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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:48 pm 
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One of the nice things about morphemes having different meanings in different contexts is that every phrase or compound word that RAWA explains can tell us something we did not know, even when the morphemes are already present in our dictionary. The word tome ‘homesick’ is a good example, first of all because the construction of the compound as to ‘place’ + me ‘out’ shows that the meaning ‘homesick’ is a metaphoric extension from the more “literal” sense of ‘out of place’. And this gives us a wonderful insight into D’ni thinking, because we can recognize that the feeling we call being “homesick” is a variation of the feeling we get when we sense that we are “out of place” or not where we ought to be, and because we can associate this with the fact that for the D’ni tomahnah (derived from tomahn literally ‘place of existence’) is what they called ‘home’.

And there is something else we can infer, if we look closely at the implications of this new evidence. The components to and me would be understood independently by a D’ni speaker, who would thus also have continued to recognize the literal sense of the compound tome. And this means that we know how to say ‘out of place’ in D’ni. This word can be used with a personal subject: aytruhs kenen tome = ‘Atrus is homesick’; and it could be used with an inanimate subject: met kor kenen tome = ‘this book is out of place’, i.e. misplaced, misshelved, etc.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:03 pm 
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The new information regarding me makes me wonder if shentome X means something along the lines of "take out/away [i.e. remove] X" rather than "take from X".

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:46 am 
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I like this idea :!:

It has long been a curiosity why Atrus says met misho tsahv te ‘this universe I live in’; whereas the Kenen Gor text does not say **khrekahtintahntee b’ken shentoij me ‘for the [oppressors] to be taken from’. If -me is an adverbial suffix here that could explain it.

Also note that the -to in shento ‘take’ is probably our same morpheme to ‘place’ used verbally to mean ‘put (in some place)’ since the basic meaning of the verb is ‘to place (something) with oneself’.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:25 am 
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RAWA wrote:

ets - "-y" (makes adj. from n.)
    gar-kal - (n. storm) --> gar-kal-ets (adj. stormy)



If gahrkahl is 'storm' then I suppose kahl would be something like 'wind' or 'weather'.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:28 am 
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I had a pet theory that shentome is essentially an applicative construction, used to promote noun from being the object of a preposition to being the direct object of a verb. Now, English doesn't natively have this, but we can convey the sense as something along the lines of: "He took the book from me" -> "He from-took me the book" (with the ordering to reinforce the notion). This is useful if you want to then make this newly promoted noun into the subject of a passive: "He from-took me the book" -> "I was from-taken the book". Translated into D'ni, we have: koshentoen rekor me zoo -> koshentome'en zoo rekor (I'm not sure what D'ni would do with rekor here - demoting it is one option, simply having a double-accusative is another, a may feature somewhere...) -> kodoshentomeij rekor. Obviously, this sounds very unnatural in English, but it's a real part of many languages in the world, so it's a viable option for D'ni.

Of course, if shentome just means "take away, remove", which would fit the context just as well, the above isn't necessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:00 pm 
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I suppose the fact that "to be taken away" is what ended up happening with the last of the kahntintahntee was a retroactive clue of sorts :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:21 am 
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The discussion of tome got me thinking about another unsolved word, namely gemedet. This is the name of the game of “six-in-a-line” though the word does not mean this literally. The word ends in a -t that could suggest the ‘in’ part of the name. By how would *gemede mean ‘six’ (if indeed it does) ?

The vocalic symmetry of the syllables is suggestive, and both me and de are known to be adverbial direction-words. Perhaps these three syllables represent the three dimensions of the playing board, and since a dimension is really two (opposite) directions, the three named directions could symbolize all six, one for each pair of “faces” of the playing-board cube.

Presumably a cube can be oriented however one wants; though there may have been a traditional orientation of the gemedet cube, and certainly it had an inherent “up” and “down” when played. And we can say that me as an adverb means basically ‘out’, so the opposite (unstated) direction is te ‘in’, which suggests an allusion to one’s natural orientation relative to the local planet, where me is ‘out’ from its surface or “up” and te is ‘in’ towards its center or “down.”

When designating a direction de would probably mean “back”, since when one d(e)mahlahen (‘comes again, returns’) one is back where one was before. This is the opposite of be ‘to’, the direction of the place you go “to” before you come back. What physical directions these refer to depends on where one is facing, or even more abstractly what one intends “to do”; and with respect to the gemedet board, I think we have to first figure out what ge means.

There is one word in which ge seems to refer to a direction, namely on the Museum Map in the phrase grahnerokh regerah which describes a curve on the lower part of the map with arrowheads along it pointing in the direction of the apparent motion of the sun. So the curve is probably the projection of a latitude line and grahner may mean ‘circle’ with gerah referring to the direction of these arrows.

In the D’ni cavern the sun was not visible; so perhaps gerah was used to refer to the direction of the rotation of the light-beam coming from the Great Zero. I am not sure how fast it rotates, but if you wait for it to go by you can face directly towards the Great Zero (be rezeero) and then ge would be in the direction towards your left, or what we would call “clockwise” on a map with the Great Zero at the center.

So to sum up (if any of this is correct), and thinking in terms of KI coordinates: ge is the direction of increasing torans from the GZ Line; me is the direction ‘out’ from the Earth’s center in increasing spans above the Lake’s surface; and de is the direction ‘back’ to where you are in spans measured from the GZ. (The directions te ‘in’ and be ‘to’ are not mentioned because they are just the opposites of me and de.) In effect what gemedet would be is a D’ni way of expressing “three-dimensional” — and as a game-name easier to say than vahgahfah terthidhsay :)

Shorah

P.S. Go ahead -- I dare you to say vahgahfah terthidhsay six times in a row!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:59 am 
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RAWA wrote:
el-e-mahr - elemar - n. spore

It seems like elemahr ought to contain the morpheme el ‘high’. Spores typically fall from the cap of a mushroom, from the leaves of a fern, etc. So the sequence elem might signify ‘from above’. The compound could then be either elem + ahr or elem + mahr.

I suppose *mahr could be something like ‘seed’ (spore is really just Greek for ‘seed’). Then we might have a connexion with mahrn ‘create’ (make the seed of) and mahrent ‘follow’ (be made by the seed of).

Shorah


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:43 pm 
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A slight flaw in your reasoning is that the D'ni should already have been familiar with mushrooms of the more mundane variety, and "seed from above" is not a particularly descriptive name for spores of such mushrooms.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:21 pm 
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I guess I was thinking that the D’ni need not have come up with the idea of a ‘spore’ based solely on observing mushrooms. Ferns (even on a world like ours) often grow large enough that a botanist could stand under the leaves and watch the sporangia ejecting their spores “from above.”

But another (perhaps more straight-forward) possibility is that the el ‘high’ in elemahr refers to the fact that spores are ejected up into the air by many species of fungi, so-called “puff-balls” being a good example.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:27 pm 
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RAWA wrote:
na-dahn - naDan - n. mushroom

In looking for possible words that might explain the etymology of this word I noticed an interesting pattern:

dahsh is the word for the "dome towers" on Riven.
dah’ko = ‘marble’ (probably referring to the "fire-marbles").
daban is the name of the “smoker” devise that Gehn uses with his pipe Image

Each of this objects is either sperical in shape or hemispherical, and each of the words begins with the two D’ni sounds dah.

So perhaps in nadahn this similarly refers the “cap” of a mushroom which often has appoximately this same shape.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:18 pm 
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In which case, it's reasonable to suppose that the -sh of dash is in fact the adverbial suffix, which would make da an adjective.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:58 am 
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So we would have: dah-sh = ‘spherical-ly’ which we could paraphrase as “in a spherical manner.” I suppose this could be understood as referring to the style of architecture.

This reminds me of the word tenahsh, about which it has remained uncertain whether it contains the adpostition te ‘in, by, with’ or the adverb-forming suffix -sh ‘-ly’. Since adverbs can theoretically qualify prepositions, perhaps we have both here and te + nahsh = ‘partially by’. This would make nah = ‘partial’.

And this brings us back to the word for ‘mushroom’, which may be nah-dahn because etymologically it means something like ‘partial sphere’ or ‘spherical part’.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:41 pm 
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I see I sparked a lively debate, which is what I was trying for. Now to throw some more information into the pot.

My base assumption was that the words me and te meant something simpler than we have thought up until now.

As it turns out, I was correct in that assumption. But equally, I was wrong because what the words actually mean isn't what I thought and how they are translated is more complex, which is not a surprise since that was a guess on my part based on what I knew of the definitions. I put the idea out just to get you all thinking (successfully, it appears).

Rawa told me that the words are a reflection of the fact than in D'ni, words like from, out, of, and so on are all essentially a single concept which is embodied in the word me. However, when translating sentences containing me, it's correct to take the meaning from context.

Here's his explanation:

Quote:
Short Answer:
"From" is probably clearer if you want a one-word-fits-all translation, at least in the examples given.
"from-D'ni," "from-rock," "from rock," "from me," "from that-time", etc.

"out of", "out from", "away from" would also be legitimate translations depending on context.

Longer answer:
Let me generalize and see if I am understanding the question properly.

Up until now, people have thought "me" had several D'ni meanings that happen to use the same D'ni word spelling (a homograph), and you use context to know which meaning is correct.

English example:
bear
1) n. a big, furry animal. "Oh look, a bear!"
2) v. to support "I cannot bear this load!"
3) v. to keep "Bear this in mind."
4) v. to move in a direction "Bear right and take the exit."

You are proposing that "me" has a single D'ni meaning and a single English meaning ("out"), but it has been translated using other English meanings ("from", "out of", etc.) for clarity depending on context.

It's kinda somewhere between the two.

"Me" is a single concept to the D'ni that we usually consider several different concepts in English. So it literally does mean several things in English, even though it embodies a single concept to the D'ni.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining that clearly, so I'll use a couple of Earth examples.

1) Snow. English speakers see snow falling to the ground. We say, "Hey, it's snowing." The Inuit allegedly have 50+ words for snow, "Hey, it's sleet-snowing." " Hey, it's big-wet-flakes-that-make-great-snowball-snowing." Where we have a single category concept for snow, they have a wide range of concepts within our concept of snow.

2) Going the opposite way, ancient Hebrew had a single concept of "proximity".
The prefix b' could mean "in,"on","near","beside",etc. ba-yit = house b'ba-yit = in the house, by the house, etc. You know from context which specific idea is intended.
The prefix L' is the concept of "to/toward/belonging to", but most people learning Hebrew are told "L'" means' "to". My wife and I have wedding rings with Hebrew from Song of Solomon. "Ani l'dodi, v'dodi li" Which in most Bibles is translated "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." More literally, it could be translated: "I (am) to/toward-beloved-my and-beloved-my (is) to/toward-me." Even the "v'" in that example: it usually means "and", but in other contexts, it can mean "but".

3) There are times we do similar things in English. "Look out! There's something in the road ahead!" and "Look out! There's something on the road ahead!" are two ways of expressing the same concept: "Look out! The road ahead has something you need to be aware of!" But someone learning English as a second language seeing those two sentences is likely to think that we have two different words for what they consider a single concept.

At this point, I can't tell if my ramblings have any meaning whatsoever. So I'm going to stop before I just confuse myself further.

Short summary:
There are many ways to translate "me" based on context that would be considered "literal" translations.

Hope that helps,

RAWA

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:42 pm 
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There are two related but distinct concepts here. The first is polysemy, which is where a word has multiple wholly distinct meanings, as in the "bear" example. The second is much subtler, and tmk doesn't have a word for it, but it describes words that have a single "prototype" meaning, but this is coloured by context. This second case applies to "me". The problem with saying "forget all these shades of meaning, we're going to use the prototype as the one true definition" is that we are programmed to look for these shades of meaning. Hence, using the prototype will more often than not impart the wrong impression, thus rendering it unhelpful.

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