What about how

Alan Jones Alan.Jones at LING.MQ.EDU.AU
Mon Mar 21 02:42:57 UTC 2005


I see people are now listing languages -- like English -- that *cannot*
use WHERE to form an negative. If we broaden our focus to include
HOW, then we do have English expressions such as "How should I know?"
(= "I don't know and you should know better than to ask").

Does HOW ocur in other languages in this negative function?

My memory suggests that some Turkish speakers also use "nasil" (how) in
this way.

Another reason I ask is a morphological and semantic link between WHERE
and WHAT and WHICH and HOW in East Mekeo, a language I studied in the
field.

ala lo-lao?    "Where are you going?"
au ala?         "Which man?" ("What man?" - ?)
ala koa         "What like?"  ("Like what?" and also "How?")

Alan


Dr Alan Jones,
Department of Linguistics,
Division of Linguistics & Psychology,
Macquarie University,
NSW 2109.

Building W3A, Room 409.
Tel. 61 2 9850 9664
Fax. 61 2 9850 7849
E-mail: ajones at ling.mq.edu.au
Web: http://www.ling.mq.edu.au/home/jones_alan/index.html
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