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Re: Jovian's Verbs From Hell

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Monday, September 2, 2002, 20:18
Quoting Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>:

> En réponse à "Thomas R. Wier" <trwier@...>: > > > One wonders what exactly can be meant here if it's > > meant in seriousness. Do you mean the haplology > > and syncope that's especially common in British > > English (e.g. 'laboratory' [l@bOr@tri])? Or do mean > > pronunciations like [wUdn@] for <wouldn't have>? > > Both. But especially the last one indeed. How am I > supposed to parse such a form? If that's not inflection > what is it?
Of course, in America forms like [l@bOr@tri] are rather rare, so that's not a problem here. As for _-a-_, that's because it is becoming an inflection. The _-a-_ is a cliticized form of _have_, and is regularly used in place of have in its auxilliary uses. Indeed, there's even something like a proverb that makes use of it: _shoulda, woulda, coulda_, meaning that good intentions in retrospect do not excuse past mistaken actions. (Use of the nonclitic _have_ here would be inappropriate for the proverb.) Mastery of this clitic is one quality of fluency in the language.
> > Gentlemen, gentlemen. Perhaps we should tone down the level > > of discourse here. > > I was expressing genuine surprise, not anger or anything like that.
Okay. Another clear case where tone of voice and gestures changes the meaning. The way you phrased it, it could have been interpreted as patronizing and condescending. (But it's good that it was no so intended.)
> > It's clear that people have different > > mnemonics for foreign language acquisition, and it's probably > > not fair to criticize on that fact alone. > > I disagree. Mnemonics are something you learn, not something > innate that would differ from person to person. Good mnemonic > rules will work for everyone the same, regardless of the native > language of those persons, since good mnemonic rules depend > only on the target language. Any mnemonic rule that involves > the native language of people is useless. I'm talking of > experience here.
I disagree entirely. My claim was not that the success or failure of mnemonics depends on innate characteristics, but rather on the vast range of their possible experience in life. You may find mnemonics based solely on other subsets of Latin's grammar useful, but I know that in my experience in learning French, knowledge of Latin conjugational endings has proved quite helpful and that was based not on the target language but on some third language. I find the claim that one methodology of mnemonics works for all people from all walks of life very dubious, precisely because of their different life-experiences that you mention. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>clitics (was Re: Jovian's Verbs From Hell)