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FW: Aymara: reversals of usual time/space metaphors

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  • Michael Radich
    Dear listmembers, This is something of an afterthought to the discussion about orientation in time, since list members have already pointed out problems with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2006
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      Dear listmembers,



      This is something of an afterthought to the discussion about orientation
      in time, since list members have already pointed out problems with that
      the notion that one particular metaphorical orientation in time is
      "usual", which is surely the main point to make in this regard.



      I am not sure, however, what Stephen Hodge means when he asserts that
      "the same obtains" for words in Japanese as for Victor Mair's Chinese
      examples (qian2tian1 and hou4tian1). It is true that the use of mae
      "before", ato "after" izen/igo, for instance, are based upon the same
      conceit. But the words for the equivalents of Prof. Mair's examples
      work quite differently.



      Asatte "the day after tomorrow", while written with (roughly) the same
      characters as the Chinese (which are borrowed) including the notion of
      "after", is surely entirely different in terms of the indigenous
      derivation of the word so written. Asatte (according to the Koujien a
      dokuon for asate) < asa "morning", cf. asu "tomorrow", which is surely a
      fossilised verb "to dawn"; ashita "tomorrow" is surely a past form (note
      that English "morn-ing" seemingly treats our root as verbal also, though
      I cannot see anything in the etymological notes in the OED for either
      word that I can understand as indicating a verbal meaning for "morn"
      itself).



      Ototoi, on the other hand, is written with Ch. zuo2 "yesterday", and so
      does not include the notion of "before" even in its kanji orthography.
      The Koujien suggests that the derivation of the spoken word is from
      ochihitsu, which is written with Ch. yuan3 "far, distant", and where the
      form ochi- suggests otsu = ochiru "to fall, to decline"; thus ototoi
      means more literally something like "the yonder day" or "the day that
      has now fallen away [= (its sun has) set]", but there is no implication
      at all of orientation in a specific direction in space.



      Regards,



      Michael Radich

      Victoria University of Wellington



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