Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    You have posted your questions several different times.

    The next time you should have it understood.

    You might want to do your posts to this thread at different times of the day, but let your next post on "time" be the last time you post on it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
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  3. Search & Destroy Take one bite at a time Moderator

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    I score you A+ times a million for that response Walter.

    Saint - Uncountable nouns are not separate objects thus only have a singular form.

    Time is uncountable.
    Clocks, hours, and minutes are countable.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Fractions are numbers and you can do arithmetic on them, so your point is false.

    I have already told you about the difference between continuous variables, that can be measured up to an arbitrary number of decimal digits like distance and temperature, and discrete variables, that can be counted and expressed only in integers.

    Money may, at first glance, appear to be a discrete variable because you can count the number of pennies, centimes, lepta, sen, etc., in your pocket. But money is actually a continuous variable. You may not be able to find a coin with the denomination of one and one half cents, but if you look in an industrial catalog you'll find many commodities with prices like $0.215 per pound, or even per unit.

    As cash is phased out and the majority of transactions are processed electronically, you'll find fractional monetary figures more common.
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    maybe, perhaps its probably a possibility.
     
  8. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    What is the history of English? Is it evolutionalised from Latin?

     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    English did not evolve from Latin, but they have a common ancestor that we call Proto-Indo-European. The original Indo-European tribe lived on the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, a large region covering modern Kazakhstan and Ukraine and all the nearby lands. They began to spread out and migrate in separate directions around 3500BCE, plus or minus several centuries.

    A large group traveled east and south, and their descendants speak languages in the Eastern Branch of the Indo-European family, including the Baltic (e.g. Lithuanian), Slavic (e.g. Russian), Indic (e.g. Hindi) and Iranic (e.g. Farsi) subgroups. Another large group traveled west and north, and their descendants speak languages in the Western Branch of the family, including the Italic (e.g. Spanish), Hellenic (Greek is the only modern Hellenic language), Celtic (e.g. Irish) and Germanic subgroups.

    The Germanic languages are Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, German, Yiddish, Dutch, Frisian and English, plus a few other tongues that may be categorized as dialects or distinct languages, such as Flemish and Afrikaans.

    The reason English looks like it might be descended from Latin is that in 1066CE the Normans invaded England, occupied the country, and made French the official language. French is descended from Latin and thousands of French words (ultimately of Latin origin) were assimilated into our language during this time. Eventually English was restored as the national language but by this time it had become quite different from the other Germanic languages in vocabulary, grammar and phonetics.

    Latin was the language of scholarship in Europe for many centuries, so all of the European languages absorbed many Latin words, including English. French eventually became the language of diplomacy, so more French words were added to our word stock. In the modern era, scientists and other scholars invent new words all the time, and they usually base them on Latin and Greek roots.

    There are a few Indo-European languages that don't fit neatly into the Eastern or Western Branch so we don't really know the path their speakers' ancestors followed on their migration. These include Armenian and Albanian as well as some extinct languages.
     
  10. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    How about the Wales language which is called Celtic?
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The language of Wales is called Welsh, and it is indeed a member of the Celtic subgroup of Western Indo-European. The other primary members are Irish (which is also called Gaelic) and Breton, the language of the people of Brittany, a small province in France. There are a few other Celtic languages with a small number of speakers who are struggling to keep them alive, such as Cornish (the language of Cornwall in the southwest of England) and Manx (the language of the Isle of Man). In addition, some Scots also speak a dialect of Gaelic, although since the formation of the United Kingdom virtually all of them speak English as their primary language.

    The Celts were the first Indo-European tribe to settle in Europe. Because they arrived with the advanced agricultural and early Bronze Age technologies they had learned from being on the fringe of Mesopotamian civilization in the Pontic Steppe (including wheels, domesticated horses, and simple metal tools and weapons), they quickly took leadership over the earlier population of Homo sapiens who already lived there. They pretty much had the place to themselves for several centuries and a large number of Celtic languages evolved.

    Then the Hellenic tribes followed them over, the Germanic tribes took the long route through Scandinavia and down from the north, and the Romans arose--a people whose origin is not clear; some scholars think they might have simply been a band of Celts who split off from their comrades very early. The Greeks and Romans had steady contact with the Phoenicians and other traders from the advanced Mesopotamian civilizations, so Greco-Roman civilization evolved rapidly. The Romans quickly took control over all of central and western continental Europe. The Celts were absorbed and their languages are lost except for a small number of place names.

    The Celts remained in control of the British Isles. The language spoken at that time on Britannia is known as Brythonic, and the one on Ireland is Goidelic. But when the Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century and the Romans abandoned Brittania, Germanic tribes (primarily the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, but also many others) sailed over and occupied the place. The native Celtic population was marginalized and the country soon became known as Angle Land, a named which evolved phonetically into England, just as their Germanic language, Anglisc, is now called English.

    There were only a few places in southern Brittania where the original Celtic communities survived. Wales and Cornwall are the major regions. The northern half of Brittania had never been conquered and was the home of the Picts, a tribe we know very little about. They may have been another Indo-European tribe, or they may have been one of the older groups of humans, like the modern Basques. Eventually the Irish began exploring the region and ultimately colonized it, so today their descendants, the Scots, still keep their Gaelic language.

    During the Anglo-Saxon conquest, some of the Celtic people decided to escape. They sailed to the northwestern coast of France and founded the colony of Brittany--a name which echoes the original name "Brythonic." Today they are reasonably well integrated into French culture and live in harmony with the French people, but they keep their Celtic language alive.

    Such are the ways of history. Celtic languages were once spoken all over Europe. Today they survive only on a few islands and in a tiny corner of France. And in all of their surviving homelands there is tremendous pressure to replace them: with English in Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland, and with French in Brittany.
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Is this a correct sentence?

    Many Chinese parents worry about their children after becoming Christians will not worship them after they die.
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    1. All you need to do is study harder and achieve better results in next semester.
    2. All you need to do is to study harder and achieve better results in next semester.
    3. All you need to do is studying harder and achieve better results in next semester.

    Which sentence is correct?
     
  14. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    The first.
    But that should also be "in THE next semester" or just "next semester" (no "in").
     
  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    All you need to do is study harder and achieve better results next semester.

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    Why the grammar is like that?
     
  16. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Is this a correct sentence?

    Many Chinese parents worry about their children after becoming Christians will not worship them after they die.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    But the second is also correct. All you need to do is to study harder and to achieve better results. We don't usually speak that way, but sometimes we use it for emphasis. If Saint speaks that way no one will think it's strange. They might just tell him that he's speaking too formally.
    "Why is the grammar like that?" There are no rules for when you must use the definite article (the next semester) and when you must omit it. You just have to learn on a case-by-case basis.
    No. You can say "many Chinese parents worry about their children."

    You can even say "Many Chinese parents worry about their children after becoming Christians," but that sentence says that the parents became Christians, not the children. But once you turn a phrase into a clause by putting a verb ("becoming") into it, you have to use a conjunction rather than a preposition to link them.

    Many Chinese parents worry that their children, after becoming Christians, will not worship them after they die.

    You need the commas because the sentence is too complicated to parse correctly. And there's still an ambiguity. Someone might think you mean that the children won't worship them after their own deaths, rather than after the deaths of the parents. Since Christians believe they will continue living after they die, that's not a completely unreasonable interpretation.
     
  18. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Many Chinese parents worry that their children, after becoming Christians, will not worship them after they die.

    Yes, this is the correct one.
     
  19. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Do "each other" and "one another" mean the same thing?
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Yes, that's what the dictionary says. However, despite their equivalence they are not always used interchangeably.

    In my experience, "one another" is primarily used in reference to people, or at least animals of other species. "The members of my family, even those of different generations, get along well with one another." "Leopards are not a social species, so they do not seek out or appreciate one another's company."

    But "each other" can also stand for inanimate objects. "During the earthquake, the bottles of cola in the supermarket crashed into each other and made a big mess."
     
  21. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    We love each other,
    We love one another.

    Both are correct?
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Interesting question. Yes, technically they both are correct. But I don't think I hear anyone actually say it the second way.

    Americans love one another.
    Most of the members of my family love one another.
    The children in this neighborhood love one another.
    People in the Middle East should learn to love one another.

    Come on people now, smile on your brother;
    Everybody get together, try and love one another, right now.
    [From "Get Together" by Dino Valenti, popularized by the Youngbloods, a "classic rock" song from the 1960s that I sing with my band]

    But: We love one another? My wife and I love one another? My dog and my cat love one another? John and Suzie certainly seem to love one another? My parents don't love one another anymore so they got a divorce?

    Those sentences are grammatically correct and the meaning is clear, but to me they seem a little awkward. I wonder if "one another" is generally reserved for a larger group of people (or other animals). If I'm just talking about two people, I feel more comfortable saying "each other"--which is also perfectly valid for larger groups.

    What do the rest of you native anglophones think? Is this just my own idiosyncrasy?
     
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    If I am talking to my wife alone, I shall say like "Let's love each other".
     

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