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Language Log

Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008 - 9:07 p.m.

The McCain campaign finally gets to play the 'he played the race card' card. They're so happy! They've been waiting and waiting, and now their dream has come true....

I'm in what, my second week of my language project, on my 6th language. I'm becoming quite an aficianado of the reference grammar. Dipping into native american langauges now; did ok with Crow, but the Slave book is killing me. It's an enormous tome, and has always called to me from the shelf, even when I was at Florida. Beckoning me with its vast and lengthy knowledge of grammar. But geez! She tries to cover several dialects, and the result is nothing if not unclear. There's a table of pronominal prefixes. I dutifully look at the 2sg, as I was told to do in the section on commands (they don't have an imperative per se). But what's listed in the table is not what actually occurs on any of the example sentences I find with 2nd person subjects. Nor do the first person subjects match up. To make it worse, she doesn't segment the words into morphemes. She marks the glosses with periods in between, but not the words themselves. I think I'm gonna give up on this one. It's especially sad since the book does contain two example sentences that are this colse [<->] to being exactly what I need, if only I could make minor tweaks to the object agreement. One is "you listen to me", and I only need "listen". Similarly, I want "tell me", and there's "tell him" provided. But I can't get past the unusable tables. As though anticipating my frustration, I found a note on a scrap of paper in the book: [name] [text in another language] Yes, I speak Slavey. [local phone #] Someone hoping someone will call to ask her about her language. Sort of sweet, and I could use the help, but I'm way too shy to do that. Who knows how old the note is, anyway. She could have left it there in 1987 for all I know.

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