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[various] CONLANG Digest 22 Sep inc. gender, soul, negatives..

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Saturday, September 23, 2000, 14:17
> From: John Cowan <cowan@...> > Subject: Re: (tangent thoughts arising from) Active-Ergative langs > (discussion) > > On Thu, 21 Sep 2000, Marcus Smith wrote: > > > If your English gloss needs more > > than one word, connect them somehow instead of using a space, that way
> > know that both words belong to the same gloss. > > A colon is conventional.
Shoebox IIRC uses an underscore.
> From: "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> > Subject: Re: Numbers and math > > On Thu, Sep 21, 2000 at 09:46:41PM -0700, Marcus Smith wrote: > [snip] > > That comment on negative numbers -- that's the way I actually do think
> > them. Seems valid to me, since you can't have negative distances, you > > can't hold negative amounts, you can't move at negative speeds -- they
> > just some abstract place holder to show that things are not going in the > > same direction as the focus of your inquiry. > > Exactly!! That's what's so revolutionary about your statement. Negativity > exists simply because numbers have a different direction than what you're > looking at. A more interesting question might be, is negativity unique? > i.e., why must it be exactly opposite of positive numbers? Why can't it be > some other angle? ...
Well, because the opposite angle is more generic. You can say, for example "I have seven pots" = +7. Then you could say "I owe John two pots, I owe James five pots, and I owe Judas one pot", which gives you different 'axes' of negativity, but when you talk about how many pots you owe overall: "I owe everyone eight pots total" = -8.
> From: Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...> > Subject: Re: Numbers and math > > I'd make a lousy mathematician. I'm a math major because it's the > subject I need most help with, i.e. trying to learn it by myself, outside > of class, would be impossible.
Heh. That's exactly why I became an art major (animation, actually)--I figured I would do much, much better at it if I was taught than if I tried to figure it out for myself.
> From: "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> > Subject: Re: feminine, masculine and... ? > > Hey, I like this idea of distinguishing between noun categories, more than > just physical gender.
I was reading inna book on 'Grammar' earlier, and read something--hff, the text doesn't appear to exist anymore, I hate when that happens[1]--anyway, it inspired me to make 'age' the basis of noun classes/gender in one of my future conlangs.
> I especially like the idea of having a separate > grammatical gender for conceptual objects.
Daimyo has something like that, with male, female, material ("sensible"), and concept/epicene.
> From: Rik Roots <rikroots@...> > Subject: Re: Give us this day our daily translation > > > English: Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. > > I am fairly certain that this cannot be translated into Gevey, mainly > because the language does not have a word for "soul" [this is > deliberate on my part, if only to make the poetry more tolerable than > Hallmark. For similar reasons, uhne (ye uhn) "heart" is used for the > organ, and has nothing to do with emotions. Emotions, in Gevey, reside > alongside the senses]
"We've got no souls, you know." --some sproutling I keep mentioning Wierzbicka, but in her "Semantics, Culture, and Cognition" she talks about 'soul' and words in different European languages that are usually translated as 'soul', and explains how really none of them are really referring to the same subdivision of the mind. I really, really like how she gets away with calling the English 'soul' and 'mind' "folk concepts". *Muke! --