OT Re: Question about updates

AV3 arvimide at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 27 20:56:08 UTC 2011

On Aug/27/2011 11:3753 AM, Goh Lip wrote:
> On 27/08/11 23:17, AV3 wrote:
>> I'm surprised you ask. Just like Chinese, other languages divide their
>> words up into classes. Over the history of a language, the
>> classification seems more and more arbitrary. In German, the noun
>> classification has nothing to do with sex but rather with the pronoun
>> that substitutes for a given noun (er, sie, es, der, die, das, etc.) As
>> I understand it, Mandarin Chinese classifies according to appearance,
>> usage, etc. Some languages don't classify, like English. As an
>> originally Germanic language, English evolved away from classification.
> I think you're confusing Chinese with Japanese. Japanese has levels of
> 'politeness' that intimidate foreigners to use the right 'politeness'
> level terms otherwise it may appear either condescending or rude. Not so
> in Chinese.

I was thinking of Chinese noun classifiers, grouping newspapers and 
tabletops together. I am just saying that they seem arbitrary to an 
outsider but not to an insider. Similarly for grammatical gender, which 
is also a classifying system.

> ...

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