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"Smart" languages (eg: tenses)

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  • Neo Corman
    Well, I see it this way. If I spoke a Slavic language as my native tongue, I will probably try to learn another language. Why? Simple, Slavic languages are
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 1, 2002
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      Well, I see it this way.  If I spoke a Slavic language as my native tongue, I will probably try to learn another language.  Why?
       
      Simple, Slavic languages are difficult therefore not to many people are going to spend time and effort learning them unless you are a geek like me and start learning Polish just because.
       
      English native speakers???  Let's put it this way.  Most famous movies, tv shows, books, etc are from an English speaking country.  We travel overseas and we don't feel the neccesity of learning a new language cuz no matter where we go we will always find someone who speaks English or at least knows a little.
       
      The same can be seen sometimes in Latin America.  I have friends who don't learn a new language because there are 21 countries who speak Spanish.  They see that as an excuse I see it as BS!
       
      Nowadays if a person from Ukraine decides to go to China on holidays; would s/he try to learn few Chinese words and sentences?  Or will s/he brush up their English?  The second is more likely to happen (based on my points of view).
       
      Anyone with more opinions?
       
      Neo w Nowej Zeelandii
       
       
      .


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    • amgiad
      yeah, i think this stuff is based on necessity: take speakers of spanish. they only have /a e i o u/ whereas standard italian has /a e E i o O u/. many
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 1, 2002
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        yeah, i think this stuff is based on necessity: take speakers of
        spanish. they only have /a e i o u/ whereas standard italian has /a e
        E i o O u/. many spaniards living in switzerland have to learn
        italian, and they do so without any problems. why? because they need
        it, because the people they work with speak italian, and italians
        have been in switzerland longer than the spaniards, so the italians
        have an advantadge.

        speakers of english speak THE world language - yeah, they don't have
        to learn another language because english is the language of power
        anyway.

        it's all based on the prestige a given language has. and the kind of
        effort a society puts into learning languages is also based on
        prestige.
      • Pankaj Sati
        hello Neo, well i think, ur observation about english is correct. But i think it has also roots in the way this world had evolved (socially and politicaly). I
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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          hello Neo,
          well i think, ur observation about english
          is correct. But i think it has also roots in the
          way this world had evolved (socially and politicaly).
          I personally think, english has a great contribution
          in unifying this planet.
          I also feel that technology is also driving force
          behind the scene.
          In india, there are more than hundred languages.
          Hindi is spoken and understood by most of the people.
          but still many indian parents teach english to their
          children. I think English is a established and
          effective communication medium to rest of the world.
          Thanks for reading this long mail.
          But plese comment on my observations.
          bye




          --- Neo Corman <neonz@...> wrote:
          > Well, I see it this way. If I spoke a Slavic
          > language as my native tongue, I will probably try to
          > learn another language. Why?
          >
          > Simple, Slavic languages are difficult therefore not
          > to many people are going to spend time and effort
          > learning them unless you are a geek like me and
          > start learning Polish just because.
          >
          > English native speakers??? Let's put it this way.
          > Most famous movies, tv shows, books, etc are from an
          > English speaking country. We travel overseas and we
          > don't feel the neccesity of learning a new language
          > cuz no matter where we go we will always find
          > someone who speaks English or at least knows a
          > little.
          >
          > The same can be seen sometimes in Latin America. I
          > have friends who don't learn a new language because
          > there are 21 countries who speak Spanish. They see
          > that as an excuse I see it as BS!
          >
          > Nowadays if a person from Ukraine decides to go to
          > China on holidays; would s/he try to learn few
          > Chinese words and sentences? Or will s/he brush up
          > their English? The second is more likely to happen
          > (based on my points of view).
          >
          > Anyone with more opinions?
          >
          > Neo w Nowej Zeelandii
          >
          >
          > .Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download
          > : http://explorer.msn.com
          >


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        • glossika
          Dear Group, I have a couple questions. How does one tell the following language pairs apart by looking at the writing? The kind of answers I m looking for is
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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            Dear Group,

            I have a couple questions.

            How does one tell the following language pairs apart by looking at
            the writing? The kind of answers I'm looking for is something like
            the special use of accented or marked letters.

            Finnish and Estonian
            Latvian and Lithuanian
            Swedish and Norwegian (and differentiate them from Danish)
            Frisian and Dutch
            Ukrainian and Bjelorussian

            Is there a written form of Flemish? Does it look different than
            Dutch? In what ways?

            We're getting a lot of translation requests, and I'm making a chart
            for my staff to more easily identify languages from faxes that we're
            not used to seeing.

            Thanks for your help.

            James Campbell
            www.glossika.com
          • gudastviri
            Estonian uses letters õ ü š ž which don t exist in Finnish. Swedish uses the letters ä ö å, equivalent letters in Norwegian and Danish are æ ø å.
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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              Estonian uses letters õ ü š ž which don't exist in
              Finnish.
              Swedish uses the letters ä ö å, equivalent letters in
              Norwegian and
              Danish are æ ø å. Written Norwegian and Danish can be very
              difficult
              to tell apart but look for the letter combinations ei au which
              don't exist in Danish.
              You can tell West Frisian by circumflex vowels â ê û, which
              don't exist in Dutch. Also accented letters are a lot more common in
              Frisian, while in Dutch they are practically non-existent. North
              Frisian uses a different alphabet based on the German.

              For everything else try:
              http://www.eki.ee/letter/
              http://www.tiro.com/di_intro.html
            • frank verhoft
              Hi James, hi all [James wrote:]
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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                Hi James, hi all

                [James wrote:]
                <<<How does one tell the following language pairs
                apart by looking at the writing? The kind of answers
                I'm looking for is something like the special use of
                accented or marked letters.<<<

                In the second part of this mail I have summed up some
                differences between Frisian, Dutch. Though you didn't
                ask for it, i also took Afrikaans in account), but as
                a native speaker of Dutch, I'm afraid that my
                observations are guided by my knowledge of Dutch, and
                my, erm, "nativeness" too much...

                So let's do an experiment :))).

                I hope **non-native speakers** of either of these
                languages can give some observations her/himself about
                the formal differences, even without necessarily
                knowing which fragment is taken from which language.
                It's not a game "guess which language", that's not the
                point of this experiment (and neither of James'
                question as far as I understood the heading of James'
                mail: [foreignlanguage] Question for everybody:
                Identifying Languages from the _writing_).
                Just describe the formal differences in the texts,
                spelling/orthographical features...

                The 4 fragments are *randomly* taken from books on
                linguistics, comparing Frisian and Dutch, Dutch and
                Afrikaans, or just describing this or that language in
                this or that tongue.

                Fragments:

                1. It wurdboek is ornearre foar in breed publyk: foar
                harren dy't it Frysk fan h�s �t al in bulte br�kt
                hawwe, oant en mei de minsken dy't foar it earst
                dermei yn 'e kunde komme...
                D�rom hat it �tgangspunt by de opset gan it wurdboek
                west, dat it in kaai w�ze moat op 'e gongbere worden
                yn de Nijfryske skriuwtaal en de hjoeddeiske Fryske
                omgongstaal en dat fan dy wurden in oersetting, of
                byneed in ferklearring, yn it Nederl�nsk te finen w�ze
                moat.

                2. In het tydperk voor 1800 was slegs 36,8% van die
                blanke bevolking van Nederlandse afkomst, terwyl byna
                ewe veel, nl. 35% van Duitse en 'n verdere 14,6 van
                Franse afstamming was. Immigrante van ander Europese
                lande het 2,6% van die bevolking uitgemaakt.

                3. Die morfologie bestudeer die sistematiek agter die
                vorm, funksie en betekenis van woorde, d.w.s. die
                reekse ooreenkomste (en verskille) tussen bepaalde
                woorden se vorme, parallelle grammatiese funksies en
                parallelle betekenisse. 'n Sistematiek is 'n
                samenhangende geheel van sisteme en/of van
                sistemo�des...
                Langdurige taalkontakt gaan gewoonlik gepaard met
                be�nvloeding, dikwels met taalversteuring. In 'n
                meertalige gemeenskap is grootskaalse ontlening en/of
                gebrekkige aanleer byna onvermijdelik...

                4. Het tempo waarin Afrikaanssprekenden in het
                Engelstalig milieu werden ge�ntegreerd, versnelde
                aanzienlijk door verstedelijking na de ontdekking van
                goud aan de Witwatersrand in 1886, en de Boerenoorlog
                van 1899-1902.
                De Afrikaners verzetten zich tegen het jingo�sme van
                de Britse imperiale overheid door etnische
                mobilisering die uitliep op Afrikanernationalisme, dat
                aan het begin van deze vorm kreeg in structuren als de
                Nationale Partij.

                ***
                Two hopes:
                1. I hope the fragments are long enough... (Time is
                not on my side these days)
                2. Maybe I'm too naive, but I silently but strongly
                hope that speakers of the other languages mentioned by
                James will present similar experiments, asking
                non-natives to compare between the languages James
                asked for, viz.

                Finnish and Estonian
                Latvian and Lithuanian
                Swedish and Norwegian (and differentiate them from
                Danish)
                Frisian and Dutch
                Ukrainian and Bjelorussian

                ***
                My observations:

                1. Frisian and Dutch

                Comparing texts written in Frisian and a similar text
                in Dutch, following features are quite distinctive:
                1. Frisian uses of diacritics
                * the accent circonflex on <u>, <a>, <o> and <e> in
                Frisian
                E.g. Frisian: _�nderwiis_, _Nederl�nsk_, _d�rom_, _�f_
                E.g. Dutch: _onderwijs_, _Nederlands_, _daarom_, _of_
                (remark: in Dutch texts, the accent cicronflex only
                appears when using for example French words)

                * the accent aigu on <u>, <e> in Frisian
                E.g. Frisian: _�tj�n_, _sw�drik_
                E.g. Dutch: _uitgegeven_, _zwezerik_
                (remark: in Dutch texts, the accent aigu only appears
                when using for example French words)

                2. some clusters/sequences of graphemes that do appear
                in Frisian, but not in Dutch:
                * <hji>, <gji>, <sju>, <ii>, <oa>, <frje>
                E.g. Frisian _hjir_, _gjinien_, _ betsjut_,
                _�nderwiis_, _foar_, _frjemde_
                E.g. Dutch _hier_, _niemand_ (geen een), _betekent_,
                _onderwijs_, _voor_, _vreemde_

                3. the use of <y>
                The letter appears in both languages, but in Dutch
                only when writing words taken from Latin/Greek,
                English and other languages, so it's relatively rare.
                In Frisian (Frysk!) it is used much much more
                frequently, since it is used in, let's say, "native,
                Frisian" words.

                I'm basing these observations on the "Frysk Wurdboek,
                frysk-nederl�ndsk", published by Frisian Academy
                (Frisian dictionary, Frisian-Dutch, Frysk Akademy,
                1999), and I'm writing this as a native speaker of
                Dutch... It would be nice that these kinds of
                observations would be revised, completed, criticized
                by a Frisian member of the group.


                2. "Flemish" and Dutch

                [John:]
                <<<Is there a written form of Flemish? Does it look
                different than Dutch? In what ways?<<<

                In short: NO.

                A few months ago, I already indicated some differences
                between Dutch and Flemish, and the problems the terms
                can give. I count on Yahoo to have stored them in the
                archives.
                But your question concerns the writing, the
                orthography (or rather orthographiocal features) of
                both variants.
                The spelling used in Flanders is identical to that in
                the Netherlands, so there are no formal differences.
                The orthigraphy regulated for both countries,
                prescribed by a bi-national organisation, de Taalunie
                (the Language Union), and one cannot distinguish a
                text written by somebody from the Netherlands or from
                Flanders when only *looking* at the written words.
                This spelling is "obligatory" in the education system
                and when writing official documents, in both
                countries, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders), and
                is similar for the full 100% (or at least 99.9%).

                3. Afrikaans - Dutch - Frisian

                Help!!
                The differences are too obvious for me, but I'm afraid
                that my observations won't lead to much results. I
                hope other members of this list can tell about their
                observations...

                I hope this helps a bit.


                Frank Verhoft

                =====
                "De perto ningu�m � normal!" - Caetano Veloso

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              • glossika
                Frank, First, thank you so much for the detailed response. But, unless I missed where you mentioned the answers, I cannot be entirely sure which languages
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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                  Frank,

                  First, thank you so much for the detailed response. But, unless I
                  missed where you mentioned the answers, I cannot be entirely sure
                  which languages these four fragments belong to.

                  Based on your description, the first two look like Frisian.

                  The third and fourth, I cannot be sure, but neither look like Dutch
                  to me. Are they Afrikaans?

                  The third one has parts in it that make me hesitate whether it's
                  Dutch or not: e.g. 'n and byna (the 'y' spelling), of (isn't it 'op'
                  in Dutch?), the articles (?? does Dutch use 'die'??).

                  The fourth one, although going on about South Africa's history
                  (doesn't necessarily make it Afrikaans though, right?), I would
                  assume is Afrikaans. If it's not Afrikaans, then you've tricked me
                  with the topic. I also noticed the word 'zich' with the 'ch' ending
                  resembling more like German--doesn't Dutch usually end in 'k'
                  or 'ijk'?

                  With the last statement, it makes me wonder if Dutch has any words
                  ending in fricatives (except s). For example, I doubted whether 'of'
                  and 'zich' could be Dutch, because neither 'f' nor 'ch' are stop
                  endings like 'p' and 'k' which I believe are to be common in Dutch.

                  On second thought, it looks like fragments 2 and 3 could be the same
                  language. I can see now that 1 and 2 perhaps are different languages.
                  Both 2 and 3 have the 'y' spellings and both have the word 'byna'.
                  Both 2 and 3 have the stop endings like 'p' and 'k', and where there
                  is 'd' and 'g', they are always followed by an ending 'e', except
                  in 'ing' endings. This differentiates 2 and 3 from fragment 4,
                  where 'd' and 'g' endings are allowed. So maybe this means that 2 and
                  3 could be Dutch after all, leaving 4 to be Afrikaans. But what are
                  they, really Frank?????

                  The problem, Frank, is that this kind of guesswork is based on
                  previous knowledge or patterns that I may have seen before--and it's
                  entirely an educated guess not based on any concrete knowledge (that
                  bothers me). And I'm just stretching for a logical answer. If I came
                  across a document that looked like Dutch and going on and on about
                  South Africa's history, I wouldn't give it second thought and say
                  it's Afrikaans. But I could be wrong! Because I don't know what the
                  identifying features are!

                  One last note: although I've never seen written Frysk before, reading
                  through it kind of reminds me of the way the Bavarian dialect of
                  German sounds with the 'oa' diphthongs. There seem to be some
                  similarities.

                  -James Campbell


                  > Fragments:
                  >
                  > 1. It wurdboek is ornearre foar in breed publyk: foar
                  > harren dy't it Frysk fan hûs út al in bulte brûkt
                  > hawwe, oant en mei de minsken dy't foar it earst
                  > dermei yn 'e kunde komme...
                  > Dêrom hat it útgangspunt by de opset gan it wurdboek
                  > west, dat it in kaai wêze moat op 'e gongbere worden
                  > yn de Nijfryske skriuwtaal en de hjoeddeiske Fryske
                  > omgongstaal en dat fan dy wurden in oersetting, of
                  > byneed in ferklearring, yn it Nederlânsk te finen wêze
                  > moat.
                  >
                  > 2. In het tydperk voor 1800 was slegs 36,8% van die
                  > blanke bevolking van Nederlandse afkomst, terwyl byna
                  > ewe veel, nl. 35% van Duitse en 'n verdere 14,6 van
                  > Franse afstamming was. Immigrante van ander Europese
                  > lande het 2,6% van die bevolking uitgemaakt.
                  >
                  > 3. Die morfologie bestudeer die sistematiek agter die
                  > vorm, funksie en betekenis van woorde, d.w.s. die
                  > reekse ooreenkomste (en verskille) tussen bepaalde
                  > woorden se vorme, parallelle grammatiese funksies en
                  > parallelle betekenisse. 'n Sistematiek is 'n
                  > samenhangende geheel van sisteme en/of van
                  > sistemoïdes...
                  > Langdurige taalkontakt gaan gewoonlik gepaard met
                  > beïnvloeding, dikwels met taalversteuring. In 'n
                  > meertalige gemeenskap is grootskaalse ontlening en/of
                  > gebrekkige aanleer byna onvermijdelik...
                  >
                  > 4. Het tempo waarin Afrikaanssprekenden in het
                  > Engelstalig milieu werden geïntegreerd, versnelde
                  > aanzienlijk door verstedelijking na de ontdekking van
                  > goud aan de Witwatersrand in 1886, en de Boerenoorlog
                  > van 1899-1902.
                  > De Afrikaners verzetten zich tegen het jingoïsme van
                  > de Britse imperiale overheid door etnische
                  > mobilisering die uitliep op Afrikanernationalisme, dat
                  > aan het begin van deze vorm kreeg in structuren als de
                  > Nationale Partij.
                • glossika
                  Dear Group, A couple years ago I found a book in a library that gave a brief description (10 or so pages) of each of the languages of Europe, including
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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                    Dear Group,

                    A couple years ago I found a book in a library that gave a brief
                    description (10 or so pages) of each of the languages of Europe,
                    including orthography, a simple grammar, some vocab, and I think an
                    example of the script.

                    Recently I wanted to get some information from this book, so I went
                    back to see if I could find it, but no luck. The only thing I can
                    remember about the title is that it said something like: Librarian's
                    Guide to Languages, or European Languages for Librarians, or
                    something like that. I know it mentioned librarian and language. But
                    even after doing searches with a computer I was unable to find the
                    book or its title.

                    Does anybody know this book or its title? It didn't seem like it was
                    recently published, probably about 20 years old at least.

                    Thanks,

                    James Campbell
                    www.glossika.com
                  • frank verhoft
                    Hi James, hi all, [James:]
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 7, 2002
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                      Hi James, hi all,


                      [James:]
                      <<<The problem, Frank, is that this kind of guesswork
                      is based on previous knowledge or patterns that I may
                      have seen before--and it's entirely an educated guess
                      not based on any concrete knowledge (that bothers me).
                      And I'm just stretching for a logical answer. If I
                      came across a document that looked like Dutch and
                      going on and on about South Africa's history, I
                      wouldn't give it second thought and say it's
                      Afrikaans. But I could be wrong! Because I don't know
                      what the identifying features are!<<<

                      I completely understand that, and I only tried to
                      concentrate on formal, what you call "identifying"
                      features, and that's why I didn't give the solutions
                      in my mail...
                      BTW, the guesswork on the classification (4 texts, 3
                      languages) was a 100% match!
                      Your question provoked this little experiment and I
                      realise I took your question maybe to its extremes:
                      just to see how difficult it would be to distinguish
                      between three related languages, all fairly unknown to
                      you (a pitty nobody else unfamiliar with these
                      languages reacted...), and four texts (three would
                      have been too easy :), and all of them using the same,
                      if not identical script and set of diacritics, without
                      pointing out which text belongs to which language.
                      Identification was not at stake in my previous mail.

                      Maybe I interpreted your question a bit too strictly,
                      but I tried to only describe the formal features, how
                      the words in this or that language, erm, "look like",
                      without concentrating on morphemes and morphological
                      features. I just tried to take into account, let's
                      say, sequences of graphemes.
                      I do realise that my description is written from a
                      Dutch point of view, and therefore maybe a bit
                      limited. Therefore, I think it would be interesting to
                      read which features a native speaker of Afrikaans or
                      Frisian would point out as distinctive.

                      ***
                      I have arranged your replies and answers per fragment,
                      concentrating on your "second thoughts".

                      Fragment one:
                      It wurdboek is ornearre foar in breed publyk: foar
                      harren dy't it Frysk fan h�s �t al in bulte br�kt
                      hawwe, oant en mei de minsken dy't foar it earst
                      dermei yn 'e kunde komme... D�rom hat it �tgangspunt
                      by de opset gan it wurdboek west, dat it in kaai w�ze
                      moat op 'e gongbere worden yn de Nijfryske skriuwtaal
                      en de hjoeddeiske Fryske omgongstaal en dat fan dy
                      wurden in oersetting, of byneed in ferklearring, yn it
                      Nederl�nsk te finen w�ze moat.

                      [James:]
                      <<<I can see now that 1 and 2 perhaps are different
                      languages.<<<
                      <<<One last note: although I've never seen written
                      Frysk before, reading through it kind of reminds me of
                      the way the Bavarian dialect of German sounds with the
                      'oa' diphthongs. There seem to be some
                      similarities.<<<

                      I don't know about Bavarian dialects, but your right:
                      the first fragment is the only Frisian text, and it
                      was taken from the introduction of "Frysk Wurdboek",
                      published by the Frisian Academy (1999). Alas, I don't
                      know in how far this is considered as a kind of
                      "official" spelling in the areas in the Netherlands
                      where Frisian is spoken (and written). This question
                      can be passed on to a more specialised mail group as
                      Lowlands-L (more info on
                      http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1615/rhahn/lowlands/,
                      with a lot of links and references to Frisian, Dutch,
                      Afrikaanse, and Low German and other resources).


                      Fragment two:
                      In het tydperk voor 1800 was slegs 36,8% van die
                      blanke bevolking van Nederlandse afkomst, terwyl byna
                      ewe veel, nl. 35% van Duitse en 'n verdere 14,6 van
                      Franse afstamming was. Immigrante van ander Europese
                      lande het 2,6% van die bevolking uitgemaakt.

                      Fragment three:
                      Die morfologie bestudeer die sistematiek agter die
                      vorm, funksie en betekenis van woorde, d.w.s. die
                      reekse ooreenkomste (en verskille) tussen bepaalde
                      woorden se vorme, parallelle grammatiese funksies en
                      parallelle betekenisse. 'n Sistematiek is 'n
                      samenhangende geheel van sisteme en/of van
                      sistemo�des...
                      Langdurige taalkontakt gaan gewoonlik gepaard met
                      be�nvloeding, dikwels met taalversteuring. In 'n
                      meertalige gemeenskap is grootskaalse ontlening en/of
                      gebrekkige aanleer byna onvermijdelik...

                      [James:]
                      <<< it looks like fragments 2 and 3 could be the same
                      language. Both 2 and 3 have the 'y' spellings and both
                      have the word 'byna'. Both 2 and 3 have the stop
                      endings like 'p' and 'k', and where there is 'd' and
                      'g', they are always followed by an ending 'e', except
                      in 'ing' endings. This differentiates 2 and 3 from
                      fragment 4, where 'd' and 'g' endings are allowed.<<<

                      You're very right when saying that fragment two and
                      three belong to the same language, but they are both
                      Afrikaans...
                      To be honest, i don't really manage myself to talk
                      about the differences between "het schriftbeeld" (I
                      don't know the term in English, "type face"???) in
                      Afrikaans and Dutch, without dealing with
                      morphological issues at the same time.

                      Two examples of very common features:
                      1.Dutch _-isch_ is similar to Afrikaans _ies_, but the
                      sequence of graphemes <ies> in word final position is
                      possible and common in Dutch too. But when combining
                      orthography with morphology (or other grammatical
                      issues, which supposes some knowledge of at least of
                      of them), it's crystal clear for a native
                      speaker/student of Dutch and or Afrikaans.
                      The Frisian equivalent is _-ysk_, and this sequence in
                      word final position is unknown in Dutch, and as far as
                      I could find, not used in Afrikaans either.

                      2. the title of the book from which I took these
                      Afrikaanse fragments:
                      "Inleiding tot die Afrikaanse taalkunde" would be in
                      Dutch:
                      "Inleiding tot de Afrikaanse taalkunde", but _die_ is
                      a frequently used Dutch demonstrative pronoun while in
                      Afrikaans it's the definite article.

                      [James:]
                      <<<Both 2 and 3 have the stop endings like 'p' and
                      'k', and where there is 'd' and 'g', they are always
                      followed by an ending 'e', except in 'ing' endings.
                      This differentiates 2 and 3 from fragment 4, where 'd'
                      and 'g' endings are allowed.<<<

                      Again, I do realise the fragments were a bit too
                      short!
                      In both Afrikaans and Dutch, words ending in <-d> and
                      <-g> are very common. "Lande", taken from fragment 2,
                      is the plural of "land" (In Dutch: "landen", "land").
                      Scanning one page in the Afrikaanse book, I found
                      "goed", "verband", "gehad", and "overwig", tog",
                      "vandag" (in Dutch: "goed", "verband", "gehad",
                      "overwicht", "toch","vandaag".)


                      I strongly doubt that following rules can be applied
                      for differentiating between Dutch and Afrikaans, but I
                      want to suggest them anyway:
                      *when you're in doubt between Afrikaans and Dutch,
                      count the <y>'s, the text with the most <y>'s is
                      Afrikaans. So you were right concentrating on <y>.
                      *words that have Latin roots as "contact", "function",
                      "dialect", are written with <k> in Afrikaans
                      ("kontakt", "funksie" and "dialekt". The *official*
                      Dutch spelling guide says "contact", "functie" and
                      "dialect", with <c>... However, not everybody in the
                      Netherlands and Flanders follow this rule...


                      Fragment four:
                      Het tempo waarin Afrikaanssprekenden in het
                      Engelstalig milieu werden ge�ntegreerd, versnelde
                      aanzienlijk door verstedelijking na de ontdekking van
                      goud aan de Witwatersrand in 1886, en de Boerenoorlog
                      van 1899-1902. De Afrikaners verzetten zich tegen het
                      jingo�sme van de Britse imperiale overheid door
                      etnische mobilisering die uitliep op
                      Afrikanernationalisme, dat aan het begin van deze vorm
                      kreeg in structuren als de Nationale Partij.

                      [James:]
                      <<<The fourth one, although going on about South
                      Africa's history (doesn't necessarily make it
                      Afrikaans though, right?)<<<

                      Right...

                      <<<If it's not Afrikaans, then you've tricked me with
                      the topic.<<<

                      You think I'd dare to do so??

                      The fourth fragment is a Dutch text, taken from "De
                      geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal", and more
                      specifically from the chapters about Afrikaans. ;).

                      [James:]
                      <<<I also noticed the word 'zich' with the 'ch' ending
                      resembling more like German--doesn't Dutch usually end
                      in 'k' or 'ijk'?<<<
                      <<<With the last statement, it makes me wonder if
                      Dutch has any words ending in fricatives (except s).
                      For example, I doubted whether 'of' and 'zich' could
                      be Dutch, because neither 'f' nor 'ch' are stop
                      endings like 'p' and 'k' which I believe are to be
                      common in Dutch.<<<

                      Dutch orthography doesn't allow word endings with
                      _voiced fricatives_, one of the many apparant
                      inconsequences of Dutch writing. Voiceless fricatives
                      in word final position are legio.
                      Examples:
                      1. the infinitive _geven_
                      1S: _ik geef_" (*ik geep, *ik geev, a common mistake
                      by foreign students of Dutch)
                      2. the plural _huizen_
                      sing. _een huis_ (*huiz)
                      3. the plural _voegen_
                      sing. _voeg_ (*voech)
                      (Why apparantly inconsequent: _honden_, _hond_ (and
                      not *hont))
                      4. The pair _noch_ versus _nog_, and the, erm, "semi
                      pair" _zich_ versus _zig_ (zag).
                      (NB, pronunciation is identical!)

                      I hope you liked the experiment :).

                      Best regards

                      Frank

                      =====
                      "De perto ningu�m � normal!" - Caetano Veloso

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