A grammar Question

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
Locked
Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

A grammar Question

Post by Ah-bin » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:19 pm

Again, this is mostly for Penang, but I wonder how to do it in the 比...較 construction too. The position of kā probably doesn't work too well in other varieties of Hokkien either.

How would you say:

He got angrier with me than he did with his friend.

I am guessing:

I khah khí-hông kā wá kòe khí-hông kā i ê pêng-iú.

Many thanks for your answers.
Mark Yong
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: A grammar Question

Post by Mark Yong » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm

I’ll take a stab at this...

Tried mumbling it in my head to see how I would say it spontaneously. What came out is:

伊復起雄我過起雄伊之朋友。
i ko khí-hông wá kòe khí-hông i ê pêng-iú.

What I found is that, in my mind, the ko seems to come out sub-consciously when emphasising that something is more xxx than <the base case>.

Admittedly, this is a complex form that I have seldom (if ever) encountered - or if I have, I must have said it so whimsically as to forget how I structured it in the first place!

Over to aokh1979, Sim and Andrew for better local insight...
Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: A grammar Question

Post by Ah-bin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:37 pm

Ah, Thanks Mark. It's very interesting too that you don't use the 共 kā there. I've only ever heard 起雄共...when there is an object. It always sounds like that extra "sama" that goes in Bazaar Malay between stative verbs (that is how I was taught to call the Chinese adjective) which have objects attached.
Mark Yong
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: A grammar Question

Post by Mark Yong » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:34 am

The reason I have always consciously avoided the <1st person> <verb> kā <2nd person> construction, is because I suspect it is an intrusion from English grammar, i.e. <1st person> <verb> with <2nd person> - and, as you correctly pointed out, Malay bazaar grammar, i.e. <1st person> <verb> sama (in standard Malay, it would be ‘dengan’) <2nd person>.

The sentence I proposed above reads a little contrived and convoluted, but if I were to say it out loud, I would emphasise the word , in order to shift the focus on me as the subject (of the person’s ire, in this case).
SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: A grammar Question

Post by SimL » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:47 am

Ah-bin wrote:Again, this is mostly for Penang, but I wonder how to do it in the 比...較 construction too. The position of kā probably doesn't work too well in other varieties of Hokkien either.

How would you say:

He got angrier with me than he did with his friend.

I am guessing:

I khah khí-hông kā wá kòe khí-hông kā i ê pêng-iú.

Many thanks for your answers.
This is exactly how I would say it, but, perhaps precisely because I'm calqueing on the English form...
Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: A grammar Question

Post by Ah-bin » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:47 pm

Thank you for that Sim. I've found quite a few interesting sentences calqued from English in Bhante Dhammavudho's talks

One was:

Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* hâ-míh lú ài?
汝安怎趁著何物汝愛?

How do you attain what you want?

Which I would instinctively have said (with my rudimentary Hokkien grammatical instinct) as:

Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* lú ài ê míh-kiàⁿ?
汝安怎趁著汝愛个物件?

The others were often like this. The technical explanation would be "Bhante Dhammavudho sometimes uses question words as relative pronouns in subordinate clauses on the model of of English" He only seems to do it in this case though, never with other sentences like

I mˉ-chai wá kóng hâ-míh.
伊唔知我講何物.
She didn't know what I said.

The 'khí-hông kā wá'/'naik angin sama gua' constructions seem to be a very commonly used, so they will probably end up going into into my Penang Hokkien grammar as the natural patterns. (Sorry Mark!)

Also doesn't the placement of kā also make a difference in meaning? 'khí-hông kā wá' is 'get angry with me' and 'kā wá khí-hông' would be 'get angry for me', not that I've ever heard the second sentence, but modelling it on the Kā + PN + V construction 'to do something for someone e.g. 'kā wá siá' 'write for me'.
SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: A grammar Question

Post by SimL » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

Ah-bin wrote:Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* hâ-míh lú ài?
汝安怎趁著何物汝愛?

How do you attain what you want?
OMG! For all my so-called support for being a descriptive linguist, I cringed at this construct :shock:.

My first instinct was *indeed* to say it exactly as you did: "Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* lú ài ê míh-kiàⁿ? / 汝安怎趁著汝愛个物件?". But then I decided that "lú ài ê míh-kiàⁿ" is more limited than "what you want", in the sense that "lú ài ê míh-kiàⁿ" feels like only the concrete, inanimate, and not too big things: a TV, new clothes, a car. Things like "a loving partner" or "a pet dog" (animate), "more knowledge" or "inner peace" (abstract), "a huge tract of land with a river running through it" or "a tropical island" (concrete and inanimate, but very large), all these things wouldn't qualify as "míh-kiàⁿ?" to me, and yet, they could still be "things one wants".

What do the other Hokkien speakers think of the acceptability of: "Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* hâ-míh lú ài ê?"

For some reason, I think this feels more acceptably Chinese/Hokkien than without the "ê".
amhoanna
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: A grammar Question

Post by amhoanna » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:43 am

番 A: "(A') lứ lóng ańcoáⁿ tit tioh́ lứ só· be' tiⁿ' ·ẻ?"
番 B: "(A') lứ lóng ańcoáⁿ tit tioh́ lứ be' tiⁿ' ẻ mịⁿ'kiãⁿ?"

I'm not sure most people would understand sentence A on the first go.

B is more limiting, true. My gut feeling is that in the Hoklo mindset, abstract and concrete things simply don't go into one category. Abstract things usually aren't dealt with using what we'd call "nouns", unless metaphorically. Lứlảng kámka' áncoáⁿ?
Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: A grammar Question

Post by Ah-bin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:19 am

Ah yes, I wonder then, in the case of abstract things could it be:

"Lú án-choáⁿ thàn tioh* lú ài ê?"

without a "hâ-míh"?
Locked