Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fact, not a fact

I'm trying to finish a book -- a non-fiction book with a contract and a deadline, so this is going to be a short post.

I'm not as far along as I'd like to be partly because I keep getting distracted by things that, probably, can't be included because they're not visual enough..... like that in the Quecha language (the language of the Incas that many people in the Andes still speak today), the form of a verb depends on whether you know something happened from hearsay or from your own experience.

You can also add suffixes to show whether an action was:

*performed for someone else's benefit

*performed for your own benefit

*futile or of little importance


*not your responsibility

This is fascinating to me -- for what it shows about their culture and ours. In English, something is a fact or not a fact; you did something or WOULD have done it if......or COULD have done it....period. Our verbs deal with the possible.

While doing this research I've also seen videos of kids learning to read in Peru, animals actually eating in the jungle, found a GREAT story for a picture book that hasn't been told, and wasted vast amounts of time! More when I can use the simple past tense to report that the ms. has IN FACT been handed in.


Unknown said...

I love the research phase of a book as much I love the writing phase. Sounds like you're immersed in a fascinating culture.

Rita said...

That is so cool. Thanks for sharing about Quecha!!!!