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Re: [ontolog-forum] Levels

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:26:58 -0600
Message-id: <455B5759-ED88-4B8D-863A-FF253CD30A17@xxxxxxxx>
>>> You read a sentence from the first word to the
>>> last word, not picking and choosing your
>>> favorites.
> This statement may be true in English, but not in japanese,
> Osterreich-Deutsche, high German or Finnish.    (01)

I guess you mean it's true *of* English, but not *of* the others.   
Though it seems to me quite clearly true of all of them.    (02)

> Japanese places the context
> modifier in the first position of every sentence then the speaker/ 
> writer
> declares aspects of it in descending order of relevance until the  
> final
> syllable at the end determines whether the sentence was a statement,
> question, insult, observation etc.    (03)

Seems to me your response here is not at all germane to the statement  
in question, which has nothing whatever to do with grammatical word  
order.  It only says that you read a sentence starting with the first  
word (wherever that might occur physically relative to the other  
words) and ending with the last, and all the words in between (how  
else?); how the various syntactic roles of a sentence are ordered  
within the sentence is of course relative to the grammar.    (04)

> Germans have a tendency to place the verb at the end of a sentence  
> although
> there are so many exceptions to this slipshod, systemless language    (05)

What on earth are you talking about?  German is indeed grammatically  
quite a bit more complex than English, but it is exceptionally  
systematic.  Of course, if you are looking for some simple, one- 
sentence rule that says "always put verbs <here>" you won't find it,  
but there are relatively few rules that determine where verbs should  
occur for the great majority of cases (e.g., the conjugated verb in a  
subordinate clause goes to the end of the clause), and the situation  
is certainly no worse than what one finds in English and other  
natural languages.  If you want non-systematic, let's talk about  
English spelling!    (06)

> that unless you are born and raised German you will never master  
> the finer
> nuances of the art of Deutsche Spreche.  Ich kann ganz gute  
> Deutsche spreche
> (verb = Spreche).    (07)

Aaarrgh!  First, it's *die deutsche Sprache*.  German capitalizes  
nouns, not adjectives and verbs, and "Sprache" means "language";  
"spreche" is the first person singular case of the verb "sprechen",  
to speak[1].  And your rather ill-advised example should be "Ich kann  
ganz gut Deutsch sprechen" (nicely illustrating the rule that when  
the conjugated verb is an auxiliary the corresponding infinitive goes  
to the end).    (08)

Chris Menzel    (09)

[1] Though maybe you are trying to say "the art of speaking German"  
-- die Kunst des Deutsch Sprechens?  Here I'm not sure -- native  
German speakers?    (010)

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