4 operations

Paz B. Naylor pnaylor at umich.edu
Wed Jul 25 16:45:55 UTC 2001

Labels have been misleading:  NA is not just a mechanical "linker"; Nang is
not just a "possessive" prepostion  (it is not at all  an "indefinite
article");  AY is not just an "inversion marker" (Jean-Paul's a"anteposer").
All three share a common SYNTACTIC function as ATTRIBUTIVE markers.  Please
see Naylor (1976, 1979) "Linking, Relation-Marking, and Tagalog Syntax" in
Naylor, ed., 1980, Austronesian Studies: Papers from the Second Eastern
Conference on Austronesian Languages.
----- Original Message -----
From: "potet" <POTETJP at wanadoo.fr>
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 9:13 AM
Subject: 4 operations

> This debate on Tagalog _ang_ and _nang_ reminds me of the difficulties I
> encountered in the Philippines when I wanted my informants to give me the
> four arithmetic operations in Tagalog. You know that digits and operators
> are among the few ideograms we have in the modern Latin alphabet system.
> advantage with these ideograms, the numbers written with them, and the
> formulae in which they appear, is that all these can be read in any
> language, so that I use them to dicover basic structures.
> Thus I gave them my informants the following lines to read ( the figures
> have been different, but this is immaterial to the issue).
> 9 + 3 = 12
> 4 - 3 = 1
> 5 x 3 = 15
> 8 : 2 = 4
> I expected my informants to offer the equivalents of the two readings -
> short one and the long one - we have in English, or French etc., to wit
> "Nine plus three, twelve." and "Nine plus three equals twelve."
> "Four minus three, one." and "Four minus three equals one."
> "Three times five, fifteen." and "Five multiplied by three equals
> "Eight (divided) by two, four." and "Eight divided by two equals four."
> Their first reaction was to read the formulae in English. I insisted and
> asked them to read the formulae in Tagalog. To my dismay, they seemed to
> have problems doing it in Tagalog.  Some said they had been taught this in
> English, and could only offer equivalents in Tagalog without being sure
> these were the correct readings. All these equivalents involved AY.
> e.g. Ang siyám na dinagdagán nang tatló ay labindalawá.
> /IF / nine / Linker / add-focused on "nine" / nang / three / Anteposer /
> twelve /
> "Nine plus three equals twelve."
> Needless to say I was extremely disappointed because I wanted to see what
> the short readings were, and whether they used _ang_.
> Now, you, Tagalog tagalists, my friends, what short readings would you
> offer?
> Best
> Jean-Paul G. POTET

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