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THEORY: Betreft: Re: THEORY: Conlanging as reverse Sapir-Whorf?

From:Rob Nierse <rnierse@...>
Date:Thursday, November 25, 1999, 11:58
>>> Daniel Andreasson <noldo@...> 11/24 11:37 >>>
Paul Bennett wrote:
> I started thinking about Sapir-Whorf (we dont need to discuss the =
valididty of
> it -- we've only recently been through that game -- it's just a handy =
label for
> a phenomenon that exists, to a greater or lesser extent, within various =
> I've come to the theory that conlanging express the exact reverse of =
> theory; i.e. "The way one thinks effects the type of conlang one =
> There's something bigger and deeper lurking there, but I'm only =
> aware of it and certainly lack the terminology to describe it adequately.=
> > Anyone care to jump in and help describe/refine/refute this?
Interesting question. Not being that good at the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but isn't that kind of the 'chicken and egg' argument? The language one uses effects the way you think, but doesn't that lead to the conclusion that the way you think effect the way you speak as well? What came first, so to say?
What happened was the following: I made a construction for Gbwia. The verb ndopa` means "to use to", i.e. do something habitually or regularly. I used it in English in the present tense "They use to hear", and Paul = told me that wasn't possible in English. Funny thing is, in can't be done in=20 Dutch too. So I thought that it came because of Spanish: "Suele o=EDr" = or=20 something like that. It appeared weird to me: I made something for Gbwia that was not alien to my mother tongue. I wonder if other people have that kind of experience too. Rob