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Re: Request for information: Semantics of body parts

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Saturday, June 15, 2002, 21:56
Peter Clark wrote:
> Toe Finger > Arch Knuckle > Heel Palm > Ankle Wrist > Shin Forearm > Leg Elbow > Knee Arm > Thigh > Calf
If you're counting "forearm", I think you should count "upper arm" for an analogue to thigh. Also, I would consider "palm" and "arch" to be analogues, and "knuckle" applies just as well to toes as to fingers. At any rate, that's an interesting point I'd never considered.
> English also has a word for a portion of the legs when in a > seated position: "lap." Now that's interesting.
Hmm ... I suppose the equivalent for arms might be the enclosure created when ones hands meet, as when hugging ("She stood in his arm-enclosure" could be a neat idiom for "He hugged her")
> One could re-divide the body; for instance, the upper arms and shoulders > could share the same term, or "neck and head" could be mapped to the same > term as "limb," "Ankle" and "wrist" could be the same term, as well as > "finger" and "toe"
Ankle and wrist in Japanese are ashikubi and tekubi respectively, ashi = foot/leg, te = hand (sometimes arm), kubi = neck, thus "the foot/leg's neck" and "the hand's neck" :-)
> (which is what Russian does; "paljets" is either "finger' > or "toe," although if you want to be clear, you could say "paljets nogi" > (finger of the leg).)
Early Classical Uatakassi used a single word for "finger" and "foot", _uavaz_, however, single-syllable roots (ua- is a gender prefix) were gradually phased out in Theocracy-era Classical Uatakassi (the specific period I focus most on). _Uavaz_ was replaced by _Uavazklu_ and _Uavaztlunii_ with the meanings "toe" and "finger". (Ua)Klu = foot, (Su)Tlunii = hand. Uaklu itself, being a one-syllable root, was also dropped as an independant word, being replaced by _Uabaska_ (leg). The word _Uabaska_ can only be used for two-legged creatures. So, a bird or kangaroo would have _uafbassi_ (slightly irregular plural of uabaska). I'm not sure if apes would be counted as having _uafbassi_. I don't know the word for "leg" for four- or six-legged creatures. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42