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Esperanto

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Lexus77
1226198.  Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:13 pm Reply with quote

I found a mistake on the website: It states that Esperanto is the only language that has no irregular verbs. Well, it's true that it has none, but it's not true that it's the only language which has none. Most natural languages will probably have irregular verbs, though you might be able to find some pidgins that don't have any. But there are many artificial languages which have only regular verbs, since they are easier to make and to learn that way. One such example is Ido, derived from Esperanto, but a different language alltogether. And if you can call some of toki pona's words verbs (and they can act like a verb indeed), they are all regular. And I might be mistaking, but I believe interlingua, solresol and Lojban don't have irregular verbs either. Also, I've seen some artificial languages that don't have verbs at all, making it impossible for them to have irregular ones.

 
suze
1226207.  Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:11 pm Reply with quote

This is a fair quibble. Esperanto is by no means the only constructed language to have a perfectly regular verb system.

It's actually quite difficult to construct a rigorous definition of the term "irregular verb". For this reason, there are no Guinness records for the natural languages which have the most and the fewest.

Even so, most would agree that English and German have more than other languages. In each case, there are over two hundred. It comes down to definitions to some extent, but it is possible to argue that Finnish has only four and Chinese precisely one.

 
GuyBarry
1226231.  Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:14 am Reply with quote

As I recall, Turkish arguably has no irregular verbs. The verb "to be" works differently from the others, but that's almost an essential feature of the language.

 
suze
1226267.  Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:35 am Reply with quote

I know little about Turkish, but I'm reading that a handful of verbs (thirteen which are in common use, and a few more that a learner doesn't really need to know) are irregular in one tense only.

It's the tense which Turkish grammars call the "wide tense", which is grammatically a present tense but is used to express habitual action as opposed to current action. So you use it to say "I drive a car (that is a thing that I do)" as opposed to "I am driving a car (right now)". In this handful of verbs, an <i> appears in the wide tense form where the regular pattern has an <a>.

As you suggest, Turkish doesn't have a "to be" verb in the way that we're used to. Instead, it is expressed by means of a suffix which could be construed as a case ending. The standard example involves the blueness of the sea; deniz mavi means "blue sea", but deniz mavidir means "the sea is blue".

 

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