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Phrasal Constructions as Accent Groups in ANGLO - Constructed Languages

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March 12th, 2014

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09:48 am - Phrasal Constructions as Accent Groups in ANGLO
Anglo differs from SRE (Standard Roman English) in the treatment of phrasal constructions that form accent groups. In Anglo, paired components of a phrasal are normally joined with a makkef (hyphen), and not joined as a single word nor written as separate words as is common in SRE. (An exception is the case of a phrasal verb with an interposed object pronoun, such as "turn it on"; in this case the construction is written as separate words.) Additionally, we always indicate the primary stressed syllable of the phrase explicitly, with an accent mark. (Here I'm indicating the accent with a Geresh[֜ ], which is supported by my keyboard.)

We will classify accent placement as either "early" or "late", meaning near the beginning or near the end of an accent group. (We will avoid using technical terms like penult, paroxytonic, or mil'el in this discussion.) The placement of the accent is significant because it distinguishes a noun from a verb; it is similar to the case of stress alternation in words like 'reject' (reJECT as a verb, REject as a noun).

For our purposes here, we may identify three types of phrasal constructions:

(1) Phrasal Verbs: [verb + particle] where the particle may be a preposition, such as "back up". In the case of constructions of the form [verb + particle + preposition], such as "put up with" or "sit in for", we do not count the final preposition as part of the phrasal; it's just a preposition.

Phrasal verbs take a late accent:
back UP [באעק‫-‬אְ֜פ]
check OUT [צֿעק‫-‬אַ֜וט]
go UNder [גוֹ‫-‬אְ֜נדער]
hang aROUND [האענג‫-‬אראַ֜ונד]
do Over [דוּ‫-‬אוֹ֜וועקר]

(2) Phrasal Nouns: this class includes: (a) compound nouns of the form [noun + noun]; (b) special collocations of the form [adjective + noun] such as "hot dog" and "White House", where the phrase as a whole has a meaning distinct from the sum of its parts; and (c) nouns formed directly from phrasal verbs, like "backup".

Phrasal nouns take an early accent:
HOT dog [האָ֜ט‫-‬דאָג]
PICture book [פיִ֜קטיור‫-‬בוק]
FIRE truck [פֿײַ֜ער‫-‬טראְק]
WALKing-stick [ואֿ֜קינג‫-‬סטיק]
BACKup [בא֜עק‫-‬אְפ]
CHECKout [צֿע֜ק‫-‬אַוט]
DO-over [דוּ֜‫-‬אוֹווער]

(3) Phrasal Gerunds: this less common case consists of gerunds derived from phrasal verbs, e.g. falling-off (when used as a noun), goings-on. (Phrasal gerunds should not be confused with ordinary phrasal nouns that include a gerund, such as walking-stick, singing voice, etc.)

Phrasal gerunds behave as nouns grammatically, but take a late accent like verbs:

The L-rd will guard your going-out and your coming-in .... [Ps. 121:8]
[דֿא ל-רד ויל גאַרד יור גוֹאינג-אַ֜וט אנד יור קאְמינג-איִ֜ן]

O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there! [Hamlet, Act I]
[אוֹ האעמלעט, והאט א פֿאֿלינג-אָ֜ף ואז דֿעֿר]


(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 12th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC)
For Goddess's sake, please drop the technobabble and translate the first two paragraphs into English. I couldn't tell whether you were trying to teach a language or the way in which to construct a language. I lost interest at the beginning.

In order to get people to read what you're talking about, one must provide an open door. I found a wall. Please redo.
[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Well, it's nice that my post elicited such a lively response. I was beginning to think nobody was reading this list anymore.

My first post on Anglo was a year ago, so I'l recap. Anglo is an alternate (Hebrew-based) orthography for English. When posting to Conlangs I am assuming that readers are comfortable with a certain amount of language-related terminology, but I am writing with the general reader in mind so I try to avoid too much technical jargon. (On another forum I was scolded for not being technical ENOUGH. You can't please everybody.)

This entry did get a little bit technical, unavoidably, because I'm dealing with some of the more detailed issues around word groups - how we say them in real-life conversation, and how the placement of accent helps the listener understand our meaning. That's not reflected in normal written English (I call it SRE here) but it is in Anglo.

I started working on Anglo because I was intrigued by the problem of writing English words with Hebrew letters. Normally it is done on an ad-hoc basis, with (I think) less-than-satisfactory results. As I started working out my system, I became interested in all the ways spoken English conveys meaning, that aren't captured by our writing system. So creating Anglo was, in a sense, a process of re-discovering English.

I am sorry the post wasn't interesting to you. Given that our group has been rather quiet lately, I trust it did not impose unduly on anybody's time or entries feed. If you should find yourself curious about Anglo, you can always click the link that I put at the bottom of my entry. In any case, I confess I embarked on this project mainly for my own amusement - "solitary vice" and all that.
[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2014 07:18 am (UTC)
There's a difference between interest and opacity. Every post, I assume someone is coming in from out of nowhere and must make sense of something they've never seen before. Such is the nature of the Internet. It's like having people constantly walk in on a live demo. You need a way to get people involved quickly. I'm dyslexic to begin with, so I need to catch a "hook" that will let me go deeper.
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
Interesting, and clearly said as I read it.

I did have to scan down your blog in order to be sure that you were laying out a consistent way of transliterating English into Hebrew letters, as opposed to creating an allohistorical cousin-tongue to English written in Hebrew letters, along the lines of Yiddish or Ladino, but that's simply because the latter is what I would have done. I really can't imagine criticising you or anybody else for using your mind to create what you felt like creating rather than what I would have created, at least not in a case like this.
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2014 06:20 am (UTC)
Thank you.

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