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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

RircFs-Eye View of Teutonic Grammar   285
ordinary root form of the adjective before a plural noun or a singular
noun preceded by an article, demonstrative or possessive.
What is true of many of the dialects of Germany and Switzerland is
true of Dutch The genitive case-form of the noun is absent m speech It
has made way for the roundabout usage with van equivalent to the
German von (of), eg. de mouw van mijn vnend (in dialectical and
colloquial German dw Frau von meinem Freund—the wife of my friend
or my friend's wife) Thus case-distinction survives in Dutch even
less than in English The only noun-flexion still important is the
plural ending This has been much less regularized than in English
Alone among the Teutonic languages, Dutch shares with English a
class of nouns with the plural terminal -s This mcludes those that end
in -el> -en* aad -er* eg tafei-tafels (table-tables), kammer-kammers
(room-rooms) The majority of Dutch nouns take -en like oxen, e g
hms-hmzen (house-houses)
With due regard to the sound-shift, the Dutch verb is essentially the
same as the German There is one important difference. In Dutch,
zal (our shall} is the auxiliary verb used to express future time In Cape
Dutch or Afrikaans (one of the two official languages of the Union of
South Africa) the simple past (eg I heard), habitually replaced in
some German dialects by the roundabout construction with have (e g
/ have heard}y has almost completely disappeared in favour of the
latter This alternative construction is a usefiil trick in German con-
versation, because the past tense and past participle of Teutonic verbs
(cf gave.) given), are often unlike So the use of the informal construc-
tion dispenses with need for memorizing the past tense forms The
present tense of the Afrikaans verb is invariant and identical with the
infinitive, which has no terminal
The first person singular of the present tense is the root (i e the infini-
tive after removal of the suffix -eri) The 2nd and 3rd person singular is
formed from the first by adding -r3 and all persons of the plural are the
same as the infinitive A The past tense of weak verbs is formed by adding
-te or -de in the singular, or -ten and -den in the plural, to the root
Whether we use the d (as in loved} or t form (as in slept} is determined
(see p 81) in accordance with pronunciation of a dental after a voiced
or voiceless consonant Thus we have
ik leer    (I learn)                   ik leerde    (I learned)
ik lack   (I laugh).                  ik lachte   (I laughed)
The past participle is formed by putting ge- in front of the root and
adding "d or -t The compound tenses are formed as in English, e g .
ik heb geleerd (I have learned)           ik zal leeren (I shall learn)