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CONLANG  June 1999, Week 1

CONLANG June 1999, Week 1

Subject:

Fwd: Inherently Reflexive Verbs (was: mental masturbation)

From:

Kristian Jensen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 2 Jun 1999 18:29:04 +0200

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text/plain

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I realize that some people would have come to the point where
whenever they see the "mental masturbation" thread, they would
simply delete - missing out on a potential conlang gem. So I'm
forwarding my last post again to the list but with another subject
title in case this happens to be a gem. I apologize for having to do
that, but I feel I have to in order to give it a better chance of
being noticed. Indeed, I'm curious what others have to say about
inherently reflexive verbs.

>Marcos Franco wrote:
>
>>How do you say "mental masturbation" in your conlang?
>>
>>In UTL it would be said "mentala masturbio", though having -at- as
>>passive suffix, I was wondering what could mean "masturbatio" in
>>UNL. It would mean literally "the action of being masturbated",
>>but since masturbate/masturbi is a reflexive verb (by definition)
>>this would make not much sense in a logical language like UTL.
>>Btw, I could not logically say "to masturbate another person" as
>>masturbi is reflexive. Btw, do you say in English "I masturbate"
>>or "I masturbate myself"?
>>
>>Well, as we have seen some problems may get aroused with the verb
>>masturbate if we let it reflexive, so I think it's better having
>>it defined as transitive and let no reflexive verbs in UTL. But
>>how can "masturbate" be transitive if its definition is "to
>>provide oneself sexual pleasure"?
>>
>>I'm afraid this is becoming another mental masturbation...
>
>I believe the problem arises because the verb masturbate is indeed
>inherently reflexive, and I think inherently reflexive words cannot
>be passive at the same time. I'm not sure about this but I think
>that in many ways, the reflexive functions like voice much as the
>passive does, and one cannot afterall have two voices in a verb at
>the same time - that is, one cannot have a verb that is both active
>and passive at the same time, nor can one have a verb that is both
>passive and reflexive at the same time.
>
>I can't think of many words in English that are like that
>(inherently reflexive), but there are quite a lot in Tagalog and
>Boreanesian (my conlang). In fact, these two languages do not mark
>voice at all in verbs.
>
>Below are some examples from Tagalog and Boreanesian
(respectively):
>
><ligo> <pLau?>
>"washing oneself"
>
><hilamos> <Lka?>
>"freshening oneself after waking up (e.g. by washing one's face)"
>
><hinga> <psih>
>"relieving oneself (as in resting or relaxing)"
>
>[where <L> marks a lateral fricative, and <?> marks stiff phonation
>and/or a glottal stop]
>
>In Boreanesian, though, <pLau?> <Lka?> and <psih> are better
>glossed as nouns. That is, "one who washes oneself", "one who
>refreshes oneself", and "one who relieves oneself" respectively. So
>if I were to use <pLau?> in a simple sentence:
>
>pLau?                     kih
>[one who washes oneself]  [1.]
>lit. "I'm the one who washes myself"
>"I wash myself"
>
>I guess, I have yet to make a word for masturbation though. Such a
>word would have to be glossed as a noun too, with a reflexive
>inclination. Perhaps, <nnieh> "one who gives oneself sexual
>pleasures". Yes, that sounds right. Oh the joy of creating a new
>word!
>
>-kristian- 8-)
>

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