Metaphors and Uusisuom
|Date:||Friday, April 27, 2001, 14:20|
I guess you hit the nail on the head when you said that I was probably
trying to make Uusisuom feel like a 'natural' language, which is absolutely
You're right that learners of Uusisuom have to memorise words and
connections first, but the point is that once they have learned the words
and understood the connections, they have that vocabulary (from one verb,
perhaps 4, 6 even 8 common words can be derived) wired into their memory.
As to confusing meanings, well speakers understand what is meant from
context. If you use 'hanti' in the context of gardening, it's pretty clear
you mean 'flowering', whereas talking about your habitat in Boston would
make it clear you meant 'living'.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Peterson" <DigitalScream@...>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 9:53 AM
Subject: Re: An apology to Ray and some other points answered
> In a message dated 4/27/01 12:39:30 AM, Daniel44@BTINTERNET.COM writes:
> << To the point about metaphor in Uusisuom and 'hanti/hanto' specifically,I
> would imagine that some form of metaphor is used by every language onearth.
> That said, I try to avoid it in Uusisuom as much as possible. >>
> First of all, the human mind works by using metaphors, so it'simpossible
> to have a truly natural language without literally hundreds of functional,
> entrenched and conceptual metaphors. They conflict, though. If you want
> Uusisuom to be like a natural language, you're doing a good job bycreating
> your own metaphors that make sense to you. But if you truly are trying to
> avoid metaphor, then...well, why aren't you? I don't know. It doesn'tmake
> sense to me.
> <<Though I agree that some use of metaphor here is clear, it's importantto
> note that almost all cultures and religions in the world make some
> connection between life and flowers.>>
> I think my point was that if you look at all your words with the root
> "han", I do not doubt that anyone on Earth would be able to see the
> metaphorical mappings--that's what humans do best. However, if they hadjust
> the root, and had to guess what the different derivations meant, I thinkthey
> would be totally clueless, since the mappings are not predictable. So, as
> before, they'd need to know the words and memorize them, they wouldn't be
> able to put them together as easily as one would in, say, Esperanto (I
> apologize, but this is the best example I can think of), where if you have
> the word "floro", meaning "flower", you know the word "flori" is going to
> mean "to flower". Whether or not you can guess what "to flower" means
> depends on your background (it's, yet again, a metaphor), but you can't
> seriously expect anyone to go from the word "flower" to the verb "to live"
> without knowing that there's a connection. I don't think they'd even
> understand in context, or if they did, they'd wonder, "Why on Earth did he
> say 'I flower in Boston' instead of 'I live in Boston'?" Of course, this
> assumes that you have the same verb there. If you don't, then it'd be
> something like "Why did he say 'I flower well these days'?"
> But, no more. I'm tired of this. I probably shouldn't even havewritten
> this. Unless anyone has specific questions about metaphor and how theycan
> be used and manipulated in constructed languages, I'm through withmetaphor.