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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Modem Descendants of Latin           399
junctive first person plural, e g demos un paseo (let us take a walk) If
the request involves someone to whom it is not directly addressed, the
third person of the subjunctive is used in both languages, e g in French,
qtfil attends (let htrn wait1),, in Spanish gue no entre nadie (let nobody
come in!).
NEGATION AND INTERROGATION
The predominant negative particle of Latin was non> which survives
as such in Italian The Spanish equivalent is no, Portuguese nao The
Spanish no always precedes the verb and can be separated from it only
by a pronoun object or reflexive In its original form the Latin non (like
our English no) survives in French as an answer to a question or as an
interjection In Spanish, double negation is common The particle no
accompanies the verb even when the sentence contains other words
which have an explicitly negative meaning, eg ninguno (no), nadie
(nobody), nada (nothing), jamds or nunca (never) Thus a Spaniard says
no importa nada (it doesn't signify nothing = it doesn't matter) Simi-
larly, Italians use non with the verb of a sentence which contains nessuno,
mente> mdla Such constructions are analogous to the obligatory double-
barrelled negation of French (ne , pas> ne . * jamais^ ne . neny
etc ) explained in Chapter VIII (p 340) Double negations (eg/ dorft
want no more nonsense) were not tabu in Mayflower English The
following are illustrative
English: I do not see anybody         English: what does he say? . . ,
Nothing.
French   je ne vois personne.           French   que dit-iP-nen
Spanish   no veo a nadie                 Spanish qui dice^nada
Italian     non vedo nessuno              Italian    che dice?-mente
The French words which go with the verb preceded by ne are aucun
(no, none), nul (none), personne (nobody), nen (nothing), plus (no more),
•amais (never), e g il r? avail nen a dire (he had nothing to say), aucun des
delegues nyest present (none of the delegates is present) When they stand
alone in answer to a question, aucun, nen> jamais, personne are negative,
e g who is here^ Personnel what did he say? Rienf In reply to a question
demanding a straight yes or no> Romans repeated the verb of the question.
Tofeast^ne? (did you do it?), the reply was stcfeci (so did I), or won feci
(I did not) In Spanish, si derived from sic is the affirmative particle (yes).
French has two, st and out (Old French oil, from Latin hoc ille) Si> or
stronger, si, <rz, denies a negative statement or suggestion^ eg tu ne
m'aimes plus? $t> si* (You don't love me any more? Yes, yes, I do)
Neither Teutonic nor Romance languages have a single clear-cut and