October 27th, 2008


Language Shift Survey

Right, so if you remember my earlier post here:


I've now got a decent (I think) questionnaire to ask people who use Jaffna Tamil. The thing is, I'm not a profesional linguist nor am I an expert on questionnaires. The one I now have is gleamed from what I've got from reading theses and journal articles.

I'd like to know if anyone here has done questionnaires for language maintenence-shift. I'd like your input on my questionnaire- I can e-mail it to you. It'd be good if you can suggest how I can improve the questions I have. I've left uni, so there goes asking any academic for help- most of them don't deal with stuff like this anyway.

If you'd like to comment, leave a comment in my lj.

fire escape

Weird French Negatives

I'm taking a Maghrebi Literature class this year so I've been reading more French than I normally do, and I've noticed some things that I hadn't before about French and negatives. And I'm not talking about what people normally are.

From one of the anthropological texts we had to read, I found this sentence:

"La France, pour des raisons essentiellement géostratégiques, ne peut renoncer aux assises d'outre-mers longuement établies, après quatre siècles de conquêtes, de pacification et de consolidation de son influence culturelle, politique et militaire."

Which I completely understand, but I don't understand why it's not "ne peut pas". I've seen other sentences with ne and without pas where I couldn't understand why (because there wasn't rien, personne or another... whatever they're called). What's the rule here? I know that originally pas was omitted, but now ne can be (if you don't mind sounding colloquial), but this is the opposite of that. What gives?
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