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Huh.  But we do have a geocentric experience.  Why wouldn't I use language
to describe my experience?  It's not *wrong* to say that the earth is the
center; it just makes the mathematics very difficult.  It's no more wrong
than to say that the sun is the center; it's not.  It's moving too.  So I
might as well go with my experience and say the sun moves around the earth,
as long as I'm not trying to do astronomy from that framework.

I don't know why language should encode "correct" views of the world.
That's what we have mathematics for.  Language is metaphor.



On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 7:34 AM, Matthew Martin
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I'm reading K David Harrison, particularly on his idea that language
> encodes
> folk knowledge. I've noticed something similar in thinks like toki pona,
> where
> the biology and astronomy related vocabulary take on as a whole has a good
> number of implications about science (most naive and scientifically wrong,
> such
> as sun-cycles implying a geocentric world, whales are large fish, etc).
> Icelandic has the word ■vottabjorn (washing bear, racoon) where you have
> enough info to identify the animal, and it does appear to be genetically
> recently
> related to bears. English has lots examples in medical science where the
> roots
> of the medical word have knowledge, although sometimes wrong & out of date
> (e.g. sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic)  But then there are
> charismatic words with knowledge embedded such as feverfew, a plant that is
> supposed to reduce fever (although it appears modern usage is for an anti-
> migraine herb)
>
> What other ways are there for a conlanger to embed reasonably accurate
> knowledge into a conlang?
>
> [Hierarchal taxonomies come to mind but are often criticized for leading to
> too
> many similar words (e.g. pa is panther, pi is leopard, po is lion, pu is
> domestic
> cat, pun is a siamese domestic, pum is a ragdoll domestic cat, etc)]
>
> Thanks,
>
> Matthew Martin
> Still in methodology and planning phase at
> http://wapanakamik.wingapo.com/
>



-- 
I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to
window; golden chains from star to star, and I dance.  --Arthur Rimbaud