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Re^3: The Germanic language form

by blazar (Canon)
on Jun 01, 2007 at 11:45 UTC ( #618707=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: The Germanic language form
in thread The Germanic language form

What I've realised is that, because English has very simple grammar, it is easy to learn basic English, while the Romance languages present more of a barrier to pick up.

This is certainly true, but then one should analize what the added complexity is up to. Latin for example is even more complex than Italian, but its linguistic features make for a very high degree of expressiveness for very short and concise phrases. Indeed there's a track of this in commonly used idiomatic forms and cultural references even today, e.g:

  • "do ut des": I give you something to obtain something in change from you;
  • 17 is considered an unlucky number because it's written like XVII as a roman number, which in turn is the anagram of "vixi": "I have lived", but with such an exact and strong bent that it's really "I have terminated living", thus "I'm dead".

Latin has declensions. *NIX shells have a moderate amount to, in that nouns (variables) do not have a sigil as they're defined, thus used as a subject, but they do have one when they're used, that is when they play the role of a complement.


Comment on Re^3: The Germanic language form
Re^4: The Germanic language form
by clinton (Priest) on Jun 01, 2007 at 11:55 UTC
    its linguistic features make for a very high degree of expressiveness

    I couldn't agree with you more. The form of expression is different - I find that the Italic languages use the same words with a different order, or a different preposition, or just a different context to achieve the same thing that we do in English by having an entirely separate word.

    Caveat: obviously, these are not absolute rules, but rather tendencies

    clint

      Caveat: obviously, these are not absolute rules, but rather tendencies

      In fact, I also find that in English, if you exclude perhaps technical jargon, there are so many words having widely different significances in different contexts whereas we have distinct ones. Or terms to describe very common things are clearly compound of simpler words, e.g. "necklace" where we have "collana", or "asscheek" (yes, I also know about "buttocks") where we have "chiappa".

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