--- Jrg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hallo!
> On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 17:22:00 -0400,
> Trebor Jung <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > In the Conlang Collaboration group, Paul Bennett
> rta: "...let me quickly
> > summarise the split-S language Guarani, because
> it's quite interesting:
> >
> > "Transitive verbs ('give', 'steal', 'know') take A
> and O
> > Intransitive verbs ('go', 'remain', 'follow') take
> S_a
> > Quality verbs (used for adjectives) take S_o
> >
> > "Transitive and Intransitive verbs may be placed
> in the imperative. Quality
> > verbs cannot."
> >
> > This sounds pretty cool!
> And it makes sense, as the quality verbs are not
> about actually *doing*
> something.  It is the same way in my conlang Old
> Albic (a fluid-S
> language).
I can't see that verbs like "to know" or "to remain"
are actually *doing* something neither. I think it's
risky to look for a consistent semantic explanation
for facts that are pure grammatical hazards,
concerning only some languages, and not others. As I
always quote, "to follow" is transitive in French (and
in English), but not in German (dative). In Russian:
ja sleduju za kem-to (I'm following somebody) = I
follow after somebody (case = Instrumental; why the
hell should this be instrumental, I have no idea,
except if "instrumental" means in fact a lot of
different things, many of them having nothing to do
with the concept of "instrument"; it's just that after
"za", one should use, either Acc, either Instr).

Quoting Tamas Racsko:

  Probably it comes form |Jesus|, but not necessary:
Hungarian also
has this interjection |j| [je:] for surprise,
especially with
pleasure.  However its "sign" is the opposite of
Alsacian [je:],
the suddenness is the same.  A similar |jaj(j)|
[jOj(:)] is used in
Hungarian for negative amazement, sudden pain, pity
etc., and
|juj(j)| [juj(:)] for "little", often funny suprise.

  There are also other j-initial interjections in
German lenguages,
like German |Juch| ~ English |yippee|, the base of
verb G. |jaulen|
~ E. |yowl| etc.  Or in Greek |ia| 'sound, cry', |iai|
(pleasure)', |i| '(pain; pleaure)', |iou| '(pain;
pleaure)' etc.
The palatal epenthesis is often alternates with velar
one, cf. E.
|yowl| ~ |(cater)waul| ~ |wow|, |yippie| ~ |whoopee|,
and Greek
|iai| ~ |iaiboi| ~ |ouai|, Latin |vae|. Sometimes a
third buffer
consonant (e.g. |h|) is used, cf. E. |yowl| ~
|(cater)waul| ~

  Therefore I think it is a simple onomatopoeic
interjection but
maybe used sometimes instead of profanity |Jesus| as
an euphemism.
True, "je:::" also can be used for surprise + pleasure
in Alsacian. Also when becoming tender, for ex when
discovering a kitty or some small pretty, delicate
animal. It all depends of the tone used. In fact,
je::: is the universal interjection :-)

But there is another very common one, "jo: !" (coming
from German "ja") Jo: is not je::: ! It means: come on
! (you're pulling my leg), this is not true, this
should not be done, this I don't believe or won't do.
It is often preceded by "e". If somebody tells you he
will give you your money back tomorrow, for ex, you
can answer : "E jo: !", or "jo ammel !" (orthograph
not guaranteed) : yes, for sure (ironical). "Jo !"
also can mean that you're tired, disgusted, vexed,
annoyed, from something, in that case it is uttered
shorter and higher.

So if you know how to use "je" and "jo", you already
know much of Alsacian. The rest is mainly details :-)

(Even if I left Alsace 25 years ago and never was a
native speaker, I still find it hard not to say "jo!"
from time to time when something vexes me, or "je:::"
in other situations. It somehow became encrusted in my
ears. For French natives, these would mean absolutely

Philippe Caquant

Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intellegor illis (Ovidius).

Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo (Horatius).

Interdum stultus opportune loquitur (Henry Fielding).

Scire leges non hoc est verba earum tenere, sed vim ac potestatem (Somebody).

Melius est ut scandalum oriatur, quam ut veritas relinquatur (Somebody else).

Ceterum censeo *vi* esse oblitterandum (Me).

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