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CHAT: The [+foreign] attribute

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 4, 2002, 14:45
There seems to be some evidence that for speakers of a language, there is
some other specific language that all foreign words are assumed to be in.
For English, it's French.

A lot more on this at

ObConlang: how do people's conlangs handle foreign words?  Lojban has an
elaborate mechanism for borrowing (the Lojban idiom is "taking" -- they
aren't returned) foreign words and applying native prefixes that both make
them fit Lojban's morphology and give a clue to Lojban-speakers who don't
recognize the foreign word what it might be about.  Thus cidjrspageti
is spaghetti, but the prefix "cidj-" reflects Lojban *cidja* 'food'.

Gua\spi does something similar, as in this nice example (: is glottal stop):

        ^:i \dlau -fn -borneo /juo \xr -bror -fn -:ma-ka-gani
        Mahogany trees live on the island of Borneo
        (more literally:
        The island Borneo is the habitat of typical mahogany trees)

The funky punctuation symbols are tone marks, and -fn means that a
foreign word follows.

Kartyr Djim comments:

# An educated human knows what a Borneo is, but a naive listener,
# particularly [a] mechanical [one], needs the assistance of *dlau* 'island'.

"No, John.  I want formats that are actually       John Cowan
useful, rather than over-featured megaliths that
address all questions by piling on ridiculous
internal links in forms which are hideously
over-complex." --Simon St. Laurent on xml-dev


Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>
Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Gustavo Eulalio <guga@...>