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Re: CHAT: "nur" [was Re: CHAT: Hrushevs'kyj]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 27, 2002, 15:15
Quoting Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>:

> --- "Thomas R. Wier" wrote: > > > > Neither am I (in BOTH cases): mi ne estas "ukraino", mi estas nur > > > "ukrainiano", as it may be said in Esperanto. > > > > Your comment in Esperanto reminds me of a distinction made > > in German that English does not make, namely, that a sentence > > like "Ich bin nur Student" implies a kind of self-deprecation > > generally absent from the English "I'm only an undergrad [right > > now, but I'll going to graduate school soon]". Does Esperanto > > have this kind of distinction, and what about other languages? > > And what if you say: "I'm just a student", or "I'm but a student"?
"I'm just a student" has the same ambiguity as "I'm only a student", whereas "I'm but a student" sounds highly deferential, as if you were speaking to royalty, and somewhat archaic. It can only have the self-deprecating sense that you get with German "nur". You probably wouldn't contract: "I am but a student".
> Anyway, in Dutch you can say: "Ik ben maar een student", "maar" having > exactly the same meaning as German "nur". Indeed, this sentence expresses > self-deprecation and nothing else. If the speaker wishes to underline the > fact that currently he is nothing but a student but soon he will be a > doctor, then he would say: "Ik ben nog student" ("nog" = "still").
That makes sense. I wonder if that's possible in German with "noch". My understanding is that one usually says "Ich bin erst Student" for this other meaning. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637