Author Topic: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind  (Read 1711 times)

Offline waive15

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Hi,

The "pros" and "cons" of something are its "advantages" and "disadvantages".
/it will be done in a relaxed way, so there will be mistakes/


I yam what I yam.
Popeye the Sailor


Native speakers don't notice some features of their "language" ("language" is a habit). Foreigners on the other hand are more critical/nitpicking.



"pro": English nouns have not grammatical gender. They lost their case endings (they have only one form, apart from genitive) - so: no endings - no gender! (very few exceptions) /look at the mess in German/

"pro": English pronouns - the same: Nom. form and the Other form (apart from genitive)

"con": One cannot say have not, read not, ...(in general) (which is normal in other languages) - don't/doesn't have, read ...  is a little bit too ... posh.

"pro/con": Prefixes which are prepositions are set/put after the verb where they belong. This makes verb short (which is good) but it is hard for the foreigners to decide if it is a Preposition or a Verb particle.
/This is extremely elegant. But I as a foreigner make the Verb particle a Prefix and then the phrasal verb sounds "normal" /like German, Russian, Latin, ... verbs// 

"pro/con": "What are you talking about?" The "normal" way would be "About what are you talking?" It is a simplification - if you have a question word (and a preposition) in a question - the question begins with the question word (and the preposition is at the end).

"pro": Perfect tenses use only HAVE (they are made regular!!!). /see German as a bad example/

"pro": Conditionals are simplified (due to simplified future, regular perfect tense and losing Subjunctive) /on the other side German is a way more punctual (with Subjunctive), Russian Conditionals are simplified but one cannot see the "logic"!!! (SO EVEN "RUSSIANS" cannot understand the "logic" of their own Conditionals (I prefer to leave that without comment)) /
...



P.S.
It will take time.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 03:32:30 AM by waive15 »

Offline Daniel

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Re: English - pros, cons and how one deals with them
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 05:51:47 AM »
Quote
The pros and cons of something are its advantages and disadvantages.
Languages don't have advantages and disadvantages. They just have features (and from an outside perspective, variation).

Advantages and disadvantages only exist in a context. If a language is insufficient for the purposes in which it is used, it will surely be adapted and expanded to become sufficient. I suppose you might think of some features are more convenient than others as a learner (or maybe just simpler to learn), but I don't agree with the premise of this. This really is part of what having the perspective of a linguist will do: we pick up a different perspective on languages that results in different questions.

Now, there certainly can be some conditional advantages or disadvantages. Having a language that distinguishes gender can be extremely useful in some cases, and extremely unfortunate in others. For example, if you want to distinguish between a male friend and a female friend, Spanish "amiga" and "amigo" are useful! But if you don't want to specify the gender of that friend (or their gender identity is non-binary) then you're going to be stuck! In English we just say "friend", for better and worse. It depends on context. One fundamental ability that language speakers have and use is vagueness, which isn't always available in some languages. That's interesting. Translators face this all the time, when something isn't specified (or is intended as a mystery) in the original text, but a choice must be made in the new language!
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Offline panini

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Re: English - pros, cons and how one deals with them
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 08:25:48 AM »
I contrarily think that languages and tools in general do have advantages and disadvantages, but that is a relationship between the think in question and the "experiencer" of the advantage. It's not intrinsic to the language (thus I end up agreeing with Daniel, just phrased differently). A torx screwdriver has definite advantages and disadvantages. If you have a torx screw, a torx screwdriver clearly advantageous and a flat-head screwdriver is clearly disadvantageous. Norwegian is clearly advantageous when talking to village elders in remote valleys of Norway, and clearly disadvantageous when talking to village elders in remote parts of the Atlas mountains. The lack of pharyngeal consonants and ridiculous consonant clusters makes English disadvantageous when one strives to speak Moroccan Arabic; the presence of such things in Tamazigh is advantageous when one strives to speak Moroccan Arabic. The ability to breathe air and water is a clear advantage for certain kinds of fish. "Advantage" is about goals, which is a thing that living beings have.

As for your specific examples, esp. the last point, you assume that foreigners need to perform a theoretical analysis whereby they label tings as Particle vs. Preposition. That's not necessary. Such a classification is one way of learning a language, but not a necessary way.


Offline waive15

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Hi,

You are right. The name of the topic is not right.  I have changed it.


---
 “Snatch” (2000)

“Bullet-Tooth Tony: A bookie's got blagged last night.
 Cousin Avi          : Blagged? Speak English to me, Tony. I thought this country spawned the f***ing language, and so far nobody seems to speak it.”

{Cousin Avi ( Dennis Farina  )is an American who has just arrived in London
{Bullet-Tooth Tony ( Vinnie Jones ) is British


P.S.

panini   : " ... "Advantage" is about goals, which is a thing that living beings have."
Daniel   : " Advantages and disadvantages only exist in a context. ..."
waive15: I understand. In a way this was meant as English version of (The) Three trifles in/of/about Russian

Thank you for the interest.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 06:11:31 AM by waive15 »

Offline Rock100

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Re: English - pros, cons and how one deals with them
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 02:24:55 PM »
> For example, if you want to distinguish between a male friend and a
> female friend, Spanish "amiga" and "amigo" are useful! But if you don't
> want to specify the gender of that friend (or their gender identity is
> non-binary) then you're going to be stuck! In English we just say "friend",
> for better and worse.
Please, believe me, the native English speakers have absolutely the same problem as the rest of the world – if you need to replace your abstract friend or person with a pronoun, you are stuck. I believe the total majority of languages use “he” by convention. So do the Brits. But politically incorrect choice of an American linguist may cost him (I am a foreigner, I could say that I did not know) his (oh…) teaching license nowadays.

Offline waive15

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Hi,

Participles are verbal adjectives (adjectives which come/are made of/ from verbs).


Past participles in "English". I suppose it is no big deal  for anyone to figure out when it is past active and when it is past passive participle.

---

"-ing (2)

suffix used to form the present participles of verbs ... "
" ... The vowel weakened in late Old English and the spelling with -g began 13c.-14c. among Anglo-Norman scribes who naturally confused it with -ing (1)."

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=-ing

The question is if the suffix is used for the present active or the present passive participle.
Is there present passive participle anyway in English?

Let's see what's in "Latin":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OcJXc_jGrQ

Is there present passive participles in Russian? - Yes.

In the "logic" of ("Indo-European") "Languages" one has to have past active and passive, present active and passive and future active and passive participles (past, present, future as exact moments in 1d Time).

or (in other words)

According to any exact moment of/in Time (1d: now; then: past; future) participles (active and passive) are: past, present, future. In a "Simple sentence" (when it is needed) one has two verbs - the 2nd is RELATIVE to the 1st (which "has/takes" the exact moment in 1d Time). In 1d one has 3 possibilities: before, "during", after. Participle is the 2nd verb and it takes form of :

* adjective - after the 1st verb "be". One is ACCUSTOMED in "Simple sentence" after the INTRANSITIVE verb "be" (is') to PUT/PLACE second Quality(adjective). "Apple is' red'."/"He is' gone' (past active participle) (dead')." {after transitive "be" (is'') one puts NOUN (Man is'' animal.)}

* adjective before missing noun (which is always meant) and this way adjective becomes a "noun"(or its "name"). This happens after "has" as the 1st verb (after "have" one has a noun or its "name" (the possessed)).

/tenses' formulae could have been way, way, ... complicated(exact) but one is a simple creature and that is why one uses the very simplest of the possible tenses' formulae/

===

Let's say it once more ...:

* according to a TRANSITIVE verb ("directed graph") one has 1st (doer) and 2nd (sufferer).

* (but) let's see: "Someone_1 give present (to) Someone_2 / Someone_1 give Someone_2 present."
   Now we have: doer, sufferer (in Connection) and direction (in another Connection (the 1st 3 (doer, sufferer, connection) with direction). So we have to have 3 participles: active, passive, directive. And 3 "pieces" (exact moments) of Time. ...

===

The term "copula verb" means nothing.

---


There are holes in "logic" of any "language". What holes in "English logic" from the "English" point of view are there? English orthography is a "small change", it is not a problem at all.

Have a nice day.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 05:46:27 PM by waive15 »

Offline Daniel

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You seem to be writing about traditional labels rather than underlying "logic". And there are always logical holes in traditional labels.
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Offline Forbes

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There are holes in "logic" of any "language". What holes in "English logic" from the "English" point of view are there?

"Logic(al)" is not really a helpful word to use in describing any language. The word can have different shades of meaning according to context. The basic meaning indicating valid reasoning is certainly not appropriate, nor really are any uses suggesting coherence, consistency or reasonableness. The thing to ask in respect of any language is what you can and must do, and not why it cannot do what some other language can do.

Offline Daniel

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Quote
"Logic(al)" is not really a helpful word to use in describing any language.
Agreed.
Quote
The thing to ask in respect of any language is what you can and must do, and not why it cannot do what some other language can do.
No language is more capable than another. Some can more efficiently express certain things, but circumlocution/paraphrase is always an option.

It seems to me the problem is the analysis, not the language. And it's the goal of Linguistics to better ways to understand languages.
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Offline waive15

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Hi,

Grammatical gender

You may or may not have it (in "your language").

Grammatical gender is (simply) a feature/aspect/dimension/... . One could live with and without it. It is just another layer of encoding (among others), nothing special.

"pro": English is simple (simplified): no endings signifying Grammatical gender - every noun (with very few exceptions) is in neuter.   

/English   - simplified, logical
 Russian  -  complicated, logical
 German  -  out of hand
 Turkish   -  nice, logical/


Thank you and have a nice day.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 06:43:24 AM by waive15 »

Offline Rock100

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Re: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 03:55:17 PM »
> English   - simplified, logical
Simplified? Probably, yes. Logical?.. People are still not agree if English has a grammatical gender or not. Though it looks like we – you and I – believe in grammatical gender in English.

> Russian  -  complicated, logical
Well, though the rules of Russian language (adopted by three official bodies of the Soviet Union in 1956) survived two of its countries and four Constitutions its grammatical gender is probably not more logical than its deceased and still functional companions. While reading this forum I have come to the conclusion that Russian grammatical gender is mainly like the English spelling – there are (almost) no rules and you just have to memorize every single usage of it. For example, let us consider “he/she is such a pig” sentence. The pig word is feminine in Russian the speaker must make agree the pronoun “such” with either subject or object. Let us define them as fsuch (feminine) and msuch (masculine). In this very case, both variants are acceptable: “he is [fsuch a pig]” and “[he is msuch] a pig” and I believe there is no difference in them. (There is a slight difference in default meaning for he and she though: “she is such a pig” will probably more likely mean she is a kind of fatty and “he is such a pig” defaults to he is dirty and slovenly). But a lot of other Russian feminine nouns will require fsuch adjustment for “he” only. And I believe there are no rules to handle these situations – one have to memorize them or to develop a feeling of the language. Moreover “he is fsuch a bitch” is absolutely identical to its English counterpart but “he is msuch a bitch” turns the “bitch” into interjection (exclamation) and the phrase begins to require an object as “he is msuch a bitch idiot” that means “he is such a fking/damn idiot”.
There are more examples of strange Russian grammatical gender behavior I do not understand.

Offline Forbes

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Re: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2020, 11:27:09 AM »
People are still not agree if English has a grammatical gender or not. Though it looks like we – you and I – believe in grammatical gender in English.

That has to depend on what you mean by grammatical gender. It seems to me that there are two possible definitions:

The first is to say that a language has grammatical gender if it has the ability to distinguish between things male and things female. Since distinguishing between things male and things female is very important to humans I would be very surprised if there is a language which does not do so. I think we can say with some measure of confidence that under this definition all languages have grammatical gender.

The second is to say that a language has grammatical gender if its nouns are divided into two or more classes and it has a system of agreement which requires words associated with the noun (articles, adjectives, pronouns or verbs) to change their form according to which class the noun belongs.

English has words to distinguish males and females, such as "man" and "woman", "boy" and "girl" and "actor" and "actress", but no system of agreement. The fact that it has "he", "she" and "it" does not mean that English has three grammatical genders any more than having the words "man", "woman" and "thing".

Offline Rock100

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Re: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2020, 02:13:53 PM »
> That has to depend on what you mean by grammatical gender. It seems to me
> that there are two possible definitions:
I do not like the first one. It requires exceptions for pronouns and brunette girls. (Probably, blonde ones too). It will most likely require a distinction between grammatical and natural gender (and probably introduction of some other gender kinds) of animate creatures, anthropomorphic robots and artificial intelligences. It will also need to somehow eliminate native English speakers who still refer to ships, cars and countries as feminine. I have been told otherwise but I still believe/feel that Proper Nouns that are names like Mary and Thomas (even if he is a stream-engine) require the definite agreement with their pronouns. And despite you may give the name Mary to a male and refer to him as “he” this will have nothing to do with the grammatical gender. You may name Mary a male in Russian too and this very Mary will be “he” as well (though he would be a very unhappy Mary) but the word Mary will continue to associate with females.
I also believe I know the third possible way of definition of the grammatical gender. If linguistics were a real science, it would have a set of basic axioms. One could postulate the grammatical gender as a basic axiom of the linguistics. I do feel there shall be a better way but IMO such a solution could do until one invents a better one.

> English has words to distinguish males and females, such as "man" and "woman",
> "boy" and "girl" and "actor" and "actress", but no system of agreement.
Formally speaking you are still required/allowed to agree at least pronounces with them.
I also believe that a language that used to have a grammatical gender system would never be able to get rid of it completely. IMO the only way to do it is to destroy the knowledge about such fact. And despite England and the US have started the process of destroying I hope Australia and Russia will rescue the English language. Personally I own several books that mention Celtics and Germanic (the languages with normal grammatical gender) roots of English.

Offline Forbes

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Re: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 03:20:19 AM »
Linguistics is a real science even if for the most part it is not a hard science. Linguistics does not and cannot have axioms because it starts by looking at stuff rather than from abstract principles. Anyone postulating that grammatical gender should be a basic axiom of linguistics is likely to have as his mother tongue a language with grammatical gender. It is entirely understandable that the native speakers of a language consider all its features to be natural and necessary. When learning a language which lacks a feature their language has they may consider it defective, and if it has a feature their language lacks they may consider that it makes unnecessary distinctions. Whatever features a language may have or lack it will be an adequate vehicle of communication for it speakers.

Whether or not you believe in universal grammar, actual languages come in all shapes. Whilst every language is best described in its own terms technical terms are still needed. That may lead to terms perfectly suitable for one language being applied to another. In that respect many linguistic features come on a continuum. To descibe English as an inflectional language would not be incorrect as it has inflections (nine on most counts) but it would nevertheless be misleading.

if a language has a feature you have to ask the degree to which it has it before you insist that the feature is a significant aspect of the language. I recall a discussion I had on another forum with a Chinese speaker who insisted that English had classifiers because of phrases such as "a herd of cows" and "a bunch of grapes". She wanted English to have classifiers because a language without classifiers did not seem right. The point is though that whilst a language with classifiers may require you to use a classifier if talking about more than one cow or grape, English is quite happy with "four cows" and "many grapes" without further elaboration.

Insisting that English has grammatical gender is like insisting it has classifiers. The essence of grammatical gender is not that nouns are grouped in different classes, but that there is a system of agreement based on on the classes. Chinese may be said to have different classes of nouns according to which classifier is required, but it does not have grammatical gender because it does not have a system of agreement.

It is stretching things to breaking point to say that there is a system of agreement in English. The use of "he", "she" and "it" is entirely predictable according to whether what is being talked about is male, female or inanimate. Referring to ships and cars using "she" is metaphorical or fanciful and no different from giving such a thing a name. Using the right word is a question of semantics and not morphology or syntax. Even if you insist that in some sense using the correct word is a question of grammar, it is not sufficiently pervasive to justify classing English as a language with grammatical gender. If you tell someone starting to learning English that it has grammatical gender and they know a language Like French, German, Russian or Arabic, it will not be long before they declare: "I thought English was supposed to have grammatical gender."
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 03:27:12 AM by Forbes »

Offline Rock100

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Re: Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2020, 07:03:40 AM »
> Linguistics does not and cannot have axioms because it starts by looking
> at stuff rather than from abstract principles.
I do not think a thing can work without axioms because it will mean everything in the thing can be formally proved and this is impossible due to the Godel’s theorems.

> That may lead to terms perfectly suitable for one language being applied
> to another. In that respect many linguistic features come on a continuum.
> To descibe English as an inflectional language would not be incorrect as it has
> inflections (nine on most counts) but it would nevertheless be misleading.
So the amount of irregular verbs (I do believe there are more than nine of them – I just try to say they would be enough alone) may someone make to doubt about inflectionality of English? I do understand your point and I do agree with the possibility of different treatments of any aspects depending on the purpose, audience or other needs. I do admit that someone (with a special notification) may choose a suitable formulation that has exceptions in general. But the exceptions shall not be that numerous or important. So, I would definitely agree that English is absolutely unaffected by the pronouncing length of the syllables though I know at least one exception.

> Insisting that English has grammatical gender is like insisting it has classifiers.
Yeah, the English classifiers are something way out of head for unprepared audience. It took me years to convince myself that “pieces” in the “furniture pieces” phrase is the classifier and are not parts of a broken chair. Again, I can admit that a native English speaker could probably have never thought about such a small thing. It looks like native English speakers are inattentive and incurious (and strange) about their language – even the Great Vowel Shift was discovered by a foreigner...

> If you tell someone starting to learning English that it has grammatical gender and
> they know a language Like French, German, Russian or Arabic, it will not be long before
> they declare: "I thought English was supposed to have grammatical gender."
Ok. I will wait.