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Esperanto, again...

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1270552.  Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:07 pm Reply with quote

So, I'm wondering if anything happens when you post a quibble here..
As I have stated before in this thread ( ), Esperanto is not the only constructed language, and lots of constructed languages have only regular verbs. Also, I've read somehwere that Vietnames has no irreguler verbs.
Anyway, Esperanto is not the only language without irregular verbs, and I have called attention to this before, and today, again, I read the same "fact" about Esperanto on the website.
So, is it useless to post a quibble here?

1270561.  Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:42 pm Reply with quote

Under some definitions of "irregular verb", Vietnamese does indeed not have any.

Vietnamese verbs do not conjugate in the sort of way that verbs in Western languages do. A verb has just one form, so pronouns cannot be omitted as they can in eg Spanish, and tense is indicated by means of what we would see as an adverb. In effect, to make a past tense form you say "I go previously", while to make a future tense form you say "I go eventually".

But there are some verbs where the adverb used to make the past tense form isn't the one you were expecting, and it is possible to consider those verbs as irregular.

Chinese and Papiamento are both often said to have precisely one. In Chinese it's the "to have" verb (its negative is not formed in the same way as that of all other verbs), while in Papiamento it's the "to be" verb (it's the only verb to have a finite imperative, and the imperative form was taken from a different Portuguese verb than was the rest of the "to be" verb).

Your main point is a fair one, though. While every spoken natural language probably has at least one irregular verb, Esperanto is not the only constructed language which doesn't. So guys, stop saying that it is!

What it may be, though, is the only language with first-language speakers to have no irregular verbs. I do not believe that conlangs such as Interlingua and Volapük have any first language speakers any more, and neither does Klingon.

There was a couple in California who raised their child to be the world's only first-language Klingon speaker, but at the age of seven the child told his parents that they had smooth foreheads and switched unilaterally to English. Apparently it's what all his friends spoke, so it was more convenient. Kids, eh ...!

But there are perhaps two thousand people in the world whose first language is Esperanto. Most of these are Jewish people in Romania or Bahá'í people in China, although the best known is the financier George Soros.

When he was born, his parents could not agree on whether the first language to which they exposed their son should be Hungarian or Yiddish, and so it was neither. Mr Soros speaks English with a pronounced Hungarian accent, but I've been told by an Hungarian that he also speaks Hungarian with a strong accent. It's not a British accent or an American accent, even though those are the countries in which he has spent most of his life, so is it perhaps an "Esperanto accent"?

1270565.  Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:53 pm Reply with quote

Which doesn't answer the question whether it's useless to post a quibble here.

1270569.  Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote

I'm hoping that the people who matter will read the bit in bold and thus prove that it isn't.

Alfred E Neuman
1270589.  Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:27 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Which doesn't answer the question whether it's useless to post a quibble here.

The answer to that is "sometimes".


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