Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: How to name the languages of sentient beings?

From:Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>
Date:Friday, December 2, 2005, 8:38
On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 02:33, caeruleancentaur wrote:
> On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@n...> wrote: > >What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are > >meant for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding > >computer programming languages, data modelling languages, and so > >on, >but including languages for aliens, and unusually smart > >hamsters, >and what-have-you? "Human" languages is wrong, as > > is "natural". I'm >rather at a loss. > > I don't believe that any form of "sentient" is adequate. It seems > to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient beings speak and > some don't. "Sentient," after all, has nothing to do with the > ability to speak, but the ability to feel. > > What is needed is a word (an adjective, it appears) that includes > all the species that can communicate. Since anything is possible in > a conculture, that could very well include animal as well as plant > life (or any other form imagined). And the word has to distinguish > between forms that can communicate and those that can't, _e.g._, > oaks can communicate but elms can not. I don't believe there is > such a word, at least in English. > > I found in the OED the word "loquent" meaning having the ability to > speak, and that's the word I use in my conculture for the dragons > and the six human-like races that can speak, the other life forms > being merely sentient. I call these the loquent peoples or races or > nations.
If the use of a conlang is fine with you, my Lakhabrech make a distinction between "speaking beings" and "nonspeaking beings" - nonspeaking beings are legal prey, speaking beings aren't. (It's not really that much fun to eat your infuriatingly irritating neighbour, particularly when your midwife-chieftainess is going to publically gut you when she finds out, then leave you for the ants and wasps... ;) Consequently, taking humans - "hauk" - as the baseline, the definition: yhe hauk valaya, the speaking human-type beings; going for a more abstract term: yhe yayhe valaya - the speaking beings. Wesley Parish
> > Charlie >
-- Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish ----- Mau e ki, he aha te mea nui? You ask, what is the most important thing? Maku e ki, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. I reply, it is people, it is people, it is people.