Thursday, January 17, 2013

Show of force

In the morphology class the professor dropped the first two lines of the Aeneid on me to analyse for morphology. And I realized a few things in the process.
  1. I don't use a consistent parsing order. Case, number and gender were never ordered the same way twice.
  2. I'm not sure how transparent compounds were to native Latin speakers.
  3. I have absolutely no idea how to analyse qui.
For #1, that's probably just me being put on the spot. I don't think I'd do that in writing. For #2 I suggested a morphological breakdown of profugus as follows.
But would a Latin speaker say that pro- had some specific meaning in the same way that re- or ad- had when prefixed to a verb? I know we're taught about Latin compounds as being this way, so I suspect so. I'll leave it at that. #3 was by far the most interesting. The professor was trying to get me to analyse qui (nom, s, masc). Now, if it had been qui (nom, pl, masc), I'd have had it. Obviously.
But how does the singular version break up? One possible solution.
But it's not very satisfying. After all, how does -i signal nom.s.masc? I'm not thinking of anything off hand. So the solution I took in class was to not analyze it. Qui (nom, s, masc) is qui is qui. The professor pushed a bit, but I couldn't justify it so it stood as unanalyzable. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spring semester 2013

I'm taking First Language Acquisition and Morphology. Excitement. Well, maybe not, but I've got small children so I'll have informants at hand. In fact, I administered the one and only Wug Test to Little Girl. Even though I explained what she was supposed to do, some items were really vexing. Others were "Daddy, why are you asking such obviously easy questions?" sorts of questions.

So anyway. Get ready for me to blather on about those two fields. I'm still somewhat stumped by the whole v-deletion thing in Latin, so maybe I'll do more with that. I've also got a student project I want to work up for the research symposium in April. Fun times.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

An invitation?

Well, I think I've just been invited to write something up for the Dickinson College Commentaries' Blog.
I wonder what he is doing with the list? Perhaps a guest blog post is in order. Peter?
I'll have to think of something. Maybe present my workflow. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dickinson College Commentaries

Ok, if you have a sick love of Latin the way I do, you need to know about the Dickinson College Commentaries. Especially their vocabulary list. Especially that. To that end, I've made a spreadsheet version available for download and thus offline access.

Since discovering it, I've made good use of it in student materials. It also provides a manageable list for (high-school level) students to master over their two years of introductory courses. The DCC blog says this about the list:
The Latin list contains about 1000 of the most common words in Latin. These are the lemmas or dictionary headwords that generate approximately 70% of the word forms in a typical Latin text.
Mind you, 70% is not enough to get fluent reading going on, but it's a good start. I've seen a video that shows that 95% coverage is needed for a student to guess at unknown words. So the DCC list, in conjunction with same page vocabulary support, is a good starting point for students to build their vocabulary.

Given that I've written a three-year curriculum for the younger students at the school I work at, I should probably give a look-see at my vocabulary list and see how it matches up. My gut feeling is that in some ways it matches up pretty well, but in others it doesn't.