by T. Thompson (Unwin, 1951):

"Tha can't ha' toothache in thi arm, " said Bert Schofield.
"Ah know," said Jim. "Ah said it felt like it. Ah wish Ah knew what it were."
"Does it lutch every now an' then?" asked Bert.
"Aye," said Jim.
"An' when it gets warm in bed it starts achin' an' tha doesn't know wheer to put it for th' best?" added Bert.
"That's it," said Jim. "What is it?"
"Ah can't tell thee," said Bert. "Ah've never had it."
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Postby mingshey » Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:43 pm

Oh, I remember reading a line from a short novel many years ago, the title of which I remember as "Youngblood Hawk" but I don't recall the author. The line was a quote: "Mahnd ef Ah smawk uh sigah?" -- to depict a "South" accent.

Then I was not good at English enuf to follow the novel to the end, or just a few pages, but the quote was at the very beginning of the work.
Last edited by mingshey on Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:46 am

Ahhh, those 'Ah's. Der's alot o' dem in Their Eyes Were Watching God.
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Postby Kopio » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:16 am

All of this talk about herring inspired me....today I bought some at the market....had them with some saltines while I watched a football game today....quite delightful :P :P :P
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