LANGUAGE FORM

Different languages have different ways to name objects of thought. We can say a dog in English. In German ein Hund, in French un chien, in Greek σκυλος, and in Russian собака.

All these words have different forms, but in context they will refer to or indicate the same object of thought that we name a dog in English.

PICTURE: A CAT

A cat in English will be eine Katze in German, or un chat in French, γάτα or γάτος in Greek, or кот in Russian.

Language forms happen to differ. Language forms also happen to be very similar. We always need to know the language and the context, to see what the language form denotes: a picture of a cat is not a cat.

A chat can be a conversation, in English. A gat can be a channel or passage. Kot can be a Yeniseian language.

Language form is always a word form. In language psychology, we have “body language” for a figure of speech. There is no language without syntax. Our bodies could not work for syntax (!)

We can use virtual words, to work on language form. Invented or virtual words have word shapes, but they have no meaning. They can help exercise syntax. Children invent words spontaneously, to practice language.

We can have two invented verbs, bimmo and thimo. They can show places for head verbs. Bimmo can be as a regular verb; thimo can behave like an irregular verb.

Past Simple


Present Perfect

I bimmoed.
I thimoed.

I have bimmoed.
I have thimoen.

We can have two invented nouns, phimmo and rheemo.

Our virtual verbs are gillyflower. Our invented nouns can be carrot. The colors are much less likely to occur in print, even color print, and invented words are just to help exercise. They are not to replace language.

Try our ■→COLOR CODE.

Virtual words can help learn speech sounds. Our virtual words have the sounds {f}, {b}, {th}, and {r} in the same word position. In such same positions, the sounds happen to be difficult to learners, just as telling [I] from [I:]. We have these in “thimo” and “rheemo”.

Kids might say things as “phimmo bimmoes rheemo”, not only for fun, but also for real language practice. Virtual words allow exercise on linguistic form solely. This means we can work as in school, but easy.

As in ■→MIND PRACTICE, let us think about exercise 24, use ■→GRAMMAR VISUALS and have fun (!)

1. Phimmo will bimmo rheemo. 2. Rheemo has thimoen phimmo. 3. Rheemo thimoed phimmo. 4. Phimmo is thimoing rheemo. 5. Rheemo will be bimmoing phimmo. 6. Phimmo will have thimoen rheemo. 7. Phimmo had thimoen rheemo. 8. Rheemo was bimmoing phimmo.

We can use virtual words with most exercises — if and as we like.
■→5.2. PRACTICE: VIRTUAL WORDS AND REAL SYNTAX
■→10.3. WORKOUR FOR REAL-TIME TALK: LEARN TO SAY THIMO

■→This text is also available in Polish.


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