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    December 13, 2007

    Don't Blame Your Reduplication on Me

    Reduplication is a device found in all languages, seemingly, in which there is a repetition of a syllable. I learned about this with Doug Pulleyblank, my phonology professor at USC in 1986, whose passion for reduplication took him to Africa, so I hear. And there went my friend Uschi, for the same purpose. So, I learned that the future is formed in Tagalog, one of the languages in the Philipines, by repeating the first syllable. Thus, "sulat" means write and susulat means will write.

    Brazilians are quite xenophobic. A study somewhere in the links of this blog shows this.; The Native-Brazilians live far and isolated. Brazilians adopt the term bizarre for anything they feel is alien to their culture.

    So, the Tagalog example was considered bizarre. A little bit of research showed that it's present in English, as in willy-nilly, flegma-shmegma, hokey-pokey, Freaky Deaky; English must be a civilized language although its spelling is bizarre to me. However, had we changed our spelling, how many works in English would have become out of our reach today?

    I found a great video of a Portuguese band playing Noel Rosa's "Gago Apaixonado." Theirs is a great chorinho played wtih Portuguese instruments, sung with a Portuguese from Portugal accent.

    A gago  is a stutterer. Get ahold of your favorite Brazilianist and have him/her check out the lyrics for you.

    August 21, 2007

    Erisipelis; Legs Up - No Ipanema for You

    Ipanema, anoitece

    "This is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy."  (Hillary on Bill and Lewinski)
    The cellulitis is back, I'm back to the beginning, legs up in a void.

    A erisipela voltou. Eu, minhas pernas para cima em um vácuo.

    Voltarei.  I'll Be Back.  Courtesy of São Paulo, Johnny Alf sings "The Girl from Ipanema."

    May 25, 2007

    Why We Don't Need an Official Language

    Many people think it would be great if the USA had an official language. It's a patriotic fervor that dictates their minds towards a precipice, readying them to fall like a bunch of lemnings. The beauty of our country is its make-up. We are all mutts and proud of it. Or should be proud of it.

    English borrowed heavily from Greek and Latin, especially when England was occupied by the Normands, for well over 400 years. The USA, home to an enourmous set of languages, has made its own words from Italian, German, Yiddish, and dialectal variations from Black American Vernacular, or Ebonics, regionalisms coast-to-coast, Spanish; name it we got it.

    George W.'s peculiar syntax and weird word formations will enter our language the same way Bill's "It depends on what the definitio of 'is' is." Or Hillary's "Vast Right-Wing conspiracy."

    So, what's wrong with "misunderestimate" or "food on your family" and so many other W. coined expressions?

    Watch here, please: George W. Bush

    Imagine how boring it'd be if the American Language had to drop all words added over the years by peoples who came here to find prosperity, happiness, and peace?

    Language is alive. An idiot in Brazil, a congressman, is suing a genius, Millôr Fernandes, for referring to this guy's idiolecti. Idiolect is a person's unique way of speaking. Moreover, don't shoot me: we all have an accent. . Let English become Spanglish tomorrow. ¡Wátchale! Trucha. Nowadays everyone knows puta. Remember Blade Runner anyone?

    I don't smoke any substance. I don't drink. I am against regulating people's lives, including their sexual lives. What others do with their genitalia is their business.

    I do mind what the government is doing with our tax-paying money. Our civil liberties and those of others abroad. Let's clean house here. Now.

    Other than that, Instant Karma is a CD coming up with Green Day and others performing covers of John Lennon's music. It's an awareness campaign and collection of $$$ for Darfur, where genocide displaces tons of thousands of people daily.

    All I know I learn from googling ;P))

    March 25, 2007

    Language Learning With Maraka

    I couldn't believe a program like this actually existed.

    Welcome to language learning! Bueno... Click here.

    November 15, 2006

    Make a Brazilian Happy

    Make a Brazilian as proud as a peacock and ask for the meaning of saudade. The Brazilian's chest will rise like the waters around New Orleans did, yes, that high, and you will hear there is no word for saudade in any language in the world.

    Maybe so. Longing and yearning are verb-derived and don't quite express the variety of meanings of saudade. The French "manquer" conveys the idea of something lacking. The usage is Tu me manques or "You lack (in) me.

    I find the German word Sehnsucht the closest one to saudade. Sehnsucht is feminine, as saudade is. Sehnsucht means longing and also a craving for something as in the title of Fassbinder's film about the drug addiction of Veronica Voss.

    Banzo, the Yoruba word that expressed the disease that killed even the healthiest of slaves in Brazil is a good word, too, albeit a sad one. Banzo killed the slaves who yearned to be back in Africa and couldn't adapt to their new environment.

    Where does saudade stand in the midst of all of these words?

    Eu tenho saudade de você means I miss you. Literally, I have saudade for you.

    Esse céu me dá uma saudade do Brasil... This sky makes me miss Brazil. LIterally, This sky gives me a saudade for Brazil.

    Estou louco de saudade de você. I am crazy with saudade for you.

    The list of uses of saudade is never ending. I hope you have enjoyed the ride.

    Right now I am dying of saudade for Ipanema.

    Published previously in anarchy across the universe.

    August 28, 2006

    Small Talk for a Monday Morning

    It's been busy for me in Brazil. E-mail, Google Alerts about Orkut, its relationship site, a proto-MySpace, my own little problemas in Orkut, and so on and so forth.
    Here peace is gone upon the arrival of the aborrecente, a très kewl coined expression putting together adolescente and aborrecer ( to annoy. ) He needs ample supervision as teachers were trained to write instead of writing lazy.

    Are you aware of your own level of prejudice ? Did you ever find yourself playing Motown when expecting African-Americans for dinner, proposing some dance, serving ribs, kale and peas ? I read a piece on prejudice, or maybe pre-conceived ideas, in Newsweek many years ago. I remember this Caucasian couple who switch their music to Motown as they hear their guests ring the doorbell.

    Or do you assume you must speak very slowly if your guest's last name is Kowalski ?

    Maybe you add letters os and as to word endings in hope of making them more comprehensible to your guest whose name ends in -ez. Will you say, "Gooda morningo, howo aro you-o? I have-o a car-o." How embarassing if it were our number one freedom fighter, Gonzalez himself!

    If your guest were French, would you accuse the house help of having stolen the dishware and silverware, "...and that's why we have paper plates and plastic forks and knives, but you can use your hands anyway." (Ooops! What a faux pas; in France nobody uses his/her hands directly on the food, not even for chicken. Exception: sucking on artichoke sections.)

    Will you bore you Italian guest to death showing your support for any Italian-American who ever made the news here? Do you believe he knows or cares about them? A better strategy is to point out architecture and art by Italians here in the USA. Or stick to futebol.

    Once we admit we all have a dark side, "Force yourself, too" a famous actor was fond of saying in the heyday of Star Wars, 1977, why don't we force ourselves to admit we do have our own pre-judices. Once we do, it will be easier to work on them.

    The USA used to be known as a much more tolerant society than it is famed for now. Let's be the genuine Americans, "I don't care what you do as long as it doesn't interfere with my life. That is what Pluribus Unum (Many in one ) and the old Don't tread on me stand for. No snakes, peace, my friends! No, I haven't seen this Snake movie, no time and no money.

    Please click on the photo. A-baw-BITTI-nyash are used as slang for empty talk. Kind of like the content of this Anarchic Universe. Squash is spelled abobrinhas.Abobrinhaschile06

    August 24, 2006

    Babble in the Afternoon

    Many people consider Los Angeles a city without a culture. I love Los Angeles and the chance it has given me to appreciate so many cultures from around the world. In Brazil, where I was raised, there are many African -Brazilians, there are Dutch-Brazilians, and even French-Brazilians, historically speaking. Going south you will find a cosmopolitan city, São Paulo, where people of Syrian and Lebanese, Japanese, Italian , Swiss and German origin live. Like in Los Angeles, the rich live in gated neighborhoods, the poor iin favelas. I assume you know what favelas are.

    However, Brazil is united in its language despite regional accents or expressions. Even in the south, it is Portuguese that is spoken. Unfortunately, the days of the conquering almighty Portugal are gone. Brazil, Portugal and a few former colonies are the only countries speaking Portuguese.

    Here in Greater Los Angeles I have had the opportunity to pick up some phrases of a few of the 163 languages spoken here: Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Chinese ( Mandarin ), Russian, I am still trying Korean and Armenian. People like it when one shows interest in their culture.

    Music is a language in its own. I felt slightly concerned when I glanced at the news about Bob Dylan in B 12 Partners Solipsism. http://www.b12partners.net/mt.

    Right now I try to make up for my fears listening to Blonde on Blonde. That is a perfect combo of music and words. Bob Dylan, fluent in at least two languages!

    See you tomorrow. Remember to click on the photo to fully enjoy it. It's the spiralesque (?) Guggenheim in NYC.Guggenheim_1