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FW: Typical lexicon size in natlangs

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  • Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
    Mellissa Green @GreenNovelist ... From: Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews [mailto:goldyemoran@gmail.com] Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2013 10:13 PM To: Constructed
    Message 1 of 2 , May 13, 2013
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      Mellissa Green


      @GreenNovelist

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews [mailto:goldyemoran@...]
      Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2013 10:13 PM
      To: 'Constructed Languages List'
      Subject: RE: Typical lexicon size in natlangs

      I thought so. So it's strange it's not there. She didn't cover it.

      She said she doesn't plan to do a revise the guide unless she can find one
      of her student graduates to turn it into a stand alone resource. I like that
      my textbook covers semantics and pragmatics in the same chapter. It makes
      sense than to have it in two separate chapters, which if I recall, one text
      I wanted to use was set like that.

      So, how would I create the semantics and pragmatics section? Any ideas? The
      chapter does talk about the "nyms" among other things.



      Mellissa Green


      @GreenNovelist


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
      Behalf Of Garth Wallace
      Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2013 6:33 PM
      To: CONLANG@...
      Subject: Re: Typical lexicon size in natlangs

      On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 6:49 PM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
      <goldyemoran@...> wrote:
      > I wish they had a .zip file of these downloads.
      >
      > Semantics isn't listed in my guide, but I plan to read it, as I'm thinking
      to use the guide. Praagmatics is also a part of that chapter. How would I
      use semantics in my conlang, just for creating the definitions, and city and
      village dialects?

      You can't not use semantics. Attaching meanings to words IS semantics.
    • Jim Henry
      On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews ... Here is the semantics section of my gjâ-zym-byn documentation:
      Message 2 of 2 , May 13, 2013
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        On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
        <goldyemoran@...> wrote:
        > So, how would I create the semantics and pragmatics section? Any ideas? The
        > chapter does talk about the "nyms" among other things.

        Here is the semantics section of my gjâ-zym-byn documentation:

        http://jimhenry.conlang.org/gzb/semantic.htm

        It leaves something to be desired -- it really needs a good overview
        section talking about the broad principles guiding how gzb tends to
        lexicalize some concepts and use nonce compounds or phrases for
        others, and so forth. But basically I go over a series of semantic
        fields -- areas of meaning -- and talk about the various basic gzb
        words for concepts in that field, and how their meanings interrelate
        and how they differ from the nearest English equivalents.

        Jim Henry wrote:
        > To answer "how would I use semantics" in more depth, I'd suggest
        > looking at how the meanings of words in diverse languages fail to map
        > perfectly to one another -- how different languages divide up the
        > world of meaning into particular words in different ways -- and
        > keeping that in mind as you assign meanings to the words in your

        On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 4:07 AM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
        <goldyemoran@...> wrote:
        > What's an example?

        For instance, English has four distinct words "man", "woman",
        "husband", "wife". French has three distinct words for those four
        senses -- "homme" and "mari" for man and husband are distinct words,
        but "femme" means both woman and wife. Greek, on the other hand, uses
        just two words -- "aner" means both man and husband, "gyne" both woman
        and wife.

        English has a couple of fairly broad words "love" and "like", while
        Greek has several more specific ones "agape", "philia", "eros",
        "storge" for that domain.

        English has distinct words for "wearing" clothes and "carrying" a
        briefcase, for instance, whereas French uses the same word "porter"
        for both. gjâ-zym-byn uses {šâ-zô} to mean both "carry" and (witih
        inceptive aspect) "pick up", but doesn't have a separate word for
        "wear" clothes -- it talks about getting inside of clothes, or being
        inside of clothes, with ordinary spatial postpositions and motion or
        locative verbs. And of course both "wear" and "carry" and "porter"
        all have a cloud of extended and metaphorical senses too -- we talk
        about old things "wearing out" or an exhausting job "wearing you
        down", or a pregnant woman "carrying a baby", or being a "carrier" of
        a genetic disease, and so forth. The metaphorical extension of
        {šâ-zô} means to keep stuff near you, to take stuff along with you
        when you're travelling.

        English has a bunch of root words for groupings of different kinds of
        animals. You generally say "herd" for herbivorous mammals, "pack" for
        carnivorous mammals, and "flock" for birds. Then there are more
        specific collective names like "pride of lions". A lot of other
        languages are less specific in their collective names, or are specific
        in different ways. For instance, you might have one word for
        groupings of domestic animals, whether mammals or birds (if those
        taxonomic distinctions even make sense in your conworld), and another
        for wild animals people hunt, and another for other wild animals.

        If you look at almost any bilingual dictionary, you can see many
        examples of this. Look up a common English word in the English-German
        side, for example, and then look up the German words you see there in
        the German-English side, and so on. Doug Ball recently recommended
        using Wiktionary for this.

        --
        Jim Henry
        http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
        http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
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