Print

Print


E f+AOk-sto Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]>:
> Quoting [log in to unmask]:
>> Costentin Cornomorus scripsit:
>> > What, left and right? Those are, like, cardinal
>> > directions. Much more fundamental than east or
>> > west.
>>
>> Nope, it depends on the language/culture.  There are definitely
>> languages that think absolute directions (not always compass points,
>> can be things like upriver/downriver, coastal/inland) are more
>> fundamental than self-relative ones like left/right, front/back.
>
> I dunno if this is the place for cultural relativity. The compass points
> are pretty much an artefact of sitting on a spinning Earth, and other
> 'absolute' directions are similarly contingent, whereas right/left is
> just as relevant for someone floating in vacuum.

True, but as far as cultural relativity goes, humans more often find
themselves surrounded by scenery than vacuum.  :)

Where I grew up in Tennessee directions were always given with left and
right.  When I moved out to Denver, Colorado, I found that directions by
cardinal directions were much more common, presumably because 1) most of
the streets are built on an aligned grid and 2) from most places in the
region there is a consistent compass reference: the mountains on the
horizon to the west and 3) people come from all corners of town and it's
much more concise to say "east" than "left if you're coming from the
north, and right if you're coming from the south".



        *Muke, facing south...
--
http://frath.net/                  E jer savne zarj+AOk- mas ne
http://kohath.livejournal.com/     Se imn+AOk- koone'f metha
http://kohath.deviantart.com/      Brissve m+AOk- kol+AOk- ad+AOI-.