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4:00 PM
When I say parcours, there will never be stress on the first syllable, no matter the context, I would say.
This article mainly discusses the phonological system of standard French based on the Parisian dialect. Notable phonological features of French include its uvular r, nasal vowels, and three processes affecting word-final sounds: liaison, a certain type of sandhi, wherein word-final consonants are not pronounced unless followed by a word beginning with a vowel; elision, wherein certain instances of (schwa) are elided (e.g. when final before an initial vowel); and enchaînement (resyllabification), in which word-final and word-initial consonants may be moved across a syllable boundary, s...
@Mitch Huh. And here I thought phonology was the art of being phony.
so stres is not as invisible as tchrist and I said, but is mostly not a thing.
On mussels. Mytilus edulis (. . . est marinum classis molluscorum animal, quod homines late comedunt.) in France is la moule commune; in Québec, moule bleue. In Spanish-speaking countries it is un mejillón, whose cognate in Portuguese is of course um mexilhão, while in Catalan it’s a musclo, per English. But why in the world is it a cozza in Italian?
@Mitch That doesn't say French has no word stress: just that it isn't distinctive.
It has word stress just like...Dutch, in most cases.
4:02 PM
OK. It has some stress, but much less than you think.
@Cerberus Spoken French is a lot like lumps of chocolate halfway melted into a sauce.
It is rarely distinctive in Dutch, and that only because of compound words, most of the time, or because of foreign words. If you count phrases as words in French and English (like in Dutch), then the accent gets a whole lot more distinctive in those languages.
@Robusto Yeah, I love that.
> Il mitilo mediterraneo (Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck 1819) - chiamato comunemente muscolo nelle regioni nord-occidentali, peocio in quelle nord-orientali e cozza nell'Italia centro-meridionale, dattero nero in Toscana, è un mollusco bivalve ed equivalve. Talvolta è impropriamente chiamato mitile.
Hard to know what you’re getting yourself into just scanning the chalkboard.
there's no etymonline for Italian?
@tchrist What's talvolta? "Sometimes"?
4:04 PM
Well, that's clear enough.
It has different names.
'dattero nero'? a black .. something?
Also, google translate translates Tuscany to Etruria in Latin. Nice.
@Mitch That's just the name of the thing.
Apparently cozza is a Southron spelling for coccia, which makes more sense. Not that these are cockles, mind you.
@Mitch Cool.
4:08 PM
@Robusto While spoken (European) Portuguese sounds like it’s chocolate more than halfway melted in something Slavic.
@tchrist Possibly. To my ear it always sound like a sauce made of French and Spanish.
All consonants, most zh, and scant vowels.
Yeah it sounds like Slavic to me too!
Languages like these point up the inadequacies of teaching people via a written-word-and-grammar-first method. Language education should start with oral/aural practice.
Up to the point where I start to recognise the syllables/words.
@Robusto Why? It depends on what you want to do.
4:12 PM
@Cerberus How about speak and understand the spoken language?
But that is usually not what you want in an academic context.
You want to read.
I should think it is what you want.
I need to read French and German. I don't need to speak them well.
I can mutter some French words to get by in Paris, or even use English.
If I were to move to France, then, sure, I'd want to speak the language.
And then of course reading and writing would not be enough.
But most people don't move to France.
4:15 PM
Well, you don't have to move to France to speak French.
That’s real Portuguese. Isn’t it, well, dizhtingtu?
If you let it wash over you, you start to get it.
If you read it, it is perfectly clear.
The mapping of letters to sounds is the most complex of all Romance tongues.
@Robusto True, but then why would people want to speak French?
For reading, there are good reasons for everyone.
Of course it's nice to be able to speak French.
@Cerberus You might want to watch French films, or go to Quebec or some other French-speaking locale.
Right, films is a good point.
It’s like everything is palatalized or swallowed, or both.
4:18 PM
But I think literature and scholarship are more important for most people.
Films depend less on the language than books: you can still watch a film with subtitles and retain the French atmosphere.
@tchrist Exactly. And I have the same thing with Greek.
It sounds weird, until you pick up some sounds and words you know.
It is a really weird thing to be able to read a language clearly but barely catch anything said aloud.
And frankly French falls into the same category: if I knew as little French as I know Portuguese, it would probably also sound like...porridge.
Yet I can actually write in Portuguese, but I’ll be damned it I can parse out most anything they say. It takes weeks of constant exposure. In Brazil, it takes a day or two only.
So I actually know the words, the inflections.
But the sounds and the rhythm are exotic.
@Robusto So anyway, what I wanted to say was that it depends on what you want, whether you should focus more or less on learning French through some written/grammar-based method or not.
By the end of the 10 minutes, I go from maybe 5% to over 80%. You get used to it.
4:22 PM
@tchrist I don't find Brazilian that much easier. A little bit.
Brazilian is syllable-timed like Spanish, so they don’t have vowel reduction into nothingness.
As we do in English.
And I still have some trouble following a French film, even though I've watched countless films, have been to France countless times, and can read a novel perfectly fine.
Or as the Portuguese do.
@Cerberus Same here. All those things.
You're suggesting they aren't syllable timed in Portugal?
That’s correct: European Portuguese is stress-timed.
4:24 PM
That is a bold claim...
Easily documented.
It's still the same language.
Wrong paste.
Isochrony is the postulated rhythmic division of time into equal portions by a language. Isochrony is one of the three aspects of prosody, the others being intonation and stress. Three alternative ways in which a language can divide time are postulated: # The duration of every syllable is equal (syllable-timed); # The duration of every mora is equal (mora-timed). # The temporal duration between two stressed syllables is equal (stress-timed); The idea as such was first expressed by Kenneth L. Pike in 1945; though the concept of language naturally occurring in chronologically and rhythmica...
> . Stress-timing is strongly related to vowel reduction processes.[9][10] English, Thai, German, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Faroese, Dutch, Portuguese,[11][12] and Persian are typical stress-timed languages,[13]
> the Brazilian writer Olavo Bilac poetically described it as "a última flor do Lácio, inculta e bela"
That's nice.
> A better-documented case of these varying degrees of stress-timing in a language comes from Portuguese. European Portuguese is more stress-timed than the Brazilian standard. The latter has mixed characteristics[18] and varies according to speech rate, sex and dialect. At fast speech rates, Brazilian Portuguese is more stress-timed, while in slow speech rates, it can be more syllable-timed.
4:26 PM
@tchrist Spoken language is like music. Once you get the melody and the rhythm in your head, you get it.
@tchrist Okay, "more". That sounds a lot more nuanced, makes a lot more sense.
@Cerberus me too!
> The accents of rural, southern Rio Grande do Sul and the Northeast (especially Bahia) are considered to sound more syllable-timed than the others, while the southeastern dialects such as the mineiro, in central Minas Gerais, the paulistano, of the northern coast and eastern regions of São Paulo, and the fluminense, along Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and eastern Minas Gerais as well the Federal District, are most frequently essentially stress-timed.
@Mitch Yay!
@tchrist It's not such a fundamental dichotomy as some would have you believe anyway...
@tchrist wow..sounds -totally- slavic.
4:29 PM
You can find a syllable-timed Brazilian speaker and understand him much much much more easily than you can a Portuguese speaker from Lisbon, which is quite stress-timed. Listen to the reportage if you don’t believe me.
By the way, my friend told me that he can understand anyone in Brazil, anywhere. That there are no local or lower-class dialects that he can't understand, so uniform is Brazilian Portuguese.
Is he Brazilian?
Yes, obviously, haha.
@Cerberus I can't understand anyone, anywhere.
Bet he can’t say the same of Portugal proper.
4:30 PM
@Mitch Yep. Welcome to Sochi!
Ha ha!
I wonder about Canada: is it equally uniform, outside Québec?
I know the USA is not quite so uniform (though a lot more so than non-colonised regions).
No one bothers with french outside of quebec. It's all foreign language then.
The question is uniformity within Quebec
Let's not ask that question.
4:31 PM
@Cerberus US is pretty uniform.
But not quite so uniform as Brazil.
@Cerberus OK...what's a better question? "What's for lunch?"
Or dinner?
There are plenty of dialects that you can't understand, I bet.
Oh no, I feel Youtube Accent Tag games coming on.
@Mitch Yes. Except that it's far past lunch time.
4:32 PM
@Cerberus Oh...I doubt that. I'm sure there are some individuals I can't understand.
@tchrist For us or for them?
So then.. what's for dinner?
@Mitch It’s a game we’ve played here before.
> English, a stress-timed language, has become so widespread over the globe that some standards tend to be more syllable-timed than the British or North American standards, an effect which comes from the influence of other languages spoken in the relevant region. Indian English, for example, tends toward syllable-timing.
Oh, so that’s why I can’t understand them.
@Mitch Now you sound like my Brazilian guy. Which means that he might be wrong, too...
Let's start with Pennsylvania German.
And mobster-English with strong Spanish influences spoken in San Diego.
4:41 PM
@Cerberus But that's German, that doesn't count!
You will note that only girls have accents.
@Cerberus What? Is that a thing? Mobster as in Italian mobster?
@Mitch It's English with German influences, I would say...
@Mitch Yes, except from Mexico.
@Cerberus Italians from Mexico?
He says aunt and root as I do. Interesting.
4:45 PM
> I'm from Texas and cannot understand a word a Cajun speaks and fine the accent in some parts of the US hard to understand
> The way I can tell that its a real Boston accent is that I barely understand it at all.
> I have lots of trouble with Appalachian accents and with Cajun accents.
> Cajun and Eastern Maryland Shore.
> I also have a hard time understanding certain mush mouth varieties of AAVE, patricularly the ones who appear on "Maury."
@Cerberus It's really hard to understand unless you listen to it for a while.
So does he. I had no idea I was Scottish!
> I agree the thick Baltimore accent is hard for outsiders to understand, as is the thick Philadelphia accent.
@Robusto Right, that helps.
> South Carolina low country outside of Charleston is hard to understand--and I live in the SE!
I have a very difficult time with various Yorkshire and Northumbrian accents.
> Deep south black talk. I once had a patient who was black from the deep south and couldn't understand a world he was saying. Another patient who was a cop could understand him.

I remember the patient telling me something about "a hank been." I asked, "A hank been what?" and the cop burst out laughing. "He's asking you for 'a ink pen.'
4:48 PM
an ink pen
Stupid haitches.
@Mitch I could go on...
But, sure, accents/dialects in Europe are a lot harder to understand; but I think American accents/dialects are still harder than Brazilian ones.
Is it correct to use both "If I died tomorrow" and "If I die tomorrow"?
@cpx Sure.
Slightly different meaning. The first implies that death tomorrow is not more than ordinarily likely, the second introduces it as a real possibility.
@Cerberus OK...sure...I'll grant you that there are lots of accents in the US that I would have a hard time understanding. And that there are a lot of distinct accents in the US. I guess I'm saying my usual that by population, there are few people who speak ununderstandable accents in the US.
@Mitch Sure.
4:53 PM
What about "If I stayed awake" it sounds a bit odd to me.
Probably fewer than here, even though our area is 100 times smaller.
Which is not the case for England.
@Cerberus right, or there, for Dutch.
Here = in Dutchland.
@cpx Again, it implies that you're not necessarily contemplating staying awake.
Very subtle difference in conditional.
5:04 PM
@cpx "If I stayed awake" sounds very natural. It's how one would normally say it (nowadays). "If I stay awake" or moreso "If I die" sound a bit formal and old-fashioned.
5:26 PM
"If I stay awake I might see Santa come down the chimney."
If I stayed awake I'll watch a movie.
"If I stay awake you will have to bring me coffee every hour."
"If I stayed awake I would have a chance to watch a movie."
3 hours later…
8:10 PM
@Reg: Good hockey game between the USA and Россия, hey? I don't think it gets any closer than that.
8:24 PM
@Robusto How many fights?
Broken noses, episodes of syncope and the like?
None, really. Not in the NHL sense, anyway.
I’m not sure that counts as a “good” hockey game in everybody’s eyes.
Seems too civilized.
@Cerberus See, one can answer with English only. It is harder, though.
A: Noun for an individial that formulates a question and also for an individual that addresses an answer

tchristBest to keep it all easy: He who asks something is the asker. He who answers something is the answerer. Neither French nor Latin is needed here.

But easier on eye and ear — and fingers — than the proffered quærent, I dare say. :)
Rob, Cerb asked what would be left of English if we took all the French out. The answer of course is English.
Shorter books, too.
Actually formulating responses without vocabulary of ultimately classical origins is more difficult than operating in reverse, per this current sentence.
> It is Zeus' anathema on our epoch for the dynamism of our economies and the herecy of our economic methods and policies that we should agonize between the Scylla of numismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia. It is not my idiosyncracy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis should be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists.

Although they emphatically stigmatize numismatic plethora, they energize it through their tactics and practices. Our policies have to be based more on economic and less on political criteria. Our gnomon has to be a metron between political, str
> Most samesteads of every firststuff are unabiding. Their kernels break up, each at its own speed. This speed is written as the half-life, which is how long it takes half of any deal of the samestead thus to shift itself. The doing is known as lightrotting. It may happen fast or slowly, and in any of sundry ways, offhanging on the makeup of the kernel.
> A kernel may spit out two firstbits with two neitherbits, that is, a sunstuff kernel, thus leaping two steads back in the roundaround board and four weights back in heaviness. It may give off a bernstonebit from a neitherbit, which thereby becomes a firstbit and thrusts the uncleft one stead up in the board while keeping the same weight.
> It may give off a forwardbit, which is a mote with the same weight as a bernstonebit but a forward lading, and thereby spring one stead down in the board while keeping the same weight. Often, too, a mote is given off with neither lading nor heaviness, called the weeneitherbit. In much lightrotting, a mote of light with most short wavelength comes out as well.
If only we had weeneitherbits in common parlance!
Ah, and lightrotting.
> For although light oftenest behaves as a wave, it can be looked on as a mote, the lightbit. We have already said by the way that a mote of stuff can behave not only as a chunk, but as a wave. Down among the unclefts, things do not happen in steady flowings, but in leaps between bestandings that are forbidden. The knowledge-hunt of this is called lump beholding.
> Nor are stuff and work unakin. Rather, they are groundwise the same, and one can be shifted into the other. The kinship between them is that work is like unto weight manifolded by the fourside of the haste of light.
> Soothly we live in mighty years!
Or mickle ones.
Why did Burns write of his bowel troubles?
> 1789 Burns Toothache iii, - I throw the wee stools o’er the mickle.
@Rob If you’ve never read this, you should.
8:58 PM
I read it a looonng time ago.
Hmm, Читать онлайн must mean something like "Online Reader"?
"Read Online"?
It’s worth the reread, I think. Some works give pleasure but once, others again and again.
@Robusto I have nothing Slavic.
I actually think it is a better work than his better-known Lord of Light.
Crafted with more poetry.
I read it during the period when I was devouring SF novels two a week. I read all I could get of Philip K. Dick, Zelazny, Herbert, etc. during this time.
I thought it had a fresh perspective. Very unusual, but highly evocative.
It has a lasting power to it, I think. I’m not sure why.
Just like the first of the Amber books sticks in your mind.
The dialogue is sharp.
It is more mythic in scope.
That was in my twenties. When I was a kid I read all of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Lovecraft, and many authors whose names I cannot even remember now.
Yes, I did the same as a teenager.
Probably simultaneously.
I liked the wise-cracking of Zelazny.
9:07 PM
I read books of short stories as well, not just novels.
That's when people wrote SF short stories.
Yes. Even Creatures is by some measures shy of a novel.
   “Ah! I’ve some knowledge of you two. Why are you here, and what is that carrion on the table?”
    “We are here, sir, because we are not elsewhere,” says Vramin, “and the table contains two men and a toad—all of whom, I should say, are your betters.”
    “Trouble can be purchased cheaply, though the refund may be more than you can bear,” says Horus.
    “What, may I inquire, brings the scantily clad god of vengeance to this scrofulous vicinity?” —Vramin.
@tchrist "numismatic plethora"... lots of stamps?
I'm trying to think of the name of a story I read, maybe by Keith Laumer? It involved a guy trying to get past a robot/computer guardian who posed riddles, and he figured out that the only correct answer would be one that made no sense at all. This was after someone with access to a "Watson"-like computer gave all the correct answers but was still executed. @tchrist, any ideas?
@Mitch Inflation.
  Vramin raises his cane.
    “Touch him and I shall dispute your passage. He is too fearsome an individual, and we came here to rest.”
    Horus lays a hand upon Wakim’s shoulder and shakes him slightly. Wakim moans.
    “Know that the wand of life is also a lance of death!” cries Vramin, and with a lunging motion spears the toad, which sits immediately beside Horus’ left hand.
    Before Horus can turn upon him, there is a quick outward rush of air as the toad explodes into a towering form in the center of the table.
@Robusto Thinking.
That’s not the one where they kept building a bigger and bigger computer to ask whether there was a God, until at last it answered “There is now.”
Speaking of which, I rather more enjoyed Rule 34 upon second reading.
@tchrist No. The catch was, after the guy gave the correct nonsense answer, he was admitted to the treasure room, where he took what he wanted. Upon exiting, the robot asked him why he had taken those particular items. He replied, "Because I want them!" And the robot killed him, because his answer made sense.
9:14 PM
He says he won’t write the final book in the would-be trilogy after Halting State and Rule 34, because after the Snowden revelations, everything he’d written about had already come to pass save for Scottish quasi-independence alone.
@Robusto No bells toll for me.
Dammit. I can almost think of the name, but it eludes me.
Rule 34's element of righteous retribution of a seek-and-destroy anti-spambot-bot backtracing spammers to their source and secretly killing them by “malfunctioning” household appliances made to look like accidents really hit the spot. It’s what we’ve all dreamt of.
@Robusto So many quality short stories of old.
Each with Ideas.
@tchrist It wouldn't have been The 9 Billion Names of God. That one ended with the universe winking out of existence.
I at times find Steven Brust to be Zelazny’s heir in the wisecracking department.
Burst gives a nod to Creatures of Light and Darkness in the prologue of his last Vlad Taltos installment.
> After that, I went to an empty tower in a dead city and a man made of metal played music for me.
That’s the Steel General in Marachek.
In the beginning of Tiassa.
 Regard now the Citadel of Marachek at Midworlds' Center…
    Dead. Dead. Dead. Color it dust. This is where the Prince Who Was Once A God comes often, to contemplate many things.
It was Wakim (Set) and the Steel General lying on the table when Horus appeared.
  “That, Brown-eyed Horus, was the battle of Blis, between the Steel General and the one who is called Wakim the Wanderer.”
    “The Steel General? Impossible! He has been dead for centuries. I slew him myself!”
    “Many have slain him. None have vanquished him.”
    “That pile of junk upon the table? Could that truly be the Prince of Rebels, who one time faced me like a god?”
    “Before your memory, Horus, was he mighty,” says Vramin, “and when men have forgotten Horus, still will there be a Steel General. It matters not which side he fights upon. Win or lose, he is the spirit of rebelli
He plays a banjo, sometimes of metal strings when he wear the flesh, sometimes of flesh when he wears metal, always pieces of himself in his previous incarnation.
Plus at least when Zelazny uses the 2nd-person singular, he gets all the inflections right. I hate posers.
The two haruspices were amusing, too.
To say nothing of the dog. . . .

    The dog tosses the glove from head to head until, yawning, he misses and it falls to the ground.
    He fetches it from among the bones that lie at his feet, wags his tails, curls up and closes four eyes.
    His other eyes burn like coals within the massive dark that is behind the Wrong Door.
    Above him, in the fallout shelter, the Minotaur bellows…
Hm, missing a word there.
Bad scan.
9:44 PM
@tchrist I read that as 'missing a bad word'. I don't think a little profanity word hurt.
If you like sci fi (time travel) and PG Wodehouse and murder mystery and ... I think there's at least one other genre in there (Western? action /suspense? epistolary?) anyway...excellent book.
10:05 PM
@tchrist where did you find that?
@tchrist and that?
OK, found the first one...
posted on February 15, 2014 by sgdi

A bridge to the past was once made They threw a stupendous parade They would stage a rewrite History would be right We would get a most righteous upgrade

Xenophon Zolotas (, 26 March 1904 – 10 June 2004), was a Greek economist and served as an interim non-party Prime Minister of Greece. Early life and career Born in Athens in 1904, Zolotas studied economics at the University of Athens, and later studied in Leipzig and Paris. He came from a wealthy family of goldsmiths with roots in pre-revolutionary Russia. In 1928 he became Professor of Economics at Athens University and at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a post he held until 1968, when he resigned in protest at the military regime which had come to power in 1967. He was a member ...
The second "All one universe" by Poul Anderson.
1 hour later…
11:24 PM
@tchrist Except that you used the word easy...
And hello.
By the way, I've just had drinks with a Frenchman.
And it is remarkable how strong his accent was despite his excellent command of the (English) language.
11:53 PM
@Robusto it was the first game I saw start to finish (or really for all intents and purposes, the first game I saw, period), and it doesn't take an expert to recognize that it's as good as it gets and couldn't possibly be more exciting, the sport as such still does nothing for me.
@RegDwigнt Hello. I have a question.
What would you call the room/theatre in which a film is shown in a cinema?
> We were sitting at the back of the ... so we couldn't see the screen very well.
I am inclined to say room, but I imagine people would say theatre.
Hall would be a good option, but for some reason I don't think people say that.
@Robusto On the channel I was watching the game on, they showed before it a brief history of hockey, and it was fascinating. Gentlemen in Technicolor with no protection whatsoever playing against each other and scoring 110:3. What we have now is a sport for assholes who lambaste an opponent lying on the ground. Fuck that, seriously. The direct comparison to the historic footage couldn't have been more strinking.
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