Guyome's log

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Deinonysus
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby Deinonysus » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:05 pm

Considering that the Tungusic and Turkic languages were once thought to be related as part of the "Altaic" family, I'd be interested to hear what sorts of similarities you might find between Manchu and Chaghatay. I'm not familiar with either language myself. I've heard of Manchu and Uyghur, but I'd never even heard of Chaghatay.
Last edited by Deinonysus on Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby księżycowy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:23 pm

Just stopping by to say that both Manchu and Chagatay are on my hopeful hitlist (as in I hope to get around to them eventually, but they are not on the "necessary" list). I have a copy of the Chagatay introduction you mentioned, and am interested in continuing to see your observations and notes as you continue.

I also live vicariously through you for Manchu at the moment. :P
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:30 pm

Deinonysus wrote:I'd be interested to hear what sorts of similarities you might find between Manchu and Chaghatay.
I am of course not very knowledgeable about Chaghatay but here are some things I noticed.
Lexical similarity between Ma. and Chag. is zero so far, although I spotted two words that look suspiciously alike in both Classical Mongolian and Chag., qudugh/quduq "(water) well" and qatun/khatun "queen (Mo.)/wife (Chag.)".

The two languages seem closer on a syntactical level:
- SOV word order (although Ma. is in no way adverse to OSV in some cases)
- use of postpositions
- grammatical "cases" that are mostly suffixes
- some level of vowel harmony
- case-marking for definite direct objects only (although this would need to be further investigated in the case of Manchu)
- use of a tenseless verbal suffix to show that one action takes places before another, "he did X and then did Y" (-p in Chag., -fi in Ma.).

If you're interested in this topic, there's An Introduction to Altaic Philology published by Brill in 2010.

księżycowy wrote:I also live vicariously through you for Manchu at the moment.
:D
Thanks, księżycowy! I hope you'll manage to find time for Manchu in the future. Let me know if I can help with resources at some point!
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby księżycowy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:04 pm

guyome wrote:
Thanks, księżycowy! I hope you'll manage to find time for Manchu in the future. Let me know if I can help with resources at some point!

I certainly will.

And now you guys are talking about Classical Mongolian! *drools*

Some day!
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby Ezra » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:39 am

guyome

How hard would you rate Manchu comparing, say, to Latin?
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:31 am

Hi Ezra,

That's a tricky question but here are my two cents :)

On a purely linguistic level, I'd say Manchu is definitely easier. Sure, it will feel more foreign than Latin to someone coming at it from an Indo-European language, but its verbal and nominal morphology, its syntax too, is much simpler.

However, Manchu lacks the kind of resources we have for Latin, both study tools (grammars, dictionaries, textbooks, knowledgeable people,...) and material (audio, literature,...).

For instance, in the text I posted just the other day, there is this sentence:
hoton i keremu suwaliyame hadaha manggi, lit. it can be something like "after the city wall altogether hada-ed,".
Dictionaries will tell you that the verb hadambi can mean things like "1. to nail, to tack 2. to sting (of insects) 3. to sole (shoes or boots) 4. to fix the eyes on" but none of these meanings seem to fit here. You not infrequently hit this kind of roadblocks in Manchu texts and when you do, there is a distinct lack of online corpus (Manc.hu is growing but still small), detailed grammatical studies, forums to turn to.

So, overall, I don't know...Studying the two languages has felt very different to me. I'd say that with Latin, there's a lot to know before you can do even basic stuff but the road is well lit and well-trodden. With Manchu, you can go through the basics much more quickly but the road there and thereafter may be more bumpy.
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby cjareck » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:49 am

But Latin isn't equal to Latin. I learned only Classical Latin, but there is also a Medieval one. I remember a friend of mine told me that he likes Medieval Latin very much. When I asked him why he explained that since the Medieval Authors knew the Latin grammar on his level, he understands them pretty well :D There are many traps there since not all grammar rules or even words are applied correctly so that a sentence can have potentially opposite meanings...
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:47 pm

cjareck wrote:There are many traps there since not all grammar rules or even words are applied correctly
Well, in my opinion, it's less about Medieval writers making mistakes (some did of course!) and more about them having other models than those we have today. The Latin grammar we are taught today mainly derives from a close examination of Cesar and Cicero, while the average Medieval (monastic) writer had a much broader definition of Latinity, with the Vulgate being the most influential model, followed by the Church Fathers, and then Classical authors.

And even if we hold Medieval Latin to the standards of Classical Latin, there are plenty of good works and very competent authors. Probably more than there have been in the last decades of our philologically enlightened ages.

I know it's generally just a joke but sometimes this "Medieval Latin is just bad Latin" thing gets on my nerves, so pardon my soapboxing :oops:
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:20 pm

Chaghatay
Did lessons 4-6 of An Introduction to Chaghatay. They deal with many important topics, like pronouns, possession, present and past tense. This means there is quite a lot to learn but nothing I found very difficult per se. All these suffixes look alike though, which is both a blessing and a curse :D

There is a very decent amount of sentences to practice with in the exercises at the end of each lesson, which is great. From lesson 7 on, authentic texts are introduced and exercises disappear, which is a shame in my opinion. Lesson 7, for instance, deals with approximately twice as much vocab than lesson 6, but makes you read less than half as many lines. I wish the author had included a couple a paragraphs with made-up sentences in lessons 7-16 too.

I have also been getting some additional practice by reading G. Raquette's Eastern Turki Grammar. Schluessel paid homage to Raquette's pioneer work by modeling lessons 1-6 of his Introduction on the beginning Raquette's Grammar, which means the vocab lists are basically the same up to a certain point (lessons 6/IX) and you can use Raquette's exercises and explanations to supplement the Introduction.

Gösta (Gustaf) Raquette (1871-1945) was a Swedish missionary who spent many years in Kashgar. His Grammar deals with the language as spoken and written in Xinjiang in the early 20th c. Since Schluessel also uses early 20th c. Xinjiang sources in the first lessons, the two books paint a nearly identical picture so far.
The only differences I have noticed are:
- vocalisation sometimes differ (Raquette uses the Yarkand pronunciation, while I guess Schluessel may be going for a more Classical Chaghatay scheme?)
- sentences with dur/emäs and bar/yoq in Raquette seem to use dur a lot more (A B dur, A B emäs dur, A bar dur, A yoq dur), while the Introduction says and shows that it can be left out. Again, is this a difference between early 20th c. Xinjiang and a broader Chaghatay?
- negation of the present is different. Raquette gives ber-mäs and Schluessel ber-mäy-dur for "he doesn't give". I have done some searching and it seems one of these is the Aorist while the other is the Present-Future tense. Depending on context, both can indeed mean "he doesn't give".
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby cjareck » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:01 pm

guyome wrote:I know it's generally just a joke but sometimes this "Medieval Latin is just bad Latin" thing gets on my nerves, so pardon my soapboxing :oops:

Perhaps the difference comes also because we didn't have any tradition of using Latin before 966. Maybe that caused some problems with Medieval sources in Poland. However, I have no idea, and I'm just guessing. My opinion on Medieval Latin as being "bad" comes also from my Latin teacher. After three semesters of learning a language we were to choose a specialization for the fourth one - it could be a Classical, a Medieval or a Church Latin. My teacher was teaching a Classical one and advocated strongly for that saying that it is the "purest and the best". Because I respected (then and now also!) her very much, I followed her advice and also took her point of view for Medieval Latin.
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