by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/04/08 04:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/04/08/571353.aspx
As a follow-up to IStemmer'ed the tide (based in large part on feedback from people via email), I talked in What about search for kids? about a very interesting 'phase' during language acquisition.
In this phase, the child, a particular rule is grokked so well that she will start applying it across the board, even when there is an exception to the rule. Thus the phrase:
He goed to the store.
He went to the store.
due to a good understanding of the "past tense form of a verb has an -ed suffix" rule.
Parents often find this very disturbing since, prior to the rule being applied the child might have (due to learning by imitation) been using the exception correctly. It gets even worse if the child is corrected -- "Honey, you mean he went to the store?", to which she will say "That's what I said! He goed to the store!".
Hopefully the parents will not be too troubled since this issue sorts itself out soon enough -- the imitation phase gave way to the rule based phase, which will give way to the learning of the exceptions.
(It is amazing how the number of times you need to bite your freaking tongue around parents is directly proportional to how many things you learn about language acquisition!)
In any case....
Interestingly enough, I was embracing my inner child not too long ago in Practical Uses for Replacement Cultures/Locales when I took a simple rule (Use ի as a noun suffix for the genitive form of the noun) and applied it in code. I had actually only spot-checked some of the names, which is I suppose the Internet version of being a small child and applying a rule broadly even when it is easily possible to discern the exceptions.
Doing a more thorough search:
|Month||# of hits|
I could postulate that the entire country of Armenia speaks a different language during the summertime and thus would not need to use those month names very often. But even I know that this would be a stupid postulation....
So, let's look at the letters; maybe there is some easily discernable pattern:
HO VO YIWN NOW VEW AYB REH INI Փետրվարի
PIWR ECH TIWN REH VEW AYB REH INI Մարտի
MEN AYB REH TIWN INI Ապրիլի
AYB PEH REH INI LIWN INI Մայիսի
MEN AYB YI INI SEH INI Հունիսի
HO VO YIWN NOW INI SEH INI Հուլիսի
HO VO YIWN LIWN INI SEH INI Օգոստոսի
OH GIM VO SEH TIWN VO SEH INI Սեպտեմբերի
SEH ECH PEH TIWN ECH MEN BEN ECH REH INI Հոկտեմբերի
HO VO KEN TIWN ECH MEN BEN ECH REH INI Նոյեմբերի
NOW VO YI ECH MEN BEN ECH REH INI Դեկտեմբերի
DA ECH KEN TIWN ECH MEN BEN ECH REH INI
Hmmm.... nothing is jumping out at me.
Now I am at a slight disadvantage since I am not learning the language enough to know what might be the rule behind these exceptions, and there is no obvious pattern (all three have the same letter just before them, but so does another of the months that has many hits).
Perhaps someone who knows the answer will post a comment (if not, I'm sure I will try to dig into it myself at some point!).
Or maybe I just need to find a small Armenian child and ask them, instead. Of course they might just think I had them right the first time, a fact that they have known about since the last time they goed to Armenia.... :-)
This post brought to you by "ի" (U+056b, a.k.a. ARMENIAN SMALL LETTER INI)
# Robert on 29 May 2006 5:06 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 May 2006 7:06 PM:
# Robert on 31 May 2006 3:07 AM:
# Mushegh on 2 Jun 2006 4:41 PM:
2010/09/09 Latvian. Genitive. Oops.
2007/08/04 A re-genitive post
2006/05/28 No Georgians or Armenians goed to the blog?
2006/04/09 It may not always end with ის or ისა, either
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