Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Missing Part Of Speech?

I am amazed. I just found out, from melvin_udall here, that Sonia Sotomayor, in a 1996 commencement speech at Princeton, said of her high school years:
When my first mid-term paper came back to me my first semester, I found out that my Latina background had created difficulties in my writing that I needed to overcome. For example, in Spanish, we do not have adjectives. A noun is described with a preposition, a cotton shirt in Spanish is a shirt of cotton, una camisa de agodon, no agondon camisa.
How did los adjetivos in Spanish
suddenly vanish?

I believe she's right that you can't say "cotton shirt" in two words in Spanish. You have to say "shirt of cotton," in effect. Which is also acceptable in English, but a bit old-fashioned sounding.

She may be expert in law,
but her knowledge of language does not leave me in awe.

1 comment:

Felicia said...

I noticed this too! It makes no sense.