I may not have worded it correctly, but the key point is that in certain
languages, some words become "favorites" which I interpreted to mean they
"carried more weight" than others. Some words in a sentence actually modify
the context of the other words in the sentence. This makes it very
difficult to nail down the semantics of any one word in an ontology,
dictionary or other lexicon. (01)
In Japanese in particular, the context marker word affects the semantics of
all following words right down to the last 7 characters which may completely
change the meaning of the entire collection of words. An example is that if
it ends in "desu" it is a statement of fact and if it ends in "desu-ka" it
is a question. (02)
The original assertion that you read and do not pick favorites was something
that seemed to be less consistent once we move beyond just English. I find
that many North American discussions become rooted in the English language
point of view and would like to encourage an expanded cultural scope. (03)
Of course, my own English grammar and language are horrible which may mean I
need to spend more time attempting to convey what I mean accurately in
On 2/20/07 11:26 AM, "Christopher Menzel" <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx> wrote: (06)
>>>> You read a sentence from the first word to the
>>>> last word, not picking and choosing your
>> This statement may be true in English, but not in japanese,
>> Osterreich-Deutsche, high German or Finnish.
> 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.
>> Japanese places the context
>> modifier in the first position of every sentence then the speaker/
>> declares aspects of it in descending order of relevance until the
>> syllable at the end determines whether the sentence was a statement,
>> question, insult, observation etc.
> 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.
>> Germans have a tendency to place the verb at the end of a sentence
>> there are so many exceptions to this slipshod, systemless language
> 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!
>> 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).
> 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. 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).
> Chris Menzel
>  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?
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