Swedish Translation Of Inform

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Tomas Öberg

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Aug 8, 2001, 2:05:50 PM8/8/01
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Hi!

I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish translation
of inform, I think a lot of IF-fans are swedes so this should be the natural
thing to do.

I'm sorry if you already have read thousands of similar questions before..

Tomas

Graham Nelson

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Aug 8, 2001, 4:59:05 PM8/8/01
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"Tomas Öberg" wrote:
> I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish translation
> of inform, I think a lot of IF-fans are swedes so this should be the natural
> thing to do.

To the best of my knowledge, no. Good luck!

--
Graham Nelson Oxford, UK

Tobias Andersson

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Aug 9, 2001, 2:55:07 AM8/9/01
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> I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish
translation
> of inform,

Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
in Sweden.

Then there is the linguistics involved:

1. > ställ krukan på bordet
2. > ställ kruka på bord

Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?

Magnus? Any ideas?


"Tomas Öberg" <tomas...@bredband.net> skrev i meddelandet
news:eefc7.68$9F3....@news1.bredband.com...

Alexander Deubelbeiss

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Aug 9, 2001, 8:11:07 AM8/9/01
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Tobias Andersson schrieb in Nachricht
<9ktbqo$6eag7$1...@ID-71633.news.dfncis.de>...

>
>> I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish
>translation
>> of inform,
>
>Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
>developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
>Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
>used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
>in Sweden.
>
>Then there is the linguistics involved:
>
> 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
> 2. > ställ kruka på bord
>
>Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?
>
I don't know any Swedish, but as a data point German has a lot of
"flexibility" for using different degrees of inflection with words in
commands as used in IF, and the Inform translation I've seen (Toni Arnold's)
deals with many of them. Do both sentences in your example mean the same
thing? In that case it looks like all you need to do is define a lot of
lexical variants. Or maybe there's a mechanism for dealing with inflection
already. Or maybe you could write one. All I know, and the only real point
of this post, is that it seems to be possible somehow.

Muffy St. Bernard

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Aug 9, 2001, 8:52:30 AM8/9/01
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Tobias Andersson wrote:
>
> > I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish
> translation
> > of inform,
>
> Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
> developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
> Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
> used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
> in Sweden.
>
> Then there is the linguistics involved:
>
> 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
> 2. > ställ kruka på bord
>
> Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?

I don't know much about modifying the library to fit other languages,
but it seems to me most of the percieved stumbling blocks come from --
for instance -- trying to force the parser to understand Swedish far
better than it can even understand English. As long as you don't plan
on differentiating between "a table" and "the table," can't you just put
both 'bord' and 'bordet' in the name property?

Muffy
http://www.freewebfile.com/bollybob

Magnus Olsson

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Aug 10, 2001, 8:39:15 AM8/10/01
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In article <3b727...@news.bluewin.ch>,

Alexander Deubelbeiss <deub...@gmx.net> wrote:
>> 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
>> 2. > ställ kruka på bord
>>
>>Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?
>>
>I don't know any Swedish, but as a data point German has a lot of
>"flexibility" for using different degrees of inflection with words in
>commands as used in IF, and the Inform translation I've seen (Toni Arnold's)
>deals with many of them.

Could you give some examples?

>Do both sentences in your example mean the same
>thing?

Depends on what you mean by "mean the same thing". The problem with
the Scandinavian languages is that they use endings to indicate the
definite form. So, in the case above, "bord" == "table" but "bordet"
== "the table".

I'd tend to agree with Muffy that it would be simplest just to let the
parser accept both the indefinite and definite forms in cases such as
this, following Inform's design principle that it doesn't hurt to
accept incorrect grammar, as long as you don't get ambiguities.

But there's another problem: in English Inform, you can write things
like

print "There's ", (a) animal, " here. You try to take ", (the) animal,
", but ", (the) animal, " bites you.^";

which, if animal represents a dog, prints out

"There's a dog here. You try to take the dog, but the dog bites
you."

In Swedish Inform, the "(the)" routine would have to add endings
to the words:

(a) dog -> "en hund"
(the) dog -> "hunden".

In German there would be a different problem, BTW: (the) dog would
have to print out "der Hund", "den Hund" or "dem Hund" depending on
context. And then there are the German nouns that take case endings.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, m...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~mol ------

John Colagioia

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Aug 10, 2001, 8:49:06 AM8/10/01
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Tobias Andersson wrote:

> > I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish translation
>
> > of inform,
> Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
> developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
> Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
> used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
> in Sweden.
> Then there is the linguistics involved:
> 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
> 2. > ställ kruka på bord
> Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?

Warning: I know absolutely no Swedish other than "nej"--which I THINK means
"no." This should give you an idea of what kind of expert advice I'll be
dispensing for the next few lines, and how easy it'll be to dismiss me...

However, looking at the text you have above, I'm going to guess that "ställ" is
our verb, "kruka(n)" is our noun, "på" our preposition, and "bord(et)" another
noun. This may be totally inaccurate--and if it is, please correct me--but it
should suffice for the discussion.

What you'd have--I think--is two grammar lines for "ställ." The first one would
read rather normally:
Verb "ställ"
* noun "på" noun -> BlaSub;
* noun_ending_in_n "på" noun_ending_in_et -> BlaSub;
(where the grammar tokens are renamed into the actual parts of speech those
endings designate). At this point, you can use almost the precise code in §35
of the IDM4 (p252) regarding Old English dative nouns.

Obviously, if I didn't pick out the appropriate parts of speech, this would have
to be juggled a bit, but I think that should give you the general idea for the
moment.

[...]


Muffy St. Bernard

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Aug 10, 2001, 10:11:12 AM8/10/01
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John Colagioia wrote:
>
> Tobias Andersson wrote:
>
> > > I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish translation
> >
> > > of inform,
> > Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
> > developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
> > Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
> > used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
> > in Sweden.
> > Then there is the linguistics involved:
> > 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
> > 2. > ställ kruka på bord
> > Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?
>
> Warning: I know absolutely no Swedish other than "nej"--which I THINK means
> "no." This should give you an idea of what kind of expert advice I'll be
> dispensing for the next few lines, and how easy it'll be to dismiss me...

Don't forget the "smörgåsbord."

> However, looking at the text you have above, I'm going to guess that "ställ" is
> our verb, "kruka(n)" is our noun, "på" our preposition, and "bord(et)" another
> noun. This may be totally inaccurate--and if it is, please correct me--but it
> should suffice for the discussion.

The issue is that Swedish places definite articles at the end of
nouns, so:
bord -> table
en bord -> a table
bordet -> the table

I don't know how big a problem this would be in other areas of Inform,
but as long as it's not necessary to differentiate between "bord" and
"bordet" (the same way that you should usually be able to say "put cup
on table" or "put the cup on the table" in English and get the same
results), all that's necessary is making sure that both the indefinite
and definite versions of the noun be in the object's name property.
It seems to me that adapting Inform to Swedish might be easier than
with many other languages...the syntax is similar to English (at least
in terms of what the Inform parser would need to understand) and the
"definite article at the end of the noun" was the wackiest thing I ever
encountered in it.
Unless I'm missing something. Min svenska är mycket dåligt, and it's
been so long I don't even know if THAT sentence is right.

Muffy.
http://www.freewebfile.com/bollybob

Magnus Olsson

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Aug 10, 2001, 11:21:01 AM8/10/01
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In article <9ktbqo$6eag7$1...@ID-71633.news.dfncis.de>,

Tobias Andersson <tobias.NOSP...@optosweden.se> wrote:
>
>> I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish
>translation
>> of inform,
>
>Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
>developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
>Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
>used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
>in Sweden.

Well, I don't know if we can call it a tradition, but there are and
have been a number of IF authors writing in Swedish. There even
was a commercial text adventure in Swedish, called "Stugan" in the
mid-eighties.

But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
small. There are of course very good reasons why one would like to
write in Swedish - perhaps one is targeting children, or (very likely)
one finds it easier to write in one's native language.

Personally, I've never even considered writing If in Swedish, both
because of the small audience and because I've always felt that
English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).

Magnus Olsson

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Aug 10, 2001, 11:28:36 AM8/10/01
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In article <3B73EB80...@hotmail.com>,
Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>John Colagioia wrote:
>> > Then there is the linguistics involved:
>> > 1. > ställ krukan på bordet
>> > 2. > ställ kruka på bord
>> > Wouldn't there be a lot of extra work to get no.1 above working properly?
>>
>> Warning: I know absolutely no Swedish other than "nej"--which I THINK means
>> "no."

It does :-).

> Don't forget the "smörgåsbord."

Or "ombudsman", or "rutabaga". There are a few Swedish loan words in
English.

>> However, looking at the text you have above, I'm going to guess that
>"ställ" is
>> our verb, "kruka(n)" is our noun, "på" our preposition, and
>"bord(et)" another
>> noun. This may be totally inaccurate--and if it is, please correct
>me

It is actually quite accurate. Swedish grammar is that similar to
English.

> The issue is that Swedish places definite articles at the end of
>nouns, so:
> bord -> table
> en bord -> a table

"ett bord"

> I don't know how big a problem this would be in other areas of Inform,
>but as long as it's not necessary to differentiate between "bord" and
>"bordet" (the same way that you should usually be able to say "put cup
>on table" or "put the cup on the table" in English and get the same
>results), all that's necessary is making sure that both the indefinite
>and definite versions of the noun be in the object's name property.

As I've written in another post, the problem is not so much parsing,
as producing the right inflections in program output. This is a
problem with all inflected languages, though Swedish is actually
quite simple. I don't really remember how much support for this
is in the current Inform libraries.

> It seems to me that adapting Inform to Swedish might be easier than
>with many other languages...the syntax is similar to English (at least
>in terms of what the Inform parser would need to understand) and the
>"definite article at the end of the noun" was the wackiest thing I ever
>encountered in it.

Swedish syntax is indeed very similar to English. One problem that I
don't think Inform can handle is that there are, in a sense, four
genders (common and neuter for non-animates, masculine and feminine for
animates) and I think Inform can only handle three genders as it is.

> Unless I'm missing something. Min svenska är mycket dåligt, and it's
>been so long I don't even know if THAT sentence is right.

It's correct except for gender congruence: "svenska" is of the common
gender, so it should be "dålig", not "dåligt" (which would be neuter).

Where di you learn Swedish, by the way?

Muffy St. Bernard

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Aug 10, 2001, 12:02:27 PM8/10/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:
>
> Or "ombudsman", or "rutabaga". There are a few Swedish loan words in
> English.

Thanks, Sweden, for "rutabaga!" Kids love that word. :)

> > It seems to me that adapting Inform to Swedish might be easier than
> >with many other languages...the syntax is similar to English (at least
> >in terms of what the Inform parser would need to understand) and the
> >"definite article at the end of the noun" was the wackiest thing I ever
> >encountered in it.
>
> Swedish syntax is indeed very similar to English. One problem that I
> don't think Inform can handle is that there are, in a sense, four
> genders (common and neuter for non-animates, masculine and feminine for
> animates) and I think Inform can only handle three genders as it is.

Incidentally -- and I don't know if anybody wants to take this up as
an OT thread or not -- nobody has ever been able to explain to me where
noun genders came from, and what people who speak gendered languages
think of them: do they add colour? Do they help clear up ambiguities in
speech (which it seems Swedish is pretty good at dealing with)? Or do
they just sort of...perpetuate themselves without anybody really
caring??
What's more...why "masculine/feminine" in some languages, but
"gendered/neuter" in Swedish? Cia Soro said she would take this up for
me with a Swedish linguist, but she never did.

> Where di you learn Swedish, by the way?

The only way I could: books and tapes, since nobody in my area seems
to speak Swedish and was willing to tutor me. I got some extra help
listening to Swedish bands, and trying to limp my way through Swedish
chat groups (where everybody would switch to English rather than suffer
my Swedish any longer).
I was doing quite well with it, but I gave it up out of frustration.
It didn't help when it sank in that there was very little practical
reason for me to learn it. It's been about 4 years since I last really
thought about it, and I hope that I haven't forgotten everything I
learned, except "Min råtta är en riktig liten gullegris." Oh yes, and
"fyllskalle."

Muffy.

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Aug 10, 2001, 12:46:44 PM8/10/01
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In article <9l0uj4$hgs$2...@news.lth.se>, m...@df.lth.se says...

>
> As I've written in another post, the problem is not so much parsing,
> as producing the right inflections in program output. This is a
> problem with all inflected languages, though Swedish is actually
> quite simple. I don't really remember how much support for this
> is in the current Inform libraries.

Well, print routines can use whatever attributes or properties are
necessary. See chapter 37 of the DM.

> Swedish syntax is indeed very similar to English. One problem that I
> don't think Inform can handle is that there are, in a sense, four
> genders (common and neuter for non-animates, masculine and feminine for
> animates) and I think Inform can only handle three genders as it is.

This isn't as big a problem as it sounds, because the genders are split
up into "animate" and "inanimate". Inform takes this distinction into
account; parsing and print routines are affected not just by the gender,
but by the GNA (gender-number-animation). You could use the "female" to
signify "feminine" in animate objects and "neuter" in inanimates, or some
such scheme, and create no ambiguity. Varying the meaning of an
Attribute is a bit of a hack, but it could work.

Magnus Olsson

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Aug 10, 2001, 4:24:58 PM8/10/01
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In article <3B740593...@hotmail.com>,

Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson wrote:
> Incidentally -- and I don't know if anybody wants to take this up as
>an OT thread or not -- nobody has ever been able to explain to me where
>noun genders came from,

My impression is that nobody really knows. It's been in the
Indoeuropean languages for as far back as we can trace them; on the
other hand, other language families don't have genders (Finnish, for
example, doesn't even have separate words for "he" and "she"). The
usual guess is that people really did use to think about things, not
just words, as having genders, but that the genders of words lost
their meaning thousands of years ago.

>and what people who speak gendered languages
>think of them: do they add colour? Do they help clear up ambiguities in
>speech (which it seems Swedish is pretty good at dealing with)? Or do
>they just sort of...perpetuate themselves without anybody really
>caring??

Mostly the latter. In general, it's only in very poetic language that
genders add colour. Except, of course, when the words denote people.
IIRC there's been some dissent in France about whether a female
government minister should be called "le ministre" or "la ministre".

> What's more...why "masculine/feminine" in some languages, but
"gendered/neuter" in Swedish?

Swedish used to have the same gender system as German:
masculine/feminie/neuter, but then the masculine and feminine forms
became very similar and people apparently found it unnecessary to keep
distinguish between masculine and feminine non-animates. Does it
really matter whether a rock is a he or a she? So for non-animate
objects, the masculine and feminine genders became one "common"
gender. And most names of animals are of the common gender as well,
at least when the animals aren't seen as individuals.

>> Where di you learn Swedish, by the way?
>
> The only way I could: books and tapes, since nobody in my area seems
>to speak Swedish and was willing to tutor me.

OK, next quuestion (unless it's too personal): why Swedish?

>and I hope that I haven't forgotten everything I
>learned, except "Min råtta är en riktig liten gullegris."

"My rat is a real little cutie." An interestin thing to go around
saying :-) - makes me think of Monthy Python's "My hovercraft is full
of eels".

>Oh yes, and "fyllskalle."

That might come in more handy if you ever visit Sweden.

Muffy St. Bernard

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Aug 10, 2001, 5:07:28 PM8/10/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:
>
> In article <3B740593...@hotmail.com>,
> Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >Magnus Olsson wrote:
> > Incidentally -- and I don't know if anybody wants to take this up as
> >an OT thread or not -- nobody has ever been able to explain to me where
> >noun genders came from,
>
> My impression is that nobody really knows. It's been in the
> Indoeuropean languages for as far back as we can trace them; on the
> other hand, other language families don't have genders (Finnish, for
> example, doesn't even have separate words for "he" and "she"). The
> usual guess is that people really did use to think about things, not
> just words, as having genders, but that the genders of words lost
> their meaning thousands of years ago.

I bet you're right...it does seem a bit like the human appendix or
something.



> Swedish used to have the same gender system as German:
> masculine/feminie/neuter, but then the masculine and feminine forms
> became very similar and people apparently found it unnecessary to keep
> distinguish between masculine and feminine non-animates. Does it
> really matter whether a rock is a he or a she? So for non-animate
> objects, the masculine and feminine genders became one "common"
> gender. And most names of animals are of the common gender as well,
> at least when the animals aren't seen as individuals.

And yet, there's always the exceptions...I seem to remember "lejon"
and "barn" (lion and child) being neuter, for some inexplicable reason
that I'd like to understand. :)
I had quite a few language epiphanies studying Swedish, but most of
them aren't coming back to me right now...one was the larger number of
shorter words (maybe a side-effect of having 3 more vowels than
English), next to some incredible compound words that every language
tape drolly pretends you'll need to learn (I've forgotten the exact word
for "Metal-workers union," but I seem to remember it going something
like "metalarbetarforbundetindustriet." I learned if from listening to
language tapes before going to bed...somehow it just seeped into my
memory and took up space, and never completely left)



> >> Where di you learn Swedish, by the way?
> >
> > The only way I could: books and tapes, since nobody in my area seems
> >to speak Swedish and was willing to tutor me.
>
> OK, next quuestion (unless it's too personal): why Swedish?

A few reasons. I was working a dead-end job at the time with no
mental stimulation, so I thought learning a language would keep me busy
and keep me thinking. I wanted something more challenging than French
or Spanish, but not as challenging as -- say -- Japanese or Hindi (which
I'm working on now and having a much tougher time with).
Swedish seemed to be somewhere in the middle of the difficulty curve
for an English speaker. More importantly, though, I wanted to
understand the lyrics of the old Anni-Frid Lyngstadt cabaret songs from
the 60's.
It was a very eye-opening thing to do, gave me a new...well, way of
thinking about English and language in general, for one thing. Which
was valuable, even if I've never found a use for it other than telling
bored people in bars about the crazy Swedish time syntax..."It's 5
minutes after half way to 7." "Wow," they say.

> "My rat is a real little cutie." An interestin thing to go around
> saying :-) - makes me think of Monthy Python's "My hovercraft is full
> of eels".

Pretty much exactly like that. :) When asking for language help from
people you don't really know, you're always asking for trouble!



> >Oh yes, and "fyllskalle."
>
> That might come in more handy if you ever visit Sweden.

After watching Lars Von Trier's "The Kingdom," I asked Cia Soro (of
Whale, hopefully still of Whale) why Danes seemed to resent Swedes so
much. She explained that it's because Swedes hop on the ferry on Friday
night, travel to Denmark because the alcohol is cheap there, and then
spend all night screaming about how awful Denmark is and getting into
fights.
This, of course, shattered all my Ingmar Bergman-inspired illusions
about the land of the midnight sun, especially when she went on to
complain that Stockholm is "boring" and that "every day in Sweden is
like Sunday."

Muffy.

Tomas Öberg

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Aug 10, 2001, 6:29:33 PM8/10/01
to

"Magnus Olsson" <m...@df.lth.se> skrev i meddelandet
news:9l0u4t$hgs$1...@news.lth.se...

> In article <9ktbqo$6eag7$1...@ID-71633.news.dfncis.de>,
> Tobias Andersson <tobias.NOSP...@optosweden.se> wrote:
> >

> But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
> small. There are of course very good reasons why one would like to
> write in Swedish - perhaps one is targeting children, or (very likely)
> one finds it easier to write in one's native language.

Must say something here!
It isn't just about writing, I have for instance much easier to apprehend
moods and colours in my own language.
It's not about having troubles reading english but swedish still has a more
natural flow in my ears - mostly because
we naturally don't speak english that often here.
I also think that one's language should be taken more care of, there's both
italian and german libraries for inform available
today and I think that's good. I would have less trouble translating an
swedish game to an english rather than begin writing
a game in english. Pherhaps that's a bit odd, I don't know :)

Another thing, there seems to be quite good inform programmers around here
(who seems to know quite a bit about grammar),
isn't a co-operation what this kind of project needs?
I have tried alone translating the library but lack of programming skills
has made it very hard, couldn't we all (who's interested) at least try?

Just think about the world would be if there was only english books allowed
to be printed!

> Personally, I've never even considered writing If in Swedish, both
> because of the small audience and because I've always felt that

I think that the audience would grow if there was a swedish translation, at
least I would be more active in writing IF :)

> English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
> today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).

Well, it's not that weird if your talking about OS and programming but now
your also talking about an artform.

John Colagioia

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Aug 11, 2001, 7:31:11 AM8/11/01
to
Muffy St. Bernard wrote in message <3B73EB80...@hotmail.com>...
>John Colagioia wrote:

[...]


>> Warning: I know absolutely no Swedish other than "nej"--which I THINK
means
>> "no." This should give you an idea of what kind of expert advice I'll be
>> dispensing for the next few lines, and how easy it'll be to dismiss me...
> Don't forget the "smörgåsbord."


Well, I can't count that, because I would have had no clue whatsoever where
to put the diacritical marks...

>> However, looking at the text you have above, I'm going to guess that
"ställ" is
>> our verb, "kruka(n)" is our noun, "på" our preposition, and "bord(et)"
another
>> noun. This may be totally inaccurate--and if it is, please correct
me--but it
>> should suffice for the discussion.
> The issue is that Swedish places definite articles at the end of
>nouns, so:
> bord -> table
> en bord -> a table
> bordet -> the table


Ah, OK. All right. That makes some sense.

That makes the solution a tiny bit more complex, program-wise, but...

No, wait. It's actually a tiny bit simpler. What needs to be done,
essentially, is to eliminate the "normal" grammar rule, and extend the
"noun_ending_in_whatever" (henceforth referred to as "SwedeNoun," now that I
know what the heck it is...) to recognize the noun name on its own and the
noun name ending in the "definite" suffix (irregularities are actually
handled in the IDM example, which can be taken nearly whole-cloth). If the
indefinite article is then set to "en" and "ett" (I hope both are correct),
then we're at least as far as the current English situation, where "examine
the a the box" (Inform and Infocom parsers) is valid.

> I don't know how big a problem this would be in other areas of Inform,
>but as long as it's not necessary to differentiate between "bord" and
>"bordet" (the same way that you should usually be able to say "put cup
>on table" or "put the cup on the table" in English and get the same
>results), all that's necessary is making sure that both the indefinite
>and definite versions of the noun be in the object's name property.

Oh, no. Icky. If there's a regularity to the formation, then it's better
to handle that algorithmically (as in the example code I posted) and handle
irregular forms as a special case. Maybe just store the suffix. That might
not be too hard.

> It seems to me that adapting Inform to Swedish might be easier than
>with many other languages...the syntax is similar to English (at least
>in terms of what the Inform parser would need to understand) and the
>"definite article at the end of the noun" was the wackiest thing I ever
>encountered in it.


Hm. Well, that's encouraging, at least.

[...]

John Colagioia

unread,
Aug 11, 2001, 7:37:11 AM8/11/01
to
Carl Muckenhoupt wrote in message ...

>In article <9l0uj4$hgs$2...@news.lth.se>, m...@df.lth.se says...
>> As I've written in another post, the problem is not so much parsing,
>> as producing the right inflections in program output. This is a
>> problem with all inflected languages, though Swedish is actually
>> quite simple. I don't really remember how much support for this
>> is in the current Inform libraries.
>Well, print routines can use whatever attributes or properties are
>necessary. See chapter 37 of the DM.


Right. Printing is fairly easy. The "DefArt" print routine would be
replaced by:
[ DefArt obj ;
if (obj provides irr_defart)
print (name) obj, (string) obj.irr_defart;
else
print (name) obj, "et";
];
This might be trivializing, slightly, as "et" might not be the only suffix
denoting definitiveness. If that's the case, then (as is hinted at in the
below-snipped discussion), the GNA can be examined in the "else" clause to
determine the other regular suffi{x,c}es.

CDefArt() might be a tad more complex, since shunting the first letter of
the name to a capital might not be the prettiest act in the world, but I'm
pretty sure that's not only possible, but I think I've done it before and
have the code somewhere.

[...]

John Colagioia

unread,
Aug 11, 2001, 7:44:09 AM8/11/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote in message <9l0u4t$hgs$1...@news.lth.se>...
[...]

>But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
>small. There are of course very good reasons why one would like to
>write in Swedish - perhaps one is targeting children, or (very likely)
>one finds it easier to write in one's native language.
>Personally, I've never even considered writing If in Swedish, both
>because of the small audience and because I've always felt that
>English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
>today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).


"Bah," I say!

OK, maybe I don't really say that. That'd be a tiny bit extreme. I figured
I'd give it a try, though.

However, I'm going to at least vaguely disagree. Since I found the patch to
generate the German version of Zork I, and the assorted other German IF at
the archive, I've been slowly but surely learning German. Languages are fun
for me, and I assume for others.

Create Swedish IF, and I'll be attempting to learn Swedish. It may not
"help me in life," but neither will the vast majority of the other bits of
knowledge and skills I've collected over the years...

Plus, there will undoubtedly be many Swedish-speakers who find it easier to
express themselves in Swedish than English (or anything else), and it seems
unfortunate to "cripple" them.

Of course, I'm just kind of rambling, here. Heh...My real motivation, of
course, is to force all the interpreter maintainers to make sure they've got
their Unicode support right...

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Aug 11, 2001, 10:50:13 AM8/11/01
to
In article <yjZc7.1903$9F3....@news1.bredband.com>,

Tomas Öberg <tomas...@bredband.net> wrote:
>
>"Magnus Olsson" <m...@df.lth.se> skrev i meddelandet
>news:9l0u4t$hgs$1...@news.lth.se...
>> But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
>> small. There are of course very good reasons why one would like to
>> write in Swedish - perhaps one is targeting children, or (very likely)
>> one finds it easier to write in one's native language.
>
>Must say something here!
>It isn't just about writing, I have for instance much easier to apprehend
>moods and colours in my own language.
>It's not about having troubles reading english but swedish still has a more
>natural flow in my ears - mostly because
>we naturally don't speak english that often here.
>I also think that one's language should be taken more care of, there's both
>italian and german libraries for inform available
>today and I think that's good.

Yes. I agree on all those points; however, I still think the audience
for Swedish IF is too small, at least too small for me.

>Another thing, there seems to be quite good inform programmers around here
>(who seems to know quite a bit about grammar),
>isn't a co-operation what this kind of project needs?

Yes, and I'd be happy to do it if I had the time - which I,
unfortunately, don't have.

>Just think about the world would be if there was only english books allowed
>to be printed!

Wait a minute - who's said that Swedish IF shouldn't be *allowed*?
Nobody, I hope. I just meant that *I* have a limited amount of time to
spend on IF (or anything else, for that matter), and I'd prefer
spending it on English-language IF where I can reach a larger audience.

>> English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
>> today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).
>
>Well, it's not that weird if your talking about OS and programming but now
>your also talking about an artform.

Yes, that's why it sounds weird :-).

Tomas Öberg

unread,
Aug 11, 2001, 11:05:51 AM8/11/01
to

"Magnus Olsson" <m...@df.lth.se> skrev i meddelandet
news:9l3gn5$6pp$2...@news.lth.se...

> In article <yjZc7.1903$9F3....@news1.bredband.com>,
> Tomas Öberg <tomas...@bredband.net> wrote:

> > Just think about the world would be if there was only english books
allowed
> > to be printed!

> Wait a minute - who's said that Swedish IF shouldn't be *allowed*?
> Nobody, I hope. I just meant that *I* have a limited amount of time to
> spend on IF (or anything else, for that matter), and I'd prefer
> spending it on English-language IF where I can reach a larger audience.

That was a stupid symbolism from my side, I know :)
Please take no offence

Carl Muckenhoupt

unread,
Aug 11, 2001, 3:40:37 PM8/11/01
to
In article <3b751...@excalibur.gbmtech.net>, JCola...@csi.com says...

>
> Of course, I'm just kind of rambling, here. Heh...My real motivation, of
> course, is to force all the interpreter maintainers to make sure they've got
> their Unicode support right...

You're out of luck. All the diacriticals used in Swedish can be found in
Latin-1.

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Aug 12, 2001, 8:23:26 AM8/12/01
to
In article <3b751...@excalibur.gbmtech.net>,

John Colagioia <JCola...@csi.com> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson wrote in message <9l0u4t$hgs$1...@news.lth.se>...
>[...]
>>But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
>>small.
(...)

>>Personally, I've never even considered writing If in Swedish, both
>>because of the small audience and because I've always felt that
>>English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
>>today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).

(...)

>Create Swedish IF, and I'll be attempting to learn Swedish. It may not
>"help me in life," but neither will the vast majority of the other bits of
>knowledge and skills I've collected over the years...

Well, there *is* some Swedish IF to start with - you don't have to
wait for me :-).

>Plus, there will undoubtedly be many Swedish-speakers who find it easier to
>express themselves in Swedish than English (or anything else), and it seems
>unfortunate to "cripple" them.

For a very small value of "many", relatively speaking.

Let's do the maths: I'm there are at least a billion people worldwide
who are good enough at English to be able to write English-language
IF. Out of those, at most a few hundred actually do write IF. Perhaps
ten thousand people are currently playing IF.

Now, there are less than ten million Swedish speakers in the world.
With the same percentages, that would mean a dozen authors and a
hundred players.

So the audience really *is* small.

Sasha

unread,
Aug 12, 2001, 11:07:15 AM8/12/01
to
"Muffy St. Bernard" <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<3B744D10...@hotmail.com>...

>
> I seem to remember "lejon"
> and "barn" (lion and child) being neuter, for some inexplicable reason
> that I'd like to understand. :)

I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
that is, small/young animates). If I got it right, they are neuter
because, being young, they have not yet attained their final form -
therefore, gender may be impossible to define/unimportant. As the
animate grows up, the gender becomes more important - hence the
distinction.

Beats me why "lion" is neuter, though :)

Cheers, Sasha

http://www.dreamwater.org/sasha/index.html

P.S. Sorry if this gets triple-posted - my newsgroup client has been
up to some odd things lately :)

Muffy St. Bernard

unread,
Aug 12, 2001, 2:21:26 PM8/12/01
to
Sasha wrote:
>
> "Muffy St. Bernard" <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<3B744D10...@hotmail.com>...
> >
> > I seem to remember "lejon"
> > and "barn" (lion and child) being neuter, for some inexplicable reason
> > that I'd like to understand. :)
>
> I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
> German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
> that is, small/young animates). If I got it right, they are neuter
> because, being young, they have not yet attained their final form -
> therefore, gender may be impossible to define/unimportant. As the
> animate grows up, the gender becomes more important - hence the
> distinction.

My goodness, did somebody actually plan this, or is it just an excuse
made up after the case? :) If this was the original plan...then
wow...how interesting.

> Beats me why "lion" is neuter, though :)

Curiously, certain fruits are neutral as well (apple, if I remember
correctly) while others are gendered.

Muffy.

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Aug 12, 2001, 6:33:11 PM8/12/01
to
In article <3B76C926...@hotmail.com>,

Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Sasha wrote:
>>
>> "Muffy St. Bernard" <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:<3B744D10...@hotmail.com>...
>> >
>> > I seem to remember "lejon"
>> > and "barn" (lion and child) being neuter, for some inexplicable reason
>> > that I'd like to understand. :)
>>
>> I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
>> German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
>> that is, small/young animates). If I got it right, they are neuter
>> because, being young, they have not yet attained their final form -
>> therefore, gender may be impossible to define/unimportant. As the
>> animate grows up, the gender becomes more important - hence the
>> distinction.
>
> My goodness, did somebody actually plan this, or is it just an excuse
>made up after the case? :) If this was the original plan...then
>wow...how interesting.

No, it's not quite like that. Diminutive forms like Mädchen (literally
"little maid", "maidlet") are neuter in German, regardless of which
gender the original word is. It's the same way in classical Greek, so
this may very well be something that goes a very long way back.

But this is true for all diminutives, not just for young animates. It
seems common that words that were formed in the same way have the
same gender, especially words formed by adding a certain ending. The
same thing happens in French. So it seems that gender is connected to
the ending rather than to what the word means.

As for "child" - well, here it makes more sense that it's really a
gender-neutral concept. But the gender-neutral word for "human" is
masculine in German ("der Mensch") but feminine in Swedish ("människan
och hennes språk",literally "man and *her* language").

I think the only conclusion we can draw is that lingustic gender
is a mess which stopped making much sense three or four thousand
years ago.

Sasha

unread,
Aug 13, 2001, 5:24:46 AM8/13/01
to
m...@df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote in message news:<9l7077$3hu$1...@news.lth.se>...

> In article <3B76C926...@hotmail.com>,
> Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >Sasha wrote:
> >>
> >> "Muffy St. Bernard" <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:<3B744D10...@hotmail.com>...
> >> >
> >> > I seem to remember "lejon"
> >> > and "barn" (lion and child) being neuter, for some inexplicable reason
> >> > that I'd like to understand. :)
> >>
> >> I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
> >> German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
> >> that is, small/young animates). If I got it right, they are neuter
> >> because, being young, they have not yet attained their final form -
> >> therefore, gender may be impossible to define/unimportant. As the
> >> animate grows up, the gender becomes more important - hence the
> >> distinction.
> >
> > My goodness, did somebody actually plan this, or is it just an excuse
> >made up after the case? :) If this was the original plan...then
> >wow...how interesting.
>
> No, it's not quite like that. Diminutive forms like Mädchen (literally
> "little maid", "maidlet") are neuter in German, regardless of which
> gender the original word is. [snip] But this is true for all diminutives, not just for young animates.

True. I simply forgot the word "diminutive" :)

On the lion subject: in German, the gender of some nouns referring to
animals does not reflect these animals' _actual_ gender: das Schwein -
pig (male/female), die Maus, das Pferd, etc. Still don't know why it's
that way, though :)

Mit herzlichen Glueckwunschen, Sasha.

John Colagioia

unread,
Aug 13, 2001, 9:07:07 AM8/13/01
to
"Muffy St. Bernard" wrote:

> Sasha wrote:

[...]

> > I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
> > German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
> > that is, small/young animates). If I got it right, they are neuter
> > because, being young, they have not yet attained their final form -
> > therefore, gender may be impossible to define/unimportant. As the
> > animate grows up, the gender becomes more important - hence the
> > distinction.
> My goodness, did somebody actually plan this, or is it just an excuse
> made up after the case? :) If this was the original plan...then
> wow...how interesting.

It has been my theory (not that I'm a professional linguist--more of an "armchair linguist," if you will,
except I don't sit in an armchair) that this is an artifact of word construction and cadence, not unlike the
English indefinite article "an" before a vowel, or not ending the sentence in a preposition in Latin. You can
do it, kind of, but it's extremely awkward to talk about "a orange" or "pluribus unum e."

[Side note: Ending an English sentence with a preposition isn't nearly as awkward, and is just an
"inheritance" from Latin, basically. It appears to have been artificially inserted to "glorify" the
vernacular, from what I can tell. Fortunately, that seems to be going the way of the (unfortunate) split
infinitive, as there is little in Latin we English-speakers should aspire to.]

Anyway, these constructs were, in all likelihood, "borrowed" for gendering, thereby retroactively making the
whole system gender-based, to our eyes.

That's my current theory, at least. I don't see the ancient Gauls, Celts, Franks, or whoever else was
wandering the area just inherently knowing, at the core of their beings, that grass is male and should be
described that way.


Muffy St. Bernard

unread,
Aug 13, 2001, 10:37:01 AM8/13/01
to

Particularly not since each language developed their own set of gender
rules; it would probably be hard to find many words that have the same
gender in every language. I'm definitely leaning in the "gender of a
noun is largely based on it's ending" direction...though even this is
inconsistent within a language.
The point, I guess, is that if anybody out there is thinking of a new
language, they'd better do some planning first! :) No doubt these
oddities come from languages naturally evolving over time, over broad
geographic areas. It adds a certain richness and intrigue, but sure is
annoying when you're trying to broaden your horizons.

Muffy
http://www.freewebfile.com/bollybob

Daniel Ellison

unread,
Aug 14, 2001, 6:27:57 AM8/14/01
to
"John Colagioia" <JCola...@csi.com> wrote:

> infinitive, as there is little in Latin we English-speakers should aspire
to.]

Ahh! Ending an English sentence with a preposition is something up with
which I will not put!

Sorry John, I couldn't resist; I just loved the irony. (Yes, I know I'm
bending the use of "irony" slightly, but the definition does include
incongruity between what is expected and what occurs. I wouldn't have
expected to see a sentence end in a preposition within the same paragraph
discussing such.)

Daniel Ellison
Toronto, Ontario
dan...@syrinx.net

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Aug 15, 2001, 11:02:06 AM8/15/01
to
In article <3B744D10...@hotmail.com>,

Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson wrote:
>>
>> In article <3B740593...@hotmail.com>,
>> Muffy St. Bernard <muffys...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> >Magnus Olsson wrote:
>> > Incidentally -- and I don't know if anybody wants to take this up as
>> >an OT thread or not -- nobody has ever been able to explain to me where
>> >noun genders came from,
>>
>> My impression is that nobody really knows. It's been in the
>> Indoeuropean languages for as far back as we can trace them; on the
>> other hand, other language families don't have genders (Finnish, for
>> example, doesn't even have separate words for "he" and "she"). The
>> usual guess is that people really did use to think about things, not
>> just words, as having genders, but that the genders of words lost
>> their meaning thousands of years ago.
>
> I bet you're right...it does seem a bit like the human appendix or
>something.

I just found the following interesting link about the history of
noun genders:

http://indoeuro.bizland.com/archive/article11.html

Muffy St. Bernard

unread,
Aug 15, 2001, 11:19:01 AM8/15/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:
>
> I just found the following interesting link about the history of
> noun genders:
>
> http://indoeuro.bizland.com/archive/article11.html
>

Thanks so much for posting this! It's still confusing and odd, but
much, much less so.

Muffy.

John Colagioia

unread,
Aug 16, 2001, 9:02:10 AM8/16/01
to
Daniel Ellison wrote:

Heh...I'm just glad someone noticed. Unfortunately, I can't take full credit
for the statement. A friend's linguistics professor has been doing that in his
classes for years.


John W. Kennedy

unread,
Aug 23, 2001, 12:50:09 PM8/23/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:
> The
> usual guess is that people really did use to think about things, not
> just words, as having genders, but that the genders of words lost
> their meaning thousands of years ago.

It's possible. I perceive numbers, colors, letters of the alphabet, and
the months of the year as having genders. (I suppose it's similar to
the well-known phenomenon of people seeing the number line in a fixed,
nonlinear shape.) Many people see all cats as female. Ships are
female.

--
John W. Kennedy
(Working from my laptop)


John W. Kennedy

unread,
Aug 23, 2001, 12:50:11 PM8/23/01
to
Sasha wrote:
> I think the rationale for "child" being neuter is the same as in
> German ("das Kind," "das Maedchen," and all the "-chen/-lein" nouns -
> that is, small/young animates).

Small _anything_. cf. English "-kin".

> Beats me why "lion" is neuter, though :)

_Sometimes_ it's merely a function of the last letter, or the last
vowel. Or all animal words might be neuter.

Some languages have gender-like classifications that have nothing to do
with sex. Animate/inanimate. Abstract/concrete. I recall one having a
class of flying-things-that-are-not-insects. And they, too, usually
have words that are in the "wrong" class.

If you want a _really_ hard language to implement on a computer, try
Welsh. Welsh words "mutate" (change both pronunciation and spelling),
depending on the sounds in the previous word.

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Aug 24, 2001, 8:00:33 AM8/24/01
to
In article <3B847EAA...@bellatlantic.net>,

John W. Kennedy <jwk...@attglobal.net> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson wrote:
>> The
>> usual guess is that people really did use to think about things, not
>> just words, as having genders, but that the genders of words lost
>> their meaning thousands of years ago.
>
>It's possible. I perceive numbers, colors, letters of the alphabet, and
>the months of the year as having genders. (I suppose it's similar to
>the well-known phenomenon of people seeing the number line in a fixed,
>nonlinear shape.)


Interesting. I think it's more common to think of things like months
or numbers as having colour or taste than as having gender.

> Many people see all cats as female. Ships are
>female.
>

But the interesting thing is that in modern European languages, these
perceived genders are quite distinct from grammatic gender: "cat" is
"le chat" (masc) in French, and "ship" is "das Schiff" (neutr) in
German. A further piece of evidence are all the pairs of synonyms with
different gender within the same language: "der Wagen"/"das Auto" (the
car), "die Sahne/der Rahm" (cream) in German, for example.

Stefan Blixt

unread,
Aug 24, 2001, 2:46:27 PM8/24/01
to
m...@df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote in message news:<9l0u4t$hgs$1...@news.lth.se>...

> In article <9ktbqo$6eag7$1...@ID-71633.news.dfncis.de>,
> Tobias Andersson <tobias.NOSP...@optosweden.se> wrote:
> >
> >> I was wondering if there's anyone currently working on a swedish
> translation
> >> of inform,
> >
> >Do we really have a tradition of swedish IF? Remember the swedish game
> >developer of the 80's. One or two released "IF-like" games for the popular
> >Atari and Commodore computers and they were all in english. I think we are
> >used to "playing" IF-games in english -- even if the setting of the game is
> >in Sweden.
>
> Well, I don't know if we can call it a tradition, but there are and
> have been a number of IF authors writing in Swedish. There even
> was a commercial text adventure in Swedish, called "Stugan" in the
> mid-eighties.

>
> But I think the prospective audience for Swedish IF is really quite
> small. There are of course very good reasons why one would like to
> write in Swedish - perhaps one is targeting children, or (very likely)
> one finds it easier to write in one's native language.
>
> Personally, I've never even considered writing If in Swedish, both
> because of the small audience and because I've always felt that
> English is the language to use with computers (this may sound weird
> today, but it wasn't so weird eighteen years ago).

What's really cool is that (if my memory isn't completely wrecked, as
it very well might be) swedish female author and member of the Swedish
Academy (that hands out Nobel prizes among other things) Kerstin Ekman
wrote a text game in the 80's (or early 90's) based on a Stanislaw Lem
book (perhaps called "The Conquerer" or something similar in English,
the Swedish translation is called "Segraren"). I've been wanting to
find and play this game for ages, but I don't know where to start
looking.

Does anyone know of other examples of "serious" literary authors
making pieces of IF, in English or otherwise?

/Stefan Blixt

Carl Muckenhoupt

unread,
Aug 24, 2001, 3:07:45 PM8/24/01
to
In article <a45ab7b4.0108...@posting.google.com>,
Stefan...@exa.teleca.se says...

>
> Does anyone know of other examples of "serious" literary authors
> making pieces of IF, in English or otherwise?

If "serious" implies "known for something other than sci-fi," all I can
think of is Robert Pinsky, whose works include several volumes of poetry,
a translation of Dante, and the text adventure "Mindwheel" (Synapse
Software, 1985).

Jason Melancon

unread,
Aug 25, 2001, 2:29:26 AM8/25/01
to

This raises my curiosity. Why would a people give a noun a gender
other than the gender they feel it ought to have? What governs the
assignation of a noun's grammatic gender, besides its perceived
gender?

--
Jason Melancon

Jake Wildstrom

unread,
Aug 25, 2001, 9:32:45 AM8/25/01
to
In article <3b8744da...@news.verizon.net>,

Jason Melancon <jaso...@afn.org> wrote:
>This raises my curiosity. Why would a people give a noun a gender
>other than the gender they feel it ought to have? What governs the
>assignation of a noun's grammatic gender, besides its perceived
>gender?

AFAICT it's mostly arbitrary, with a bnch of special-case rules in
many languages: in German for instance, the suffix determines a lot
about the gender --- "-lein", "-chen" are neuter; "-heit", "-keit",
and "-ung" are female, noun forms of verbs are male.

There was a funny article about this topic once in the Journal of
Irreproducible Results: "the poor heterosexual French table is simply
out of luck, because all tables in France are female. Fortunate is the
table which can take a trip to a foreign country like Israel, where
all tables are male.... The Germans realized that some objects have
neither the need nor the desire for sex, and with German thouroughness
they made a complete mess of it. Die Frau, das Fraulein, der Mann, die
Wand. Men are male, unmarried women are neuter, and married women and
walls are female. What is there for a young man to do for fun in
Germany? If he wants some female company, he either has to find a
married woman or go to the wall."

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| Jake Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

John W. Kennedy

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Aug 25, 2001, 9:52:46 AM8/25/01
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:
> Interesting. I think it's more common to think of things like months
> or numbers as having colour or taste than as having gender.

Very likely as to color. I've never heard of taste before, but I've not
actively researched the matter, but merely read an article or two that
I've happened to run across over the years.



> > Many people see all cats as female. Ships are
> >female.
> >
>
> But the interesting thing is that in modern European languages, these
> perceived genders are quite distinct from grammatic gender: "cat" is
> "le chat" (masc) in French, and "ship" is "das Schiff" (neutr) in
> German. A further piece of evidence are all the pairs of synonyms with
> different gender within the same language: "der Wagen"/"das Auto" (the
> car), "die Sahne/der Rahm" (cream) in German, for example.

True, but I'd like to know how things stood in Proto-Indo-European.

Alexander Deubelbeiss

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Aug 26, 2001, 4:50:28 PM8/26/01
to

Jason Melancon schrieb in Nachricht <3b8744da...@news.verizon.net>...
[...]

>This raises my curiosity. Why would a people give a noun a gender
>other than the gender they feel it ought to have? What governs the
>assignation of a noun's grammatic gender, besides its perceived
>gender?


Tradition, mostly. In most cases there is no perceived gender, just the
linguistic gender that is in the language because people use it because
it is in the language because people use it because etc.

Jonathan Blask

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Aug 26, 2001, 11:24:06 PM8/26/01
to

I guess horror might not be considered serious, either, but
Angelsoft released a text game based on Stephen King's 'the Mist,' written
by King himself (as far as I can tell). Also, there was Forbidden Castle,
written by Mercer Mayer, author of the children's book, Me and My Dad (or
whatever the title was).
-jon
"If I got stranded on a desert island (with electricity)/
And I could bring one record and my hi-fi/
I'd bring that ocean surf cd (Relaxing Sound of Ocean Surf)/
So I could enjoy the irony." - Dylan Hicks

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