Re: rtemmu (was: asking for the bathroom)
|From:||Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, June 3, 2001, 10:37|
On 31 May, Tom Pullman wrote to the list asking me
about alternatives to the rtemmu version of
"where is the bathroom". I hit the "reply to" button and assumed
that my answer got sent to the list. I now see that my reply
was only sent to Tom. I have changed the heading
and hope that this reply to Tom's further query makes it to the
list as a whole, for anyone who's interested.
My first reply was (as cited by Tom on 1 June: )
>--- "Dan Sulani" <dnsulani@...> wrote:
>> Well, basically, rtemmu views the world
>>as a complex, developing process. Sentences are formed
>>by focussing one's attention upon various "sub-processes"
>>within the whole and linking them to form a "picture" of
>>reality based upon what one has paid attention to.
>> Thus the basic rtemmu sentence consists of a sequence
>>of words that stand for processes, connected by words or
>>affixes that add grammatical information.
>> In rtemmu, each "content-word" (standing for a process) is
>>preceded by an initial particle containing the following information:
>> 1. who knows or can know about the process
>> (just the speaker, some people, everybody)
>> 2. knowing or not knowing
>> 3. info on tense
>> 4. nearness or remoteness in time
>> 5. repetition or habitual occurance
>>The above is manditory only for the first content-word. After that, if the
>>info has not changed or emphasis is not desired, these may be
>>dropped until the end of the sentence. (And numbers 4 and 5 are
>>only expressed if there is a need for them.)
>> Since processes, by definition, change, exactly how each
>>process changes would seem to be an important thing to know.
>> So next, in the initial particle, comes info about the rate of change.
>>First, the rate of change of the speaker (or of some people or of
>>everybody). This is also obligatory only on the first use in a sentence
>>if it hasn't changed during the sentence or emphasis is not desired.
>> Finally, the initial particle contains info about the rate of change
>>of the process under discussion. This is (usually) obligatory and may not
>> The possible rates of change, in rtemmu, are:
>> 1. change that is objectively observed:
>> zuv = too slow to be observed
>> vuzduz = extremely slow
>> vuz = slow
>> kehs = "normal human" rate of change
>> fis = fast
>> fistis = extremely fast
>> sif = too fast to observe
>> 2. change that is subjective ( = thoughts or memories):
>> nu = too slow to notice any change
>> no = slow
>> na = "normal human" rate of change
>> ne = fast
>> ni = too fast to follow
>>(Note that, subjectively, there are no distinctions between
>>slow / extremely-slow and fast / extremely-fast. I'm not sure
>>that one usually makes such fine distinctions subjectively.)
>> 3. change, where the rate is unknown, either objective
>> or subjective:
>> wuh = unknown rate of change
>> There are also markers for processes that have different
>> aspects which are changing at different rates:
>> pker = objective
>> ner = subjective
>> There are also markers for accelerated rates of change:
>> ut- (prefixed to the rate of change marker) = accelerated change,
>> either objective or subjective
>> it- (prefixed to the rate of change marker) = decelerated change,
>> either objective or subjective
>> <big breath!>
>> Thus, the alternatives take into account, for each process in the
>>sentence, (aside from the optional info) the speaker's (or other's)
>>rate of change, the process's rate of change, objective or subjective
>>in each case, and what the rate (unified or differentiated) is and if is
>>accelerated, decelerated, or at all knowable.) And, of course, all this
>>(including the speaker/knower's state) can change from word to word
>>within the sentence!
>> One more note: rtemmu doesn't have verbs or nouns as such.
>>For purposes of translations, it would be possible, though,
>>to view processes that change
>>very slowly as nouns (how slow is slow enough?) and processes
>>showing appreciable rates of change (again, how much is enough?)
>>>> In rtemmu, I would say:
>>>>usinano dyuxoo`gfairduru, weris?
>>And BTW, there should probably be a rate marker for the
>>"si" (= some people who know or can know) thus:
>>usinanano (dyuxoo`gfairduru, weris?) instead of "usinano"
>> This was what I decided, at the time, in answer to Sally's question.
>>But by playing around with the rate of change markers, (in this case,
>>the rates of change of the speaker, the others who might know, and
>>the "dyuxoo`gfairduru", all sorts of subtle
>>(and I daresay, interesting) variations might
>> For example, putting "fis" before "dyuxoo`gfairduru"
>>would not (to me at any rate) indicate asking where the place is,
>>but stating that I damnwell know where it is and can even observe it,
>>but, Hey!, it's a _moving target_ and I need help "zeroing in" on it!;-D
>>(The implication is of a _real_ moving target! A drunk who merely
>>perceives it as moving might use "fis", and would probably
>>have his/her speech corrected to "ne" or "zuv" by those listening,
>>depending upon what message they wished to convey.)
>>>>u = the speaker doesn't know
>>>>si = some people do know
>>>>na = the speaker's thoughts are changing at a
>>>> "normal" rate
>>>>no = the "dyuxoo`gfairduru" , as a concept, is changing slowly
>>>>dyuxo = place
>>>>o`g = connecting particle
>>>>fai = away from me
>>>>rduru = bodily waste
>>>>we- = question
>>>>-ris = location
>>>>Thus, "bathroom" would come out roughly as
>>>>"the place for ridding myself of bodily waste".
>>>>(Ridding the outside of the body and the
>>>>immediate vicinity after it's out. How the waste got out,
>>>>is not part of this idiom.)
On 1 June, Tom replied:
>Whoa! That certainly makes your head work a bit differently.
Heh! Heh! Just a bit! ;-)
>When do you
>think the speaker's thought processes might be described as going at any
>speed other than normal?
You've obviously never had your mind suddenly grabbed
by the scruff of the neck and hurled into overdrive by a cup of
strong Turkish coffee blended, brewed, and spiced by Yours Truly! ;-)
Seriously, though, subjective states are, well... subjective!
What's "normal" for one person might be fast or slow for another.
Add to that, lang uses such as metaphor and hyperbole, and I don't
think that there are any hard and fast rules of when to use what.
(Which makes translating tricky and can inspire a reader/listener
to a wide range of possible interpretations; but then again,
to my mind, this is also what makes it fun.)
Anyhow, some possible guidelines might be:
ni (= to fast to follow): perhaps the subjective process of
quickly jumping to conclusions;
ne (= fast): quicker than normal thinking as in dangerous
situations or coping with deadlines;
no (= slow): lazily contemplating nothing much on a warm
summer day, or slow thought due to fear
nu (= too slow to notice): thought completely paralyzed;
also used for extreme stubbornness or fixation;
also used for a concept that doesn't seem to be
changing or developing (in the opinion of the speaker).
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a.
A word is an awesome thing.