A primitive language: the seed of an idea
|From:||Adrian Morgan (aka Flesh-eating Dragon) <dragon@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 4, 2004, 8:06|
I had the seed of an idea in the last couple of days for a language to
be spoken by beings not as intellectually or culturally evolved as
A certain class of words in this language would be formed from pairs
of nouns, in which the first denotes a permanent description of an
object and the second denotes a role that this object fulfils at a
particular moment. Suppose, for example, that I wish to speak about
climbing a ladder. I'll use English borrowings: _steb_ for step, and
_grond_ for whatever is supporting my weight. Suppose furthermore
that tense is indicated by tone: future tense by rising tone in the
final syllable (which I'll denote by the letter 'y') and non-future
tense by falling tone in the same (which I'll denote by the letter
'w'). And suppose that the perspective, if unmarked, is that of the
first person or a group including the first person. Then the word
_stebgrownd_ would mean, "The step was/is that which support[s/ed]
The prefix _nje_ could indicate the second person perspective, so
that _njestebgroynd_ would mean, "The step is to become that which
supports your weight". The mood prefix _ka_ could denote the
*prevention* of a particular occurence, hence _kanjestebgroynd_ would
mean, "The eventuality of the step becoming that which supports your
weight is to be prevented".
Particles would denote relationships between these words, but the
unmarked relationship would be backwards in time: suppose that
"fudayn" means "the food is to be eaten by me/us", and suppose that
the situation being described is that I must stand on the step so that
I can reach the food and eat it. Then the sentence "fudayn stebgroynd"
would describe this situation. the goal is stated first, and then the
preceding events, in the reverse of narrative order.
If the particle "ha" means, "until this has taken place", then the
sentence "fudayn strebgroynd ha kanjestebgroynd" would mean, "The
food is to be eaten by me, but first the step is to support my weight,
and until this has taken place, you are to be prevented from standing
on the step yourself".
Just a vague idea...