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I have scratched my head for many days wondering why some nouns

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Author Photo by: emorjon2
Aug 07 2020, 2:27pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
I have scratched my head for many days wondering why some nouns become verbs when adding Ma- prefix while others become adjectives:
 
ganda (noun: beauty) -> maganda (beautiful)
tulog (noun: beauty) -> matulog (to sleep)
 
Now I have a feeling I'm onto something here, but I'm not sure.
After alot of googling, I found this article describing Adjectives and MA-verbs as being the same category specifically in Tagalog, called "Statives"
www.academia.edu/529 8479/Adjectives_Thin k_again_Statives_in_ Tagalog
What they describe statives to be, is that they describe the state of the noun, rather than the noun itself.
ex.
ganda (noun: beauty) -> maganda (STATE-beauty -> beautiful)
tulog (noun: sleep) -> matulog (STATE-sleep -> sleeping / to sleep)
 
Both the MA-verbs and adjectives seem to follow the excact same conjugation rules, except for one thing I discovered:
 
I have learned the conjugation for MA-verbs:
 
natulog ako -> I was sleeping
natutulog ako -> I am sleeping
matutulog ako -> I will be sleeping
 
If MA-verbs and Adjectives were the same category, then what hinders me from doing this:
naganda ako -> I was beautiful
nagaganda ako -> I am beautiful (right now)
magaganda ako -> I will be beautiful
 
Yet, it obviously is not correct to say "magaganda ako" if I want to say "I will be beautiful". That instead becomes "Magiging maganda ako"
 
Is their explanation and description of "statives" pure rubbish or are they into something and there is something I don't get?
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Author Photo jkos Badge: AdminBadge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Aug 07 2020, 4:19pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
@emorjon2
Hmm...are you more interested in the technical, linguistic underpinnings of these usages, or are you primarily interested in better learning to use the language in a practical way?
 
I would say that the paper is not very useful for a beginner or intermediate student to learn how to use the language well. If your main consideration is practical, then the paper is overkill...the idea of these various forms as "statives" won't be of great practical use.
 
For a beginner, there shouldn't be much head scratching about Tagalog adjectives...
 
1.) Some roots can take a ma- prefix and become adjectives.
2.) Some roots can be adjectives without the ma- prefix.
3.) Not all roots can take a ma- prefix to become an adjective.
4.) You just have to memorize which is which! There's no shortcut to it...Language is not a math problem.
 
You can try to puzzle out WHY the above statements might be true, but figuring out why (if even possible) will not help very much in acquiring the language in a practical sense.
 
Does that help, or maybe I missed your point?
 
If you want to debate the particulars of that paper, someone else can probably do it better than I can,...but if you're struggling about whether learning something in that paper is critical to you learning the language well, I would say it's not.
 
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Author Photo matthewreichle
Aug 07 2020, 5:08pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
The best way to approach it is to just not overthink it. It's helpful to know general patterns when it comes to grammar and sentence structure, but there are so many exceptions and unique cases that trying to understand why and how is just digging yourself into a bottomless hole.
 
Just keep working with the language outside of grammar and if there's something that that doesn't conform to the general grammar rules, don't scratch your head trying to figure it out. Simply say, "thats just the way it is" and move on.
 
I used to be really grammar focused when I started learning tagalog and it honestly got me nowhere. What really worked for me was just interacting with the language, reading/watching/listening to tagalog content or talking to people in the language.
 
I know this doesn't answer your specific question at all, but this is just the my advice from someone who used to ask a lot of similar questions.
 
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Author Photo stevesmi
Aug 08 2020, 1:01am CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
@matthewreichle ditto but not only head-scratching but also headaches and sleepless nights and midnight walks some Tagalogs who thought that my questions were crazy and... and... and...
 
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Author Photo akosikoneho
Aug 08 2020, 2:04am CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
Hey... so the reason why ma- verbs act that way is because they are verbs, not adjectives. Adjectives DO NOT conjugate, stative verbs however, do. A stative verb just describes the state which something is in. Maganda siya -> he/she is in the state of being beautiful. This is Tagalogs way of getting around the fact that they don't have a copula like English "to be". One might be tempted to call these verbless sentences until they realize that, no infact these are stative verbs. Chinese has the same issue where all of their adjectives are in fact stative verbs. This seems to throw off people who aren't used to how non European languages work.
 
They're called adjectives for the lowest common denominator, not because they really are adjectives. I'd change them on this site myself but I'm not the shot caller ; )
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Aug 08 2020, 12:27pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
Hey... so the reason why ma- verbs act that way is because they are verbs, not adjectives. Adjectives DO NOT conjugate, stative verbs however, do. A stative verb just describes the state which something is in. Maganda siya -> he/she is in the state of being beautiful. This is Tagalogs way of getting around the fact that they don't have a copula like English "to be". One might be tempted to call these verbless sentences until they realize that, no infact these are stative verbs. Chinese has the same issue where all of their adjectives are in fact stative verbs. This seems to throw off people who aren't used to how non European languages work. They're called adjectives for the lowest common denominator, not because they really are adjectives. I'd change them on this site myself but I'm not the shot caller ; )
 
@akosikoneho very good point. I think one problem with adult learners is the tendency to find an "English equivalent" rather than studying the grammar as it is. So people get confused when they move to more complex part of the grammar.
 
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Author Photo akosikoneho
Aug 08 2020, 12:49pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
> If MA-verbs and Adjectives were the same category, then what hinders me from doing this:
naganda ako -> I was beautiful
nagaganda ako -> I am beautiful (right now)
magaganda ako -> I will be beautiful

> Yet, it obviously is not correct to say "magaganda ako" if I want to say "I will be beautiful". That instead becomes "Magiging maganda ako"
 
No. The conjugable form of ganda is gumanda. Gaganda ako is fine. Magiging maganda ako sounds like what an English or Chinese speaker would say.
 
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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Aug 08 2020, 12:53pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
> If MA-verbs and Adjectives were the same category, then what hinders me from doing this: naganda ako -> I was beautiful nagaganda ako -> I am beautiful (right now) magaganda ako -> I will be beautiful Yet, it obviously is not correct to say "magaganda ako" if I want to say "I will be beautiful". That instead becomes "Magiging maganda ako" No. The conjugable form of ganda is gumanda. Gaganda ako is fine. Magiging maganda ako sounds like what an English or Chinese speaker would say.
 
@akosikoneho Wow...OWNED
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Aug 08 2020, 3:11pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
The only time I hear where na- is used with ganda is when -han is also attached as a suffix.
 
Nagagandahan ako sa bundok. I find the mountain beautiful.
 
To say "I was beautiful", we usually say "Maganda ako noon" (I used to be beautiful).
 
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Author Photo stevesmi
Aug 08 2020, 7:48pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
... I think one problem with adult learners is the tendency to find an "English equivalent" rather than studying the grammar as it is. So people get confused when they move to more complex part of the grammar.
 
@Bituingmaykinang That is partly true in that attempting to understand sentences from an English point of view as well as a Tagalog p.o.v. causes many problems especially since learning only European languages early on in life and not being exposed to any non-European languages until adult age.
 
But also background makes a big difference. Until retirement I was a highly skilled and highly qualified Electronics Engineer for all of my life where details very often do matter and considerably at times. And where the math(s) analysis has only one single answer at the end of the day. Applying those practices to languages causes me many problems.
 
I'm having to re-learn to be less finicky and learn acceptance of exceptions to the rules which don't really exist in the technical world.
 
Oh, and having to re-study lesser-known but important names such as particles and participles and copula and enclitic and similar important but strange and forgotten meanings.
 
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Author Photo BoraMac Badge: Supporter
Aug 13 2020, 10:06pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
ganda (noun: beauty) -> maganda (beautiful)
tulog (noun: beauty) -> matulog (to sleep)
 
Not getting me near that nosebleed Statives paper. I left my $100,000 debt of curiosity in Ithaca.
 
Spend a couple BUX and buy a starbux for some natives. Ask anything about a noun or verb and they just proceed to NGA LOOK. TAG alogs just MAG or PAG (or any other transformation) the root word to serve their intuitive functional need in an utterance.
 
I start with root words. Love that instinct here too. I am not deeply sure if a root even has a natural / primary part of speech. And I hope never consider such thought. (Nosebleed).
 
Ganda does seem naturally "the ganda" a noun.
 
Tulog...weeeh. at Meeeh. But "the sleep" or "to sleep"? Tilts verb for me.
 
Sleep is passive...MA- is passive...natural to matutulog
 
Ang Ganda to MAganda[ng] babae...feels natural without too much thought.
 
IF it helps...
 
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Author Photo BoraMac Badge: Supporter
Aug 13 2020, 10:33pm CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
Even more simply....
 
AN is verb affix for some roots...
 
AN is also a noun affix for some roots... Sometimes overlapping. Minsan minsan.
 
Tagalogs are loyal to their preferred transformations...and often use them for different functions.
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Aug 14 2020, 12:35am CST ~ 9 mos. ago. 
There are some things in grammar that you just have to accept as it is.
 
Another example is taga-. When followed by a place name, it becomes "from/native of/resident of". When followed by a verb, it becomes a "job".
 
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Author Photo leinad Badge: Native Tagalog Speaker
Apr 18 2021, 12:19am CST ~ 1 mo., 1 day ago. 
Hey... so the reason why ma- verbs act that way is because they are verbs, not adjectives. Adjectives DO NOT conjugate, stative verbs however, do. A stative verb just describes the state which something is in. Maganda siya -> he/she is in the state of being beautiful. This is Tagalogs way of getting around the fact that they don't have a copula like English "to be". One might be tempted to call these verbless sentences until they realize that, no infact these are stative verbs. Chinese has the same issue where all of their adjectives are in fact stative verbs. This seems to throw off people who aren't used to how non European languages work. They're called adjectives for the lowest common denominator, not because they really are adjectives. I'd change them on this site myself but I'm not the shot caller ; )
 
@akosikoneho as far as i know ma-stative verbs and ma-adjective are different. first ma-adjective can't be inflected for aspect. second ma-stative verb and ma-adjective differs in their plural forms. Ma-stative verb is pluralize by putting -nga- in it while Ma-adjectives is pluralize by repeating the first CV of the root word. lastly Ma-adjectives doesn't implies the state of the root but rather the abundance of it. Ma-adjective is pluralize the same way with Napaka-superlatives Ang/Kay Exclamatives which as far as i know is considered adjectives.
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Apr 18 2021, 10:03am CST ~ 1 mo., 0 days ago. 
It is what it is. Just like taga- is not always "native of/lives in that place", it sometimes mean "someone who is assigned to the task"
 
Also ganda is not a verb, it is a NOUN. Just like how taga + place would mean "native of", while taga + verb would mean someone who was assigned to perform the verb.
 
Ma + noun. Ma-ganda. Normally, in cases like this you can substitute Ma- for the Ang marker to express the same thought. Ang ganda, ang bait, ang linis, ang pangit
 
Ma + verb. Ma-tulog. But never ang tulog unless you mean sleep, the noun, not sleep the verb
 
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Author Photo leinad Badge: Native Tagalog Speaker
Apr 18 2021, 10:11am CST ~ 1 mo., 0 days ago. 
@Bituingmaykinang It wasn't. You can't just use Taga as an example. They differs in nature. Taga doesn't exist in verbal affixes of Tagalog Verbs. Ma- Statives & Ma-adjectives is more complicated than you imagined.
 
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