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Re: Complex Clauses

From:Amanda Babcock <ababcock@...>
Date:Thursday, February 5, 2004, 22:32
On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 04:12:52PM -0500, Rob Haden wrote:

> How are complex clauses handled in consistently head-last languages, such > as Japanese? For example, what is the equivalent of English sentences > like "I am happy to see you" and (from another thread) "I know who I want > to take me home"?
I imagine the first would be "Anata ni au koto ga suki desu", or "you with meet [nom] [subj] pleasurable is" ("to see you" would be meant literally; where we would say "see you" they'd say "meet with you"). As for the second, you'd need a native speaker, preferably one fully bilingual and fluent in English. I know how to say "I know the person whom I want to take me home" (i.e. not *which* person, but rather that I have met them and know them), but I do not know how to say "I know who I want to take me home", or whether Japanese is a language in which that particular subtle meaning can be expressed. (For the record, I believe the first meaning would be something like "hoomu ni toritai hito wo shirimasu", but due to pro-drop vagueness this is even more ambiguous than the English version: not only do we not know whose hoomu we're going to, but I'm not at all sure we can tell who is taking whom *or* who it is that desires it! Plus I'm probably using the wrong word for "know".) Amanda