Print

Print


Czhang wrote:


>    I just had to share this... I thought this has a lot of relevance:
>        to conlanging in terms of semantics,
>        to conculturing in terms of metaphors and cultural interpretation,
>        to our own lives and creativity in terms of being able to "see
things
>differently and anew", etc.
>    So I quote Ursula Le Guin...
>
>    "We know where the future is. It's in front of us. Right? It lies
before
>us - a great future lies before us - we stride forward confidently into it,
>every commencement, every election year. And we know where the past is.
>Behind us, right? So that we have to turn around to see it, and that
>interrupts our progress ever forward into the future, so we don't really
much
>like to do it.
>    "It seems that the Quechua-speaking peoples of the Andes see all this
>rather differently. They figure that because the past is what you know, you
>can see it - it's in front of you, under your nose. This is a mode of
>perception rather than action, of awareness rather than progress. Since
>they're quite as logical as we are, they say that the future lies behind -
>behind your back, over your shoulder>>(snip)

I can't claim any such philosophical basis, but this is reminiscent of how
Kash handles "before" and "after".

Temporal "before" and locative "before, in front of" use derivs of the same
base _kandi_ (also related to _kati_ 'face', which used to be kandi before I
changed it-- too much ambiguity): ri kandi... 'in front of, before'; kakandi
'beforehand, earlier';
kandi˝ (prep.) 'before (in time)'.

Similarly 'after, later on' and 'in back of, behind' are based on šelum
'back, behind'.

The inspiration/cause of all this was Ml/Indonesian _kemudian_ 'later on,
afterward', based on a root _mudi_ that doesn't occur otherwise, but
survives in other AN languages as "back, behind".  Temporal "before, after"
are interesting too-- sebelum 'before' < belum 'not yet'; sesudah 'after' <
sudah 'already'.

I've wondered at times if this wasn't a little illogical; it's nice to see
the eminent Ms. Le Guin confirm it-- even though the rest of the Kash
world-view doesn't conform in toto.