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Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?

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  • Matthew George
    Altering the word order away from the normal obviously has psychological implications, then. Is it merely that it s nonstandard, or does the actual order
    Message 1 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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      Altering the word order away from the normal obviously has psychological
      implications, then. Is it merely that it's nonstandard, or does the actual
      order matter? That's what I'm trying to find out.

      Matt G.
    • Patrick Dunn
      One function of word order deviating from SVO -- in prose as well as poetry -- is to emphasize the fronted element. I suspect in good poetry that uses
      Message 2 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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        One function of word order deviating from SVO -- in prose as well as poetry
        -- is to emphasize the fronted element. I suspect in good poetry that uses
        syntactic inversion, that is the likely aim. As you said before, some
        poetasters use inversion to grab a rhyme or preserve meter, in which case I
        doubt it means much at all, or has much of an effect.

        Of course, to speak of the effect of inversion requires identifying a
        period. Contemporary poets sometimes find *any* inversion in contemporary
        poetry to be ridiculous, while in the 19th C. it was as common as dirt.




        On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

        > Altering the word order away from the normal obviously has psychological
        > implications, then. Is it merely that it's nonstandard, or does the actual
        > order matter? That's what I'm trying to find out.
        >
        > Matt G.
        >



        --
        Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
        order from Finishing Line
        Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
        and
        Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
      • Leonardo Castro
        ... All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC, the sense of
        Message 3 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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          2013/2/20 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
          > Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax and
          > word order. I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
          >
          > What effect does placing adjectives before the noun they describe have,
          > compared with placing them after?

          All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is
          different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC,
          the sense of the adjective is always more literal, more concrete when
          it follow the noun. The following page has some nice examples of it in
          French:

          http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_fickle.htm

          > Afterwards seems like a more logical
          > method - a gradual focusing within a general field - but since you can't
          > form a mental representation in adjective-first descriptions until the noun
          > is given, perhaps it induces people to form mental images differently.
          >
          > I realize that meaning is expressed equally well either way, but there
          > might be secondary instrumental effects that vary. I'm a novice at
          > studying linguistics, and I have very limited experience with languages, so
          > I have no way of judging from experience. What do those of you who are
          > fluent in languages that follow different word orders think?

          As a native Portuguese speaker, I feel that adjectives preceding the
          noun are more free semantically. Many Brazilian cities have their name
          from Tupi whose adjectives usually follow the nouns they modify and
          whose compound words usually have very concrete meanings such as
          "yellow-headed fish" -> "fish-head-yellow" = "piracanjuba" <- "pira
          acang yuba". This reinforce my native intuition.

          >
          > Matt G.
        • George Corley
          I m largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for poetry to
          Message 4 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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            I'm largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical
            (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for
            poetry to make use of less common syntactic structures, both as a way of
            playing with words and as a strategy to fulfill whatever arbitrary schema
            the poet is using (whether it be patterns of meter, rhyme, alliteration,
            etc).

            On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

            >
            > What differences, if any, exist in your reaction to "the fast red car"
            > compared to "the car fast red"?
            >

            "*the car fast red" is ungrammatical for me, absolutely no question. "The
            car, fast and red", however, is not -- though I seem to get a
            nonrestrictive reading, whereas "the fast red car" seems restrictive.
            Somewhere in there is a vast theoretical rabbit hole that I somewhat fear
            to enter.
          • Patrick Dunn
            Considering that the location of English adjectives is already a deep and dark hole, a hole deep and dark, I don t think I dare to venture there either. ... --
            Message 5 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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              Considering that the location of English adjectives is already a deep and
              dark hole, a hole deep and dark, I don't think I dare to venture there
              either.


              On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

              > I'm largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical
              > (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for
              > poetry to make use of less common syntactic structures, both as a way of
              > playing with words and as a strategy to fulfill whatever arbitrary schema
              > the poet is using (whether it be patterns of meter, rhyme, alliteration,
              > etc).
              >
              > On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...>
              > wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > What differences, if any, exist in your reaction to "the fast red car"
              > > compared to "the car fast red"?
              > >
              >
              > "*the car fast red" is ungrammatical for me, absolutely no question. "The
              > car, fast and red", however, is not -- though I seem to get a
              > nonrestrictive reading, whereas "the fast red car" seems restrictive.
              > Somewhere in there is a vast theoretical rabbit hole that I somewhat fear
              > to enter.
              >



              --
              Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
              order from Finishing Line
              Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
              and
              Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
            • Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
              Doesn t it depend on the conlang? Mine would have the sentence cats she had, which I think is is Ovs. ... From: Constructed Languages List
              Message 6 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
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                Doesn't it depend on the conlang?

                Mine would have the sentence cats she had, which I think is is Ovs.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
                Behalf Of Patrick Dunn
                Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:16 PM
                To: CONLANG@...
                Subject: Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?

                One function of word order deviating from SVO -- in prose as well as poetry
                -- is to emphasize the fronted element. I suspect in good poetry that uses
                syntactic inversion, that is the likely aim. As you said before, some
                poetasters use inversion to grab a rhyme or preserve meter, in which case I
                doubt it means much at all, or has much of an effect.

                Of course, to speak of the effect of inversion requires identifying a
                period. Contemporary poets sometimes find *any* inversion in contemporary
                poetry to be ridiculous, while in the 19th C. it was as common as dirt.




                On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

                > Altering the word order away from the normal obviously has psychological
                > implications, then. Is it merely that it's nonstandard, or does the
                actual
                > order matter? That's what I'm trying to find out.
                >
                > Matt G.
                >



                --
                Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                order from Finishing Line
                Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                and
                Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr
                _1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
              • Leonardo Castro
                BTW, the word puta ( whore ) can have an exclamatory function when placed before a noun (informally): Este é um puta carro! = This is a great car! Esta
                Message 7 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                  BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
                  placed before a noun (informally):

                  "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
                  "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"

                  In the Big Brother Brasil TV Show (sorry for mentioning it), a woman
                  recently said "Eu sou uma puta mulher!" with the sense of "I'm a great
                  woman!", what unavoidbly caused many people to made the obvious pun
                  "Puta mulher ou mulher puta?":
                  http://www.rac.com.br/index.php?id=/blogs/olha_so/materia.php&cd_matia=27530

                  Até mais!

                  Leonardo


                  2013/2/20 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
                  > 2013/2/20 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
                  >> Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax and
                  >> word order. I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
                  >>
                  >> What effect does placing adjectives before the noun they describe have,
                  >> compared with placing them after?
                  >
                  > All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is
                  > different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC,
                  > the sense of the adjective is always more literal, more concrete when
                  > it follow the noun. The following page has some nice examples of it in
                  > French:
                  >
                  > http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_fickle.htm
                  >
                  >> Afterwards seems like a more logical
                  >> method - a gradual focusing within a general field - but since you can't
                  >> form a mental representation in adjective-first descriptions until the noun
                  >> is given, perhaps it induces people to form mental images differently.
                  >>
                  >> I realize that meaning is expressed equally well either way, but there
                  >> might be secondary instrumental effects that vary. I'm a novice at
                  >> studying linguistics, and I have very limited experience with languages, so
                  >> I have no way of judging from experience. What do those of you who are
                  >> fluent in languages that follow different word orders think?
                  >
                  > As a native Portuguese speaker, I feel that adjectives preceding the
                  > noun are more free semantically. Many Brazilian cities have their name
                  > from Tupi whose adjectives usually follow the nouns they modify and
                  > whose compound words usually have very concrete meanings such as
                  > "yellow-headed fish" -> "fish-head-yellow" = "piracanjuba" <- "pira
                  > acang yuba". This reinforce my native intuition.
                  >
                  >>
                  >> Matt G.
                • Roger Mills
                  ... But * Once dreary a midnight upon would have been an impossible choice for Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally). Where do you draw the
                  Message 8 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                    --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                    But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                    Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).

                    Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                    ungrammatical?
                    ============================================
                    When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                    Milton's great line:
                    "Him the Almighty hurled headlong from the sky" can undergo a variety of permutations, but you have to keep "the Almighty" and "from the sky" intact, no matter where they're located.


                    On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM, Daniel Burgener
                    <burgener.daniel@...>wrote:

                    > On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Matthew George, On 20/02/2013 21:22:
                    > >
                    > >  Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax
                    > and
                    > >> word order.  I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
                    > >>
                    > >
                    > > What sorts of principles of grammar regarding syntax and word order does
                    > > it violate?
                    > >
                    > > Do you have examples in mind?
                    > >
                    > > (I think I would be inclined to say that poetic language doesn't often
                    > > violate principles of grammar regarding syntax and word order.)
                    > >
                    > > --And.
                    > >
                    >
                    > How about the first line of Poe's The Raven?  "Once upon a midnight
                    > dreary".  In non-poetic speech that would be "a dreary midnight".
                    >
                    > -Daniel
                    >
                  • George Corley
                    ... Ah, but you could say It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong from . It s not even such a poetic use, it s just suggest a very
                    Message 9 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                      On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                      > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                      > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                      > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                      >
                      > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                      > ungrammatical?
                      > ============================================
                      > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)
                      >
                      > Milton's great line:
                      > "Him the Almighty hurled headlong from the sky" can undergo a variety of
                      > permutations, but you have to keep "the Almighty" and "from the sky"
                      > intact, no matter where they're located.


                      Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                      from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                      low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                    • Matthew George
                      ... General question: would be English equivalent be bitchin ? Matt G.
                      Message 10 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                        On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:

                        > BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
                        > placed before a noun (informally):
                        >
                        > "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
                        > "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"
                        >

                        General question: would be English equivalent be "bitchin' "?

                        Matt G.
                      • Matthew George
                        ... But then the subject becomes the sky instead of Him . The meaning is fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics. I m
                        Message 11 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                          On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

                          > Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                          > from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                          > low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                          >

                          But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                          fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics.

                          I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                          native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                          implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                          thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                          and Portuguese (correct?), that's very suggestive.

                          Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                          possible and see what choices people make.

                          Matt g.
                        • George Corley
                          ... The semantics don t change. The syntax does, as do the implications for discourse (as you would only see this construction in the wild in very particular
                          Message 12 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
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                            On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

                            > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...>
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            > > Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him
                            > headlong
                            > > from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                            > > low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse
                            > context.
                            > >
                            >
                            > But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                            > fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the
                            > semantics.
                            >

                            The semantics don't change. The syntax does, as do the implications for
                            discourse (as you would only see this construction in the wild in very
                            particular discourse circumstances, such as a correction or clarification),
                            but the sentence still means the same thing. I just used the clefting
                            structure as a test.


                            > I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                            > native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                            > implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                            > thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                            > and Portuguese (correct?), that's very suggestive.
                            >
                            > Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                            > possible and see what choices people make.
                            >

                            It seems interesting. I think one point is that both languages put
                            restrictive adjectives in the more common of the two positions (if I
                            understand the Portuguese example correctly -- it sounds similar to what
                            I've heard for Spanish).
                          • Leonardo Castro
                            ... I didn t know this expression, but, judging by Urban Dictionary definitions, yes. [...] ... Yes with regard to me. ... I guess the less common order is
                            Message 13 of 29 , Feb 22, 2013
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                              2013/2/21 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
                              > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:
                              >
                              >> BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
                              >> placed before a noun (informally):
                              >>
                              >> "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
                              >> "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"
                              >>
                              >
                              > General question: would be English equivalent be "bitchin' "?

                              I didn't know this expression, but, judging by Urban Dictionary
                              definitions, yes.

                              [...]

                              2013/2/21 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
                              > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >> Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                              >> from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                              >> low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                              >>
                              >
                              > But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                              > fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics.
                              >
                              > I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                              > native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                              > implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                              > thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                              > and Portuguese (correct?

                              Yes with regard to me.

                              > ), that's very suggestive.
                              >
                              > Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                              > possible and see what choices people make.

                              I guess the less common order is always considered more "poetic". In
                              the first strophe of one of the most famous Brazilian poetic text
                              "Navio Negreiro", we see two cases of adjective preceding nouns:
                              "pleno mar" ("open sea") and "dourada borboleta" ("golden butterfly").
                              In the second one, we find "líquido tesouro" ("liquid treasure").
                              However, the following three adjective-noun follow the conventional
                              order: "abraço insano" ("insane hug"), "vibrações marinhas" ("marine
                              vibrations") and "naus errantes" ("wandering ships").
                              http://www.culturabrasil.pro.br/navionegreiro.htm

                              "Canção do Exílio", probably the most famous Brazilian poem,
                              apparently doesn't have any united adjective-noun pair:
                              http://www.stirlinglaw.com/ea/exilio.htm

                              The second most famous poem is probably the 5th part of "Navio Negreiro":

                              V

                              Senhor Deus dos desgraçados!
                              Dizei-me vós, Senhor Deus!
                              Se é loucura... se é verdade
                              Tanto horror perante os céus?!
                              Ó mar, por que não apagas
                              Co'a esponja de tuas vagas
                              De teu manto este borrão?...
                              Astros! noites! tempestades!
                              Rolai das imensidades!
                              Varrei os mares, tufão!

                              Quem são estes desgraçados
                              Que não encontram em vós
                              Mais que o rir calmo da turba
                              Que excita a fúria do algoz?
                              Quem são? Se a estrela se cala,
                              Se a vaga à pressa resvala
                              Como um cúmplice fugaz,
                              Perante a noite confusa...
                              Dize-o tu, severa Musa,
                              Musa libérrima, audaz!...

                              São os filhos do deserto,
                              Onde a terra esposa a luz.
                              Onde vive em campo aberto
                              A tribo dos homens nus...
                              São os guerreiros ousados
                              Que com os tigres mosqueados
                              Combatem na solidão.
                              Ontem simples, fortes, bravos.
                              Hoje míseros escravos,
                              Sem luz, sem ar, sem razão. . .

                              São mulheres desgraçadas,
                              Como Agar o foi também.
                              Que sedentas, alquebradas,
                              De longe... bem longe vêm...
                              Trazendo com tíbios passos,
                              Filhos e algemas nos braços,
                              N'alma — lágrimas e fel...
                              Como Agar sofrendo tanto,
                              Que nem o leite de pranto
                              Têm que dar para Ismael.

                              Lá nas areias infindas,
                              Das palmeiras no país,
                              Nasceram crianças lindas,
                              Viveram moças gentis...
                              Passa um dia a caravana,
                              Quando a virgem na cabana
                              Cisma da noite nos véus ...
                              ... Adeus, ó choça do monte,
                              ... Adeus, palmeiras da fonte!...
                              ... Adeus, amores... adeus!...

                              Depois, o areal extenso...
                              Depois, o oceano de pó.
                              Depois no horizonte imenso
                              Desertos... desertos só...
                              E a fome, o cansaço, a sede...
                              Ai! quanto infeliz que cede,
                              E cai p'ra não mais s'erguer!...
                              Vaga um lugar na cadeia,
                              Mas o chacal sobre a areia
                              Acha um corpo que roer.

                              Ontem a Serra Leoa,
                              A guerra, a caça ao leão,
                              O sono dormido à toa
                              Sob as tendas d'amplidão!
                              Hoje... o porão negro, fundo,
                              Infecto, apertado, imundo,
                              Tendo a peste por jaguar...
                              E o sono sempre cortado
                              Pelo arranco de um finado,
                              E o baque de um corpo ao mar...

                              Ontem plena liberdade,
                              A vontade por poder...
                              Hoje... cúm'lo de maldade,
                              Nem são livres p'ra morrer. .
                              Prende-os a mesma corrente
                              — Férrea, lúgubre serpente —
                              Nas roscas da escravidão.
                              E assim zombando da morte,
                              Dança a lúgubre coorte
                              Ao som do açoute... Irrisão!...

                              Senhor Deus dos desgraçados!
                              Dizei-me vós, Senhor Deus,
                              Se eu deliro... ou se é verdade
                              Tanto horror perante os céus?!...
                              Ó mar, por que não apagas
                              Co'a esponja de tuas vagas
                              Do teu manto este borrão?
                              Astros! noites! tempestades!
                              Rolai das imensidades!
                              Varrei os mares, tufão! ...
                            • Matthew George
                              I look back on the poetry discussion and am reminded of why I should not try to analyze sentence structure when very tired. Those weren t the subjects at all,
                              Message 14 of 29 , Feb 22, 2013
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                                I look back on the poetry discussion and am reminded of why I should not
                                try to analyze sentence structure when very tired. Those weren't the
                                subjects at all, were they? Oh well.

                                I happened to download Conlangery #44: Negation, and found that they spent
                                some time talking about pre- and post-noun adjectives and how certain
                                languages use them to express things differently. One language has all
                                pre-adjectives being figurative and post- being literal, which dovetailed
                                nicely with previous statements here.

                                Clearly I need to do more research - I hadn't realized this was such a
                                controversial issue.

                                Matt G.
                              • Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand. I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies (preposition)
                                Message 15 of 29 , Feb 23, 2013
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                                  This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.

                                  I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                                  (preposition) or after it (postposition).

                                  Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                                  LAVDE"?
                                  "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a
                                  preposition? Or a postposition?
                                • Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                  On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro ... A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure of this sentence?
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Feb 23, 2013
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                                    On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                    <hcesarcastro@...> wrote:
                                    > This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.
                                    >
                                    > I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                                    > (preposition) or after it (postposition).
                                    >
                                    > Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                                    > LAVDE"?
                                    > "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a preposition?
                                    > Or a postposition?


                                    A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure
                                    of this sentence?
                                  • Matthew A. Gurevitch
                                    Dear Conlang-L, According to what I know of Latin, in summā cum laude, the cum is a preposition that introduces an ablative of manner. With some
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
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                                      Dear Conlang-L,

                                      According to what I know of Latin, in "summā cum laude," the "cum" is a preposition that introduces an "ablative of manner." With some prepositions, especially in more poetic texts, adjectives precede the preposition that introduces its related noun for stylistic reasons.

                                      I have no experience with trees, so I cannot comment on that.

                                      All my best,
                                      Matthew Gurevitch



                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro <hcesarcastro@...>
                                      To: CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
                                      Sent: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 4:45 pm
                                      Subject: Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?


                                      On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                      <hcesarcastro@...> wrote:
                                      > This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.
                                      >
                                      > I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                                      > (preposition) or after it (postposition).
                                      >
                                      > Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                                      > LAVDE"?
                                      > "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a preposition?
                                      > Or a postposition?


                                      A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure
                                      of this sentence?
                                    • Jeffrey Daniel Rollin-Jones
                                      Sent from my iPhone ... Sorry, but that s neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
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                                        Sent from my iPhone

                                        On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:28, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                                        > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                                        > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                                        > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                                        >
                                        > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                                        > ungrammatical?
                                        > ============================================
                                        > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                                        Sorry, but that's neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be acceptable (a) because Turkish uses prepositions and (b) the numeral "bir" means "one" if it is placed before any adjectives, but "a(n)" if it is the last constituent before the noun. Furthermore, many Australian languages are non-configurational, (meaning that the elements of a constituent need not be contiguous), and Latin and Ancient Greek approach non-configurationality in poetry.

                                        Jeff
                                      • Roger Mills
                                        ... Sorry, but that s neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, RM it is in English. I d imagine Turkish and Australian languages have their own rules to
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
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                                          --- On Sun, 2/24/13, Jeffrey Daniel Rollin-Jones <jeff.rollin@...> wrote:
                                          On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:28, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                                          > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                                          > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                                          > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                                          >
                                          > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                                          > ungrammatical?
                                          > ============================================
                                          > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                                          Sorry, but that's neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition,

                                          RM it is in English. I'd imagine Turkish and Australian languages have their own rules to determine ungrammaticality.

                                          even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be acceptable (a) because Turkish uses prepositions and (b) the numeral "bir" means "one" if it is placed before any adjectives, but "a(n)" if it is the last constituent before the noun. Furthermore, many Australian languages are non-configurational, (meaning that the elements of a constituent need not be contiguous), and Latin and Ancient Greek approach non-configurationality in poetry.

                                          Jeff
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