Re: Let the hammer fall, background, no language no people
|From:||dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 16:52|
On Wed, 24 Jan 2001, Matt McLauchlin wrote:
> Which reminds me, I came across a Welsh proverb today. Would we like to
> conlang it:
> Welsh: Heb iaith, heb genedl.
> English: No language, no people.
It seems to me that the Tepa viewed having language as a
defining property of "personhood", and since they were rather
isolationist, they didn't readily acknowledge the existence of
other people. So the proverb becomes a tautology in Tepa;
you're not a person if you don't have language; hence, no
language, no people (i.e., no status as persons).
pe= su= 0- tepa -sui su= 0- tua
if= NEG= 3- speak -NOM NEG= 3- person
'No language, no people'
(lit: If it is not speech, it is not a person.')
I realize that this is probably not what was meant by the
proverb, but it's hard to translate things like national pride
into a culture which didn't recognize the existence of nations.
Dirk Elzinga firstname.lastname@example.org
"The strong craving for a simple formula
has been the undoing of linguists." - Edward Sapir