Re: Words for "Death"
|From:||Sylvia Sotomayor <kelen@...>|
|Date:||Friday, August 8, 2003, 3:09|
On Thursday 07 August 2003 07:10 pm, Herman Miller wrote:
> On Wed, 6 Aug 2003 20:53:35 -0700, Arthaey Angosii<arthaey@...>
> >Saw this message on the CogLing mailing list and thought it mightmake good
> >fodder for us conlangers:
> >>For a medical paper on brain death we are wondering whether thereare
> >>languages with
> >>(1) more than one word for the phenomenon we call ''death''
> >>(2) no equivalent for the English word ''death''
> >So, anyone with a conlang like that? He certainly only wants natlang
> >examples, but I'm interested in conlangs. :)
> Well, there are at least two ways to translate "death" in Zireenlanguages
> (event of dying, state of being dead), but I'm presuming that they're
> looking for one or the other of these. It's actually impossible to say
> "He's dead, Jim" in a typical Zireen language; if you did say that, a
> native speaker would assume you meant he's in a coma or similar stateof
> deep unconsciousness -- personal pronouns and names can only be usedin
> reference to living beings. In my prototype Zireen conlang (known
> provisionally as "Zircon"), "saita" (an adjective) means "dead" in the
> sense "inanimate, lifeless", while "kasi" (a verb) means "to die". So
> "death" can be translated either as "dhasaita" (the state of being
> lifeless) or "nenkasi" (event of dying), but there's no simple word
> specifically meaning "death".
> For "He's dead", a Zireen would say "He died".
> Vakasi miti peKrimi!
> va-kasi mi -ti pe -Krimi
> PF-die ABS-he VOC-Jim
> He's dead, Jim!
Hmm, there are two ways to say "He's dead, Jim" in Kélen. The baseform
-nóñ- doesn't vary, though its inflection does, due to the fact that
the relational varies...
1) la-cim, sema annóña;
Voc-Jim, SE+3p.sg.goal/experiencer death
Jim, he's experiencing death.../he's dead
2) la-cim, ñi sáen manóña;
Voc-Jim, NI 3p.sg dead-person
Jim, he's become a dead person (due to some unnamed cause)
In short, SE says that something (in this case 'death') has a source
(unnamed & unreferenced) and a goal (our deceased redshirt). One could
la sáen manóña
LA 3p.sg dead-person
but that implies an ongoing state, i.e. he's been dead for some time, in
which case manóña, being animate is probably not the right word.
la sáen janóññú;
LA 3p.sg corpse
'He's a corpse'/'The corpse is he'
would be more correct. I have no idea how long one retains person-hood
in a deceased state.
NI, on the other hand, implies a change of state due to some cause. So,
the redshirt has changed his state (from alive to dead), and the
cause/reason is unnamed.
McCoy would probably use SE for confirming a death & NI for announcing
one. "I'm a doctor, not a conlanger."
Kélen language info can be found at:
This post may contain the following:
á (a-acute) é (e-acute) í (i-acute)
ó (o-acute) ú (u-acute) ñ (n-tilde)