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Genitive Relationships again

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Monday, March 15, 1999, 5:28
Getting back to this old subject... I'm recalling a thread
a while back about different words for family relations
depending on who was the possessor.  In other words,
for "my mother" there is one word you use in several
natlangs and another for "your mother" or "his mother."
I think examples in Arabic and Hebrew were invoked,
but no need to repeat those.  What strikes me as reasonable
about this is that it used to upset me that the word "Mom"
was used by my friends to mean some strange woman.  It
bothered me that the same word could be used of someone
else's Mom.  My own mother admits to this child-hood
anxiety as well, and she tells of a peculiar notion she had
as a young girl:  the word "Mom" could only be so universally
applied because all "Mom's" looked the same to every child.
Even though your own Mom looked one way to you, and
your best friend's Mom looked different... all Mom's REALLY
looked like your Mom, and the difference was an illusion.
That's how my mother could rationalize the use of the
very personal word "Mom" so universally.

But I was thinking of making kinship words different in
Teonaht according to who possesses them:  My Mom,
but your Mutti, his or their Mater.  Of course many of
these variations would migrate into the realm of poetic
discourse, but it could be an interesting development.
What if it was taken to the nth degree, and EVERY
noun that described something capable of being possessed
had a different word for it:  My book, but your scroll, his
tome.  Of course this would be wildly impractical, and
counterproductive, but in such a system one could say
"book," "scroll," "tome" and do away with the possessive
pronouns altogether!

Getting back to whoever it was who suggested the
two sets of pronoun systems, one that was neutral
and the other that conferred violence upon the verb...
I really like that!  I think you shouldn't stop at two.
Make a pronoun set that turns verbs into political
concepts, another that turns them into erotic
concepts, another that turns them into spiritual
concepts.  X loves (just prefers)  X rapes, X
makes love,  X is patriotic, X worships God.

I'm slip slipping away from you.  I'll be gone for most
of the week, giving my Lunatic Talk in Florida... thank
you for your help.  After that I put my administrative
cap on and I don't even know if I'll see conlang again
until this frightful semester is over with.  I'm halfway
through a Babel contribution, tower and all.

Yry aryel,  "me all departing."

Sally Caves

Htena volwen uo idkkohsan jaj... androfaiht vera
Old snow and dog piss...... not beautiful