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Re: Weekly Vocab 6: to know

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 7, 2003, 18:29
On Wed, May 07, 2003 at 01:09:42PM -0400, Mark J. Reed wrote:
> On Wed, May 07, 2003 at 08:57:45AM -0700, Garrett Jones wrote: > > something interesting i noted with people's translations for the verb 'to > > know': all but one person's conlang either had more than one word for the > > english word 'to know' or omitted a word in one case. > 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".
This is distinguished in my L1, Hokkien. /tsai1/ is to know a fact, but /e hiao2/ is to know how to do something. The latter also applies to acquired skills or tastes; one might say that a child /beh hiao1 jiak t_hsai/ - "hasn't acquired a taste for vegetables", literally meaning "doesn't know how to eat vegetables". Furthermore, to know a person is /bat/. So you /tsai1/ that something has happened, but you /bat/ a person, and you /e hiao2/ 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. > > So how come we conlangers all felt the need to make this distinction?
'Cos my L1 *does* make that distinction? :-) T -- Sick minds seek sick things. The fact that current trends in the entertainment industry are sustainable tells you something.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>