Author Topic: djr33 your help with wals info  (Read 621 times)

Offline Tragedia2

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 22
djr33 your help with wals info
« on: January 09, 2017, 11:19:22 AM »
dear djr you had tried to help me with wals a few times! I have a few questions concerning some languages! concerning wals chapter 50 for turkish it says case symmetrical I have an example )  a. nominative  : okul.
                        b. accusative: okulu.
                        c.  genitive : okulun.
                        d.  dative : okula.
                        e. locative : okulda.
                        f. ablative : okuldan.
                        g.instrumental  :  okulla.

I dont get what case symmetrical with turkish!
for value 62 action nominal constructions it says ergative-possessive for french and german : here are my examples : Die Zerstörüng der Stadt durch die Feinde  (the destruction of the city by the enemies) La performance du poème par le pianiste (the performance of the poem by the pianist) on wals it says : whereby the P (and the S) are treated as possessors, here appearing in the genitive case, while the A is treated differently, as a more peripheral NP (for instance, here as the agent in passive sentences, but not necessarily so). I can write examples in french and german easily for this value but I dont get this well : whereby the P (and the S) are treated as possessors, here appearing in the genitive case, while the A is treated differently, as a more peripheral NP
for value 65 : it says no grammatical marking in german (perfective imperfective aspect) I dont get it why no grammatical marking I think I checked the reference and I can send you the pic of the page if you cannnot find it! for 72 ( neither type of stem : imperative-hortative systems) for german and french I can understand nothing about this and I have no examples so far :(( finally chapter 79 suppletion according to tense and aspect : for french tense and aspect!! I cannot understand the aspect!!! here sth I gave as an example : . J’ai eu.
                       b. tu as eu.
                       c. il a eu.
                       d. nous avons eu.
                       e. vous avez eu.
                       f. ils ont eu.
maybe you can make senseof it!!! this is a project I am working on in turkish but I will try making an english copy too when everything is finished! I can share it with you as well also now I will put it on another site but they may block me for too many questions! if you can help me I would be so glad!!! thanks djr33!!

Offline Daniel

  • Administrator
  • Experienced Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1490
  • Country: us
    • English
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 12:55:36 PM »
Unfortunately these questions are too specific for me to be able to answer without doing research about them.

WALS is a great database with good data, but many of the individual values they assign are either unique to that chapter of WALS or are the same terms as used elsewhere but defined in an idiosyncratic way. Mostly this is probably due to finding a useful definition to check grammars and to highlight major patterns around the world. But looking at that data in a lot of detail can lead to a lot of questions.

I've replicated one chapter (recreated the dataset myself) and looked at several others in detail (including replicating some data points) and it is often challenging.

First, you should of course read the chapter in detail and especially the definitions. But second, you should also look at examples from the map and do some of your own research to really get a sense (find some good/clear examples?) of what these categories are. Only then can you interpret the harder examples well.

Additionally, the WALS chapters are written by different authors. If you're lucky, the chapter you're looking at is written by someone who has done specific research on the topic before and you can read their paper or book that is it based on. Sometimes these are the most idiosyncratic definitions, but if you read the original research it becomes clear. If the chapter is instead written by one of the main editors, they may just be doing a general overview, but maybe with less idiosyncratic terms. Still, those editors have published a lot and may have an article or book that discusses the topic in more detail, so look at their publications (usually listed on their websites) to find something relevant. That should help.

You're asking a few different things here which would each require some background reading, so I can't answer them now. But if you have a specific question (keep is shorter) I can try to answer that.
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.

Offline Tragedia2

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 02:26:22 PM »
Thanks I got reply to ergative possessive on another site linguistic exchange or sth! I can wait maybe you can do the rest in a week!!!

Offline Tragedia2

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 02:39:00 PM »
Please dont misunderstand me!! I AM
NOT ordering you to do anything! But if you could help that would be off the hook :))

Offline Daniel

  • Administrator
  • Experienced Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1490
  • Country: us
    • English
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 02:51:33 PM »
Well, what I can personally offer is to answer questions I understand well. I don't mind writing a detailed reply, but doing additional research beyond a google search or two is more than I have time for. My answer above is an outline of what I would do, and actually what I do when I'm working with WALS. So aside from doing that for you, that's the most I can help.

If you have a simpler question or a different question, feel free to ask it, and if I know the answer I'll be happy to reply. Reading what you wrote above, I'm not sure about this one. At best I could spend more time reading the WALS page and then offer some guesses but that wouldn't be as valuable as you spending some time thoroughly investigating it.

(A little less on topic, I will add that the goal of this forum is to bring people together who have different areas of expertise so that hopefully one of them can easily answer your question. I'm working on trying to get the forum to grow, although I realize that right now there might not be anyone else here who works with WALS much. So in theory you shouldn't be addressing your questions to me specifically, and I would hope that someone [maybe me] can answer whatever questions you have. Maybe soon!)


As for this type of question, it would be a lot easier for me to answer something like "What is symmetrical case?" But what you are asking about is the data for specific languages, and that requires a lot more detail. And usually for a question like that I'd go to WALS or a similar source, maybe Wikipedia, for a definition, or write one from my own knowledge, and leave it at that. Figuring out why a certain language is coded a certain way in WALS can take some time even if you know the topic fairly well. So what's why I'm suggesting you do the background research for it. WALS is great for at least a "quick and dirty" answer to general questions, and it provides a strong starting point for more specific questions but getting involved to that level can take a lot of work. The best thing about it may be that all of the sources are cited so you can find more information as needed.

Anyway, I'm not complaining at you. I'd be happy to answer if it was easy for me to do so.

Although I'd also encourage you to dig in with the background research :)
(Sometimes I find myself spending a lot of time investigating one very small detail for papers that I'm writing when that detail isn't really central at all to my work, but I just don't want to misrepresent it. Sometimes this is fun, other times very tedious. Normal part of research though.)
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.

Offline Tragedia2

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 02:56:06 PM »
Thanks anyways i! Maybe other site will cover them all :)

Offline Tragedia2

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: djr33 your help with wals info
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 07:30:05 AM »
Dear djr33 got the help on this site http://linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/20749/help-about-some-wals-info-values and no longer need your help! Thanks :))