A sentence structure that describes something that one feels

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by tFighterPilot, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Hebrew has one, but English doesn't. In Hebrew it's [adjective]+[noun in dative case]

    For example, if I would like to say that I feel coldness I'd say "Kar li". In English one might say "I'm cold", but that might also mean that my body temperature is low or that I have a cold personality (in these cases in Hebrew it would be "Ani kar").

    An object can also be added to be more specific. For example "my head hurts" would "koev li harosh".

    Does your language have such structure?
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In Hebrew, and in most other Semitic languages, the preposition li is often used where Indo-European languages use the verb “to have”. If you concede this point to me, then I would maintain that the cited Hebrew constructions are just like French:

    J’ai froid
    J’ai mal à la tête.

    Or, with a dative construction, German:

    Mir ist es kalt
    Mir tut der Kopf weh.

    Any chance that the (modern) Hebrew construction is actually calqued on Yiddish?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  3. Perseas Senior Member


    do you mean for example the German "mir ist kalt" (= I am cold) or "mir ist warm"?

    In Modern Greek we usually use verbs with personal subjects: κρυώνω (= Ι am cold), πονάει το κεφάλι μου (= I have a headache).

    *cross-posted with fdb
  4. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    I suppose it's quite possible that this structure is originated from either Yiddish or German. It doesn't exist in Biblical or Mishnaic Hebrew (to the best of my knowledge).
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian there is a similar construction, except we use dative + adverb:

    мне холодно /mne kholodno/ - lit. to me [it is] coldly - I'm cold
    тебе трудно /tebye trudno/ - lit. to you [it is] difficultly - it's hard/difficult for you
    брату обидно /nam obidno/ - lit. to brother [it is] hurtfully - the brother is upset
  6. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    I would just add that the grammatical category of all these words in such sentences (холодно, трудно, обидно) is a subject for controversy. Some say it is a (short) adjective, just like in Hebrew; others say it is a so-called «категория состояния» (roughly, 'state-word'). According to still others, it is indeed an adverb.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    But in hebrew you can swap words locations, li kar = kar li.

    is hamelucha adjective? li hanaar - adjective? or simply words that metaarim more the word before/after?
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch has a different structure:
    - temperature: ik heb het koud (I have it cold); you can use 'to be' in this way: Het is mij te koud ('It is too cold to me'), but only with 'too', it seems to me
    - feelings: ik ben boos/... (I am angry)
    - pain: mijn hoofd doet pijn/ ik heb hoofdpijn (my head does hurt, lit./ I have a headache)

    Can one refer to emotions using an impersonal subject and a dative in Slavic languages by the way? (it is angry to me ?)
  9. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi, Thomas. The only one I can think about right now in Polish is nieprzyjemnie mi ze -- it is unpleasant to me that (literally). There is a similar construction in Russian. Other than that -- I don't think so. At least it is not any general, grammatical rule in Polish and Russian. There are no universal rules that apply to all Slavic languages. (this is really a Dative - adverb construction -- the Polish example)
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  10. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    As for Russian, it depends on the adjective. Some adjectives for emotional states can be used this way, some can't.
  11. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    The words are swapped when the stress is on the noun rather than the adjective, so you might say the meaning changes.
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you tell me what kond of adjectives can, and which can't, or give me some idea?
  13. arielipi Senior Member

    @thomas, you can swap technically anywhere, though to deliver the wanted meaning theres an importance of place the word is.

    @tfighter, i ask again:
    is hamelucha adjective? li hanaar - adjective? or simply words that metaarim more the word before/after?
    לי הנער
    if not, what are they?
  14. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    These are nouns obviously, and thus it's completely unrelated.
  15. arielipi Senior Member

    So what is an adjective?
  16. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    I've got the thought now that those adjectives that can do so express things that can be separated from the feeler and so can be felt separately from the human himself, for example: "радостно" (adj) <= "радость" (noun, "joy"), "обидно" (adj) <= "обида" (noun, "offence"), "тяжело" (adj) <= "тяжёлый" (adj, "heavy, hard"), "интересно" (adj) <= "интерес" (noun, "interest"), "интересный" (adj, "[an] interesting [thing]"). Unlike the terms: "злой" (angry), "усталый" ("weary"), that in Russian have no connection with anything else than the feeler himself and are undistinguishable from him. The latter terms can't form the word for such construction.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  17. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Aren't they all adverbs? Or do you think they are some simplified forms of adjectives -- to be used in certain impersonal constructions?
  18. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    They can be thought of as adverbs or as short adjectives, or as neither... Syntactically, it looks like it is difficult for them to be classified as adverbs, because adverbs should attach to verbs and specify how the action proceeds, and there is no real verb here; although, again, syntactically, it is difficult for them to be thought of as short adjectives either, because there is no corresponding noun. I personally have no opinion on that. :)
  19. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I think they are adverbs, after all, because they really come from a construction similar to this one: It (feels) joyful to me (if literally translated), for example. (Мне радостно). They modify a verb, but the verb is dropped.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  20. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Well, in reality such statewords are used rather with the copular verbs ("было", "становится", "оказалось", …), and so they indeed can be called adverbs that modify the copular verbs, but it's more common for such verbs to take complements than adverbs, and short adjectives fit nicely. The only thing is that the copular verb has no subject in this case, which is not very common for them, but impersonal constructions are usual in Russian and make sense here.
  21. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    In Tagalog , we say "nilalagnat ako" or "may lagnat ako" ( i have fever), Nilalamig ako ( low body temperature), giniginaw ako ( low air temperature), binabanas ako ( due to high temp. of sorrounding)
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Fine, but what is the structure of those sentences? What do they mean precisely?
  23. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    I used the words 1.) lagnat (fever) 2.) Lamig( cold) 3.) Ginaw ( feel chilling) 4.) Banas ( warm feeling) to describe the exact feeling of a person. To make them as action word, Tagalog conjugation (pagbalanghay) transform them into verbs. 1.) may lagnat ako/ako'y may lagnat/nilalagnat ako= i have fever. same in 2.) Nilalamig = feel chilling (as a result of low body temp.) 3.) giniginaw(feel cold) 4.) Binabanas (feel hot or air is humid).
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That is interesting. Most of them seem to consist of reduplication (syllable or more is repeated before the root). Correct ?
  25. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    je mi chladno = lit. [it] is cold to me = I am cold;
    je mi teplo = lit. [it] is warm to me;
    je mi stydno = lit. [it] is ashamed to me = I feel/am ashamed;
    je mi zle = lit. [it] is bad to me = I feel/am sick;
    je mi trapně = I feel embarassed;
    je mi strašně = I feel terrible;

    Another kind of the dative case is dativus ethicus (applied to personal pronouns) used (in Latin and some other languages, but rare in English) to show a certain interest felt by the person indicated (1st person) or to attract attention (2nd person).

    To je mi/ti/vám krása! = It is a beauty [to me/to you/to you all]!

    To vám byla legrace! = It was a fun [to you]!
    :warning: it doesn't mean that you had a fun, the speaker only tries to attract your attention;

    Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda. = So they killed Ferdinand [to us].
    (btw, the 1st sentence of The brave soldier Schweik)

    There is a difference:

    1) Je mi zle. = I am sick. (lit. [it] is bad to me)
    2) To je mi zlé. = [I am affraid that] it is bad. (lit. it is bad to me - ethical dative).
    :warning: it doesn't necessary mean that it is bad for me (= To je pro mne zlé.);
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  26. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi, Bibax -- would the last example mean -- I think it is bad -- sort of? This construction is not present in Polish and Russian.
  27. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Yes, a sort of. Or rather it means that the speaker is emotionally involved.
  28. ancalimon Senior Member


    We usually add "dim, dım, dum, düm" to the end of a verb that's derived from a noun.

    ter: sweat
    terle: to sweat
    terledim: I have become sweaty

    sık: dense, thick, squeeze
    sıkıl: to become squeezed, to become bored (since boredom is somekind of feeling that makes your insides feel squeezed)
    sıkıldım: I have become bored.
  29. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    tama' /correct!
  30. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Spanish works like French, using 'have': tengo frío, but for the head we say ''me duele la cabeza'', lit: it hurts to me the head.

    Japanese mainly uses adjectives:
    I'm cold= 寒い samui
    I have a headache= 頭がいたい atama ga itai (lit: as for the head, painful)
    I'm hot/I feel hot/it's hot= 暑い atsui

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