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[humour] con-chemistry? (Was: Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 21:12
On Sun, Dec 09, 2001 at 11:27:08AM -0500, Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Get it into your head that languages aren't constructed for the benefit of > chemistry students!
[snip] Hmm, this got me thinking... the 5 noun cases in my conlang are IDEAL for describing chemical reaction mechanisms. This is, of course, an abuse of the language (and will probably get its speakers coming after me with sharp *and* blunt objects), but it's pretty amusing nevertheless :-) Legend: org originative case rcp receptive case instr instrumental case cvy conveyant case loc locative case Examples: 1) ihudroj0'n hi0k3sig3'n KileroK0'romu. hydrogen oxygen white-liquid (org) (plur,cvy) (rcp) From-hydrogen with-some-oxygens to-water. (The i- and hi- prefixes are the singular and plural neuter proper noun markers, respectively. Sorta like "Mr. Hydrogen" ...) 2) ihwdroKla'rid3 KileroK0'rumi eho'drojun `ykl0ridu' hydrochloride white-liquid hydronium chloride (cvy) (loc) (masc,rcp) (fem,rcp) HCl in-water to-hydronium to-chloride I.e., Hydrogen chloride in water becomes hydrogen cation and chloride anion ((ab)using masculine/feminine to denote cation/anion. Uh, Mr. Catt Ion and Ms. Anne Ion :-P) 3) eTa'n0l ikalimangana't KileroK0'rumi `yKarob0'k3sili-eTaniku ethanol kalium-manganate white-liquid carboxylic-ethanyl (org) (instr) (loc) (rcp) I.e., ethanol, with the help of potassium (kalium) permanganate (i.e., as a catalyst), in water, becomes ethanoic acid. Here I'm deliberately abusing the sound of the masculine proper name prefix e- (/&/) and the originative ending vowel -0- /A/ to get "ethanol", and consequently, contrasting the resulting acid as feminine. (Uh oh, now the feminists are going to knock on my door...) The use of the instrumental case to indicate the catalyst is actually very appropriate -- the conlang's idea of "instrumental" is almost precisely a catalytic action. The bizzare thing about all this is that ... ... ALL of the above examples are actually proper sentences in my conlang! Except for the fact that the words are totally made up, of course, and that even if there were native equivalents for those words, the resulting sentences would be rather nonsensical. But nevertheless, they are totally grammatically correct sentences! :-) T -- Winners never quit, quitters never win. But those who never quit AND never win are idiots.