When is a form real?

Mike Sangrey msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Wed Aug 15 13:10:19 EDT 2001

Ross Purdy <rossjpurdy at hotmail.com> said:
>  Do not most speakers of more than one language  think primarily in
> one language and then match the words they are thinking  of with forms
> in the second language with out ever touching base with a root  or
> lexical form? 

Not necessarily.  I can't remember where I read it but one study
showed that speakers, fluent in two languages, will undergo a
significant pause when shifting between the two languages.  I think
of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging photograph of the glow in the brain 
needing to undergo a reformulation as the brain shifts from one 
fluent language to the other.  Kind of a brain blink.

A friend of mine, whose heart language is American English, told me 
a story of when he was intensely working at his desk in Hebrew.
A person came into his room and asked him a question--in English.
He couldn't process the language of the question!  He, quite 
purposefully, had to stop what he was doing, push back from his 
desk, turn and ask the person in English (thus shifting 
lingual-gears) what they had said. 

This, BTW, does not in any way argue against your point that many
times the one language is influenced by the forms of the other.  It
takes a lot of effort--conscious effort, I think--to learn to think
in the second language forms (forms, BTW, which are more than
just affixes on words).

I've often wondered whether we could get insight into how both 
Hebrew and/or Aramaic on the one hand worked and how on the other
Koine Greek worked by analyzing the GNT from the perspective you
Mike Sangrey
msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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