What do you know about the Netherlands?

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Hoogstwaarschijnlijk
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-23, 13:16

mōdgethanc wrote:No, "she's a feminist" could mean either of those. "Feministic" isn't a word, or if it is it's very rare.

Okay, thanks. So Dutch is just more nuanced and/or clear than English in this case.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Car » 2013-07-23, 14:12

German also has that distinction Dutch has (your example would be translated as "sie ist christlich"), but English doesn't seem to be as keen on having different words for the noun and adjective.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Hoogstwaarschijnlijk
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-23, 15:02

Car wrote:German also has that distinction Dutch has (your example would be translated as "sie ist christlich"), but English doesn't seem to be as keen on having different words for the noun and adjective.

Thanks for the addition, I was wondering about German :) This shows that if Dutch would have been a dialect of English or German, then it would definately be German :wink:
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-24, 17:12

mōdgethanc wrote:No, "she's a feminist" could mean either of those. "Feministic" isn't a word, or if it is it's very rare.

It may be rare, but it is found. The OED even has a subentry for it with this example of its use:
E.J. Dickey wrote:‘Typical male response.’ She smiled, then rattled off a very feministic, ‘Don't think women can do much, huh?’
The implication is that "Don't think women can do much, huh?" sounds like something a feminist would say, whether or not the sentiment or the person voicing it are genuinely feminist in this instance.

English is simply a more isolating language than Dutch or German and, as such, is less likely to use morphology to distinguish word class. That is, adjectives often look just like the corresponding nouns. So when they do have an explicitly adjectival ending (like -ic, -like, -y, or -ish) it's often a sign of extension (of a modifier being used in a weakened or non-literal sense).

Of course the complication is that there's considerable variation even within an apparently homogeneous class. So the OED calls "fetishist" a noun and "quasi-adj.", with the usual adjective form being "fetishistic". *Mechanist and *machinistic don't exist at all, only mechanistic and machinist. And so on.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-24, 18:24

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Okay, thanks. So Dutch is just more nuanced and/or clear than English in this case.
No, it just depends on the context. "Feminist" can be a positive, neutral or hostile word, but it's always clear which meaning is intended. And there's no reason "feministic" couldn't be used if need be.

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-25, 7:59

mōdgethanc wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Okay, thanks. So Dutch is just more nuanced and/or clear than English in this case.
No, it just depends on the context. "Feminist" can be a positive, neutral or hostile word, but it's always clear which meaning is intended. And there's no reason "feministic" couldn't be used if need be.

Yes, of course 'feminist' can have a positive, neutral or hostile meaning depending on the context, but that wasn't my point. My point is that English apparently doesn't make a distinction between something you are (the noun) and something you have (the adjective) in this specific feminism case. And that it also doesn't do that when it's about the religion you are/have. And because Dutch does, I thought I might say that Dutch is more nuanced here. But when linguoboy writes: "English is simply a more isolating language than Dutch or German and, as such, is less likely to use morphology to distinguish word class." I guess that English just uses something else than morphology.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-25, 8:30

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote: English apparently doesn't make a distinction between something you are (the noun) and something you have (the adjective)


I really don't get this distinction. Why should a noun be something you are and an adjective something you have?

You say I'm happy, the thing you "have" is happiness (noun), not "happy".

Maybe I'm missing the point.

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-25, 9:53

IpseDixit wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote: English apparently doesn't make a distinction between something you are (the noun) and something you have (the adjective)


I really don't get this distinction. Why should a noun be something you are and an adjective something you have?

You say I'm happy, the thing you "have" is happiness (noun), not "happy".

Maybe I'm missing the point.

I think she meant that some words don't have a separate noun and a separate adjective form.

Like the word Christian which can work both as a noun and an adjective.
Last edited by Levike on 2013-07-25, 9:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-25, 9:56

IpseDixit wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote: English apparently doesn't make a distinction between something you are (the noun) and something you have (the adjective)


I really don't get this distinction. Why should a noun be something you are and an adjective something you have?

You say I'm happy, the thing you "have" is happiness (noun), not "happy".

Maybe I'm missing the point.

Yes, but don't you think there's a difference between saying: 'I'm happy' and 'I'm happiness' (in Dutch: 'Ik ben vrolijk' and 'Ik ben de vrolijkheid zelve', like that the latter is more like you make it equal to yourself (something you are), while using an adjective it's more like describing one part of you (a feature you have)? Isn't that the whole distinction between the functions of nouns and adjectives in general, actually?

But you mishandled my quote because I added 'in this specific case' in that sentence, I didn't say English doesn't make a distinction between nouns and adjectives at all, that would have been clearly wrong. Eh yes, what Levente says.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-25, 10:15

Sorry if I misquoted what you wrote, it wasn't my intention. Anyway, I still don't see this clear distinction. I'm happiness doesn't make much sense to me. I mean, I don't think it's a common phrase.

To me nouns can be either something we have or something we are, depending on the context.

Instead adjectives qualify nouns, hence they add information about the nature of the noun in question, in other words, they answer the question: "what is it like?"
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2013-07-25, 10:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-25, 10:27

IpseDixit wrote:Sorry if I misquoted what you wrote, it wasn't my intention. Anyway, I still don't see this clear distinction. I'm happiness doesn't make much sense to me. I mean, I don't think it's a common phrase.

To me nouns can be either something we have or something we are, depending on the context.

No, I don't think it's a common phrase either, so there we have another example that shows that in English you sometimes have to chose between using a noun and a adjective because the other option isn't much used/ sounds weird, in contrary with Dutch where you have two options each with a slightly different meaning.

[sorry for going offtopic...]
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-25, 10:38

I've added two more lines to what I wrote above.

I don't know how it works in Dutch. I was just puzzled because you wrote that adjectives are "something we ( or someone /something ) have/s". Adjectives usually answer the question "how is it?" / "what is it like?".

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Marah » 2013-07-25, 10:45

Feminist: You're part of the "group" of the feminists, but your behavior isn't necessarily.
Feministisch: your behavior can be qualified as such without you necessarily being part of the "feminist group".

Is it the difference, Hoogstwaarschijnlijk?
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-25, 11:22

IpseDixit wrote:I've added two more lines to what I wrote above.

I don't know how it works in Dutch. I was just puzzled because you wrote that adjectives are "something we ( or someone /something ) have/s". Adjectives usually answer the question "how is it?" / "what is it like?".


Ah, thanks for paying my attention on it, I agree with it! As I said (but not in that specific post you're refering to), I meant: 'a feature you have'. So I guess that's indeed what you get when you ask 'how is it', 'what is it like' :)

@Marah: Eeh, I'd say for the first: 'and your behavior is most likely too' but apart from that, yes, I guess.

And now I shut up about it unless this thread is splitted. I don't want to become the living example of: 'Dutch people always have an opinion about everything and can never stop going on about it.'
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-25, 11:42

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Ah, thanks for paying my attention on it, I agree with it! As I said (but not in that specific post you're refering to), I meant: 'a feature you have'. So I guess that's indeed what you get when you ask 'how is it', 'what is it like' :)


Ah ok, so it was just a little misunderstanding :)

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-25, 15:08

IpseDixit wrote:To me nouns can be either something we have or something we are, depending on the context.

Instead adjectives qualify nouns, hence they add information about the nature of the noun in question, in other words, they answer the question: "what is it like?"

In English, there is a well-known cline whereby describing someone with an adjective is more polite than using a noun and using a verb is the most polite of all. Consider:

I seduce.
You're seductive.
He's a seducer.

I talk.
You're talkative.
She's a talker.

The nouns carry a habitual implication: She always talks, he's always seducing people. The implication is weaker with the adjectives and weaker still with the verbs.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2013-07-25, 15:25

It gets entwined with political correctness - some people think it's offensive even to use an adjective to indicate that someone has a medical problem, and that you have to say "person with [problem]".
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-25, 17:59

Yes, of course 'feminist' can have a positive, neutral or hostile meaning depending on the context, but that wasn't my point. My point is that English apparently doesn't make a distinction between something you are (the noun) and something you have (the adjective) in this specific feminism case
Yeah it does. "You're a feminist" != "you're feminist".

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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2013-07-25, 18:47

"You're feminist" doesn't sound natural to me.
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Re: What do you know about the Netherlands?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-25, 19:05

Lazar Taxon wrote:It gets entwined with political correctness - some people think it's offensive even to use an adjective to indicate that someone has a medical problem, and that you have to say "person with [problem]".

What's offensive is the implication that you're reducing a person to their pathology. In the other direction, consider how medical professionals will metonymically refer to patients by their ailments, e.g. "I've got two gall bladders that morning" or "Put her in Room 427 with the other staph infection." In this case, it's not just that you're using a noun but that you're referring to a person by the name of a thing.
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