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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 >>be dropped. >> 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?) >>as verbs. >> >> >>>> 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 >>be produced! >> 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!
>>(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.) >> >> >>Dan Sulani
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). Dan Sulani -------------------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.