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CONLANG  October 2004, Week 3

CONLANG October 2004, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Russian "a" and Norwegian "ikke/ingen" (was: Re: Question about Latin.)

From:

"Mark J. Reed" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 19 Oct 2004 19:10:46 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (33 lines)

On Tue, Oct 19, 2004 at 11:18:41PM +0200, Henrik Theiling wrote:
> In German, it's impossible to use 'not' here.  The only way is:
>
>    Ich habe kein Auto.  (kein = no)
>
> But
>    *Ich habe nicht ein Auto.
>
> is ungrammatical and
>
>    ??Ich habe ein Auto nicht.
>
> is at least strange if not ungrammatical.

> And interestingly:
>
>      Ich fahre nicht Auto.  (less common than with 'kein' above)

So what about "Ich habe nicht Auto", sans article?  In English,
"I don't have car" sounds telegraphic or uneducated, but I don't know
about German.  Most other languages seem to do without anything where
English puts the indefinite article.

Heck, even Spanish, with its wanton use of the definite article in front
of just about every conceivable noun and a few inconceivable ones, does
without any article in these constructs, IIRC: "No tengo coche".  The
analogue of the "kein" form is just an emphatic extension, since Spanish
still requires the verb to be negated: "No tengo ningún coche".  But
again, that's based on my no-doubt-faulty recollection of how Spanish
works.

-Marcos

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