Date:    Fri, 21 Dec 2001 15:01:49 -0500
John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> a écrit :

Au 1er Janvier 1939
Does it mean "since 1 January 1939" or "before
1 January 1939"?
"Au 1er janvier 1939" means "as of 1 January 1939".

I have similar problems with IALs, where again the roots
are plain but the grammatical endings are often not.  Don
Harlow (I think) says that if you learn that "droni" means
"to drown", you haven't learned it (because "drown" in
English can take either an agent or a patient subject);
whereas if you know that it means "sufokigi [or is it
in akvo", you understand it.  But this helps me not at all,
because "suffocate" also can take agent or patient
subject, and I know that -ig- and -igh- convert between
transitive and intransitive forms, but I can't remember
which is which!
your point is very interesting!! in japanese and indonesian
lessons i realized that my english speaking classmates had
trouble remembering which verbs were transitive or
intransitive. especially in japanese where for instance
"kudaku" "to break up" is transitive and "kudakeru" is
intransitive while "aku" "to open" is intransitive and
"akeru" is transitive. the english speakers really couldn't
see the point in changing the verb ending for that (and we
french speakers could never guess which was which!). i had
nomore trouble remembering these japanese endings after i
realized that they are not based on transitive vs.
intransitive. actually quite a many so-called "intransitive"
japanese verbs with typically "intransitive" -aru ending may
have a direct object. for instance "osowaru" is "to learn"
and "oshieru" to teach" and both are transitive.

there is no "international recipe" to pick the "base" verb
from a transitive/intransitive pairs of verbs and derive the
other from it, don't you think so?
the french /casser/ "to break" is transitive while the
indonesian /pecah/ "to be broken" is intransitive. the
french intransitive /se casser/ derives from the transitive
while the indonesian /memecah(kan)/ derives from the
intransitive. same with french /transférer/se transférer/
and japanese /tsutawaru/tsutaeru/. in english both
transitive and intransitive are usually the same and you
guess what makes sense. Vorlin tags -i for intransitive
and -o for transitive without making either form prevail.
and maybe your next point here would be whether a
transitive/intransitive tagging of the verb is relevant when
this is already made clear with a preposition (especially in
a VSO IAL ;). Ahlala, ces IdéAListes ! :)

There is no difference between the two words for horse. The
difference is conveyed in the word "the" and the old
Norseman might not
understand this because his word for "the" doesn't behave
like that. So:
are you trying to sell me one horse or are you trying to
sell me two
horses? If you get enough situations like that there is a
strong drive
towards simplifying the language.
sure. they may have created weird extra words like "one",
"two" or "several" to simplify the language. :)))