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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 > same.
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 compound forms. Jesse S. Bangs "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." --G.K. Chesterton