[Tshwanelex-l] Fwd: Explanation Problem

Claire Bowern claire.bowern at yale.edu
Sun Jun 12 12:42:32 EDT 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Joffe <david.joffe at tshwanedje.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Tshwanelex-l] Explanation Problem
To: tshwanelex-l at mailman.yale.edu

>     I have one more question:Which of the following translated
>     English 'word/s' can appropriately go under TE. You can
>     just write Yes and/or No on the right hand side of each
>     word:
>     1) sluggish
>     2) very sluggish
>     3) not very energetic (of humans)
>     4) plow
>     5) water buffalo
>     6) military trenching hoe
>     7) great grandfather
>     8) deep (of knowledge only)
>     I'm not sure whether only 'a single word' or 'a phrase' can
>     be used under TE.

Multi-word phrases are generally fine as TEs, particularly if they
functionally still fit the equivalent 'part of speech', i.e. if you
can grammatically drop in a phrase where a noun would go, e.g.
'water buffalo', and the source word is a noun, then it's fine.
Sometimes it's just impossible to use the same part of speech,
especially if the two languages are very different, then this is
more likely to occur. To be honest I must admit I'm not really sure
exactly when something stops being a 'translation equivalent' and
starts being a 'description' or 'explanation' (e.g. 'military
trenching hoe' or 'not very energetic' sound like they could be
both, to me, depending how you look at them) ... but my main
expertise and background is computer programming, not linguistics,
and this sort of thing is usually my colleague Prof Gilles-Maurice
de Schryver's area of expertise!

> By way the Tutorial videos you made on
>     Youtube are excellent and they help me a lot. I'm sure
>     others found them to be very helpful as well.

Great, thanks :) We'll definitely still be making more.

 - David

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Claire Bowern
Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics
Yale University
370 Temple St
New Haven, CT 06511
North American Dialects survey:

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