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Re: Basic vocabulary when starting a conlang

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, September 1, 2002, 5:00
Quoting bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>:

> --- Roberto Suarez Soto <ask4it@...> wrote: > > What do you think is the basic vocabulary to > > start a conlang? > > > > I was thinking that there are a few verbs > > that, because of its everyday use or significance, should > > be the first to be "created": to be, to have, to live, to > > die, to go, to come. There should also be a few basic words, > > as: man, woman, child, life, death, sky, earth, water, fire, > > god. And of course, the basic personal pronouns: I, you, > > he/she/it, we, you, they. > > not necessarily. if you have a conculture with either > no sexes or more than two, then man and woman aren's > useful concepts. bac isn't based on a conculture, but > as i'm atheist it doesn't have a word for god
Pray, tell, why should there be any congruence between your language and reality if you're positing no culture to go along with the language? I have had difficulty with rationalizations about language structure that do not make reference to some specific kind of social interaction, since the very notion of language implies some kind of interaction between distinct beings. Considering that *every* human culture has pondered metaphysical verities of some kind, and the vast majority reference that through unseen yet animate forces, it's difficult to imagine a human language where the generic notion of "god" (in some form) is never needed for communication. (Of course, you may ignore this if you do not intend Bac for a human audience.)
> ( it > borrows specific religions' terms when it needs to > refer to their deities, and would probably nick the > latin |deo| if referring to the western concept of god
Surely you mean "latinate", since the Latin word for "god" is _deus_ (_deo_ only in the ablative and dative singular). ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637


bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>