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Henrik Theiling wrote:

>That's the problem: by applying the same scale to the stem for
>nice/mean, you identify +1.0 on this scale with +1.0 on the
>temperature scale.  That's bias: let's define that +1.0 is mean on the
>nice/mean scale, for example.  And +1.0 is the hottest temperature (in
>the current discourse, I assume).  Then +1.0 is the 'mean'
>temperature.  You cannot help that: you could tell the speakers of
>Ithkuil that is a pure coincedence and that hot is not bad, but the
>structure of the language tells them a different story: scale +1.0 =
>mean = hot temperature.
>
>And maybe +1.0 is bad on the scale good/bad (in accordance with
>nice/mean).  By only having one stem for each concept, you'd introduce
>a bias on the degree itself.  +1.0 would become the 'bad' temperature.
>For temperature this can be discussed away due to obvious physical
>reasons, but what about a scale male/female or hetero/gay?  Each
>concept in each pair should be equal and none of them should
>exclusively assigned the 'bad' end of the scale.
>I think neutrality of the scale can only be achieved by having base
>words for both extremes of each possible scale.
_____________________
Ah! I think I see your point now.  You're saying that because the word
translatable as "mean" is, say,  <root A + degree 1> and the word
translatable as "nice" would be <root A + degree 9> then eventually the
application of degree this way across the lexical spectrum from root to
root causes a speaker to begin subjectively associating Degree 1 with
negative or unwanted things, and Degree 9 with positive/desirable things.
Thus, any root which utilizes Degree 1 eventually comes to be judged as an
unpleasant thing, no matter what it means, right?

Hmmm, it seems to me your argument presupposes that speakers would
sublimate specific context to this subjective bias you speak of.  For
example, let's take the Ithkuil root which corresponds to the opposition
sleep/wakefulness, or more exactly "degree of sleep(iness)/wakefulness".
If the "sleepy" end of this scale is signified by a supposedly "unpleasant"
Degree 1 affix and the "awake" end by supposedly "desirable" Degree 9
affix, how does the subjective bias you predict speakers will have apply to
contexts such as "The baby is fast asleep" or "The insomniac finally got
some sleep" (i.e., where sleep is considered a "good" thing).  Or
conversely, "the baby was awake all night screaming" or "He's been wide
awake for 36 hours" where "awake" is used in an "unpleasant" context?  Are
you suggesting that speakers will ignore the context of these sentences in
favor of the subjective bias you speak of?  I personally don't think so.
After all, there are as many contexts where "hot" is desirable and "cold"
is undesirable as there are where the reverse is the case.

As for the "male/female" example you spoke of, such an example would not
apply here, since Ithkuil lexicalizes such sets based on semantic
COMPLEMENTARITY, not opposition, i.e., binary sets with excluded middle
such as male/female, interior/exterior, space/time, etc. are not seen as
any sort of scalar "opposites" in Ithkuil, but rather as complements of a
holistic meta-concept.  This is explained in detail in the Introduction as
well as Sections 2.3 and 10.1.1 of the Ithkuil grammar.

--John Q.