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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: Cross-linguistic expression of “to like”
Submitter: Julien Peter Benney
Description: 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
Date Posted: 10-Dec-2012
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Genetic Classification
LL Issue: 23.5153
Posted: 10-Dec-2012

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