On 11/23/06, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
verb endings actually have a meaning something like "do", "behave",
"act". Auld, (quoting Grabowski, I believe) somewhere points out that
"Xi" does not mean "esti Xa" but "i Xe"; another formulation might be
to point out that "li Xas" does not answer the question "kia li
estas?" but "kion li faras?" or "kiel li kondutas?" This is as true
when the root is attributive (adjectival) as when it is active
(verbal). "La domo flavas" is an answer to the question "What is the
house doing?", not "What color is the house?" (to which the answer
would be "La domo estas flava").

I actually think that this distinction is so subtle that few Eo speakers can really track it.  For one thing, the distinction between being in a state and doing is itself blurry.  To say that the sentence "La domo flavas" answers the question "What is the house doing" but *not* the question "What color is the house" is not entirely correct.  To the extent that the question "What is the house doing?" makes sense at all, "La domo flavas" wouldn't answer it.  "La domo disfalas" might.  The sentence "La domo staras sur la monteto" also doesn't answer the question "What is the house doing?", although "La viro staras sur la monteto" answers the question "What is the man doing?"

I think that the use of the -as ending, versus the use of esti plus adjective, carries a hint of the distinction marked in Spanish with the verbs "ser" and "estar".  That is, if you say "La viro kuragxas" it suggests (to me, anyway) that at this moment the man is manifesting courage.  If you say "La viro estas kuragxa" it suggests that the man is brave by nature.  But as I say, if you really needed to make that distinction clear, you'd do more than this, and I'm not convinced that the distinction I perceive in these two cases would be shared by all or most speakers.  And I may just be wrong.

(I still think there's a difference between "iri hejmen" and "iri hejmon" but Bertilow tells me there isn't!)