General Linguistics > Linguist's Lounge

Features of Eglish from a certain point of view, contex and goal in mind

(1/7) > >>

waive15:
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.

Daniel:

--- Quote ---The pros and cons of something are its advantages and disadvantages.
--- End quote ---
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!

panini:
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.

waive15:
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.

Rock100:
> 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.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version