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71
Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on November 28, 2018, 10:44:16 AM »
Yes, off-topic posts will be deleted. Continued ad-hominem or off-topic (including politically motivated) posts will be removed, and your account may be banned. I don't like babysitting, and it's frustrating you're insisting on it. Write maturely and responsibly or leave the forum-- final warning.

--

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from the Illyrian word he reconstructs as *Dzigurevos, supposedly meaning "God's hill". Why is that more credible than saying that the name "Zagreb" comes from the earlier name "Serbinovo"?
Because "credible" doesn't describe general statements like you are making, or many of the general statements flatassembler has made. What is credible is systematically applying standard analyses in linguistics, like the comparative method, and tracing sound changes step by step. If it works out, that's relatively credible. If it doesn't, if there are holes or unknowns in the analysis, that's a good sign it isn't credible.

I don't have the time or interest to attempt to figure out all the nuances of these arguments. But it should be relatively easy to do so if you would like, looking strictly at linguistic analysis, to see what happens.
72
Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by AGuyFromBalkanee on November 28, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
Oh, OK, I see my posts get deleted here if I say what I think about the important stuff. Let's try, like FlatAssembler, you know, discuss politics without directly mentioning it.

So, FlatAssembler suggests that the name of the city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, comes from the Illyrian word he reconstructs as *Dzigurevos, supposedly meaning "God's hill". Why is that more credible than saying that the name "Zagreb" comes from the earlier name "Serbinovo"? Because any competent historian will affirm you Zagreb was previously known as "Serbinovo".
73
Historical Linguistics / Re: Romance languages not descended from Latin.
« Last post by Daniel on November 21, 2018, 03:46:56 PM »
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The first is that “proto-” when preceeding a language implies two different things. One is that you are looking at a lot of reconstructed forms arrived at by using the comparative method. The other is that you are referring to an undocumented language which immediately preceeded a known language or languages. Whilst it is possible that the reconstructed form is close or even identical to the unknown language, conceptually the two are different things. One is a real thing which is unknown and the other is a reconstruction. The real thing is fixed while the reconstruction is liable to change if new information becomes available and would be different if any of the information we do have had not been available.
Yes, that's correct. And "Proto-X" should always refer to the real, unknown entity, only approximated by specific hypotheses/reconstructions about its structure, just like we're not sure exactly who spoke it where, and various other things. The proto-language is very real (assuming the languages actually are related!), but the details remain a mystery, and even a good approximation via reconstruction won't really settle that.

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The second is that Proto-Romance, whichever of the above you mean, is not as far back as we can go. It occupies a gap in knowledge as we have a huge corpus of Classical Latin which cannot be ignored, even if it is acknowledged that it is Vulgar Latin which is an ancestor of Romance languages and not Classical Latin.
OK, I guess I agree in a sense, at least for terminology. But what about comparing this to a number sequence, like "1,2,_,4,5"? We know there is a "proto-number" (gap in the sequence) in there, and we also can try to reconstruct it. I don't see why that is fundamentally different from having a gap at the beginning or end of the sequence. In that sense, "Proto-Romance" shouldn't be a problem at all. (A remaining problem is that it never existed as such in a single place, because it was already in place, all around the Roman Empire, before it became something "different" and drifted in the same direction, in those somewhat separated parts, fueled partly by continued contact, as I wrote about above.)

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Vulgar Latin is an ancestor of the Romance languages, but is has a very long history. Accordingly, if Proto-Romance is the immediate ancestor of the Romance languages it is confusing to call it Vulgar Latin.
I guess. I just don't see this as much of a problem, because "Proto-Romance" also can be said to have a long history, even all the way back to PIE (why not?). The idea of "oldness" of languages is meaningless, so instead what you're talking about here is traditional assumptions about spans of time. And that's true, but that's like saying Old English isn't the ancestor to Modern English, because there was Middle English in the middle. More importantly, there's no clear reason to think that "Proto-Romance" and "Vulgar Latin" did not substantially overlap, even if they were not coextensive temporally.

Anyway, terminology aside, it seems like we mostly agree.
74
English / Re: Subject in the "wrong" place?
« Last post by Daniel on November 21, 2018, 01:43:15 PM »
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Many years ago I read in a book that the form “John was given an apple” was ungrammatical but good English. The comment was made tongue in cheek. It is an oxymoron, but it does make the point I am trying to get at quite well. When it comes to language change there is something of a paradox as on the one hand a descriptive linguist will say that native speakers do not make mistakes, but on the other language changes due to native speakers “making mistakes” in the sense that they change what went before. I would say that the form was ungrammatical but is now accepted, but that that does not stop it being an oddity which is not amenable to the standard analysis of passive sentences.
I discuss something along those lines here, with an extensive bibliography:    http://hdl.handle.net/2142/101864

It's interesting to think about whether the double-object passive might fit into that...

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...paradox as on the one hand a descriptive linguist will say that native speakers do not make mistakes...
Yes, that point is discussed in the paper linked above. But to be clear, the claim isn't that native speakers can't make mistakes, but that what is generated by the grammar of a native speaker (i.e., Competence, in Chomsky's terms) is, by definition, part of the grammar of the language. That is not to say that mistakes never occur: indeed they do, when something goes wrong in processing (i.e., Performance). In principle, we might say that speakers should recognize when they make a mistake in that sense (a "slip of the tongue", the sort of thing they'd self-correct given the opportunity), but sometimes the lines can be blurred. Regardless, and setting aside nuances of how exactly to phrase it, the claim isn't that native speakers perform perfectly, but that their knowledge of the language is by definition representative of the language. (To be clear, this is why Chomsky insists on individuals being the object of study, rather than speech communities, so that we can only really study the internal language of one individual at a time, although we often generalize for convenience to a language like "English".)

To put it another way, the crucial claim is that one cannot make up independent or "logical" or whatever rules and then tell native speakers they are wrong for not conforming to expectations. If the written grammar rule conflicts with the native speaker, then the native speaker is right. That's really the only way this makes sense.

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It is accepted that active sentences with an object can be converted to a passive sentence with an agent and vice versa.
Yes.

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John was sent an apple?
All the explanations which insist that “John” is the subject seem to be convoluted
"Subject" is typically defined based on the sentence in final form, not its derivation (hence why "passives" have "subjects" at all!), so you're using "subject" to refer to a different concept than most people would mean by "subject". You seem to be focusing on semantics, while most definitions focus on syntax.
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and there is no satisfactory explanation of what role “apple” plays.
OK, now we have reached a relevant question:
1. Assume the passivization rule takes the direct object and promotes it to subject.
2. Assume apple is object.
3. Why is John promoted rather than apple?

Good question.

The problem, though, is regarding the structure of the double object construction, not passivization. Passivization then acts as a sort of test:

ACTIVE:
Henry sent John an apple.

PASSIVE:
John was sent an apple.
*An apple was sent John.

There are two ways to try to solve this problem:
1. Our passivization rule is wrong. It isn't strictly direct objects, but something like a prominent object, or something else. It's a non-subject, that's clear. The rest is murkier.
2. In fact, John is the direct object, and apple is something else.

Actually, (2) might be the right analysis, or at least one in which there are two direct objects in the sentence. Double object constructions like that are weird syntactically, and there have been many debates -- still unresolved -- about how exactly to treat them. For example, they seem to be a case of ternary (non-binary) branching structures (sort of like coordination). There's a lot of literature to read if you're interested (and many syntax textbooks take up that example for discussion!). Note that one way we could explain it then is to say there are literally two objects there, and either one might be selected, but somehow because there are two conflicting, the derivation crashes and settles on only the first. Or historical pressures settled on promoting the recipient because it was already easy to passivize the transferred object (apple) from the other ("apple to John") construction.

But there are also reasons to think (1) is the right explanation. Specifically, passivization is not strictly limited to direct objects. For "important" prepositional phrases closely associated with verbs (maybe phrasal verbs, combining verb plus preposition, but it's unclear how exactly to draw that distinction), we can sometimes get odd passivization too:
"That bed was slept in."

Generally it seems like only the "strongest" object can be passivized:
?*The bed was eaten pizza in.
(<John ate pizza in the bed.)
*A box was sent John the apple in.
(<Someone sent John the apple in a box.)

Regardless:
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All the explanations which insist that “John” is the subject...
But that's straightforward: a "subject" in English is simply whatever noun phrase is found before the verb with which the verb agrees. (You might phrase it slightly differently or find exceptions to the ordering, but something along those lines works, and it isn't complicated.)

The problem is that you're mixing up "subject" in the original sentence, and subject of the passivized sentence (they are of course not the same!) as well as the subject of some other, distinct passivized sentence (again, not the same).

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there is no satisfactory explanation of what role “apple” plays. It clearly cannot be the object because a passive verb is intransitive and cannot have an object...
Passivization involves promotion of one object to subject, not necessarily all objects, and if the verb is ditransitive, it might end up having more going on. Again, these are open questions depending on how you analyze everything, but you can't assume all passive verbs are intransitive.

In fact, it can get even weirder than that. In German, intransitive verbs themselves can passivize:

"Es wird getanzt."
(lit. "It becomes danced.", where 'become' is equivalent to English 'be' in passives)
Meaning something like "Someone is dancing." or "There's dancing."

So passivization can be thought of as a change to argument structure, where valency is decreased by one. Not necessarily intransitivization.

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and it is not the indirect object as nothing is going to it.
That's a semantic argument for a syntactic analysis. In fact, we could call it an indirect object syntactically in the sense that it seems to behave as a secondary/minor object, with "John" being the one that is promoted.

Thematic roles do not always correlate to syntactic structure/position. We get the same configuration with different meanings.

For example, consider the argument structure for Spanish amar vs. gustar:

Yo amo pizza.
I.NOM love.1SG pizza
'I love pizza.'

Me gusta pizza.
me.ACC like.3SG pizza
'I like pizza.'

These so-called "dative subject" constructions make everything weird (what's a "dative subject" anyway?-- note that is primarily a semantic argument!), but the point is that the configuration of arguments there is actually relatively straightforward: subject is what the verb agrees with, and some verbs are just semantically backwards in assigning their thematic roles. (I'm oversimplifying for illustration purposes, but that's certainly one way to look at it.)

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A far better analysis is to say that the form is an exception to the rules relating to word order and the form indirect object pronouns must take.
Maybe. That is similar to some analyses of "dative subjects" in Spanish and other languages. By analogy you might come up with some good arguments for passivized double-object constructions in English.

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It follows that if in this form the indirect object is “mistaken” for the subject that the verb will agree accordingly so that...
Hm, maybe. Again, similar to some analyses of "dative subjects". But personally I still think the issue rests in the question of the structure of the double-object construction, and once explained would tell us why John (not apple) is promoted out of that.

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Whilst when considering a language at any given moment you perhaps ought not to look at its history, you cannot get away from the fact that the reason English (and as far as I know no other language) has this form can be explained as I set out in an earlier post.
Connected to the paper I linked above. Of course in that paper I emphasize the importance of such analyses, but I should also emphasize caution: apply only when necessary, to avoid assuming an overly complicated grammar. But you might be on to something here.

Personally I'd think the explanation is rather straightforward historically: we already had a way to passivize the direct objection ("send the apple to John", the dative construction), so we then adjusted the way to passivize the double object construction ("send John the apple") to promote the recipient instead. This actually might have come about as linear reanalysis like I describe in the paper ("look for the first noun after the verb and move it over to subject position", ignoring the rest of the complicated sentence). It's an interesting example to think about!


Thanks for following through with this discussion. It took a bit to get there, but this is an interesting example in terms of why the indirect object is promoted to subject. Again, by definition it then is the subject, because that's how we define subjects in passivized sentences, but there is a puzzle about the analysis, and the historical perspective may be helpful.


[I edited this reply a few times because by now you've convinced me something somewhat unusual is going on here, although it's still debatable exactly "where" that step is located in the derivation.]
75
Historical Linguistics / Re: Romance languages not descended from Latin.
« Last post by Forbes on November 21, 2018, 01:04:58 PM »
I think the problem here is twofold.

The first is that “proto-” when preceeding a language implies two different things. One is that you are looking at a lot of reconstructed forms arrived at by using the comparative method. The other is that you are referring to an undocumented language which immediately preceeded a known language or languages. Whilst it is possible that the reconstructed form is close or even identical to the unknown language, conceptually the two are different things. One is a real thing which is unknown and the other is a reconstruction. The real thing is fixed while the reconstruction is liable to change if new information becomes available and would be different if any of the information we do have had not been available.

The second is that Proto-Romance, whichever of the above you mean, is not as far back as we can go. It occupies a gap in knowledge as we have a huge corpus of Classical Latin which cannot be ignored, even if it is acknowledged that it is Vulgar Latin which is an ancestor of Romance languages and not Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin is an ancestor of the Romance languages, but is has a very long history. Accordingly, if Proto-Romance is the immediate ancestor of the Romance languages it is confusing to call it Vulgar Latin.
76
English / Re: Subject in the "wrong" place?
« Last post by Forbes on November 21, 2018, 12:11:35 PM »
I have read all the above observations and remain unconvinced.

Many years ago I read in a book that the form “John was given an apple” was ungrammatical but good English. The comment was made tongue in cheek. It is an oxymoron, but it does make the point I am trying to get at quite well. When it comes to language change there is something of a paradox as on the one hand a descriptive linguist will say that native speakers do not make mistakes, but on the other language changes due to native speakers “making mistakes” in the sense that they change what went before. I would say that the form was ungrammatical but is now accepted, but that that does not stop it being an oddity which is not amenable to the standard analysis of passive sentences.

It is accepted that active sentences with an object can be converted to a passive sentence with an agent and vice versa. On the pattern:

Beethoven admired Haydn = Haydn was admired by Beethoven

we get:

Henry sent an apple = An apple was sent by Henry

If we add the recipient of the apple in we get:

An apple was sent by Henry to John,

not:

John was sent an apple by Henry

If we want to make:

Haydn was admired by Beethoven

or

An apple was sent by Henry to John

active, “Haydn”  and “apple” become the direct object of the sentence and Beethoven and Henry become the subject.

However, if we want to make

John was sent an apple by Henry

active the supposed subject “John” cannot become the direct object. We have to say:

Henry sent John an apple

in which it is “an apple” which is the direct object, because what Henry sent was an apple.

To put it another way, if you presented someone who understands the way active and passive work in English with:

Beethoven admired Haydn

and

Henry sent an apple

and asked if you make these sentence passive which words will become the subject, you will get the answer: “Haydn and an apple”.

If you then presented them with:

Henry sent an apple to John

and asked if you make this sentence passive which word will become the subject, you will get the answer: “an apple” and not “John”.

All the above leads us to ask what is going on when you see:

John was sent an apple?

All the explanations which insist that “John” is the subject seem to be convoluted and there is no satisfactory explanation of what role “apple” plays. It clearly cannot be the object because a passive verb is intransitive and cannot have an object and it is not the indirect object as nothing is going to it. A far better analysis is to say that the form is an exception to the rules relating to word order and the form indirect object pronouns must take. It follows that if in this form the indirect object is “mistaken” for the subject that the verb will agree accordingly so that

John was sent apples

will be considered grammatically correct.

Whilst when considering a language at any given moment you perhaps ought not to look at its history, you cannot get away from the fact that the reason English (and as far as I know no other language) has this form can be explained as I set out in an earlier post.
77
English / Re: Subject in the "wrong" place?
« Last post by Audiendus on November 20, 2018, 08:04:14 PM »
Is the reluctance to accept that "I" is not the subject simply because "I" is a subject pronoun and comes in the position where one expects the subject to come in a statement. If you say that "I" must be the subject because it is a subject pronoun that is to insist that the function must follow from the form. If you say that "I" or "John" must be the subject because it comes first in the sentence it is because you are following a rule which has been formulated without taking into account exceptions. In short, you are saying that because "I" and "John" behave by position and form as if they are the subject they must be the subject.
It is not only the position and form of "I" and "John" that indicate that they, rather than "parcels", are the (syntactic) subject. There is also the fact that we would say "I was sent parcels" and "John was sent parcels", not "I were sent parcels" and "John were sent parcels".

Furthermore, we can say: "John was sent (and I delivered to him) a parcel". It would be strange to call "parcel" the subject of "was sent" but the object of "delivered".
78
Feedback, Help and Forum Policy / Re: Word formation process
« Last post by Daniel on November 19, 2018, 08:15:38 AM »
Welcome to the forum. However, we will not do homework for you.

Do you understand what those terms mean? There aren't necessarily any really clear examples of all of them, but maybe you can find examples that might count and argue your case. If the assignment requires you find examples for all but only in that text, that seems like the best option to me.
79
Feedback, Help and Forum Policy / Word formation process
« Last post by expectopatronum on November 18, 2018, 11:50:24 PM »
Hey guys,

so I have to find different word formation processes in the following news article:



They call it Hallyu, the Korean wave: the idea that South Korean pop culture has grown in prominence to become a major driver of global culture, seen in everything from Korean dramas on Netflix to Korean skincare regimens dominating the cosmetics industry to delicious Korean tacos on your favorite local menu.
And at the heart of Hallyu is the ever-growing popularity of K-pop Hallyu has been building for two decades, but K-pop in particular has become increasingly visible to global audiences in the past five to 10 years.
South Korean artists have hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart at least eight times since the Wonder Girls first cracked it in 2009 with their crossover hit “Nobody” — released in four different languages, including English — and the export of K-pop has ballooned South Korea’s music industry to an impressive $5 billion industry.
Now, with South Korea hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang at a moment of extremely heightened geopolitical tensions, K-pop has taken on a whole new kind of sociopolitical significance, as South Korea proudly displays its best-known export before the world.




I was only able to find following ones : Compounds: Skincare, everything, billboard, crossover, ever-growing, best-known , billboard hot 100 chart, nobody

Clipping : pop ( popular – back clipping)


I am not able to find any blendings, coinage, zero derivation, initialism and so on  :-\ can someone please help me?
80
Linguistics Links / German and Finnish Linguist roles in Dublin, Interested?
« Last post by keithRPR on November 19, 2018, 05:49:17 AM »
Hi Guys!

If anyone is looking for a new role or trying to get established in the linguistic working community in Dublin let me know.

I recruit for a Dublin based gaming company who are looking for German and Finnish Linguists who would like to work as a linguist in the computer game industry. If this is something you would be interested in just follow this link - https://realpeoplerecruitment.catsone.com/careers/index.php?m=portal&a=details&jobOrderID=11363798

Thanks!
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