Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: SURVEY: Idiomatic Expressions In Your ConLang Or ConCulture

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Friday, November 18, 2005, 12:14
On 11/18/05, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
> Jim Henry wrote: > > On 11/17/05, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
> > Volapük and Speedwords > > have this kind of idiomatic compound > > in even greater abundance, > > if my impression is correct. > > I don't know about Volapük, but certainly Speedwords has them in > abundance. See Rick Harrison's "Language Profile: Speedwords"
...> and my own pages: Yes, I think it was from your pages I learned most of what I know about Speedwords. In Volapük there are a fair number of constructions like: pen == pen penön == to write [not just with a pen] pened == a letter [not any written matter]
> > gjâ-zym-byn has several idiomatic > > compound words, mostly built with > > suffixes similar to Esperanto's "-um"; > > each such suffix has a general way of deriving > > one meaning from another, > > Sounds like Speedwords suffixes :)
Or Volapük suffixes -- except I'm honest up front about the suffixes being deliberately vague like E-o's "um", so you know (or would know, if for bizarre reasons of their own anyone besides me ever decides to learn gzb) that when you see one of these you'll probably have to look it up in the lexicon. -- Though maybe the root and suffix will give you clues for guessing at its meaning in context than would an _a priori_ monomorphemic word, or a word derived _a posteriori_ from a source language you're not familiar with.
> > lately. I've been thinking about a possible > > new project, and have been typing up some > > scattered handwritten notes about it, > > but I'm not quite ready to post here > > about it yet.
> I know the feeling only too well! But in my case, I have specifically > ruled out idiomatic compounding from Piashi, it being an engelang.
That makes sense. I suspect, however, that idiomatic compounds -- as long as they're clearly marked as such like "ventumi" (to ventilate) rather than purely opaque like "eldoni" -- are on average easier to learn, or to guess at in context, than _a priori_ words or _a posteriori_ words that are so unfamiliar to a particular learner that they might as well be _a priori_. gzb is, in part, an experiment to test this -- though obviously not a well-controlled experiment. In fact, I reckon this question would be one of the easiest aspects of IAL or engelang design to test cheaply; but perhaps that's a topic for the other list, or offline discussion...? So, I try to find a way to form a clear, non-idiomatic compound from existing gzb roots whenever possible; but when I can't figure out how to do that, I often prefer coining an idiomatic compound with one of the known-to-be-idiomatic suffixes, over coining a new _a priori_ word. -- Jim Henry ...Mind the gmail Reply-to: field


R A Brown <ray@...>