From: Mia Soderquist <[log in to unmask]>

> On 7/24/07, Michael Poxon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > do any of your concultures have names for constellations that are
> > different from traditional ones?

> I am not
> even entirely sure any of my languages has had a word for
> "constellation" (although it is probably safe to say that it would
> have been a compound word in ea-luna. "star picture" or some such.)

The Germanic languages take this approach *as* does Hungarian -- go figger. As near as I can figure out, Russian and Czech have some sort of prefix, like "con-", (Russ: "so-"; Czech: "sou-") meaning "bunch together" or something like that, and "stars". Chinese, I knew. It's "stars-seat/place/pedestal" but since the second character is also a measure word for mountains and bridges, I like that take on it. I never thought of it before (D'oh!), but the Japanese pronunciation of this word is homonymous with sitting formally on tatami for things like tea ceremony. Meanwhile, while my Webster's says "constellation" is Late Latin, I found "sidus" in the Latin dictionary, which is cool.

Why all this? Because I've just  finished redocumenting all my Géarthnuns-English lexicon files from the el-sucko old computer (which sounds a lot like an outboard motor) to the brand-spankin'-new computer and find myself tantalizingly and frustratingly 235 words short of 6,000 entries. As "constellation" is lacking, it's time to coin. I've taken the star-picture approach, but instead of "picture", more "figure" (as in "stick figure"). So in Géarthnuns: "laturaufels".
Make that 234 :-)
> This is one of the things I love about this hobby. It is as much or as
> little as you want to make of it; it can be a little linguistic
> sketching, or it can turn into a full-on multidisciplinary
> extravaganza. 

Beautiful sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur. If not for Géarthnuns, I wouldn't have learned about madder and woad (a British law firm ;-) ), the chlanis, or why the Italian word for "eggplant" is "melanzane" (unconfirmed, but I think belladonna has something to do with it). And now a little detour into astronomy, which, although I am interested, is not a topic I heretofore have really explored in depth (but "redshift" *is* in the lexicon).