Once again, I've forgotten that replies to Dana's messages have to be manually directed to the list....so now I'm replying to a message that didn't make it to the list.
There may be no formally defined word order for E-o, but the defacto
rule is SVO.
I never said it the inflection was "worse" because it does
serve a purpose, but the issue is one of what's lost and what's gained.
What's lost is really nothing since making it optional will still allow
changes in word order. What's gained is the time normally spent trying
to learn it.
I'm not arguing against the *accusative*. It exists in all languages.
I'm just saying why put a marker on it and make students spend long
hours drilling it into their brains when it's really not necessary.
Language is a set of habits, and learning new habits takes time. Why
not mark the nominative too? There are languages like Japanese that do.
Right! Their L1 doesn't have it. This applies to *lots* of people
> and (b) learning it requires understanding the concepts of subject,
> object, and transitivity. I don't know how things may be elsewhere,
but in the
> US, education in grammar has just about hit bottom. You can't count
> educated people understanding these grammatical terms anymore.
Right again! Joe Sixpack probably doesn't even know a noun from an
adjective. As sad as the U.S. educational system is, you can count it
being even worse in most of the world. Most people on the planet get
little or no formal education and are illiterate.
> Then when we come to a sentence such as "What do you
> have that I want?" To keep it SVO we have to do "Vi havas kio, mi
> That is pretty unnatural for anglophones, and I suspect we can expect
to see a
> learning curve and mistakes there. You might decide to allow
deviations from SVO
> under certain conditions.
"Vi havas kiu kio mi deziras."
you have what that I want
> This will introduce further syntactic complexity, but
> the point is that these syntactic rules still require speakers to
> concepts of subject, object, and transitivity, unless the rules happen
> those of their L1, in which case the rules don't have to be "learned"
You have two groups of people here. Those who mark, and those who
don't. Those who do can easily learn to stop marking. Those who don't
will have to spend a lot of time learning to mark. The price is that
those who mark will have to adjust to a more rigid word order.
That's one mistake I see in a lot of language references and learning
materials. They tend to load up on linguistic terms. One reason I have
a lot of respect for Berlitz's teaching methods is that they concentrate
more on the development of habits rather than worrying about terminology
or teaching "rules". Instead they present sentence structures and
repeat them until they become habit. This works even for learning
inflections, but the issue is that it takes time to develop new habits
and some habits are easier to acquire than others.
No, it doesn't deal with Ido but a marker is a marker. The only
difference being that Ido doesn't use it in a basic SVO sentence. The
point in the article was that by dropping the -n, these native speakers
are demonstrating that its superfluous.
> Although adjectival accord is redundant, the accusative isn't.
I find it redundant when the it's perfectly clear what's meant without
"hundo mordas viro"
This is one of the things I've found elegant about Chinese grammar.
Superfluous information is omitted, but markers sill existing for
occasions when they are needed. Even POS markers are available when
needed, but generally they are not used.