Skip to main content

Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

See other formats

Syntax—The Traffic Rules oj Language   155

with link-words We shall come to complex sentences later on (p 161)
In simple statements, the English-Scandinavian rule holds good when
there is only one verb. When the verb is compound, the object comes
after the helper, and the participle or infinitive form of the verb comes
after the object at the end of the sentence. Thus German-Dutch word-
order is illustrated by the English and German equivalents

The keeper has      given      the kangaroo candy.     I
Der Warter hat dem Kanguruh Kandiszuckei gegcbm
This difference between German-Dutch and Scandinavian-English
word-order is very important to anyone who wants to learn Dutch or
German To read Dutch or to read German with ease, you have to
cultivate the habit of looking for the main verb at the end of a long
sentence To speak either of these languages correctly you have to culti-
vate the trick of recasting any simple sentence m tie form illustrated
above, if it contains a helper verb The difficulty may be complicated by
the presence of two helper verbs The second helper verb (infinitive)
then ^oes to the end of the statement immediately after die participle
form of the main verb Such sentences usually involve should have> could
have> etc, and we cannot translate them literally (see pp 152 and 298)
The Scandinavian-English rule of word-order applies to the relative
position of the object or objects, the helper verb and the participle or
infinitive form of the main verb, in a French, Italian, or Spanish state-
ment, zuhen the object ts a noun If the indirect object is a noun, the
equivalent of to precedes it The indirect noun object follows the direct
ob)ect, as when preceded by to in English (p. xiS) If either or both
objects are pronouns, they follow the verb in a positive command or re-
quest, i e. after the imperative form of the verb. In a statement they
come between the verb and its subject. If the verb is compound they
come before the helper or first verb. To write or to speak French,
Italian, or Spanish, we have to get used to the following changes:
I         —I-----
(a)  The keeper it gave       (it)       to the kangaroo.
(b)  The keeper him gave      (him)      sugar-candy
t         —i—
When there are two objects, the Scandinavian-English rule is that
the indirect object comes before the direct object unless the latter is
preceded by to or its (optional) equivalent (till in Swedish and til IB