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Re: How do non-English speaking linguists do interlinears?

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  • Mark J. Reed
    ... Not to derail your point by nitpicking your specific example, but blue-green works in both senses in English, and is probably more widely understood as a
    Message 1 of 14 , May 1 4:55 AM
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      On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 1:27 AM, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:
      > For example, Japanese "aoi" does not exist in English. It can easily
      > be *defined* in English, sure - "a basic color term whose boundaries
      > include blue and green" or so -  but glossing it in an interlinear as
      > "blue-green" is inaccurate (because "blue-green" in English is an
      > actual specific color that's approximately central between our 'blue'
      > and 'green', and not a color category).

      Not to derail your point by nitpicking your specific example, but
      "blue-green" works in both senses in English, and is probably more
      widely understood as a description than a specific color.

      I would probably leave aoi unglossed and provide the definition below.

      --
      Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
    • David Peterson
      ... That s precisely what s done with names. After all, how do you provide the English definition or version of a foreign name? (Sometimes names are marked as
      Message 2 of 14 , May 1 5:34 AM
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        On May 1, 2009, at 4◊55 AM, Mark J. Reed wrote:
        >
        > I would probably leave aoi unglossed and provide the definition below.


        That's precisely what's done with names. After all, how do you
        provide the English definition or version of a foreign name?
        (Sometimes names are marked as "Name", though.)

        -David
        *******************************************************************
        "A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
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      • Paul Kershaw
        ... I would think (perhaps incorrectly) it would depend on how far the non-English (or non-target-language) meaning is from the English (or target language),
        Message 3 of 14 , May 1 6:53 AM
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          On Thu, 30 Apr 2009 22:27:56 -0700, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:

          >A related question is: how does one choose how to represent a word in
          >an interlinear, whose sense does not exist in the description
          >language?
          >
          >How does one short-gloss those kinds of words in an interlinear?
          >a) pick the word in English that is closest to having that sense, generally
          >b) do so differently in context for every occurance (even when it's
          >being used in the same sense each time)
          >c) make up a new controlled-language term à la "PST" for it (this
          >would result in a tremendous number of such 'abbreviations')
          >d) leave it unglossed and just point to its full definition

          I would think (perhaps incorrectly) it would depend on how far the non-English
          (or non-target-language) meaning is from the English (or target language),
          and also what it is the linguist is trying to demonstrate. Take a German
          compound, for instance, like "Schadenfreude." If it's a word that just happens
          to be in a sentence being used to exemplify Noun-Verb relations, it would
          suffice to gloss it as "maliciousness" (as Leo.org does); if the linguist's point is
          to demonstrate how German morphemes combine to create new meanings,
          then I'd think the interlineal ought to look something like this:

          Schaden.freude ist die schön.ste Freude.
          Misery.pleasure be-3PP-SG the-FEM beautiful.most pleasure.
          The greatest joy is the misery of others.

          In the case of aoi, I'd either gloss that as blue/green if it just happened to be
          in an example, or follow the lead of those who've written in depth on color
          terms across languages.

          I for one generally presume that glosses are "as close as possible" and not
          perfect maps. There are very few cases of words in language A that cover
          exactly the set of concepts as words in language B.

          -- Paul
        • caeruleancentaur
          ... Which has reminded me of the Lady Aoi, Prince Genji s wife, in Lady Murasaki s great novel The Tale of Genji, Genji Monogatari.
          Message 4 of 14 , May 1 9:21 AM
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            --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, David Peterson <dedalvs@...> wrote:
            >
            > On May 1, 2009, at 4◊55 AM, Mark J. Reed wrote:
            > >
            > > I would probably leave aoi unglossed and provide the definition
            > > below.
            >
            > That's precisely what's done with names. After all, how do you
            > provide the English definition or version of a foreign name?
            > (Sometimes names are marked as "Name", though.)

            Which has reminded me of the Lady Aoi, Prince Genji's wife, in Lady Murasaki's great novel "The Tale of Genji," "Genji Monogatari."
          • Paul Kershaw
            ... The flipside is illustrated in some panels of Backstroke of the West (http://winterson.com/2005/06/episode-iii-backstroke-of-west.html), where attempts
            Message 5 of 14 , May 1 10:02 AM
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              > From: caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
              > --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, David Peterson wrote:
              > > On May 1, 2009, at 4â—Š55 AM, Mark J. Reed wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I would probably leave aoi unglossed and provide the definition
              > > > below.
              > >
              > > That's precisely what's done with names.  After all, how do you
              > > provide the English definition or version of a foreign name?
              > > (Sometimes names are marked as "Name", though.)
              >
              > Which has reminded me of the Lady Aoi, Prince Genji's wife, in Lady Murasaki's
              > great novel "The Tale of Genji," "Genji Monogatari."

              The flipside is illustrated in some panels of "Backstroke of the West" (http://winterson.com/2005/06/episode-iii-backstroke-of-west.html), where attempts to translate names from Chinese (back) into English yield comical results such as Anakin Skywalker's anxieties about the Presbyterian Church. Which is why names are best left untranslated. :)

              -- Paul
            • Andrew Jarrette
              Subject: Re: How do non-English speaking linguists do interlinears? From: Paul Kershaw Reply-To: Constructed Languages List
              Message 6 of 14 , May 1 1:31 PM
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                Subject: Re: How do non-English speaking linguists do interlinears?
                From: Paul Kershaw <[log in to unmask]>
                Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>
                Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 09:53:34 -0400
                Content-Type: text/plain


                >I would think (perhaps incorrectly) it would depend on how far the non-English
                >(or non-target-language) meaning is from the English (or target language),
                >and also what it is the linguist is trying to demonstrate. Take a German
                >compound, for instance, like "Schadenfreude." If it's a word that just happens
                >to be in a sentence being used to exemplify Noun-Verb relations, it would
                >suffice to gloss it as "maliciousness" (as Leo.org does); if the linguist's
                point is
                >to demonstrate how German morphemes combine to create new meanings,
                >then I'd think the interlineal ought to look something like this:

                >Schaden.freude ist die schön.ste Freude.
                >Misery.pleasure be-3PP-SG the-FEM beautiful.most pleasure.
                >The greatest joy is the misery of others.


                Just wanted to point out, in case you didn't know, that "Schaden" (as here
                in "Schadenfreude") doesn't exactly mean "misery"; it means "harm, damage,
                injury, detriment". The combination "Schadenfreude" refers to the
                joy/pleasure one feels when someone else is hurt, harmed, injured, loses,
                suffers, etc. Of course, this often leads to misery, but "Schaden" doesn't
                necessarily imply length or depth of suffering like the word "misery". It
                also doesn't actually refer to someone's feelings, as does "misery", though
                it is implied that the sufferer will feel pain, hurt, or misery. (Think of
                the Three Stooges for a basic example of laughter caused by seeing others
                hurt.) My German-English dictionary defines it as "malicious pleasure",
                while my English dictionary defines it as "glee at another's misfortune" --
                not necessarily "misery", which is prolonged and profound.

                Andrew Jarrette


                >I for one generally presume that glosses are "as close as possible" and not
                >perfect maps. There are very few cases of words in language A that cover
                >exactly the set of concepts as words in language B.
              • Sai Emrys
                ... I think you ve misunderstood my intent, or at least, this only addresses half my question. This is still a linguist using English as the metalanguage. I
                Message 7 of 14 , May 8 9:54 PM
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                  On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 6:53 AM, Paul Kershaw <ptkershaw@...> wrote:
                  > Schaden.freude ist die schön.ste Freude.
                  > Misery.pleasure be-3PP-SG the-FEM beautiful.most pleasure.
                  > The greatest joy is the misery of others.

                  I think you've misunderstood my intent, or at least, this only
                  addresses half my question. This is still a linguist using English as
                  the metalanguage. I wasn't asking about how to make interlinears in
                  the general sense.

                  To be clearer: if you're (say) a Japanese linguist glossing that
                  sentence for the consumption of other Japanese linguists, which parts
                  of that second line would be Japanese words, which German, and which
                  English-derived formalisms (like FEM and SG, possibly even 'the' since
                  Japanese doesn't really have it [the closest I can think of is 'that'
                  and 'this'])?

                  Or is English the official metalanguage of all linguists worldwide?
                  (Somehow I doubt it.)

                  - Sai
                • Matthew Turnbull
                  Everywhere I can look, I see mostly that linguistics papers are written in english, so are the interlinears, except one site that has french in a small part of
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 9 3:55 AM
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                    Everywhere I can look, I see mostly that linguistics papers are written in
                    english, so are the interlinears, except one site that has french in a small
                    part of a list of glosses, but has no examples. I think that it might look a
                    bit like this though.

                    my cat ran up the tree
                    mon chat courrir:PST en.haut le arbre

                    I'm not sure on what to do about the gender in the interlinears, since it's
                    not there in the english.

                    On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 11:54 PM, Sai Emrys <saizai@...> wrote:

                    > On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 6:53 AM, Paul Kershaw <ptkershaw@...> wrote:
                    > > Schaden.freude ist die schön.ste Freude.
                    > > Misery.pleasure be-3PP-SG the-FEM beautiful.most pleasure.
                    > > The greatest joy is the misery of others.
                    >
                    > I think you've misunderstood my intent, or at least, this only
                    > addresses half my question. This is still a linguist using English as
                    > the metalanguage. I wasn't asking about how to make interlinears in
                    > the general sense.
                    >
                    > To be clearer: if you're (say) a Japanese linguist glossing that
                    > sentence for the consumption of other Japanese linguists, which parts
                    > of that second line would be Japanese words, which German, and which
                    > English-derived formalisms (like FEM and SG, possibly even 'the' since
                    > Japanese doesn't really have it [the closest I can think of is 'that'
                    > and 'this'])?
                    >
                    > Or is English the official metalanguage of all linguists worldwide?
                    > (Somehow I doubt it.)
                    >
                    > - Sai
                    >
                  • Benct Philip Jonsson
                    ... IMLE from works written in Scandinavian languages and German the general usage is to use Scandinavian/German translations of the formalisms, even if the
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 10 5:16 AM
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                      Sai Emrys skrev:
                      > English-derived formalisms (like FEM and SG, possibly even 'the' since
                      > Japanese doesn't really have it [the closest I can think of is 'that'
                      > and 'this'])?
                      >
                      > Or is English the official metalanguage of all linguists worldwide?
                      > (Somehow I doubt it.)
                      >

                      IMLE from works written in Scandinavian languages
                      and German the general usage is to use
                      Scandinavian/German translations of the
                      formalisms, even if the difference often is
                      minimal due to it all being Latin in the first
                      place; e.g. you will see ACK and KNJV rather than
                      ACC and SBJV. To me as an (albeit rather
                      anti-unnecessary-loans) Swedish speaker using
                      English formalisms wouldn't feel right in a text
                      written in Swedish. This said some formalisms
                      are actually used as 'loan acronyms', notably NP
                      even though the expansion _nominalfras_ is always
                      used. IIRC I've seen MF some time and found it odd.

                      I'm afraid I haven't seen (or at least not taken
                      note of and remembered) what Icelandic authors do,
                      but I can'n imagine them using e.g. MASC, FEM, NTR
                      rather than KK KVK HK -- i.e. I'd expect them to
                      use the standard Icelandic dictionary
                      abbreviations put into upper case!

                      What do Russian authors do? I can't imagine them
                      using English either...

                      /BP 8^)>
                      --
                      Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
                      à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
                      ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
                      c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo)
                    • Kelvin Jackson
                      ... Russian has its own vocabulary for grammatical terms—most of which does not resemble the romance-derived words used in English. I imagine that they would
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 10 6:05 AM
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                        > What do Russian authors do? I can't imagine them
                        > using English either...

                        Russian has its own vocabulary for grammatical terms—most of which
                        does not resemble the romance-derived words used in English. I
                        imagine that they would use abbreviations of their own native vocab.
                      • Jörg Rhiemeier
                        Hallo! ... Indeed. Here is an example of an Old Albic sentence with a German interlinear: cvest-i i a-hanaph-e-si Mensch-PL(AGT) REL-PL(AGT)
                        Message 11 of 14 , May 10 10:13 AM
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                          Hallo!

                          On Sun, 10 May 2009 14:16:50 +0200, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:

                          > Sai Emrys skrev:
                          > > English-derived formalisms (like FEM and SG, possibly even 'the' since
                          > > Japanese doesn't really have it [the closest I can think of is 'that'
                          > > and 'this'])?
                          > >
                          > > Or is English the official metalanguage of all linguists worldwide?
                          > > (Somehow I doubt it.)
                          > >
                          >
                          > IMLE from works written in Scandinavian languages
                          > and German the general usage is to use
                          > Scandinavian/German translations of the
                          > formalisms, even if the difference often is
                          > minimal due to it all being Latin in the first
                          > place; e.g. you will see ACK and KNJV rather than
                          > ACC and SBJV.

                          Indeed. Here is an example of an Old Albic sentence with a German
                          interlinear:

                          cvest-i i a-hanaph-e-si
                          Mensch-PL(AGT) REL-PL(AGT) AOR-versuche-3SG:P-3PL:A

                          craph-anth trangas-al glabes-i
                          erzwinge-VN(OBJ) Tugend-LOK Glaube-INS

                          a-thre-si destel-i
                          AOR-bemühe.sich-3PL:A vergeblich-INS

                          Most of the abbreviations are indeed the same as in an English
                          interlinear, as BPJ observed, as the terms are from Latin in
                          both languages.

                          > To me as an (albeit rather
                          > anti-unnecessary-loans) Swedish speaker using
                          > English formalisms wouldn't feel right in a text
                          > written in Swedish.

                          Same to me.

                          ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
                        • Jörg Rhiemeier
                          Hallo! ... Oops, the first form must be _a-threr-si_. It was wrong (_athreri_) in my source, and I corrected it wrongly :) But the gloss is not affected by
                          Message 12 of 14 , May 10 10:15 AM
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                            Hallo!

                            On Sun, 10 May 2009 19:13:12 +0200, I wrote:

                            > a-thre-si destel-i

                            Oops, the first form must be _a-threr-si_. It was wrong (_athreri_)
                            in my source, and I corrected it wrongly :) But the gloss is not
                            affected by this error.

                            ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
                          • Roger Mills
                            In Indonesian work I don t recall ever seeing interlinears, or even very many grammatical terms--perhaps some of our colleagues have?? Work intended for an
                            Message 13 of 14 , May 10 10:54 AM
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                              In Indonesian work I don't recall ever seeing interlinears, or even very many grammatical terms--perhaps some of our colleagues have?? Work intended for an international audience would likely (now) be in English (formerly in Dutch). I suspect there are problems--

                              "Past" is lampau; 'the past' is waktu yang lampau
                              "Future" is waktu yang akan datang 'time that will come'
                              "Noun" is kata nama (word+name)
                              "Verb" is kata kerja (word+work)
                              "Adjective" IIRC is kata benda (word+quality)
                              "Pronoun" is kata ganti nama IIRC (word replace name)
                              "Plural" is jamak
                              "definite" is tentu ~tertentu

                              As was mentioned re Japanese, there is no "the"; itu 'that' is used
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