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CONLANG  August 2009, Week 3

CONLANG August 2009, Week 3

Subject:

Naming days of the week (was: Punctuation, capitalization, collation)

From:

R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 08:48:44 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (77 lines)

Philip Newton wrote:
> 2009/8/17 Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>:
>> Many natlangs have only numbers for the days of the week (or most of
>> them)... Arabic and Hebrew, for instance.  Japanese, too, I think.
> 
> Chinese does this (Day 1 to Day 6 + Day Heaven). 

Yes it does, Day 1 being Monday, Day 6 Saturday and "Day
heaven" Sunday.

Chinese also just numbers the months: Month 1 = January,
Month 2 = February etc.

Dutton in his Speedwords also does this; the months are L1,
L2, L3 etc (Jan, Feb, March etc; 'lu' = month), and the days
of the week are D1, D2, D3 etc, but unlike Chinese, "Day 1"
is 'Sunday', "D2" 'Monday' etc.

And there's the rub. While all who use the western
(Gregorian) Calendar will agree that the first month of the
year is January, there is not agreement as to the first day
of the week. For millennia among those using the seven-day
week of Semitic origin, Sunday was the first day. This is 
seen in the Portuguese, Greek & Arabic practice of naming 
Monday through to Thursday: 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th. Both 
Portuguese & Greek name Sunday "Lord's day", and Saturday 
"sabbath"; the Portuguese call Friday the 6th day, whereas 
the Greeks call it "preparation" [of sabbath]. In Arabic, 
Sunday is simply 'the 1st day', but Friday and Saturday are 
_juma'a_ "meeting [day]" and _sabt_ "sabbath."

But in some traditions,e.g. example the Chines above, Monday 
is the 1st day, and it is so according the ISO (In 1971 
Britain officially adopted the ISO system; but die-hards 
like me ignore it   ;)

In Swahili we find yet another numbering system. Friday is 
_Ijuma_ (from Arabic _juma'a_), and the subsequent days are 
numbered from, thus Saturday is _Jumamosi_ (juma 1), Sunday 
_Jumapili_ (juma 2), Monday _Jumatatu_ (juma 3) etc - tho 
Thursday, the eve of the Muslim holy day, retains the Arabic 
named _Alhamisi_ ('the 5th' in Arabic).

I suspect also that other systems for numbering days of the 
week also occur. The point is that there is now not one 
consistent system. For an artlang or a engelang, this is 
not, I guess, particularly relevant. But Speedwords was 
meant to be an auxlang - but by numbering the days as he 
did, Dutton was aligning himself to the traditional 
numbering of the Abrahamic religions and ignoring people 
like the Chinese and the ISO (which, however, did not, I 
think, exist in Dutton's day).

Altho Piashi is essentially an engelang, it nevertheless in 
theory should be a possible auxlang. I therefore, think that 
altho Piashi will name the months in the same sort of way as 
in Chinese, i.e. simply numbered 1 - 12, the days of the 
week will have to be done differently.

 > Japanese names the
> days by Sun + Moon + the five classical elements (Fire, Water, Wood,
> Metal, Earth). (Or, alternatively, by Sun + Moon + the five classical
> planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn), since e.g. "Fire
> Star" is the name for Mars. The Japanese week is, therefore,
> isomorphic to (e.g.) the French one.)

Yes, it is probable that Piashi will adopt a similar system.

-- 
Ray
==================================
http://www.carolandray.plus.com
==================================
Frustra fit per plura quod potest
fieri per pauciora.
[William of Ockham]

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