Re: Leveraging Linnaean lingo in a loglang
|From:||Herman Miller <hmiller@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 4:27|
> More ramblings on naming stuff...
> It seems that naming plants is a challenge in natlangs, and even more so in
> a conlang in which one-meaning-per-constituent is a design requirement. I
> will probably never get around to naming more than a tiny fraction of the
> varieties of plants. I do seek to provide a system that could be used, in
> theory, to conveniently name any plant or anything else that someone wishes
> to name. Right now, I have three basic tactics for naming living things:
Naming plants is definitely a challenge. The classification doesn't help
much, since there are a few families with large number of species (e.g.
grains, composites, legumes), but quite a few common plants scattered
around in a bunch of different families. You get things like poison ivy
being related to cashews.
> 1. Basic expressions (BEs, i.e. single morphemes) are coined directly for
> many familiar living things, as I described in my previous post. I coined
> mostly 'a posteriori' BEs for convenience, but I don't think there is
> anything inherently un-loglang-ish about coining onomatopoeic or otherwise
> idiosyncratic names as you use IYC. (Nor, IMHO, are classifier systems, or
> elaborate compounding morphologies, super-advantageous in lexicon design.
> For me, the main consideration is simply keeping each BE morphologically
> unique and semantically well-defined in any given context.)
> 2. Identifiable subsets of the extension denoted by any given BE can be
> indexed using arbitrary noun phrases. IMC, prefixing any basic expression
> 'X' with "zu" provides a argument place for a NP 'Y' which names, possibly
> metaphorically, an identifiable subtype of 'X'; in other words, the phrase
> 'zùX Y' means roughly "thing belonging to that subtype of 'X' known
> metaphorically as 'Y'". For example:
> zùlilio kandela = candle-lily = certain variety of genus 'Lilium' known as
> "Candle" (whatever one)
> (literal gloss: thing belonging to that subtype of Lily known as "Candle")
> zùhunde pastore kèdoytce = German Shepherd (dog)
> (literal gloss: thing belonging to that subtype of dog known as "German
> Each subtype would be defined as precisely as a basic expression.
> Therefore, properly speaking, there would be only one variety of plant
> called "zùlilio kandela" (candle-lily). However, each BE has its own
> subtype space, so "zùrosa kandela" (candle-rose) would name some other
> plant, as would the putative "zùplanta kandela" (candle-plant), whatever
> those things may be. In a way, this system works like Linnaeus's bionomial
> system of genus+species, except that it's intended to subtype many things,
> both natural and artificial, e.g. plants, cheese, minerals, stars, etc, and
> do so independently of any over-arching taxonomical system.
Jarda has pretty much a binomial system like that, described in more
detail at http://www.io.com/~hmiller/lang/Jarda/animals.html. The page
is specifically about animal names, but it applies to other categories
of Jarda vocabulary as well. So "źiřvi ğó" must be a type of "źiřvi"
(clarinet) that's "ğó" (low-pitched or deep) -- a bass clarinet. Another
example is "vlarzur mŏř" (bluebonnet, Lupinus sp.) where "vlarzur"
literally means "wolf-flower" and "mŏř" is a shade of blue.
> Frequently used expressions could be later shortened to basic expressions by
> coining a new BE (which could be a portmanteau, a borrowing, a 'sui generis'
> formation, etc.) e.g. "lilikandela" < "zùlilio kandela"; "pastordoytche" <
> "zùhunde pastore kèdoytce" (or perhaps "doytcaceferhunde" < G. "Deutscher
> Schäferhund") .
> 3. As mentioned, scientific binomials can be directly quoted, when desired
> or needed.