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Corpses (WAS: Arabic article (was: Corpses))

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Monday, November 10, 2003, 20:11
Quoting Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>:

> >Isidora was speaking about how this thread, being OT, was the only one that > >stuck to its stated topic. Now, this has mutated from a discussion of > cultural > >views on human corpses to one about the treatment of Arabic articles in > >English ... we better watch out before it's back to conlangs! > > It may be too late for that. I have already put conlang content into a > post on the Visible Planets thread, which is an offshoot of the Corpses > thread, by talking some about Nidirino phonology. > > I can't believe that I started a thread this extensive. I just asked which > logical gender a human corpse ought to belong to. I think that my answer > for the Cwendaso was epicene. I don't think that the Trehelish lanuage has > the same gender catagories as the Cwendaso language, so I don't know how > they would gender one, although they do believe that there is something > still living in it.
Most of my conlangs don't have the category of gender, and those that have it restrict it to pronouns, except for Kalini Sapak. I suspect the word for "corpse" would be neuter, but if speaking about a particular corpse, you'd rather call it a "dead man" (or whatever )so you could refer to it by a masculine (feminine) pronoun, at least if it was someone you knew. Or the word might be masculine, since Kalini Sapak takes masculine as the default gender of animates. I realize I have only the vaguest idea what the Kalana think of the afterlife. But the soul is supposed to leave the body at death, so neuter would, I guess, make the most sense. In Tairezazh, which has gender distinctions only in pronouns, any old corpse laying around is neuter/epicene _sen_ "it", while your recently expired uncle/aunt is still masculine/feminine _seno_/_sena_. Intellectually, very few Tairezans believe that a human corpse is anything more than lump of organic stuff, but being humans their intellects are not necessarily the pieces of their minds in command immediately after the death of a loved one. None of my conlangs do have a word for "corpse" yet, BTW. Andreas


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>