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LINGUIST List 23.5153

Mon Dec 10 2012

Disc: Cross-linguistic expression of “to like”

Editor for this issue: Kristen Dunkinson <kristenlinguistlist.org>

Date: 09-Dec-2012
From: Julien Peter Benney <jpbenneygmail.com>
Subject: Cross-linguistic expression of “to like”
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Hello,

One question that has interested me in recent years is how various languages
express the meaning of English “to like”.

It is well-known that many older Indo-European languages do not have an exact
equivalent of “to like” and use expressions of “pleasing one” instead, which
reminds me a little of Locational Possessive to express “having”.

Other languages, like Japanese “suki desu” or Korean “choa haeyo”, use a noun-
or adjective-like word to express liking something.

Another logical possibility (which I have not seen but can very easily imagine
existing in some languages) is expression of “to like” by means of a bound
verbal or nominal suffix.

Have you any idea how frequent various means of expressing “to like” are among
the world’s languages?

How rare are “conventional” “to like” verbs as are found in English?

Thank you very much,
Julien Peter Benney



Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Genetic Classification
Typology
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