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Thread: meaning

  1. #1
    daisy1352 is offline Member
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    Default meaning

    We may easily adopt and adjust them to our own patterns of language and intonation.
    What is the meaning of "pattern" here?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy1352 View Post
    We may easily adopt and adjust them to our own patterns of language and intonation.
    What is the meaning of "pattern" here?
    Thanks
    More or less anything! It could refer to a grammatical pattern (SVO vs SOV, for example) or a phonological one or a semantic one ... or just about any other predisposition one language can have for recognizing a regular pattern in a group of sounds. Here are a few examples:

    ausgezeichnet [German, = 'excellent'] => outtasight (street talk = 'extraordinarily good') (Purely a phonological pattern; the idea of 'sight' is entirely irrelevant)

    La Casa Alta (Spanish, ='the high and/or important house') => The Case is Altered - popular English pub name (a phonological origin, but with some new and irrelevant English syntax thrown in.)

    And here's a very old one: the fashionable thing to have in the early Roman empire was a Greek chef. The Greek σύκωτον (with stress on the first syllable) is thought to be the reason why in Romance languages words derived from the Latin ficatum (with stress on the second syllable) have the 'Greek' stress: hígado (Spanish), fegato (Italian)... The stress-pattern is hard to distinguish in the French foie, but the 'oi' would not have been formed if the stress hadn't been on the first syllable of FICATUM.

    (I've only seen the ausgezeichnet one in one published text, which I can't place right now, but it sounds likely to me.)

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