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Expression talk:Ø

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[copied from the International Beer Parlour. --InfoCan 00:58, 30 April 2012 (CEST)] {{}}

"is" and related matters[edit]

Hello, I am new here and am trying to build the Turkish language entries. Turkish is an agglutinative language, so certain words in other languages correspond to suffixes in Turkish. I am thinking of the word "is" in English (I really am at the beginning!) which can be translated either with the -dir suffix (in more formal speech) or with nothing at all (zero copula in linguistic terminology). For example "Deniz mavidir" means "[The] sea is (always, characteristically) blue". More informally, you would say "Deniz mavi", which means "[The] sea [is] blue". Given this background, I have a few questions:

  • Can expressions be in OmegaWiki be suffixes as well? If yes, is there a rule on writing them? (e.g., can I spell the Turkish translation for "is" as "-dir"?)
  • Given that the translation of "is" can be nothing at all in Turkish, how can this be represented in OmegaWiki? The absence of a synonym does not mean absence of an entry in the database, but that the synonym is a nothing. In fact I think in some linguistics texts, the zero copula is represented with the Ø symbol. Should we create a "Ø" expression to this end? It would not mean the Ø letter but a signifier that is implicit.

--InfoCan 16:42, 8 March 2012 (CET)

For suffixes and prefixes: yes, we have for example Expression:Gehirn- and Expression:-ibility. --Kip 18:51, 8 March 2012 (CET)
For the zero copula, I have no idea. --Kip 18:51, 8 March 2012 (CET)

What about " " or better "‌" (the double quotes are just to show the effect) respectively   or ‌ ClubFavolosa(TFD) 00:29, 9 March 2012 (CET)

This does not look like a good solution to me, it'll look like there is a bug. An explicit symbol, as proposed by InfoCan, would therefore make more sense. --Kip 09:34, 9 March 2012 (CET)

The empty set symbol Ø represents the null morpheme in linguistics. Not only is it used for the zero copula (see some examples I found on the Web at [1][2][3]) but it is also used to denote that a morpheme is invisible as in some irregular words in English that do not take an -s in the plural:

cats = cat + -s = ROOT ("cat") + PLURAL
sheep = sheep + Ø = ROOT ("sheep") + PLURAL

So, using the Ø as an expression here in OmegaWiki would be very appropriate. --InfoCan 20:39, 9 March 2012 (CET)

Currently Omegawiki doesn't even have conjugations and so the "is" problem is not a pressing issue in my opinion. It all depends on how conjugations and declinations are going to be implemented in Omegawiki and that's quite a difficult thing.
Also, a dictionary can never really explain all the grammatical subtleties of a language, that's what grammar books are for. That "is" can be omitted in some cases in Turkish (same is true for Latin) is not really information suited for a dictionary entry. We could create a Grammar Appendix for those kind of things. --Tosca 12:50, 10 March 2012 (CET)
One other thing: An expression is supposed to be a word (or a word form) in a specific language. Expression:Ø would link to many DMs, in many languages just to show that something can be left out? Doesn't strike me as very useful. --Tosca 12:55, 10 March 2012 (CET)
Indeed, "is" is not currently defined in OmegaWiki, but my point applies to "be" just as well. My original point remains, the translation of "be" in Turkish is the zero copula. By not putting an entry for Turkish in the translations/synonyms list to indicate this fact, you would make Turkish look no different from any other language that nobody got around to putting an entry for. Absence of data should not mean that the data is a nothing. The fact that "be" corresponds to a null morpheme in Turkish is useful information and this is a different situation from the fact that there is no word for "shallow" in French. As for Ø having multiple meanings, that would be no different than any other word with multiple meanings. --InfoCan 21:59, 10 March 2012 (CET)