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Language-specific analysis / Re: What language is this?
« Last post by aramis720 on September 11, 2018, 01:00:26 AM »
Thanks for this feedback. By "old" he meant that it wasn't Indo-European and thus belonged to an older group of Europeans, as is the case with the Basques of course (Indo-European languages being brought by Yamnaya peoples apparently).
Language-specific analysis / Re: What language is this?
« Last post by Daniel on September 10, 2018, 12:42:25 PM »
I didn't specifically recognize it from the recording.

The only (indeed old) language that is relatively uncontroversially related to Basque is Aquitanian:
It's either the ancestor of or related to the ancestor of Basque. However, it is no longer spoken today, so if he "speaks" it in the sense that I speak English and some people speak Basque today, then that wouldn't make sense as the answer.

So I'm not sure on this one-- it could be that this is some other European language not related to Basque (certainly not uncontroversially related). Whoever said that might be wrong (or basing it on an unaccepted hypothesis of relationship). Note that "old" isn't a very meaningful word for describing languages (unless you actually mean "as spoken thousands of years ago", like Aquitanian, which no one speaks now, at least not exactly like that of course). Just listening to this, it doesn't sound like Basque to me, for the record, but I only have a very limited background in the language.
Language-specific analysis / What language is this?
« Last post by aramis720 on September 09, 2018, 12:28:23 AM »
Hello, anyone know what language this guy is speaking? He claimed it was an old European language related to Basque.
FAQ Discussion / Re: Where is Administration ??
« Last post by Daniel on September 01, 2018, 09:02:23 AM »
This post follows patterns identified as spam on this forum. If you have a question, ask it. Otherwise posts like this will be deleted as spam and accounts may be banned.
FAQ Discussion / Where is Administration ??
« Last post by Bogdanvhz on August 31, 2018, 01:56:34 PM »
Where is admin?
It is important.
Morphosyntax / Re: A question about syntax
« Last post by Daniel on August 26, 2018, 10:29:00 AM »
Well, that's actually a complicated question. It depends on how you analyze things. Nominalized clauses (e.g., with "that") act like nouns. So the distinction between CP and NP can seem to fade away.

Another way to address this is to question what type of clause that is. Are you considering it a relative clause modifying 'fact'? In that case, your second approach makes sense.

So the first approach seems like it might work, but probably not quite like that. The problem is that even if you wanted to consider that whole structure a CP*, it's not clear what position within it NP would take. It's not the subject or topic within that clause (right?) so it doesn't seem like it would fit with that structure.

In summary, there are two ways to address this:
1. Consider structural and semantic analyses that clarify the best representation.
2. Focus just on constituency, such as matching up heads and phrases to see what should go where. This is probably where your instinct to switch to option 2 came in.

By the way, looking at heads and phrases for constituency can actually be easier if you draw out the full trees, so that's one reason to do it even if you're confident about the structure within those phrases above. (I realize it's time-consuming to write out the trees here, so I'm not objecting to that, just mentioning it for your own notes as you sketch these things out. Even just indicating the head by underlining it or something could help you to think about these issues.)

[*Indeed, a CP can act as the subject, because "the fact" is optional! So this is on alternative hypothesis you could consider.
Actually, one further possibility would be to extend this by analogy to assume that even without "the fact" there is some noun head there converting the CP to an NP, so you'd have to imagine a silent "N" element that takes the same position as "the fact" in your second approach, and that might be a reasonable way to go. Of course some might say that "that" actually does that itself, although it's then debatable whether the resulting structure is a CP or NP. These details can get complicated.]
Morphosyntax / A question about syntax
« Last post by Muikkunen on August 26, 2018, 09:14:27 AM »
Recently I participated in a summer school and I took intro to syntax. In one of my homeworks, I had to draw a tree for "The fact that he is tall bothers him". I've done it. There were no corrections for this sentence, so I assumed it to be correct and didn't pay much attention to it anymore. However, after I looked at it today, it seemed to be wrong to me, so I redrew it in a different way, which I believe to be correct, but wanted to clarify here to be sure.

(I've drawn full trees, but I omit here the parts which I'm sure are correct).

This is the first tree (drawn at the summer school):

This is the second one (drawn today):

Am I right that the second tree is the correct one?
Language-specific analysis / Re: Hungarian and Slovak language border
« Last post by Daniel on August 25, 2018, 10:48:21 AM »
I have little to add to panini's excellent discussion above, except to also point out that bilingualism can be stable and maintained in certain situations. This sounds like one of them. There actually are bilingual or even trilingual(+) villages in the world where it's simply the norm that people shift between languages for daily communication. In the right circumstances, the result may be stability rather than eventually shifting to just one language for the whole village, or creating some sort of mixed variety. I know I've seen examples like this from reading about different communities in passing, but I can't list them at the moment (I think there are some cases like this in India and Australia?). If you're interested in the topic, then that might be one way to indirectly research the topic.
Language-specific analysis / Re: Hungarian and Slovak language border
« Last post by Okram123xF on August 25, 2018, 09:42:51 AM »
I have to thank you for the detailed answer. I had a feeling that this question was particularly difficult,mainly because of the lack of sources and studies on this subject. Even though my knowledge on the subject is non-existent and the question arose purely out of curiosity,I gained a better perspective on it. As you said,the social pressures and the relationships between the speakers themselves must be the key to all of this. I wish there was a study on this. But again,thank you for taking the time to answer this curiosity of mine!
Language-specific analysis / Re: Hungarian and Slovak language border
« Last post by panini on August 25, 2018, 09:05:27 AM »
Pidgins don't actually arise that way, instead, they depend on repeated but intermittent short-term contact between two groups. For instance, Chinook Jargon arose from casual trade contact between various tribes of the Northwest, where there wasn't enough long-term contact for one side to learn the other's language.

It is expected that there could be substantial influence between Hungarian and Slovak, so that a Hungarianized dialect of Slovak could develop. Countering this, though, are normative pressures to conform to the standard language. In fact, the situation there is so complex that I question the possibility of getting an accurate answer. There are legal and social pressures for Hungarians in Slovakia to Slovakify, and countervailing social pressures to Hungarify. (And vice versa in Hungary, though to a lesser extent as I understand, since there are many fewer Slovaks in Hungary and they are more dispersed). The only reliable research method would be to surreptitiously record conversations between known individuals, and observe the behavior of pure Hungarian-on-Hungarian interactions, compared to Hungarian-on-Slovak interactions. (Fluent bilingual people switch languages quickly when a monolingual or marginally bilingual person joins – may to include the person, maybe to exclude them).

The hypothesis that one would want to test is that Hungarians in Slovakia all speak "regular Hungarian", but may increase Slovak features when a Slovak speaker is added to the conversation. There are very many outcomes possible from this grand experiment. The problem is that there is a lot of personal knowledge stuff that has to be controlled for, such as whether Sally hates Hungarians or not, whether Sally is hated by the Hungarians, how fluent Sally is in Hungarian, etc.

If one were a linguist growing up in the Hungaro-Slovak region, one might specific properties of the local Hungarian that can be attributed to Slovak influence (or the other way), and then perhaps devise a very subtle method for measuring that feature. The other problem is, though, that there is no such thing as "regular Hungarian", so one would need to compare a suspected feature with what is found in relevant dialects in Hungary. Northern dialects of Hungarian seem to be quite understudied.

It would be really interesting to know all of this, I just don't see any way that the experiment could actually be conducted.

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