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Re: Some interesting stuff...

From:Rik Roots <rikroots@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 24, 2001, 18:34
I have spent possibly more time worrying about prepositions in Gevey
than anything else. I think (finally I hope) I have a system that now
works, using a set of over 20 different prepositions combined with 4
dative cases to show the relativities and movements.

If anyone is interested, the following link will take you to the
webpage - which includes diagrams to try to explain the use of each


> George Lakoff gave a lecture in my cognitive science class the other day, > and there were two things I found really interesting. > The first is some data from an actual, natural language (this blows me > away). He had three pictures (and it would be much better if I could somehow > render the here, but I can't, so I'll try to make do): > 1.) One big circle, and a circle within. In the smallest circle was [m]; > in the area outside that circle and inside the bigger was [j]; outside both > circles was [?] (glottal stop) > 2.) There was a weird, phallic looking drawing where it came up like a > thin bar from the bottom and cut out a thin, long pattern, but didn't reach > the end of the page. Inside this line was [u] and outside was [a]. > 3.) A picture of a hill with a definite bottom, a side and a top. On the > bottom was [n]; on the side was [h]; on the top was [l]. > Now, what these letters comprised was a set of a big number of > prepositions (I can't do the permutation/combination in my head), and these > prepositions were built in the following way. First, the speaker would > imagine the first image (1), and if the object they were describing was near > them, they'd use [m]; if it was a little bit farther, they'd use [j]; and if > it was farther than that, [?]. Then the next image (2), they'd decide > whether or not the thing was in or out of their line of sight, and if it were > in they'd use [u], if not [a]. Lastly, they'd decide if the thing were on > the bottom of the hill [n], the side of the hill [h], or the top of the hill > [l]. And so, you had some prepositions: > mah (near me, out of my line of sight, on the side of the hill) > man (near me, out of my line of sight, on the bottom of the hill) > mun (near me, in my line of sight, on the bottom of the hill) > al (far from me, out of my line of sight, on top of the hill) > jul (a little bit near me, in my line sight, on the top of the hill) > jah (a little bit near me, out of my line of sight, on the side of the > hill) > Now, I can imagine someone constructing a language with a system like > that, but can you imagine that being in a real, natural language? It blew me > away. It's so...Esperanta, in a way. > Anyway, the other thing was George Lakoff claimed, in one fell swoop, > that a lot had been written about the nature of aspect, but that absolutely > everyone else was wrong, and that he found the one and only correct origin of > aspect, and it's a diagram as follows. > -------Iterative--------- > Ready-----Start-----Process-----Finish-----Result > - - - > - Interupt - - Continue > Cancel Suspend > > Anyway, then he had a bunch of examples of how all actions map onto this, > such as walking. In the start position, it's "set out", or "start walking" > (there's no speech for the "ready" position), the process is walking, an > interupt might be slipping, and if you fall, then that's a finish and can be > mapped as an action in of itself, but if you regain your balance, then you > continue, and when you stop walking you finish, and the result is that you're > somewhere different than before (or the same place at a different time, or > something). Anyway, I thought it would be interesting if someone made a > language where every verb had a conjugation just for these particular parts > of his aspect model. You can't tell me that someone saying "I am ready to > love you" would not be hilarious. > > -David >
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