I tend to I think I've got a pretty good grasp on the English language. It's my first language, and I spent a fair amount of time learning about grammar. I read a fair bit, and, you know, I do that whole writing thing. What I'm getting at is, I thought I had my English pretty well sorted.
But, lately, something funny's been happening to the way I write. While editing a paper, I noticed myself shifting clauses because I thought they sounded better in other places. But, when I thought about it, I realized syntax wasn't what I'd have used a year ago or what most people seem to use.
I have a theory. I've started studying Chinese, and the grammar is pretty different. For example, prepositional phrases must proceed the verb. Yeah, we don't do that in English. Except I've started doing this. I'm pretty sure that's weird.
This surprises me. I didn't do this when I took French in high school. Maybe it's because French grammatical structure isn't uber-different from English, but though French taught be a lot about grammar (certainly the first time I'd ever heard the words Indirect Object Pronoun), it didn't do trippy things to my English.
So, what I'm leading up to is this, has anyone else experienced a similar phenomenon? Has learning a new language effected the way you use for other one(s)?