My last name is "Schaf". It's from German, allegedly. But I am only a partial ŝafulo, not full-on.
I wrote that so I could write this:
Mia familinomo estas "Schaf". Ĝi venas el la Germana, supose. Sed mi estas nur parte ŝafula, ne komplete ŝafula.
And I wrote that Esperanto bit because I would like to have it grammatically corrected if it's grammatically incorrect ... or to have it written correctly if its completely incorrect Esperanto.
My intent (however misguided it may be) in using "ŝafula" (sheeple-ish or sheeple-y) instead of "ŝafulo" (a sheeple) was to use it adjectivally, rather than nominally/substantively.
I'd be grateful for input on the grammatical correctness or incorrectness of the Esperanto sentence that I wrote. The factual correctness of what I wrote is still up for debate, but that's a topic I'll deal with on my own.
In English "young" is an adjective and we would have to say "the young of the sheep" or "the sheep's young", but there were no definite articles in this sentence. "Offspring" is a better fit for an indefinite use. You could try to report "sheep's young", but I don't know if that would be accepted.
It is not necessary to have "the" with a noun that is not countable. It is fine to say "I drink water." If you were to say "Lambs are young.", then "young" would be a predicate adjective describing the subject "lambs". Yet, I can find an example in which the subject is plural and the predicate nominative is singular, though not uncountable and not a word that is also used as an adjective, and again we would use "the": "People are the reason that we do this."
I was thinking that this may be a case where a plural noun = a singular noun has the singular" noun use "the", but I have not found more that prove this. Then I remembered that "reason" can also be used as a verb.
There is a difference since "the young" is a collective noun treating all the lambs as one group, while "the reason" is one single entity and "people" is the collective noun treating all the individuals as one generalization, but we still use a plural verb with it. Notice we could say "The group of people is the reason..." if we wanted to use a singular verb, but that would be a specific group rather than a generalization. Then again "the reason" is most likely simply a specific reason. We could as easily say "a reason" if there were other reasons.
I think when you say it is uncountable that means that you could not say "a young" for an uncountable noun (although in some dialects you will hear "a youngster" or "a young'un" (for a young one, but the spelling on the last is probably wrong as it is just a slang pronunciation), which means that "the young" is actually a plural group. You don't have to put "the" with an uncountable noun, but it must be used with this collective noun in this situation.
Questions about "sxafido" and specifications in other languages.
Since sheep domestication has existed for centuries and across many culture, it has a lot of nomenclature that describes a specific sheep by its age and context: farm, husbandry, shearing, and meat. For example, an adult is a sheep, but sometimes the young offspring (under 1 year) are differentiated from older offspring (1 year to 2 year, or by teething) as lamb and hogget.
Also with adults, the female form seems clear, but English and other languages have two types of male forms: ram (intact) and wether (castrated). This happens with many other animals in English and other languages such as rooster and capon.
Are there such degrees of specification in Esperanto? Is it considered better practice to say the equevalent of "castrated rooster" than utilize affixes for meaning?
I know this may seem more an academic question, but with certain animals there is common parlance known of these things in a multitude of first languages: horses especially.
id can be a root or a suffix. As a root with the suffix -o, you get the noun
ido or "offspring". As a suffix itself, it can turn
ŝafo (sheep) into
ŝafido (lamb). And a lamb is a baby sheep.
Similarly, you can have
kato (cat) and
katido (kitten). Or
hundo (dog) and
The way I think of it is that da indicates that the thing you are actually talking about is the noun after da, but grammatically the root is the noun before da.
"Taso de teo" vs. "taso da teo".
The former means a teacup (you are actually talking about a cup)
The latter means the amount of tea contained in a cup (you are actually talking about tea, not a cup)
What this essentially means is that you use da for quantities and de for everything else.
I wrote about de and da in this blog post.
"Descendants", not "decents".
But there's a difference between being a good sentence in English and being an appropriate translation. There's nothing wrong with "Lambs are the descendants of sheep", but the best translation here really is "Lambs are the offspring of sheep".