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Author Topic: a matter of declination  (Read 342 times)

Offline Ián S.G. Txaglh

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a matter of declination
« on: May 27, 2020, 06:36:07 AM »
as i did not know where else to put this, so it ended here. it is academic, i fact.

you may know, that czech language adopted a specific affix -(ov)á to mark feminine surnames: novák & nováková. it is not a possessive affix (that one would be -ova, which linguistic fact was used in translation of names of those unfortunate women in atwood's the handmaid's tale: offred - fredova), but modern feminists do see it as possessive. plus, when travelling abroad, especially into countries where they do not distinguish feminine and masculine surnames, people may have problems to validate they are a married couple. well, what should we do with my wife when we still carry our original surnames, cos in science too your surname is your trademark ;)

anyway, there is a strong push to allow women not to affix their surnames. there is already a bill in parliament. czech being a flective language with rather complex inflection pattern (feminina have 4 inflection paradigms, masculina even 7), that would pose interesting situations in communication - we have semirigid word order, accusative and nominative are distinguished by affixes, we have feminine and masculine declination which lacks a reasonable paradigm for feminina ending in consonant. imagine a model sentence: hrála medřický. medřický is originaly masculine surname, which was motioned to medřická, but according to the law it would not. as it thus resist any inflection, the sentence has at least three different meanings, which may be difficult to comprehend even in a context.

funny, thing. the same happens to our diacritics. i lived for two years in germany and they ignored my Š any time all the time. interestingly, my surname is originally german (hawlisch < gaulisch). but should we drop the diacritics in our names, because it is ignored anyway? where authoring a scientific paper, they often recommend us to send the diacritics into oblivion, as it statistically decreases the chance of being cited by someone who would get spooked "how do i write it?" - there is a real research on that, strange letters are responsible for one third of the variability in citations.

under strong influence of english, quite some changes similar to those above pop up in flective languages, i.e. intro of analytical grammar. i am no language purist, but i expect these changes to come through the use, not through the law. i understand that names are exclusive language stuff, but even so, if you allow such change, solution how to handle it should be included too, imho.
ián suôrsch grültcätsfiglheu txáglh
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Offline DNVercaria

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Re: a matter of declination
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 05:36:11 PM »
funny, thing. the same happens to our diacritics. i lived for two years in germany and they ignored my Š any time all the time. interestingly, my surname is originally german (hawlisch < gaulisch). but should we drop the diacritics in our names, because it is ignored anyway? where authoring a scientific paper, they often recommend us to send the diacritics into oblivion, as it statistically decreases the chance of being cited by someone who would get spooked "how do i write it?" - there is a real research on that, strange letters are responsible for one third of the variability in citations.

As diacritc marks are more than mere eye parsley on the vowels in German (e.g. Bar / Bär - different pronunciation, completely diffferent "thing"), the grammar is offering an official transcription rule for those who don't have any diactric marks at hand: umlauts may be replaced by "vowel plus e" (thus Baer instead of Bär). Aren't there similar options in Czech?

Offline Ián S.G. Txaglh

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Re: a matter of declination
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 07:01:28 AM »
funny, thing. the same happens to our diacritics. i lived for two years in germany and they ignored my Š any time all the time. interestingly, my surname is originally german (hawlisch < gaulisch). but should we drop the diacritics in our names, because it is ignored anyway? where authoring a scientific paper, they often recommend us to send the diacritics into oblivion, as it statistically decreases the chance of being cited by someone who would get spooked "how do i write it?" - there is a real research on that, strange letters are responsible for one third of the variability in citations.

As diacritc marks are more than mere eye parsley on the vowels in German (e.g. Bar / Bär - different pronunciation, completely diffferent "thing"), the grammar is offering an official transcription rule for those who don't have any diactric marks at hand: umlauts may be replaced by "vowel plus e" (thus Baer instead of Bär). Aren't there similar options in Czech?

not really and if, only for the lovers of ol'times. prior to the diacritic orthography (ie. before 15cc), there was a digraphic orthography, e.g. Š = SS, SZ, SJ... only philologists know it today and it is by no means used besides few freaks like the humble me (jan havliš = gan hawlisz). yours one is also historical, umlauts were often written as small "e" above the vowel in the medieval times. imho, because it would regard too many "letters" and change significantly the shape of the words (včera ráno jsem šel pít = wczera raano gsem szel pjt), no one really gave it a thought, and before reasonable diacritics on computers, people simply wrote without diacritics.
ián suôrsch grültcätsfiglheu txáglh
:: attention, professeur méchant ::