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154289Re: German with Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja?

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  • Henrik Theiling
    Aug 1, 2008
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      Hi!

      Eugene Oh writes:
      > There doesn't necessarily have to be explicit notation for ablaut/umlaut!
      > Japanese copes very well with its very common irregular verb, "kuru" meaning
      > "to come". ...

      Ah, interesting! Thanks for the example! :-)

      >...
      > So you could probably have simply [lauf] for "lief", ...

      Possible, but it seems to extreme to me. I would like to mark it
      somehow, I think.

      > ... I think the phonetic adjuncts are more useful than morphological
      >adjuncts. People can infer the morphological purpose themselves given
      >the pronunciation and sufficient familiarity with the
      >language. Having to learn arcane names for grammar terms will
      >probably be counter-productive. ..

      I fully agree. Chinese has grammatical markers, too, and they do get
      mixed up by native speakers (e.g. the several 'de' of Mandarin). But
      the mix-up is probably due to homophony just like in 'there', 'their',
      and 'they're'.

      I would think that it might be ok to have a plural marker with no
      fixed pronunciation at all. If the number of these markers was
      limited to the situations of umlaut and ablaut, it might be ok.
      Everything else I'd do with phonetic markers (person verb endings, for
      example).

      Let's try!

      Here's an overview of my idea and examples why it does not work and
      why maybe your idea of just ignoring it might work better:

      Due to ablaut:
      {past}
      {perfect}
      {imperative}

      I'd feel ok about these. I think L1 speakers could handle those
      easily. Maybe. Hopefully. :-)

      But then, there is a different vowel in 3.sg.pres.act.:
      _werden_ -> _wirst_ which I do *not* want to mark this way
      (Requires an ending for 2/3.sg.pres.ind.act...)

      It's really umlaut, though.

      Due to umlauts:

      {plural}
      {comparative}
      {superlative}
      {2/3.sg.pres.ind.act} <--- ???
      {past conditional} <--- Sometimes irregular: hülfe (*hälfe < half)

      Gakh! There's umlaut before derivational endings: bläulich.

      OK, maybe umlaut should indeed go unmarked. Ablaut is very limited,
      so maybe it would be ok to have three markers?

      I don't know. I do want to mark everything, actually. :-)

      Let's see what happens if we do not mark anything morphologically:

      - lauf -> lief: {past} is probably not needed because in the vast
      majority of situations, the context disambiguates: 3rd person
      lacks the -t ending in the past, for example. The following would
      be ambiguous:
      [lauf](-st) -> läufst/liefst

      - {past conditional} is used seldom nowadays, that we can ignore it, I
      think. :-) Ambiguity:
      [helf](-st) -> hilfst/halfst/hülfest
      Hmm....

      - {perfect} is always marked by -en or -et ending and often by ge-

      - {plural}: Mutter - Mütter would become ambiguous. In well-formed
      sentences without lack of articles, it will still be unambiguous.
      Headlines would pose a problem. But then, there are words where
      singular and plural is identical, which are ambiguous even now:

      Messer (sg) - Messer (pl)

      So probably a minor problem.

      - {2/3.sg.pres.ind.act}: without in, the following become ambiguous:
      [helf]{-st} -> see above: with the ending, 'hilfst'
      would be marked.

      - {comparative}/{superlative}: there are endings: -(e)r and -(e)st.

      So some verb forms would become ambiguous. By retaining {past} and
      {past conditional}, they could be made unambiguous. Umlaut could be
      ignored completely. However, I'd like a {plural} particle, I think,
      to make a few things less ambiguous in writing than they are now. :-)


      NEXT PROBLEM:

      The -(e)st and -(e)t endings might be hard to use, since for some
      stems, they are not distinguished:

      wachs + (e)st -> wächst (2.sg.pres.ind.act)
      wachs + (e)t -> wächst (3.sg.pres.ind.act)

      Should this use the -(e)t ending then? Or should we simply have a
      -(e)(s)t ending?? I don't think it makes much ambiguous, since there
      are no forms of 'wachsen' that are ambiguous. At least, I never
      noticed and that's all that matters.

      Very long post, sorry. I'll write something up later and upload my
      thoughts. :-)

      **Henrik
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