Thursday, April 21, 2022

Covert Grue

There is extensive literature on basic color terms. Since Kílta is a personal language for speaking in the modern world, it has a fairly wide color vocabulary, and does distinguish blue and green (pikwautin, ralin), unlike a grue (green-blue) language which unifies those colors under one term.

One thing I've done in Kílta, inspired in part by the articles in The Aesthetics of Grammar: Sound and Meaning in the Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia (Jeffrey P. Williams, editor), is to pay a lot of attention to how words are intensified. English of course has plenty of intensifying collocations — hopping mad, deeply concerned, etc. — but in Kílta there are quite a few intensifiers which only intensify. They have no independent meaning, and are often (apparently) root words.

A new intensifier I recently added is . It is only used with hichínin black, pikwautin blue, and ralin green. So, even though Kílta is not a grue language, I've hidden a grue tendency in the use of this intensifier.

Ummul në mó ralin no.
forest TOP deep green be.PFV
The forest is a deep green.

Mó hichínin mika në ël si alincho.
deep black stone TOP 3SG ACC shun
The jet black stone slipped from her grasp.

I extended in one other direction. Even though it is rather adverb-like, I permit it with kinta night to mean something like in the dark of night, for in a temporal adverb sense.

Ha në mó kinta otta si cholat oto vukai.
1SG TOP deep night sound ACC hear.INF fall.PFV DISAPPR
I happened to hear a sound at darkest part of the night.

Covert boundaries can be a useful way to think new things through.

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Covert Grue

There is extensive literature on basic color terms . Since Kílta is a personal language for speaking in the modern world, it has a fairly w...