On 10/07/2013 15:16, Padraic Brown wrote:
>> From: R A Brown
>> I assumed those long years ago that it was being
>> claimed that the imperative mood was for communicating
>> with other cats. IIRC the speaker was claiming cats
>> had language of sorts for inter-feline communication.
> Well, clearly, there must be some use for some sort of
> imperative structure when communicating inter pares; but,
> really, how often do you actually commánd your wife to do
> this or that?
One can imagine that a mother cat might use imperatives
towards skittish kittens.
>> FWIW those interested might read:
>> I'm wishing I hadn't mentioned this less than
>> half-remembered talk on the radio from the 1950s.
>> Obviously conlangers find cats more interesting than
>> prairie dogs.
Yet I assume many conlangers have heard birdsong in their
gardens, and possibly crickets/ cicadas or similar insects
(depending where they live) chirping. These seem to me
possibilities for conlangs, possibly in an alien world.
> Not more interesting, really. All animal communication is
> of interest for a conlanger.
I hope so.
But all the talk has been about _Felis catus_ and/or
_Canis lupus familiaris_ communicating with humans on a
fairly basic level - mainly to get food.
>> We don't of course have these little critters this side
>> of the Pond, but they do look a lot cuter than the cats
>> that visit my garden ;)
> Just as well. They'd dig up your garden in no time at
At least the darn critters wouldn't sneak into the house
when no one is looking and find somewhere to sleep -
or would they? (Not familiar with the habits of the various
species of Cynomys).
"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]