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Kion vi celas per tio?

od nw2394, 28 listopada 2006

Wpisy: 64

Język: English

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 02:44:28

In the sentence (which appeared in a joke on the home page) it says "Kion vi celas per tio?".

How come "kio" is in the accusative? I've hunted high and low to try to find grammar material that explains why an interrogative use, rather relative use, of such a word should be accusative.

And, before someone says it is because "celas" is transitive, I've got to say that you're kidding surely! Kio is introducing a question and can never be the object of anything. (Surely - please tell me E-o is not going to insist on accustative interrogatives just because "there must be an object". That would be using a rule just for the hell of it).

Nick

RiotNrrd (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 05:01:47

I believe that that is exactly why it's in the accusative - celas is transitive, and "kio" is standing in for the unknown object (so to speak).

If you reordered the words to "Vi celas kion per tio?" it would mean exactly the same thing, but maybe makes more sense as to why there's an n-ending there? Or maybe not. In any case, I think it takes the accusative because it behaves as the object of the sentence, even though the actual object is basically a question mark.

awake (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 05:13:57

In this sentence kion is, in fact, the object. That is why it takes the -n ending. This is easier to see if you change the word order a little bit.

vi celas kion per tio? = you aimed (to do) what by (means of) that?

Here vi/you is the subject celas/aimed is the verb and kion/what are the thing aimed for, the thing receiving the action of the verb, i.e. the object. This is not an unusual (or humorous *grin*) construction.

The original sentence

"kion vi celas per tio?" could roughly be translated as
"What do you intend by that?"

Here's another sentence that might make this sort of construction more clear

kiajn domojn vi ŝatas? literally, what kind of houses do you like? here domojn/houses is the object and kiajn is an adjective (which must agree in case and number with domojn). again you can rearrange this so that the object is more obvious

vi ŝatas kiajn domojn? (you like what kind of houses?).

the word order does not change the fact that kion and kiajn are (part of) the object. I hope that makes it more clear.

nw2394:In the sentence (which appeared in a joke on the home page) it says "Kion vi celas per tio?".

How come "kio" is in the accusative? I've hunted high and low to try to find grammar material that explains why an interrogative use, rather relative use, of such a word should be accusative.

And, before someone says it is because "celas" is transitive, I've got to say that you're kidding surely! Kio is introducing a question and can never be the object of anything. (Surely - please tell me E-o is not going to insist on accustative interrogatives just because "there must be an object". That would be using a rule just for the hell of it).

Nick

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 10:56:25

Well, I hear what you say. But to me it is an utter arbitrary.

You don't say, "Kielon vi celas", or "Kialon vi celas", why do you intend... I can just as easily, though not normally, say in English, "You intend it why?" But you're not telling me "kial" has to be accusative.

I am afraid it seems like an idiom to me and I thought, apart from references to Volapuk, E-o was idiom free.

Sometimes I say, "I be in the garden" or similar. I don't like irregularities even in English. And I am perfectly well understood. I think I am going to insist on using Kio, not Kion and if E-oists don't like it, tough.

In any case, I notice (if I understood it right), in the detailed grammar on this site, it says you can use "Kien" to indicate motion, as in "To where (are you....)". That I can understand. E-o uses the accusative to indicate motion towards.

But "kion" and you're not meaning "motion to what", sorry, I just don't buy that at all. Completely arbitrary use of the accusative just because the verb is transitive. Yuck. Yuck.

A sentence starting with an interrogative is about finding out something. It is, by definition, the SUBJECT of the entire sentence. It can never ever ever be an object of something. Therefore it can never be accusative. This is an example of E-o's frankly bizare fascination with transitivity gone mad.

Nick

Kwekubo (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 15:37:35

nw2394:But "kion" and you're not meaning "motion to what", sorry, I just don't buy that at all. Completely arbitrary use of the accusative just because the verb is transitive. Yuck. Yuck.
It most certainly is not arbitrary! Read on...

nw2394:A sentence starting with an interrogative is about finding out something. It is, by definition, the SUBJECT of the entire sentence. It can never ever ever be an object of something. Therefore it can never be accusative. This is an example of E-o's frankly bizare fascination with transitivity gone mad.
Stop and think about this for a moment: in the sentence "What are you doing?", which word is the subject and which is the object? If we rearrange it as "You are doing what?", it should be obvious that "you" is the subject and "what" is, indeed, the object. It is exactly the same in Esperanto; in the same sentence "Kion vi faras?" (or "Vi faras kion?" etc. etc.), "vi" is the subject and "kio" is the object. For this sentence to make sense, "Kio" must without fail be in the accusative, just like any other direct object in Esperanto.

This isn't a matter of idioms; we aren't just slapping on n's because we feel like it! It's because the sentence would be meaningless otherwise. I suppose "Kio vi faras?" would translate as "You-what do?" - answers on a postcard if anyone can make sense out of that!

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 17:03:47

Kwekubo:This isn't a matter of idioms; we aren't just slapping on n's because we feel like it!
Yes you are.

If you think kion is cool, then I will say to you "Kielon vi faras?"

Oh, sorry, you don't think that is good E-o then?! Well, that, in one 3 word sentence, demonstrates the ridiculousness of the accusative interrogative argument.

Nick

awake (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 21:33:29

Consider the sentence
kio cxasas vi?

This is very ambiguous. Does it mean What is hunting you? or does it mean You are hunting what? If vi (you) is the subject, then kio (what) must be the object (the thing hunted). To prevent this ambiguity kio (which is a noun type thing) is marked with the accusitive to indicate that it is receiving the action of the verb.

Thus Kion cxasas vi (what are you hunting)?

OR
kio cxasas vin (what is hunting you)?
---------------------

You may disagree with the logic behind this construction (and think your way is better), but it's not something that is arbitrarily done. There are probably much better examples than the one I gave off the top of my head that would be even more ambiguous without the accusative marking.

Regardless, in these sentences, kio can (and does) act as a direct object. When this occurs, it takes the appropriate ending just as other nouns do. This is the way that Esperanto is constructed. If you insist on using incorrect esperanto, that is of course your choice. Though you'll probably end up being constantly corrected by people who assume you're a beginner because that's a common mistake made by beginners.

nw2394:
Kwekubo:This isn't a matter of idioms; we aren't just slapping on n's because we feel like it!
Yes you are.

If you think kion is cool, then I will say to you "Kielon vi faras?"

Oh, sorry, you don't think that is good E-o then?! Well, that, in one 3 word sentence, demonstrates the ridiculousness of the accusative interrogative argument.

Nick

Kwekubo (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 23:32:33

nw2394:If you think kion is cool, then I will say to you "Kielon vi faras?"
In a sentence with "kiel" - for example, "Kiel vi fartas?" - "kiel" is acting as an adverb. It is not the direct object. That is the difference. It is asking "how" something was done; for example you could reply to "Kiel vi fartas?" with "Mi fartas bone," "Mi fartas malbone," "Mi fartas etc etc - these too are adverbs.

In a similar way, the "kial" in "Kial vi faras tion?" is not the direct object.

nw2394:Oh, sorry, you don't think that is good E-o then?! Well, that, in one 3 word sentence, demonstrates the ridiculousness of the accusative interrogative argument.
Interrogatives are just words at the end of the day! The normal rules of grammar still apply. Using the accusative in this way makes things much, much clearer.

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 28 listopada 2006, 23:56:19

Kwekubo:In a sentence with "kiel" - for example, "Kiel vi fartas?" - "kiel" is acting as an adverb.
Adverb my foot. It is an interrogative. Not the same thing at all. You all seem to be thinking of interrogatives are nouns, adverbs and goodness knows what.

I don't get your way of thinking about it.

It is the same order of thing as ĉu. Ĉu introduces a question and expects a yes/no sort of answer. Kio introduces a question. Kie introduces a question. Kiel introduces a question. All the Ki- words can introduce a question. And the only difference is what is being enquired about. They are not adverbs. They are not nouns. They are classified, in my way of thinking, as interrogatives that also happen, in some cases, to be used as relative pronouns (which is not the kind of use in question). E-o calls them "correlatives" - which is a different class of word to adverb, noun etc.

They can't be an object because they are not nouns or adverbs or any other kind of word other than what they are - different.

I fail to see what you lot think is so logical about your, it seems to me, indefensible point of view.

When I started studying E-o I read web pages suggesting that English speakers might not like the accusative. I didn't mind. I was already familiar with it from Russian. And, in any case, though it may be difficult for English speakers (or so I thought), I figured that maybe lack of an accusative would be harder for those used to it in other languages. So I took the attitude "you win some, you lose some". But having tried to come to grips with the implications the accusative appears to be having for E-o and the way E-o forces one to remember transitivity, I have come to utterly hate this case. I really resent it. It has totally got up my nose and is putting me off the language.

Sorry, but it is just too flaming alien.

Nick

nw2394 (Pokaż profil) 29 listopada 2006, 01:13:12

awake:Consider the sentence
kio cxasas vi?

This is very ambiguous.
Really? Only because of the unnatural word order. I don't think it really is ambiguous. "Vi" is nominative. So it means "What are you chasing".

kio ĉasas vin, means what is chasing you as vin is accusative.

Messing with changing kio to kion in one question but not the other is completely superfluous.

Nick

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