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Little known information...maybe even facts - Bill_J - Aug 18, 2022 - 6:30pm
 
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Words that should be put on the substitutes bench for a year - oldviolin - Aug 15, 2022 - 9:31am
 
Interesting Words - Steely_D - Aug 15, 2022 - 8:19am
 
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Brian Eno - R_P - Aug 13, 2022 - 1:23pm
 
Name My Band - oldviolin - Aug 13, 2022 - 11:15am
 
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Sweet horrible irony. - miamizsun - Aug 13, 2022 - 6:32am
 
What is the meaning of this? - oldviolin - Aug 12, 2022 - 3:33pm
 
Baseball, anyone? - GeneP59 - Aug 12, 2022 - 12:59pm
 
Abiogenesis! - R_P - Aug 12, 2022 - 12:02pm
 
PASS THE BEER - kcar - Aug 12, 2022 - 11:33am
 
It's the economy stupid. - rgio - Aug 12, 2022 - 9:06am
 
What's Precious and Sacred to Islam? - Red_Dragon - Aug 12, 2022 - 8:38am
 
Floyd forum - Proclivities - Aug 12, 2022 - 8:12am
 
So... what's been happening here lately? - sunybuny - Aug 12, 2022 - 5:44am
 
Time to lawyer up! - NoEnzLefttoSplit - Aug 11, 2022 - 10:52pm
 
• • • The Once-a-Day • • •  - oldviolin - Aug 11, 2022 - 10:04am
 
How to Use RP? - kcar - Aug 11, 2022 - 9:53am
 
Got Road Rage? - Red_Dragon - Aug 11, 2022 - 8:12am
 
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India - Red_Dragon - Aug 10, 2022 - 4:36pm
 
godnarb: the Lunchurch - ScottFromWyoming - Aug 10, 2022 - 11:24am
 
Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Little known information...maybe even facts Page: Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 62, 63, 64  Next
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justin_thyme

justin_thyme Avatar

Location: Windward O`ahu, Hawai`i
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 2, 2008 - 12:16pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Languages tend to get simpler as they get older . . . .

 
Speaking of languages:  I recently finished re-reading Bastard Tongues by linguist Derek Bickerton.  It's a fascinating and very entertaining exploration of the evolution of creole languages around the world — as much an adventure story as anything else.  I heartily recommend it!  Here's the Amazon link in case anyone's interested.

Talalala

Talalala Avatar

Location: Århus, Denmark
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 2, 2008 - 12:04pm

JustineFromWyoming wrote:
Eating all this English toffee won't make me any less sleepy.


Sooooo wish I could help you!

JustineFromWyomi...

JustineFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Teetering on the edge of Avenue D
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 2, 2008 - 12:01pm

Eating all this English toffee won't make me any less sleepy.
dionysius

dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 2, 2008 - 4:43am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Languages tend to get simpler as they get older, and the bits that fall off are the ones that carry no information. Like gender.
 

Not true with the lexicon for any given modern language, for example, which tends to get bigger and more complex as time goes by. English itself is a famous example. Why, we have a word for everything.  And some modern languages are quite conservative grammatically, like Lithuanian, which proudly boasts all seven of the original Indo-European noun cases (wow, an instrumental case?!). Lithuanian also has the richest participle system of all I-E languages, with participles derived from all tenses with distinct active and passive forms, and several gerund forms. Sounds exhausting. Linguistic evolution isn't simply a progress from complexity to simplicity or vice versa; change can work in many different ways, some of them producing greater complexity, or leaving past complexity in place.


winter

winter Avatar

Location: in exile, as always
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 2:57pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Languages tend to get simpler as they get older, and the bits that fall off are the ones that carry no information. Like gender.

Numbering systems tend to get simpler too—counting in Mandarin is much simpler than in English, which is simpler than French.

French has a further disadvantage: l'Académie Française. The French language actually has a sort of governing body that decides what is French and what isn't, a sure-fire way to freeze the evolution of the language and doom it to the dustbin of history in a few centuries. Assuming anyone pays it any attention.
 


Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 2:52pm

 dionysius wrote:
Latin? Three genders but no articles. Closely related to Greek, three genders with articles. Lithuanian has strongly inflected noun system, like those ancient languages, but with no article. Icelandic uses only postfixed definite articles. English, with a developed system of definite and indefinite article, is more sophisticated than most languages. Try to have a Russian speaker make a quick and easy distinction between "a (any) banana lassi" and "the (one under discussion) banana lassi" and you'll get my point. That Frenchman was un homme complètement fou!

And I am aware that articles are weakened demonstratives, but demonstratives (like the Latin ille which yields Spanish el)  are not used like articles in these languages!

 
Languages tend to get simpler as they get older, and the bits that fall off are the ones that carry no information. Like gender.

Numbering systems tend to get simpler too—counting in Mandarin is much simpler than in English, which is simpler than French.

French has a further disadvantage: l'Académie Française. The French language actually has a sort of governing body that decides what is French and what isn't, a sure-fire way to freeze the evolution of the language and doom it to the dustbin of history in a few centuries. Assuming anyone pays it any attention.

musik_knut

musik_knut Avatar

Location: Third Stone From The Sun
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 2:41pm

 

 

Most people can not chew gum while simutaneously slapping their ass with both hands. {#Yes}

If someone offers to slap your ass while you chew gum, call the authorities.


BlueHeronDruid

BlueHeronDruid Avatar

Location: planting flowers


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:46pm

The current temperature at Newark Liberty Airport gate A18 is in the low 120's F.
phineas

phineas Avatar



Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:25pm

 Isabeau wrote:

I consider it boorish to look under a chair to see what gender it is.{#Snooty}

 
Chairs the world over appreciate this!

phineas

phineas Avatar



Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:23pm

 dionysius wrote:


Latin? Three genders but no articles. Closely related to Greek, three genders with articles. Lithuanian has strongly inflected noun system, like those ancient languages, but with no article. Icelandic uses only postfixed definite articles. English, with a developed system of definite and indefinite article, is more sophisticated than most languages. Try to have a Russian speaker make a quick and easy distinction between "a (any) banana lassi" and "the (one under discussion) banana lassi" and you'll get my point. That Frenchman was un homme complètement fou!

And I am aware that articles are weakened demonstratives, but demonstratives (like the Latin ille which yields Spanish el)  are not used like articles in these languages!


 
And crazy, too!

dionysius

dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:09pm

 Welly wrote:
Billy G has a soft spot for Librarians {#Wink}

 

And who wouldn't?
Welly

Welly Avatar

Location: Lotusland
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:08pm

Billy G has a soft spot for Librarians {#Wink}
dionysius

dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 1:05pm

 phineas wrote:

Years ago, in Nepal, I sat next at a table next to a group of travellers, among them a Frenchman who was declaiming loudly that, because there is no 'gender' in English, "It is a baby language... THE butter, THE chair..."  I wish I had been quick enough to ask if he thought, then, that French must be an adolescent language (2 genders), compared to, say, German with three. And would that in turn make Mandarin, which doesn't even use definite articles, an embryonic language.

But no, I just ordered a banana lassi and some toast...
 

Latin? Three genders but no articles. Closely related to Greek, three genders with articles. Lithuanian has strongly inflected noun system, like those ancient languages, but with no article. Icelandic uses only postfixed definite articles. English, with a developed system of definite and indefinite article, is more sophisticated than most languages. Try to have a Russian speaker make a quick and easy distinction between "a (any) banana lassi" and "the (one under discussion) banana lassi" and you'll get my point. That Frenchman was un homme complètement fou!

And I am aware that articles are weakened demonstratives, but demonstratives (like the Latin ille which yields Spanish el)  are not used like articles in these languages!

AliGator

AliGator Avatar



Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:59pm

 phineas wrote:

Years ago, in Nepal, I sat next at a table next to a group of travellers, among them a Frenchman who was declaiming loudly that, because there is no 'gender' in English, "It is a baby language... THE butter, THE chair..."  I wish I had been quick enough to ask if he thought, then, that French must be an adolescent language (2 genders), compared to, say, German with three. And would that in turn make Mandarin, which doesn't even use definite articles, an embryonic language.

But no, I just ordered a banana lassi and some toast...
 
My ex, who's French as you may know, used to say English was a primitive language for the exact same reason.

Isabeau

Isabeau Avatar

Location: sou' tex
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:56pm

 phineas wrote:

Years ago, in Nepal, I sat next at a table next to a group of travellers, among them a Frenchman who was declaiming loudly that, because there is no 'gender' in English, "It is a baby language... THE butter, THE chair..."  I wish I had been quick enough to ask if he thought, then, that French must be an adolescent language (2 genders), compared to, say, German with three. And would that in turn make Mandarin, which doesn't even use definite articles, an embryonic language.

But no, I just ordered a banana lassi and some toast...
 
I consider it boorish to look under a chair to see what gender it is.{#Snooty}


phineas

phineas Avatar



Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:29pm

 dionysius wrote:


Well, not that strange. Many languages have stronger grammatical gender than English does. Even inanimate objects can have "gender" which will determine if it gets a masculine, feminine or (in some languages) neuter adjective or article, for instance. Der DJ and die DJ might grate on German-speaking ears without further gender distinction. The Romance languages are even stronger with the gendered nouns, often with distinctive endings and declension. Anyone out there with specific examples from their own languages?

 
Years ago, in Nepal, I sat next at a table next to a group of travellers, among them a Frenchman who was declaiming loudly that, because there is no 'gender' in English, "It is a baby language... THE butter, THE chair..."  I wish I had been quick enough to ask if he thought, then, that French must be an adolescent language (2 genders), compared to, say, German with three. And would that in turn make Mandarin, which doesn't even use definite articles, an embryonic language.

But no, I just ordered a banana lassi and some toast...

Talalala

Talalala Avatar

Location: Århus, Denmark
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:22pm

dionysius wrote:


Well, not that strange. Many languages have stronger grammatical gender than English does. Even inanimate objects can have "gender" which will determine if it gets a masculine, feminine or (in some languages) neuter adjective or article, for instance. Der DJ and die DJ might grate on German-speaking ears without further gender distinction. The Romance languages are even stronger with the gendered nouns, often with distinctive endings and declension. Anyone out there with specific examples from their own languages?


Yes...I actually minored in German in college.  {#Wink}   That makes sense.. and B said that 'die DJin' wouldn't really sound good, so I guess that's why they came up with DJane.  They kinda thought 'DJay' even though they know that 'DJ' actually is an abbreviation of 'disc jockey'.    Danish used to have more of a separation too, but they kinda got rid of it. 

OmegaConcern

OmegaConcern Avatar

Location: Sunrise, FL
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:22pm

Speaking of gender specificities and rrrrromance languages (have to rrrroll the rrrrr), it's interesting to note that in spanish the vulgar terms for genitals are gender inverse.  That is, "vulgar penis" has a female ending and "vulgar vagina" has a male ending.  As such, you'd use "La" with the male and "el" with the female term.  Reminds me of a movie I saw once actually...

Hmmm... "vulgar penis"...where's that Name My Band thread...




dionysius

dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:17pm

 Talalala wrote:
My husband just told me that in Germany, female DJ's are called  "DJanes" ...   HUH.   Strange compulsion to make things masculine or feminine.  Semantic reasons? 

 

Well, not that strange. Many languages have stronger grammatical gender than English does. Even inanimate objects can have "gender" which will determine if it gets a masculine, feminine or (in some languages) neuter adjective or article, for instance. Der DJ and die DJ might grate on German-speaking ears without further gender distinction. The Romance languages are even stronger with the gendered nouns, often with distinctive endings and declension. Anyone out there with specific examples from their own languages?
lily34

lily34 Avatar

Location: GTFO
Gender: Female


Posted: Dec 1, 2008 - 12:13pm

 Talalala wrote:
My husband just told me that in Germany, female DJ's are called  "DJanes" ...   HUH.   Strange compulsion to make things masculine or feminine.  Semantic reasons? 

  i like it!


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