Latin and Mandarin Chinese/Contrastive Grammar

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Differences between Latin and Mandarin Chinese

you need the regular transfer tests too!

Use of the verb 'to be'

Latin and Mandarin Chinese both have a verb 'to be' but use it in different contexts. Latin uses this verb in more situations than Chinese; for instance, forms of the Latin verb esse can be used to link a noun to an adjective, a predicate noun, and even helps form certain definite verbs from its present tense forms and a participle (acting as a copula). Chinese, for the most part, uses its form of this verb, 是, only to link a noun to a predicate noun; otherwise a verb is not necessary to link nouns to adjectives.

Jamus et Maria in horto sunt. 
小明和小红在花园里面。
James and Mary are in the garden.
Jamus puer parvus est.
小明是一个小男孩。
James is a small boy.
Tempestas pulchra est hodie, admodum calda est.
今天天气好,很暖。
The weather is nice today, and it is very warm.

Word order

Latin generally follows a subject-object-verb word order, with exceptions for most poetry, and is a highly inflected language (hence the flexible word order). Chinese has a subject-verb-object word order and is highly uninflected (hence the inflexible word order).

Maria matrem suam post fenestram adspicit, mater sua ridet.
小红看着在屋子里面的妈妈。妈妈正在笑
Mary sees her mother behind the window (zho: inside the house), and her mother laughs.

Tum etiam manus parvus videt et cum appropinquat etiam caput suum videt!
她看到了一只手, 走近了一点儿,看到了他!
Then she saw a little hand and when she came closer even his own head!

Possession

Both Latin and Chinese have a couple of different ways of expressing relationships of possession. Latin forms possessive relationships between nouns with a dative form of the possessing noun (or in other cases, a genitive, but there were no examples of this in our corpus). The same sentences were expressed in Chinese with the verb 有 'to have'; the option of using the dative case is obviously not available in Chinese, as there is no dative case.

Jamo canis parvus est, etiam canis nunc in horto est.
小明有一只狗,那只狗现在在花园里面。
James has a small dog, the dog is now in the garden.
Mariaene non canis est, eae catta est.
不,她没有狗,她有只猫。
Mary does not have a dog, she has a cat.

in description also mention use of be verb in Latin versus have verb in Mandarin

Adverbs

While both Latin and Chinese have adverbs that describe the performance of a verb, Chinese can also modify a verb through a complement: the use of a particle, 得, with a following adjective. Alternatively, a verb can be preceded by an adjective with the particle 地. Latin can form an adverb from an adjective using inflection, which it does with most regular adjectives.

Nunc id bene audire potest.
她现在听得很清楚了。
Now she is able to hear it clearly.
Auscultat diligenter.
她仔细地听。
She listens carefully.

Case

Latin inflects all nouns for case (nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, ablative, and sometimes vocative); Chinese expresses the same concepts with word order or prepositions. For instance, Latin uses the accusative case to express the direct object of a verb. Chinese would do the same thing with word order, placing the direct object after the verb.

Petet Jamum: quo vadebat?
想找小明。他在哪儿呢?
She looks for James; where was he hiding (zho: where is he?)?
Maria matrem suam post fenestram adspicit, mater sua ridet.
小红看着在屋子里面的妈妈。妈妈正在笑。
Mary sees her mother behind the window, her mother laughs.
Tum etiam manus parvus videt et cum appropinquat etiam caput suum videt!
她看到了一只手, 走近了一点儿,看到了他!
Then she saw a little hand and when she came closer even his own head!

lat-zho-tests

  • (lat) Jamus et Maria in horto sunt. → (zho) 小明和小红在花园里面。
    (lat) Jam<n><nom><m><sg>et<conj>Mari<n><nom><f><sg>in<prep>hort<n><abl><m><sg>esse<vblex><p3><pl><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 小明和小红在花园里面。
  • (lat) Jamus puer parvus est. → (zho) 小明是一个小男孩
    (lat) Jam<n><nom><m><sg>puer<n><nom><m><sg>parv<adj><nom><m><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 小明是一个小男孩。
  • (lat) Tempestas pulchra est hodie, admodum calda est. → (zho) 今天天气好,很暖
    (lat) tempest<n><nom><f><sg>pulchr<adj><nom><f><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>hodie<adv>admodum<adv>cald<adj><nom><f><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 今天天气好,很暖。
  • (lat) Maria matrem suam post fenestram adspicit, mater sua ridet. → (zho) 小红看着在屋子里面的妈妈。妈妈正在笑
    (lat) Mari<n><nom><f><sg>matr<n><acc><f><sg>su<prn><poss><refl><acc><f><sg>post<prep>fenestr<n><acc><f><sg>adspic<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>matr<n><nom><f><sg>su<prn><poss><refl><nom><f><sg>rid<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 小红看着在屋子里面的妈妈。妈妈正在笑
  • (lat) Tum etiam manus parvus videt et cum appropinquat etiam caput suum videt! → (zho) 她看到了一只手, 走近了一点儿,看到了他!
    (lat) tum<adv>etiam<adv>man<n><acc><m><sg>parv<n><acc><m><sg>vid<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>et<conj>cum<conj>appropinqu<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><subj>etiam<adv>capit<n><acc><m><sg>su<prn><poss><refl><acc><m><sg>vid<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 她看到了一只手, 走近了一点儿,看到了他!
  • (lat) Jamo canis parvus est, etiam canis nunc in horto est. → (zho) 小明有一只狗,那只狗现在在花园里面
    (lat) Jam<n><dat><m><sg>can<n><nom><m><sg>parv<adj><nom><m><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>etiam<adv>can<n><nom><m><sg>nunc<adv>in<prep>hort<n><abl><m><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 小明有一只狗,那只狗现在在花园里面
  • (lat) Nunc id bene audire potest. → (zho) 她现在听得很清楚了。
    (lat) Nunc<adv>id<prn><acc><nt><sg>bene<adv>audire<vblex><pres><act><inf>possum<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 她现在听得很清楚了。
  • (lat) Auscultat diligenter. → (zho) 她仔细地听。
    (lat) auscult<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>diligen<adv> → (zho) 她仔细地听。
  • (lat) Petet Jamum: quo vadebat? → (zho) 他在哪儿呢?
    (lat) pet<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>Jam<n><acc><m><sg>quo<prn><interr><abl><m><sg>vad<vblex><p3><sg><impf><act><ind> → (zho) 他在哪儿呢?
  • (lat) Mariaene non canis est, eae catta est. → (zho) 不,她没有狗,她有只猫。
    (lat) Mari<n><dat><f><sg><neg>non<neg>can<n><nom><m><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind>eae<prn><dat><fem><sg>catt<n><nom><fem><sg>esse<vblex><p3><sg><pres><act><ind> → (zho) 不,她没有狗,她有只猫。

zho-lat-tests

  • (zho) 小明和小红在花园里面。 → (lat) Jamus et Maria in horto sunt.
    (zho) 小明<n><cnjcoo>小红<n><pr>花园<n>里面<n> → (lat) Jamus et Maria in horto sunt.
  • (zho) 小明是一个小男孩 → (lat) Jamus puer parvus est.
    (zho) 小明<n><vbser><num><clf><adj>男孩<n> → (lat) Jamus puer parvus est.
  • (zho) 今天天气好,很暖 → (lat) Tempestas pulchra est hodie, admodum calda est.
    (zho) 今天<tw>天气<n><adj>,很<adv><adj> → (lat) Tempestas pulchra est hodie, admodum calda est.
  • (zho) 小红看着在屋子里面的妈妈。妈妈正在笑 → (lat) Maria matrem suam post fenestram adspicit, mater sua ridet.
    (zho) 小红<n>看着<vblex><pii><pr>屋子<n>里面<n><part>妈妈<n>。妈妈<n>正在<adv><vblex> → (lat) Maria matrem suam post fenestram adspicit, mater sua ridet.
  • (zho) 她看到了一只手, 走近了一点儿,看到了他! → (lat) Tum etiam manus parvus videt et cum appropinquat etiam caput suum videt!
    (zho) 她<prn><f>看到了<vblex><prf><num><clf><n>, 走近了<vblex><prf>一点儿<inc>,看到了<vblex><prf><prn><m>! → (lat) Tum etiam manus parvus videt et cum appropinquat etiam caput suum videt!
  • (zho) 小明有一只狗,那只狗现在在花园里面 → (lat) Jamo canis parvus est, etiam canis nunc in horto est.
    (zho) 小明<n><vhaver><num><clf><n>,那<det><dst><clf><n>现在<tw><pr>花园<n>里面<n> → (lat) Jamo canis parvus est, etiam canis nunc in horto est.
  • (zho) 不,她没有狗,她有只猫 → (lat) Mariaene non canis est, eae catta est.
    (zho) 不<neg>,她<prn><f><neg><vhaver><n>,她<prn><f><vhaver><clf><n> → (lat) Mariaene non canis est, eae catta est.
  • (zho) 她现在听得很清楚了 → (lat) Nunc id bene audire potest.
    (zho) 她<prn><f>现在<tw><vblex><part><adv>清楚了<adj><cos> → (lat) Nunc id bene audire potest.
  • (zho) 她仔细地听 → (lat) Auscultat diligenter.
    (zho) 她<prn><f>仔细<adj><part><vblex> → (lat) Auscultat diligenter.
  • (zho) 想找小明。他在哪儿呢? → (lat) Petet Jamum: quo vadebat?
    (zho) 想<vaux><vblex>小明<n>。他<prn><m><pr>哪儿<prn><itg><ij>? → (lat) Petet Jamum: quo vadebat?

format this as a list:

Tags not found in the Apertium tagset:

  • clf: classifier
  • tw: time word
  • part: particle (I know we shouldn't say particle, but I don't know what actual linguists usually analyze them as)
  • prf: perfect
  • inc: incremental ("a little closer")
  • cos: change of state


you forgot to include the relevant category, which made this page a little harder to find