Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Burmese grammar

  Tags: Burmese | Grammar
 Language Learning Forum : Philological Room Post Reply
12 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
clumsy
Octoglot
Senior Member
Poland
lang-8.com/6715Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5051 days ago

1116 posts - 1367 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swedish
Studies: Danish, Dari, Kirundi

 
 Message 1 of 12
24 February 2012 at 5:33pm | IP Logged 
I have started to play with Burmese, and before I have tried to learn other languages
from the family (Tibeto-Burman) and I am really surprised that the grammar is quite
unlike the Chinese grammar (related language), more like Japanese or Korean
grammar.
They even have something similar to topic particle in Burmese.
Sound system is like Mandarin, except that the number of finals is smaller.
Quite similar to Japanese.


On the other hand Thai grammar seems quite close to Mandarin, I can even see
some vocabulary similarities.

Why is then Thai classified as different language family belonger than Mandarin?

I have seen some people make theories about Japanese belonging to Sino-Tibetan
language family.
Could it be possible?





1 person has voted this message useful



lingoleng
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 5171 days ago

605 posts - 1290 votes 

 
 Message 2 of 12
24 February 2012 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
clumsy wrote:

On the other hand Thai grammar seems quite close to Mandarin, I can even see
some vocabulary similarities.
Why is then Thai classified as different language family belonger than Mandarin?

Language families are based on the idea of a common ancestor, it is a genealogical metaphor, not one based on (synchronous) similarity.
Just compare with homology (genetic relation) versus analogy (similarity by convergent development.)
It is the linguistic branch of typology which tries to group (genetically unrelated) languages by structural similarities.

2 persons have voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 6312 days ago

4474 posts - 6726 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 12
24 February 2012 at 9:29pm | IP Logged 
To put it another way, language families are drawn up on the basis of where they came from (in terms of parent languages, not geography), and this is reflected more in the roots of their words than in their grammar. Seeing what roots are the same is made more complicated by sound shifts. For instance, the High German consonant sound shift caused changes which make English's "ship" correspond to German's "Schiff". A further complication is loan-words, but to some extent people have figured out how to distinguish these.

Look at the Indo-European languages. On one hand, there are the ones where word order is very important, there aren't many/any cases, and verbs don't change very much for person - like English, (spoken) French, and Persian. On the other hand, there are highly inflected related languages with several cases, like Latin, Sanskrit, and Russian. Despite the similarities in grammar, though, no one who has looked closely at these languages would dream of saying that French is more closely related to Persian than it is to Latin!

Large language families often have a large range of grammatical structures in their various languages. And, as these structures aren't independent of each other (look up language universals for some interesting correlations), sometimes a language in one family resembles one in another family quite a lot grammatically.


Edited by Volte on 24 February 2012 at 9:30pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Cabaire
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 5472 days ago

725 posts - 1352 votes 

 
 Message 4 of 12
24 February 2012 at 11:39pm | IP Logged 
This phenomenon is called Sprachbund, which
Quote:
is a group of languages that have become similar in some way because of geographical proximity and language contact. They may be genetically unrelated, or only distantly related. Where genetic affiliations are unclear, the Sprachbund characteristics might give a false appearance of relatedness. Areal features are common features of a group of languages in a Sprachbund.


2 persons have voted this message useful



clumsy
Octoglot
Senior Member
Poland
lang-8.com/6715Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5051 days ago

1116 posts - 1367 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swedish
Studies: Danish, Dari, Kirundi

 
 Message 5 of 12
15 March 2012 at 7:09pm | IP Logged 
Oh, it' not that Iwant to question th  sino-tibetan langu ge family, I guess  hey were made by pe le much more knowle geable than me, in  his category.
but if we talk abut  sprachbund, then whi ch one?
Burma lies in South East Asia.

I should add that Tibetan has also similar grammar to Burmese, but I don't know much Tibetan, so I could be wrong.

so maybe it's more something like areal influence that tok place very long time ago, when proto Japanese and proto Sino-tibetans lived near each other.


1 person has voted this message useful



manish
Triglot
Groupie
Romania
Joined 5419 days ago

88 posts - 136 votes 
Speaks: Romanian*, English, German
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 12
15 March 2012 at 7:35pm | IP Logged 
clumsy wrote:
Why is then Thai classified as different language family belonger than Mandarin?


Most (Mainland) Chinese linguists classify the Tai-Kadai languages (and the Hmong-Mien languages) as part of Sino-Tibetan.

From Wikipedia: "The Tai–Kadai languages were formerly considered to be part of the Sino-Tibetan family, but outside China they are now classified as an independent family. They contain large numbers of words that are similar in Sino-Tibetan languages. However, these are seldom found in all branches of the family, and do not include basic vocabulary, indicating that they are old loan words."

Edited by manish on 15 March 2012 at 7:36pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



clumsy
Octoglot
Senior Member
Poland
lang-8.com/6715Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5051 days ago

1116 posts - 1367 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swedish
Studies: Danish, Dari, Kirundi

 
 Message 7 of 12
04 April 2012 at 8:04pm | IP Logged 
hmm, I have some old books in Chinese, and they do write about Thai being Sino_tibetan.

I am learning Tai languages these days.

I was surpised how much Zhuang grammar is similar to Chinese, I though that it must be due to contants with Chinese, but it seems Thai and Lao have some similarity too.
yiengz a word from Zhuang, in Thai yang, is similar to Mandarin yang 样 and the meaning is the same.
another thing is resultative verbs:
girl run tired

(run to the extent of being tired) or something like this.


there is also a qualifier similar to de in Chinese.
as in:


girl run de very fast

Nevertheless the basic vocabulary seems very different:


fish = pla, ba, bya not similar at all to yu, nga (Mandarin, Burmese).
whereas you can find a lot of similarities between Chinese and Burmese (to come = lai, la etc)


Anyway, does anybody know about the mutual intelligibility btween Thai, Shan and Dai?

DLI course says these are all dialects of th same language !
Is it truth?


Or did they do some mistake?

Can Thai understand person from Shan state or from Yunnan, China?

Shan = language spoken in Burma, by Tai people
Dai = Chinese minority language

1 person has voted this message useful



viedums
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Thailand
Joined 4539 days ago

327 posts - 528 votes 
Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 8 of 12
05 April 2012 at 10:55am | IP Logged 
Tai languages are fairly similar, but not necessarily mutually intelligible. Thai and Lao are very close, and the Lao watch Thai TV, so using Thai in Laos is not a problem, everyone will understand you. Zhuang has many obvious cognates with Thai, and is generally similar, except it has adjective-noun word order like Mandarin and unlike Thai.

There are very few obvious similarities in vocabulary (or otherwise) between Mandarin and Burmese. One of the only grammatical similarities is the use of 'de'/'de' creaky tone to mark adjectives, relative clauses etc. As I have written elsewhere, Burmese is quite difficult and knowing other Southeast Asian languages doesn't help that much.

On serial verb constructions in Tai languages, check the work of Nick Enfield.



Edited by viedums on 05 April 2012 at 10:56am



2 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 12 messages over 2 pages: 2  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 1.8281 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.