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Re: Differences between "un" and "opposite"

From:Jim Henry <jacklongshadow@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 26, 2005, 18:38
Gregory Gadow <techbear@...> wrote:
> I was tinkering with my conlang Glörsa last night, going over old notes > dealing with prefixes. I found out that, very long ago, I had started > using a prefix that meant "not", similar to English's "un-." Some time > latter, I introduced a prefix that meant "opposite", similar to > Esperanto's "mal-." I think they both can be kept, as a way to add some
> With "achsöme" (AtSo'mE), "belief", I get: > > esachsöme (EsA'tSomE) = fear (no hope, hope in nothing) > ülachsöme (ulA'tSomE) = despair (the opposite of hope)
If the root signifies "belief" I would think the derivatives are "non-belief" (being agnostic about whether something is true, valid, reliable etc.) and "unbelief" (believing that something is _not_ true, valid, reliable...). Given your glosses, I suppose the root has a broad meaning that includes both "belief" and "hope" and maybe other concepts. You would have to give more examples of what it could mean in various contexts before we could advise you sensibly on what the derivatives would mean.
> I like the distinctions being made, but I'm not sure if I am using them > correctly. Does anyone else have a conlang with both of these prefixes (or > suffixes, if your language swings that way?)
gjax-zym-byn uses several different suffixes (plus a couple of nonsuffix modifiers) for negation and antonymy. I still run into ambiguity problems from time to time, though. -cox is like Esperanto's "mal-" with respect to adjectival roots. So {jaxln}, hot; {jaxln-cox}, cold. -txaj derives words for the complement in a relational pair of substantives, or the reversive of an action. So {req'jxy}, wife; {req'jxy-txaj}, husband. But it took me a while to decide whether {vun-txaj} (from {vun}, stretching) should signify "relaxing" or "squeezing"; I finally decided on the latter. I also have the modifier {henx} (no, not) and other related suffixes: -ta (lacking in ~) -dox (a violation of ~) -fja (barely, hardly ~) {hum} = deep {hum-fja} = shallow {hum-cox} = high, tall -- Jim Henry