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
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.
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.