A Few Good Things

» 31 October 2005 » In Me »

I have not posted lately, mostly because I had been busy with the phonemic analysis paper for my phonology class. Having turned that in last Thursday, I have to say that, in retrospect, I should probably have picked a language that is phonetically simpler than Danish (like Hawaiian). In any case, thanks go to Rasmus for help with the paper. I think I can finally pronounce a basic word like rød without making Danes collapse in weeping paroxysms of laughter.

Having wished for a good illustration of RAID principles, I believe this one fits the bill rather nicely. 🙂

And finally, I’ll be turning 29 on Wednesday. Time to open the bubbly and celebrate.

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  1. andrei
    Simon
    01/11/2005 at 5:38 pm Permalink

    It could be worse – you could have picked a tonal language like Vietnamese…

    I’ve always thought that Swahili would be interesting to learn – the use of prefixes instead of conjunctions for person and tense is a beautifully subtle and simple way of doing things.

    I’m sure I’ll get to say it in person, but happy birthday, old man. 😉

  2. andrei
    Andrei
    01/11/2005 at 5:59 pm Permalink

    Yes, but at least Vietnamese doesn’t make you swallow your tongue while trying to pronounce words. 🙂

    Swahili would be interesting indeed, although the thrust of this paper was on phonemic analysis, which deals only with sounds of the language rather than its grammar or semantics. What you mention about Swahili makes it a head-marking language, meaning that the syntactic relationship between the nuclei (head) of a phrase and its dependents is coded morphologically on the head, rather than the dependents. Many Native American languages are head-marking; consider a Lakhota sentence:

    Na-wíčha-ya-x?ų.
    stem-3pl(undergoer)-2sg(actor)-hear
    ‘You heard them’.

    The whole phrase is a verb with markings. That’s just one of the reasons I love linguistics..

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