En réponse à Tamas Racsko : > Of course you have right, Does Hungarian use an expression translated as "to have right"? Funny, so does French :)) . But in English people *are* right (or not ;)) ). It's meant as a friendly correction, and a disguised question about Hungarian, not an insult. > I agree with you, however, I aimed >anything else. I'd like to give an _analysis_ why "ne .. pas" isn't >a single unit. Because the original statement was about the >literary French "ne .. pas", I argued in the same circumstances. OK. > I think in this case we can talk about two separate French >"languages" (as in case of many other "civilized" languages), and >we can't mix them. Different rules and analyses could be true for >literary (= written = normative) and spoken (= colloquial) French. Exactly. Hence my long argument that the French orthography hides the true polysynthetic structure of French :)) . > I think it's not affirmative, both Hungarian and Slovak use >negative in this sentence. It's just the different subjective >attidute of the English: they fear the action in this case, we -- >Frenchmen, Hungarians, Slovaks -- fear the cancellation of the >action. Nope. If we fear the cancellation of the action, we say: je crains qu'il ne vienne *pas*: I fear he will not come. "Je crains qu'il ne vienne" is for all purposes really affirmative. > Both are different sides of the same medal. True, but the situation is just more complex than that, since we can also express true fear of the cancellation of an event too. _____________________________________________________________________________ En réponse à Douglas Koller, Latin & French : >In uni, we learned this as the "pleonastic 'ne'". In a non-fear >context, I seem to remember a sentence like: >Je suis plus grand qu'il ne l'est. >was possible. Yep. >Christophe offered, "Je ne sais." > >The mnemonic we learned is S.T.O.P. > >S - savoir (Je ne sais.) >T - tromper (Si je ne me trompe.- If I'm not mistaken.) >O - oser (Tu n'oserais. - You wouldn't dare.) >P - pouvoir (Je ne puis.(?) Je ne peux.(?)) The first sounds better, because the use of "ne" only to indicate negativity is outdated, just like the use of "puis" for the present tense of "pouvoir". So it feel that they fit together better than the more modern "peux" does with "ne". >Three sound a tad dated, but I *like* "Si je ne me trompe." and work >into conversation whenever I can :) Unfortunately, it sounds very quaint to us and would likely attract snickering and lack of respect. Everyone just says "Si j'me trompe pas" :) . Christophe Grandsire. http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.