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Re: Too simple to be derived?

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  • Padraic Brown
    ... Okay -- maybe poorly or ignorantly done would serve better. I m not saying it s wrong, just that, as with all human endeavours, it can be done better.
    Message 1 of 26 , May 18, 2013
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      --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Zach Wellstood <zwellstood@...> wrote:

      > > > I have read some criticism about conlangs that derive common words
      > > > from words; "bad" as "ungood", for instance (what recalls Newspeak
      > > > and Esperanto). What do you think about it? Do your conlangs have
      > > > any very common words that are derived from others?
      >
      > > If the conlanger does the above out of ignorance or out of naivety,
      > > then it is ill done, though certainly forgiveable! It is a sign of
      > > immaturity in the art, and such a one can be taught and can improve
      > > his works, like a kindergartener taking the tempra begobbed paint
      > > brush in his fist and mashing it onto the newsprint taped to the easel.
      >
      > I am not entirely sure if I think it's "ill done,"

      Okay -- maybe "poorly" or "ignorantly" done would serve better. I'm not
      saying it's wrong, just that, as with all human endeavours, it can be done
      better.

      > or even needs correction, since the same ignorance and naivete is, to
      > some degree, a creative impetus that's free of the "natlang constraints,"

      This I would disagree with. As I see it, the creative impetus is there
      from the beginning and whether the conlanger does this with full knowledge or with absolute ignorance, it can be expressed. The reason why I called
      the one "ill done" is simply for the fact that the naif dòesn't know any
      other way, doesn't really understand what he's doing. YES, this is a
      creative expression! NO, this not an artistic expression!

      When the little child first takes that paintbrush in his fist and,
      presuming some amount of fine motor control, thát's the time to nudge him
      towards a better, finer control of brush, mixing of color and composition
      of image. When the little child first comprehends numbers and takes those
      first "one, two, five, three" and "2 + 3 = 7" steps, thát is the time to
      teach correct numerical order and elementary arithmetic. We spend a lot of
      time teaching little children how to correctly read, write, spell and do
      grammar -- conlanging is really no different, except that most of us come
      to it in our tweens or early teens, rather than in our preschool years.
      Such a one who discovers the talent absolutely deserves some guidance in
      moving from naive impetus to artistic control.

      No one flies to Paris and goes to the Louvre to look at pictures mashed
      out by kindergarteners. Anyone with children has only to walk into their
      own kitchen and look at the fridge. People go to the Louvre or the Met to
      see well done art -- the creative impulse that has been corrected,
      perfected and well practiced.

      Do we leave our children to grow into adults living in an uncorrected
      state where they can't speak well, can't do math, don't know any history
      or literature and have no concept of civil behaviour within the culture?
      If not, why not? If not, why should we teach them to control their native
      language, but on the other hand, leave uncontrolled and unschooled the
      conlanger?

      > and could yield some fairly creative lexical items/structures later on
      > down the line.

      Sure. I only imagine what wonders this person còuld come up with if he
      were not merely creating ignorantly.

      > "ungood" for "bad" isn't necessarily the móst creative thing they could
      > come up with, but I do have an appreciation for slowly branching out of
      > one's box to think up interesting new ways of parsing up the universe.

      Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
      interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
      did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
      of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
      good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick 'un-' on
      the front of all those to make the opposite".

      > Nor do I think conscious choice *needs* justification in a conculture or
      > the like,

      No, indeed. Nor did I say it did. However, such justification is a mark of
      how well one has done the job and the quality of the construction. Being
      unable to explain any kind of rationale for what one has done is generally
      a good indicator that it was done thoughtlessly or carelessly.

      I'm all for wild creativity unleashed. That works for some kinds of art. It
      doesn't work so well for language creation. I one time watched some guy
      paint using a jet engine. He would have the pilot jiggle the throttle a
      bit and then he'd dump tins of paint into the exhaust stream. Can't get
      much wilder than dumping paint into hurricane force winds! Creative? Yes.
      Artistic? I'd say no. There was no guidance or control of the creative
      force. Anyone can splatter paint on a wall. Some people will naturally
      call it art and blather on about the nuances of wind currents and force of
      throw and the randomality of hue admixturation as brownian confluification
      ensues whilst the streams of color run down the wall. In conlanging, we
      call this kitchensinkery, where you just throw everything into a blender and take no care for the resulting language's shape or form. If this is
      done carefully and knowingly, I suspect something interesting could be the
      result. If this is done ignorantly, even if exuberantly, the result is a
      mess. Many of us have done just this sort of thing, and upon retrospection
      have concluded that it was indeed an ill-done mess.

      I am very much reminded of the creation myth here (in this case, one from
      the World, which links creation and language), a myth which we are all
      acting out in our art. We sit before a blank screen or a blank paper and
      there is only 'URYO, the unshapen writhing in the deep of our minds,
      seeking outlet through SSAMYO, the blackness before light and dark; but
      then something happens, and AIYO, the first word is uttered and KSSILIYO,
      creation springs forth like a mountain stream. Just as Heavenly Father
      sang the first Word and creation came to be, making all things in their
      order, we do the same, bringing the order of language from the chaos of
      sound and noise. If we don't move beyond our ignorant and naive
      beginnerdom, we run the risk of letting Tiamat win.

      > so long as its creator is content with the expressive nature of the
      > language.

      Ignorance is truly bliss.

      [...]

      > <yii'isilii>- is the root (which can be broken down
      > into -<yii'i> ["to be
      > inside of / between"] + <silii>- [used for things with
      > life, no directly
      > corresponding root, however])
      >
      > then you have --
      >
      > <yii'isiliiła> (root + ANIMATE suffix), which means
      > "chest/torso, the area
      > from the shoulders down to the bottom of the ribcage,
      > roughly"
      >
      > and
      >
      > <yii'isiliisaá> (root + ABSTRACT suffix), which means
      > "heart"
      >
      > So I suppose this is a bit of a divergence from the original
      > question, but I wanted to share a way in which more "basic" concepts are
      > expressed with far more underlying complexity in łaá siri than in
      > English.

      It demonstrates a deeper understanding and having moved beyond the purely
      naive or ignorant.

      > Zach

      Padraic
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes opposite seems to be subjective or multiple. What s the opposite of boring --
      Message 2 of 26 , May 19, 2013
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        2013/5/18 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
        > --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Zach Wellstood <zwellstood@...> wrote:
        > [...]
        > Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
        > interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
        > did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
        > of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
        > good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick 'un-' on
        > the front of all those to make the opposite".

        A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
        "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
        "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
        For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
        also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
        "savourless"...
      • Gary Shannon
        Thee are several kinds of opposites . Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposite_(semantics) for example. I recall a post here a few years back that listed
        Message 3 of 26 , May 19, 2013
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          Thee are several kinds of "opposites". Look at
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposite_(semantics) for example.

          I recall a post here a few years back that listed several types and
          the conlang had a different affix for each one. E.g. The opposite of
          "broken" might be "repaired", or it might be "unbroken" depending on
          whether you mean to "un-break" a thing after it is broken, or to
          describe a state before the thing was broken. So you might undo and
          action, (break/repair) prevent the action, (break.protect) perform the
          "opposite" action, ...

          I don't recall who posted that. Maybe somebody else will remember.

          --gary

          On Sun, May 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
          > 2013/5/18 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
          >> --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Zach Wellstood <zwellstood@...> wrote:
          >> [...]
          >> Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
          >> interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
          >> did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
          >> of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
          >> good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick 'un-' on
          >> the front of all those to make the opposite".
          >
          > A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
          > "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
          > "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
          > For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
          > also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
          > "savourless"...
        • David McCann
          On Sun, 19 May 2013 21:10:06 -0300 ... What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the
          Message 4 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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            On Sun, 19 May 2013 21:10:06 -0300
            Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

            > A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
            > "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
            > "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
            > For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
            > also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
            > "savourless"...

            What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between
            contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the opposite ends of a
            scale, like black and white, big and small. In natural languages they
            are normally expressed by separate terms. Contradictories are terms
            which divide the scale between them, like coloured and colourless, and
            these are generally derivatives. Esperanto's malrapida confuses "slow"
            and "not fast".
          • Padraic Brown
            ... Exactly! Padraic
            Message 5 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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              --- On Sun, 5/19/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

              > > Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
              > > interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
              > > did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
              > > of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
              > > good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick
              > > 'un-' on the front of all those to make the opposite".
              >
              > A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
              > "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
              > "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
              > For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
              > also  "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or "savourless"...

              Exactly!

              Padraic
            • Leonardo Castro
              BTW, a professor of mine once said that Brazilians would promptly answer sweet to the question What s the opposite of salty? while Americans (she had
              Message 6 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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                BTW, a professor of mine once said that Brazilians would promptly
                answer "sweet" to the question "What's the opposite of salty?" while
                Americans (she had already lived in the USA) would think that this is
                a nonsense question. Here I have the opportunity to know if this is
                true.

                She attributed this to the Brazilian culinary where every food is
                usually either very salty or very sweet. She also pointed out that
                water from rivers is referred to as "sweet water" in Brazil, as
                opposed to "salty water", but, googling for it, now I see that this
                expression is used is English as well.

                Até mais!

                Leonardo


                2013/5/20 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                > --- On Sun, 5/19/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                >
                >> > Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
                >> > interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
                >> > did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
                >> > of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
                >> > good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick
                >> > 'un-' on the front of all those to make the opposite".
                >>
                >> A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
                >> "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
                >> "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
                >> For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
                >> also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or "savourless"...
                >
                > Exactly!
                >
                > Padraic
                >
                >
                >
              • Adam Walker
                I consider sweet and sour to be opposites . For salty I guess I would say bland or flavorless would be opposite. Bitter s opposite would be good. :). Adam
                Message 7 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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                  I consider sweet and sour to be "opposites". For salty I guess I
                  would say bland or flavorless would be opposite. Bitter's opposite
                  would be good. :).

                  Adam

                  On 5/20/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                  > BTW, a professor of mine once said that Brazilians would promptly
                  > answer "sweet" to the question "What's the opposite of salty?" while
                  > Americans (she had already lived in the USA) would think that this is
                  > a nonsense question. Here I have the opportunity to know if this is
                  > true.
                  >
                  > She attributed this to the Brazilian culinary where every food is
                  > usually either very salty or very sweet. She also pointed out that
                  > water from rivers is referred to as "sweet water" in Brazil, as
                  > opposed to "salty water", but, googling for it, now I see that this
                  > expression is used is English as well.
                  >
                  > Até mais!
                  >
                  > Leonardo
                  >
                  >
                  > 2013/5/20 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                  >> --- On Sun, 5/19/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >>> > Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
                  >>> > interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
                  >>> > did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done
                  >>> > out
                  >>> > of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
                  >>> > good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick
                  >>> > 'un-' on the front of all those to make the opposite".
                  >>>
                  >>> A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
                  >>> "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
                  >>> "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
                  >>> For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
                  >>> also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
                  >>> "savourless"...
                  >>
                  >> Exactly!
                  >>
                  >> Padraic
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                • Ph. D.
                  ... Fair enough, although not all concepts work that way. Sometimes ne is used as a prefix for the contradictory condition while mal is used for the
                  Message 8 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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                    David McCann wrote:
                    > What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between
                    > contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the opposite ends of a
                    > scale, like black and white, big and small. In natural languages they
                    > are normally expressed by separate terms. Contradictories are terms
                    > which divide the scale between them, like coloured and colourless, and
                    > these are generally derivatives. Esperanto's malrapida confuses "slow"
                    > and "not fast".

                    Fair enough, although not all concepts work that way. Sometimes "ne" is
                    used as
                    a prefix for the contradictory condition while "mal" is used for the
                    contrary.

                    utila = useful
                    malutila = harmful
                    neutila = useless

                    --Ph. D.
                  • MorphemeAddict
                    Rick Morneau wrote about different kinds of opposites and antonyms in Lexical Semantics. stevo
                    Message 9 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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                      Rick Morneau wrote about different kinds of opposites and antonyms in
                      Lexical Semantics.

                      stevo


                      On Sun, May 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

                      > Thee are several kinds of "opposites". Look at
                      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposite_(semantics) for example.
                      >
                      > I recall a post here a few years back that listed several types and
                      > the conlang had a different affix for each one. E.g. The opposite of
                      > "broken" might be "repaired", or it might be "unbroken" depending on
                      > whether you mean to "un-break" a thing after it is broken, or to
                      > describe a state before the thing was broken. So you might undo and
                      > action, (break/repair) prevent the action, (break.protect) perform the
                      > "opposite" action, ...
                      >
                      > I don't recall who posted that. Maybe somebody else will remember.
                      >
                      > --gary
                      >
                      > On Sun, May 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>
                      > wrote:
                      > > 2013/5/18 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                      > >> --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Zach Wellstood <zwellstood@...> wrote:
                      > >> [...]
                      > >> Of course. And "ungood", as I think I mentioned, is indeed a highly
                      > >> interesting way of parsing up the universe -- because the author
                      > >> did it consciously and with the big picture in mind. It wasn't done out
                      > >> of ignorance or naivety, just taking a random list of adjectives (big,
                      > >> good, red, fast, fat, best, pretty, warm) and saying "okay, stick 'un-'
                      > on
                      > >> the front of all those to make the opposite".
                      > >
                      > > A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
                      > > "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
                      > > "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
                      > > For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
                      > > also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
                      > > "savourless"...
                      >
                    • MorphemeAddict
                      ... Black vs white is a different kind of opposite than big vs small. Black and white are the two endpoints of a continuum of gray with extremes at each end:
                      Message 10 of 26 , May 20, 2013
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                        On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM, David McCann <david@...>wrote:

                        > On Sun, 19 May 2013 21:10:06 -0300
                        > Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
                        > > "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
                        > > "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?
                        > > For some people, the opposite of "sweet" is "salty", but it could be
                        > > also "bitter", "acid" (and what to do with "alkaline"?) or
                        > > "savourless"...
                        >
                        > What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between
                        > contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the opposite ends of a
                        > scale, like black and white, big and small.


                        Black vs white is a different kind of opposite than big vs small.
                        Black and white are the two endpoints of a continuum of gray with extremes
                        at each end: binary.
                        Big and small aren't both endpoints, only small is, with the extreme of
                        zero: relative.
                        There are also mnemonic opposites like desert and oasis.
                        Esperanto treats all of them the same, if it treats them at all.

                        stevo

                        In natural languages they
                        > are normally expressed by separate terms. Contradictories are terms
                        > which divide the scale between them, like coloured and colourless, and
                        > these are generally derivatives. Esperanto's malrapida confuses "slow"
                        > and "not fast".
                        >
                      • Padraic Brown
                        ... I m not so sure zero is even a terminus on this scale. All you have to do is the old half that size trick to make the small end of the continuum
                        Message 11 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                          --- On Tue, 5/21/13, MorphemeAddict <lytlesw@...> wrote:

                          > > What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between
                          > > contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the opposite ends of a
                          > > scale, like black and white, big and small.
                          >
                          > Black vs white is a different kind of opposite than big vs small.
                          > Black and white are the two endpoints of a continuum of gray with
                          > extremes at each end: binary.
                          > Big and small aren't both endpoints, only small is, with the extreme of
                          > zero: relative.

                          I'm not so sure "zero" is even a terminus on this scale. All you have to
                          do is the old "half that size" trick to make the "small" end of the
                          continuum infinite. Anyway, zero is a quantity, not a size, so it's not
                          really a proper opposite. Zero's opposite would be any non-zero number,
                          the opposition being "some quantity vs no quantity".

                          > There are also mnemonic opposites like desert and oasis.
                          > Esperanto treats all of them the same, if it treats them at
                          > all.

                          Padraic

                          >
                          > stevo
                          >
                          > In natural languages they
                          > > are normally expressed by separate terms.
                          > Contradictories are terms
                          > > which divide the scale between them, like coloured and
                          > colourless, and
                          > > these are generally derivatives. Esperanto's malrapida
                          > confuses "slow"
                          > > and "not fast".
                          > >
                          >
                        • Padraic Brown
                          ... I think it s nonsensical only for that fact that these don t really have opposites , just shades of more or less. So an opposite of salty is not quite so
                          Message 12 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                            --- On Mon, 5/20/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

                            > BTW, a professor of mine once said that Brazilians would promptly
                            > answer "sweet" to the question "What's the opposite of salty?" while
                            > Americans (she had already lived in the USA) would think that this is
                            > a nonsense question. Here I have the opportunity to know if this is
                            > true.

                            I think it's nonsensical only for that fact that these don't really have
                            "opposites", just shades of more or less. So an opposite of salty is "not
                            quite so salty", while another might be "not really very salty at all".

                            (In the same way, "white" really isn't THE opposite of "black". There's
                            just less and less black, until eventually you run out of grey.)

                            > She attributed this to the Brazilian culinary where every food is
                            > usually either very salty or very sweet.

                            Interesting. I think of Flavortown as a balance between the various basic
                            tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, savory, etc). Pure salt is pure salt, pure
                            sugar is pure sugar. A good chocolate coated salty pretzel is pretty close
                            to heaven. Sort of like an RGB grid, only for food.

                            > She also pointed out that water from rivers is referred to as "sweet
                            > water" in Brazil, as opposed to "salty water", but, googling for it, now
                            > I see that this expression is used is English as well.

                            Yes, though perhaps not as common as "fresh water".

                            > Leonardo

                            Padraic
                          • Elena ``of Valhalla''
                            ... A similar thing happens in Italian: most people would say that the opposite of salato (salty) is dolce (sweet). On the other hand, salato is also
                            Message 13 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                              On 2013-05-20 at 23:17:48 -0300, Leonardo Castro wrote:
                              > BTW, a professor of mine once said that Brazilians would promptly
                              > answer "sweet" to the question "What's the opposite of salty?" while
                              > Americans (she had already lived in the USA) would think that this is
                              > a nonsense question. Here I have the opportunity to know if this is
                              > true.

                              A similar thing happens in Italian: most people would say that
                              the opposite of "salato" (salty) is "dolce" (sweet).

                              On the other hand, "salato" is also used to mean savory, and there is
                              the distinction between "piatti dolci" (sweet dishes: desserts, sweet snacks,
                              up to not-so-sweet dark chocolate) and "piatti salati" (savory dishes:
                              basically anything else).

                              > She attributed this to the Brazilian culinary where every food is
                              > usually either very salty or very sweet. She also pointed out that
                              > water from rivers is referred to as "sweet water" in Brazil, as
                              > opposed to "salty water", but, googling for it, now I see that this
                              > expression is used is English as well.

                              the same happens in Italian: "acqua dolce" / "acqua salata"

                              --
                              Elena ``of Valhalla''
                            • Matthew George
                              The language that I m working on makes a variety of distinctions among negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many other languages)
                              Message 14 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                                The language that I'm working on makes a variety of distinctions among
                                negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many
                                other languages) group together.

                                For example, one form of negation is equivalent to the logical 'not',
                                another to the logical 'anti'. In English, if we say we're unhappy or not
                                happy, that's almost always interpreted as meaning we're unsatisfied or
                                displeased. But if we describe a color as "not green", no one assumes that
                                the color must be red. In my conlang, 'not happy' and 'anti-happy' are
                                distinct - all concepts are negated in the same way English negates color.
                                There are also "not anti-state" and "neither state nor anti-state" prefixes.

                                There's no inherent reason why we'd need words for both ends of any
                                polarity. But our 'subconscious' or 'preconscious' minds don't seem to
                                process 'not' very well - like telling someone not to think of a purple
                                elephant. Athletes trying to perform a difficult task are told to think
                                about the desired outcome rather than telling themselves to avoid mistakes,
                                because all the wrong associations are activated otherwise. If a language
                                lacks a name for one end of a polarity, it's going to change the way its
                                speakers think.

                                That was the intention of Newspeak's design, after all - to direct the
                                associations people had when they used it.

                                Matt G.
                              • Jim Henry
                                ... For many such terms, Esperanto has contrastive mal- and ne- derivations, e.g. malrapida (slow) and nerapida (not particularly fast). gjâ-zym-byn has
                                Message 15 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                                  On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM, David McCann <david@...> wrote:
                                  > On Sun, 19 May 2013 21:10:06 -0300
                                  > Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> A problem in forming the opposite with a preffix is that sometimes
                                  >> "opposite" seems to be subjective or multiple. What's the opposite of
                                  >> "boring" -- "interesting", "exciting", "fun", "funny" or "not boring"?

                                  > What Zamenhoff was missing was the logical difference between
                                  > contraries and contradictories. Contraries are the opposite ends of a
                                  > scale, like black and white, big and small. In natural languages they
                                  > are normally expressed by separate terms. Contradictories are terms
                                  > which divide the scale between them, like coloured and colourless, and
                                  > these are generally derivatives. Esperanto's malrapida confuses "slow"
                                  > and "not fast".

                                  For many such terms, Esperanto has contrastive mal- and ne-
                                  derivations, e.g. "malrapida" (slow) and "nerapida" (not particularly
                                  fast).

                                  gjâ-zym-byn has three suffixes corresponding roughly to Esperanto
                                  "mal-". In retrospect, I might should have had more. -cô is at the
                                  opposite end of a scale that extends in both directions (for
                                  qualities), more or less your "contrary" above, or a reversive of an
                                  action (e.g. give > steal). -θaj derives the other member of a
                                  complementary set, for entities (e.g. wife > husband), or a
                                  complementary action or process (e.g. give > receive a gift). -fja
                                  signifies a minimal degree of a quality, roughly your "contradictory"
                                  above. See here:

                                  http://jimhenry.conlang.org/gzb/deriv.htm#p349_9634



                                  --
                                  Jim Henry
                                  http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
                                  http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
                                • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                                  ... My own Moten handles negation in a similar, if not exactly identical, way. Basically, it distinguishes three types of negation: opposites/antonyms
                                  Message 16 of 26 , May 21, 2013
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                                    On 22 May 2013 00:13, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

                                    > The language that I'm working on makes a variety of distinctions among
                                    > negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many
                                    > other languages) group together.
                                    >
                                    > For example, one form of negation is equivalent to the logical 'not',
                                    > another to the logical 'anti'. In English, if we say we're unhappy or not
                                    > happy, that's almost always interpreted as meaning we're unsatisfied or
                                    > displeased. But if we describe a color as "not green", no one assumes that
                                    > the color must be red. In my conlang, 'not happy' and 'anti-happy' are
                                    > distinct - all concepts are negated in the same way English negates color.
                                    > There are also "not anti-state" and "neither state nor anti-state"
                                    > prefixes.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    My own Moten handles negation in a similar, if not exactly identical, way.
                                    Basically, it distinguishes three types of negation: opposites/antonyms
                                    (low/high, fast/slow, possible/impossible), alternatives (green/not green)
                                    and truth value negation (true/false).
                                    Opposites are handled strictly by the lexicon. There is no equivalent to
                                    the "un-" prefix in Moten. For instance, _sezgo_ means "high speed, fast",
                                    while _bontu_ means "low speed, slow". The two named points of the scale
                                    need not be the same as in English though. For instance, the opposite of
                                    _tlebe_: "mediocre" is considered to be _ufan_, which doesn't mean simply
                                    "good" but "great" (i.e. "of great quality"). To mean "good" (i.e. "of good
                                    quality"), one must resort to the diminutive _ufsin_. Also, notice that
                                    some scales have more than two named points. For instance, the scale of
                                    height has _fin_: "summit, top, high", _be|s_: "average height, medium" and
                                    _piv_: "base, bottom, low".
                                    The closest thing Moten has to "not" is the particle _mu_, but it works
                                    more like the "not" in your conlang, i.e. as in "not green" rather than
                                    "not possible", *no matter what it is added to*. Although I usually gloss
                                    it as "not", when I want to be strict I gloss it as "other than", because
                                    it basically marks *alternatives*, i.e. "something else than what is
                                    mentioned". So _mu sezgo_: "not fast" means strictly: "other than fast" and
                                    is thus not necessarily a synonym of _bontu_. In the same way, both _be|s_
                                    and _piv_ are _mu fin_. Another difference is scope. In Moten, _mu_'s scope
                                    is always restricted to the word that follows it, even if that word is the
                                    verb of the clause! Although if _mu_ is put in front of the auxiliary, its
                                    scope effectively becomes the clause itself, its semantics are still
                                    different enough from "not" that it can lead to surprises. Finally, _mu_
                                    can be repeated to mean "neither... nor...". This is compatible with its
                                    meaning of "other than": _Mu sezgo mu bontu_ means literally "other than
                                    fast and other than slow", which semantically is equivalent to "neither
                                    fast nor slow".
                                    Finally, Moten has the particle _us_, which is the truth value negation.
                                    Whatever its position is its scope is always the full sentence (i.e. not
                                    simply the clause it's in, but the complete sentence, even if it's put
                                    within a subclause!), and it's equivalent to prefixing the sentence with
                                    "it is false that". Despite being closest in meaning to the layman's usual
                                    understanding of "not", it's actually not that commonly used. First, it is
                                    quite strong in pointing to a falsehood, when a Moten speaker prefers to
                                    say that an alternative is true instead. Second, its scope means that it
                                    can effectively only be used to negate main clauses. You can't negate only
                                    a subclause with it, not even an indirect speech one.
                                    There are also the negative indefinites like _memik_: "nobody" and _memut_:
                                    "nothing". They work like _us_ in that they have a truth value negation
                                    meaning (_memik_ means strictly speaking "it is false that... someone..."),
                                    but unlike _us_ their scope is the clause, so they can be used in
                                    subclauses.
                                    The various negations interact with each other in non-obvious ways, so I'll
                                    leave it at that. If you want more info, please read the following article:
                                    http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.nl/2012/02/moten-part-vi-negation-and-polar.htmlwhere
                                    I go into more detail and give more examples of how negation works in
                                    Moten.
                                    --
                                    Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

                                    http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                                    http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
                                  • And Rosta
                                    I ll contribute an AFMCL to this thread: Livagian has words like ginormous and titchy , words with some kind of element of expressiveness, but not words
                                    Message 17 of 26 , May 22, 2013
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                                      I'll contribute an AFMCL to this thread:

                                      Livagian has words like "ginormous" and "titchy", words with some kind of element of expressiveness, but not words like "large", "fast", "heavy" (as in "It is heavy" rather than as in "How heavy is it") or "small","slow", "light"; in their stead it has words like "weigh", as in "She weighs ten stone", where, depending on the nature of the scale, the number argument can be a positive amount (e.g. "a small positive amount") or a negative amount (e.g. "a middling negative amount") or a fraction between "none" and "all"; there are also numbers for changes of degree e.g. from one part of the scale to another, or increase or decrease within a part of the scale. E.g. "X decelerates" = "decreasing-positive-amount is speed of X".

                                      --And.
                                    • C. Brickner
                                      gjâ-zym-byn has three suffixes corresponding roughly to Esperanto mal- . ========================= In Senjecas there are four prefixes for negating, in some
                                      Message 18 of 26 , May 22, 2013
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                                        gjâ-zym-byn has three suffixes corresponding roughly to Esperanto
                                        "mal-".
                                        =========================


                                        In Senjecas there are four prefixes for negating, in some way, a word.

                                        1. dus- translates the English “dis-“ or “mis-“, e.g., pőrvis: honest; duspőṙvis: dishonest; twe̋e̋a: attend, take care of; dustwe̋e̋a: neglect, disregard.

                                        2. mhi- (mhy- before a vowel) is the prefix for the conversive, e.g., ȝűga: harness; mhiȝűga: unharness; oűta: dress; mhyoűta: undress.

                                        3. n- is the prefix for negating a substantive, a-, un-, in-, e.g., a̋çis: movable, mobile; na̋çis: immovable, immobile; ma̋a̋ĸis: possible; nma̋a̋ĸis: impossible.

                                        4. v- (f- before a voiceless consonant; vį- before another v) is prefixed to nouns or adjectives to indicate “without”, “not having”, e.g., ı̋lĸas: hope; vı̋lĸas: despair; va̋ṙðis: bearded; vįva̋ṙðis: beardless, clean-shaven; te̋nas: time; fte̋nis: timeless, ageless.

                                        I’m still working out the nuances of these prefixes.

                                        Charlie
                                      • H. S. Teoh
                                        ... [...] In Ebisédian, there is a distinction between absence and opposite, which in English is conflated in negation. Absence of wisdom is mere ignorance,
                                        Message 19 of 26 , May 22, 2013
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                                          On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 06:13:48PM -0400, Matthew George wrote:
                                          > The language that I'm working on makes a variety of distinctions among
                                          > negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many
                                          > other languages) group together.
                                          >
                                          > For example, one form of negation is equivalent to the logical 'not',
                                          > another to the logical 'anti'. In English, if we say we're unhappy or
                                          > not happy, that's almost always interpreted as meaning we're
                                          > unsatisfied or displeased. But if we describe a color as "not green",
                                          > no one assumes that the color must be red. In my conlang, 'not happy'
                                          > and 'anti-happy' are distinct - all concepts are negated in the same
                                          > way English negates color. There are also "not anti-state" and
                                          > "neither state nor anti-state" prefixes.
                                          [...]

                                          In Ebisédian, there is a distinction between absence and opposite, which
                                          in English is conflated in negation. Absence of wisdom is mere
                                          ignorance, for example, whereas anti-wisdom is active overthrowing of
                                          wisdom, the conscious choice of unwiseness. Absence of beauty is mere
                                          ordinary appearance, whereas anti-beauty is ugliness. The nullar number
                                          in nouns indicate only absence; whereas negation proper would indicate
                                          the presence of an antithesis of the noun referent, an arch-opponent, or
                                          an anti-matter evil-twin counterpart, as opposed to mere absence.

                                          In Tatari Faran, the distinction is not quite as clear-cut, though in
                                          general, similarly to Ebisédian, negation does not imply opposite.
                                          Saying someone is not pretty does not imply ugliness; in general a
                                          different adjective is used for opposites. For example:

                                          1) tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                          tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                          3SG CVY:FEM beautiful gaudy(FIN)
                                          She is beautiful. (The finalizer _kakat_ does not carry semantic
                                          content, only overtones.)

                                          2) tara' sei jui'in beikakat.
                                          tara' sei jui'in bei-kakat.
                                          3SG CVY:FEM beautiful NEG-gaudy(FIN)
                                          She is not beautiful.

                                          The sentence structure of (2) is interesting, as the negation marker
                                          only appears on the finalizer _kakat_, as though the first part of the
                                          sentence is saying that she *is* beautiful, yet the negated finalizer
                                          implies a failure at some point of the process of being beautiful,
                                          hence, an incomplete beauty, or falling short of actual beauty; the lack
                                          of beauty.

                                          Expressing the opposite uses a distinct, unrelated adjective:

                                          3) tara' sei mopan kuta'
                                          3SG CVY:FEM ugly deformed(FIN)
                                          She is ugly.

                                          Again, the finalizer does not actually carry semantic content, though
                                          its glossed meaning, as a native speaker would describe it, indicates
                                          that this is a rather forceful statement of anti-beauty, not merely a
                                          lack of beauty, but having some quality that opposes beauty.


                                          T

                                          --
                                          People say I'm indecisive, but I'm not sure about that. -- YHL, CONLANG
                                        • Leonardo Castro
                                          How would be antiparticle in your-PL languages? Até mais! Leonardo
                                          Message 20 of 26 , May 24, 2013
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                                            How would be "antiparticle" in your-PL languages?

                                            Até mais!

                                            Leonardo


                                            2013/5/22 H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>:
                                            > On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 06:13:48PM -0400, Matthew George wrote:
                                            >> The language that I'm working on makes a variety of distinctions among
                                            >> negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many
                                            >> other languages) group together.
                                            >>
                                            >> For example, one form of negation is equivalent to the logical 'not',
                                            >> another to the logical 'anti'. In English, if we say we're unhappy or
                                            >> not happy, that's almost always interpreted as meaning we're
                                            >> unsatisfied or displeased. But if we describe a color as "not green",
                                            >> no one assumes that the color must be red. In my conlang, 'not happy'
                                            >> and 'anti-happy' are distinct - all concepts are negated in the same
                                            >> way English negates color. There are also "not anti-state" and
                                            >> "neither state nor anti-state" prefixes.
                                            > [...]
                                            >
                                            > In Ebisédian, there is a distinction between absence and opposite, which
                                            > in English is conflated in negation. Absence of wisdom is mere
                                            > ignorance, for example, whereas anti-wisdom is active overthrowing of
                                            > wisdom, the conscious choice of unwiseness. Absence of beauty is mere
                                            > ordinary appearance, whereas anti-beauty is ugliness. The nullar number
                                            > in nouns indicate only absence; whereas negation proper would indicate
                                            > the presence of an antithesis of the noun referent, an arch-opponent, or
                                            > an anti-matter evil-twin counterpart, as opposed to mere absence.
                                            >
                                            > In Tatari Faran, the distinction is not quite as clear-cut, though in
                                            > general, similarly to Ebisédian, negation does not imply opposite.
                                            > Saying someone is not pretty does not imply ugliness; in general a
                                            > different adjective is used for opposites. For example:
                                            >
                                            > 1) tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                            > tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                            > 3SG CVY:FEM beautiful gaudy(FIN)
                                            > She is beautiful. (The finalizer _kakat_ does not carry semantic
                                            > content, only overtones.)
                                            >
                                            > 2) tara' sei jui'in beikakat.
                                            > tara' sei jui'in bei-kakat.
                                            > 3SG CVY:FEM beautiful NEG-gaudy(FIN)
                                            > She is not beautiful.
                                            >
                                            > The sentence structure of (2) is interesting, as the negation marker
                                            > only appears on the finalizer _kakat_, as though the first part of the
                                            > sentence is saying that she *is* beautiful, yet the negated finalizer
                                            > implies a failure at some point of the process of being beautiful,
                                            > hence, an incomplete beauty, or falling short of actual beauty; the lack
                                            > of beauty.
                                            >
                                            > Expressing the opposite uses a distinct, unrelated adjective:
                                            >
                                            > 3) tara' sei mopan kuta'
                                            > 3SG CVY:FEM ugly deformed(FIN)
                                            > She is ugly.
                                            >
                                            > Again, the finalizer does not actually carry semantic content, though
                                            > its glossed meaning, as a native speaker would describe it, indicates
                                            > that this is a rather forceful statement of anti-beauty, not merely a
                                            > lack of beauty, but having some quality that opposes beauty.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > T
                                            >
                                            > --
                                            > People say I'm indecisive, but I'm not sure about that. -- YHL, CONLANG
                                          • H. S. Teoh
                                            ... [...] Currently there s no such word in Ebisédian or Tatari Faran, but if I were to coin such a word, I d use the anti- derivation instead of the not- (or
                                            Message 21 of 26 , May 24, 2013
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                                              On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 10:54:16AM -0300, Leonardo Castro wrote:
                                              > How would be "antiparticle" in your-PL languages?
                                              [...]

                                              Currently there's no such word in Ebisédian or Tatari Faran, but if I
                                              were to coin such a word, I'd use the anti- derivation instead of the
                                              not- (or un-) derivation. A no-particle (in Ebisédian) is a particle
                                              that isn't there; an anti-particle is an opposite-particle that's there.
                                              Indeed, the nullar number in Ebisédian is used to indicate absence, but
                                              a different derivation is used for anti-. Thus, you have a distinction
                                              between human(nullar) - meaning the absence of a human, and human(anti)
                                              - meaning non-human, or unhuman, something opposed to human.

                                              In Tatari Faran, in all likelihood a different root would be used (TF
                                              tends to employ different roots rather than morphological derivation for
                                              opposites).


                                              > 2013/5/22 H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>:
                                              > > On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 06:13:48PM -0400, Matthew George wrote:
                                              > >> The language that I'm working on makes a variety of distinctions among
                                              > >> negation, separating usages that English (and from your comments, many
                                              > >> other languages) group together.
                                              > >>
                                              > >> For example, one form of negation is equivalent to the logical 'not',
                                              > >> another to the logical 'anti'. In English, if we say we're unhappy or
                                              > >> not happy, that's almost always interpreted as meaning we're
                                              > >> unsatisfied or displeased. But if we describe a color as "not green",
                                              > >> no one assumes that the color must be red. In my conlang, 'not happy'
                                              > >> and 'anti-happy' are distinct - all concepts are negated in the same
                                              > >> way English negates color. There are also "not anti-state" and
                                              > >> "neither state nor anti-state" prefixes.
                                              > > [...]
                                              > >
                                              > > In Ebisédian, there is a distinction between absence and opposite, which
                                              > > in English is conflated in negation. Absence of wisdom is mere
                                              > > ignorance, for example, whereas anti-wisdom is active overthrowing of
                                              > > wisdom, the conscious choice of unwiseness. Absence of beauty is mere
                                              > > ordinary appearance, whereas anti-beauty is ugliness. The nullar number
                                              > > in nouns indicate only absence; whereas negation proper would indicate
                                              > > the presence of an antithesis of the noun referent, an arch-opponent, or
                                              > > an anti-matter evil-twin counterpart, as opposed to mere absence.
                                              > >
                                              > > In Tatari Faran, the distinction is not quite as clear-cut, though in
                                              > > general, similarly to Ebisédian, negation does not imply opposite.
                                              > > Saying someone is not pretty does not imply ugliness; in general a
                                              > > different adjective is used for opposites. For example:
                                              > >
                                              > > 1) tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                              > > tara' sei jui'in kakat.
                                              > > 3SG CVY:FEM beautiful gaudy(FIN)
                                              > > She is beautiful. (The finalizer _kakat_ does not carry semantic
                                              > > content, only overtones.)
                                              > >
                                              > > 2) tara' sei jui'in beikakat.
                                              > > tara' sei jui'in bei-kakat.
                                              > > 3SG CVY:FEM beautiful NEG-gaudy(FIN)
                                              > > She is not beautiful.
                                              > >
                                              > > The sentence structure of (2) is interesting, as the negation marker
                                              > > only appears on the finalizer _kakat_, as though the first part of the
                                              > > sentence is saying that she *is* beautiful, yet the negated finalizer
                                              > > implies a failure at some point of the process of being beautiful,
                                              > > hence, an incomplete beauty, or falling short of actual beauty; the lack
                                              > > of beauty.
                                              > >
                                              > > Expressing the opposite uses a distinct, unrelated adjective:
                                              > >
                                              > > 3) tara' sei mopan kuta'
                                              > > 3SG CVY:FEM ugly deformed(FIN)
                                              > > She is ugly.
                                              > >
                                              > > Again, the finalizer does not actually carry semantic content, though
                                              > > its glossed meaning, as a native speaker would describe it, indicates
                                              > > that this is a rather forceful statement of anti-beauty, not merely a
                                              > > lack of beauty, but having some quality that opposes beauty.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > T
                                              > >
                                              > > --
                                              > > People say I'm indecisive, but I'm not sure about that. -- YHL, CONLANG


                                              T

                                              --
                                              In a world without fences, who needs Windows and Gates? -- Christian Surchi
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