Re: Changing worldviews with language (LONG)
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 4, 2002, 22:08|
This thread has gotten so complex, and interesting, that I can only reply
>> Mat McVeagh wrote:
>> > Exactly, semantics is where the really juicy stuff is at, and it'sharder;
>> > it does seem as tho ppl are more interested in constructing *form* -
>> > phonoogical, orthographic and grammatical, as you say.
>>(Nik Taylor I think:)
>> I wouldn't say that. There may be more talk about forms, but semantics
>> is hardly ignored.
As do I, but Mat's statement is also true. Phonology and morphology _are_
relatively easy; semantics is slippery and requires a lot of thought and
analysis to get away from the languages we know, with relatively familiar
categories-- constrained by the fact that most of our conlangs are intended
for Earth-like people living in Earth-like environments.
Some of you may remember seeing the famous (and only!) example of Chomskyan
TG applied to the semantic component:
1. [anim, human, male] an unmarried male person
1a.[anim, -hum, male] a male seal that has not found a mate
2. [anim. hum] holder of a certain academic degree
There was also an approach roughly like the following, an attempt to analyze
lexical items into component parts (as best I remember it)--
KNOW: speaker believes [X is true]-- and X _is_ true
BELIEVE: speaker believes [X is true]-- but X may/may not be true
CLAIM: speaker believes and says [X is true]-- but X is not true
.......? : speaker says [X did Y] -- and it is true that X did Y
ACCUSE: Speaker says [X did Y] -- may/may not be true
BLAME: Speaker believes [X did Y]-- may/may not be true
Also certain verbs may refer to the same action, but depend on the point of
view of the speaker or situation:
To some extent, BUY/SELL and LEND/BORROW are similar, and it is not
surprising that some languages use a single root for each.
>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_.
Can these be divided up further?
Is this r-/g-/j- alternation systematic, i.e. can it be applied to other
vocab.items? Or must these be compounded so that e.g. rii'bi-PERSON =
skeleton, gii'bi-PERSON = muscles/cartilages/tendons (or perhaps innards?);
then would jii'bi-PERSON be......soul, personality???? or would
jii'bi-PERSON be the actual internal organs?
>1) _fa'ta_ "to see" (phys)
> _va'ti_ "to realize" (or, "to see", introvertive)
Kash has some similar groups:
sanjañ 'be aware of, realize, understand (that...)'
tanjañ 'to understand, grasp the meaning of', caka- 'to suddenly do so, to
have a flash of insight'
tacañ 'to mean, to intend'; andacañ 'definition'
nuwak 'to ask, to question'
penuwak 'to doubt' (old prefix pe- 'having....')