Re: Re: [mythsoc] language what? ....
- In a message dated 6/29/3 8:07:04 PM, Mary wrote:
<<In Russian, verbs have gender: on zabyl "he forgot" but ona zabyla "she
>>In this case, however, it's because _zabyl_ and _zabyl_ aren't really verbs
(although derived from verb-stems) but participles, and thus grammatically
adjectives, which automatically have gender in Slavic languages. Originally they
would have been joined to a substantive by the verb "to be", but this has
dropped out in Russian, leaving such sentences essentially verbless (with the verb
"to be" understood). In other Slavic languages -- like, say, Czech -- the verb
"to be" is still explicitly there -- _ja jsem zapomnel_ "I forgot"
[literally, "I am having-forgotten"], masculine; _ja jsem zapomnela_ "I forgot",
On the whole "Sapir-Whorf" issue, Anna Wierzbicka's books are excellent
sources for people trying to understand how languages are fundamentally different
and yet how translation between them is possible.