Print

Print


> From:    Peter Clark <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Fourth person was Re: CONLANG Digest
>
> On Fri, 26 May 2000, Muke Tever wrote:
> >
> >Are there any languages, (natural or homemade) that have a sort of double
> >pronoun... ack, I don't know how to say it.
> >
> >Here:
> >"He told him the truth about his mother."
>
>         My terminology is a little rusty, but I would say that the words
> you are looking for is "fourth person".

What a great many things the phrase 'fourth person' seems to be used for!
That makes this, 'impersonal' pronouns along the lines of 'one', and
'inclusive' pronouns, that I've seen so far.

Would a language that used more than one of these senses separately still be
counted: fifth person, sixth person?

>         From what I gather, this sort of marking is relatively
> common. Russian has it:
>
> On  skazal jemu    pravdu o     jego matjeri.
> He1 told   to+him2 truth  about his2 mother.
>
> On  skazal jemu    pravdu o     svojej matjeri.
> He1 told   to+him2 truth  about his1   mother.

Aha!

> From:    Kristian Jensen <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Ogoneking the Consonants
>
> Are there any natlang orthographies that use the ogonek
> diacritic with consonants?

ISO 8859-4 ("Danish, English, Estonian, Finnish, German, Greenlandic,
Lappish,
Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Swedish") has N with ogonek.

There's apparently a reference (on a couple of character pages at TITUS,
which have no context, so I don't know if these are actual characters in use
or if they're just extremes-testing Unicode) to a small G with "reversed
ogonek", to an H with ogonek, a K with ogonek, N with ogonek (and one with
"inverted" ogonek), _eng_ with inverted ogonek, M with ogonek, R with
ogonek, S with ogonek (and "inverted", with and without caron), T with it, V
with it, and Z with it.


> From:    Vasiliy Chernov <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Reflexive possessives & the like, was: Re: CONLANG Digest...)
>
> (I suddenly realized while translating that situation in Russian is
> still more complex: in _On rasskazal jemu  pravdu o nem_, _o nem_ can
> actually be understood 'about him-3'! This is why I felt it was perhaps
> necessary to say _o nem samom_ 'about him-2-self'...)

[Him-3 I hadn't even thought of!]

> From:    John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Ogoneking the Consonants
>
> Unicode does, of course, have the productive COMBINING
> OGONEK character which allows ogonek to be attached to
> any base character, including non-Latin ones.
> How good this will look depends on your font.

Nothin' to prevent you from makin' yer own font with pretty ogonekked
consonants in the Private Use Area!  (Well, ... nevermind.)

> > BTW, how do you represent the ogonek in ASCII?
>
> A fine question.

My guess is you probably don't.  One quick look at the pl.* newsgroups, and
it looks like they're all posting in ISO-Latin-2.

> From:    Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Whose is who's? (was: CONLANG Digest - 24 May 2000 to 25 May 2000
>          (#2000-143))
>
> My apologies to Muke for sending my original reply privately instead of to
> the list.  I hadn't woken up properly and wasn't warching what the mailer
> was doing   :=(

No problem on my end--getting it "outside" of digest mode means I got my
answer at least twelve hours earlier than otherwise ;)

> etc.
> A lot of permutations possible, giving complete clarity where English is
> completely ambiguous with its paucity of 3rd person forms.

Yeahr, I was afraid it might be something "Just Englishy".

> From:    Herman Miller <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Kisuna font
>
> anain saikau (stripe squirrel) -> anasaik (chipmunk)
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^

I wackyparsed that as 'anakin skaiuaka'.

> From:    Robert Hailman <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Genders (was Re: =?iso-8859-1?Q?L=E1adan?= and woman's speak_
>
> Definitely maybe. To me, and many people I know, the e- prefix smacks of
> irritating advertizing and corporate jargon, beyond the word "e-mail".
> I'd probably woudn't accept that sort of distinction. Of course, I'm not
> the world, and it could very well become a gender distinction, though it
> would take quite a while, I'd imagine.

I don't mind the e- prefix, but there are some usages where it rankles--most
notably "e-tailing" for "electronic _retailing_".

> From:    Nik Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: =?iso-8859-1?Q?L=E1adan?= and woman's speak
>
> Robert Hailman wrote:
> > I, personally, love gender, but as an English speaker I guess I have
> > some bias against it. I don't think, however, that gender is nescessary
> > to a language, and could easily see a language loosing it, more easily
> > than one gaining it.
>
> A great many languages have gender, so it must be pretty easy to gain
> gender.  Remember, language has been around AT LEAST 100,000 years,
> thus, every language, including English, can be traced back at least
> 100,000 years.  I strongly doubt that anything of the original
> language(s) has survived, so genders existing today had to have been
> gained at some point in the relatively recent past, if it was hard to
> gain, there'd be very few that had gained it.

The gender system in PIE went from animate/inanimate to
male/female/inanimate(neuter?) sometime after Hittite (Anatolian?) split
off, which I suppose could be called recent [the rough dates escape me
ATM...] and could set a 'precedent' for a similar kind of change in the
future...


***

Well, recently I've been reading "Semantics, Culture, and Cognition:
Universal Human Concepts in Culture-Specific Configurations" by Anna
Wierzbicka...it's pretty interesting so far, about halfway through and it's
gone through a kind of eerily Sapir-Whorf-esque overview of some words that
don't translate directly, like 'soul', 'mind', 'duša', 'Seele', and 'âme',
or "sud'ba", 'los', 'Schicksal', 'destino', 'sorte', 'fate', and 'destiny',
and a bunch of emotion-words...breaking them down into very basic forms and
showing how they differ from each other and what makes them, er, words that
don't serve as perfect translations for each other.  (I like how she gets
away with calling out the English 'mind' as a "folk concept". ;)
Has anyone else read/can opini..er, give an opinion on it?

Anyway, it's making _me_ think more about conlangs as they shouldn't just be
'relexing' English, and that even supposedly "Western" concepts aren't
necessarily endemic to "Western culture".

I will have to put more thought into the vocabulary of my next language.


Also, I seem to have acquired a mild craving for Polish!  Ah well.

     *Muke!