Talk:adalah

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adalah

Since when is "Copula" a valid heading? Should it be? --Connel MacKenzie 08:06, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

It’s a tough question. The words adalah and ialah are not verbs and are not used in the spoken language. Strickly speaking, they are "predicate markers". Indonesian and Malay, like Russian, Arabic, and many other languages, have no copula. To say "Ali is angry" in Indonesian, you just say "marah Ali" (literally, "angry Ali"); "Ali is a teacher" is "guru Ali" (literally, "teacher Ali"). Indonesian uses no verb in such constructions, and indeed has no such verb.
However, there are some sentences which can be understood in two different ways, and in speech the difference is indicated by intonation. Since writing cannot show intonation, Indonesian uses the predicate markers adalah and ialah to clarify the meaning.
Example: "Kerjanya menarik mahasiswa" (work-his attract student) can mean either of "His work attracts students" or "His job is to attract students." Since intonation can’t be written, you can insert adalah to indicate that the following is a predicate: "Kerjanya adalah menarik mahasiswa" (work-his equivalence-marker attract student) can ONLY mean "His job is to attract students."
So, adalah is not a verb, and it really isn’t a copula either. It’s a predicate marker. —Stephen 14:33, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


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We have been trying to fit foreign languages into English patterns, sometimes disasterously. Maybe we should have a miscellaneous header, such as ===Other===, which could be followed with Predicative, or Predicate marker, or whatever the case may be. In adalah for example, the word is a predicate marker, and while it is in no wise a verb, it is often translated as one. Russian words such as нельзя are predicatives, words that act as a sort of verb but which are not verbs. Changing the headers to ===Other=== 'Predicative, etc., would be much better than mistakenly changing to ===Preposition=== or ===Verb===. —Stephen 16:57, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Why not use Particle? --EncycloPetey 22:20, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Particle is vague enough that it could be used for this one case, but it still has to mention that it’s a predicative marker because particle is too broad. But there are a number of other cases where different languages have parts of speech not found in English and where particle can’t be used. There are some words that could be labelled "impersonal verbs", but which cannot be called simply "verbs". Since they are not verbs and the header "impersonal verb" is too exotic, something else needs to be found (I think it would be a stretch to call them particles). There are other words that may be called predicatives, but they are neither verb nor adverb. German has something vaguely similar to some of these called modals, but modals are true verbs, and predicatives are not verbs. There might be some little-known term for some of these words that I don’t know about, but that offers no help. There are some Russian words that are occasionally called gerunds, but which are nothing like English gerunds and are not verbal nouns or any other kind of noun (some people call them gerunds because there are partial parallels with the Latin gerund). If they cannot be called what they are (adverbial participles), then we need a vague term like ===Other===. I don’t think anything like particle, noun, verb, or adverb will work for them. I can add the correct term for all these words, but the correct term is frequently different from standard English grammar and so someone has to clean them up by "Anglicizing" the headers. It seems to me that the safest thing to do would be to create a catch-all header like ===Other===. That way at least, predicative markers would not get changed to ===Preposition===, and Russian gerunds would not be changed to ===Noun===. —Stephen 23:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I understand the problem. I'm partial to using ===Participle=== in Latin because calling them "verb" or "adjective" isn't adequate. Personally, I would rather see a new positive descriptive header used to tell the user what an entry is, rather than use a vague ===Other=== which simply tells the user what the entry isn't. This might mean expanding the unofficial list at WT:POS, but then we are trying to include "all words in all languages", so there are bound to be some POS headers that look unfamiliar to English speakers. In this particular case, why not use Particle and add some Usage notes to explain the entry's function a bit? --EncycloPetey 23:51, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I would much prefer to call things what they are. Participles play major roles in Russian and Arabic, too. Russian participles are complex and "adjective" is not adequate for them. Arabic participles are sometimes used as adjectives, sometimes and nouns, but very often in place of finite verbs, and therefore they cannot be called adjectives. There are numerous other cases specific to certain languages. But there are complaints that calling things what they are has a deleterious effect on some statics and cause problems for bots. I haven’t seen these statistics and it’s difficult to imagine why they would be of more than passing importance, but I do understand the bot argument, more or less. What if we included an invisible code at the beginning of nonstandard headers, such as ==={{@}}Participle=== which would tell the bots to ignore it? I doubt that there is any reasonably good solution to this problem, especially because of the statistics concern. Right now it’s a mess, and people cleaning pages in languages they don’t understand are just messing them up. —Stephen 16:55, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
That's one of the key reasons I moved to get WT:POS started. The idea was to have a reference list for POS headers in use that bot users could compare against. If there was a need for a new header, there would be a place to list it and explain the rationale for including it. As one of the people cleaning up messy old headers, I can understand the concern. We have Pronoun, but also Personal Pronoun, Demonstrative Pronoun, Interrogative Pronoun, etc., and all of these can simply be Pronoun. At the same time I understand the issue that not all languages fit neatly into the classical mold of Latin grammarians. I suspect once most of the cruft is cleaned away and a bit more standardization is in place, there will be less concern for bot issues. In any event, having a list of headers (even if it's still unofficial) should solve much of the bot problem. Connel and Robert would be better able than I to speak on that issue. --EncycloPetey 01:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: If there are some POS headers you've been wanting to see added, a discussion on this topic has just begun in the Beer Parlour. --EncycloPetey 05:11, 22 June 2007 (UTC)