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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 5:50 pm
by Iversen
I have been listening to a lot of music lately while studying (bad habit, I know), but today I decided it was time to do some language listening - and I started out with Youtube videos made by people speaking Catalan and a bunch of related speech variants. I'll come back to that ... but then I followed a link to a video ...

SCO.. aboot Scots, wharein a reel native Scots leedi recited the bonny auld poem aboot a certaint Tam O Shanter whit ah also did mention in this (b)log lang ago .. actuelly so lang sin syne that ah've forgat when ah did so. But 'tis wis fun tae listen tae the poem as read by a real Scots citizen. Frae that video ah staved on thro ane Englisch video efter the ither aboot auld leeds until ah reaked tae a totally unexpectit gem, namely sir Colin Renfrew daein an obituary gab o'er the late Maria Gimbutas - and that video teuk mair than an oor).

Some o ye readers may remember that ah did write a heap on this forum aboot the Yamnaya hypothesis a while syne, bein that rawdy young men frae the Kurgan steppes came tae Europa and spread the bubonic plague so that they coud take all the native women that didnae die and fertilize them an fill the continent wi R1A1 and R1B1 chromosomes and some kynd o Protoprotoproto-Indoeuropeen tongue while the last native men whare put to slave wark in the fields instead of putting up endless rows and circles o wortless menhirs as in times o yore ... Ok, the anely serious alternative wis a theori put forrit by mr. Renfrew, who thocht that the Indoeuropean leids might better hae arrived from Anatolia - and much langer syne than the 5000 years syne estimated by madam Gimbutas, and forby that he estimeeted that the sloo diffusion o those langages throu Europe micht coud hae taken thoosands o years. But as ah awready mentioned, this theory brickled ere genetic analyses unequivocally pruived that young men frae the steppes came tae Europa and spread the bubonic plague so that they coud take all the native women that didnae die and fertilize them an fill the continent wi R1A1 and R1B1 chromosomes and some kynd o Protoprotoproto-Indoeuropeen blabber while the last survivin native men whare put to slave wark in the fields instead of putting up those endless rows and circles o wirthless menhirs as in times o yore (or samething seemilar)...

OK, at 53 mineets intae the video sir Colin Renfrew acknawledges that Maria Gimbuta wis right aw the time, and that there wis a Kurgan (ie. Yamnaya) invasion. But he also adds some informations which actually micht be awricht: he says that the Minoans came frae Anatolia, and that the Myceneans also had a muckle contrebutien frae Anatolia, but mebbe also 20% o genes fra "the North" - and we knoo who rumbled around tae the North, namely the Yamnayas. And then ah mynd some information fra anither video, this time aboot the Etruscan tongue, which auld lang syne occupied the central Italy afore the Roman expansion. The piece o information a mynded wis that something similar tae Etruscan wis fund on the Greek island of Lemnos, and now some scholarts wunner whither Etruscan wisnae the last survivin pairt of a Proto-Tyrrhenian language group that wis spake fra Anatolia tae Italy ... ye see whare a'm ettlin? The Anatolian hypothesis micht be true for the Minoans and the Etruscans and at least ane dead guy on Lemnos, and mebbe these leids left some traces on Proto-Greek and Proto-Albanian (Illyrian??), but the Indoeuropean expansion didnae pass throu Anatolia.

Etruscan (Youtube).jpg
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CAT: En els vídeos en idioma anglès sobre llengües antigues i pobles (i un estrany mico d'Amèrica del Sud), he escoltat diversos vídeos en les llengües romàniques de Catalunya i la regió al voltant. Primerament un video amb Anita que parla el dialecte Mallorquì de Català - però ho va fer ara, també? Em vaig adonar que utilitzava els articles habituals "el", "la", etc. i no les formes especials 'salats' "es" i "sa". D'altra banda, també vaig escoltar les pronunciacions Mallerca, dialecta ... així que ara no jo sé on col·locar el seu dialecte. Els seus pares en realitat no van venir de Mallorca, sinó d'Argentina i Romania. Un poc més més difícil de comprendre va ser la vendedora de peixes na Maria, i ella va efectivament dir "es" i "sa", de manera que això probablement representa el veritable dialecte mallorquí.

Després vaig escoltar un vídeo amb Sonia en aranès (que suposadament és un dialecte occità, tot i amb clares similituds amb el català) i un altre en l'aragonès, on en Mario no diu ni "hablar" ni "parlar", sinó "fablar". En general, vaig entendre el que es deia en tots els videos, el que em resulta molt satisfactori després de tanta negligència.

Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 4:18 am
by Iversen
OK, more about birds. I have already written about my field guides, which in the case of Eastern and Southern Africa cover both mammals and birds. In the rest of the world (outside Denmark) they focus on to birds since they are the ones you are most likely to see - and the few exceptions are either big and few in number and therefore easy to remember (like the moose and deer in North America) or small and difficult to spot - maybe even nocturnal, which makes it even harder to spot them. So I have mainly collected bird guides, mostly for practical reasons rather than for being a fanatic twitcher of the kind with binoculars glued to their faces.

When I checked the collection yesterday it turned out that there actually are more non-English ones than I expected - mostly because of the guides to somewhere in Latinamerica, which often are in Spanish (eg. the comprehensive guide to the Aves of Chile) or in Portuguese (the one from Iguaçu). So now I have been reminded about a part of my book collection which I apparently visit too rarely. I made amends to this yesterday evening by reading some of the descriptions in my Icelandic "Íslenskur fugla vísir". And yes, I have read it all during one of my three trips to that windswept part of the world. This time I only read a small part of the book.

IC: Og jafnvel beinþurra fuglleiðarvísirinn inniheldur nokkur tungumálafegurð - eða er það sorglegt? Að minnsta kosti tók ég eftir að heiðloan (Pluvialis apricaria) hafi þræll, þ.e. lóuþrællin (Calidris Alpine, "almindelig ryle" á dönsku). Og að bleshænan (Fulica atra) er nefnt eftir hvíta blettinn á enni (eins og á dönsku), ekki eftir hinn 95 prósent sem er svartur (eins og á sænsku). Myndin þræll-eigandi fuglins hér að neðan er tekin á Árbærbyni, sem er útivistarsafn Reykjavíks.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 5:50 pm
by Iversen
I have bought a couple of new dictionaries today, all from the German publishing company Langenscheidt, and all enshrouded in bright yellow plastic as is wont from that provider. They cover some of the holes in my collection, but leave out others (like the Estonian and the Finnishish dictionaries I had hoped to find). The ones I have bought are a small Slovenian dictionary and midsized Czech and Hungarian and ... well, a midsized Turkish sözlük (haha, the first Turkish word EVER in this thread!). Actually Turkish is not on my immediate to-do list, and .. no, let's leave out the political comments ... Nevertheless it is a major language among foreign workers and their offspring here in Denmark and to boot a popular holiday destination so it is one of the languages which the local libraries cater for - although exclusively with text boooks and literature, and as you may have noticed I'm not exactly a literature buff. But now I have a reasonably good dictionary (actually I think I'll need the Hungarian one before the Turkish one). As for Slovenian it is a small language, but it has a dualis and I already have got one book in it (about the Postojna cave system). And I'll need to learn a few Czech words very soon as part of my polyglot gathering avoidance plans. So I won't become bored the next couple of days.

GER: Ich habe tatsächlich ein slowakisches Wörterbuch mit mehrere hundert Wörtern erstellt, basiert auf meinem mitgebrachten gelben Mikro-Langenscheidt, und darüber hinaus habe ich etwas mehrsprachiches Fernsehen geschaut, weil meines viersterniges Hotel hier in Wien nicht nur Deutschsprachige Programme anbietet, aber auch TV5 von Frankreich, TVE von Spanien, Rai 1-2-3 von Italen, Rossiya von Rusland und viele viele andere, darunter auch Dutzende von Programme vom Nahen Orient die ich überhaupt nicht verstehe. Die Österreichische Programme sprechen nur vom EU-Wahl und vom Votum gegen Kanzler Kurz so ich vermeide tatsächlich die lokale Fernsehstationen.

Aber es gibt auch andere Dinge zu tun hier, wie Zoo- und Meerhaus-Besuchen und so was -aber ich habe wenig Zeit hier gehabt. Morgen wird's Bratislava and danach ein Bissel 'rumreisen ehe ich zurück zu Dänemark komme, wo es in der Zwischenzeit ein Parlamentswahl gegeben hat. Ich habe gestimmt per Brief, aber werde vermutlich nicht wissen was geschieht, bevor ich zuhause wieder bin. Und das brauche ich auch nicht zu wissen ...

Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:40 pm
by Iversen
Ahem, " ein Bissel 'rumreisen " developed into a trip that meant that I within 16 days visited 11 cities (12 if you count one where I spent 2 hours minus 5 minuts because I was late for a train). I slept in 5 of them, visited 10 zoos and 1 aquarium, had to deal with 5 currencies and the same number of local languages, plus of course Englush and German and a few words in Russian because my Slavic languages aren't really fluent enough to be used in conversations. But I did buy stuff using some of the words and phrases I do know inthose languages, and I went through at least 600 SLovakian words in wordlists based on my small yellow Langencheidt.

Speaking about books: I have already mentioned my acquisitions from Vienna, but now I can add that I actually did find a comprehensive Ukrainian-English dictionary in the first bookstore I visited in Lviv. OK, at first I couldn't even find any dictionaries in the store, and therefore I asked an employee "словарь?". She looked as thought she didn't understand a word, but then I tried "словарiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ?" in the hope that it would be the plural of the word in Ukrainian. Afterwards I have found out that the word in Ukrainian is "словник", plural "словники", but in spite of this faux-pas she did understand me this time and pointed to a shelf just above the floor where they had all their dictionaries, including the one I chose (image below). Sometime next week I'll do a multiple-language wordlist round again, and then I could see myself adding a couple of languages, such as Czech and Ukrainian.

But still no Estonian and no something-comprehensible-into-Finnish dictionaries. Rome wasn't built in one day, and the same applies to my dictionary collection.

Right now I'm going to read my email and put some order in my photos, so I hope you will excuse me for checking out so soon - and without adding the usual picture. But I'll add some when I have entered them into my system. I took somewhere between 500 and 600, but my plan is to weed them down to half that number, and I'll only have half of those 250 some printed on papir. I'm at long last growing out of my addiction to photos on paper ...

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:46 pm
by Iversen
I still find it funny that there is supposed to be roughly 60.000 Ukrainean sliv in my new Ukrainean dictionary, but the only one I definitely remember in this moment is "slownik". Well, I survived my visit to Lviv, and I learned that Danilo was something more than a dubious count in some kind of operette - he was the king of Ukraina in its heydays.

Apart from that, I have spent two full days organizing my photos and postcards and still haven't had time to write the actual travelogue texts or produce maps covering the places I have visited.

One problem was that many places in Czechia and Slovakia end Poland (not to speak of the Cyrillic-using Ukraine) use letters that aren't offered in my keyboard setup, and if I make them using a virtual keyboard or word then they are changed into less offensive letters when I save my .html-files. There are two ways to circumvent this problem: you can use some codes that give some foreign letters html-readable names, like a ring-something for my native Danish "å", but for some Eastern European languages this apparently isn't possible, and then you have to resort to numbercopdes. There is a Czech/Slovak list here, but I have used a copy of a more comprehensive page from a site called, where there are two series.

The first series is the one where decimal unicode and iso 8859-1 are the same, and to refer to those when you write a html-page by hand in notepad you can use a formular like &#***; (for instance (¿ shows up as ¿ on my computer) ... but your browser may be set up so this doesn't happen. But who cares - my photo-etc system is made my the exclusive use of me (and sometimes people within my family). However this series wasn't made with the plethora of diacritics in Eastern European languages in mind, so there I have had to use a second set of codes, where the formula is &#X***; - so for instance I get the infamous ř by writing ř in my notepad text, but that still doesn't teach me to pronounce it. Well, as I have written before Rome wasn't built in one dag. Sometimes people in those countries understood me, sometimes they didn't - even in situations where I thought is was bloody obvious what I meant. For instance I said "zoo" with a closed /o/in the Czech Hodonín when I asked an elder man for directions, but I had to scratch the word in the ground to get instructions. Then in a bus full of Olomucean schoolchildren heading for the local zoo it dawned on me that they all pronounced the word with an open o. But in the meantime I had already figured out that people understood me if I just said "zoologická zahrada" - sometimes the easiest way to express something is actually not the most efficient one...

So basically I have been living in a Slavic bubble (with English and German as auxiliary languages) for two weeks, but yesterday I did read a chapter in my Greek grammar (the one on verbal forms). And once I have finished my travel related updates I expect to focus on all the other languages I have been neglecting during those two weeks.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:48 am
by Ser
Iversen wrote:Let me first say that the Assimil has a neat grammar section with tables, and in this it mentions four cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genetive. And I really dig this order because the genitive does have some quirks of its own. You may remember my warnings against the usual German-inspired order of the cases in the Slavic languages. The accusative there takes its forms in the masculine from the nominative and the genitive, so the logical order is nominative, accusative, genitive ... and the rest afterwards. This is the ONLY logical order, but very few Slavic grammars use it because the tradition dictates a different order (which I won't even quote here).

Iversen wrote:I promised to write something in Slovak, but I have changed my mind because I'm going to show you something from the Slovak grammar book, and this is a thing that doesn't require knowledge of any Slavic language - not even Slovak. As I have mentioned before there seems to be a consensus about placing the Accusative after the Genetive and Dative in German grammars and most grammars for the Slavic languages. This doesn't do any harm in German (contrary to the thoroughly idiotic way of referring to the cases by number), but it goes against all logic in the Slavic languages, and I can demonstrate why with a couple of images. They show you an adjective in the three genders and two numbers and sic cases, first as it is done in the traditional way and then one step in the direction of a more logical setup. The new order even makes the feminine singular -ej's come one after the other.

This is of course not the only possible change: In the plural it seems that the locative would be better placed before the dative than after it, but let's take one step at a time.

The order of cases used in grammars of Slavic languages is not inspired from German. It follows the traditional order of cases as established by ancient grammarians in antiquity, in the days of the Roman Empire.

It is very much unknown what century the received text of the Technē Grammatikē was written in, but we know it must've reached its current form by the 4th century AD. It contains the following line about cases, which I'll translate while trying to show the clarity of the original terms.

    Πτώσεις ὀνομάτων εἰσὶ πέντε· ὀρθή, γενική, δοτική, αἰτιατική, κλητική. λέγεται δὲ ἡ μὲν ὀρθὴ ὀνομαστικὴ καὶ εὐθεῖα, ἡ δὲ γενικὴ κτητική τε καὶ πατρική, ἡ δὲ δοτικὴ ἐπισταλτική, ἡ δὲ αἰτιατικὴ κατ᾽ αἰτιατικήν, ἡ δὲ κλητικὴ προσαγορευτική.

    There are five noun cases: the right [as in "right angle", nominative], the type-al [what gives a type, genitive], the given-al [what is given something, dative], the effect-al [the effect of an action, accusative], and the call-al [how something is called, vocative]. The right form is also called the name-al and the straight [as in "straight line"]; the type-al is also called the possess-al and the father-al; the given-al, the letter-al [as in a written letter, epistle]; while the effect-al comes from "caused effect", and the call-al is also called the address-al [as when addressing somebody, speaking to them].

Aelius Donatus, who lived in the 4th century but was probably unaware of the Technē Grammatikē while naturally belonging to the same tradition, used a similar case order in his De Partibus Orationis Ars Minor, adding the ablative at the end as Greek didn't have it. (Later Latin grammarians in the Early Medieval Period or "dark ages" would switch the last two around leaving the vocative last.)

    Casus nominum quot sunt? Sex. Qui? Nominativus, genetivus, dativus, accusativus, vocativus, ablativus. Per hos omnium generum nomina, pronomina, participia declinantur...

    How many noun cases are there? Six. Which ones? The nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, and ablative. Through these, nouns, pronouns and participles of all types are declined...

The ancient grammarians spoke of cases using the metaphor of a circle. The first right angle, at 90 degrees, stood for the nominative, and all the other cases where in a sense deviations "falling" from it at different angles. This is why the "oblique" cases (the ones that were not the nominative) were called πτώσεις and cāsūs, that is, 'fallings'. The category of "fallings" afterwards applied to the nominative as well.

It is curious however that the order of cases is also bad for both Ancient Greek and Latin. Both languages have lots of neuter-gender nouns where putting the nominative, vocative and accusative together would've been beneficial. Latin also merges the dative and ablative, while the genitive is usually very distinct. Your correction of Slavic case order would have also been good for Greek and Latin! Interestingly, some ancient grammarians like Varro noticed this and used a good, rational order, but sadly they were not followed in later centuries.

    Sine controversia sunt obliqui, qui nascuntur a recto; unde rectus an sit casus sunt qui quaerant. Nos vero sex habemus, Graeci quinque: quis vocetur, ut Hercules; quemadmodum vocetur, ut Hercule; quo vocetur, ut ad Herculem; a quo vocetur, ut ab Hercule; cui vocetur, ut Herculi; cuius vocetur, ut Herculis.
    (Varro, De Lingua Latina VIII.VI)

    The oblique cases, which are born from the right form [the nominative case], are established without controversy, but there are those who wonder whether the right form is a case or not. At any rate, we have six forms while the Greeks have five: the one to say who does something [nominative], as in Herculēs; the one for the manner in which to call somebody [vocative], as in Herculē; the one to say the direction of an action [accusative], as in ad Herculem; the one to say where an action comes from [ablative], as in ab Hercule; the one to say who something is done for [dative], as in Herculī; the one to say who owns something [genitive], as in Herculis.

Notice how Varro's order, with the genitive at the end, is pretty much the same as the one you proposed for Slovak. :D

(Putting the dative after the ablative is also rational decision in Latin, because the dative -ae is the same as genitive -ae in the first declension while distinct from the ablative -ā, while in the second declension the ablative and dative merge as -ō while the genitive remains distinct as -ī.)

Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:18 pm
by Iversen
LAT: Facte liber grammaticae mea latinae in lingua danica casum accusativum posuit post casum nominativum, et casum genitivum post accusativum. Ergo ego non suspicatus sum etiam grammatici antiquitatis ordinem nefas proponere quam postea apud collegas suas germanos in schola inveni (quod me credere fecit autores slavicos ordinem ex teudiscis habere, id quod tamen semper possibilitas est). Mihi plane obstupefacet cur autores antiquitatis ordinem proposuit quae sine ulla logica in linguis suis sit.

So thanks to Ser for telling me that the misleading order goes back to authors in the antiquity who had even less justification than the Germans for putting the cases in an obviously illogical order. But also for pointing out that at least a few writers back then were brave enough to go against the flow.

LAT: Praeterea censeo tempus maxima esse ordinem falsam emendare. Quo usque tandem abutere, grammatici, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam stupor iste voster nos eludet?

I have now written the daily passages for my travelogue system, but I still haven't done the text that makes a general statement about the whole voyage, and I also have to make maps that show where I have been. And when I have done that I have a family weekend ahead where I can't get much studying done. So after a two week holiday I will have spent a week before I'm back into my normal routines! It's probably a good thing that I don't travel more than I do (on average around two months each year) - otherwise I would never get anywhere...

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:35 am
by Iversen
As predicted it took me a full week to get back to my language studies. Well, actually a week plus one day since I spent a couple of hours downtown yesterday because there is an exhibition on 'internet of things' (IOT) there right now (to boot with free access). The subject is relevant in itself, although I must confess that I don't see the point in letting my fridge decide when to buy milk - and definitely not meat or other foods where the product can vary in quality. But I can see that with more elderly people and fewer young people we WILL end up in a situation where people need robots to do the menial tasks they can't do for themselves, and I can also see the point in surveillance systems, not only of the wellknown kind where you get an email when your house has been robbed, but also of the kind that tells the relevant authorities that I have fallen down from my chair and broken my neck or that my garbage container is full so please come and empty it.

At least half the people at the stands were foreigners so I could also use the opportunity to speak a few of my languages there. In most cases the relevant language was of course English, but I spotted some individuals with names that suggested other possibilities, like German and Dutch. GE: Das Bild unten zeigt ein Modell einer kleinen österreichischen Stadt, in der es offensichtlich mit selbstfahrenden Transporteinheiten experimentiert wird, die sowohl Einheimische als Touristen genau wie Taxis dorthin befördern können, wo die Leute es tatsächlich möchten und nicht dorthin wo es eine Autobuslinie gibt - und nicht zum exorbitanten Taxipreis. EN: By the way, I don't understand why one doesn't first make the trains drive around by themselves before experimenting with self-propelled vehicles on our roads. It must be simpler to make the system work on rails where there is constant monitoring of all traffic than on streets filled with motorized psychos, old ladies and mindless kids. IT: A un certo tavolo sotto una tenda all'aperto ho parlato in inglese a una signora su un sistema di 'big data analysis' quando un altro ospite si è rivolto in italiano alla collega della signora. Aha, quindi anche la signora numero uno forse era italiana? Certo, e poi ovviamente abbiamo passato a discorrere nella lingua italiana. Bisogno cogliere le opportunità quando si presentano!

Yesterday I made a wordlist with around 120 words in Czech plus the first repetition on a separate sheet. This means that it had the same dimensions as the other 28 wordlists-cum-repetitione which I made a month or so ago, and the plan for the rest of today is mainly to start doing more parallel wordlist in all those languages OR to add a few more beforehand - although it will necessarily be in languages which I don't actually study right now. But I found it quite interesting to do the list in Finnish during phase 1 and 2 of this project, and yesterday I was surprised to see how easy it was to deal with Czech words, Of course they are spelled differently from words in Slovak, but most words are roughly the same. The exceptions are worth learning, like for instance that the main railway station of a town is called "hlávni nádraží" in Czech. During my latest trip down there I first used the Hauptbahnhof of Vienna, where I took a train to the hlavná stanica of Bratislava, whence I went to a number of nádraží's in Czechia, and after that I visited, but didn't use the Льві́в-Головни́й вокзал in Львів, before I finally saw and used the główny dworzec's of three Polish towns. And I used five different currencies (including Danish crowns) in just two weeks.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:07 am
by DaveAgain
Iversen wrote:By the way, I don't understand why one doesn't first make the trains drive around by themselves before experimenting with self-propelled vehicles on our roads. It must be simpler to make the system work on rails where there is constant monitoring of all traffic than on streets filled with motorized psychos, old ladies and mindless kids.
I believe that has been done. In the UK the principle obstacle to the expansion of driverless trains appears to be train driver unions, which is understandable.

Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:27 pm
by Ogrim
DaveAgain wrote:
Iversen wrote:By the way, I don't understand why one doesn't first make the trains drive around by themselves before experimenting with self-propelled vehicles on our roads. It must be simpler to make the system work on rails where there is constant monitoring of all traffic than on streets filled with motorized psychos, old ladies and mindless kids.
I believe that has been done. In the UK the principle obstacle to the expansion of driverless trains appears to be train driver unions, which is understandable.

The Docklands Light Railway in Eastern London has driverless trains and I know it has been under discussion for years to make the whole London Tube network driverless. As far as I know the metro networks in Dubai and Tokyo are also driverless. I don't think there are long-distance driverless trains anywhere though.