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knowing your right from your left...

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Friday, August 18, 2000, 22:11
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:

> Speaking of which, are there any languages that *don't* use right/left, > or use them differently, or...? I've always wondered about that.
Malagasy speakers don't use right or left. Instead, they use the cardinal directions ("Please hang the painting to the north of the fireplace", etc.). I believe that a number of Oceanic languages work this way too... My conlang Tokana has words for right and left ("then" and "klion", respectively), but these words refer specifically to one's right and left *hands*: Ma kespe nauot klione I hold-Pst cup left.hand-Dat "I held the cup in my left hand" To say "The river is on my left" in Tokana, you say "The river is at/near my left hand". Matt.