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Tepper's Shadow's End

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 17:19
I've been reading Sheri S. Tepper's _Shadow's End_, which has some nifty
ideas and some execution I'm not too fond of--in any case, one of the
settings involves Dinadh, which has a language that intrigues me.  I'm
wondering if she devised it from scratch or if it's derived from
something--I'd guess Native American, of which I have no knowledge.  :-(

Gods mentioned are Weaving Woman, Brother and Sister Rain, Daylight Woman.
   Names mentioned include Saluez, Hallach, Dzibano'as, Hamam'n, Damnabi,
Chacosri.  Place-name: Simidi-ala (the Separated Place).  A ceremony
called Tahs-uppi (Tasimi "our borders," plural possessive, Tahs probably
"end" or "limit," uppas, uppasim, uppasimi).  There's some indication of
active? case-marking ("Choosen, our language we wouldn't
say the rain chooses to fall.  It just naturally falls").

Also an interesting inclusion-exclusion thing going on:
"When our serving woman spoke of the gods...when she left us to our dinner,
  she said, 'May the Gracious One hold us all in beauty,' and by using the
word for 'us all,' she excluded the mentioned being....There are a dozen
Dinadhi words for 'all,' or 'us all.'  For example, there's a word that
means us all, everything living in the universe.  There's another word
that means all us Dinadhi, and still another word that means all us humans
here in this room.  When you use an 'us all' word, if you mention anyone
in particular in the same phrase, it means that person is excluded.  You
can say, 'Simidi-ala and *us all* Dinadhi are faithful worshipers,' and
actually mean, 'Except for Simidi-ala, we on Dinadh are faithful
worshipers.'  Or you can say, 'Martha and *us all* were laughing at the
jokes,' which actually means, 'We were all laughing except Martha, who has
no sense of humor.'"

I'm tempted to steal the feature in some future conlang, in any case,
whether anyone identifies Tepper's lang, or not.  =)

Yoon Ha Lee []

Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting
that you can do lying down.


Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>