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At 02:35 PM 04 05 98 BST-1, Julian Pardoe wrote:
>In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> As an example, back in the seventies, some Chinese Esperantist took
>> the name of a "hit" song, which was in English "officially" "The East
>> Is Red", and made it in Esperanto "officially" "Ruxas la Oriento" -- a
>> much more evocative expression than the English one.
>
>I think that this is the key point.  It's not that "belas" has a meaning
>specifically different from "estas bela"; it is just the because it is
>unusual "belas" is marked in some ill-defined way and that makes it more
>expressive, more evocative.
 
This makes sense and is exactly what I was thinking about "malgranda" /
"eta". "Eta" is the unusual choice, and is therefore "marked in some
ill-defined way", becoming "more expressive, more evocative" and more
emphatic. That'd be my guess, anyway.
 
For an Interlingua example, there's the so-called absolute superlative:
"bellissime" as opposed to "multo belle" / "le plus belle". Being the less
usual form... etc. etc.
 
But I wonder what distinction can be drawn between the two (canonically
equivalent) ways of expressing the future tense: "io scribera" and (less
commonly) "io va scriber". The latter strikes me a being more vigorous, and
I'm conscious of using them in slightly different ways. On the other hand,
I may be influenced by the English "shall/will" distinction, garbled
remants of which survive in Canadian English.
 
I wonder, though, if someone were to use the "belas" (etc.) forms
exclusively. After a while, would it lose this marked quality and become
just the ordinary way of expressing the idea? Does the Esperanto speech
community accept that sort of variation, or is it always something you'd
like to correct?
 
>This is part of the "power and richness" of Esperanto, something dear to
>most Esperantists hearts, why we tend to "love" the language in a way
>that may strike many as inappropriate.
 
>Of course, such subtleties are difficult for beginners, but that would
>be true of any language that has subtleties.  A language without such
>subtleties would be rather dull, but more to the point, I suspect that
>they will arise in _any_ language that has a community of speakers.
 
I'd say that they tend to arise in Interlingua. Some of them may be
quasi-automatic distinctions such as the one we've discussed: rare form =
marked form = expressive form. I think there is a tendency for
Interlinguists to write with one eye on the uninitiated, non-Interlinguist
reader, and this tends to keep the idiomatic developments in check. Of
course, that depends partly on the context you're writing in. Here there
may be a contrast with the practice of Esperanto.
 
>And if a beginner understands "Rughas la Oriento" as "La Oriento estas
>Rugha" he has lost something, but not something critically important.
 
True. I may have belaboured this point in an earlier message.
 
Chris Burd