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Re: Re : Re: Different words for one thing

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Monday, October 18, 1999, 22:09
Mathias wrote:

>> Tokana makes a distinction that's a *bit* like this: _lom_ means >> "bottom" in the sense of the underside of something, while _luma_ >> means bottom of an interior space, such as the floor of a room >> or cave, the inside bottom of a box, the bed of a stream, or the >> bottom of the ocean. > >japanese does too : > >ura = "other face behind" >soko = bottom (of sea, botle, bag) > >and i don't feel there is any link between the two of them... >except when i speak english. >so what makes english and Tokana unique to me is their common derivation >between 2 very different items. ;-)
It's not entirely clear that _lom_ and _luma_ are related. If they are related, it's not by any regular derivational rule. And if you look at other similar pairs, the words are clearly unrelated: pama = "the top (dorsal surface) of an object" lonkasu = "the top of an enclosed space" The former word would be used for the surface of a table, the top of one's head, etc.. The latter word would be used for the ceiling of a room, the roof of one's mouth, the canopy of a forest (as seen from below), etc.. Matt.