Print

Print


At 08:04 AM 02 05 98 -0700, Donald J. HARLOW wrote:
 
>(3) Every language, including Esperanto and Ido, has its own ways of doing
>things. They they may be considered "bad" only if they don't work. If they
>don't work, they disappear pretty quickly in any case (at least from those
>languages which are actually used; and Ido went through such a period, so I
>would guess that a majority of its rules and practices have been tested and
>actually work, including the omitted -AT). Those that do work are not "bad"
>(though for some purposes they may be "unfortunate", e.g. English irregular
>verbs).
 
Again, I think you have to remember that languages change to serve the
purposes of their expert users, not beginning users. Learners try to get
rid of their "innovations" as soon as they can. Once you've mastered a
language, it takes a conscious effort to forget your irregular verbs, which
have become second nature. When it comes to innovation, expert speakers
tend to favour differentiation among parallel form, not simplification.
This makes life more difficult for learners, but provides the expert users
with more linguistic resources for expressing themselves.
 
Viz...
 
>(5) With reference to "estas bela" vs "belas", they are _not_ simply two
>different ways of saying the same thing, though they can be used as such
>for somebody who simply wants to translate "is beautiful" into Esperanto. I
>think I pointed out the distinction before. In Esperanto's own terms, it is
>significant. In English's terms, it isn't (except in a few cases -- e.g.
>"vi estas prava" = you are correct, "vi pravas" = you've got it!; or "shi
>estas bela" = she's beautiful... vs. "shi belas" = she's beautiful
>(sigh!)...) -- but then I thought we were all agreed on the point that a
>conIAL shouldn't just be English with funny words.
 
According to Don, the difference between "estas bela" and "belas" is
intensity or emphasis. This use of two radically different structures seems
a lot of overhead for a small distinction. If simplicity is a virtue in an
IAL. Why not just use an adverb? "Illa es si belle!" "Oh, illa es belle",
"Vos es ya correcte!" (In Ia you can also say "Correcto!", on analogy with
"Bravo!, but some people might consider this an unnecessary frill.)
 
I see nothing wrong with "belas" as an equivalent of "estas bela" -
considering the awkardness of "estas" etc. - but by introducing an
mandatory distinction, you've created pitfalls for those who may think they
recognise a Russian non-copula form or a Chinese stative verb. It would be
better to  declare them equivalent, and regard your emergent distinctions
as merely stylistic. (I mean, any language has distinctions that educated,
self-conscious users regard as indispensible, but normal people ignore.)
 
The emergence of "belas" etc. seems to be an example of linguistic ecology.
In the native languages of most E-ists, a verbed adjective usually has one
of two meanings:
 
To make something X (transitive)
To become X (intransitive)
 
In Eo, this ground seems to be covered by the forms in -ig- and -igh-
(beligas, belighas), so the simple form is left free for something else.
 
Chris Burd