Language irregularities.

Paul Kiparsky kiparsky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 23 06:05:41 UTC 2011

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Languages can indeed have odd and "illogical" features, but they can also be illusions due to mistranslation into another language (often based on etymology rather than actual meaning).  So I'm curious about the Marathi expression you translate as "insert in".  Could it really mean something like "attach to" or "put on"?  In that case, it should also be possible in Marathi to describe hanging a picture ("inserting it in the wall"), putting on a ring ("inserting it in your finger"), and so on.  

Paul Kiparsky


On May 23, 2011, at 6:36 AM, Madhukar N. Gogate wrote:

> Probably every language has got
> some illogical features. In Marathi, we say, equivalent to
> (insert shoe in foot) while really (foot is inserted in shoe).
> Language is for people, and not just for scholars. People
> do not mind some odd features ! -- Madhukar N. Gogate
> ==========================================

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