How to need and how to have

The way languages express needing something is linked in a surprising way to how they express having something. In their paper Having “need” and needing “have” Stephanie Harves and Richard Kayne (Linguistic Inquiry, 2012) summarise the facts and suggest an explanation. How to have: H-languages English and some other languages use a transitive verb like…… Continue reading How to need and how to have

How many cases are there in Hungarian and Finnish?

The Uralic languages are well known for having a large number of grammatical cases. The two Uralic languages with the most speakers are Hungarian and Finnish. Finnish has 15 cases and Hungarian has between 17 and 27 grammatical cases, depending on how some items are analysed. In contrast, looking only at some examples in languages…… Continue reading How many cases are there in Hungarian and Finnish?

Scandinavian language challenge day 6

Today I worked through the first chapter of Norwegian in three months. This chapter introduces: articles and nounsplurals of nounssubject pronounsthe verbs to be and to haveeveryday expressionsother words Articles and nouns There are two genders: common and neuter, though sometimes common gender is split into masculine and feminine colloquially (and especially in Nynorsk). The…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 6

Scandinavian language challenge day 5

Today I worked through the first chapter of Swedish in three months. This chapter introduces: the verbs to be and to havesubject pronounsarticles and nounsplurals of nounsnumbers from zero to tenquestion formseveryday expressionsother words The verbs to be and to have The infinitive of the verb to be is att vara (Danish is at være)…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 5

Scandinavian language challenge day 4

Today I worked through the first chapter of Danish in three months. This chapter introduces: the verbs to be and to havesubject pronounsdefinite and indefinite articlesplurals of nounsdefinite pluralgreetingsother words The verbs to be and to have The infinitive of the verb to be is at være and its present tense is er. The infinitive…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 4