https://www.duolingo.com/DanielCout696588

Persons Explained

From an interactant's perspective, persons (or people) are every one and every thing that speaks, writes, listens, and reads. From this perspective, I am a person, you are a person and Duo (the fictional owl) is also a person. Because of this, when addressing you, I can refer to you by "you" and, when we are addressing Duo the owl, we can refer to the fictional owl by "you" as in "Duo, you are an owl."

When talking to each other, we use our current roles in the dialogue as a way to refer to people. In English, the speaker can refer to him or herself by "I", to the addressee by "you" and to non-interactants by either "he" or "she" depending on the non-interactant's gender. Most Indo-European languages offer different resources for referring to the speaker, the addressees and the non-interactants.

References to groups of people have a similar trichotomy in English. A group consists of two or more people and we refer to groups of people in different ways depending on the groups to which we belong. If there are two couples at a dinner table, the following situations may occur:

1) A person may talk to his/her partner and refer to his/her partner and him/herself by "we" as in "when do we need to wake up tomorrow?"

2) A person may talk to his/her partner and refer to the other couple by "them" as in "what a nice couple they are!"

3) A person may talk to one of his/her two friends and refer to his/her partner and him/herself by "we" as in "we've met each other in Denver."

4) A person may talk to one of his/her friends and refer to his/her friend's partner and his/her friend by "you" as in "where have you met each other?"

In English, there is a single resource for referring to groups for the situations 1 and 3. This means there are three different ways of referring to groups of people in English. In some languages, there are four different ways of referring to groups of people. Turkish is similar to English in this regard.

1 year ago

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ektoraskan

However, there is a catch.

In Turkish if Daniel and I did a job, just the two of us, I can say: Bu işi Daniel'le yaptıK. (Literally: we did this job with Daniel), which is absolutely incorrect in English. One has to say: I did this job with Daniel.

Even though, in Turkish too, the more correct thing to say would be Bu işi Daniel'le yaptıM , it is pretty common to just end the verb in the we-conjugation, which makes it sound like we were more than two people.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielCout696588

If I understand you correctly, you mean that the following clauses are equivalent in Turkish when said about a two-person group including Daniel:

1. Bu işi biz yaptık. 2. Bu işi Daniel ve ben yaptık. 3. Bu işi Daniel'le ben yaptık. 4. Bu işi Daniel'le yaptık.

If this is the case, I assume that "Daniel'le" in Clause 4 represents a two-person group including both the speaker and Daniel in the same way as "Daniel'le ben" and "Daniel ve ben" do. Would this be a good explanation for what happens in Turkish?

We can use the following clause as a test for this linguistic hypothesis. If the hypothesis holds, it would be wrong to represent a two-person group in the following way:

5. *Bu işi Daniel'le biz yaptık.

I am not fluent in Turkish enough to judge whether this is the case. Can you tell if Clause 5 sounds ok for a two-person group?

1 year ago
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