LINGUIST List 11.834

Tue Apr 11 2000

Qs: German Word Frequency,"If I were you..."

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  1. Petra Burkhardt, German word frequency
  2. Rob Pensalfini, "If I were you..."

Message 1: German word frequency

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 18:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: Petra Burkhardt <>
Subject: German word frequency

I am currently designing a psycholinguistic experiment and need to
control for word frequency of German words (a la Kucera & Francis's
frequency ratings for English).
Could anybody direct me to online resources for German word frequency or
other databases/publications?


Petra Burkhardt
Department of Linguistics
Yale University
New Haven, CT


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Message 2: "If I were you..."

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 08:59:05 +1000
From: Rob Pensalfini <>
Subject: "If I were you..."

In English it is possible to say things of the sort:
	If I were you, I'd trade that cocker spaniel for a dobermann.

But we can't say:
	*If I were you, you'd trade that cocker spaniel for a dobermann.

In other words, when we 'trade places' with another, we use the first
person pronoun, not the second, to indicate the newly cobbled
(Frankensteinian?) entity.

In some languages, one can't express it this way at all. For instance, in
French one says "A ta place..." (In your place) not "*Si j'etais vous..."
(If I were you), and in Italian "Se ero io..." (If it were me) not "Se ero
te..." (If I were you).

My question is really about other languages in which one can use the "If I
were you..." construction. Specifically, are there any languages in which
one says the equivalent of "If I were you, you...." which is ungrammatical
in English?

I'm interested in both affirmative and negative responses, and will post a




Dr Rob Pensalfini
Lecturer in Linguistics
Department of English
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Qld 4072

Telephone: (07) 3365 2245 (office)
	 (07) 3870 2853 (home)

"Awake your senses, that you may the better judge."
			- Julius Caesar, Will Shakespeare
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