İçerik Görüntüleme

Conditional + participle?

başlangıç nw2394, 20 Kasım 2006

Mesajlar: 20

Dil: English

Kwekubo (Profili görüntüle) 22 Kasım 2006 13:55:11

nw2394:I think I've spotted a minor error. On the page about the imperative/volitive (-u ending) it says:

Ŝi aĉetu, kion ŝi bezonas. - Let her buy when she needs.

I think it should say "what" instead of "when". At least I've haven't seen anything that suggests kio is ever used in relation to time!

Nick
Corrected, thanks for pointing it out!

nw2394 (Profili görüntüle) 22 Kasım 2006 14:55:53

Thanks Waxle,

I get that kio = what and that kiu = what from a more restrictive set of possibilities (and so normally means which, but can mean who).

But I am not sure that answers my question. We need someone who is comfortably and completely bi-lingual to nail this one I think.

There is a section in the FAQ about kio and kiu in relation to how to ask someone's name - written in esperanto. I struggled through it, but it basically said you can use either. So that was no help.

It seems strange that LZ would have come up with such a large, apparently complete set of correlatives and not see the need for a word that unambiguously meant "who".

Nick

erinja (Profili görüntüle) 22 Kasım 2006 17:55:33

nw2394: So how do I begin a question with "who or what specifically"? As in, for example, a marketing survey question for a product that is supposed to deliver cleanliness, one might ask "who or what would represent 'purity'.
This is pretty straightforward. I would say "Kiu aŭ kio reprezentus 'purecon'?"

nw2394:

In Esperanto I can say "Kiu aŭ kio", but I don't mean "What specifically or what generally"?

I might ask "Kiu persono aŭ kio objekto" but that might stop people from answering with places. And the answer to my survey question, (the one that came up most frequently) was a mountain waterfall.
You couldn't say "kio objekto", it wouldn't be grammatical. When we say "kio", all by itself, that indicates a generality. If you add a noun to 'go with' kio - what thing, or what person, or what whatever - you are already being specific. In this case you are asking what specific object would make someone think of purity. So you would never follow "kio" with a noun that it was supposed to go with - if you want to use "what" with a noun, "what [noun]", you would always use "kiu". So in this case, it would be "Kiu persono aŭ objekto...". But in any case, "kiu aŭ kio" would be perfectly understood to mean "who or what", no question.

nw2394:
I can't get this straight in my head about how to ask "who or what" in a succinct way and it is bugging me. Would "kiu aŭ kio" be understood by a non english speaking esperantist in the same way that an English speaker understands "Who or what"? Or would "kiu" on its own be adequate?
"Kiu" on its own wouldn't be adequate; used alone, I generally translate it as "Which individual", and I think the person taking the survey would assume you were referring to a person. "kiu aŭ kio" would be no problem at all.

nw2394 (Profili görüntüle) 22 Kasım 2006 20:45:26

erinja:

This is pretty straightforward. I would say "Kiu aŭ kio reprezentus 'purecon'?"
Thanks Erin, that is a straightforward answer.

erinja:

You couldn't say "kio objekto", it wouldn't be grammatical. When we say "kio", all by itself, that indicates a generality. If you add a noun to 'go with' kio - what thing, or what person, or what whatever - you are already being specific. In this case you are asking what specific object would make someone think of purity. So you would never follow "kio" with a noun that it was supposed to go with - if you want to use "what" with a noun, "what [noun]", you would always use "kiu". So in this case, it would be "Kiu persono aŭ objekto...". But in any case, "kiu aŭ kio" would be perfectly understood to mean "who or what", no question.
I looked at what you said in that paragraph several times. At first I thought what you were telling me here was crazy. In English I would never say, "Which object have you got hidden in that box", unless the prior conversation had shown that the object in the box was one of a strictly limited choice. I would normally always say, "What object have you got hidden in that box". (Or perhaps more simply, "what have you got hidden in that box", but the context would imply an object anyway.)

So.... on reading your first paragraph, I thought, ok, kiu aŭ kio really does mean who or what, forget about that stuff concerning 'what specifically' and 'what generally'. But then you say that I can't say "kio objekto", when I certainly know that I could and would say that in English and you just told me kio really is what.

It was doing my head in over dinner. What the devil do you really mean I thought. But now that I've sat and thought about it again, I think I've got it. kio does mean what and kiu does mean which (and, in some contexts who). But the equivalence is not 100%. It seems that esperanto starts wanting to use kiu (i.e. which) when things may still, in fact, be more general than the times when I would consider "which" to be appropriate in English. (Or at least in my understanding/usage of English anway) To me, "which" in English is like asking a multiple choice question - very very limited subset of possible answers. In Esperanto, "kiu" replaces one's use of "kio" pretty much as soon as the field is narrowed down.

If that is the case, then I understand now - at last.

Still think LLZ would have been better off making a proper "who" word and leaving "which" to mean a choice. This is one particular problem I haven't encountered in my, admitedly very limited, study of other languages! (Or perhaps I just didn't get that far with them!!!)

Nick

RiotNrrd (Profili görüntüle) 23 Kasım 2006 01:41:30

"Kio" has bedevilled me since I first came across it (i.e., since just about the beginning).

What it means appears to be so restrictive that it seems to me that it would hardly ever get used. It appears to ask "what" only in cases where the object of the sentence is entirely unknown. "What is that?" would use "kio", for example, since what it's asking about is a complete unknown. But where the object of the sentence is identified (or, at least, the class of objects referred to is identified), "kiu" would be the word.

And, in fact, this lack of usage appears to hold true. Looking at large blocks of esperanto text, "kio" appears to be used much less often than "kiu".

You couldn't ask "kio objekto...?", because just within those two words you've narrowed down the scope of the question to the realm of actual objects, whereas "kio" implies that maybe the answer won't involve objects at all - maybe it'll involve ideas or feelings or thoughts or inferences or conjectures or... i.e., things which are not "objects" per se. Or it might involve objects. The mere fact that "kio" is in there implies COMPLETE uncertainty.

"Kiu" is fine with a narrowed field of possibilities. It implies partial uncertainty. You know what the class of answers is going to be, you just don't know which specific one is the right one.

It seems that whether "kiu" means "who" or "which" is simply context related. It's generally obvious from the question whether you are talking about people or things.

In your original example, I think it would be possible to simply reword it as "What represents 'purity' to you?", and leave it at that. Using "Kio" would imply that a person, place, thing, idea, etc., would all be legitimate answers. Which I think is what that question was looking for - I'm not sure making a distinction between "who" and "what" and then including both of them actually makes a difference to the meaning of the question.

nw2394 (Profili görüntüle) 23 Kasım 2006 02:26:06

RiotNrrd:
In your original example, I think it would be possible to simply reword it as "What represents 'purity' to you?", and leave it at that. Using "Kio" would imply that a person, place, thing, idea, etc., would all be legitimate answers. Which I think is what that question was looking for - I'm not sure making a distinction between "who" and "what" and then including both of them actually makes a difference to the meaning of the question.
I confess that one might say simply "what" in my example question. I just didn't do that in real life.

I have another, better example of using "who or what" elsewhere, but it would have taken even longer to explain!

It is not a common question. Probably not common in any language. It is just that I sit here and think, "how would you say that?" And this particular one hit right into the heart of the kio/kiu question.

It seems that it must be a difficult point of the language itself as the FAQ has a page about it (in a rather different context). It is written only in esperanto, so I guess it is something that speakers of (some?) other native languages find problematic too.

Nick

T0dd (Profili görüntüle) 24 Kasım 2006 01:14:54

nw2394:In English I can say (as a possibly annoyed parent), "If your pizza would/had have eaten, child, I would not have to be complaining now!".

That seems to be using the conditional + participle in English. But I've only seen past, present, future + participle in Esperanto courses.

Can I translate the English sentence Esperantishly (to use the adverb that Esperanto seems so fond of!) as, "Se via pico estus manĝita, infano, mi ne devus plendanta nun"?

If not how would you translate this without losing the relatively 'pithy', aloof tone of the original given by this relatively uncommon (even in English) combination of verb forms?

Nick
I take it you meant to include the word "been," making "If your pizza had *been* eaten..."

That in itself is awkward, even in English, because of the unnecessary use of the passive voice.

"Se vi estis manĝinta la picon, mi ne devus nun plendi" would do the job. A "pithier" version might be "Se vi estis manĝinta la picon, ne necesus nun ke mi plendu."

nw2394 (Profili görüntüle) 24 Kasım 2006 02:23:39

T0dd:I take it you meant to include the word "been," making "If your pizza had *been* eaten..."
Yes, I did intend to write "been" as you say. I find it is a nasty tendency of mine to omit words in posts. I go to great length to proof read them using the preview option, but still manage to not notice what I've done.

T0dd:That in itself is awkward, even in English, because of the unnecessary use of the passive voice.
I know. I'd rarely say anything like that. I was just musing over the different ways you can say things in English and trying to figure out if Esperanto could cope with it in the same sort of way - or - if not - how would one go about it. Conditional + participle wasn't at the time in any course material I'd found. (I have now found it covered in a text book - but it was written by an Englishman aimed at an English speaking audience - as opposed to the material on the net which is aimed more at an international audience).

T0dd:"Se vi estis manĝinta la picon, mi ne devus nun plendi" would do the job. A "pithier" version might be "Se vi estis manĝinta la picon, ne necesus nun ke mi plendu."
Yuh - well - thanks. There seems to be several ways to skin this particular cat. It does my head in trying to back translate it literally. "If you were - er um - manĝinta - in the past been actively eating".... I'll get used to these one of these days ridulo.gif

Nick

T0dd (Profili görüntüle) 25 Kasım 2006 19:04:14

nw2394:
Yuh - well - thanks. There seems to be several ways to skin this particular cat. It does my head in trying to back translate it literally. "If you were - er um - manĝinta - in the past been actively eating".... I'll get used to these one of these days ridulo.gif

Nick
It really helped me a lot to stop thinking of the participles in terms of tense, and to think of them instead in terms of aspect or completion. Thus "-inta" means the action is completed; "-anta" means it is in process; "-onta" means it isn't yet begun, but will be.

"Mi estis mangxinta la pomon," then literally means "I was in the state of having finished eating the apple," or more naturally, "I had eaten the apple." In contrast, "Mi estis mangxanta la pomon" would be "I was (in the process of) eating the apple, etc.

But Esperantists often avoid these heavy participial constructions anyway, so instead of "Mi estis mangxinta la pomon", although perfectly legitimate Esperanto, you might read or hear "Mi jam finmangxis la pomon."

nw2394 (Profili görüntüle) 26 Kasım 2006 00:17:59

T0dd:But Esperantists often avoid these heavy participial constructions anyway, so instead of "Mi estis mangxinta la pomon", although perfectly legitimate Esperanto, you might read or hear "Mi jam finmangxis la pomon."
Yeah, I noticed that Esperantists like to use "jam" a lot to denote a perfect tense.

Nick

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