Questions tagged [standard-average-european]

For questions concerning the Standard Average European (SAE) Sprachbund and its common features.

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Are there any case-based languages in which the modal verbs do not change the verb they control to the infinitive form?

I have come to realize that in all the European languages I know of, the modal verbs change the verb they control to the infinitive form. These languages are all case-based (Spanish, Danish, English, ...
1 vote
1 answer

History of perfect tenses

I am thinking about the history of the verb "have". Why is the verb "have" used as an auxiliary verb in the perfect tenses? When did it start to be used that way?
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2 votes
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Are there any known linguistic patterns that cause the verb "have" to take on this additional function?

I'm a native English speaker that has been learning Mandarin. The Mandarin equivalent to the English verb "to have" is "有". As far as I can tell these two words are a 1 to 1 ...
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Vowel Change in Europe Book

Perhaps a rogue question but my father loves languages and when on holiday in Holland was trying to tell me about the two vowel (or constant? Shifts) changes that occured, and so why English and ...
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12 votes
2 answers

How Standard Average European is Modern Hebrew?

Standard Average European (SAE) is a Sprachbund centred around German and French and extending to almost all European languages. Haspelmath has examined Maltese for SAE features, but he did not ...
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1 answer

Periphrastic verb forms in Gothic

What periphrastic verb form are attested in the Gothic language, the oldest Germanic language we have substantial records from? Skimming through a grammar of Gothic I found that for the past tense ...
7 votes
1 answer

Subtypes of Standard Average European

I was looking at a sprachbund called Standard Average European, which seems to include Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages. I will not list all the features here since they can be found on ...
11 votes
6 answers

How did the same perfect-tense structure become so widespread in Europe?

In many Germanic and Romance languages, the perfect tense is formed with the verb 'to have' or 'to be' plus a past participle. It's easy to find explanations ["I have an arrow (which is) made (by me)"...
15 votes
6 answers

Is there a term for the syntax difference between English "I like you" and Spanish "Tú me gustas"?

English and Spanish each have one main verb for "to like". In English "to like", the grammatical subject must be the one doing the appreciating: I like her. But with Spanish "gustar", the person ...
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