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Divine conlang usage (Was: Word used more than once)

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Thursday, May 18, 2006, 11:35

Peter Bleackley writes:
>... > The interesting thing is that the most common survival of "thou" forms > in modern English is in prayer - the familiar form is used to address > the Supreme Being. But of course, if you regard God as your Father, it > would historically have been the appropriate form.
Well, in German, it's also 'Du' für God, but parents used to be addressed as 'Ihr' or 'Sie' in earlier times by their children.
> ObConlang - does anyone have a language in which some grammatical form > is related specifically to religious observance?
Quite aplenty. In Qthyn|gai, the category of degree is used to replace paraphrastics like 'very', 'a bit', etc. In fact, it is used for many things in the language (once you have it, it comes in handy everywhere). There are two degrees whose usage is restricted: the exaggerated mininum and maximum degrees (vaguely something like 'absof*ckinglutely yes/no'). These are reserved to colloquial or religious usage only. (Funny that 'Du'/'thou' has/had quite a similar combination of usage restrictions.) Further, Qthyn|gai has an evidentiality marker that expresses 'belief'. By religious people using it, it is usally valued higher in evidentiality than the 'fact' evidential, since the latter expresses a profane fact while the belief marker expresses religious 'fact'. So the 'fact' evidentiality marker cannot not be used for the 'belief' marker; it would be perceived as insolent by non-members of the same religious group and as insulting due to profanity by members. (Certainly there are individuals or even sects who still use it.) Tesäfköm has an irregular construct/absolute state which is lexicalised for each word. Therefore, some words that can only or cannot be used in their construct state (thus possessed) form, because it might be missing in the lexican (e.g. an 'arm' has no absolute state). The construct state in Tesäfköm expresses only inalienable possession. Alienable possession is handled by relative clauses. To come back to the point, the word for the High Being will have no construct state (so it cannot be possessed inalienably in the language). (Errrm, the lexicon has no entry yet, but the above is the plan.) In Tyl Sjok, the use of the third person pronoun is somewhat restricted. Noun repetition is usually preferred for anaphora. However, third person pronouns are regularly used e.g. in stories to refer to the protagonist, and in the Bible to refer to God (maybe to Jesus, too, the Bible translation is not yet fully deciphered...). **Henrik


Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>