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Re: Changing worldviews with language (LONG)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, November 4, 2002, 16:00
On Mon, Nov 04, 2002 at 05:02:19AM -0600, Nik Taylor wrote:
> Mat McVeagh wrote: > > Exactly, semantics is where the really juicy stuff is at, and it's harder; > > it does seem as tho ppl are more interested in constructing *form* - > > phonoogical, orthographic and grammatical, as you say. > > I wouldn't say that. There may be more talk about forms, but semantics > is hardly ignored.
[snip] Heartily agreed. E.g., take a look at Yoon Ha Lee's Tasratal, which features "triad" semantic structures:
> fact, it's completely boring...*sigh*), its "triad" semantic structure > is not necessarily predictable, e.g. "zaro" (matter/melt/steady-solid) > or xasros (silence/exile-meditation/solitude). It would be unfair for > me to simply give the root form to the next person in line and expect > him/her to intuit the semantics, so I usually list instantiations such > as "azaro" (solitude) or "izaro" (silence) in the vocabulary list.
A similar feature in Ebisedian: rii'bi the skeletal frame of a framework gii'bi the fillings of the infrastructure in a framework jii'bi the contents, contained by the framework E.g., the metal frame of a car is the _rii'bi_, the engines, gears, wheels, etc., are the _gii'bi_, and the passengers are the _jii'bi_. Or a building: the pillars, weight-bearing beams and walls, are the _rii'bi_; the plumbing and electrical connections are the _gii'bi_, and the people and furniture are the _jii'bi_. And then there is the triangular directional system, unlike most other languages/cultures which feature a 4-directional compass: _katui'_ Analogous to "north". _cutui'_ 120 deg SW from _katui'_ _rotui'_ 120 deg SE from _katui'_ And then there is a whole system of cognate terms that show how the Ebisedi think: 1) _fa'ta_ "to see" (phys) _va'ti_ "to realize" (or, "to see", introvertive) 2) _le's_ "to go" (phys) _la'zi_ "to go" (introv), i.e., "to explore an idea", "to move on to a topic" _l0'se_ "to move a presence into" (abstract), e.g., a government moves (l0'se) into a new territory by sending a military or diplomatic presence there. 3) _ga'ne_ "to manipulate" (phys) _ga'ni_ "to manipulate" (introv), i.e., to psychologically maneuvre, to navigate one's thoughts. 4) _zota'_ "to look" (phys) _za'ti_ "to fixate upon an idea or goal", "to investigate or consider a matter". 5) _ta'ma_ "to speak" (phys) _t0'me_ "to speak" (abstract), i.e., to bespeak, to lead by example. _da'mi_ "to think" (introv), to speak to oneself, or to reply in thought but not in word. 6) _vyy'i_ A destructive, swirling, twisting phenomenon in the Ferochromon, used by the Ebisedi as a means of waste disposal. Derivatively, refers to the feelings of ill-health or the spinning sensation of a severe headache. _vy'e_ "To spin", "to twist", "to crush into pulp" (phys) _va'i_ (introv) to telepathically assault. Refers to an intense assault on a telepathically-linked victim. There are many other examples, but I hope this is enough to demonstrate that Ebisedian isn't just a re-grammaticization of English or any of the other langs I know. It is driven by a conculture that draws from and shapes the semantics of the language according to its own outlook and values. I certainly spent a lot of time thinking about the semantics of Ebisedian! :-) T -- In a world without fences, who needs Windows and Gates? -- Christian Surchi