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Tantalize

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Tantalize

Postby tcward » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:31 am

tantalize
1597, from L. Tantalus, from Gk. Tantalos, king of Phrygia, son of Zeus, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His name perhaps means lit. "the Bearer" or "the Sufferer," by dissimilation from *tal-talos, a reduplication of PIE base *tel-, *tol- "to bear, carry, support" (see extol). His story was known to Chaucer (c.1369).


I've always had an affinity for this word. I think perhaps the adjective form (tanalizing) may be more commonly heard, but nonetheless, I like the verb form as well.

The restaurant tantalized the patrons with the dessert table by forcing them to walk past it first when they entered the building.

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Postby Apoclima » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:26 pm

And Tantalus, that was destroied by the woodnesse of long thurst, despyseth the floodes to drynken. -Chaucer


Geoffrey Chaucer's Translation of Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy Book III, Metrum 12, "Felix Qui Potuit"

Man, could he have used a Alpha-dictionary! His spelling is atrocious!

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Postby William » Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:39 pm

My knowledge of linguistics is rudimentary compared to that of most of the Agorans. I am as a high school freshman among PhD's and PhD candidates. so the following question will be elementary to most. It seems to me that Chaucer's writings reflect the Germanic ancestry of the English Language. Is not the "en" ending in the phrase "hadden overcomen" of Germanic origin? Clearly much of the vocabulary of English is Latin based. How much of it can be attributed to the Roman occupation of what is now England, and how much can be attributed to later influences such as from France, a language which I believe has a much broader Latin base?

I once tried to read the Canterbury Tales as originally written. I had no better luck with that than I did with Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress which I believe was written 2 or 3 centuries later.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:58 am

hadden overcomen

This looks like plural to me (cf. German hatten and Dutch hadden). The n in overcomen must be on account of its being a past participle (cf. German geschwommen and Dutch gezwommen).

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Postby Apoclima » Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:59 pm

Sure, BD! We see this Germanic verbal "-en" suffix in German and Dutch and English (perhaps some others that people know).

In German "-en" marks the infinitve (except for "tun") (as "-an" it did in Old English), and it does in Dutch and is part of a "strong" (irregular) past participle. We see it in past participles like "spoken," "taken," and "swollen," some of which we use as adjectives.

I think that Old Norse first nasalised and then changed the vowel "e" into "a." but I think the Nordic languages still retain verbal and adjectival forms that end in "-en." I'm sure Henri and anders will chime in on this!

As for the effect of the Roman occupation on English, I know that some place-names were introduced with "campus." I can't think of an example.

But I see that the list of Roman place-names is quite extensive:

List of Roman place names in Britain

Alittle off the subject I found this:

The Origin of
Words and Names


I hope Garzo has an answer for you, William!

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Postby Apoclima » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 am

Great finds, Tim! Thanks!

I'll be reading for awhile now!

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Postby gailr » Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:54 pm

William: I've coached a few kids on reading Shakespeare and Chaucer by showing them how to locate the humor and work out nearby unfamiliar bits from context (and a good dictionary). Maybe that approach will help you?

Then, onto another challenge: Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght.
"Mony aunterez here-biforne
Haf fallen suche er þis.
Now þat here þe croun of þorne,
He bryng vus to his blysse! AMEN."
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:35 pm

þorne

I first read this as porn. What's wrong with me?

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:18 pm

Well, the one about English and German is an interesting text, but

Also die brave Art will her bald Gift.

Her is not the word that should be used here, but hier. Her does exist, but it's used when there's a movement, like English hence. Her is Danish. Moreover, the word order in this sentence is totally awry, I think Also bald will die brave Art Gift hier would be "more German", but that doesn't amount to much either. In other words, I don't see a use for this sentence. I move we pitch it.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:37 pm

Languages rule!
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Postby Spiff » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:18 am

Brazilian dude wrote:I would say that's partially correct. My dictionary defines die Band [bend] as Kapelle für Tanzmusik oder Jazz and die Bande as Vereinigung von Verbrechern unter einem Anführer; Schar, Pack; Gesellschaft (bes. von Kindern od. jungen Leuten).

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I agree, dude. It's the same in Dutch: "band" is a bunch of musicians (that's obviously a loan from English) and "bende" is a bunch of gangsters, kids, whatever..., but not musicians, unless they are specifically mentioned (but that would have a slightly pejorative ring to it). "Een bende" can also mean "a mess", by the way.
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Postby anders » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:32 am

Apoclima wrote:We see it in past participles like "spoken," "taken," and "swollen," some of which we use as adjectives.

I think that Old Norse first nasalised and then changed the vowel "e" into "a." but I think the Nordic languages still retain verbal and adjectival forms that end in "-en."

Yers and years ago, when grammar still was taught in Sweden, we quoted four principal parts of verbs: Inifinitive, imperfect (for any youngsters around, that's preteritum today), the "supinum" (don't laugh), used like the English past participle, and our "perfekt particip". For Apo's three examples, the parts would be in modern (post-some 1940) Swedish
tala, talade, talat, talad
ta, tog, tagit, tagen <-- !
svälla, svällde, svält, svälld

The PPles are, of course, to all intents and purposes, identical to adjectives, being, for example, inflected for number and gender. In addition to svälld, there is a separate adjective svullen!
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:38 am

the "supinum" (don't laugh),

I wouldn't have if you hadn't told me not to :D

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Postby Apoclima » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:32 pm

Thanks, anders! It is nice to know that my rabblings do sometimes hit the mark, and that even though I am no BD, that something of my studies has survived the ravages of time and space.

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