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Re: ghosts, flames, and fox fire; was: a bit of...

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 17, 2004, 18:59
Sally Caves wrote:

>how many of you in your conlangs and > concultures have a word for electricity? Is it related to fire in any > way? > or lightning?
Since Cindu is a thoroughly modern planet, of course they have electricity (and electronics too). The Gwr, of course, discovered it way back when; the Kash borrowed most of their terms. (The Gwr word is related to or identical with "lightning"; I suppose Pyang Ling Beng flew a kite in a thunderstorm (except he got electrocuted)) Gwr: dli@ (lr tone) lightning, dzay-m dli@-lr electricity (alive+lightning) Kash: celiya ~ciliya (colloq. celi ~cili) electricity celici ~cilici (...+dim.) electonic(s) A ton of compounds celi+...: ..+narrate 'radio'; ...+speak 'telephone'; ...+picture 'TV'; ..+think'computer'(ha!). These are calques of Gwr terms; if they were natively developed, the adj. _celi_ would come last. The K. word for lightning, however, is native-- cek, cecek ['tSEtSek]; cakacék 'struck by....'
>What about fox fire? methane gas?
Methane is Kash coyuk (older coyungeyu, < Gwr dzo yuq n&w 'dead rot gas/air' IIRC). No specific word for foxfire, but it's to think about-- maybe "spirit-fire"? While I'm at it, since the Kash are intrepid sailors, we'll need "St. Elmo's fire" ~ball lightning (which I've never seen), too.
> are ghosts a kind of cold fire?
Beautiful image!! What about dynamite? Anybody have language for firecrackers?
> fireworks?
These surely exist, but no words yet. Ah me.........'fireworks' maybe 'play + fire'?
> > In Teonaht legend, a ghost is the reverse of a flame, a cold flame--fleht > froho--a column of cold fire, no heat to animate it, sucking warmth out of > a > house in its self-consumption, it's refusal to move into the light.
Another beautiful image; I may stea...adapt it. Kash 'ghost' (one type at least) is kowana < *kawa ...? + ana 'child', or maybe that's a folk etymology.
> Let's put flames to good use here:
Thanks for turning garbage into beauty.