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CONLANG  December 2012, Week 4

CONLANG December 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Re: USAGE: Generic pronoun for "I, here, this, my"?

From:

Melroch <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 20:00:48 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

The problem with ideophones and the like is that they lack any objectivity.
They are all for the most part entirely arbitrary and don't carry between
languages or cultures or at least cultural spheres. If you find some to
seem more widespread you have probably found a cultural sphere which is
larger than you expected. Northern and western Eurasia and northeastern
Africa is an extended cultural sphere whose languages and cultures have
been in direct or indirect contact with each orher since prehistoric times.
 To prove anything you would have to find a pattern which holds across
languages and cultures which haven't been in contact before modern times.
Also note that similarity between languages which *have* been in contact
can be due to borrowing as well as well as divergent descent, and that any
part of language can be borrowed even though some types of borrowings are
more common. Pronouns as such *may* be a relatively late addition to
language with earlier languages having been more like Japanese. My grandson
didn't start using or understanding personal pronouns at all until he was
three years old so I don't think the concept of words the referents of
which are relative to speaker and interlocutor and constantly changing are
very innate at all. I also don't think that an association between labials
in general, nasals in general or [m] in particular with concepts like first
person, mother, breast and food proves very much other than that the first
sounds babies can articulate get associated with things which are important
to babies or thought to be so by their caretakers. Other than that anything
beyond associating high frequency vowels with smallness and low frequency
vowels with bigness, which is iconic is entirely arbitrary and has nothing
to do with innateness. It is true that coronals are more frequent in
endings and pronouns, but that's because they are the most salient
consonants acoustically.

ObConlang my Proto-Sohlob has _bu_ associated with first singular, _n_ and
_r_ with third singular and _t_ with 2. sg. and _d_ with 3. pl. as well as
_i a u_ associated with proximal, mesial and distal, but that probably has
most to do with my cultural and intellectual bagage than anything else.

Den måndagen den 24:e december 2012 skrev Leonardo Castro:

> 2012/12/23 Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <[log in to unmask]<javascript:;>
> >:
> > On 23 December 2012 21:25, Leonardo Castro <[log in to unmask]<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> With this and the Amerindian 1st person n-, can't we affirm that 1st
> >> person is ideophonically related to nasality?
> >>
> >
> > The problem of such claims is that there are just too many
> > counter-examples. Look at Japanese, a language that otherwise loves
> > ideophones (and uses them liberally). Some of the most common 1st person
> > pronouns: _watashi_, _boku_ and _ore_, all lack a nasal element, while
> some
> > of the most common 2nd person pronouns: _anata_, _kimi_ and _omae_, all
> > contain one! What does that say about the strength of such a claim that
> > nasality is related to the 1st person?
>
> So let's try another affimation:
>
> "Very probably, a given language have a 1st person with nasal or velar
> consonant and a 2nd person with a coronal consonant or a protuded-lips
> vowel."
>

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