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    #1

    No simpler a question ....

    No simpler a question is one that probes the nature of the subject matter itself.

    What does No simpler a question mean?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    Some context might be helpful

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    #3
    I need native speakers' help.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    That sentence seems ungrammatical to me.

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    #5

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    Well, if teechar can't figure it out I sure can't. Maybe Matthew?

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    #6

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    I have a good idea about the meaning, but I can't fit it into a grammatical structure I've encountered before!
    I'm pretty sure it means: There is no simpler question than one that probes the nature of the subject matter itself.
    It's simply means the most basic question one can ask about anything is "what?"

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    #7

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    Who is the author of that sentence, sitifan?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #8

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    I agree with teechar's summary of what it's saying - there is no simpler question than one which asks about the subject matter itself. In other words, there's no more basic a question than to ask 'what is it we're going to learn.

    This is an archaic construction from Middle English, I believe. It's mostly used for poetic device these days, I'd imagine. Today we'd use some kind of 'there is no (comparative adjective ) X than Y' construction. Here you're sort of ....negating a comparative and inverting your subject, I guess?

    No simpler a task than his to do...
    No truer love which parent has for child.
    No finer a house than what you have.-
    No greater a gift ..blah blah.

    Edit: Compare it to the proverb "one swallow does not a summer make", and similar 'one X does not a Y make' variations.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #9

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Who is the author of that sentence, sitifan?
    H. Douglas Brown, Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, Fifth Edition
    That sentence appears on page 2.
    http://courses.coe.uh.edu/lgauna/readings/Brown.pdf

    What?No simpler a question is one that probes the nature of the subject matter itself. What is it that the learner must learn and the teacher teach? What is communication? What is language? What does it mean when we say someone knows how to use a language? How can both the L1 and the L2 be described adequately? What are the linguistic differences between the L1 and the L2? These profound questions are of course central to the discipline of linguistics. The language teacher needs to understand the system and functioning of the L2 and the differences between the L1 and L2 of the learner. It is one thing for a teacher to speak and understand a language and yet another matter to attain the technical knowledge required to understand and explain the system of that language -- its phonemes and morphemes and words and sentences and discourse structures.
    http://www.tuninst.net/LAT/n-Brown4/...d-LANG-ACQUISI
    Last edited by sitifan; 13-Dec-2015 at 02:14.
    I need native speakers' help.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: No simpler a question ....

    Wow! Well, the question might be simple, but that sure doesn't mean the answer is.

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