My friend has been gone for over a month now; he’s in India. I hope he’s back. We meet Tuesdays and today is Sunday so I hope I hear from him and we meet. I’ve prepared a precis, as he calls it, of our election and read an article in my Urdu Newspaper Reader on elections. Having neglected both Urdu and Harry Potter the last few months for French in order to better teach my granddaughter (see category TPRS), I was shocked at how much vocabulary I’d lost. During the summer I’d read these articles but so much of the vocabulary was now erased. Age? Worry? Stupidity? French? Who knows?
Not only vocabulary, but I became aware of how confused I am about verb structures, not even being sure when ‘go’ is being used as a vector verb indicating a completed action or the passive formant. I am going to look in one or two books which present the verbs in a manner less sprawling than Barker does it, although he is extremely precise and detailed.
Another vocabulary problem is presented by the combination of a noun and one of several verbs which turn the noun into a verb, ‘be’ and ‘do’ being the two most common e.g. bat karnaa is ‘to talk’ from ‘do conversation’. Used with a verb other than karnaa it may have a somewhat different meaning. And so on.
I noted how both French and Urdu have this issue with past participles agreeing with either subject or object when used in combinations like ‘he has seen her’ where ‘seen’ agrees with her, i.e a direct object coming before the past participle. The two languages are not the same in their treatment of this issue but similarities recall to us that languages often converge in coming up with ways to handle meaning expressed via form. (the French comes from the Latin sense of “I have her seen” as in “I have the dress bought for the party already.”
Dec. 2 My friend called and we’ll start our regular get-togethers Tuesday, Dec. 4th. I went back on my promise to myself to just read and stay out of glossary work and did a whole lot of glossary work. Very rewarding. I feel I have a handle on the relatively large lexicon, lexicon being used advisedly b/c I’m notating items as to collocations, register, etc. I also started something I’ve wanted to put on cards for a long time: the so-called complex verbal formations, i.e. the use of a noun or adjective in conjunction with a verb, most commonly karna for transitive meanings and hona for intransitive meanings, which sometimes produces a special, even idiomatic usage e.g. ‘baat’ is thing but ‘baat karna’ is to converse.
I selected a number of books on Urdu to see what they do with the verb forms and found, not to my surprise, that the old edition of Teach Yourself Urdu, the yellow and blue one, has the most convenient roundup of verb forms. I want to put that on a large poster for constant reference. Now I have only about two days to fit in somewhere an extension of what I’ve already written on U.S. elections, esp the last one.