March 31st, 2011

custard baby

Cognitive Linguistics

Has anyone here studied cognitive linguistics? Do you find it more accurate or useful for describing languages and how they work?

General discussion about your favorite concepts or applications to other fields or linguistic analyses is very welcome!! Or if you disagree with ideas in cognitive or are repulsed by the whole theory, I'm quite curious to hear about that too.

(I am in love with the field right now. I've been using the concepts in almost everything I think about, and am firmly convinced right now that the future of linguistics lies at least in part with cognitive linguistics.)

Where to start when learning Nepali

There are a lot of Nepali students at my school, and I've decided I want to study the language. Any suggestions for good textbooks (preferably with CDs), websites with audio samples and/or easy texts to read, or anything else that might be helpful? I speak Japanese so books/websites for Japanese speakers learning Nepali would also be OK for me. That's the only language I'm fluent in besides English. Other languages I've tried studying in the past are Mandarin Chinese, French and German. I don't think any of these languages are similar to Nepali at all, so it will be a new challenge for me.

Once I learn a few phrases and sentences I think it will be easy to find people to practice with, and I'm thinking of setting up a language exchange this summer so that I can regularly practice with a native speaker. If any of you have any experiences with this language, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

A few Finnish questions

1. "Sinä se et säästele"

What does "se" do here?

2. Paratiisi, sellaista tuskin on olemassakaan

Why is sellainen in the partitiivi? And what is -kaan's function here? This sentence just really confuses me.

Also, is there a good book which explains the parts of Finnish grammar like -pa, -han, -kaan, -kin, etc..? because my wife (who is a native speaker) often can't explain their usage, outside of basic straightforward things- let's say for example -kin being generally "too", except it can mean something different in a sentence like "Yyterissä onkin taas liian paljon väkeä" (and then even in that sentence there's "taas" which isn't really "again" which complicates things further for me). It can get very frustrating so if anyone could recommend anything that would be just wonderful.