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[gothic-l] Words for computers

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  • etsasse@acsu.buffalo.edu
    Upon reading old posts, I noticed that there has been some discussion on how to decide what words and sources would be best for creating these technological
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 11 1:53 PM
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      Upon reading old posts, I noticed that there has been some discussion
      on
      how to decide what words and sources would be best for creating these
      technological neologisms, some of which seem to be borrowing solutions
      from other langauges, such as Icelandic's 'raf-' (although I didn't
      see any mention of 'to:lva'). I actually like the idea of using
      'living stone' (qaistains, I think). But I would like to mention
      another possible path to follow for these neologisms. In the early
      development of computers, indeed directly before they were developed
      at all, in the period when people were
      just coming to grips with the concepts (Babbage's time) people were
      applying
      current native words/concepts to the new products. Of course these
      words were
      these folks' best organic intuition of the new concepts relying on a
      natural
      stock of words. Icelandic did this with electricity being named
      'Amber-power'
      (rafmagn), but even that was done by commitee.
      Some early words used to describe computer related ideas (for they
      were still JUST ideas when these words were being applied)were:
      store = computer memory
      mill = procesing unit
      weave/loom = compute/computer

      I noticed that a lot of the terms which were basically metaphors for
      how they predicted their new 'difference engines' or computers would
      work, were based
      on predominant industrial terms of the times. Now it seems to me that
      that is
      exactly what many people are looking for in the neologisms, organic
      natives
      words with expanded meanings, which of course Gothic is limited to
      considering
      the small amount of words recorded. It may be worth considering to use
      some
      of these terms from people who needed to apply their basic/core
      vocabulary
      to technology without the benefit of following established patterns
      from
      other languages. There is evidence for how this can be successful when
      you
      consider the natural expansion of horse terms as applied to cars.

      -Eric
    • John Frauzel
      In many cases words like this are calques . The Greek word elektron means amber, so the metaphor that serves as the basis for electricity is already
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 11 9:10 PM
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        In many cases words like this are "calques". The Greek word elektron means
        amber, so the metaphor that serves as the basis for electricity is already
        established in European words in general. Often, instead of _borrowing_ a
        Greek or Latin word, German will take apart the pieces and substitute
        native elements instead, for example "Wasserstoff" instead of Hydrogen,
        because hydrogen in Greek means "water stuff". Icelandic has simply applied
        this same principle in a case where most European languages didn't.
        Wulfilas also probably consciously used this principle, for example
        mith-qithan "agree", based on Greek syn-fe:mi "agree" (I can't remember the
        Gothic word for "doubt", but I think it's patterned after Lat. dub-itum
        "being of two (minds)" - like German Zwei-fel.

        At 01:53 PM 8/11/99 -0700, you wrote:
        >
        >
        > Upon reading old posts, I noticed that there has been some discussion
        >on
        > how to decide what words and sources would be best for creating these
        >technological neologisms, some of which seem to be borrowing solutions
        > from other langauges, such as Icelandic's 'raf-' (although I didn't
        >see any mention of 'to:lva'). I actually like the idea of using
        >'living stone' (qaistains, I think). But I would like to mention
        >another possible path to follow for these neologisms. In the early
        >development of computers, indeed directly before they were developed
        >at all, in the period when people were
        > just coming to grips with the concepts (Babbage's time) people were
        >applying
        > current native words/concepts to the new products. Of course these
        >words were
        > these folks' best organic intuition of the new concepts relying on a
        >natural
        > stock of words. Icelandic did this with electricity being named
        >'Amber-power'
        > (rafmagn), but even that was done by commitee.
        > Some early words used to describe computer related ideas (for they
        >were still JUST ideas when these words were being applied)were:
        > store = computer memory
        > mill = procesing unit
        > weave/loom = compute/computer
        >
        > I noticed that a lot of the terms which were basically metaphors for
        >how they predicted their new 'difference engines' or computers would
        >work, were based
        > on predominant industrial terms of the times. Now it seems to me that
        >that is
        > exactly what many people are looking for in the neologisms, organic
        >natives
        > words with expanded meanings, which of course Gothic is limited to
        >considering
        > the small amount of words recorded. It may be worth considering to use
        >some
        > of these terms from people who needed to apply their basic/core
        >vocabulary
        > to technology without the benefit of following established patterns
        >from
        > other languages. There is evidence for how this can be successful when
        >you
        > consider the natural expansion of horse terms as applied to cars.
        >
        > -Eric
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------------------------------------------
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        >eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l
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        John Frauzel Phone 520 579-3235
        Fax 520 579-9780
      • Sean Crist
        ... tuz-we_rjan, wv. I, to doubt, 418. Cp. OHG. zur-wa_ri, suspicious; OE. wae_r, OHG. wa_r, true. / __ __ _ _ --Sean Crist
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 12 6:25 AM
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          On Wed, 11 Aug 1999, John Frauzel wrote:

          > Wulfilas also probably consciously used this principle, for example
          > mith-qithan "agree", based on Greek syn-fe:mi "agree" (I can't remember the
          > Gothic word for "doubt", but I think it's patterned after Lat. dub-itum
          > "being of two (minds)" - like German Zwei-fel.

          tuz-we_rjan, wv. I, to doubt, 418. Cp. OHG. zur-wa_ri, suspicious; OE.
          wae_r, OHG. wa_r, true.

          \/ __ __ _\_ --Sean Crist (kurisuto@...)
          --- | | \ / http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/
          _| ,| ,| -----
          _| ,| ,| [_]
          | | | [_]
        • etsasse@acsu.buffalo.edu
          wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l/?start=622 ... means ... already ... I know
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 12 9:50 AM
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            <3.0.1.32.19990811211050.007435a-@...> wrote:
            original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l/?start=622
            > In many cases words like this are "calques". The Greek word elektron
            means
            > amber, so the metaphor that serves as the basis for electricity is
            already
            > established in European words in general.

            I know about calques, and the Icelandic word I mentioned 'rafmagn'
            is only a partial calque anyway, raf = electros, but -magn is a unique
            addition. The purpose of my post was to suggest an alternative to
            calques in relying on more, and I hate to continously stress this word,
            'organic' perceptions of new concepts instead of these often
            desensitized calques.
          • David Salo
            My opinion is that if you re discussing things that are essentially alien to Gothic culture, the words might as well be alien as well. I would suggest using
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 12 4:15 PM
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              My opinion is that if you're discussing things that are essentially
              alien to Gothic culture, the words might as well be alien as well. I would
              suggest using something like *kaumputatur (cf. spaikulatur "spy"!) or even
              *kaumpiuta (declined as a weak masculine?). And so on for associated
              words. Less fun in word construction, maybe, but it does force you to pay
              attention to how Gothic treated loan-words.

              /\ WISTR LAG WIGS RAIHTS
              \/ WRAIQS NU IST <> David Salo
              <dsalo@...> <>
            • jdm314@aol.com
              BTW, my actual email is jdm314@aol.com if anyone wants to reply to any of my posts privately... fsr it seems to want to post my address as jdm31-@aol.com,
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 22 11:49 AM
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                BTW, my actual email is jdm314@... if anyone wants to reply to any
                of my posts privately... fsr it seems to want to post my address as
                jdm31-@..., which is incorrect.

                jdm31-@... wrote:
                original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l/?start=628
                > My opinion is that if you're discussing things that are essentially
                > alien to Gothic culture, the words might as well be alien as well. I
                would
                > suggest using something like *kaumputatur (cf. spaikulatur "spy"!) or
                even

                This is a great idea! I love your attention to detail here.
                Unfortunately it won't work. It so happens that among the modern
                Latinist comunity (Haw haw haw! What a bunch of nuts! Trying to revive
                a dead language like Latin! It's so obscure!) there's a lot of debate
                about how to say computer. No one who knows what they're doing
                seriously suggests _computator_ though, as this would mean "man who
                professionally calculates", and a computer is not a man.
                _Computatrix_, the feminine of _computator_, is occasionally
                suggested, on the grounds that a computer is a _machina_, which is
                feminine. Rather like the french word _calculatrice_.. This doesn't get
                used much.
                By far the most commonly used form is _computatrum_, -trum being sort
                of the neuter equivalent of -tor and -trix. It shows up in _aratrum_
                "plow", from the verb _aro, -are_ "to plow", and numerous other names
                for agricultural equipment and other instruments. While usage of this
                word, and other words coined from that suffix, is extremely common
                nowadays, I strongly dislike it, reasoning that -trum is not that
                common a suffix compared to -tor, and I would argue that it's not even
                a productive suffix. I think it would sound very funny to the Romans to
                coin a word like _computatrum_ or _moderatrum_ or what not to describe
                the various machines around today. Of course when I make this argument,
                they rightly tell me that they need SOME way to coin these words, and
                there aren't many alternatives.
                I don't really have a full solution to this problem, but I prefer to
                use _computataria machina_ "calculatory machine", which seems to me a
                good solution. If it gets to clunky you can easily drop the _machina_
                too.
                Unfortunately this doesn't get us any closer to a Gothic word, as
                kaumputatarja makeina won't cut it ;) Of course -arius does regularly
                give -areis in gothic. Kaumputatareis? What's the feminine of -areis,
                -arja? -ari? I assume it's not even attested.


                > *kaumpiuta (declined as a weak masculine?). And so on for associated
                > words.

                Borrowed from English you mean? Or is there an agentive -a in Gothic?

                > Less fun in word construction, maybe, but it does force you to pay
                > attention to how Gothic treated loan-words.

                Yes, I agree.

                So, do any of the modern germanic languages have a "purely" germanic
                way of saying computer? Some sort of compound or calque? German and
                Yiddish, of course, both just use the English word, but maybe there's a
                synonym?


                -JDM
              • Thiudans
                ... Well, for computer there s Icelandic tölva . Icelandic is the most recent leader in the germanic loan translation pack and IMHO a good source from which
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 22 8:19 PM
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                  jdm314@... wrote:

                  >
                  > So, do any of the modern germanic languages have a "purely" germanic
                  > way of saying computer? Some sort of compound or calque? German and
                  > Yiddish, of course, both just use the English word, but maybe there's a
                  > synonym?
                  >
                  > -JDM

                  Well, for computer there's Icelandic "tölva". Icelandic is the most
                  recent leader in the germanic loan translation pack and IMHO a good
                  source from which to draw inspiration, although some of their coinages
                  might seem counter-intuitive to the west germanic branches. Of course
                  our borrowing from Ic. should be balanced out with some German...whose
                  nationalistic calquefying ended a little earlier it seems.

                  --Matthaius
                • Andreas Fischer
                  Hails! ... There is. You can simply call a computer a Rechner in German, which means calculator . ... What does it mean? Is it morphologically complex?
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 23 5:59 AM
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                    Hails!

                    >jdm314@... wrote:

                    >> So, do any of the modern germanic languages have a "purely"
                    >germanic
                    >> way of saying computer? Some sort of compound or calque? German and
                    >> Yiddish, of course, both just use the English word, but maybe there's a
                    >> synonym?

                    There is. You can simply call a computer a "Rechner" in German, which means
                    "calculator".

                    >Well, for computer there's Icelandic "tölva".

                    What does it mean? Is it morphologically complex?

                    Andraias
                  • etsasse@acsu.buffalo.edu
                    ... Icelandic TÖLVA comes from a combination of two words; one is an old word for a sightseeresse/magician type diviner VÖLVA which fell out of usage ages
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 23 7:03 AM
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                      > >Well, for computer there's Icelandic "tölva".
                      >
                      > What does it mean? Is it morphologically complex?

                      Icelandic TÖLVA comes from a combination of two words; one is an old
                      word for a sightseeresse/magician type diviner VÖLVA which fell out of
                      usage ages ago.
                      The other word is the strightforward word for 'number' TALA sg. TÖLUR
                      pl., so basically a computer is a 'diviner of numbers'. Modern
                      Icelanders don't necessarily break this word down into its components
                      when they think of the word even though almost all of them know its
                      origins, so that its morphology is simply TÖLV- + -A, with -A being the
                      feminine nom. sg. ending. As a joke however, you will sometimes see
                      Icelanders using the word TALVA instead which originated from an
                      incorrect, but plausible, backformation of the nominative through its
                      oblique cases which is a non-verifiable pitfall all people who
                      reconstruct Gothic words should be aware of.
                      I've always thought a good Latin neologism for computer would be
                      'abacus' relying on those old out of date, yet simple words like
                      Icelandic often tries to do even today. Howzbout a translation of
                      'bean-counter' for the Gothic word?
                    • jdm314@aol.com
                      Interesting, so I presume Rechner is cognate with Rahnjan and Tölva with the english word tally (I don t see any Gothic cognates)... there s also garaþnan,
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 23 9:32 AM
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                        Interesting, so I presume Rechner is cognate with Rahnjan and Tölva
                        with the english word tally (I don't see any Gothic cognates)...
                        there's also garaþnan, as long as we're at it.


                        > I've always thought a good Latin neologism for computer would be
                        > 'abacus' relying on those old out of date, yet simple words like
                        > Icelandic often tries to do even today. Howzbout a translation of
                        > 'bean-counter' for the Gothic word?

                        They resurect out of date words to use for modern concepts in Hebrew as
                        well. In general this works quite well [except when Israelis try to
                        read the bible and forget which words they actually know and which
                        words are neologisim!]... Neo-Latinists tend to be more anal, and often
                        won't let you get away with this. Reginald Foster (who works for the
                        Pope at Vatican) enjoys using this solution. For instance, one word he
                        used for elevator was _pegma_ because it's defined in Lewis and Short
                        as "A piece of wooden machinery in the theatre, which rose and fell,
                        opened and shut of itself, and with which players were suddenly raised
                        aloft" which matches the definition almost exactly...
                        ...Most neo-Latinists though don't like this kind of solution, but on
                        the other hand they have access to an unimaginably larger corpus than
                        neo-Gothicists, so if we use this trick more than the do I think we're
                        justified ;)


                        Ïusteinus
                      • etsasse@acsu.buffalo.edu
                        I think one of the things that needs to be considered before we can plan a strategy of new word formation, is to agree on either a common endpoint, or at least
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 23 12:37 PM
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                          I think one of the things that needs to be considered before we can
                          plan a strategy of new word formation, is to agree on either a common
                          endpoint, or at least a manner of progression. The recent arguments for
                          creating a term for computer have contained an aspect of culture in
                          their choices. chosing native -stock vs. West-Germanic influence vs.
                          accepting international vocabulary etc. We need to decide if we accept
                          that language influences culture (ala Sapir-Whorf) or if culture
                          influences language instead (ala most others). Of course, without a
                          Gothic culture to rely upon, it would seem that we should just focus on
                          the language, but that's not possible since our perception of new items
                          (like computers) is culturally influenced in one way or another, even
                          if that means an individual predisposition towards one method of
                          choosing a new word based therefore on so many individual views as to
                          be unmentionable. I personally wouldn't mind seeing new forms coming
                          from attested roots used in new senses to a limited degree (like some
                          Icelandic neologisms), as well as a path which first decides on a
                          meaning for the new word, and then plugs Gothic phonological changes
                          (or never before seen ablauts!) into pan-Germanic roots, which could
                          then include *some* calques from perhaps other Germanic languages if
                          they are widespread enough already. It's also probable that some words
                          will just have to be accepted into the language at face value if Gothic
                          ever becomes successful enough. Such words as Juju, Kangaroo or Totem
                          are foreign enough in nature to perhaps avoid having a Gothic root
                          applicable to them from such a limited corpus. At that point, these
                          words can just be accepted with a new Gothic spelling like how
                          Norwegian changed 'bureau' to byrå (even though it ALREADY HAD a word
                          'del' for this!).
                        • David Salo
                          ... This is a general problem that you ll run into in any gendered language; and there will be the same problem if you try a neologism like rahnjands or
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 23 6:13 PM
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                            JDM wrote:
                            > This is a great idea! I love your attention to detail here.
                            > Unfortunately it won't work. It so happens that among the modern
                            >Latinist comunity (Haw haw haw! What a bunch of nuts! Trying to revive
                            >a dead language like Latin! It's so obscure!) there's a lot of debate
                            >about how to say computer. No one who knows what they're doing
                            >seriously suggests _computator_ though, as this would mean "man who
                            >professionally calculates", and a computer is not a man.

                            This is a general problem that you'll run into in any gendered language;
                            and there will be the same problem if you try a neologism like "rahnjands"
                            or anything like that.
                            If Gothic has a suffix, used with verb-stems, to mean "instrument for
                            doing X", it's not at all common. Words for tools and instruments are
                            either non-derived (e.g. giltha "sickle"; kas "vessel") or compounds
                            (mati-balgs, fotu-baurd).
                            >
                            >> *kaumpiuta (declined as a weak masculine?). And so on for associated
                            >> words.
                            >
                            >Borrowed from English you mean? Or is there an agentive -a in Gothic?

                            I was actually thinking of the Japanese Anglicism "kon'pyutaa"! There
                            is an -ja in Gothic (fiskja, swiglja, wardja etc.), used for "professions"
                            although more often with noun-stems than verb-stems.

                            Using a compound might be the way to go; I can offer some suggestions,
                            of course disputable:

                            Rathja-arka: from rathjo "number, account" + arka "box, chest", from the
                            shape of your typical CPU. To this we might add
                            Rathja-skuggwa "number-mirror" for a monitor; and
                            Rathja-baurd "number-board" for a keyboard (Though it is more nearly a
                            boka-baurd! Our use of words for "numbers" wrt computers reflects the
                            predominant uses of computers in the '50s, not the '90s.) Then there's
                            rathja-mus, a mouse who is a CPA... :)

                            /\ WISTR LAG WIGS RAIHTS
                            \/ WRAIQS NU IST <> David Salo
                            <dsalo@...> <>
                          • babeck@alphalink.com.au
                            babec-@alphalink.com.au wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l/?start=659 ... revive ... language; ... rahnjands ... for ...
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 24 3:54 PM
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                              babec-@... wrote:
                              original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/gothic-l/?start=659
                              > JDM wrote:
                              > > This is a great idea! I love your attention to detail here.
                              > > Unfortunately it won't work. It so happens that among the modern
                              > >Latinist comunity (Haw haw haw! What a bunch of nuts! Trying to
                              revive
                              > >a dead language like Latin! It's so obscure!) there's a lot of debate
                              > >about how to say computer. No one who knows what they're doing
                              > >seriously suggests _computator_ though, as this would mean "man who
                              > >professionally calculates", and a computer is not a man.
                              >
                              > This is a general problem that you'll run into in any gendered
                              language;
                              > and there will be the same problem if you try a neologism like
                              "rahnjands"
                              > or anything like that.
                              > If Gothic has a suffix, used with verb-stems, to mean "instrument
                              for
                              > doing X", it's not at all common. Words for tools and instruments are
                              > either non-derived (e.g. giltha "sickle"; kas "vessel") or compounds
                              > (mati-balgs, fotu-baurd).
                              > >
                              > >> *kaumpiuta (declined as a weak masculine?). And so on for
                              associated
                              > >> words.
                              > >
                              > >Borrowed from English you mean? Or is there an agentive -a in Gothic?
                              >
                              > I was actually thinking of the Japanese Anglicism "kon'pyutaa"!
                              There
                              > is an -ja in Gothic (fiskja, swiglja, wardja etc.), used for
                              "professions"
                              > although more often with noun-stems than verb-stems.
                              >
                              > Using a compound might be the way to go; I can offer some
                              suggestions,
                              > of course disputable:
                              >
                              > Rathja-arka: from rathjo "number, account" + arka "box, chest", from
                              the
                              > shape of your typical CPU. To this we might add
                              > Rathja-skuggwa "number-mirror" for a monitor; and
                              > Rathja-baurd "number-board" for a keyboard (Though it is more nearly a
                              > boka-baurd! Our use of words for "numbers" wrt computers reflects the
                              > predominant uses of computers in the '50s, not the '90s.) Then
                              there's
                              > rathja-mus, a mouse who is a CPA... :)
                              >
                              > /\ WISTR LAG WIGS RAIHTS
                              > \/ WRAIQS NU IST <> David
                              Salo
                              > <dsalo@...> <>
                              >
                              >
                              Some interesting suggestions here. But personally, as someone in the
                              computer field, I still prefer garahni. The strong neuter ja-stem just
                              feels more appropriate to me and the ga- prefix seems to imply that
                              something more than just counting is achieved. As a matter of interest
                              there is a web site which has an Old English computer glosssary on
                              http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ctb/wordhord.html
                              But the OE term they give for computer is 'circolwyrde'. Anyone any
                              idea what the components of this word mean?
                              Brian Beck
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