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>
> But I really wanted to challenge your belief that "For first
>
> language learners, irregularity in verb forms, for example,
>
> is not a problem,...". As I've mentioned here before, this old
> chestnut - popularised by Prof. Mario Pei among others - just
> doesn't seem to be true. Let me quote a passage from "Lango"
> http://bahai-library.com/books/lango/lang26.html#p
> I've posted here before:
>
> ".....the Turkish inflectional system is fairly intricate, but
>   Turkish children normally master it well before the age
> of two because it is completely regular and straightforward .
> An oft-quoted illustration combines the noun "el" ("hand")
> with the inflections "-im" (first person possessive), "-ler"
> (plural) and "-de" (locative):
>
>   el   "hand"
>
>   elim   "my hand"
>
>   elde   "in hand"
>
>   elimde "in my hand"
>
>   eller  "hands"
>
>   ellerim   "my hands"
>
>   ellerde   "in hands"
>
>   ellerimde "in my hands"
>
>   Similarly, relative clauses (i.e. those beginning "who,
>   which or that" in English) are so straightforward in
> Serbo-Croat that most Serbian and Croatian children
> have likewise mastered them by the age of two.
> Other languages also have grammatical features of
> exemplary regularity which children learn to use without
> difficulty. The international language committee will no
> doubt look at all such instances in order to assemble
> the best grammar from all sources.
>
>   An interesting fact about the above two examples
> is that their converse shows some of the worst
> grammatical practice. Both Turkish relative clauses
> and Serbo-Croat inflections are incoherent and
> excessively complicated. The children of these nations
> struggle to make sense of them, and do not normally
> use them competently until about the age of five.


Why does he write this after first praising the Turkish system? Relative
clauses in Turkish are about as easy as you can get.

Japanese relative clauses are even easier than that (just the infinitive
plus the noun), by the way.

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