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Re: Questions about Tense/Mood/Case

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Saturday, February 21, 2004, 9:31
Philippe Caquant wrote:

>About cases, the best thing in my opinion is trying to >escape from your mother tongue syntax, and to compare >at least a dozen of very different natlangs >(Indo-European, Semitic, Caucasian, Amerindian, >African, Oceanian…) and then to build your own system >on semantic bases. If you start by asking yourself 'is >there a difference between *to him* and *for him* in >English', or between direct and indirect object, you >won't go very far I'm afraid. That's very much >depending of one particular natlang. You might >consider that you need from 2 up to about 40 different >cases. > > >
From one to forty different cases, you mean (unless you count word order as indicating case - and even then, some languages actually have variable word order and no cases. I'm not sure how it works either)
>It's easy to explain what is French u, it's the vowel >sound you use in the sentence 'Tu pues du cul!' (Your >ass is stinking). Well, more seriously, form your lips >like you would kiss somebody, or lay an egg, and >expell air. But that's all theory, the only way to >understand what a sound sounds like is to listen to a >word pronounced by a native and try do do the same. By >the way, *French u* also exists in German (written >with a trema on it), in Turkish, in Norwegian, and in >several other languages, so if you have no French >speaker around, use a Turk, or a cassette, or listen >to some foreign radio (but NOT to a Spanish one). As >to Arabic q, I have strictly no idea. > > >
No, there's a far easier way to explain that - say [i] with your lips rounded. You don't really need to hear anyone say it, though of course, it would help. Arabic 'q' - well, it's pronounced like [k], but further back.