Re: What is an IE language (was: Re: Workshops Review from Yitzik the
|From:||Luís Henrique <luisb@...>|
|Date:||Monday, December 23, 2002, 17:52|
On Sat, 21 Dec 2002 00:23:13 -0800, Joseph Fatula <fatula3@...>
>> Pero... ¿es eso verdad?
>> Luís Henrique
>Hay algunes ejemplos contrarios, pero el mas de las construcciones notienen
>señales que son o no son preguntas. Si recuerdo correctamente.
>(and after you've had a good laugh at my Spanish...)
>There are examples to the contrary, but most of the constructions don't
>signal which are or are not questions. If I recall correctly.
>My theory was that this was the reason for having the initial questionmark,
>so that the reader, who hears no intonation from the text, could pronounce
>it as a question. Your thoughts?
Well, Castillian is my L3, so I definitely have the problem of assuming
Standard Castillian for Castillian. Which means, colloquial, slang or
popular Castillian are things that I mostly ignore...
My first language is Portuguese: in it, inversion is, decidedly, an
important strategy to mark questions:
1. A cerveja acabou.
2. Acabou a cerveja?
It is also true that inversion is less usual in colloquial or popular
Portuguese than in Standard:
3. Tu tens um livro.
4. Tens tu um livro? (definitely Standard Portuguese, and awkward in
5. Tu tens um livro? (colloquial, though Standard would use it as a
focusing strategy - of all people in the Earth, YOU have a book?!)
In fact, my joking answer to your previous post was based on my Portuguese-
centered impression that inversion is more usual in Castillian:
6. Pero... ¿es eso verdad? (Certainly good Standard Castillian and - in my
ignorance I think - probably good colloquial Castillian too.
7. Mas... é isso verdade? (definitely ridiculous in colloquial Portuguese,
and certainly archaic or pedantic even in Standard, except, perhaps, in
8. Mas... isso é verdade? (the usual way to say/write it, in all Portuguese
dialects that I know)
I would even say that
9. Mas... é verdade isso? is a better sentence than 7.
The main feature of interrogative sentences in Portuguese (in all Romance
Languages? in all Romance and Germanic languages? in all IE languages?) is
intonation. Portuguese, as Italian, however, doesn't use initial question
marks. In Castillian, in fact, they are used to show the reader that his
intonation must change from that point on - but, though it is a useful
feature, it is not absolutely necessary, and its absence can't be taken as
a a sign that a language does not use intonation as a main strategy to mark