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 Post subject: prefixes changing definitions
PostPosted: 2009 02 10, 07:24 
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A big problem for me is deciding which one of the hundred words Anglonas gives is the one I want for the meaning needed. UGH! So frustrating! I know that English also has synonyms with slightly different meanings. But I can't find where to go to get a clear idea of which words in Lithuanian fit what I want. A clear definition of each word.

For example, when you type in "kill", Anglonas gives you these:

užmušti AND nužudyti WITHOUT any examples of the difference in these two words. And that is only two. THERE WERE MORE also without examples of usage or definition.

So first question, what is the difference in the definition of these words? Are the definitions below the best way to explain it or would anyone else have something to add?


mušti - to beat (example sentences would be appreciated please)

(uŽ)mušti - to beat to death (because of the prefix it is finished action and apparently the finished action is not just to win the fight but to beat the guy dead!---???though how would you arrive at the conclusion the completed action is death and not just that the beating ended??)

žudyti - to kill (apparently doesn't matter how?)

(nu)žudyti - to kill (finished action due to prefix) But sorry I'm not quite getting it. Without the prefix I can use this verb as in future tense or present tense continuing action?
Like example: "I will kill my cat."
Or "I am killing my houseplants."

But with the prefix, it is definitely completed action so it will only be a past tense? Or maybe you can say in future that you will do it and will complete the action? Like: I will kill my cat." I just don't see the difference between the above sample and this one. :( :?

Sorry for so many questions. I feel so stupid sometimes. Probably this is simple and I'm just blind. We don't have prefixes to show completed action in English---I don't think.

Second question: How do the rest of you decide which Lithuanian word to use that are given as part of a list? Where do you go to get the best definition (preferably in English) in order to decide which word fits your intended meaning? Anglonas fails to have enough English definition and sample sentences.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 10, 09:09 
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About mušti and užmušti

I don't think mušti is the finished action of mušti. I think it is sumušti.

The prefix in this case changes the meaning of the verb slightly.

About finished action

Finished action can be in the future.

Rudenį - nuvažiuosime ten, kur nėra buvęs joks grybautojas.
In autumn - we will go where there haven't been any mushroom picker.

Here you are driving, and you have to finish driving to be able to pick the mushrooms.

Kokiomis padangomis važiuosime žiemą?
With what kind of tires will we drive in winter?

Here you are not interested in finishing driving. You are talking about when you actually are driving, what kind of tires will you use.

So the finished action of a verb can be used in past, present or future. It doesn't matter if the action is actually already performed. What is important is what you want to emphasize in your sentence.

Hope this made it a little bit more clear.

... and hope that this wasn't totally wrong. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: prefixes changing definitions
PostPosted: 2009 02 10, 11:57 
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snowbird wrote:
Sorry for so many questions. I feel so stupid sometimes. Probably this is simple and I'm just blind. We don't have prefixes to show completed action in English---I don't think.

You may not have prefixes, but you surely have phrasal verbs. I hope you know that in english it's possible to change the meaning of a verb just by adding a preposition after it. Never thought about it? 8) Why would english be the only language to have such feature, lithuanian does too. Maybe you knew this, since you were asking about completed action meaning, then I'll give you an example:
fill
fill up

In this case the action is complete because once something is filled to its top, you cannot put more to it.
Give it some thought and I'm sure you'll find more examples like this.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 11, 13:19 
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toto1919 wrote:
About mušti and užmušti

I don't think mušti is the finished action of mušti. I think it is sumušti.

The prefix in this case changes the meaning of the verb slightly.


First of all thanks for the corrections and explanations, toto and ascii. Very much appreciated.

I'm not doubting you are correct, Thomas. Just thoroughly confused. But what else is new?

So how do you know which prefix to put on a verb to make it the finished action of the verb?

How do you know what prefixes are even your choices to put on a verb?

You said "už" instead of "su" changes the meaning of "mušti" slightly. Understandable since the same happens in English. How do you know how any particular prefix changes the meaning and what that meaning is?

Have you found Anglonas as the best source or is there another way to examine a root/base word and how prefixes will change it's meaning?

Thanks again to both ascii and toto.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 11, 14:03 
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Would also be interested in a dictionary that gives those prefixes. That would make life easier. But yeah, I use Anglonas, Google, some Lithuanian dictionaries.

But I'm still not sure about wether the 'su' is the right finished action prefix for mušti. You will have to check with a Lithuanian on that one. But I don't think it's 'už', since the finished action prefix shouldn't change the meaning of the verb.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 11, 18:11 
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It's exactly what happens in english. There are some phrasal verbs with literal meaning, and others with figurative (I think that's what they call them). And the only way to know is to check a dictionary. http://www.lkz.lt/startas.htm gives all the meanings, but it's usually too complicated to follow.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 11, 18:24 
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Yeah, I checked for instance mušti and you got 15-20 (at least it felt like that) different prefixes that you could use. But it would be nice if they would show right away next to the word what prefix to use for that verb to describe finsihed action.

If Lithuanians learn a new verb, don't they have to know that prefix also? Why isn't it clearly marked in some dictionaries?

I understand that you have a lot of prefixes and you can't explain them all, but the prefix to describe finished action feels so important.

Also another question - If you have a prefix already on the verb, can you put finished action on it? Like važiuoti -> nuvažiuoti. Išvažiuoti -> ?. Does the context show if it is finished or not?

Sorry to steal your thunder and ask some question of my own, Snowbird, but maybe you will benefit from the answers too :)

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PostPosted: 2009 02 11, 20:53 
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This is not a topic where I know a lot, so, as far as I'm concerned, the prefixation of a verb usually has a perfective aspectual connotation (that, I believe, is what we are discussing about). Therefore the main difference between a particular prefix and one which means "finished action" is that the last doesn't add additional meaning to the verb, and just has the aspectual mark every prefix has. Yet, now I'm thinking that the concept of "finished action", still aspectually speaking, is rather confective, but that might be as well a problem of terminology. If it isn't, then it means that whilst most prefixes are perfective, some are confective.
toto1919 wrote:
Yeah, I checked for instance mušti and you got 15-20 (at least it felt like that) different prefixes that you could use. But it would be nice if they would show right away next to the word what prefix to use for that verb to describe finsihed action.

To shed some light (or darkness) on this topic, I'll add from the dictionary the definitions:
Quote:
mùšti
1. teikti skausmą smūgiais.

sumùšti
1. suteikti skausmo smūgiais, apkulti.
2. refl. pradėti muštynes.
3. tr. nugalėti kare, kautynėse.

užmùšti
1. nužudyti (ppr. smūgiu)

The relationship between the first definition of mušti and the first of sumušti is what I was talking about. If you can't tell the difference between teikti and suteikti (same verb with same prefix, same problem), then it's like if there was no information.
Let's hope that the difference I've just pointed out is not the one that refers to that perfective aspect, and think about the three following meanings. We can see that sumušti with the reflexive particle (susimušti) has not the terminative, but the startative (?) meaning. Still, without it, sumušti can mean to win at war, thus, if there's a winner then, war must be over, so there we might have one terminative.
And užmušti, as snowbird had said before, means to kill, so quoting her
snowbird wrote:
because of the prefix it is finished action and apparently the finished action is not just to win the fight but to beat the guy dead!---???though how would you arrive at the conclusion the completed action is death and not just that the beating ended??

What I'm trying to say about this last prefixation is that if you kill, then you end, therefore, another terminative.



Ooooohhh, this rambling went too long. If only we had a lithuanian (Laimi!) here, I could've saved my words.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 12, 13:38 
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Is anyone willing/able to please translate what ascii wrote in "Martian language" into just plain, old, simple, common-folk English? Or maybe just personal mail me the easier explanation since probably everyone but me understood ascii's intelligent explanation.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 12, 18:22 
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snowbird wrote:
Is anyone willing/able to please translate what ascii wrote in "Martian language" into just plain, old, simple, common-folk English? Or maybe just personal mail me the easier explanation since probably everyone but me understood ascii's intelligent explanation.

Thanks.

No prob:

Two plus two equals banana

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PostPosted: 2009 02 17, 20:12 
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Verb: naikinti = to destroy??

In Anglonas, the only time this verb shows without any prefix, it is like this:
naikinti = to fumigate

What is the finished action of this verb?
How can I find out which prefix creates finished actions?

From Anglonas: By adding different prefixes, are these the differences in the following definitions to this verb correct?

sunaikinti = to destroy, to kill, to annihilate, to ruin, to devour
išnaikinti = to kill out, to exterminate, to decimate
panaikinti = to eliminate, to defeat, to dissolve, to defeat

Does anyone else find this as confusing? I don't see very much difference at all in the English words. In many cases, almost synonyms. So how are you suppose to know which to use?

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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 18:37 
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snowbird wrote:
sunaikinti = to destroy, to kill, to annihilate, to ruin, to devour
išnaikinti = to kill out, to exterminate, to decimate
panaikinti = to eliminate, to defeat, to dissolve, to defeat



To put it simple: some of their meanings are the same. Others are not. So sometimes you can use any of them, while some other times you can't. Don't bother trying to learn these subtleties now.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 19:54 
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From the native speaker's point of view, i'll try to explain as exact as possible:
sunaikinti - to destroy an item and make it not available anymore. Example: Jie sunaikino visus pastatus - They destroyed all buildings (nobody can see these buildings anymore, nobody can use these building s anymore).
The word 'sunaikinti' also used when we want to 'destroy' documents: "sunaikink šį seną dokumentą - negalime leisti , kad ši slapta informacija nutekėtų konkurentams" "shred this out-dated document - we can't let this secret information to leak to our rivals".
You mentioned "in dictionary i find many english meanings to lithuanian words". Well, we use the same word to destroy a building and to 'destroy' a document (sunaikinti), but in english actually we can't say "to destroy a document" - the word is quite not appropriate in this case. As in your case, I also find it hard to explain 'how do I know that this word is not apropriate'. That's just 'feeling'.
Išnaikinti - to destroy all homogenous items (particularly living items) in certain area (and not giving an opportunity to those items to recover any more). it's most often used while we are talking about 'destroying' living organisms, particularly 'bad' living creatures - cockroaches, mice, rats, weeds etc. Example "pagaliau savo name išnaikinau visus tarakonus" "I finnaly exterminated all cockroaches in my house" And yet again, i just like you don't know which word is more appropriate in this english sentence while we are talking about 'destroying of all cockroaches so there are no cockroaches left in the house", either "to exterminate", or "to decimate". Don't have a 'feeling' on this word yet...
Panaikinti - terminate, let's say, sanctions, penalties, taxes - things we can't touch. "Mums reikia panaikinti nekilnojamojo turto mokestį" -"we have to abolish real estate tax" And yet again, for the word "panaikinti" there are many english meanings, but in my example I am sure that the word "abolish" is the most appropriate in this case, because I have heard many times the word "abolish" in this context.
And finally, if you don't know which word to use, I suggest you to use the first one, or the second one on the list. The higher number of the word is on the list - the more rarely it is used.


Last edited by crankshaft on 2009 02 18, 21:52, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 20:20 
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Awesome explanation, thanks. But I didn't understand this:

crankshaft wrote:
The higher number of the word is on the list - the more rarely it is used.


What list are you talking about?

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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 21:44 
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it's the list of meanings in the dictionary


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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 21:56 
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Thank you ascii for your simpler explanation and crankshaft for the Lithuanian version. Both are great and I needed them both. Thank you very much.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 18, 22:51 
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Quote:
"how would you arrive at the conclusion the completed action is death and not just that the beating ended??"

The fact that the beating ENDED is the most important one. It is not important HOW the beating ended, but if the action ended, we use a prefix. And diferrent prefixes determine different ways HOW the action ended:
užmušti - to beat to death. Jis užmušė savo katę. - He killed his cat (by beating to death).
sumušti - to beat until some bruises are made.
pamušti - to beat for a while and go. Aš pamušiau bokso kriaušę ir grįžau namo - I punched a punchball for a while and afterwards I came home
Quote:
žudyti - to kill (apparently doesn't matter how?)

Yes, it doesn't matter how.
Quote:
I will kill my cat
- aš nužudysiu savo katę (you are sure that the cat will be dead after action)
If you say "aš žudysiu savo katę" it means that you are not sure if the process of killing will be successful, also this could mean that your main goal is to enjoy the process of killing, not the result itself. In general this means that the process is more important to you than the result"
"žudyti" is not used with plants in Lithuanian. Usually you don't need anything to do to make those plants dead, you just need not to water them anymore. Lithuanians say "to allow houseplants to wilt" rather than to kill them. I am killing my houseplants - aš leidžiu savo naminiams augalams nuvysti (I am allowing my houseplants to wilt to death). To translate more accurately, i should know HOW do you kill those plants.
Well, as i've been learning english for many years, I also very often found it hard to find apropriate words to express my intended meaning, but as english is very common everywhere, i just was listening how people speak and then got a 'feeling' which word is more or less appropriate in certain situation.


Last edited by crankshaft on 2009 02 23, 11:57, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 19, 03:14 
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crankshaft wrote:
aš nužudysiu savo katę (you are sure that the cat will be dead after action)
If you say "aš žudysiu savo katę" it means that you are not sure if the process of killing will be successful, also this could mean that your main goal is to enjoy the process of killing, not the result of it"


That's a really difficult idea to grasp.

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PostPosted: 2009 02 23, 07:20 
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I have a vague grasp on what crankshaft means... but verb prefixes have always been one of the hardest things for me to understand in Lithuanian. Even harder than participles. I've never found any simple explanation on the meanings of the prefixes. I wish I could. :?

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 Post subject: suggestion
PostPosted: 2009 02 23, 12:28 
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If you are not sure which prefix to add (if you need to add at all), I suggest going without prefixes at first. People will understand what you want to say anyway (not always, but more often) , and correct you if you are wrong). Here's some examples, when the intended meaning will be understood without using prefixes:
Numesk man virvę- Mesk man virvę (drop me the rope)
Parašysiu laišką - rašysiu laišką (I will write a letter)
Nupiešiu saulę - piešiu saulę (I will draw a sun)
But, sometimes prefixes are essential:
Aš metu kamuolį į krepšį- I throw the ball to the basket (it is not important if I miss the shot or not - action is more emphasised than the result)
Aš įmetu kamuolį į krepšį - I throw the ball to the basket (and dont't miss the shot - the result is more emphasised than the action)


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PostPosted: 2009 02 23, 16:34 
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Could these meanings be translated like this...

Aš metu kamuolį į krepšį- I throw the ball at the basket
Aš įmetu kamuolį į krepšį - I throw the ball in the basket

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 Post subject: Re: suggestion
PostPosted: 2009 02 23, 19:24 
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crankshaft wrote:
If you are not sure which prefix to add (if you need to add at all), I suggest going without prefixes at first.


I'd just like to start learning more about what the prefixes mean and how they're used with different kinds of verbs, because they seem to sorta change meanings with different types of verbs (like movement verbs, transitive and intransitive...)
Even if I can't fully grasp what they mean now, I'll know something about them for when I come back to the subject later.

Is there any site or something like that that talks a lot about these prefixes?

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PostPosted: 2011 07 31, 18:31 
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I wrote my bachelor thesis on verbal prefixes, so I might prepare some beginner level tutorial on prefixes and their system.


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PostPosted: 2011 08 03, 11:58 
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Yes, please. [raising up my hand to vote]

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