Ladino and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Sentence Analysis

Sentence 1

El mirava en el cielo y en la estrellería: He was looking at heaven and at the stars

^El<prn><pers><p3><m><sg><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p3><m><sg>$ ^mirar<v><iv><pii><p1><sg>/look<vblex><pii><p1><sg>$ ^en<pr>/at<pr>/on<pr>/in<pr>$ ^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><sp>$ ^cielo<n><m><sg>/heavens<n><sg>$ ^y<cnjcoo>/and<cnjcoo>$ ^en<pr>/at<pr>/on<pr>/in<pr>$ ^el<det><def><f><sg>/the<det><def><sp>$ ^estrellería<n><f><sg>/stars<n><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

This shows that some nouns that don't have determiners in English have determiners in Ladino, like the 'heavens' translation of cielo.

It also shows that nouns and determiners in Ladino has grammatical gender, which they don't in English. (Adjectives are also gendered in Ladino, but not in English, but that doesn't appear in this sentence.)

Sentence 2

No me mires: Don't look at me

^No<adv>/Not<adv>$ ^me<prn><pers><p1><sg><pro>/prpers<prn><obj><p1><mf><sg>$ ^mirar<v><iv><prs><p2><sg>/look<vblex><prs><p2><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

There are a number of differences between English and Ladino in this sentence.

For one, the phrase 'look at me' is changed to 'me mires'. Mires would translate as 'you look', and me would translate as 'at me', so the order is switched from 'at me you look' to 'you look at me'.

Secondly, the sentence doesn't require the verb 'to do' that combines with not to create don't. Instead, 'no' suffices to contradict the command.

Sentence 3

Yo mirí en el korason de la estrellería: I looked at the heart of the stars

^Yo<prn><pers><p1><sg><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg>$ ^mirar<v><iv><pret><p1><sg>/look<vblex><pret><p1><sg>$ ^en<pr>/at<pr>/on<pr>/in<pr>$ ^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><sp>$ ^korason<n><m><sg>/heart<n><sg>$ ^de<pr>/of<pr>/from<pr>$ ^*la/*la$ ^estrellería<n><f><sg>/stars<n><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 4

Eyas no somportaría la dolor: They(fem) do not bear the pain

^Eyas<prn><pers><p3><f><pl><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p3><f><pl>$ ^no<adv>/not<adv>$ ^somportar<v><tv><cni><p1><sg>/bear<vblex><cni><p1><sg>$ ^*la/*la$ ^dolor<n><f><sg>/pain<n><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 5

Eyos kantan: They(masculine) sing

^Eyos<prn><pers><p3><m><pl><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p3><m><pl>$ ^kantar<v><iv><pres><p3><pl>/sing<vblex><pres><p3><pl>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 6

Eya kantó: She sang

^Eya<prn><pers><p3><f><sg><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p3><f><sg>$ ^kantar<v><iv><pret><p3><sg>/sing<vblex><pret><p3><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 7

Yo bivire en Yisrael: I will live in Israel

^Yo<prn><pers><p1><sg><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg>$ ^bivir<v><iv><fut><p1><sg>/live<vblex><fut><p1><sg>$ ^en<pr>/at<pr>/on<pr>/in<pr>$ ^Yisrael<np>/Israel<np>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 8

Nozotros komeriamos en la kavané: We would eat in the coffeehouse

^Nozotros<prn><pers><p1><m><pl><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><pl>$ ^komer<v><tv><cni><p1><pl>/eat<vblex><cni><p1><pl>$ ^en<pr>/at<pr>/on<pr>/in<pr>$ ^el<det><def><f><sg>/the<det><def><sp>$ ^kavané<n><f><sg>/coffeehouse<n><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 9

Tu biviras kuatro mezes: You will live four months

^Tu<prn><pers><p2><sg><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p2><mf><sg>$ ^bivir<v><iv><fut><p2><sg>/live<vblex><fut><p2><sg>$ ^kuatro<num>/four<num><pl>$ ^mes<n><m><pl>/month<n><pl>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Sentence 10

Eyos no komieron el limón: They did not eat the lemon

^Eyos<prn><pers><p3><m><pl><nom>/Prpers<prn><subj><p3><m><pl>$ ^no<adv>/not<adv>$ ^komer<v><tv><pret><p3><pl>/eat<vblex><pret><p3><pl>$ ^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><sp>$ ^limón<n><m><sg>/lemon<n><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

No particular differences.

Other Grammar

The Ladino sentences I selected were generally similar in structure to their translations in English, so there are other grammatical differences between Ladino and English that weren't represented. For one, adjectives in Ladino come after the noun, not before: 'los djudios sefardim' translates as 'Sephardic Jews.' This is also an example of determiners existing in Ladino and not in English.