Re: translation of "melle"

From: Shaughn Daniel (
Date: Thu Sep 21 1995 - 09:36:09 EDT

>To get back to the point, by the NT period, MELLEI, MELLOUSI(N) are used
>quite regularly as auxiliaries with a present infinitive to form a
>periphrastic future tense. There is thus no difference (I challenge anyone
>to show me a difference) between hOTAN MELLHI TAUTA SUNTELEISQAI PANTA and
>hOTAN TAUTA SUNTELHTAI PANTA or,to take it out of the subjunctive, between


<raising hand slightly> I think there is a difference, but maybe something
that I can't perfectly reflect in experience. My German-soon-to-be-wife
almost always makes the mistake: "We gonna get married soon. You ready?"
and then I answer her, implying that she left out a word, "We'RE gonna get
married soon. And yes, I'm ready, are the bags packed?" The verb "are" +
present participle (GONNA is defective from "going to") being the present
continuous in grammatical form, functioning as a future, AND the former
without the "are" is defective based on her memory of English. To me, an
East Texas boy, "fixin' to" and "gonna" mean something different. Take
these examples:

1. I'm gonna repair the truck <today>.
2. I'm fixin' to repair the truck.
3. I'm going to repair the truck <today>.
4. I will repair the truck <today>.

My feeling tells me that 2 is more contingent then all the rest, and my
feeling also told me to drop off the "today" on the end (Why that? I don't
know). Now when we get to questioning with "gonna", then one can leave out
the "to be" part, I feel:

1. [Are] You gonna repair the truck <today>?
2. You fixin' to repair the truck?
3. Are you going to repair the truck <today>?
4. Will you repair the truck <today>?

2 is still the most contingent to my feeling for East Texas dialect. If any
of this helps, then let me know. I'm still confused about it all.


| Shaughn Daniel |\
| Tuebingen, Germany | |
| ~~~~~ | |
| I put tape on the mirrors in my house so I don't accidentally | |
| walk through into another dimension.---Steven Wright | |
*---------------------------------------------------------------* |

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