The Very Very First Sentence
|Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
|Friday, February 13, 2004, 21:38
I always found it highly exciting to try to imagine a
language accorded to a world where some or other of
our main usual concepts were lacking.
For example, can we imagine a world without anything
physical in it ? Yes, we can. There wouldn't be
anything human, nor animal, in it, then, because all
of them have a physical part. Wouldn't be any plants,
nor rocks, neither. No sounds, no colors. Could be a
geometrical 3-d world. There could be movement in it,
we can imagine geometrical forms moving. Would there
be a concept of time in it ? Hard to say. Normally,
movement requires time, but is this true with
non-physical objects ? Maybe it wouldn't be necessary.
We also can imagine a 2-d world, non-physical of
course, with or without movement. We can also imagine
a physical world with no time and no movement.
Something like a picture shot by a 3-d camera. There
could be a ball suspended in the air in it, it would
never rise nor fall, even if gravity would exist in
We can imagine a 1-d world. That would be a single
line, and there could be points and segments on that
line. Points could move, or could not move. There
could be time or not.
Can we imagine a 0-d world ? Well, I can't. Maybe only
a temporal world, with no space at all ? What could
such a thing be ?
Can we imagine a world with no causes, only random
phenomenons ? That would litterally be a mad world.
Can we imagine a world where time would be
single-directional (only past, or only future ?)
Can we imagine a world lacking the concept of
differenciation ? That would be even more primitive
than chaos. Chaos is lack of any organization. Without
differenciation, you couldn't even say that something
exists, because this simple affirmation would suppose
that it is possible that something doesn't exist, and
that's already differenciation. Differenciation looks
to me the most primitive concept at all. Without
differenciation, no word for yes or no, for true or
false, no word, no language at all. The very first
phrase one logically can conceive is probably: "There
is something" (but this English form is fallacious,
because it includes the word 'there', supposing
localization; better in French: Il y a quelque chose,
or even better in Russian: Est' chto-to (the word
'chose' also sounding too concrete), or German: Etwas
Wow ! Time to go to sleep, I guess.
"Le langage est source de malentendus."
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
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