Re: Kamakawi Comments & Kinship
|From:||jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>|
|Date:||Monday, March 18, 2002, 21:59|
> No. That particular example, no, because there are no articles for
> subjects; they're not used. Specifically because it's redundant.
> Also, the fact that the noun itself is also redundant is what made me
> want to drop it in the first place, and now I think I am going to do
> that. I'm going to test all cases, though, to see if there are some
> situations where you'll want to write the sujbect, even if it's the
I can't imagine that you would. I, at least, encourage you to drop
subjects--pro dropping is fun, and I find it nearly impossible to learn a
foreign language that *doesn't* pro-drop. (This baffles my friend who
knows only German and English. He insists that because English doesn't
pro-drop, I should be able to get the hang of German, but the fact of the
matter is that as soon as I leave my native language, I want to assume
pro-drop and hate to go back.)
> Oh, and that Thai sample was quite interesting. One thing I was
> wondering (since, even though I'm learning Hawaiian, I don't know native
> speakers), how productive are all the different kinship terms?
> Meaning, how often would people who speak Thai use them? Would they
> always without exception use the most specific term possible, or is it
> breaking down, and does that kind of thing happen in languages with
> large kinship systems? I've always wondered about that.
Well, I can't say exactly, but the native speakers I've met do seem to
remember all or nearly all of the words, at least in the basic set that I
gave. Some of them are shortened--for example, the words for "older
sibling" are all 'phii' + a word meaning 'boy' or 'girl,' and in casual
speech these can be reduced to just plain 'phii.' Similar for the other
Jesse S. Bangs email@example.com
"If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are
perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in
frightful danger of seeing it for the first time."