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Je 01:39 atm 5/3/98 -0700, Bruce R. GILSON skribis:
 
>>>Who to believe? Kjell or Don?
>
>>Far as I'm concerned, you can believe whomsoever you want. I doubt it will
>>make much difference in the way Esperantists speak...
>
>First, Don remarked earlier that Kjell could speak E-o well and that the=
 two
>of them communicated in E-o. That would seem to imply that, when Kjell uses
>E-o, Don perceived him as an E-ist and his language is included under "the
way
>Esperantists speak."
>
I certainly do.
 
I also considered my mother (who was born in Portland, Oregon, of ancestors
who had largely been in this country since before the War of the
Revolution) a fluent speaker of English. She could never figure out the
difference between "to lie" and "to lay", though, and used them
interchangeably.
 
Speaking a language well and speaking it perfectly are two different
things. I have yet to meet anybody who satisfies the latter description,
whether we're speaking of English or Esperanto.
 
In this particular matter, Kjell is wrong.
 
>Second, it may not matter for the way E-ists speak. It does matter in _my_
>attempting to figure out how E-o grammar works. I may have no interest in
>using E-o as a communication medium. But I _am_, as an amateur linguist,
>interested in knowing about the grammar of various languages, including=
 ones,
>like Japanese, I know far less than E-o. If Don is saying that E-o is so
>inconsequential that I shouldn't care HOW it does anything, fine. But does=
 he
>really mean to imply this?
>
To repeat what I posted in answer to Kjell earlier, in some strange furrin
tongue:
 
"La =E6ielo estas blua" answers the question "Kia estas la =E6ielo?" (What i=
s
the sky like? What is the nature of the sky?)
 
"La =E6ielo bluas" answers the question "Kion faras la =E6ielo?" (What is th=
e
sky doing?)
 
They are two different things.
 
Most Esperantists, of course, don't stop to analyze the difference; most
textbooks seem to gloss over it. (See H. Tani's complaint about the
presentation of Esperanto in Japanese textbooks as a slavish imitation of
European presentations, where he mentions precisely this point -- the
direct conversion of adjectives to verbs -- as something that the textbooks
pass over, even though to the Japanese student it would be far easier to
understand, by comparison with Japanese, at first presentation than, for
instance, the plural...) But by the time that they speak Esperanto
moderately well, the feeling comes over them that, for some reason, "belas"
is more "hard-hitting" than "estas bela" -- and they use it in that sense.
The intensive year-long graduate-level course in Esperanto grammar which I
think you suggested in an earlier posting is both unnecessary and
irrelevant -- except to people like you and me, who like to nitpick
grammatical points. (You'd _love_ the "Plena Analiza Gramatiko de
Esperanto", Bruce -- you ought to get a copy. Just don't try picking it and
the "Plena Ilustrita Vortaro" up at the same time -- if you're as out of
shape as I am right now, that's a sure heart-stopper!)
 
It is, of course, easier for e.g. Asian Esperantists to get to the point
where forms like "belas" come naturally than it is than for European ones.
 
 
-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/
(English version: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/dona.html)