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Re: Sensory Infixes in rtemmu (was Mauve and a related conlang question)

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Thursday, June 13, 2002, 17:01
On 12 June, Jesse Bangs wrote:

> > >Instead of the horribly abstract "the process of being blood", > > mightn't we > > >use a word meaning "to bleed." > > > > Not really. It is hard to use a lang like English, which views > > the world as full of "things" and "actions" to describe a worldview > > based on "developing processes". > > Ah, that pesky nouns/verbs distinction. As far as I know, every natlang > has them--but you're free to flout this universal if you wish. I assume > that rtemmu is an AllVerb lang, then?
Nope. No nouns, no verbs. Only developing processes. "Nouns" and "verbs" can be approximated by using the appropriate rate-of-change markers which usually accompany each content-word. If the process is developing so slowly as to be unnoticible, one might see it as a "noun". If the development is quite rapid, one might see action and therefore a "verb". And at rates of development in-between = ? Sentences are not considered as focussing attention first on one thing or action, then on another and so on. Rather, the idea is more like a picture being built up and refined by including more and more awareness of more and more sub-processes of the overall Universal Process. It's sort of like "the dawning on you of your position": First you are aware that you _are_. Then you _are_ and you are sitting. Not only that, but you have a computer facing you. Not only that, but it has words on it. Not only that, but the background is blue in color! Not only that, but you become aware that you have a deep emotion and that it has something to do with the damned BSOD! ;-) Instead of considering the situation as a collection of descrete objects and actions, the rtemmu worldview sees it more as a broadening of one's awareness. A totally different basic philosophy from that of a noun-verb, thing-action universe.
> This seems too elaborate to me. Red is the most outstanding color for > human perception, so describing it with a five-syllable compound is > pretty awkward. This brings up again what I said about making the most > fundamental colors have their own roots, to cover cases just such as > this.
Ah, but, really, what are the fundamentals? After reading all the fascinating info people have been providing and discussing on this list about color, I think that first, I ought to go back and refresh my knowledge of physics, chemistry, and perceptual-anatomy/physiology. It's amazing what I've forgotten over the years! (Not to mention all that new stuff that keeps getting discovered! :-) )
> Well, this is exactly the point. Different cultures perceive colors > differently, and have different dominant metaphors for the same objects, > leading Homer to speakof "the wine-dark sea," while we call it > "crystal-blue" sometimes.. Sapir-Worf argued that this actually > influences color perception, but I think that's going a bit far. > > Color terms in Homer are an item of great controversey because of exactly > this. He often uses words in ways that are surprising or even impossible > from our perspective, leading people to suggest elaborate ways to get > around what the word "seems" to mean.
Just a thought, FWIW: if Homer was emphasizing the darkness of the the sea, rather than it's color, I'll have to agree that I've seen the Med plenty dark! I was once staying at a kibbutz on the Med during the winter. They gave me a guest cottage about 20 meters or so from the water. In summer, this would have been ideal. But while I was there, a big storm came up and the sea turned very dark and ugly. For a while there, it looked as if I might be able to go fishing with my bare hands through the window! I don't know about wine, but the Med can _definitely_ get dark! Dan Sulani ----------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a A word is an awesome thing.