On Sa, 21.03.2009, 00:54, Dennis King wrote:
> 1.  "For one, German's version is optional.  One might say 'Er tut das
> screiben,' but the simple 'Er schreibt das' is also alive and well,
> and in fact, much more usual."

It depends on the verb.

> 2.  "Then, most importantly, meaningless 'do' is meaningless, but
> German's 'do' is meaningful.  It is used when you want to emphasize
> some part of the sentence."  He goes on to illustrate this.  Whether
> or not this argument is accurate is up to you native speakers of
> German dialects to determine.

what McWhorter says is not entirely correct. As I pointed out in my
previous mail, we have two distinguish two different types of
DO-construction, the emphatic one and the periphrastic one. In the
periphrastic one, DO is just as "meaningless" as in English.