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Hi there,

1. I've got a question about the way the grammar is used in the following utterances:

"Latin is not a dead language. Latin is spoken all over Europe. Latin is being spoken in one tiny village in Italy"

Well, I have no idea whatsoever, why in the second sentence there is this "being" instead of simply one word - "spoken" (like in the 1st one)

2. One more thing... I've noticed that sometimes the word language is used with "a" and sometimes without it... can anyone enlighten me and tell me why that is? (/why is that?)

Thx a lot, cheers!
Comments  
anglista2008 Latin is spoken all over Europe.
... as a general rule ...
anglista2008Latin is being spoken in one tiny village in Italy
... at this very moment ...
anglista2008language is used with "a" and sometimes without it
If you're talking about a specific language (Latin, Greek, Japanese, English, German, etc.), in each case you're talking about a language. Otherwise you're talking in general about language -- that ability that we human beings have -- not about any particular language.

CJ
2. He speaks a non-Indo-european language.
Language is a human necessity.

1. I think the present continuous is used here because the speaker wants to stress the on-going quality of the tense [currently, right now, as we speak].
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anglista2008tell me why that is? (/why is that?)
CJ
CalifJim
anglista2008 Latin is spoken all over Europe.
... as a general rule ...
anglista2008Latin is being spoken in one tiny village in Italy
... at this very moment ...

CJ

hmm, but the thing is that the guy who acually uttered those senences (Latin is... spoken... Latin is being spoken...) uttered them one after another during a lecture, as if stating a general rule, not something that is actually happening right now...

btw. the sentence comes from TTC lecture on Understanding Linguistics

thanks a lot everybody!
anglista2008uttered them one after another during a lecture, as if stating a general rule, not something that is actually happening right now...
Interesting. I would take the second one not as a general rule, but as evidence that supports the general rule stated in the first one.

CJ
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Both sentences are correct and very well used in order to make emphasis on the fact that Latin is still spoken by the people in one tiny village in Italy, and it is not by any means a dead language.

The beauty of these sentences is that both are written in the Passive Voice.

"Latin is spoken all over Europe". Is the simple form, present tense, indicative mode.

"Latin is being spoken in one tiny village in Italy". Is the continuos form, present tense, indicative mode.

Although you may think this is a rarely used form, it'd be even more strange for you to see:

"Latin is going to be being spoken, all over the region, for many years to come.

Which is a perfectly correct form of uncertain future.

TIM