Eralash and Light Steam.

In this comment, John Cowan linked to the Zompist culture tests, which are very enjoyable — if you haven’t seen them, check them out (and note that JC wrote the NYC one). I, of course, was particularly interested in the Russian one, where I found a couple of items of LH interest I thought I’d post about.

If you are Russian:
[…]
• You are familiar with Cheburashka, Koshei Bessmertnii, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Baba Yaga, Ivan Grozny, Ded Moroz, Snegurochka, Ivan Durak, Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears (Moskva Slezam Ne Verit), With Light Steam (S Legkim Parom), Eralash, Ivan Susanin, Santa Barbara, Nu Pogodi, Terminator and MTV.

I was familiar with all of them but Eralash (note that Santa Barbara is the series, not the city), so I looked it up (Wikipedia has it as Yeralash; the Russian is Ералаш, stress on the last syllable) and discovered that it’s “a Russian children’s comedy TV show and magazine” founded in 1974 and that the word ералаш ‘jumble, mishmash’ is “taken from the Turkic languages” — apparently ar(a)laş. And in the comments there was this exchange:

Anonymous said…

“С лёгким паром” in the film title is translated as “Enjoy Your Bath” (see, e.g., http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000714AW). It’s not a perfect translation, but better than “With Light Steam.”

W. Shedd said…

I’m aware of what that DVD calls the film (after all, I own it) but I know of no Russian who calls the film anything other than “With Light Steam” and always considered “enjoy your bath” as the less accurate translation.

I had the same reaction as Anonymous, and was fascinated to learn that Russians insist on the silly-sounding (to an English-speaker) “With Light Steam.” (It’s what you say to someone who’s just enjoyed a spell in a bathhouse, and it’s the name of one of the most famous and best of all Russian film comedies, Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром! [The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!].)

Comments

  1. David Eddyshaw says:

    I appear to be a Citizen of Nowhere (© T May 2016.)
    My withers are unwrung.

  2. If you are a Citizen of Nowhere, you are familiar with Wales, Kusaal…

  3. SFReader says:

    I don’t know what Santa Barbara is doing there.

    I am aware that this series was on Russian TV for several years in 1990s and gained a reputation for being too long, too complicated and somewhat silly.

    Never watched a single episode.

    Anyway, Escrava Isaura at least gave Russia the immortal term “fazenda” (ironic name for “dacha”), but what is the contribution of Santa Barbara to Russian culture?

  4. Ditto Santa Barbara. There were a few soap series which I sorta know existed like Simply Maria or The Rich Also Cry, but I suspect that not that many people actually watched them. Certainly not everybody. Isaura had a flavor of novelty so perhaps more people were “in” for at least an episode, but of course these are people who were watching TV 30 years ago, which is also hardly everybody.
    None of such cultural icons of yesterday as Vysotsky or Shtirlitz made it, but also not the more modern ones like Masyanya. So they were obviously shooting for the cross-generational list and if so, then Santa Barbara is non-no.

    Yeralash is probably quite ways off too. It wasn’t a must-see childrens’ program back when it was still good, and it degraded quite a ways in the recent decades.

  5. I don’t know what Santa Barbara is doing there.

    Ditto Santa Barbara. There were a few soap series which I sorta know existed like Simply Maria or The Rich Also Cry, but I suspect that not that many people actually watched them.

    You guys are both wrong. That show was fantastically popular during its heyday — popular among Russians, I mean (most Americans never heard of it). I dated a Russian girl who was otherwise pure intellgentsiya — quoted Mandelstam and Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva at the drop of a hat, introduced me to Venedikt Erofeev and Sasha Sokolov — but who loved that show, and she said everyone she knew did too. Maybe it was more popular among women?

  6. but what is the contribution of Santa Barbara to Russian culture?

    The point is not that these things made great contributions to Russian culture but that Russians have heard of them. You have both heard of it. I rest my case. I mean, the American list has Beetle Bailey. What is the contribution of Beetle Bailey to American culture? Zero other than simply existing, but Americans have heard of it.

  7. PlasticPaddy says:

    [The term culture] includes all the characteristic activities and interests of a people: Derby Day, Henley Regatta, Cowes, the twelfth of August, a cup final, the dog races, the pin table, the dart board, Wensleydale cheese, boiled cabbage cut into sections, beetroot in vinegar, nineteenth-century Gothic churches and the music of Elgar. The reader can make his own list.
    Ts eliot “notes towards the definition of culture”

  8. SFReader says:

    Maybe it was more popular among women?

    Maybe.

    The only series from that period I watched kind of regularly was Hélène et les Garçons.

    {thinking} maybe I also watched a few episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess.

  9. well if the point was not to create a list of something the vast majority of the Russians know, but to improve specificity and sensitivity of a score, then you ought to pack the list with the items familiar to many but not all Russians, yet virtually unknown outside of the culture. Then perhaps mediocrities like Santa Barbara or Yeralash work quite well. There are standard statistical toolkits to get to the best discrimination power of a score, and going for metrics which only work in subsets of the target sets (like Santa Barbara might work in Russian females?) is totally legit

  10. “Santa Barbara” was quite popular, but didn’t get to real universal recognition.

    I was heartened a few years ago when I’ve read in one of the “kids these days” articles that the aforementioned kids do not know who grandpa Lenin was. I don’t even mind if the article was BS. Way to go kids!

    ADDENDUM: And if you are aiming for a “foreign TV series really popular in Russia” it would probably be The Octopus. But it was in the 1980s (at least its popularity) and I am not sure about the discriminating power (seriously?)

  11. SFReader says:

    The point is not that these things made great contributions to Russian culture but that Russians have heard of them. You have both heard of it.

    Nobody in Russia these days remembers any characters from Santa Barbara.

    And they didn’t make it into Russian jokes, so their cultural significance is very minor.

    I’ll grant that there is contribution to Russian language at least.

    Russian Wiktionary defines Santa Barbara as:

    1.name of a number of settlements and areas in the US, Spain, Portugal and Latin America

    2. dismissive. any boring, long or uninteresting TV series, tangled and melodramatic relationship

  12. you ought to pack the list with the items familiar to many but not all Russians, yet virtually unknown outside of the culture.

    Well, yes, that’s exactly the point.

    But it’s true that the dating happened in the ’90s, so the show may have been largely forgotten since; the list doubtless needs updating.

  13. SFReader says:

    foreign TV series really popular in Russia

    Polish “Four tank-men and a dog” definitely.

    It’s old (and even black and white), but it was and still remains immensely popular. Reruns are on TV all the time.

  14. Ugh, I just realized I still know all the words to the Santa Barbara theme song in French, from spending just one year in France as a teenager. I certainly don’t know it in English and don’t think I ever saw an episode in the US (not that I really watched it in France, but somehow it was always on). So that’s what my brain is full of… good to know. MacGyver was strangely big, too.

  15. The Turkic etymon, exemplified for instance by Çagatai aralaş “mixed”, looks like it is formed with the nominal and adjectival suffix –ş. For the formation, compare Çagatai çırmaş “complicated, intricate” from the stem çırma- “to wind, wrap around”, and oḫşaş “similar” from oḫşa- “to resemble”. The verb stem would be arala-: compare Çagatai aralaşmaq “to enter, insert onself in the middle of, mix up in”, Ottoman aralaşmaq “to be dispersed”, and Republican Turkish aralamak “to separate, leave a space, leave ajar”. This would be a denominative verb stem built from ara “space, gap, interval” with the usual Turkic denominative suffix -le-/-la-.

  16. Thanks very much, I was wondering about that!

  17. January First-of-May says:

    Santa Barbara is, as I understand it, still the prototypical soap opera name in Russia, even as modern Russians probably don’t remember many actual details of what it was actually about. The Wiktionary article is pretty much on the point.

    MTV, on the other hand, was mostly before my time. (…Though Wikipedia says it officially ended in 2013.) Modern Russians are probably more likely to know what NTV is.

  18. There were a few soap series which I sorta know existed like Simply Maria or The Rich Also Cry, but I suspect that not that many people actually watched them
    Anecdata – when I stayed with friends in Vilnius in 1992, I was invited to a dinner at one of their relatives. During the meal, the women got restless, and finally one of them asked the hostess (my friend’s grandma) to switch on the TV, because “Богатые тоже плачут” was on. The foreign guest (me) was asked whether he objected, and as I didn’t, the TV was switched on and the day was saved. I think that was the only instalment of that series I ever watched.

  19. David Marjanović says:

    MacGyver was strangely big, too.

    In Austria it was so big it occasionally became a bit of a problem for… I forgot if physics or chemistry teachers, probably both.

  20. We watched reruns of MacGuyver in my chemistry class. Whittle Communications had installed television sets in every classroom of virtually every high school in America, to broadcast their relatively short-lived Channel 1 news and advertising content. The last several weeks of the year in chemistry class were given over entirely to labs, doing titration, qualitative analysis, etc. So we were allowed to have the television on while we worked, and my class period happened to coincide with when MacGuyver was on. We, including the teacher, would compete to come closest to predicting how MacGuyver would get out of whatever fix he found himself in.

    My other story about MacGuyver reruns does not have such a happy ending. When my daughter was two, she had to get a scan done at the hospital. She was feeling anxious, so the resident overseeing the scan suggested we turn on the television and asked what her favorite show was.

    I told him: “MacGuyver.

    He laughed and said, “Wow. That’s my kind of girl. But it’s not on right now.”

    I looked at my watch. “Actually…,” I said. But when we looked, it wasn’t on after all. Apparently just that week Spike TV had taken the MacGuyver reruns out of their lineup.

  21. I don’t think Mark’s compilation of culture tests was meant to be authoritative; they reflect the idiosyncrasies of the people who wrote them, each for their own background. I was thinking of making one myself back when I found his website some twenty-ish years ago, but I don’t think I’m very typical of “my” culture. Although maybe now I’ll try, having wider experience with “my” culture.

  22. I don’t think Mark’s compilation of culture tests was meant to be authoritative; they reflect the idiosyncrasies of the people who wrote them, each for their own background.

    Exactly. They’re for fun, not Science.

  23. John Cowan says:

    V: Please do, he’ll be happy to get it! Tell him John Cowan sent ya.

  24. Trond Engen says:

    In Norway there came a lot of (slightly outdated) American series when cable TV undermined the old ether monopoly in the early nineties — several daytime soaps, family sitcoms and formulaic actions and adventures. This went on for at least a decade. I have forgotten most of them, but McGyver was one, and probably one of the better of the bunch. Not only American shows, by the way. The Austrian series Komissar Rex was one of the things my father took up watching when he retired.

  25. I read somewhere that Kommissar Rex is what former pope Benedict XVI watches in retirement. But I assume he’s not your father 😉

  26. David Marjanović says:

    Oh dear.

  27. Hans, you lived long enough in Russian speaking environments and this might be familiar. If not, enjoy for the first time!

  28. David Marjanović: Was that a reaction to him watching Kommissar Rex? It was a very formulaic show, quite boring; I’m not surprised at the least he supposedly likes it. Not that I don’t have serious issues with his successor. Transphobia, for starters.

  29. this might be familiar.

    A touching tale indeed; here’s the text. And of course Efimov wrote music for Ералаш.

  30. David Marjanović says:

    Was that a reaction to him watching Kommissar Rex?

    No, I hadn’t seen that comment yet, which was published in the same minute. It was a reaction to Rex being exported all the way to Norway.

  31. AJP Crown says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen American mustard in plastic containers as well as jars. Perhaps the issue is powdered mustard and if so, then it’s worrying that the Englishman thinks it comes in jars. It does of course, but also in yellow metal boxes, as the Scot says. The French person offers nothing about mustard, only about how far one’s willing to travel to buy bread every day (10km). The Swede spelling Ing[e]mar Bergman’s name wrong seemed odd. He could be a spy (dyslexic).

  32. David Marjanović: At least two seasons were also broadcast in Bulgaria, as far as I can remember; this is the Bulgarian wikipedia article about it https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%B0%D1%80_%D0%A0%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81

    Apparently all seasons 1 trough 5, except for 3 were released on DVD with Bulgarian dubbing, and all subsequent ones aired.

  33. AJP Crown: Explain how you can call anything other that the seeds of Brassica nigra that you have ground yourself and marinated in some sort of acidic solution “mustard” ;p

  34. John Cowan says:

    V: You mean if someone else in your household grinds them, it is shmustard? And if not, where’s the line to be drawn?

  35. AJP Crown says:

    My line is firm but divided. The queen buys Colman’s mustard, traditionally made in Norwich. This is the essence of B̶r̶i̶t̶i̶s̶h̶ Englishness and it’s a mixture of brown (Brassica juncea) with white (Sinapis alba) seeds. I prefer Dijon mustard, which is Brassica juncea, vinegar, salt & citric acid according to the French wikipedia. If I’m ever released from this house I’ll try a Brassica nigra concoction. In that case, I’d probably have goats tread the seeds.

  36. John Cowan says:

    I don’t use mustard and I try to keep MUSTard (absolute requirements in specs typically expressed with must or shall) to a bare minimum, favoring should, may, and either “if [whatever] the result is unspecified” or (when necessary) “if [whatever] the behavior is unspecified”.

    ISO, the International Organization for Standards [sic], favors shall over must, because L2-English readers may misinterpret must not, intended to be an absolute prohibition, as merely a lack of requirement: shall not does not seem to have this problem.

  37. Stu Clayton says:

    Is mustard meet for anything but meat?

    Those ISO favorings are a crock, I know them well. Who cares about L2 speakers, when the ambiguities are present at L0.

  38. Lars Mathiesen says:

    Mustard is very popular here, and there are many different varieties for sale — but it seems that just ‘mustard seed’ is the legally accepted term in ingredient lists, so I’m not 100% sure what species are used. I think the traditional one has Sinapis alba only (and sugar or honey plus novelty adulterants). For boiled fish a coarser ground mix of yellow and brown is traditional, and then of course the Dijon type came in with French cooking. Black is ‘not used’.

    At hotdog stands you can get ‘traditional’ (sweet and not too strong) and ‘French’ (very sweet and no bite at all, with yellow color mostly from weak-sauce curry powder and turmeric, just a little white mustard in it).

    Dijon actually helps emulsify an oil-based dressing, I don’t know if it’s just the vinegar in it or the mustard itself does something.

  39. Stu: I think AJP and John were just making puns.

  40. Stu Clayton says:

    Of course they were. I was too – and I still want to know what mustard is considered good with, besides meat from land and sea.

    Punning and pondering, we lay waste our powers. Nowhere else to put them while the shops are closed.

    Just thought of one use that passes musterd: cream sauce for eggs. Also, as seeds, in many Indian curries.

    But the plus-vinegar paste of familiar taste doesn’t seem suitable with vegetables.

  41. John Cowan says:

    No, Stu and I are on the same wavelength here. I don’t think, though, that any L1 anglophone (whose mind has not been obnubilated by an overdose of German) would write must not in any sense but that of a prohibition equivalent to shall not.

    meet for anything but meat

    Honey-mustard is a fairly well-known salad dressing in These States, though certainly not one of the Big Four: “Italian” (oil and vinegar), “French” (oil, ketchup, vinegar, tomato paste), “Russian/Thousand Island” (ketchup and mayonnaise), and ranch (buttermilk, garlic, small amounts of mustard), all of course with other herbs and spices and in the case of “Russian”, pickle of various sorts.

  42. Stu Clayton says:

    obnubilated by an overdose of German

    As in the colloquial expression das muß nicht sein!, meaning “there’s really no call/need for that”. It is not a prohibition nohow.

  43. AJP Crown says:

    Thank you for assuming I was making puns, V! I’m afraid it was just a contorted explanation.

    Mustard can be a can o’ worms. French’s well-known mustard is owned by English persons* and sold only in America. Grey Poupon is of course reassuringly mustard-coloured, because no one’s going to buy grey mustard, and though it’s Dijon in type it isn’t sold in France and contains Canadian Brassica juncea seeds. Under a law of 1907, French Dijon de Bourgogne shall contain only French mustard seeds. Only French.

    *Or was, before all the world’s food companies were owned by one of three multinationals

  44. Only French.

    “Pas un mot d’anglais!” as Mme. Ruegg used to bellow at us. It worked, too. She was tubby but terrifying.

  45. Stu Clayton says:
  46. PlasticPaddy says:

    @Stu
    I think mustard absorbs grease, so pork (or fatty/ boiled beef) and oily fish need it. Vegetables tend to need added grease. I have had the curried cauliflower and am not overly impressed.

  47. Stu Clayton says:

    @PP
    Dunno about mustard actually absorbing grease by scientific demonstration. Even were it absorbed it’s still there, like water in a sponge.

    What I do know from my own eating is that aromatics (Beifuß, rosemary, mustard …) mask, or distract from, the greasy taste/smell of fat. Of course goose lard is above such mundane defects, apples and caraway are added only to heighten happiness.

    I take your point about some vegetables needing grease (I would say oil, at any rate something to up the ante when playing with timid potatoes). That mustard-parmesan recipe involves garlic, but I’ve not found garlic congenial to cauliflower when cooked that way. A “dry” cauliflower curry (fried in very little ghee along with garlic and turmeric et al.) is more outgoing.

    Beifuß = mugwort. Not a name to conjure interest in Anglophonia. We talked about this here a few years ago.

  48. True, “mugwort” is one of the worst names ever bestowed on an edible. Searching the site, I find you had this to say a couple years ago:

    Beifuß is mugwort, “eaten with fatty meats such as goose, duck, pork, mutton, eel etc”. Artemisia vulgaris might sound more palatable to the English speaker.

  49. And in this post, I wrote:

    Incidentally, I’ve translated полынь as “wormwood,” but it could equally well mean “mugwort”; I have no idea which is more likely for a central Russian rye field in late summer, or for that matter what either smells like.

    Update. According to John Cowan in the comments: “For practical purposes the names wormwood and mugwort are interchangeable.” Which would make the task of the translator easier, except that both are exceptionally ugly words. Also, I finally looked up “mugwort” in the OED (entry updated 2003) and discovered it’s etymologically “midge-wort”: “The plant is said to attract flies and midges, and has therefore been used as a means of disposing of them (compare the North German custom of hanging up bundles of mugwort in rooms to attract flies, which are then easily caught by pulling a sack over the bundle).”

  50. Dmitry Pruss (aka MOCKBA) responded:

    Oh, I missed this: both are exceptionally ugly words. Uh oh. But Russian “полынь”, like sagebrush, has only positive connotations, of the wild, wide open country, and of the nostalgic memories of the childhood, as in the classic legend of the nomadic chieftain who returns back to the Steppe when the envoys from the tribe give him a twig of sagebrush to smell.

    Both those threads are very interesting.

  51. David Marjanović says:

    Cauliflower is a failed attempt at broccoli. Blend and spice it enough, and it becomes edible, which is more than can be said for a lot of stuff, but… meh.

    L2-English readers may misinterpret must not, intended to be an absolute prohibition, as merely a lack of requirement: shall not does not seem to have this problem.

    The trick about shall not, or rather should not, is that it doesn’t matter which way you parse it: this should {not be done} ends up meaning the same thing as this {should not} be done. With must not that isn’t the case: this must {not be done}, the English parsing, means something completely different from this {must not} be done = “this doesn’t have to be done”, and that’s the SAE parsing.

  52. @D.O.: Thanks! I hadn’t heard that touching story yet.

  53. @David Marjanović: What are you talking about? John Cowan is absolutely right that must not be done is always must {not be done} (absolute prohibition) in Standard American English (and every other variety of English that I am familiar with).

  54. David Eddyshaw says:

    This is a classic difference between English and German: “must not” = “be obliged not to”; “muß nicht” = “not be obliged to.” (I think that is actually what DM is saying, in fact.)

    Kusaal (as I’m sure you all want to know) patterns with English in this (though the relevant verb, nar “be necessary” is usually construed impersonally):

    Li nar ka fʋ niŋ ala.
    It be.necessary and you do thus.
    “You must do it.”

    Li pʋ nar ka fʋ niŋ alaa.
    It not be.necessary and you do thus=NEG.
    “You must not do it.”

  55. I think what DM says is that “must not verb” construction is interpreted by English speakers as “must (not verb)” that is not is more strongly attached to “verb” and then the whole negative construction is being directed to be obeyed. This feels extremely odd, but for more profound linguistic argument
    1) Sometimes “must not” can be naked “Can I eat worms? You must not” and
    2) Contraction mus[t]n’t would hardly exist if not were attached to the following verb.

  56. Stu Clayton says:

    This is a classic difference between English and German: “must not” = “be obliged not to”; “muß nicht” = “not be obliged to.” (I think that is actually what DM is saying, in fact.)

    It’s true regardless of what DM is saying. No need to strain at nots here. All these cobwebby lucubrations are due to misguided attempts to derive semantic analogies between two expressions which are merely etymologically related.

  57. Lars Mathiesen says:

    Mugwort is malurt in Danish, containing the insect name møl (Sw mal) = ‘moth’ cognate to G mahlen v, so the same idea as in English. The plant was traditionally used to disguise the taste of methanol and higher alcohols (fusel) in home distilled spirits.

  58. Stu Clayton says:

    That is, to get drunk without vomiting on the way.

  59. Lars Mathiesen says:

    More or less. The word is in a 1933 volume of ODS which notes that the plant (specifically [sorry] A. absinthium) was still officinel at the time, meaning that any licensed pharmacy had to stock it.

  60. AJP Crown says:

    Cauliflower is a failed attempt at broccoli.
    Jack likes broccoli but adores cauliflower. Both are served unspiced, raw or cooked. I like them ok. He’s a Silky terrier with an incredible sense of smell and the flavours may just be too subtle for humans.

    This is a classic difference between English and German
    German also has nicht dürfen, to be not allowed to do something, a can o’ worms (like mustard) that doesn’t quite tally with ze English (OR SO I’M TOLD whenever I use it).

  61. @Stu: mustard also goes well with some kinds of cheese.

  62. Stu Clayton says:

    Käseplatte mit Feigensenf, say. My impression is confirmed that mustard doesn’t get much of a look-in with vegetables in European cooking. In India mustard seeds make up for this deficit.

  63. John Cowan says:

    Cauliflower is a failed attempt at broccoli.

    It’s just a variety in which we eat the inflorescent meristem (quoth WP) instead of the flower buds. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, Savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, and Chinese broccoli are all cultivars of the same species, Brassica oleracea, hence also broccoflower.

    German also has nicht dürfen, to be not allowed to do something, a can o’ worms (like mustard) that doesn’t quite tally with ze English

    That’s because ze English dumped their corresponding modal verb tharf, thurve ‘need to, be required to, necessitate’, also ‘be capable of, be willing to’, and impersonally ‘it is needful’, around 1500 or so. Ze Scots, however, have retained its descendant thair, or in the past tense thur(s)t, as in Ye thair na fash ‘You needn’t put yourself to the trouble’ and Ye thurst nae scraugh sa lood ‘You didn’t need to scream so loud’.

    Fash, by the way, is directly from French fâcher ‘vex, annoy, make angry’, a product of the Auld Alliance, and is a doublet of fastidious.

  64. John Cowan says:

    (oops, saved too soon)

    Grey Poupon is of course reassuringly mustard-coloured, because no one’s going to buy grey mustard

    A friend of mine (not a francophone) always misremembered the name as Grand Poupon, which I now see means ‘big baby’. Perhaps I shall start applying this name, rather than its translation, to you-know-who, at least in elevated contexts such as this blog. There are few places on the Internet where I post that I don’t have to dumb down at all to be understood, the Hattery being one and a certain IRC channel another.’

    Update: In fact Grey Poupon is named after Maurice Grey, the inventor of the Dijon mustard machine, and Auguste Poupon, his financial backer. The varieties sold in France and Canada do in fact use French seeds; only the American variety (made in that internationally named locale Holland, Michigan) use Canadian seeds.

  65. AJP Crown says:

    Sure, the Grand Poupon. And Mrs Poupon. WE know who you mean, though it also reminds me of Alain-Fournier. Col. Mustard in the Oval Office with the lead pipe.

    their corresponding modal verb tharf, thurve ‘need to, be required to, necessitate’, also ‘be capable of, be willing to’, and impersonally ‘it is needful’
    Thith disthurves to be reinthstated.

  66. Yeth.

  67. David Marjanović says:

    I think that is actually what DM is saying, in fact.

    Yep.

    1) Sometimes “must not” can be naked “Can I eat worms? You must not”

    That’s short for “you mustn’t do that”.

    2) Contraction mus[t]n’t would hardly exist if not were attached to the following verb.

    “Ditropic clitics” are those that semantically belong to what follows, but phonologically belong to what precedes them.

  68. John Cowan says:

    I forgot to say that I really admire the terseness of Ye thair not fash compared to its longwinded English translation.

  69. John Cowan says:
  70. Lars Mathiesen says:

    ditropic — confer the way that unstressed pronouns (and the negator) move to in front of the finite verb in Spanish: No se lo puedo dar and so on. Don’t logic language. (That’s ditropic too, I guess).

  71. David Eddyshaw says:

    Ditropic clitics are a very striking feature of Kusaal: all the non-contrastive personal pronouns, for example, cliticise to a preceding word (resulting in partial suppression of the usual deletion of word-final short vowels), regardless of whether they are subjects, objects or possessors:

    M gɔs biis la.
    I look child:PL the
    “I’ve looked at the children.”

    M gɔsi ba.
    I look them
    “I’ve looked at them.”

    M gɔsi ba biis la.
    I look their child:PL the
    “I’ve looked at their children.”

    Even some inseparable unstressed prefixes do the same thing; most such prefixes derive from fused pronominal elements historically.

  72. David Marjanović says:

    all the non-contrastive personal pronouns, for example, cliticise to a preceding word

    Whomst.

    No, seriously, all the Bavarian-Austrian dialects are full of this. I’ll write more once I’m less tired.

    In the meantime, here’s a paywalled paper that I’m about to read:

    The Development of Prefixation in Time and Space
    Ditropic Clitics and Prosodic Realignment in Dialects of Indo‐European

    The paper argues that seemingly aberrant phonological developments of local adverbs that have become prepositions and verbal and nominal prefixes in Baltic, Germanic and Armenian are to be explained by the assumption of a phase of ‘ditropic’ behaviour: ‘ditropic clitics’ select as their prosodic host any stressed word preceding their syntactic host without forming a semantic unit. This enclitic behaviour of forms that in the historically attested stages of Baltic, Germanic and Armenian are prepositions and verbal and nominal prefixes is argued to explain their seemingly aberrant phonological developments: the shortening of Lithuanian (preverbal) nu‐ and pri‐ beside (prenominal) núo‐ and príe‐ due to Leskien’s law, the operation of Verner’s law in Proto‐Germanic *ga‐ beside residual *ham‐ from Proto‐Indo‐European *kom‐ and of Verner’s law or assimilatory voicing in Proto‐Gmc *du‐, and the behaviour of the Armenian prepositions / prefixes betraying word‐internal position e.g. in the reduction of the affricate /dz/ to /z/ in Arm z‐. After the local adverbs passed through a phase of ditropic behaviour in all three proto‐languages, the mismatch between prosody and morphosyntax was resolved by a ‘prosodic jump’, phonologically attaching the local adverbs to their semantic and syntactic hosts.

  73. David Eddyshaw says:

    The Austronesian Belep language of New Caledonia uses ditropic clitics for case marking: they precede the case-marked noun, but are phonologically enclitic on the preceding word.

    Te=xa pae wîmi=la ulayili Cebaba.
    “And that old man Cebaba took that thing.”

    where la, enclitic on wîmi “that thing”, marks ulayili Cebaba “that old man Cebaba” as nominative.
    p420 of Chelsea Leigh McCracken’s thesis: https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/71287

  74. Lars Mathiesen says:

    residual *ham- — what? where? (I always wondered about the G ge- / L con- equivalence, but could only find waffle about stresslessness).

  75. David Marjanović says:

    On p. 19 (of 42 – I’m not “about to read” all that tonight; boldface for original underlining):

    In fact this latter compositional form is most probably directly attested in two nominal compounds found among so-called West Franconian glosses (documenting the Old Franconian dialects once spoken by Germanic invaders of Gaul). The relevant glosses are the following:
    • In a document of King Theodoricus III (ruled 673–691) written in Latin and reported by Amalgarius, the legal term hamedius is found which must have meant ‘co-oath-taker’ (Quinlin 1991: 148). The Germanic lexeme which is translated as compurgator is an obvious latinization of a compound containing the West Franconian counterpart of OHG eid, OE āð ‘oath’ as its second constituent. In OHG there is a similar formation, but with gi- (< Proto-Gmc *ga-) instead of ham- as first element: OHG gi-eido ‘compurgator’. Cf. the explanation of the West Franconian word given by the OHG speaking copyist living in the 9th century: hamedii idsunt coniuratores quos nos geidon dicim[us] (see Metzger 2017: 112 for a detailed philological analysis).
    • In the so-called Lex Salica (compiled at the behest of King Clovis 507–511), which is written in Latin and contains numerous West Franconian glosses, the word hamallus is attested. It appears in the manuscripts in several different variants: gamallus, amallus, rhamallus, and even caballus of which hamallus must be regarded as the lectio difficilior. The word probably denotes something like ʻsurety, witnessʼ or ‘thing-partner’ in the passage where it appears (cf. Quinlin 1991: 149). The noun can be analysed as *ha(m)-mallus with the second constituent as in Goth maþl, OS mahal, ON mál ‘court, assembly’. In OHG there is a similar formation, but with gi- (< Proto-Gmc *ga-) instead of ham-: OHG gimahalo ‘consort’ (Metzger 2017: 112).

    While I’m at it, on p. 2 there’s an example of ditropic clitics from elsewhere:

    Cf. (1) for the use of ditropic clitics ⸗ida, ⸗xa, and ⸗sa in the language Kwakw’ala spoken in British Columbia (following Anderson 2005: 16).
    (1) yǝlkʷǝmas⸗ida bǝgʷanǝma⸗x̣ -a ’watsi⸗s-a gʷax̣ƛuxʷ̣
    hurt-DEF man-OBJ.DEF dog-INST.DEF stick
    ‘The man hurt the dog with a stick.’

  76. January First-of-May says:

    Incidentally, I’ve translated полынь as “wormwood,” but it could equally well mean “mugwort”

    It so happens that one of the dialectal names for mugwort is chernobyl “black weed” (for the tint of its stalk) – a fact that is exceedingly convenient for eschatologists dealing with Revelation 8:11.

  77. Lars Mathiesen says:

    paywall — DOI 10.1111/1467-968X.12153, libgen ID 74714604. I’ll read it later. (All the scihub mirrors are blocked by big brother here, some of the libgen ones too, I had to get the torrent).

  78. David Eddyshaw says:

    I’m not sure that “mustn’t” is really a case of a ditropic clitic. I think the phenomenon has more in common with negative raising, as in “I don’t think that’s the case” = “I think that’s not the case.”

    To muddy the waters yet further, there is a famous and highly influential paper which argues quite convincingly that English “n’t” is not a clitic at all, but a flexion:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/244421136_Cliticization_vs_Inflection_English_N'T

  79. David Marjanović says:

    I’ve heard of the paper several times… now I’ve finally downloaded it…

    I’m not sure that “mustn’t” is really a case of a ditropic clitic.

    Well, just the n’t would be: its phonological host is must, but its semantic host is what follows.

    I think the phenomenon has more in common with negative raising, as in “I don’t think that’s the case” = “I think that’s not the case.”

    Possible.

    On the one hand, we do that in German with this example, so the development does not automatically take the next step. But on the other, the modal verbs were sorted out at most 200 years ago in German; in Campe, they all seem to be freely interchangeable (from what my sister, who has actually read some of his work, tells me).

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