letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
Народ, мне нужны неологизмы (в основном глаголы), типа следующего:


Если кто знает какие-то такие слова, или, еще лучше, онлайн словари или списки, напишите, пожалуйста.
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
Нашла веб-сайт: http://www.multilingualchildren.org. На первой странице, которую я открыла, написано: "Thanks to Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, we know that language is not acquired through imitation." (Благодаря Ноаму Хомскому, отцу современной лингвистики, мы знаем, что язык не приобретается путем имитации)
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
Сырлы-мырлы "с причудливыми узорами, резьбой" (татар.)

А вот что значит "шырли-мырли" я и не знаю и фильм не смотрела.

(Сижу в библиотеке, делаю домашнее задание по морфологии, которое состоит в просматривании грамматик языков, которые не знаешь.)
letnja_kisha: (jugo)
Года 4 назад я посылала мейл в организацию бостонских сербов, чтобы выяснить, на каком языке они говорят. Мейл был примерно такого содержания:

"На каком языке вы говорите? Выберите один вариант ответа:
- на боснийском
- на черногорском
- на хорватском
- на сербском
- на сербско-хорватском
- на хорвато-сербском
- "на боснийском, хорватском, чернском и горском" (цитата из комедийного шоу "Надреалиста")
- на югославском
- зависит от ситуации
- другое"

Результаты были следующего содержания:
- на хорватском - 1 (девушка-хорватка)
- на сербском - 16
- на сербско-хорватском - 10
- "боснийском, хорватском, чернском и горском" - 1
- зависит от ситуации - 1
- другое - 1

Один товарищ ответил "на чистом белградском сербском" (типа нашего "я из Маааасквы", видимо).

А еще один товарищ, большой сербский патриот, мейл не читал вообще, но ответил мне примерно следующее: "Женя, черногорского языка не существует. Есть только сербский".

Но теперь, я думаю, я смогу сказать ему, что он ошибается, что теперь есть и национальность "черногорцы" и язык "черногорский". И те из нас, кто говорит на этом языке, сможет смело добавлять в резюме сразу 4 языка: боснийский, сербский, хорватский и черногорский.

(Все-таки интересно иногда почитать юго_ру. Например, теперь знаю, что к фразе "Србија до Токија" добавилось "преко Милуокија". И вот этот пост заинтересовал.)
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
Можно сказать:

Он прошел пять часов.
Он пробежал пять часов (и очень устал).

А то я свою "русскую интуицию" совсем потеряла с этой статьей.
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
Langacker is hillarious in his examples:

A statue of George Lakoff stands in the plaza.
letnja_kisha: (cognitive)
I am reading Vygotsky's "Thought and Language" ("Мышление и речь", Лев Выготский). Here's a quote:

Wallon suggested that there is a period when a child views a word as an attribute of, rather than as a substitute for, an object... The data on children's language (supported by anthropological data) strongly suggest that for a long time to a child the word is a property, rather than the symbol of an object...

The idea is so simple, and very intuitive. I just wonder how come I didn't know about it before?

The next obvious question is how we perceive objects and their properties. Do we learn "object perception" or something like that? Is some of it pre-wired? A lot of it has to do with vision, of course, and as far as I understand, much of the vision system is innate. However, are the higher vision processes that compose whole object experiences also innate? Or are they learned? References appreciated.
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
I was reading an excellent excerpt from a book by Terence W. Deacon, "The Symbolic Species". It's the reading my students have to do for the cog sci class I am starting to teach next week, and so I thought it would be good for me to read it, too :-) The chapter (#4) has a lot of different stuff, including child learning and neural nets, which I found very enlightening.

Other than that, there was a mention of the fact that complete bilinguals have two different centers in the brain for the two languages they speak. I don't know how many centers I have; the only thing I know for sure is which languages interfere with each other in my mind, and which do not. English never interferes with anything. Neither does Russian (there is one exception). Only the languages that I do not speak on a daily basis mix with each other. Thus, when trying to remember Spanish after a year of Arabic, Arabic words were trying to get into the Spanish sentences. Spanish and German mix much less after I lived in Germany (but, I mean, it's not really possible that at the beginning I had one center for Spanish and German, and then they started separating, or is it?).

One weird exception to all this is Serbian. While it does not mix with English or anything else, it has a tendency to insert words into my Russian sentences. I can only explain it with the fact that Russian and Serbian are so similar; they must build on the same base in my head. You know, some people told me stories that sometimes they start speaking Russian to an English speaker without realizing it, or vice versa, or inserting Russian words into English sentences - and it's never happened to me. But I do insert Serbian words into Russian sentences or vice versa (more common Serbian words into Russian sentences) without paying any attention to it. There are two categories of words here: one is interjections, or very common phrases such as "you know" or "well". I insert them and only later realize that it was Serbian, not Russian. Words in the other category are words that my parents have to tell me don't exist in Russian. It's quite amusing - it could be a perfectly good Russian word, and most likely that root is used in Russian, too, just with a different prefix. And my parents go "Zhenya, that's not a word of the Russian language".

Another interesting thing is which levels of language are the same for all languages and which are different. These are just things I noticed myself doing. Phonology is different for every language, and I have to consciously switch from one system to the other. Have you noticed how difficult it is sometimes to say a Russian word with Russian pronounciation in the middle of an English sentence? It's like stumbling over something while walking. I find that with Russian and Serbian, too (since the systems are similar, but not quite). I think most people living in a country, other than their country of origin (depends on when they came there, of course) have noticed this, too: when nervous, or overly emotional, my long-forgotten Russian accent comes up in a foreign language. My mother-in-law, when too emotional, starts speaking in the Dalmatian dialect (it's all [i] instead of [e]), while usually she speaks in the Belgrade dialect; it's really cool.

For intonation, it's not too clear to me. I know that my Russian intonation has been greatly affected by my English (that's the first thing that goes after a week in Moscow), but my Serbian intonation is very Serbian (maybe because Filip's Serbian intonation didn't change, I don't know). Word access seems to be just on the "most frequently used" basis. It really drives me crazy sometimes when I can't remember the right word in the right language.
letnja_kisha: (linguistics)
So... it's finally over. All homeworks done, all papers written, not really all reading done. It's been interesting, not completely satisfying, but good overall.

The first thing I learned is that taking six classes, even at Berkeley (compared to MIT, where six classes for me would have been suicide) is not a great idea. It was way too much work, and one my grade suffered. Oh well, I got most of my requirements done and next year it will be easier.

The professors are really accomodating, and all you need is a will to learn. If you're willing to listen, they are more than happy to talk - and deadlines, grades, everything formal is not important to them. It's possible that I got lucky with my professors, but I think it's also generally true in graduate school.

I admit - I am still afraid of talking to most people in the department. It's a small place, everyone knows everyone, and although I should know better than turning at what others will think, I still do. I deal with it, and I got much better than in the beginning, though. But I am still not entirely comfortable in the department, and I feel like I am not using all of its resources because of my fears. Oh well, I'll work on it.

One thing I didn't expect at all is the amount of gossip! It's pretty crazy how much people talk about other people. Students about professors and other students, about research, teaching, personal life, everything! I don't even want to know what they said about me.

The master's program makes a lot of sense now, some things I didn't understand why we needed, I now think are a great experience. They make the second-year students organize a conference all on their own - from start to finish. At first, it seemed like a unnecessary distraction from studies, but now I see that we will need that experience once we are professors.

I didn't get any research done - I was so busy with studying. In fact, it felt I was back to undergrad, I had so much work. And it really doesn't matter that it's social sciences as opposed to engineering: in cs there were problem sets, here there is tons of reading.

The one thing I am really looking forward to next year is teaching Russian. I know I'll be scared at first, but I am sure I'll get the hang of it, and hopefully it'll even be fun!
letnja_kisha: (snegurochka)
At first I wanted to write in Russian, but then I realized it was going to be 10 times slower (because all the terminology is much more accessible in English in my brain).

Usually, at least here in the States, phonology, syntax and semantics are considered to be the most important branches of linguistics, the core of it. These three are thought to be the fundamentals, since they describe the main components of language: the actual sounds that we use to produce language, how we structure our speech, and the meaning we put into it.

Although I agree that these subjects are very important for the study of linguistics, I think that two different disciplines should be considered as the core of linguistics: sociolinguistics and cognitive linguistics. Language is intricately connected with thought, in fact, in my opinion, one is not possible without the other, hence cognitive linguistics. Language is inherently social, thus sociolinguistics.

I suppose the three current core branches, phonology, syntax and semantics, have to do with outer manifestations of language, and the two new proposed core disciplines strive to understand why these outer manifestations exist, thus all of them are important.

My interests lie more in cognitive and sociolinguistics, and I think that those two disciplines combined hold keys to many mysteries of language.
letnja_kisha: (Default)
Ну какую бы мне систему придумать с языками? А то как ни соберусь в ЖЖ писать, все мучаюсь - на каком языке писать?

This won't be terribly interesting to people not somehow involved with languages and/or linguistics, but there are discussions about languages going on in LJ from time to time, so I thought I'd put this in.

1. There this one discussion going on here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/linguists/48381.html?nc=36 about linguists and languages they speak. Most people say that they find the question "So how many/what languages do you speak?" annoying, since linguists are people studying language structure (and other things)in general, and some of them don't speak anything but their native language, or their native language and English. While in general I agree that linguistics per se is a study of language in general, and not one particular one, it's interesting to see linguists who know only their native language (usually, English). My personal interest in linguistics came exactly from learning languages - and from speaking them. And although linguistics research gives me immense pleasure, there is nothing like learning how a language works just by speaking it!

2. Language/dialect. Many times I had heated discussions with people about distinctions between a language and a dialect. Russian/Ukranian, Russian/Belorussian, Serbian/Croatian, Serbian/Bosnian and others. I will say this: distinction between a language and a dialect is purely a political one. "Language is a dialect with a navy" (not sure if that's the right wording). Some languages have very few differences and yet they are called different languages (for example, Bosnian and Serbian - although I fully respect the right of Bosnians to have their own language). Some dialects are so different that two people speaking them will be unable to understand each other, and yet these two are called dialects (as for example, in China - Cantonese and Mandarin are mutually unintelligable). So while linguistically I agree that Bosnian is very close to Serbian to the point that otherwise I would consider them the same language, I still think it's a question of politics, and in political terms I believe that Bosnians should have their own language if they want to.

3. One language harder than another. Another issue that came up several times is whether one language is harder than another one. Suppose we have language A and language B. I believe that abstract discussions in terms of "A is harder than B" or vice versa are non-sensical. Usually, these statements are put in the form of "A is harder than B because A has 123 verb tenses" or "B is harder than A because there are tones in B". Well, all that is irrelevant, really, because how can one really compare verb tenses and tones? It is possible to compare two languages for their difficulty when talking about learning those languages and with respect to a particular person who is learning them, since that particular person will have a mother tongue C, which we can compare with A and B for presence/absence of particular features. Such as: an English speaking student will have more trouble with Russian than with Spanish, because 1) Russian has cases, E+S don't, 2) R has a different alphabet from E+S, 3) roots of the words in Russian are mostly Slavic, mostly Roman in E+S, 4) there's aspect of verbs in R, no such thing in E+S, and so on.


letnja_kisha: (Default)

January 2016

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