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Re: Semantic typology?

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Sunday, August 24, 2008, 16:18
On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 15:48, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 9:44 AM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote: >> The basic directional roots would all be 22.5 degrees clockwise >> off from the cardinals. > > Nah. Far too regular. I'd start with North, Southeast, and > West-by-Northwest, and derive the others from there. :)
Sounds a bit like Klingon, whose "cardinal" directions are tIng "southwest", 'ev "northwest", and chan "east". On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 16:46, John Vertical <johnvertical@...> wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Aug 2008 09:44:32 -0400, Jim Henry wrote: >>> Compass directions, maybe? I would assume any language distinguishing >>> roots for any of the intercardinals should also distinguish some for the >>> cardinals. >> >>That's a sensible hypothesis. Do you know of any languages that >>have roots for the intercardinals rather than deriving them from >>cardinals? > > Finnish; clockwise from North, _pohjoinen koillinen itä kaakko etelä lounas länsi > luode_. The only completely opaque ones are SE, SW and W, but eg. _itä_ > being a zero-derivation of the verbal root "to germinate" isn't exactly > transparent, either. :) > > IIUC this system was standardized together from quite a few dialects, none of > which consistently differentiated all eight terms.
I was reminded of Maltese, which has, again clockwise from North, _tramuntana grigal ilvant xlokk nofsinhar ilbiċ punent majjistral_ (also used for the corresponding winds, e.g. _tramuntana_ = North wind). Of those, the only one transparent in "Maltese" (i.e. the Arabic base of the lexicon) is nofsinhar < nofs in-nhar "middle of the day"; indirectly also xlokk < ital. scirocco < arab. šurūq "sunrise". Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>