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Re: "......I have a banana in my ear" (was: Re: Weekly Vocab 6: to know)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, May 15, 2003, 12:26
En réponse à Douglas Koller, Latin & French :

>I can't swim. - I haven't learned how. >vs. >I can't swim. - I have a red hot poker jabbed into my thigh.
French has the same distinction, using "savoir" vs. "pouvoir": Je ne sais pas nager: I can't swim - I haven't learned how. Je ne peux pas nager: I can't swim - they cut my legs and arms.
>The fact that you can get away with the sentence, "Nihongo ga >dekiru.", I like to liken in my mind to the German "Ich kann >Deutsch.", but I think the background logic is actually different. In >German, I interpret it as an ellipsis of a >well-understood-by-context, rounding-out-the-sentence infinitive, >here "sprechen", maybe "verstehen".
Dutch is full of those ellipses. I find it a neat feature :) . Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.