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[gothic-l] Re: Words for computers

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Aug 11, 1999
      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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      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 2 of 13 , Aug 12, 1999
        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 3 of 13 , Aug 12, 1999
          <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 4 of 13 , Aug 12, 1999
            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 5 of 13 , Aug 22, 1999
              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 6 of 13 , Aug 22, 1999
                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 7 of 13 , Aug 23, 1999
                  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 8 of 13 , Aug 23, 1999
                    > >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 9 of 13 , Aug 23, 1999
                      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 10 of 13 , Aug 23, 1999
                        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 11 of 13 , Aug 23, 1999
                          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 12 of 13 , Aug 24, 1999
                            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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