FW: Aymara: reversals of usual time/space metaphors
- 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"
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.
Victoria University of Wellington
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