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Re: Conlang names?

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Sunday, November 11, 2007, 14:49

On Sun, 11 Nov 2007 01:29:22 +0100, Henrik Theiling wrote:

> Hi! > > MorphemeAddict writes: > >... > > I suppose Ceres could become the new fifth > > planet-like body, and all the others would shift to one number higher. > > Thus the Saweli names for the planets could be > > > > 1) kisedrasa - Mercury > > 2) kisedesa - Venus > > 3) kisedresa - Earth > > 4) kisedisa - Mars > > 5) kisedrisa - Ceres (currently Jupiter) > > 6) kisedosa - Jupiter (currently Saturn) > > 7) kisedrosa - Saturn (currently Uranus) > >... > > Are you really sure your people are willing to always keep up with the > current state of science? If a new planet is found, or the status of > a celestial body is changed, then the names in the language change?
That would cause endless confusion. You'd have to look at the date something is published in order to know which object is meant by _Kisedrisa_. It is problems like this that weigh down taxonomic vocabulary schemes. New advances in science, as well as redefinitions of terms, can reduce the whole scheme to rubble. In one of the 17th century taxonomic languages, comets were classified as fire phenomena - we now know, of course, that they consist mainly of ice. With a natlang-like arbitrary vocabulary, you can always say that "a kombulurri is, as we now know, not a bifrak but a sembrin"; but with a taxonomically derived vocabulary, you have to change the word - and sometimes you have to change even more words, especially if the scheme doesn't admit gaps :( ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf