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Re: Personal Conjugation based on Closeness

From:Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 23:42
Emaelivpeith HS Teoh:
>Cool! You won't believe this, but you've just explained something about >the Ebisedian pronominal system that I didn't quite have the words for.
Glad to be of help! :)
>Only, in Ebisedian there are only 2 "rings", the "intimate" and the >"distant", and the rings aren't really fixed (they fluctuate depending on >the speaker's mood).
At what point do the Ebisdeians[1] draw the line? Would it break into "initimate" { aejhel, scadhel, chisél } and "distant" { geithe, nimordh }, maybe? [1] Or is Ebisedian only used as the language name? And the people would then be the Ebisedi?
>Ebisedian has no concept of 2nd or 3rd >person; the exact same words may be addressed to you, or be referring to >you but addressed to someone else. You have to rely on body language to >know which is which.
Exactly! How cool that we ended up with such similarly weird stuff! :) Except in Asha'ille, you can use the non-telepath pronouns in conjunction with the telepath ones to clarify. For example, plain |shaveith| could mean any of "you speak," "he speaks," "she speaks," "they speak," or "y'all speak", and could be addressed to anyone. (Note that for the plural translations, it's required that either all the people are in your geithe or that the closest one of the people are only as close as your geithe -- meaning the people can only be in your geithe or nimordh; none referred to by the -eith could be in any of the inner circles. I'm not sure yet how I want to handle the various "we" forms.) If you want to narrow the meaning down without resorting to body language or context, you can _add_ a non-telepath pronoun. So long as you conjugate by telepath-style, you can freely add a non-telepath pronoun without being insulting. So |shaveith aet| would settle down to the single meaning "you speak", specifying that the "you" in question belongs to my geithe and not some other ring. |Shaveith ar| "he speaks," |shaveith ah| "she speaks", |shaveith airim| "they (unspecified genders) speak". (One could rightly conclude that Cresaeans mostly care about gender only secondarily, as a means of clarification.) On the subject of calling them "rings" or "circles" or whatnot... The Cresaeans don't really imagine the networks as being electron rings the way I initially suggested. Instead, each people you have bonded to is a _direct_connection_ to that person. They visualize it as the length of the bond being inversely proportional to the closeness of the person to you. So it looks more like spokes than circles. The people with the three(-ish) shortest/closest bonds make up your aejhel, and so on for the others. Only the nimordh is seen as an amorphous ring circling at distance from you and the rest of your bonded people.
>what are now the intimate pronouns was "friend" or "close one"; it still >retains this meaning in some contexts.[1] Similarly, the original meaning >of what are now the distant pronouns was "stranger".
How interesting. It works exactly opposite in Asha'ille (although I don't know if that's historical-linguistically likely...). The conjugation for the closest ring, |-ejh|, became a term of endearment[2], |ejh|. The "nimordh's nimordh", aka |cresón|, became usable in a second sense as a regular word meaning simply "stranger". [2] Actually, I'd independently created the identical term of endearment _months_ ago. When I realized the striking similarities, I knew I'd found the correct conjugation. :)
>Another context is when the intimate pronoun is used as a term of >adoration: _co'mi. co'mi._ "my dear, my dear". Strictly speaking, _co'mi_ >is a pronoun; but it'd be very odd to translate this as "you, you" --- >totally different connotations in English!
This is like my |ejh|, ne?
>The Ebisedian pronouns have nothing to do with telepathy, but an analogous >insult exists: if you suddenly start addressing a close friend with a >distant pronoun, it's an insult, or a hint that that person has offended >you. > >On the other hand, if you start addressing strangers with intimate >pronouns, it can cause them to wonder if you were an unknown relative, or >you were being flirtatious, or perhaps dishonest and trying to sweet-mouth >them into a scam.
I was just thinking about how such would work in Asha'ille, if the speaker used the proper telepath-category words but addressed someone at the incorrect level of familiarity. It would probably be simliar to what you say.
>> For me personally, living here on Earth, a planet noticeably >> telepath-deficient, I use the telepath pronouns for sentient things and >> non-telepath ones for everything else. If I were on Cresaea, I'd have >> to change my deviant ways. :) > >I unconsciously use intimate pronouns as 2nd person and distant as 3rd, >but they are really independent of person.
That must be all that bad Terran language influence we got as children. ;) -- AA


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...>