İçerik Görüntüleme

To or not to add the 'a' between an adjective and an adverb (related to time):

başlangıç senappa, 12 Haziran 2020

Mesajlar: 12

Dil: English

senappa (Profili görüntüle) 12 Haziran 2020 17:51:19

Hello all, is there a general rule of thumb between whether to add 'the 'a' between an adjective and an adverb (related to time)?

For example I see references to following words in various sources I have studied (whether in text, or someone typing it chat, etc).

lastatempe
last-monate
samtempe
venont-jare
venont-monate

So, I sometimes see the 'a' between the two words, and someones I don't. There's further confusion for me as when I search these words in the lernu dictionary, there seems to be times when these word combination includes the 'a', and sometimes not (e.g. For example, I see an entry for lastatempe, but not 'lastempe'; but on the other hand I see NO entry for samatempe, but an entry for samtempe).

From what I've read before, it's optional whether or not I add the 'a' between these words, but I wanted to be sure... Thanks in advance for any help.

RiotNrrd (Profili görüntüle) 12 Haziran 2020 19:22:18

'lastempe' is incorrect. It doesn't contain enough t's. You are combining the last 't' of last- with the first 't' of tempe into a single letter, but that is not right. What you really meant is 'lasttempe', which itself illustrates the problem at hand. How to clearly make the listener understand that there's a double-t in the middle of the word?

Probably the main reason there's an 'a' in there and not in the other examples is to make it pronounceable. The only way to properly pronounce 'lasttempe' would be to make a little break between the t's, and an 'a' is likely the closest actual vowel to that little break (and makes it that much easier to say than using a glottal stop and, since it's an adjective, isn't wrong either). So it gets included, since Esperanto is supposed to be spelled the way it's pronounced.

nornen (Profili görüntüle) 13 Haziran 2020 00:57:47

RiotNrrd:What you really meant is 'lasttempe', which itself illustrates the problem at hand. How to clearly make the listener understand that there's a double-t in the middle of the word?
This, however, begs the question, why "lasttempe" is deemed difficult to pronounce, but "posttagmeze" seems to be okay. Zamenhof himself used it. Both contain /st.t/ the only thing that changes is the location of the accent in relation to this syllable boundary. PIV also registers "posttempa".

Maybe the -a- in lastatempe is just due to convention.

RiotNrrd (Profili görüntüle) 13 Haziran 2020 11:15:56

Ya OK. I was just trying to think of a good rationalization. Convention is probably the real reason.

I don't really like that answer, though, as it introduces an element of uncertainty for beginners that Esperanto is supposed to lack. "Do I add an 'a' or don't I?" shouldn't be a question; the rules should cover it. Or at least there should be a better answer to "why do we do it?" than "just 'cuz". Doesn't mean that isn't the way it is, though. I just don't care for it. So the goal with my answer was to try and provide something a little more explanatory.

Convention is never a satisfying answer, even when it's the right one.

senappa (Profili görüntüle) 13 Haziran 2020 14:59:33

Right... It was starting to make sense, until I just came across this word in my flashcards and the same question popped up in my mind.

unuafoje and unufoje is there as well, though the lernu dictionary seems to have both entries with slightly different definition for these ("first time" vs "one time" respectively).... But I guess this is juts a case of just having a different definition whether there is an 'a' or not?

nornen (Profili görüntüle) 13 Haziran 2020 15:28:06

I think you're right. While in "lastatempe" the -a- is shoved between the words euphoniae gratia to facilitate the pronunciation, there is indeed a semantic difference between "unufoje" (once) and "unuafoje" (for the first time). And then there is "unue" (firstly).

Mi legis tiun libron unufoje (=unu fojon).
Hieraŭ mi manĝis viandon unuafoje.
Unue tranĉu cepojn. Due fritu ilin. Trie aldonu sukeron.

Metsis (Profili görüntüle) 13 Haziran 2020 16:21:57

The rule for kunmetitaj vortoj, (closed) compound words, is:
  • they are written together (obviously)
  • if the first part, the modifier, is a noun, the final -o is dropped if permitted by pronunciation
Understandably this leaves a lot of room for interpretations. When and by whom a compound word is considered unpronounceable without the o? And what to do when the first part is not a noun?

For me vaporŝipo is pronounceable, but I can imagine that someone prefers vaporoŝipo. I prefer sanoasekuro, but I have been corrected that the "right" expression is sanasekuro, which I always hyphenate sana-sekuro and get puzzled "what??".

As has been pointed out, there are compound words where dropping will change the meaning, e.g. unufojeunuafoje.

When it comes to lastatempeposttagmeze, I reason this way. In lastatempe the parts are an adjective and an adverb, the a is retained in the adjective to ease pronunciation, because the second part begins with the same letter. In posttagmeze the parts are a preposition, a noun and an adverb. There is nothing to drop in the preposition, the o gets dropped from the noun in usual way and the adverb stays as adverb.

On the other hand in venontjare the a gets dropped from the first part, because the second part begins with a different letter.

senappa (Profili görüntüle) 14 Haziran 2020 18:08:31

Hm, yeah okay, that seems to make sense.

All this said, it's one of those things that I'm probably not going to remember straight away in the midst of trying to say something in the middle of a conversation. It might be one of those things I'll simply 'have to get used to'.

As of now, if I look back to the original question - "Do I drop the 'a' or not between adjective and a time adverb?" - what I'm gathering is that I'll lean towards dropping the 'a', unless there's a specific reason not to -- e.g. lastatempe (for avoiding 'tt' sound in this case), or unuatempe (to specifically mean 'for the first time').

As a matter of fact, if I read the 'kunmetitaj vortoj' rule correctly above, that's the way I should approach it anyway if the first part of the word is a noun -- drop the 'o' unless there's a specific reason not to (i.e. pronunciation ease)?

Metsis (Profili görüntüle) 15 Haziran 2020 12:15:39

Senappa, jes.

You're probably right, that it simply takes time to get used to. What tremendously pushed me forward, were two summer courses with a teacher I had to speak Esperanto with (we couldn't each other's native languages). I strongly recommend to seek such opportunity, ofc corona permitting.

Zam_franca (Profili görüntüle) 15 Haziran 2020 12:40:36

Metsis:Senappa, jes.

You're probably right, that it simply takes time to get used to. What tremendously pushed me forward, were two summer courses with a teacher I had to speak Esperanto with (we couldn't each other's native languages). I strongly recommend to seek such opportunity, ofc corona permitting.
Miakrede estas kursoj videe organizataj ĉi-somere, ekzemple SES.
As far as I know there are video courses organised this summer, for example SES.

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