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Feayran Shininess

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Dec 17th, 2011
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  1. [14:49] <@Pirka> Btw, can you think of any shiny thing off the top of your head?
  2. [14:50] <Trails> The ways that the language is influenced by smell being the feayr's primary sense for cognition
  3. [14:51] <Trails> How that affects the language's handling of reference, identity, and description
  4. [14:51] <Trails> How stance governs discourse structure and turn-taking
  5. [14:51] <Trails> How aspects relate to conversational stages
  6. [14:52] <Trails> And now it manages nounlessness
  7. [14:52] <Trails> *how
  8. [14:55] <@Pirka> Nounlessness?
  9. [14:56] == Omzinesy [~aisi@Swift-54942E7C.dhcp.inet.fi] has joined #cbb
  10. [14:56] <Trails> Yep
  11. [14:56] <Omzinesy> Moi
  12. [14:56] <@Micamo> All nouns in feayran are incorporated into a verb somehow
  13. [14:56] <Trails> +axayam
  14. [14:57] <@Pirka> Hmm
  15. [14:57] <@Pirka> How does that work?
  16. [14:57] <Trails> Right...I should be more specific. Feayran doesn't have any lexical category that can be usefully set apart as "nouns."
  17. [14:57] <@Pirka> Hello Omzinesy
  18. [14:57] <@Pirka> Ok...
  19. [14:57] <Trails> It ties back to how Feayran handles reference, identity, and description
  20. [14:57] <Omzinesy> ki
  21. [14:57] <Omzinesy> *hi
  22. [14:58] <Trails> Which stems from the fact that the feayr are shapeshifters, and the fact that their primary cognitive sense is smell, rather than sight
  23. [14:58] <CrazyEttin> cool.
  24. [14:58] <Trails> When you perceive something by sight, you perceive its identity.
  25. [14:58] <@Pirka> (shapeshifting <3)
  26. [14:58] <Trails> But when you perceive something by smell, you perceive its context.
  27. [14:59] <@Pirka> Its context.
  28. [14:59] <Trails> So where human languages tend to reference things by their identity--which is perceptually most accessible to us--Feayran references things by their context
  29. [14:59] <Trails> Right--
  30. [14:59] <@Pirka> What do you mean, its context? Not only its identity but everything in its immediate vicinity?
  31. [14:59] <Omzinesy> Can you give a simple example?
  32. [15:00] <@Pirka> Yes.
  33. [15:00] <@Pirka> Please :)
  34. [15:00] <Trails> Not its vicinity perse
  35. [15:00] <Trails> Suppose I hand you an apple
  36. [15:00] <Trails> The information that is accessible to you by sight is that it is red, and round, etc.
  37. [15:00] <Trails> That is, what you get by sight are features of the object _as an apple._ It's identity.
  38. [15:01] <Omzinesy> yes
  39. [15:01] <Trails> But what you _smell_ (if your nose is as developed as a feayr's is) is the basket where I was keeping the apple, and the oils my skin left on the apple, and the type of tree the apple came from
  40. [15:01] <@Pirka> Okay.
  41. [15:02] <Trails> So the information that is brightest in feayr cognition of the apple is not its features _as an apple,_ but its features _as a participant in a context_
  42. [15:02] <Trails> Thus
  43. [15:02] <Trails> In English we would _reference_ the object I just handed you as "the apple." We reference its identity, because that is what is most accessible to us.
  44. [15:03] == mikl [Mibbit@Swift-69934048.as43234.net] has joined #cbb
  45. [15:03] <Trails> But in Feayran you would reference it as "object which has traces of my smell on it," because that is what would be most accessible to you
  46. [15:03] <mikl> Trailsend!
  47. [15:03] <Trails> Hiya!
  48. [15:03] <mikl> Hi!
  49. [15:03] <@Pirka> I see. That makes sense.
  50. [15:03] <Omzinesy> But if they identify a smell, don't they say it's apple tree smell?
  51. [15:04] <Trails> They could do that as well
  52. [15:04] <Omzinesy> Hello
  53. [15:04] <Trails> Any given object has a myriad of smell traces on it most of the time
  54. [15:04] <Trails> So you get to pick which one to use when you refer to the object
  55. [15:04] <Trails> You pick the one that is most salient
  56. [15:04] <Trails> For, for example,
  57. [15:04] <Trails> Say we're trying to sort out which apples are mine from which apples are yours
  58. [15:04] <@Pirka> So the whole lexicon is made up of smells?
  59. [15:04] <Trails> We'll refer to them based on whether they have my smell trace or your smell trace
  60. [15:05] <@Pirka> Aside from actions.
  61. [15:05] <Trails> But if we were sorting edible apples from inedible apples, we would use different smells to reference them
  62. [15:05] <Trails> No--
  63. [15:05] <Trails> It's not that talking about identity is impossible in feayran
  64. [15:05] <Trails> It's that identity is not used for _reference_
  65. [15:05] <Trails> Only for description.
  66. [15:05] <Omzinesy> But we (visual beings) do not describe what we see but what we suppose is happening.
  67. [15:06] <Trails> Omzinesy: Could you elaborate? I don't quite know what you mean.
  68. [15:06] <@Pirka> Could you give an example of the Feayran use of identity for reference?
  69. [15:06] <Omzinesy> (Kant)
  70. [15:06] <Trails> I could give an example of a Feayran use of identity of description...
  71. [15:06] <Trails> But they don't use identity for reference
  72. [15:07] <@Pirka> Oh
  73. [15:07] <@Pirka> My bad
  74. [15:07] <@Pirka> identity for description*
  75. [15:07] <Trails> Right!
  76. [15:07] <Omzinesy> It's not very interesting telling that there is a man, he has an apple in his mouth, you can go further and say he is eating
  77. [15:09] <Omzinesy> Sorry, I do not know how this had to do with anything
  78. [15:09] <Trails> K, this is from the L&N QQ thread, my discussion with Thaen
  79. [15:10] <Trails> Usurhikáttelokw nùurulhárhis
  80. [15:10] <Trails> Translated, "The black bear hid in the trees."
  81. [15:10] <Trails> The first predicate indicates the act of hiding. It _references_ the agent of the hiding as "that animate object with a smell trace of a dangerous predator"
  82. [15:11] <@Micamo> Yeah, not having reference could give you problems
  83. [15:11] <@Micamo> How would you say "Dave murdered his wife"
  84. [15:11] <@Micamo> When it's salient that dave, not someone else, who did the murdering?
  85. [15:11] <@Pirka> Maybe Dave is an identity?
  86. [15:11] <Trails> The second predicate describes the identity of the same referent: "that object with the smell trace of a dangerous predator is a black bear"
  87. [15:12] <Omzinesy> smart
  88. [15:12] <Trails> Feayran names are descriptive predicates which conventionally refer to a particular person
  89. [15:12] <Trails> So you'd get something like,
  90. [15:13] <Omzinesy> And if I would "have wind in my hair" you couln't call me so, cos its someone's name
  91. [15:13] <Trails> "That animate object with a masculine smell trace killed that animate object with a feminine smell trace, the one with the masculine trace went a long way to hunt elk, the one with the feminine trace was married to the one with the masculine trace."
  92. [15:13] <Trails> ...except in Feayran it works out to be much more succinct :P
  93. [15:14] <@Micamo> Here's a better example: "He washed the windows and dusted the tables." (The washer and duster are the same person)
  94. [15:14] <Omzinesy> end elk is in Feayran?
  95. [15:15] <Trails> (Where "he went a long way to hunt elk" would be the conventional descriptor for Dave)
  96. [15:15] <Trails> Ah! Right, I should mention that
  97. [15:15] <Trails> (Getting to your question Micamo, one sec)
  98. [15:15] <Trails> So incorporated roots do form a grayish area
  99. [15:15] <Trails> There is a root, ulq*lh, meaning "to be an elk"
  100. [15:15] <Omzinesy> There must be so many smells you cannot identify everything than "the elk smell"?
  101. [15:16] <Trails> And this root can get incorporated into the predicate meaning "hunt" to mean "hunt elk"
  102. [15:16] <Trails> Which in a way seems referenceish
  103. [15:16] <Trails> But usually is not, since the referent is typically indefinite
  104. [15:17] <Trails> When the referent needs to be highly definite, then you would specify it in a separate predicate and assign it a smell trace
  105. [15:17] <Trails> But even still, you get things like my previous "The black bear hid in the trees" example
  106. [15:17] <Omzinesy> So you can speak of categories but the separate things are identified by features?
  107. [15:17] <Trails> Where "the trees" is kinda reference-ish, because obviously the bear hid in a particular tree
  108. [15:18] <Trails> But the _exact_ instance of tree in question isn't salient, so it doesn't get its own smell pointer
  109. [15:18] <Omzinesy> what is smell pointer?
  110. [15:19] <Trails> @ Omzinesy's question at :15 - There isn't an "elk smell" classifier, but there is a "large ungulate smell" classifier
  111. [15:19] <Trails> I sometimes call Feayran's classifier morphemes "smell pointers" because they reference objects by smell
  112. [15:19] <Trails> @ Micamo's question:
  113. [15:19] <@Micamo> I thought there was no reference?
  114. [15:20] <Trails> Oh!
  115. [15:20] <Trails> No no, sorry
  116. [15:20] <Trails> There is no reference _by identity_
  117. [15:20] <Trails> There is reference _by context_ all over the place
  118. [15:20] <Trails> Where "by context" means "by a salient smell trace"
  119. [15:20] <Omzinesy> by reference you mean an individual thing?
  120. [15:21] <@Pirka> I suppose the human equivalent of feayran would be a language that consisted of only adjectives. The manly looking animate object killed the womanly looking animate object.
  121. [15:21] <Trails> Well...referring to an individual thing, yes
  122. [15:21] <@Micamo> I don't see the difference
  123. [15:21] <Trails> Micamo--clarify?
  124. [15:21] <Trails> You mean the difference between "by identity" and "by context"?
  125. [15:22] <Omzinesy> So Feayran just have semantic categosation for everything, and the categories are based on smell
  126. [15:23] <Trails> Yep. And these categories are used to refer to objects, rather than the actual identity of the objects
  127. [15:23] <Trails> Actual identity can be accomplished by description, but is not used for reference
  128. [15:24] <Omzinesy> What i know about semantic categorisation tables they never work
  129. [15:24] <Trails> (except sorta-kinda in the case of incorporated roots)
  130. [15:24] <Omzinesy> yes
  131. [15:24] == xing [~kennethny@Swift-4CC22DA3.mobileonline.telia.com] has joined #cbb
  132. [15:24] <Trails> Mine is doing okay so far...hopefully it holds up :P
  133. [15:24] <Trails> It helps that I'm not bothered by having buckets and buckets of them
  134. [15:26] <Omzinesy> How do you distinquish "Jone's murderer is insane!" clauses?
  135. [15:26] <@Micamo> Oh, lemme explain
  136. [15:26] <Omzinesy> When you just see Jones is murdered, or that there is an accused man that is insane
  137. [15:27] <@Micamo> Nouns have two components: A criterion of categorization, which tells you whether something is a member of the class described by the noun or not
  138. [15:27] <Omzinesy> That was an example from my philosophy course
  139. [15:27] <@Micamo> And a criterion of identity, which tells you whether two members of a category are the same member, or are different
  140. [15:28] <Trails> Depending on how you want to handle Frege's nominatum/sense issue, sure
  141. [15:28] <@Micamo> If you can't use identity for reference, then how can you establish that two events involve the same person?
  142. [15:29] <Trails> Okay
  143. [15:29] <Trails> Lemme answer Omzinesy first
  144. [15:29] <Trails> So Feayran syntax is pretty flat
  145. [15:29] <Omzinesy> But a language doesn't have to be logical
  146. [15:29] <Trails> It's hard to find useful ways to fit predicates into recursing parse trees
  147. [15:30] <Trails> So what you would get for "Jone's murderer is insane!" is:
  148. [15:30] <Trails> (X is insane) (X murdered Y) (Y is --insert Jone's conventional descriptor--)
  149. [15:30] <Trails> Where X and Y are smell pointers
  150. [15:31] <Omzinesy> But murdering is just a verbal affix/root/what ever
  151. [15:31] <Trails> Correct
  152. [15:31] <Trails> The actual gloss would look like
  153. [15:32] <Trails> insane<STAT-X> kill<X-PERF-Y> ?Jone?<ESSENTIAL-Y>
  154. [15:33] <Trails> Does that answer your question? I didn't quite understand what you meant by the "When you just see Jones is murdered, or that there is an accused man that is insane" part
  155. [15:34] <Omzinesy> If you don't know anything about the murderer but that there must be one that murdered Jones, you cannot refer to him with a smell base description
  156. [15:35] <Trails> Ah, correct
  157. [15:35] <Trails> The smell pointers get metaphorically extended all over the place
  158. [15:35] <Omzinesy> Or do you just suppose there are tracks?
  159. [15:35] <Trails> In this particular case, if you don't know who the murderer was and just want to say "man whoever this is must be crazy," then you would probably use the DANGEROUS_PREDATOR classifier
  160. [15:36] <Omzinesy> though you don't smell it
  161. [15:36] <Trails> (Oh! Right. If you are at the scene of the crime, then it's quite possible you could actually pick up a smell trace from the murderer, and then you could use that. The above is just if you have nothing else to go on.)
  162. [15:36] <Trails> Precisely.
  163. [15:37] <Omzinesy> Yes, but now i'm satisfied with philosophy
  164. [15:37] <Trails> :P Cool
  165. [15:37] <Trails> Okay, Micamo next
  166. [15:37] <Omzinesy> Someone else can ask something
  167. [15:38] <Trails> You establish that two events involve the same person by using the same pointer to talk about each
  168. [15:39] <Trails> So, like in the above, (X is insane) (X murdered Y), the recurrence of X tells you that the guy who murdered Y is the guy who is insane
  169. [15:39] <Trails> Are you asking about how you establish the reference in the first place?
  170. [15:40] <@Micamo> No, how can you use the same pointer if you can't use identity for reference?
  171. [15:41] <Trails> Ah, I think I understand
  172. [15:42] <Trails> So, it's understood that a particular smell classifier, once assigned to something, continues to refer to _that specific thing_ until it gets reassigned via particular syntactic structures
  173. [15:43] <Trails> In this way, you could say that the classifier is an identity reference, because it points to a particular object and this reference persists
  174. [15:44] <Trails> When I say "identity is not used for reference," I mean "identity" as "what an object is"
  175. [15:45] <Trails> For example, when we say "Give me an apple," we refer to it by its identity as an apple
  176. [15:45] <Trails> So really, the difference is not in the criterion of identity, but in the criterion of categorization
  177. [15:45] <Omzinesy> Do they have telecommunication? Can it be based on smells?
  178. [15:46] <Trails> Hunter-gatherers, no telecommunication except howling :P
  179. [15:46] <Omzinesy> pah
  180. [15:46] <Trails> :3
  181. [15:46] <Trails> Typical human-language nouns structure categories around what-an-object-is
  182. [15:47] <Trails> Whereas Feayran "nouns" structure categories around what-an-object's-context-is
  183. [15:47] <Omzinesy> or every notion has its own word, which is thought to be its meaning
  184. [15:47] <Trails> E.g., the "dangerous predator" pointer refers not only to dangerous predators, but also to hides of dangerous predators, or droppings of dangerous predators, or people who have been handling hides of dangerous predators
  185. [15:47] <@Micamo> So all you mean is the criterion of identity and criterion of categorization are separated into different structures, which I already knew
  186. [15:48] <Trails> :P What I really mean is that the criterion of categorization is framed differently (in a way that I, at least, find very interesting)
  187. [15:49] <Trails> My use of "identity" wasn't the same as that in the criterion of "identity"
  188. [15:49] <Omzinesy> I didn't know and it was interesting
  189. [15:49] <Trails> Thanks!
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