Saturday, September 24, 2011

translations and ad fails around the world


Turn it loose! Good 1, Coors beer. Loose stool in Spanish.
Nova car - no go in Spanish.

And others that are just bewildering.

Wouldn't a nice auxiliary language be nice for moments like this?

Brinn's Uplift war sci-fi setting and 'Galactic Languages'.

D - honing phrases in Toki Pona right now.
Getting insights from this for CVN.
Only a decade old, there are already 'obsolete terms' LOL.

Maybe an inevitable result of so few phonemes, but there are many words with only 1 minimal pair variation. E.g. seli- hot, selo- skin.
Some such pairs are obvious enough that they are not a problem. E.g. sama- same, kama - came. Then nimi- name. Surprise!

Learning any new language provides insights. Even when a feature exists in my native tongue, seeing it in an alien 1 makes that feature fresh and obvious again.
E.g. kiwen - hard. Palisa - long and hard. <: Don't ask how I remember that LOL.
Naughty stuff is more memorable, so is ideal for memorizing vocabulary.
Linja - 'long and thin'. Liju- 'flat and flexible'. I began to think about a CVN word generation system that combines spatial dimensions with physical properties such as rigid/flexible and hard/soft - even the 4 states of matter (plasma, gas, liquid, solid). The distant future version starts to look like English structure again. I keep returning to the CCCVCCC structure of the word 'strengths', with TENG as the initial core word.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

male immigrants lead to mother tongue

In a meta-analysis of studies that linked genetic markers to cultural heritage in North and Central America, Iceland, Australia, Africa and New Guinea, they found that only Y-chromosome DNA reflected the cultural origins of the local language. Iceland, for example, was colonised by Norse Vikings with women kidnapped from the British Isles. Most mitochondrial DNA found in Icelandic people today is similar to that in the British Isles, while Y chromosomes carry Scandinavian DNA. And the Icelandic language has Scandinavian roots, not English

Linguist Claire Bowern of Yale University, meanwhile, points out that the societies covered by this study distribute power through the male line, and the opposite correlation may be found in societies run by females.

Aside - am reading a book on Confucius. It discusses the use of paronomasia in Chinese culture.


paronomasia (plural paronomasias)

(rhetoric) A pun or play on words

1997, Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon:

Ev’rywhere but at Norfolk, where talk of Passion far outweighs its Enactment,– indeed, the Sailors’ Paronomasia for that wretched Place, is ‘No-F**k’.

D - the book segued into a discussion of Anglo-Saxon (ancient) kenning.

A kenning (Old Norse: kenning, Modern Icelandic pronunciation: [cʰɛnːiŋk]) is a type of literary trope, specifically circumlocution, in the form of a compound (usually two words, often hyphenated) that employs figurative language in place of a more concrete single-word noun. Kennings are strongly associated with Old Norse and later Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon poetry. For example, Old Norse poets might replace sverð, the regular word for “sword”, with a more abstract compound such as “wound-hoe”, and derives ultimately from the Old Norse verb kenna “know, recognise; perceive, feel; show; teach; etc.”, as used in the expression kenna við “to name after; to express [one thing] in terms of [another]”,[2] “name after; refer to in terms of”,[3] and kenna til “qualify by, make into a kenning by adding”.

D - the examples from Norse society are really quite evocative.

Poetry is 'lip stream', blood is 'slaughter dew', and ravens are 'blood swans'. So cool!