July 30th, 2009

German Children's Books

I've been practicing building up my German vocabulary and conjugating verbs and whatnot, but I haven't really had a chance to put my skills to use yet. Is there a website where I can read children's books in German? I'd also love if someone could recommend a website with worksheets, etc. that could help me improve.
Fandom Epilepsy

Looking for an uncommon Pashtun name

I seem to have stumped the fine folks over at little_details with this one, so it was suggested that I try here. (And after getting distracted reading old posts for an hour, I am!)

I'm looking for a Pashtun given or "most-called" name for a male character in a story I'm working on. For plot-related reasons, it needs to be a fairly uncommon name -- not freakishly unusual, but distinctive enough for another character to know who it is without a surname or tribal name attached.

I've googled variations of "Pashtun/Afghan/Pakistani first/most-called names" and gotten the usual name sites, but nothing that gives me a good feel for how commonly-used they are. I really don't want to accidentally name this guy the Pashto equivalent of "John". Help?
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I'm interested in how reformulation markers in different languages (especially those ones of Europe) look like. In other words, I'm interested in such expressions as that is (to say), in other words :), namely, briefly speaking, i.e., to sum up, to wit and so on. I would like to know much more about the corresponding expressions in your languages. The more the better. As for me, I know several dozens of them in Russian, English, French and a little bit in German and Spanish. Today I've found that in Finnish, for example, there is an expression toisin sanoen (lit. in other words). If you could provide me with information on such markers in your languages, I would appreciate it deeply.
  • nyzoe

Intuitions needed

Hi everyone! I'm new to this community, so before I get to the point I'll start by introducing myself... I'm a linguistics grad student from the Netherlands, doing mostly semantics, some computational linguistics and a bit of syntax. I'm currently wrapping up my research internship, and for that I need some native speaker judgements for three English sentences:

a. Max trapped a lemming last night, even though he knows full well that they're protected by law.
b. Max trapped two lemmings last night, even though he knows full well that they're protected by law.
c. Max trapped lemmings last night, even though he knows full well that they're protected by law.

More specifically, I want to know whether any of these sentences sounds better than the others. So, if you're a native speaker of English and like to help me out, please put these sentences in order from best to worst (or just rank them equally, if there's no difference). If you want, you can add a motivation.

ETA: Thanks for the reactions! The point was the contrast between the bare plural in (c) and the indefinite singular in (a). In both cases, 'they' is used to refer to the species as a whole, while its antecedent refers to one or more members of that species. It is noted in the literature (Carlson 1977, for those interested) that this is possible when the antecedent is a bare plural ('lemmings'), and I wanted to check whether it was also possible with an indefinite singular antecedent ('a lemming'). Apparently it is, a fact I think I can use as the basis of a counterargument against Carlson. Cool. :P
Baron Munchausen
  • lem_on


 Does anyone know the meaning of 'Guatepeor' in the phrase "Salir de Guatemala y entrar en Guatepeor" or is it a play on the words "bad" (mala) and "peor" (worse)?  Sorry for the stupid question :|

Also, if it is a play on words, is "Salir de Ma'laga y entrar en Malago'n" also a play on the word "mal"?