Does this mean Esperanto lacks a special form for the dative object (because it is "sxi" and not "sxin")?
Because she isn't the object of the sentence. The word is.
She is a prepositional object.
Another example: "Mi legas al ŝi la libron"
if you don't have an accent supporting keyboard, use "sxin" as "sin" is a different Esperanto word
Tldr: better not to.
The accented letters are always preferred. But if you absolutely cannot use them, use an x after the letter to signify that it has an accent. This is called the x-system. It is typically preferred over the h-system.
- Cx means Ĉ
- Gx means Ĝ
- Hx means Ĥ
- Jx means Ĵ
- Sx means Ŝ
- Ux means Ŭ
The reason people favor the awkward-looking x-system over the h-system is because it disambiguates pronunciation. For example :
The word for pocket-watch is poŝhorloĝo. When using the x-system, it can be written as posxhorlogxo.
If you tried to use the h-system, it would be Poshhorlogho it could be misread as pos-ĥorloĝo, which has a different meaning.
For those curious, ĥorloĝo is a compound word meaning something like a residency for a choir.
Well, according to Wikipedia, the h used to be used instead of x to denote the circumflex, but this was switched in favor of the x since the letter x is not used in Esperanto.
Because the object of this sentence is "vorton", as the word is the thing being said.
When i write "sxi" it says i have a typo. Accepts my answer, but it bugs me.
If that's still happening, report it. I use "sxi" instead of "ŝi" all the time and it doesn't give me problems.
From an Australian English point of view, this sentence seems to mean that "her" is the place in which the baby is saying the word. Another way of interpreting this sentence would also be that the baby says a word in the direction of her, which is not always correct, because you could mutter at something but not actually intend to speak to it.
Actually, now that I think of it, it should be either "ĝia unua vorto" or "ĝian unuan vorton" (which would only be okay because of an implied verb, kiel "saluton" aŭ "bonan nokton")
* [ meta ] please start reading at the top of all questions prior to entering the same question over and over again. You will find/get the answer much faster that way, too. ***
Just out of curiousity, the preposition doesn't require the accusative. If I ommit "al", is it possible to use "ŝin" here? I know it sounds incorrect in English (we don't say "say her"). But the language is different so I've just wondered.
No, that wouldn't work. The -n suffix marks the direct object of the verb, and "ŝi" is not the direct object of the verb. "She" is not what is being said. "A word" is what is being said. The "al" is required in Esperanto to mark the indirect object, which is the recipient of the direct object. A word is being said to her.
Does Esperanto have singular and plural nouns?
I wanted to type 'the baby says words to her'... But changed it to 'a word' at the last second...
But it made me curious of how Esperanto distinguishes them.
Like 'They eat apples' and 'They eat an apple'...
How would those differ? Or is it like Japanese where everything is 'singular' and you only can infer through context of the conversation if there is more than one?
In Esperanto, plural nouns and adjectives end in -j (if they are nominative) or -jn (if they are accusative). That means that "The baby says word
s to her", in Esperanto would be «La bebo diras vorto
jn al ŝi». So:
- They eat apples = Ili manĝas pom
- They eat an apple = Ili manĝas pom
The letter J in Esperanto is pronounced like the letter Y in English (yes, hey…).
oj is pronounced "oi/oy".
aj is pronounced "aye/eye".
vortoj(n) = vortoy(n)
pomoj(n) = pomoy(n)
Because "ŝi" is not the direct object of the verb. It is a word that is said, not her that is said. Ŝi is the indirect object. She is the one to whom the word is said. Only the direct object takes the accusative.
The only time a noun phrase takes the accusative after a preposition is if there is movement from one place to another involved. It's the difference between jumping on a table (salti sur tablo) and jumping onto a table (salti sur tablon).
The accusative case is not used with prepositions except to indicate movement. Since "al" already indicates movement, the accusative is not necessary here.
Actually is because the "word" is the object of the sentence. Think this way:
- Kion la bebo diras? (What is the baby saying?)
- La bebo diras vorton (The baby says a word)
And "al ŝi" (to her) is the dative case of "ŝi" (she): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dative_case
In that article of Wikipedia in the first paragraph there is a similar example: "Maria gave
Jacob a drink" (
Jacob is used in dative). The translation to Esperanto would be the same in this exercise:
- Maria donis trinkaĵon
- Kion Maria donis?
- Ŝi donis trinkaĵon.
Ĵ represents the /ʒ/ sound, like in beige or bijou or phage, used extensively in French such as je and the name Jacques.
As I have understood, it's like the digraph SH (shop, shoe, ship…) but making a vibration in the throat.
I'm not sure what you mean. "Says" is a word in English. It is the third person present form of the verb "to say".