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Re: Re[4]: [tied] French Gerund v. Participle

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  • enlil@glenhypermedia.com
    ... Why are you imposing a style of speech on me? I m simply stating how I speak English as a native speaker and my usage is just as justified as yours. In my
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 3, 2004
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      Brian:
      >>> Nor does it mean the same thing. People who speak French
      >>> may be speaking English.
      >
      >> So would "people speaking French"!
      >
      > No. If they are speaking French, they are not speaking
      > English.

      Why are you imposing a style of speech on me? I'm simply stating
      how I speak English as a native speaker and my usage is just as
      justified as yours. In my usage, "people speaking French" does
      _NOT_ imply that they only speak French. You're assuming nonsense.


      > I can't speak for French, [...]

      Then why are you speaking ignorantly on it?


      > [..] but they are not in general used interchangeably in English.

      This is a subjective statement of course. All I can legitimately
      say to that is: I just don't experience this usage as being as
      uncommon as you perceive it to be.


      > There are, of course, some specific contexts in which they can be
      > interchanged with very little change of sense, [...]

      And so you thereby admit to the fact that the door is open for an
      _absolute_ interchangeability to surface in everyday speech instead
      of holding on to a thin contrast. There is no semantic reason for
      the contrast here and both can indeed mean the same thing to some
      without a great amount of confusion at all.


      >> "people speaking English"
      >> (2230 entries)
      >
      > Irrelevant.

      Relevant. This is a sample of usages.


      > Of course both forms are acceptable and reasonably common;

      Thank you, that's what I'm getting at... in both English and
      French.


      > the point is that they are not synonymous,

      No, they are not synonymous in all dialects of English, you mean
      to say. I don't know why you're trying to discredit me as a
      native English speaker or why you pick debates with me that are
      simply arguementative for no strong reason.


      > And of course *all* of this is irrelevant to Kim's original
      > observation.

      Actually it is because English and French, despite being very
      different languages, are intertwined historically, geographically,
      politically, culturally and linguistically. What is normal in
      English can often end up being normal in French, especially in
      Canada where the two languages co-exist under one government. So
      the usage of the gerundive here is, as far as I've seen, a situation
      seen in both languages, facilitated by a large degree of
      Canadian bilingualism.


      = gLeN
    • Kim Bastin
      ... Reread the above, the first sentence in particular. ... The French of France. No offence intended to Winnipeg, Vancouver or any other metropolis. ...
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 3, 2004
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        On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 17:34:50 -0800 (PST), Glen wrote:

        >
        >Kim:
        >> Glen, the original assertion (more of an obiter dictum, but never
        >> mind) was that the French participial construction, although common in
        >> writing, is rarely used in speech. You challenge this on the basis of
        >> Canadian French, of which indeed I have no knowledge, so let me
        >> qualify the claim by restricting it to metropolitan French.

        Reread the above, the first sentence in particular.

        >What does "metropolitan French" mean?

        The French of France. No offence intended to Winnipeg, Vancouver or
        any other metropolis.

        >> Now what you are trying to prove with the above statistics from Google
        >> I cannot guess.
        >
        >That it's not "rare".

        Reread first sentence.

        >Kim:
        >> The point at issue is a difference between speech and writing.
        >
        >That particular point is without question but I don't think it's
        >exactly accurate to say that this special use of the gerundive
        >is exclusively "literary" or "rare". It just doesn't seem to be
        >from my own experience if my two cents are worth anything.

        I can't dispute your experience, though one might suspect a degree of
        influence from English on Canadian French. I deny that your Google
        statistics prove anything at all except that the construction can be
        found in written sources, which was never at issue.

        Kim Bastin
      • Brian M. Scott
        At 8:58:19 PM on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, ... I m not; I m reporting normal (in this case meaning both standard and most common) English usage. ... Nor in
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 4, 2004
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          At 8:58:19 PM on Wednesday, November 3, 2004,
          enlil@... wrote:

          > Brian:

          >>>> Nor does it mean the same thing. People who speak
          >>>> French may be speaking English.

          >>> So would "people speaking French"!

          >> No. If they are speaking French, they are not speaking
          >> English.

          > Why are you imposing a style of speech on me?

          I'm not; I'm reporting normal (in this case meaning both
          standard and most common) English usage.

          > I'm simply stating how I speak English as a native speaker
          > and my usage is just as justified as yours. In my usage,
          > "people speaking French" does _NOT_ imply that they only
          > speak French.

          Nor in mine. What it says is that they are speaking French
          at the moment to which the statement refers. At some other
          moment they may be speaking English, or Yup'ik, or Dyirbal,
          for all I know.

          >> I can't speak for French, [...]

          > Then why are you speaking ignorantly on it?

          I'm not speaking about it at all.

          >>> "people speaking English"
          >>> (2230 entries)

          >> Irrelevant.

          > Relevant. This is a sample of usages.

          It's a sample of constructions; it tells you nothing about
          the intended senses of those constructions. Since your
          claim is about the senses as well as the constructions
          themselves, the data are not germane to your claim.

          >> Of course both forms are acceptable and reasonably
          >> common;

          > Thank you, that's what I'm getting at... in both English
          > and French.

          No, you're making a much stronger claim of synonymy, about
          which the statistics say exactly nothing. If you were
          thinking with your head instead of responding defensively, I
          expect that you'd realize this immediately.

          >> the point is that they are not synonymous,

          > No, they are not synonymous in all dialects of English,
          > you mean to say. I don't know why you're trying to
          > discredit me as a native English speaker

          I doubt that they are synonymous in any dialect of English,
          though they may be so in your idiolect. I'm not trying to
          discredit you as a native English speaker, but I'm not
          impressed by your knowledge of English varieties in general.

          > or why you pick debates with me that are simply
          > arguementative for no strong reason.

          If I actually picked debates with you just to be
          argumentative, I'd be posting constantly. Every once in a
          while, however, you make a statement -- usually about
          methodology but sometimes about matters of fact -- that
          strikes me as blatantly wrong, and I comment. Correcting
          blatantly wrong statements does not in my book qualify as
          being argumentative 'for no strong reason'.

          Dead Dobbin having been thoroughly thumped, I've no more to
          say on the subject.

          Brian
        • enlil@glenhypermedia.com
          ... Hmm, then why not just call it European French to avoid confusion? ... Yes, and I admit this. I remember sitting in an extra-credit course that taught us
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 5, 2004
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            Kim:
            >>What does "metropolitan French" mean?
            >
            > The French of France. No offence intended to Winnipeg, Vancouver or
            > any other metropolis.

            Hmm, then why not just call it "European French" to avoid confusion?


            > I can't dispute your experience, though one might suspect a degree of
            > influence from English on Canadian French.

            Yes, and I admit this. I remember sitting in an extra-credit course
            that taught us basic linguistics and IPA symbols. The teacher made
            claims on "Canadian English" but I knew for a fact that many Canadians
            weren't pronouncing it this way (Are Manitobans slurring their words?
            Maybe). However, I did notice that I was pronouncing "day", not as
            /dEj/ (the "proper" Canadian English way) nor even a lazy /dEI/ but
            rather /de/, no doubt influenced by my upbringing in French. The
            deviant pronunciation wouldn't be terribly noticeable in English
            anyway as long as the "d" is alveolar.


            > I deny that your Google statistics prove anything [...]

            Yes, so do I. They _hint_ at everyday speech. That's all I'm getting
            at. So when it's claimed that the gerundive is oddly used here in
            either French or English, I have to argue against it. It's not that
            unusual based on my own experience. Of course, this is a subjective
            debate and so I think we'll have to learn to disagree. It's good
            though to at least share experiences about a language to gain more
            insight.


            > [...] at all except that the construction can be found in written
            > sources, which was never at issue.

            Yes, but the Internet is hardly "literary" by normal standards.
            It's a soupkitchen of thought and a large brunt of it is written
            by the regular joe-shmoes that got their hands on a computer and an
            internet connection to lend their opinion in the way they feel
            most natural -- their own everyday speech as they type it.

            Quite different from _published_ text in print which tends to follow
            much more closely the formulaic, less natural ways of conveying an
            idea. A distinction has to be made between simply "written" and
            "literary". We can all write in various styles to express the same
            view without changing one's medium of expression. I don't have to
            use weird conjugational forms like "fîmes" for example. I can just
            type how I talk and that's what the majority on the internet do.


            = gLeN
          • enlil@glenhypermedia.com
            ... And I m not impressed with your arrogance. I hardly care whether you re impressed with me or not. Do you think I should be? Get off your high horse. I m
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 5, 2004
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              Brian:
              > I'm not trying to discredit you as a native English speaker,
              > but I'm not impressed by your knowledge of English varieties
              > in general.

              And I'm not impressed with your arrogance. I hardly care whether
              you're impressed with me or not. Do you think I should be?
              Get off your high horse.

              I'm here to talk about a _subjective_ view of a language and so to
              attempt, as in your underhanded quote above, to imply that I'm
              unknowledgeable about my own native language AND a language that you
              admit you can't even speak is entirely irrational, mean-spirited and
              doesn't help this Forum.

              You've done this before with me in particular because you must have
              some hate-on with me, some insecurity that surfaces now and again
              when you're feeling blue, I guess. What's happened so far is that
              I've stated my view, then you disagree with it and stick a few insults
              in. Kim on the other hand has been calmly relating another opinion that
              differs from mine. So we all just live different lives. No biggy.

              So why are you so determined in denying other people's own experiences!
              Why are you so stressed out? Just accept that my "idiolect" is
              different and I'll accept that yours differs from mine. The end.


              = gLeN
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