"Grammar is the greatest joy in life, don't you find?"


@bgcarlisle boosting this for my linguist mufos who will probably agree unironically.

· · Web · 2 · 1 · 1

@ljwrites Yeah but we don't tend to think "grammar" means what ordinary people think it means. :) @bgcarlisle

@bright_helpings @ljwrites @bgcarlisle yes and no maybe, I think we are ultimately talking about the same thing, only we love looking at it for what it is, and what people imagine when they talk about "grammar" is total bores who try to force it to be what it is not.

Most Brazilian speakers: "a.gente tá namorando" we are dating

Certain marginalised communities: a.gente tá se namorando" we are us-dating, we are self-dating

Total bores who don't know nothing about anything: And here what we see is a common grammar error called a Pronominal Pleonasm. This verb Does Not take the reflexive oblique you doofuses, it's redundant and useless, stop doing that I say tsk tsk.

Linguists: (cat ears perk up) nya? You emerged ~what~, let me see it show it to me :blobcatpeek: (grammar sense tingling) ok this is neat, can u show me where else you loves do that and we southlings wouldn't?:

* "quando tu se acordar" when you self-wake.up
* "eu nunca se meti na tua vida" I never self-intruded in your life
* "a.gente se subiu no telhado" we self-climbed on.the roof

wait wait, are you—ooh I see, you're regularising the middle voice! this is neat, we haven't seen a proper middle voice since Ancient Greek, true Romance was doing it with "se" but only for a few fixed verbs, plus if anything it's disappearing in mainstream pt (eles se separaram > eles separaram, they divorced). Did you know in Minas they're dropping it even faster? Wanna talk about it over a hike?


@elilla @bright_helpings @ljwrites @bgcarlisle
[kicking down the door] I love the Scandinavian languages for basically conserving a kind of medium genus verbi / middle voice which I only knew from ancient Greek in school

@anarchiv @bright_helpings @ljwrites @bgcarlisle neat! so in Indo-European there was a "mediopassive" which could be used as medial or passive but leaned medial, in most descendants it became the passive with middle going unmarked. In Ancient Greek they split up as middle and passive (in aorist and future tenses only).

I don't know Nordic syntactic history but from what the net says it appears it's doing the same thing Romance did, i.e. it reinvented middle voice using the reflexive, only we use it as a separate auxiliary and they have fused it (vi ser sig > vi ses, compare pt-br "a.gente se vê" ~= vi sig ser, note that just like João Pessoa Portuguese above the North Germanic 3rd person reflexive was generalised for all persons). it's very much in flux in Brazil rn but if it keeps in the same direction perhaps one day we'll have "a gente 'svê", "a gente isvê" to resolve the phonotactics, or "a gente vêsi" if it flips the syntax to the preferred position for bound verbal affixes

@elilla @bright_helpings @ljwrites @bgcarlisle
Also really interesting, that part about certain Romance languages and dialects, I wasn't aware of that

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Generalist Hometown instance with a strong focus on community standards. No TERF, no SWERF, no Nazi, no Centrist.