Posted October 23, 2009on:
in other words, within a particular language, you can only say things a certain way. If you were to come upon a rhinoceros demolishing your car, to give an example, you would, if you were a Turkish speaker on the phone to the police, be required by the verb to convey whether you yourself were witnessing the rampage or someone had told you about it. In Turkish, verbs of observation are formed differently, depending on if the speaker saw the event first hand or had it reported to him by someone else. Were the rampage occurring in Russia, however, you’d be obliged, morphosyntactically, to indicate whether the animal was male or female and whether it was finished flattening the car or still in the process of doing so. In Mandarin, you could speed things up. Mandarin has no past or future tense, so the exact stage of trampling would likely not be addressed. Each of these reports would relate the action, but with different shades of meanings
from “Dreaming in Hindi” by Katherine Russell Rich. I have some thoughts regarding this, but will get back to my thoughts later.