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Re: "Re: Colloquial French resources"

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  • Leonardo Castro
    ... Just to make it clear, there was not the intention of giving customary redundancy the status of a linguistic concept in the Spanish course I once had.
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 1, 2013
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      2013/10/1 R A Brown <ray@...>:
      >
      > To describe this as polypersonal explains what is going on;
      > to simply call it "customary redundancy" IMO does not and is
      > at best merely a cop-out.

      Just to make it clear, there was not the intention of giving
      "customary redundancy" the status of a linguistic concept in the
      Spanish course I once had. They simply said that they have the habit
      of being redundant in certain Spanish expressions ("a mí me parece",
      "a mí me encanta", "a nosotros también nos gusta", etc.).

      Maybe the most important question is if we can affirm that the
      polypersonal agreement is compulsory in spoken French. Is there an
      *optional* polypersonal agreement in any language?
    • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
      ... Nope, for several reasons: - The a mí me gusta example is restricted to gustar and a few similar verbs. It s not present in other verbs. In Spoken
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 1, 2013
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        On 1 October 2013 12:23, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        > > Le 30 août 2013 17:07, "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets"
        > > - _Tu vois, ma femme elle en a toujours des bonnes idées_ ("You see, my
        > > wife always has good ideas", the subject and direct object are both
        > marked
        > > on the verb, by _elle_ and en_ respectively, despite being present as
        > full
        > > noun phrases in the sentence).
        >
        > I was thinking about this and remember that, when I was studying
        > Spanish with an old course in CD-ROM, constructions like "a mí me
        > gustaría" were presented as "customary redundancy".
        >
        > Don't you think that it would be simpler to think about customary
        > redundancy than about polypersonal verbs in French too?
        >
        >
        Nope, for several reasons:
        - The "a mí me gusta" example is restricted to "gustar" and a few similar
        verbs. It's not present in other verbs. In Spoken French, polypersonal
        agreement is *mandatory*, for all verbs. Why use a strange "customary
        redundancy" explanation when it's much quicker and far closer to the facts
        to say that it's polypersonal agreement?
        - As others have indicated, don't be fooled by French writing. "Elle" in
        "elle en a" is a prefix, not a clitic;
        - "A mí me gusta", however customary it is, is still emphasising the
        subject when compared to the simple "me gusta". There's no such emphasis in
        "ma femme elle en a". It's pure agreement, no emphasis involved (to create
        emphasis on the subject, one would add *another* "elle", this time a
        separate subject pronoun, between the subject and the verb complex: "tu
        vois, ma femme, elle, elle en a toujours...". Another way would be
        intonation, and a third one fronting: "ma femme, tu vois, elle en a...");
        - What kind of an "explanation" is "customary redundancy"? It explains
        nothing! Why is it customary to add redundancy there? Why is it that in
        Spoken French this "customary redundancy" is mandatory for all verbs? No,
        this is a non-explanation, and thus unacceptable from my point of view.


        > BTW, I have been already corrected for writing "ça c'est..." in a
        > composition in a French as second language course, but it's much rarer
        > to find "ça est..." in real-life texts.
        >
        >
        "Ça c'est" is correct Spoken French, but is considered a grammatical error
        in Written French. So I'm not surprised that you got corrected. As for "ça
        est", the reason you cannot find many examples of it is because "ça" is
        *mandatorily* elided in front of "est". In other words, "c'est" is
        *already* "ça est"!

        On 1 October 2013 15:20, Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...> wrote:

        >
        > I don't know. To me "customary redundancy" sounds like the author or
        > presenter
        > simply doesn't want to be bothered getting into a highly interesting
        > historical
        > philological tangent and is just covering it up. It's a more grown up way
        > of saying
        > "because I said so (now don't ask any more questions)!" but the result is
        > the
        > same.
        >
        >
        Exactly. It's just a cop-out.


        > Clearly, something is going in French and Spanish (and indeed English: you
        > see,
        > my wife, she always has good ideas) that is being glossed over. Dunnow
        > about
        > F&S, but for me, I'd take Christophe's original English example as plain,
        > while
        > the "customary redundancy" is actually some kind of marker of focus. He's
        > sort
        > of distancing himself from his wife, as if to say "my wife always has good
        > ideas,
        > while I can never keep two thoughts in a row in my own head".
        >
        >
        And that's one of my points: in the French example, this form of focus is
        absent. It's the plain form that I quoted. Focussed forms are possible, but
        they involve changing that plain form to something else.


        >
        > >BTW, I have been already corrected for writing "ça c'est..." in a
        > >composition in a French as second language course, but it's much rarer
        > >to find "ça est..." in real-life texts.
        >
        > Just curious: what's wrong with it?
        >
        >
        "Ça est" must become "c'est". The elision is mandatory.


        > RM I'd tend to agree that the French ex. shows "customary reduncancy"
        > (whatever that is....:-) ), but as for your Span. ex., I've always been
        > told that the "a mi" is for emphasis, "_I_ would like to..."
        >
        >
        In fact it doesn't. It's just plain agreement. It might have started as a
        form of redundancy, but it's not that way anymore.


        >
        > BTW, I have been already corrected for writing "ça c'est..." in a
        > composition in a French as second language course, but it's much rarer
        > to find "ça est..." in real-life texts.
        >
        > RM Couldn't that be emphatic too?
        >

        No. To emphasise, you'd have to replace "ça" with "ceci" or "cela". "Ça
        est" is just ungrammatical: as I wrote above the elision is mandatory.

        On 1 October 2013 17:14, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        > Actually, I think that using a personal pronoun after the subject also
        > helps delimitate it, something that I also appreciate about Japanese
        > particles "ga" and "wa".
        >
        > Compare
        >
        > "The girl that I told you about that day we were in a car returned to
        > that house sold some months ago."
        >
        > with
        >
        > "The girl that I told you about that day we were in a car, SHE
        > returned to that house sold some months ago."
        >
        > or
        >
        > "The girl that I told you about that day we were in a car returned to
        > that house, SHE sold some months ago."
        >
        > From the POV of a student, it sounds simpler to think that they just
        > have the habit of adding an optional personal pronoun to resume the
        > sentence than that there are a lot of verbal inflections to do.
        >
        > Ma femme ELLE-EN-A des bonnes idées.
        > M. Le Blanc IL-LEURS-DONNE un chien à ses petits enfants.
        >
        >
        The problem is that your explanation doesn't fit the facts. Also, there are
        plenty of languages out there with polypersonal agreement and nobody ever
        tries to incorrectly describe them because otherwise "there are a lot of
        verbal inflections to do". Languages don't care if you find them difficult:
        they just are.


        > >
        > >
        > >>BTW, I have been already corrected for writing "ça c'est..." in a
        > >>composition in a French as second language course, but it's much rarer
        > >>to find "ça est..." in real-life texts.
        > >
        > >
        > > Just curious: what's wrong with it?
        >
        > The sentence "Ça c'est Paris!" would literally be "That it's Paris!"
        > with a redundant "it" (that's why I was corrected in my French class).
        >

        Actually, the redundancy is only true in Written French. In Spoken French,
        it's perfectly acceptable and indeed more common than saying "c'est Paris".


        > "Ça est Paris!" is "That's Paris!", but a Google search shows that
        > it's rarer.
        >
        >
        That's because it's ungrammatical. "C'est Paris" is the grammatical version.

        On 1 October 2013 20:13, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:

        >
        > Yes, indeed. Redundancies in language are commonplace; they
        > help to avoid ambiguity if there is "noise" in the
        > transmission (whether written or aural). To say that a
        > particularly feature is customary tells us nothing except
        > that it's usually done. It does not explain why, or under
        > what circumstances a particular feature occurs.
        >
        >
        Indeed. Also, it doesn't say anything about the nature of the constituents
        of the "redundancy". My problem with this explanation is that it only works
        if you deny the status of affixes to the so-called "subject and object
        pronouns". I strongly resent that.


        > [snip]
        >
        >
        >> Clearly, something is going in French and Spanish (and
        >> indeed English: you see, my wife, she always has good
        >> ideas) that is being glossed over.
        >>
        >
        > Yes, but beware: the English and French examples are _not_
        > similar. In English "My wife always has good idea" is not
        > marked, whereas "My wife - she always has good ideas" is
        > marked. But if I've understood Christophe correctly or,
        > indeed, observed _colloquial_ French correctly, "Ma femme
        > elle en a toujours des bonnes idées" is not marked - it's
        > normal.
        >
        >
        Exactly. The correct translation of "ma femme elle en a toujours des bonnes
        idées" is indeed simply "my wife always has good ideas". "My wife, she
        always has good ideas" partly explains the structure of the French example,
        but it incorrectly adds an emphasis that the French example lacks.


        >
        > Dunnow about F&S, but for me, I'd take Christophe's
        >> original English example as plain, while the "customary
        >> redundancy" is actually some kind of marker of focus.
        >> He's sort of distancing himself from his wife, as if to
        >> say "my wife always has good ideas, while I can never
        >> keep two thoughts in a row in my own head".
        >>
        >
        > In the English version, I agree. But in the French I
        > disagree, for the reason explained above. We have
        > remember, as Christophe has often reminded us, not to be
        > misled by the way French is written. "elle en a" is a
        > single phonological word and "elle" and "en" are more in the
        > nature of prefixes rather than proclitics. If I've
        > understood Christophe "elle en a" is a single polypersonal
        > verb form showing _agreement_ with the subject "ma femme"
        > and object "des bonnes idées."
        >
        >
        Exactly.


        > To describe this as polypersonal explains what is going on;
        > to simply call it "customary redundancy" IMO does not and is
        > at best merely a cop-out.
        >

        As I wrote above :).


        >
        > but as for your Span. ex., I've always been told that
        >> the "a mi" is for emphasis, "_I_ would like to..."
        >>
        >
        > Which, if correct (and I have no reason to suppose it is
        > not), then the Spanish feature is quite different from
        > French polypersonal verbs.


        Yes. I also learned that the "a mí me gusta" form, while common, still put
        more emphasis on the subject than the simple "me gusta".

        On 1 October 2013 21:00, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        > Just to make it clear, there was not the intention of giving
        > "customary redundancy" the status of a linguistic concept in the
        > Spanish course I once had. They simply said that they have the habit
        > of being redundant in certain Spanish expressions ("a mí me parece",
        > "a mí me encanta", "a nosotros también nos gusta", etc.).
        >
        >
        Which is still different from the French case, as it happens only with a
        *limited* number of verbs, all the verbs for which the *agent* is not in
        its customary subject position.


        > Maybe the most important question is if we can affirm that the
        > polypersonal agreement is compulsory in spoken French. Is there an
        > *optional* polypersonal agreement in any language?
        >

        As far as I can tell, it's compulsory. Cases where it seems to be lacking
        are actually forms of code switching from Spoken French to Written French.
        Don't forget that French is actually a diglossia: things can get murky in
        those.

        As for optional polypersonal agreement, I've heard of languages that mark
        verbs for both subject and object (as agreement markers), but only when the
        object is definite. With indefinite objects verbs get marked for subject
        only. So not exactly "optional", but still something. I can't give you an
        actual example but I'm pretty sure that I've read that correctly somewhere.

        But even if you could give convincing evidence that polypersonal agreement
        in French is merely optional, and that there's no other language in the
        world with optional polypersonal agreement, that still doesn't mean that
        the polypersonal agreement explanation could be dismissed. The fact that
        the added things on verbs are affixes rather than separate words, and that
        the forms with polypersonal agreement don't mark any special form of
        emphasis as opposed to any forms without it, are enough to give weight to
        the polypersonal agreement explanation.
        --
        Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

        http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
        http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
      • BPJ
        ... Now that s cool! I have to remember to steal that for some conlang! ;-) As for optional inflexion I daresay there is no such thing in any langvuage, it
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 1, 2013
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          2013-10-01 21:15, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets skrev:
          > As for optional polypersonal agreement, I've heard of languages that mark
          > verbs for both subject and object (as agreement markers), but only when the
          > object is definite. With indefinite objects verbs get marked for subject
          > only. So not exactly "optional", but still something. I can't give you an
          > actual example but I'm pretty sure that I've read that correctly somewhere.

          Now that's cool! I have to remember to steal that for some
          conlang! ;-)

          As for optional inflexion I daresay there is no such thing in any
          langvuage, it just so happens that the grammar demands different
          forms in different contexts which poor furriners have trouble
          teasing out the rules for. If it's truly optional it's dying out
          and people are code switching! An example is the possessive _-s_
          in Swedish which went from a nominal inflexion to a phrase clitic
          somewhen during the last 5 centuries. I daresay that in any
          speakers natural grammar at any point it was either an inflexion
          or a clitic. It only just so happened that both sets of speakers
          coexisted for a longer or shorter time, and the written language
          was conservative, so people were code switching.

          And hey, you shouldn't be citing Spoken French in Written French
          orthography!

          /bpj
        • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
          ... Yeah, it s rather cool, and it s actually quite common in natlangs to mark a definite object differently from an indefinite object (different cases, as in
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 1, 2013
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            On 1 October 2013 21:53, BPJ <bpj@...> wrote:

            > Now that's cool! I have to remember to steal that for some conlang! ;-)
            >
            >
            Yeah, it's rather cool, and it's actually quite common in natlangs to mark
            a definite object differently from an indefinite object (different cases,
            as in Finnish's accusative vs. partitive, different verb marking, or even
            weirder things, like a language I read about a week or two ago that only
            allows serial verb constructions to have definite objects :P. So a single
            verb can have an object, but it will always be indefinite. The only way to
            give it a definite object is to turn it into a serial verb construction!).


            > As for optional inflexion I daresay there is no such thing in any
            > langvuage, it just so happens that the grammar demands different
            > forms in different contexts which poor furriners have trouble
            > teasing out the rules for. If it's truly optional it's dying out
            > and people are code switching! An example is the possessive _-s_
            > in Swedish which went from a nominal inflexion to a phrase clitic
            > somewhen during the last 5 centuries. I daresay that in any
            > speakers natural grammar at any point it was either an inflexion
            > or a clitic. It only just so happened that both sets of speakers
            > coexisted for a longer or shorter time, and the written language
            > was conservative, so people were code switching.
            >
            >
            I agree with this assessment. French also features some code switching, but
            Spoken French is slowly winning (hopefully :P).


            > And hey, you shouldn't be citing Spoken French in Written French
            > orthography!
            >
            >
            The problem is: what else could I use? I could use plain IPA, but that
            would just confuse people even more, and I don't want to get into the hairy
            details of Spoken French pronunciation. And Spoken French has no accepted
            orthography, given that its very existence is denied by many French people,
            including most grammarians themselves... Even attempts to render Spoken
            French in writing as seen in books of all sorts fall always very short.

            I am willing to use IPA, but be prepared to get very confused :P.
            --
            Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

            http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
            http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
          • Matthew George
            If I had to guess, I d say that people were limiting the length of their clauses to lessen the load on memory. Information is chunked in clauses, I suspect.
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 1, 2013
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              If I had to guess, I'd say that people were limiting the length of their
              clauses to lessen the load on memory. Information is 'chunked' in clauses,
              I suspect.

              Matt G.
            • Leonardo Castro
              BTW, what do you advocate for the teaching of French in schools? Should the teacher enter the class and say Today, we re going to study the prefixes je, tu,
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 2, 2013
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                BTW, what do you advocate for the teaching of French in schools?

                Should the teacher enter the class and say

                "Today, we're going to study the prefixes je, tu, il..."

                or

                "Today, we're going to study the pronouns je, tu, il..." ?

                Or should s/he just teach Spoken and Written French as separate subjects?

                It appears to me that the "colloquial redundancy" approach has the
                advantage of considering the French of books, movies, letters,
                streets, etc., as the same language with a single grammar.

                In other words, is it necessary that the polypersonal approach go*
                outside the Linguists' circle.

                Até mais!

                Leonardo

                *: this reminds me the issue of personal infinitives.


                2013/10/1 Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...>:
                > On 1 October 2013 21:53, BPJ <bpj@...> wrote:
                >
                >> Now that's cool! I have to remember to steal that for some conlang! ;-)
                >>
                >>
                > Yeah, it's rather cool, and it's actually quite common in natlangs to mark
                > a definite object differently from an indefinite object (different cases,
                > as in Finnish's accusative vs. partitive, different verb marking, or even
                > weirder things, like a language I read about a week or two ago that only
                > allows serial verb constructions to have definite objects :P. So a single
                > verb can have an object, but it will always be indefinite. The only way to
                > give it a definite object is to turn it into a serial verb construction!).
                >
                >
                >> As for optional inflexion I daresay there is no such thing in any
                >> langvuage, it just so happens that the grammar demands different
                >> forms in different contexts which poor furriners have trouble
                >> teasing out the rules for. If it's truly optional it's dying out
                >> and people are code switching! An example is the possessive _-s_
                >> in Swedish which went from a nominal inflexion to a phrase clitic
                >> somewhen during the last 5 centuries. I daresay that in any
                >> speakers natural grammar at any point it was either an inflexion
                >> or a clitic. It only just so happened that both sets of speakers
                >> coexisted for a longer or shorter time, and the written language
                >> was conservative, so people were code switching.
                >>
                >>
                > I agree with this assessment. French also features some code switching, but
                > Spoken French is slowly winning (hopefully :P).
                >
                >
                >> And hey, you shouldn't be citing Spoken French in Written French
                >> orthography!
                >>
                >>
                > The problem is: what else could I use? I could use plain IPA, but that
                > would just confuse people even more, and I don't want to get into the hairy
                > details of Spoken French pronunciation. And Spoken French has no accepted
                > orthography, given that its very existence is denied by many French people,
                > including most grammarians themselves... Even attempts to render Spoken
                > French in writing as seen in books of all sorts fall always very short.
                >
                > I am willing to use IPA, but be prepared to get very confused :P.
                > --
                > Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.
                >
                > http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                > http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
              • Padraic Brown
                From: R A Brown ... Quite so. I wasn t implying that English, Spanish and French are all saying the same thing, only that each of
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 2, 2013
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                  From: R A Brown <ray@...>


                  >> Clearly, something is going in French and Spanish (and
                  >> indeed English: you see, my wife, she always has good
                  >> ideas) that is being glossed over.
                  >
                  > Yes, but beware: the English and French examples are _not_
                  > similar.  In English "My wife always has good idea" is not
                  > marked, whereas "My wife - she always has good ideas" is
                  > marked.  But if I've understood Christophe correctly or,
                  > indeed, observed _colloquial_ French correctly, "Ma femme
                  > elle en a toujours des bonnes idées" is not marked - it's
                  > normal.

                  Quite so. I wasn't implying that English, Spanish and French are all
                  saying the same thing, only that each of these is an example of
                  "customary redundancy". (Mind you, that doesn't explain anything
                  in any of these languages!)

                  >
                  >> Dunnow about F&S, but for me, I'd take Christophe's
                  >> original English example as plain, while the "customary
                  >> redundancy" is actually some kind of marker of focus.
                  >> He's sort of distancing himself from his wife, as if to
                  >> say "my wife always has good ideas, while I can never
                  >> keep two thoughts in a row in my own head".
                  >
                  > In the English version, I agree.  But in the French I
                  > disagree, for the reason explained above.

                  Indeed! The English redundant is marked, while the French
                  redundant is plain.

                  > We have to
                  > remember, as Christophe has often reminded us, not to be
                  > misled by the way French is written.  "elle en a" is a
                  > single phonological word and "elle" and "en" are more in the
                  > nature of prefixes rather than proclitics.  If I've
                  > understood Christophe "elle en a" is a single polypersonal
                  > verb form showing _agreement_ with the subject "ma femme"
                  > and object "des bonnes idées."

                  Ah, got to love the French! One language isn't good enough for them! No,
                  as if 19,433 different words and conjugational forms all sound like
                  [ɛ̃], they have to go on and do two different languages at the same
                  time! :P

                  > To describe this as polypersonal explains what is going on;
                  > to simply call it "customary redundancy" IMO does not and is
                  > at best merely a cop-out.

                  Yes indeed!

                  Padraic
                • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                  ... Actual French, as opposed to the fiction they are teaching right now. ... But they are not! What you re saying is that we should carry on teaching a lie
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 2, 2013
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                    On 2 October 2013 19:47, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

                    > BTW, what do you advocate for the teaching of French in schools?
                    >
                    >
                    Actual French, as opposed to the fiction they are teaching right now.


                    > Should the teacher enter the class and say
                    >
                    > "Today, we're going to study the prefixes je, tu, il..."
                    >
                    > or
                    >
                    > "Today, we're going to study the pronouns je, tu, il..." ?
                    >
                    > Or should s/he just teach Spoken and Written French as separate subjects?
                    >
                    > It appears to me that the "colloquial redundancy" approach has the
                    > advantage of considering the French of books, movies, letters,
                    > streets, etc., as the same language with a single grammar.
                    >
                    >
                    But they are not! What you're saying is that we should carry on teaching a
                    lie because it's easier than teaching the truth. The problem is that that
                    lie is utterly *confusing* people, who after learning French for 6 to 7
                    years think they have a good knowledge of the language, go and spend a week
                    in France, and are completely baffled that they can't understand a single
                    word of what the natives are saying! And then they blame the French for
                    being unhelpful (they are, but in other ways!) while they should blame
                    their education for not teaching them French right!


                    > In other words, is it necessary that the polypersonal approach go*
                    > outside the Linguists' circle.
                    >
                    > Definitely yes. Clearly the current approach is not working, and I don't
                    believe "colloquial redundancy" will work, especially since it's *not*
                    colloquial! Formal registers of Spoken French are polypersonal as well!

                    --
                    Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

                    http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                    http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                  • James Kane
                    Christophe will be glad to hear that my linguistics professor mentioned Spoken French today. While talking about broad word order, he mentioned how normal word
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 3, 2013
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                      Christophe will be glad to hear that my linguistics professor mentioned Spoken French today. While talking about broad word order, he mentioned how normal word orders can move around giving a VOS word order in this particular example: 'il aime bien ses enfants, le vieux mec' - he really loves his kids, the old guy [does]. He noted that the 'il' at the beginning was technically a pronoun but functioned more like an affix and so doesn't count as a subject.

                      I suppose it would be even better if there were a 'les' after the 'il'? He didn't mention poly personal marking or anything but at least the idea of verb-bound pronouns is widespread.


                      James

                      > On 3/10/2013, at 7:01 pm, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >> On 2 October 2013 19:47, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >> BTW, what do you advocate for the teaching of French in schools?
                      > Actual French, as opposed to the fiction they are teaching right now.
                      >
                      >
                      >> Should the teacher enter the class and say
                      >>
                      >> "Today, we're going to study the prefixes je, tu, il..."
                      >>
                      >> or
                      >>
                      >> "Today, we're going to study the pronouns je, tu, il..." ?
                      >>
                      >> Or should s/he just teach Spoken and Written French as separate subjects?
                      >>
                      >> It appears to me that the "colloquial redundancy" approach has the
                      >> advantage of considering the French of books, movies, letters,
                      >> streets, etc., as the same language with a single grammar.
                      > But they are not! What you're saying is that we should carry on teaching a
                      > lie because it's easier than teaching the truth. The problem is that that
                      > lie is utterly *confusing* people, who after learning French for 6 to 7
                      > years think they have a good knowledge of the language, go and spend a week
                      > in France, and are completely baffled that they can't understand a single
                      > word of what the natives are saying! And then they blame the French for
                      > being unhelpful (they are, but in other ways!) while they should blame
                      > their education for not teaching them French right!
                      >
                      >
                      >> In other words, is it necessary that the polypersonal approach go*
                      >> outside the Linguists' circle.
                      >>
                      >> Definitely yes. Clearly the current approach is not working, and I don't
                      > believe "colloquial redundancy" will work, especially since it's *not*
                      > colloquial! Formal registers of Spoken French are polypersonal as well!
                      >
                      > --
                      > Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.
                      >
                      > http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                      > http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                    • R A Brown
                      On 03/10/2013 07:01, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote: [snip] ... Exactly. I still recall that experience now some 60 years later ;) I did well at
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 3, 2013
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                        On 03/10/2013 07:01, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
                        [snip]
                        >>
                        > But they are not! What you're saying is that we should
                        > carry on teaching a lie because it's easier than teaching
                        > the truth. The problem is that that lie is utterly
                        > *confusing* people, who after learning French for 6 to 7
                        > years think they have a good knowledge of the language,
                        > go and spend a week in France, and are completely baffled
                        > that they can't understand a single word of what the
                        > natives are saying!

                        Exactly. I still recall that experience now some 60 years
                        later ;)

                        I did well at French at school. I could, and still can, read
                        literary texts without much bother. But i was dismayed then
                        to find the native French didn't properly understand me and
                        I didn't understand them!

                        But it did get a bit better during my stay. I was able to
                        convey that the key to my room in hostel was faulty "La clé
                        elle marche pas" - but that's not the way I had been taught
                        to say it at school.

                        Now I am wiser :)

                        . And then they blame the French for
                        > being unhelpful (they are, but in other ways!) while they
                        > should blame their education for not teaching them French
                        > right!

                        Quite - if the purpose of teaching people French is to be
                        able to converse with francophones then it is a good idea to
                        teach the language that will be heard and spoken.

                        --
                        Ray
                        ==================================
                        http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                        ==================================
                        "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                        for individual beings and events."
                        [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                      • Leonardo Castro
                        Today I just got myself speaking My wife she likes to buy bread in the bakery X. ( Minha esposa ela gosta de comprar pão na padaria X. ) As far as I m
                        Message 11 of 17 , Oct 3, 2013
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                          Today I just got myself speaking

                          "My wife she likes to buy bread in the bakery X."

                          ("Minha esposa ela gosta de comprar pão na padaria X.")

                          As far as I'm aware, I didn't want to emphasize or topicalize "my
                          wife". I suspect that this kind of construction is frequently used in
                          pt-BR only for the sake of clarity (not sure if this is also a type of
                          topicalization or only redundancy).

                          A friend of mine was once a student of the linguist Marcos Bagno, that
                          is best know in Brazil for the book "Preconceito Linguístico"
                          ("Linguistic Prejudice"), and told that he pointed out that the
                          pronunciation of the [L] (<lh>) as [j] , although despised as
                          something very uncultured in pt-BR, is exactly how the Standard French
                          came to establish (and French has always be a model for Lusophone
                          traditional literates).

                          Actually, if I choose the right modifications that were present in the
                          evolution of French, I can go from "Standard Brazilian Portuguese" to
                          Caipira Portuguese ("caipira" is roughly equivalent to American
                          "redneck" but with no racial connotation ; "caipiras" are of any
                          race):

                          Initially:

                          "A minha mulher velha e as minhas filhas novas querem tirar as telhas
                          da nossa casa."
                          [a m'~iJ6 muL'Eh v'EL6 i az m'~iJ6s f'iL6z n'Ov6s k'E4~e~j tSi4'a4 as
                          teL6s da nOs6 kaz6]

                          (My old wife and my young daughters want to take the roof tiles off our house.)

                          So, as in French,

                          * inserting the personal pronoun after the subject,
                          * substituting [L] with [j],
                          * not pronouncing the plural markers of possessives, adjectives and
                          nouns (but even colloquial pt-BR requires it in the articles),
                          * pronouncing the verb "want" in 3PL (querem) with the same
                          pronunciation of it in 3SG (quer) (it doesn't happen exactly for
                          French "vouloir" but for many other verbs),

                          and also, unlike French,

                          * substituting [J] with [~j],
                          * omitting final rhotic consonants where not immediately followed by vowel,

                          it becomes a perfect Caipira Portuguese sentence:

                          "A minha muié véia e as minha fia nova elas qué tirá as teia da nossa casa."
                          [a m'~i~j6 muj'E v'Ej6 i az m'~i~j6 f'ij6 n'Ov6 El6s k'E tSi4'a as
                          tej6 da nOs6 kaz6]

                          A foreigner speaking Portuguese like this would very probably cause a
                          lot of laugh here!
                          "Did you learn Portuguese with caipiras?", many people would ask him/her.

                          Até mais!

                          Leonardo


                          2013/10/3 James Kane <kanejam@...>:
                          > Christophe will be glad to hear that my linguistics professor mentioned Spoken French today. While talking about broad word order, he mentioned how normal word orders can move around giving a VOS word order in this particular example: 'il aime bien ses enfants, le vieux mec' - he really loves his kids, the old guy [does]. He noted that the 'il' at the beginning was technically a pronoun but functioned more like an affix and so doesn't count as a subject.
                          >
                          > I suppose it would be even better if there were a 'les' after the 'il'? He didn't mention poly personal marking or anything but at least the idea of verb-bound pronouns is widespread.
                          >
                          >
                          > James
                          >
                          >> On 3/10/2013, at 7:01 pm, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...> wrote:
                          >>
                          >>> On 2 October 2013 19:47, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                          >>>
                          >>> BTW, what do you advocate for the teaching of French in schools?
                          >> Actual French, as opposed to the fiction they are teaching right now.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>> Should the teacher enter the class and say
                          >>>
                          >>> "Today, we're going to study the prefixes je, tu, il..."
                          >>>
                          >>> or
                          >>>
                          >>> "Today, we're going to study the pronouns je, tu, il..." ?
                          >>>
                          >>> Or should s/he just teach Spoken and Written French as separate subjects?
                          >>>
                          >>> It appears to me that the "colloquial redundancy" approach has the
                          >>> advantage of considering the French of books, movies, letters,
                          >>> streets, etc., as the same language with a single grammar.
                          >> But they are not! What you're saying is that we should carry on teaching a
                          >> lie because it's easier than teaching the truth. The problem is that that
                          >> lie is utterly *confusing* people, who after learning French for 6 to 7
                          >> years think they have a good knowledge of the language, go and spend a week
                          >> in France, and are completely baffled that they can't understand a single
                          >> word of what the natives are saying! And then they blame the French for
                          >> being unhelpful (they are, but in other ways!) while they should blame
                          >> their education for not teaching them French right!
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>> In other words, is it necessary that the polypersonal approach go*
                          >>> outside the Linguists' circle.
                          >>>
                          >>> Definitely yes. Clearly the current approach is not working, and I don't
                          >> believe "colloquial redundancy" will work, especially since it's *not*
                          >> colloquial! Formal registers of Spoken French are polypersonal as well!
                          >>
                          >> --
                          >> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.
                          >>
                          >> http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                          >> http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                        • Leonardo Castro
                          2013/10/3 Leonardo Castro : [...] ... Let me correct it before someone else notes (or subjunctive note ) the mistake: Colloquial pt-BR
                          Message 12 of 17 , Oct 3, 2013
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                            2013/10/3 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
                            [...]
                            > * not pronouncing the plural markers of possessives, adjectives and
                            > nouns

                            > (but even colloquial pt-BR requires it in the articles),

                            Let me correct it before someone else notes (or subjunctive "note") the mistake:

                            Colloquial pt-BR requires only the first word (not necessarily an
                            article) of a plural noun phrase to mark the plural.

                            So, it would be possible to say "as minha filha" ("the-PL my daughter"
                            = "the daughters of mine"), "minhas filha", "duas filha", "pessoas
                            velha" or "os três filho mais novo" in informal pt-BR, while formal
                            speech would require "as minhas filhas", "minhas filhas", "duas
                            filhas", "pessoas velhas" and "os três filhos mais novos".
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