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Re: Weekly Vocab 6: to know

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 7, 2003, 20:19
Quoting Stone Gordonssen <stonegordonssen@...>:

> >That is interesting. Many natlangs distinguish "to know" as in > >"to know a person" (Spanish conocer, German konne?) from "to know" as > in > >"to know a fact" (Spanish saber, German weiss?), but I haven't run > across > >many who distinguish "to know a fact" from "to know how to do > something". > >The partcular way the latter gets expressed is highly idiomatic > >(English sticks the "how" in there, Spanish just uses the bare > infinitive), > >but they usually seem to involve the same verb as the former. > > My dictionaries are packed away, but > > German: > (vb) _kennen_ /to be aquainted with/ > (vb) _koennen_ /to know how to/ > (vb) _wissen_ /to know <a fact>/
German _können_ (_koennen_) isn't really a separate word for this - it's also the modal "can"*. For the record, you can do a very similar triad in Swedish: _att känna_ "to know (someone)" (also = "to feel") _att kunna_ "to know how to" (also modal "can", like _können_) _att veta_ "to know (a fact)" * What in the ergativity is the infinitive of "can"? "To can" appears to mean something else ... The English modals appear not to deign to have any infinitives. Andreas


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Adam Walker <carrajena@...>