History UsefulNotes / GrammarInForeignLanguages

24th Apr '17 11:08:20 PM Wuz
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* Is written using logograms (Chinese)[[note]]Each symbol stands for a word or a morpheme, as in mean-ing-ful[[/note]], abjads (Arabic, Hebrew)[[note]]Vowels are not written[[/note]], syllabaries (Inuktitut)[[note]]Each symbol represents a syllable[[/note]], alphabets constructed into little syllable blocks (Korean), abugida (the languages of India and Ethiopia)[[note]]Vowels are written as attachments to consonants[[/note]], or a hodgepodge of everything (ancient Egyptian and modern Japanese), instead of an alphabetic writing system. And not all writing systems include the concepts of upper and lower case[[note]]Most languages.[[/note]], cursive writing[[note]]For instance, all Arabic writing is cursive, while in Hebrew the "cursive" script is non-connecting[[/note]] and/or punctuation, and if they have them, they may not use them the same way.

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* Is written using logograms (Chinese)[[note]]Each symbol stands for a word or a morpheme, as in mean-ing-ful[[/note]], abjads (Arabic, Hebrew)[[note]]Vowels are not written[[/note]], syllabaries (Inuktitut)[[note]]Each symbol represents a syllable[[/note]], alphabets constructed into little syllable blocks (Korean), abugida (the languages of India and Ethiopia)[[note]]Vowels are written as attachments to consonants[[/note]], or a hodgepodge of everything (ancient Egyptian and modern Japanese), instead of an alphabetic writing system. And not all writing systems include the concepts of upper and lower case[[note]]Most languages.[[/note]], cursive writing[[note]]For instance, all Arabic writing is cursive, while in Hebrew the "cursive" script is non-connecting[[/note]] and/or punctuation, and if they have them, they may not use them the same way.
24th Apr '17 11:07:47 PM Wuz
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* Is written using logograms (Chinese)[[note]]Each symbol stands for a word or a morpheme, as in mean-ing-ful[[/note]], abjads (Arabic, Hebrew)[[note]]Vowels are not written[[/note]], syllabaries (Inuktitut)[[note]]Each symbol represents a syllable[[/note]], abugida (the languages of India and Ethiopia)[[note]]Vowels are written as attachments to consonants[[/note]], or a hodgepodge of everything (ancient Egyptian and modern Japanese), instead of an alphabetic writing system. And not all writing systems include the concepts of upper and lower case[[note]]Most languages.[[/note]], cursive writing[[note]]For instance, all Arabic writing is cursive, while in Hebrew the "cursive" script is non-connecting[[/note]] and/or punctuation, and if they have them, they may not use them the same way.

to:

* Is written using logograms (Chinese)[[note]]Each symbol stands for a word or a morpheme, as in mean-ing-ful[[/note]], abjads (Arabic, Hebrew)[[note]]Vowels are not written[[/note]], syllabaries (Inuktitut)[[note]]Each symbol represents a syllable[[/note]], alphabets constructed into little syllable blocks (Korean), abugida (the languages of India and Ethiopia)[[note]]Vowels are written as attachments to consonants[[/note]], or a hodgepodge of everything (ancient Egyptian and modern Japanese), instead of an alphabetic writing system. And not all writing systems include the concepts of upper and lower case[[note]]Most languages.[[/note]], cursive writing[[note]]For instance, all Arabic writing is cursive, while in Hebrew the "cursive" script is non-connecting[[/note]] and/or punctuation, and if they have them, they may not use them the same way.
24th Apr '17 11:03:35 PM Wuz
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** Similarly, many non-English languages divide up ''colors'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity_and_the_color_naming_debate differently from the Western standard "ROY G. BIV"]], with some having as few as just ''two'' basic colors (black and white)[[note]]Or rather black/dark/cold and white/bright/warm[[/note]]. Quite a few make [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguishing_blue_from_green_in_language no distinction at all between blue and green]]. On the other hand, some Asian languages have dozens if not hundreds of distinct color names. An author writing a race with a different visual range from humans (such as demihumans from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragon'', who frequently possess vision in the infrared range) may forget to create terms for [[FictionalColour colors humans can't see at all]], not even "[[http://www.negativland.com/archives/015squant/story.html squant]]" or "[[Discworld/TheColourOfMagic octarine]]".

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** Similarly, many non-English languages divide up ''colors'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity_and_the_color_naming_debate differently from the Western standard "ROY G. BIV"]], with some having as few as just ''two'' basic colors (black and white)[[note]]Or rather black/dark/cold and white/bright/warm[[/note]]. Quite a few make [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguishing_blue_from_green_in_language no distinction at all between blue and green]]. On the other hand, some Asian languages have dozens if not hundreds of distinct color names. An author writing a race with a different visual range from humans (such as demihumans from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragon'', ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', who frequently possess vision in the infrared range) may forget to create terms for [[FictionalColour colors humans can't see at all]], not even "[[http://www.negativland.com/archives/015squant/story.html squant]]" or "[[Discworld/TheColourOfMagic octarine]]".
12th Apr '17 8:50:14 PM xForTehWeskerzx
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Added DiffLines:

** Spanish, in particular (Sorry, this troper isn't well versed in other Romance languages) also has an auxiliary verb in ''haber'', which is sort of a mixture of "to be", "to have", and "to exist". It's used in almost all 'perfect' verb forms (indicating an action happened right before another action) by conjugating it to whatever tense and placing the past participle of the action afterwards, taking the 'to have' meaning ("Ella había comido antes de ir al cine." ("She had eaten before going to the movies.")). However, it's not usable as "to be" as in "I am from Texas.", but only as qualifying existence ("Hay una granja en la colina." ("There is a farm on the hill.")) Basically, it's a weirdo verb.
12th Apr '17 8:39:44 PM xForTehWeskerzx
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** Somewhat related as well is being finicky about whether definite articles or possessives should be used in describing a noun. For example, in Spanish, body parts are never referred to with possessives: you would never hear anybody worth their salt say "Me duele mi brazo." [[note]]"My arm hurts."[[/note]], but instead "Me duele el brazo." [[note]]also "My arm hurts."[[/note]]. The only real exception to this rule is when the body part being talked about is figurative: there's a sharp difference between "Me duele mi corazón." ("My heart hurts." like the speaker just broke up with their boyfriend) and "Me duele el corazón." (in which case you might want to call an ambulance).
** Place articles after the word modified instead of before (Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and the Scandinavian languages have an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enclitic#Classification enclitic]] definite article, while the Romanian indefinite article follows rules closer to English).

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** Somewhat related as well is being finicky about whether definite articles or possessives should be used in describing a noun. For example, in Spanish, body parts are never referred to with possessives: any verb phrase that is constructed where what one would perceive as the 'object' in English is actually the subject and vice versa (e.g. "me duele el corazón" ("My heart hurts") or "se me perdió la bolsa" ("I left my purse behind")), you would never hear anybody anyone worth their salt say "Me duele mi brazo." [[note]]"My arm hurts."[[/note]], but instead "Me duele el brazo." [[note]]also "My arm hurts."[[/note]]. The only real exception to this rule use a possessive, because it is when already implied by the body part being talked about is figurative: there's a sharp difference between "Me duele mi corazón." ("My heart hurts." indirect object pronoun. And of course, there are ''many'' common constructions like the speaker just broke up with their boyfriend) these, like saying "se me olvidó" ("I forgot"), "se me cayó" ("It fell" in an unexpected way), "se me derramó" ("It spilled"), and "Me duele el corazón." (in which case you might want to call an ambulance).
** Place articles after the word modified instead of before (Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and the Scandinavian languages have an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enclitic#Classification enclitic]] definite article, while the Romanian indefinite article follows rules closer to English).
so on.
7th Mar '17 9:51:45 PM xForTehWeskerzx
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Added DiffLines:

** Somewhat related as well is being finicky about whether definite articles or possessives should be used in describing a noun. For example, in Spanish, body parts are never referred to with possessives: you would never hear anybody worth their salt say "Me duele mi brazo." [[note]]"My arm hurts."[[/note]], but instead "Me duele el brazo." [[note]]also "My arm hurts."[[/note]]. The only real exception to this rule is when the body part being talked about is figurative: there's a sharp difference between "Me duele mi corazón." ("My heart hurts." like the speaker just broke up with their boyfriend) and "Me duele el corazón." (in which case you might want to call an ambulance).
16th Nov '16 9:36:23 AM unokkun
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** The ConLang [[http://mw.lojban.org Lojban]], which is built on logic, only has three main parts of speech: particles, pronouns and verbs. No nouns, adjectives or adverbs. A noun is built with a construction equivalent to "someone/something that [verb]s" (like the English suffix "-er"), and adjectives/adverbs with a construction like "do [main verb] in a [secondary verb]-like manner". Also, although they're mostly optional, Lojban has the so-called "vocalized parentheses": particles that mark where a clause/phrase/something starts and ends, thus preventing most kinds of AmbiguousSyntax.

to:

** The ConLang [[http://mw.lojban.org Lojban]], which is built on logic, only has three main parts of speech: particles, pronouns and verbs. No nouns, adjectives or adverbs. A noun is built with a construction equivalent to "someone/something that [verb]s" (like the English suffix "-er"), and adjectives/adverbs with a construction like "do [main verb] in a [secondary verb]-like manner". (Of course, many verbs do correspond exactly to English nouns or adjectives: "is a house", "is large"...) Also, although in many cases they're mostly optional, Lojban has the so-called "vocalized parentheses": particles that mark where a clause/phrase/something starts and ends, thus preventing most kinds of AmbiguousSyntax.
16th Nov '16 9:14:14 AM unokkun
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Added DiffLines:

** The ConLang [[http://mw.lojban.org Lojban]], which is built on logic, only has three main parts of speech: particles, pronouns and verbs. No nouns, adjectives or adverbs. A noun is built with a construction equivalent to "someone/something that [verb]s" (like the English suffix "-er"), and adjectives/adverbs with a construction like "do [main verb] in a [secondary verb]-like manner". Also, although they're mostly optional, Lojban has the so-called "vocalized parentheses": particles that mark where a clause/phrase/something starts and ends, thus preventing most kinds of AmbiguousSyntax.
28th Aug '16 5:59:54 PM Wuz
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* Are topic-prominent instead of subject-promotional (Japanese, Chinese). In English, the subject is understood to be the topic of the sentence (which the passive voice helps to facilitate). In Japanese, topic and subject do not have to be the same.

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* Are topic-prominent instead of subject-promotional (Japanese, Chinese).(Japanese). In English, the subject is understood to be the topic of the sentence (which the passive voice helps to facilitate). In Japanese, topic and subject do not have to be the same.
28th Aug '16 5:58:00 PM Wuz
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* Do not mark nouns for number (Japanese), or, alternatively, have ''more'' number markers than simply singular and plural. Many languages have separate dual or even trial ('three') numbers. There is even at least one language that has marks for zero (I have no cookies), fractional (I have half of a cookie), singular (I have one cookie), dual (I have two cookies), paucal (I have a few cookies), and large-scale plural (I have lots of cookies)! Most Indo-European languages have ''lost'' their duals; Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Old Church Slavonic had them, and there are still traces of them in some of the Balto-Slavic languages (usually in a unique declension for the number two, and different noun forms used with certain numbers). English's use of the word ''both'' (rather than *''all two'') may be a remnant of this as well. Latin also had one, which survived in the irregular declension of the word "duo", while Slovene still makes full use of it. Old English possessed the vestiges of a dual, but only in the pronouns. Come Middle English, this dual number was gone.

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* Do not mark nouns for number (Japanese), (Japanese, Chinese), or, alternatively, have ''more'' number markers than simply singular and plural. Many languages have separate dual or even trial ('three') numbers. There is even at least one language that has marks for zero (I have no cookies), fractional (I have half of a cookie), singular (I have one cookie), dual (I have two cookies), paucal (I have a few cookies), and large-scale plural (I have lots of cookies)! Most Indo-European languages have ''lost'' their duals; Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Old Church Slavonic had them, and there are still traces of them in some of the Balto-Slavic languages (usually in a unique declension for the number two, and different noun forms used with certain numbers). English's use of the word ''both'' (rather than *''all two'') may be a remnant of this as well. Latin also had one, which survived in the irregular declension of the word "duo", while Slovene still makes full use of it. Old English possessed the vestiges of a dual, but only in the pronouns. Come Middle English, this dual number was gone.



* Treat relative clauses like adjectives. For example, in Mandarin Chinese, using the attributive particle ''de'', one can just as easily say "red ''de'' car" as "drives down the street ''de'' car," using actual Chinese words of course. The former would simply be "red car," but the latter would have to be translated as "the car driving down the street."
* Are topic-prominent instead of subject-promotional (Japanese). In English, the subject is understood to be the topic of the sentence (which the passive voice helps to facilitate). In Japanese, topic and subject do not have to be the same.

to:

* Treat relative clauses like adjectives. For example, in Mandarin Chinese, using the attributive particle ''de'', one can just as easily say "red ''de'' car" (红色''的''车/紅色''的''車) as "drives down the street ''de'' car," using actual Chinese words of course.(路上开着''的''车/路上開著''的''車). The former would simply be "red car," but the latter would have to be translated as "the car driving down the street."
* Are topic-prominent instead of subject-promotional (Japanese).(Japanese, Chinese). In English, the subject is understood to be the topic of the sentence (which the passive voice helps to facilitate). In Japanese, topic and subject do not have to be the same.
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