[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

gismu list baseline changes

The following are the changes to the gismu baseline that were approved
at and after LogFest.  New words have yet to be made; we'll announce them
when we get to it (but it'll be a few months).

                      Decisions on gismu Proposals

The following proposals were approved with little controversy:

1. Change "ckamu" to "mleca" for rafsi considerations
2. Add "daytime", change keyword for "day" (full day?, 24hr day?)
3. Add "virtue", as distinct from "good", to parallel with "evil"
4. Add "citrus"
5. Add "cabbage", to include broccoli, cauliflower, and perhaps lettuce
6. Add "hemp", to include natural rope, burlap, marijuana, and hashish
7. Add "protein"
8. Add "buckwheat"
9. Add "cassava", to include taro and yam, and other starchy roots (not
10. Add "sorghum"
11. Add "magenta" and "cyan" as the missing two subtractive primary
12. Change the keyword of "gismu" from "primitive" to "root word"
13. Add "North America", the continent, as distinct from "merko",
referring to the U.S.
14. Add "South America", the continent, as distinct from "xispo",
referring to Latin America
15. Add "Antarctica"

The following proposals were added with considerable debate and

1. Add "glimmering" to cover the concepts of morning and evening
     twilight, as well as the phenomenon of astronomical terminator; the
     poetic usefulness and the extension of the concept astronomically
     led to passage
     a. "Dawn"/"morning twilight" and "evening twilight" were voted down
2. Define "morning" and "evening" symmetrically
     a. The specific symmetry required much debate; consensus was finally
          built around a culture-dependent definition, wherein morning is
          the time between sleep and work, and evening is the time
          between work and sleep, according to the cultural norm.  In a
          tanru this could be modified to a personal norm.
3. In a discussion of "decrease" as an opposite of "increase", initial
     sentiment was only weakly for adding it
     a. It was noticed that the existing place structure of increase was
          transitive; it was proposed that by changing the place
          structure to the intransitive "x1 is increased in property x2
          by amount x3", an opposite gismu for "decrease" would be better
          justified.  Without the change, the semantic difference from
          "adjust" and "add" was felt to be too small.
     b. The vote to add "decrease" in parallel to the new meaning of
          "increase" was then successful

The following changes were voted down:

1. Add "text"
2. Add "tears"
3. Add "ugly", the opposite of "beautiful"
4. Add "diffuse", the opposite of "concentrated"
5. Add "deficient", (after discussion, it was decided that "deficient" is
     the opposite of "excess" with "sufficient" as middle ground.  The
     opposite of "sufficient" then, encompasses both excess or deficient.
6. Add "alfalfa"
7. Add a common term for the Western Hemisphere continents

The following are still open issues:
1. The definition of "arm" was not discussed; we forgot.
2. It was decided to change the keywords for "tanru" and "lujvo".
Unfortunately, there has been no consensus on what to change them to.
The clear sense is to avoid linguistic jargon and words that have
multiple meanings in English such as "compound".  There is some sentiment
for keywords that show a parallelism in definitions of the two concepts,
though alternatively the parallelism could be made clear in the extended
definition.  The keyword should be 15 characters or less to keep it
simple for LogFlash users (and avoid an unnecessary program
modification).  The proposed choices, in roughly chronological order are:
     a.             open compound       closed compound
     b.             relation phrase     affix compound
     c.             relation phrase     relation compound
     d.             word cluster        cluster word
     e.             word cluster        affix cluster
     f.             word grouping       affix grouping
     g.             grouped words       affix word(s)
     h.             modified phrase     modified word
     i.             phrase relation     affix relation
3. The familial relationships never quite seem to satisfy.  It was agreed
to add "sire" and "dam" to the definitions of "patfu" and "mamta" (no
vote necessary since place structure change).  Later it was suggested
that we retain some unsatisfactory holes and combinations, which are of
uncertain importance.  The fact that American culture is shifting away
from traditional family structures makes it unlikely that we (who are all
Americans) can decide on a culturally neutral solution.  The choices are
then to be maximally inclusive of the possible relationships, or to pare
the list in ways that ignore American sensibilities.  The general
preference seems to be for the former.  Thus, we can make the following

     Gender-neutral      Male      Female         Gender-neutral but
     but genetic                                  not-necessarily-genetic
1.   panzi               bersa     tixnu               se rirni
1a.                                                    verba
1b.                                                    cifnu
2.                       bruna     mensi               lunba
3.   se panzi            patfu     mamta               rirni ("rearer")
3a.                                se jbena            "mother/father"

But note that as currently defined, "patfu" and "mamta" are defined
biologically, whereas their counterparts (except "se jbena") need not be.
The obvious suggestion is to make them non-biological.  However, it can
reasonably be argued that with animal breeding and genetics, and in some
less transitional cultures, the biological parents have a uniquely
important role enough to be considered 'primitive'.  If so, the tanru
"mamta se panzi" and "patfu se panzi" may be too long to be satisfactory.
They could be shortened by any of the options:
     a. Change "panzi" to be its inverse, making "se panzi" into
     b. Add a different gismu to be the inverse of "panzi";
     c. Add two gismu to specifically represent the genetic relationships
     "sire" and "dam";
Other options are possible.   Note also that "rirni" is not quite the
same as "mother/father", so we may need another genderless general term
     There is also the question of the extended family, which we have
long ignored.  We can be very specific about "mother-mother", "father-
sister", and other extended family relationships, but we cannot be
general.  This is a weakness in that most cultures use general terms, and
in American culture, the extended family relationships are getting so
complex that specific terms will not suffice.  For discussion purposes
then, let us consider:
     a. "elder/ancestor" for family members of generations preceding the
          parents (including non-direct line, the relationship is more
          social/ethnic than biological).  Gender would be added via
          tanru, as would explicit biological lineage (or a place could
          be used for specifying lineage, with specific names used in
          alternation with properties of the lineage of relation).  The
          conversion would give "descendant" as well as "grandkids" in
          the broadest sense.
     b. "aunt/uncle/godparent" for non-lineal (socio-ethnic) family
               members of the parental generation.  The conversion would
               give "niece/nephew".
     c. "cousin" for non-immediate (socio-ethnic) family members of the
               same generation.
The generalized family relationship is still expressed by "lanzu", which
               can be modified via tanru.

     Days of the week were discussed prior to the gismu baseline
discussion, and it was decided to add color and continent based names as
alternatives to the number based names that have been standard.  In addi-
tion, the number based names will be set to run from 0 to 7, with Sunday
serving as both 0 and 7, depending on speaker preference/orientation.
     John Cowan expressed great skepticism that any alternate system
would catch on.  They seem too much like crackpot 'calendar reform'
efforts, and isn't well supported in numerical date representations.  He
also noted that not all cultures have a 7-day week (which had been
previously noted).  The generic concept of a week is the time between
successive market days, which ranges from 4 to 9 days in agrarian non-
Western cultures.  He thus suggested that "jeftu" add a place to indicate
the culture.  This requires no vote, since it is a place struture change.

If you have comments on any of the open issues, either put them on the
lojban-list, or send them to me.