What about if "clockwise" and "anticlockwise" are heliocentric? You could give them etymologies meaning "with the sun" and "against the sun". That seems the natural way to do it.

Pete Bleackley
The Fantastical Devices of Pete The Mad Scientist -
Emily Semantic Recommendation -

-----Original Message-----
From: Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 7:38 pm
Subject: Mixed-centric Coordinate System

The "errors in transitioning coordinate systems" thread was very
popular, so I'm hoping I can ride coattails on that and this will
become popular too...

The conlanging and culture-building for Amalishke have come into minor
conflict, and I'd like to get some outside opinions on how to resolve

The speakers of Amalishke live entirely in a canyon system, and
primarily in one big main canyon- think "Lichtenstein dropped into the
Grand Canyon" for a *very* rough idea. And they are isolated from
contact with other cultures who might otherwise influence their choice
of direction-words. It thus seems highly appropriate that they would
make use of a geocentric coordinate system, based on the major axis of
the canyon / river system.

However, it has already been established that Amalishke has
grammaticalized direction-markers on verbs (primarily used with verbs
of motion, but metaphorically extensible to all kinds of other stuff,
like "look at"). That in and of itself is not necessarily problematic-
there's no reason you couldn't have grammaticalized markers for
"upstream"/"downstream"/"towards the left-of-up/right-of-up canyon
wall"- but it has also already been established that two of those
markers are used in an egocentric manner (or least vehicle-centric, of
the port/starboard variety- but that seems much less likely to
grammaticalize) to indicate "turn left" and "turn right", as
instructions to a boat pilot.

I have come up with a couple of ideas so far:

1. The inflectional system is *old*, and, when not being used in an
explicitly deictic manner (i.e., "go *there*"), is basically
egocentric because it's left over from a time before these people's
ancestors immigrated to the canyons. Meanwhile, independent
directional words, which have been coined or had their meanings shift
more dramatically, are geocentric.

2. Everything is actually explicitly deictic or geocentric, except
that the "right" and "left" markers actually refer to *rotation*
rather than a linear direction; i.e., they would be more accurately
translated as "turn clockwise" and "turn counterclockwise". This would
seem very ego-centric on the surface, but the underlying geocentrism
would appear if you had to give instructions to someone, e.g., hanging
upside down- not a common occurrence, I presume, but if you did,
"clockwise" would always mean "as seen from above" (i.e., fixed to the
reference frame of the canyon), not necessarily from your point of
view. This would also show up in the need for different
circumlocutions to discuss rotations in a vertical, rather than
horizontal, plane.