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The ancient Egyptians names for the cardinal directions were based on the
Nile and the human body. South was "up river" or "head", north was "down
river" or "foot", east was "left hand" and west was "right hand".
So your conlang's choice of words would probably be influenced by the
conculture's most important elements of its world view.

On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 12:33 PM Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Ah, so the 12 winds were not evenly spaced around the rose, but grouped
> around the polar directions, so they correspondEd roughly to N, NNE, NE, E,
> SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, W, NW, NNW.  The four missing from the 16-direction
> rose are thus not the cross-quarter winds but the ones just off the EW
> line: ENE, ESE, WSW, and WNW. Interesting. Thanks for the link, though now
> I feel silly for not just doing some Googling on my own. :)
>
> On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 13:16 Dan Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > According to wikipedia's entry on the wind system(s) for directions (
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_compass_winds), there was a lot
> of
> > variation, from 8 up to 24 named winds, so some versions would have
> > included winds midway between the cardinal points. Also, their
> > reconstruction of Aristotle's system shows winds for NW, NE, SW, and SE.
> > It's much more precise for directions around north and south than east
> and
> > west. This is likely rooted in navigation, where trips across the sea
> would
> > be going north-south, while those trading along an east-west axis would
> be
> > able to navigate in sight of shore. (Assuming that the interpretation
> used
> > by wikipedia is correct.)
> >
> > <
> >
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> > >
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> > >
> > <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
> >
> > On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 6:52 AM Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > So if I’m understanding properly, the 12-point system lacks terms for
> the
> > > pure 45° “diagonal” directions that we now call NE, SE, SW, NW. It used
> > > those names for directions closer to the first component, so that
> > > “northeast” was what we would now call “north(by)northeast”, while our
> > > east(by)northeast” was called “eastnorth”?
> > >
> > > On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 05:48 Daniel Bensen <[log in to unmask]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Alex, the 8-point/12-point systems are fascinating! I'm going to have
> > to
> > > > find something to do with them.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:25 AM Raymond Brown <
> [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > On 20/04/2019 09:43, BPJ wrote:
> > > > > > With all respect for king Alfred I still wonder if he wasn't the
> > > > > > first known exponent of the eight-point system rather than its
> > > > > > originator,
> > > > >
> > > > > Just to be clear, I certainly don't and did not intend to claim
> > Alfred
> > > > > was the originator.  Indeed, according to A.K. Brown's article that
> > > Alex
> > > > > referred to, Alfred used the northeast, northwest etc terms in
> > > > > translating _Boethius_ (c.477–524 AD).
> > > > >
> > > > > > since the system is common to all Germanic languages — e.g.
> Swedish
> > > > > > _nordost/nordöst, sydväst_ etc. — and they are used as names of
> > > > > > winds even now. A prudent mariner on the Swedish west coast will
> > > > > > certainly prefer _sydvästen_ 'the southwest' to _nordvästen_ 'the
> > > > > > northwest'.
> > > > >
> > > > > Alex pointed out that Afred used "northeast" etc rather *eastnorth.
> > It
> > > > > may well, indeed, be that he was making use of already familiar
> > > Germanic
> > > > > terminology.  All I was saying is that it is in his works that
> these
> > > > > terms first appear in writing in English in the 11th century.
> > > > >
> > > > > I added that he would certainly have been aware the earth was
> > spherical
> > > > > with fixed north & south poles.  It must surely have influenced him
> > in
> > > > > his thinking, even if he was using traditional Germanic terms.
> > > > >
> > > > > > As has been mentioned already in this thread the primary line in
> > > > > > medieval times and probably before was east—west, i.e. the path
> of
> > > > > > the sun in the sky (although in Europe the sun stands in the
> south
> > > > > > at midday) and if the east and west were the primary reference
> > > > > > points the compounds with east/west as head would be the natural
> > > > > > ones.
> > > > >
> > > > > That may well be true, as I said in reply to Mike when he made the
> > same
> > > > > point.  It's a commonplace surely of human languages that terms get
> > > > > reused and understood with different nuances as the language passes
> > > from
> > > > > generation to generation.
> > > > >
> > > > > > BTW modern mariners use extended forms like "northnortwest,
> > > > >
> > > > > > westnorthwest" as well, so the system is extensible beyond 8
> points
> > > > >
> > > > > > and probably always was.
> > > > >
> > > > > I'm well aware of that - north by east, nor'nor'east, nor'nor'east
> by
> > > > > north, nor'east etc., etc.   I've known that since I was a boy -
> and
> > > > > that was a long time ago.   :)
> > > > >
> > > > > Ray
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > --
> > > Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>
> > >
> >
> --
> Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>
>