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Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging

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  • Leo Moser
    Leo Moser responds: Well, Frank Herbert is a SciFi writer I much admire. In what manner do you see General Semantics, as such, reflected in Dune, etc. Why
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 20, 2014
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      Leo Moser responds:
      Well, Frank Herbert is a SciFi writer I much admire.
      In what manner do you see "General Semantics," as
      such, reflected in Dune, etc.

      Why was it not semantics in general?

      From what you say (and between the lines in Wikipedia)
      it strikes me that 'General Semantics' got detached from
      the discipline of Semantics itself.

      How did that happen?

      Korzybski seemed to me almost a cultist, maybe they wanted
      to dump him.

      But Hayakawa and others back then, like Ludwig Wittgenstein,
      C. K. Ogden, and I. A. Richards were IMO more down to earth.
      My impression is that they thought that they were dealing with
      the very basics of semantics, not just some popularized side
      issue called "General Semantics."

      So I remain puzzled.

      Regards, LEO

      Leo Moser

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Wm Annis
      Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:25 AM
      To: CONLANG@...
      Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging - was RE: "big" versus "large"

      On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Leo Moser <leo@...> wrote:
      > It's been a long time since I did much reading in the field of
      > semantics. Some in the field long ago seemed a little creepy to me --
      > Korzybski and the lot. Hayakawa and some others were more sensible in
      > my opinion. I note that the Wikipedia article on semantics makes no
      > mention of either.

      Korzybski and Hayakawa are writing about "General Semantics,"
      a sort of language-focused self-help system. It had a certain popularity for a while, and some SF authors' works bear marks of their exposure to it (Frank Herbert, for example). The biggest single idea of GS to escape into the wild is probably the phrase "the map is not the territory."

      But "General Semantics" has very little to do with the linguistics field called "semantics," and I wouldn't expect any formal relationship at all.

      --
      wm
    • Leo Moser
      Let s take the word moon -- it seems a rather clear referent. If we ignore verbal usages (both ancient and modern) If we restrict it to OUR moon, excluding
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 21, 2014
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        Let's take the word 'moon' -- it seems a rather clear referent.

        If we ignore verbal usages (both ancient and modern)

        If we restrict it to OUR moon, excluding satellites of other

        planets, sub-planets, etc.

        If we leave out the phases, take it only as a FULL MOON.



        So there it is! -- the 'moon,' a rather clear semantic entity.



        Or is it? Do we always view it in the same way, as if the same thing?



        Jim Henry listed some possible attitudinal categories.

        Does the moon show these?

        affection: the smiley-faced moon, the moon that lights our way. . . .

        respect: the goddess Selene perhaps, or Chandra

        fear: as viewed by a werewolf perhaps

        amusement: that 'funny ol' moon,' etc.



        OR are there other categories?

        Such as: useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



        Is there any sense in showing attitude?

        There are lots of songs about the moon, showing various attitudes.



        LEO





        Leo Moser

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Jim Henry
        Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:01 PM
        To: CONLANG@...
        Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging - was RE: "big" versus "large"



        On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM, Leo Moser < <mailto:leo@...> leo@...> wrote:

        > Do any of you have Conlangs in which the speaker's attitude toward the things that he/she mentions is reflected by an inflection pattern on the words?



        A sketchlang I worked on about six or seven years ago had attitude as an inflectional category on nouns. I may have posted about it here on the list, but I don't have a web page about it.



        If I recall correctly, the attitudes marked by that category included affection, respect, fear, amusement, and two or three others. This category was marked fusionally along with another category, I think "usefulness" -- useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



        --

        Jim Henry

        <http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/

        <http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org> http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
      • Ingus Macats
        Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊 No: Leo Moser Nosūtīts: ‎ceturtdiena‎, ‎2014‎. gada ‎21‎. ‎augusts
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 21, 2014
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          Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊






          No: Leo Moser
          Nosūtīts: ‎ceturtdiena‎, ‎2014‎. gada ‎21‎. ‎augusts ‎22‎:‎56
          Kam: Constructed Languages List





          Let's take the word 'moon' -- it seems a rather clear referent.

          If we ignore verbal usages (both ancient and modern)

          If we restrict it to OUR moon, excluding satellites of other

          planets, sub-planets, etc.

          If we leave out the phases, take it only as a FULL MOON.



          So there it is! -- the 'moon,' a rather clear semantic entity.



          Or is it? Do we always view it in the same way, as if the same thing?



          Jim Henry listed some possible attitudinal categories.

          Does the moon show these?

          affection: the smiley-faced moon, the moon that lights our way. . . .

          respect: the goddess Selene perhaps, or Chandra

          fear: as viewed by a werewolf perhaps

          amusement: that 'funny ol' moon,' etc.



          OR are there other categories?

          Such as: useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



          Is there any sense in showing attitude?

          There are lots of songs about the moon, showing various attitudes.



          LEO





          Leo Moser

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Jim Henry
          Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:01 PM
          To: CONLANG@...
          Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging - was RE: "big" versus "large"



          On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM, Leo Moser < <mailto:leo@...> leo@...> wrote:

          > Do any of you have Conlangs in which the speaker's attitude toward the things that he/she mentions is reflected by an inflection pattern on the words?



          A sketchlang I worked on about six or seven years ago had attitude as an inflectional category on nouns. I may have posted about it here on the list, but I don't have a web page about it.



          If I recall correctly, the attitudes marked by that category included affection, respect, fear, amusement, and two or three others. This category was marked fusionally along with another category, I think "usefulness" -- useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



          --

          Jim Henry

          <http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/

          <http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org> http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
        • Leo Moser
          ... Does that imply respect -- as an elder perhaps? Or is it an amusing touch? The Chinese see a rabbit on the moon, of course, not a face. In most tales, the
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 21, 2014
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            Ingus Macats reports:
            > Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊

            Does that imply respect -- as an elder perhaps?
            Or is it an amusing touch?

            The Chinese see a rabbit on the moon, of course, not a face. In most tales, the rabbit is worthy of considerable respect.

            Leo

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Ingus Macats
            Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 1:39 PM
            To: CONLANG@...
            Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging

            Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊






            No: Leo Moser
            Nosūtīts: ‎ceturtdiena‎, ‎2014‎. gada ‎21‎. ‎augusts ‎22‎:‎56
            Kam: Constructed Languages List





            Let's take the word 'moon' -- it seems a rather clear referent.

            If we ignore verbal usages (both ancient and modern)

            If we restrict it to OUR moon, excluding satellites of other

            planets, sub-planets, etc.

            If we leave out the phases, take it only as a FULL MOON.



            So there it is! -- the 'moon,' a rather clear semantic entity.



            Or is it? Do we always view it in the same way, as if the same thing?



            Jim Henry listed some possible attitudinal categories.

            Does the moon show these?

            affection: the smiley-faced moon, the moon that lights our way. . . .

            respect: the goddess Selene perhaps, or Chandra

            fear: as viewed by a werewolf perhaps

            amusement: that 'funny ol' moon,' etc.



            OR are there other categories?

            Such as: useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



            Is there any sense in showing attitude?

            There are lots of songs about the moon, showing various attitudes.



            LEO





            Leo Moser

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Jim Henry
            Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:01 PM
            To: CONLANG@...
            Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging - was RE: "big" versus "large"



            On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM, Leo Moser < <mailto:leo@...> leo@...> wrote:

            > Do any of you have Conlangs in which the speaker's attitude toward the things that he/she mentions is reflected by an inflection pattern on the words?



            A sketchlang I worked on about six or seven years ago had attitude as an inflectional category on nouns. I may have posted about it here on the list, but I don't have a web page about it.



            If I recall correctly, the attitudes marked by that category included affection, respect, fear, amusement, and two or three others. This category was marked fusionally along with another category, I think "usefulness" -- useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.



            --

            Jim Henry

            <http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/

            <http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org> http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
          • Adam Walker
            Chang E, a beautiful maiden, also lives in the moon in Chinese stories. Adam
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 21, 2014
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              Chang E, a beautiful maiden, also lives in the moon in Chinese stories.

              Adam


              On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM, Leo Moser <leo@...> wrote:

              > Ingus Macats reports:
              > > Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊
              >
              > Does that imply respect -- as an elder perhaps?
              > Or is it an amusing touch?
              >
              > The Chinese see a rabbit on the moon, of course, not a face. In most
              > tales, the rabbit is worthy of considerable respect.
              >
              > Leo
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
              > Behalf Of Ingus Macats
              > Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 1:39 PM
              > To: CONLANG@...
              > Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging
              >
              > Fun fact, in Latvian mythology, the moon (Mēness) is a bald guy! 😊
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > No: Leo Moser
              > Nosūtīts: ‎ceturtdiena‎, ‎2014‎. gada ‎21‎. ‎augusts ‎22‎:‎56
              > Kam: Constructed Languages List
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Let's take the word 'moon' -- it seems a rather clear referent.
              >
              > If we ignore verbal usages (both ancient and modern)
              >
              > If we restrict it to OUR moon, excluding satellites of
              > other
              >
              > planets, sub-planets, etc.
              >
              > If we leave out the phases, take it only as a FULL MOON.
              >
              >
              >
              > So there it is! -- the 'moon,' a rather clear semantic entity.
              >
              >
              >
              > Or is it? Do we always view it in the same way, as if the same thing?
              >
              >
              >
              > Jim Henry listed some possible attitudinal categories.
              >
              > Does the moon show these?
              >
              > affection: the smiley-faced moon, the moon that lights our
              > way. . . .
              >
              > respect: the goddess Selene perhaps, or Chandra
              >
              > fear: as viewed by a werewolf perhaps
              >
              > amusement: that 'funny ol' moon,' etc.
              >
              >
              >
              > OR are there other categories?
              >
              > Such as: useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.
              >
              >
              >
              > Is there any sense in showing attitude?
              >
              > There are lots of songs about the moon, showing various attitudes.
              >
              >
              >
              > LEO
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Leo Moser
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
              > Behalf Of Jim Henry
              > Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:01 PM
              > To: CONLANG@...
              > Subject: Re: Academic Semantics and Conlanging - was RE: "big" versus
              > "large"
              >
              >
              >
              > On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM, Leo Moser < <mailto:leo@...>
              > leo@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Do any of you have Conlangs in which the speaker's attitude toward the
              > things that he/she mentions is reflected by an inflection pattern on the
              > words?
              >
              >
              >
              > A sketchlang I worked on about six or seven years ago had attitude as an
              > inflectional category on nouns. I may have posted about it here on the
              > list, but I don't have a web page about it.
              >
              >
              >
              > If I recall correctly, the attitudes marked by that category included
              > affection, respect, fear, amusement, and two or three others. This
              > category was marked fusionally along with another category, I think
              > "usefulness" -- useful, useless, harmful, or end-in-itself.
              >
              >
              >
              > --
              >
              > Jim Henry
              >
              > <http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
              >
              > <http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org> http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
              >
            • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
              ... And don t forget princess Kaguya, from the 10th century Japanese tale The Bamboo Cutter . Also a moon denizen :). Back to the subject BTW, I present you
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 21, 2014
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                On 21 August 2014 23:06, Adam Walker <carraxan@...> wrote:

                > Chang E, a beautiful maiden, also lives in the moon in Chinese stories.
                >
                >
                And don't forget princess Kaguya, from the 10th century Japanese tale "The
                Bamboo Cutter". Also a moon denizen :).

                Back to the subject BTW, I present you Modern Greek, where there are two
                words that commonly refer to Earth's satellite: φεγγάρι (fengari) and
                σελήνη (selini). Both have exactly the same referent, and yet are not
                equivalent. The first one is common and informal, while the second one is
                formal, and mostly used in astronomy. There is rarely any context where
                both would be acceptable. And yet they have exactly the same referent.
                --
                Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                President of the Language Creation Society (http://conlang.org/)

                Personal Website: http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
                Personal Tumblr: http://christophoronomicon.tumblr.com/
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