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Re: Phaleran Update: Language game; Alienable and inalienable possession

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Monday, May 20, 2002, 15:27
Welcome back, Tom!

Tom Wier wrote:
>The Language Game > >Much like the English construction "X schX", this game is used to >denigrate the subject in question. Superficially, one would say >that one simply reverses the first two syllables in a reduplicative >fashion: > >(1) Lexeme: Derived form: > k'orwu 'treasonous act' k'orwu-wuk'or > xâfen 'old man' xâfen-fenxa > ahra 'governor' ahra-hrâ
(snips) Not unlike "vesre" in Spanish, which reverses the syllable order ("al _revés"). There's an amusing old review by Borges of a book (by a Spaniard) bemoaning the state of Spanish in Argentina (i.e. Buenos Aires); as Borges pointed out, vesre was mainly the province of "alumnos del cuarto grado" and tango lyricists. It may once have been a feature of lunfardo, the porteño slang more or less comparable to thieves' argot. Examples: gotán 'tango', feca con chele, llotivenco 'tenement' < conventillo. I never encountered this sort of word-play in Indonesia, but it should be possible in a language like that, with relatively simple syl. structure (and not unlike Spanish). A little difficult in English, I think.
>Alienable and Inalienable Possession
I'm a great fan of alienable/inalienable. It wasn't used in Kash, though the genitive case is largely restricted to possession by humans, optional for other animates. Those may, and most inanimates must, use a different construction. The distinction abounds in regional languages of Eastern Indonesia, and Melanesia/Polynesia of course, with interesting variations as to how items are categorized. (snip)
>Ritual animals are inalienably possessed when alive, but >alienably possessed when dead (i.e., after sacrifice):
Very nice.