## Discussing basic vocabulary

A forum for all topics related to constructed languages
Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Discussing basic vocabulary

I'll give the LaTeX version, because it is too much work to apply bbcodes. Feel free to copy it and compile it on your own computer. Then you'll get the number of the choosen concepts. This number might change during the discussion. As we'll see, a core vocabulary depends more on the artistic intent of the conlanger, while for a basic vocabulary some general criteria can be applied.

\section{Basic vocabulary}

An approach towards the concept of basic vocabulary.

Inspired by: CBB-Conlangs -- The Landau Core Vocabulary

Purpose of a basic vocabulary:

\begin{itemize}
\item
Possible list of basic concepts for cross-language comparison.

using the concept of basic words for language comparison
=> frequent variant, inalienable word roots vs. words + possessiv.
\item
Possible starting point for conlanging/conworlding.

You wish to cover a lot of basic concepts describing the world or culture.
\item
Possible starting point for learning a language.

Some words like dawn or dusk seems not that important and can be
replaced by more important concepts.
\end{itemize}

So even a basic word list depends on the purpose it is intented to be used for.

\subsection{On the term ''core vocabulary''}

% Wenn eine Sprache Wörter für Fluß, der ins Meer fließt
% vs. Fluß, der in einen See fließt, hat, aber kein Wort für Fluß

If there are different words for a river floating into the sea
in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,
this contrast does not seem ''basic'' to me at all.
This kind of distinctions have a lot of prerequisites:
The (con)people need to have knowledge on the course of the rivers,
which implies having done explorations and drawn maps, which in turn
implies expeditions and the existence of some methods of storing
the results of that expeditions, which does imply lots of other things,
especially some more or less advanced technology.

However, having that kind of distinction sheds some light on the culture
and the way of thinking of the (con)people.

Distinctions like e.\,g. various names for rice in different stages of being
processed just add to the depth of the (con)culture, but are not basic.

when it comes to conlanging,
to my understanding the terms ''core'' and ''basic'' describe
different artistic intentions.

\begin{itemize}
\item
The term ''core'' does not (necessarily) mean ''basic''.
\item
% The term ''core'' hinges around
% some central topic/topics or concept/concepts
% prevalent in that culture
% -- or prevalent in the whim of the conlanger --
% but does not necessarily contribute to the (con-)culture's
% ability to survive.
The term ''core'' hinges around
some central topic/topics or concept/concepts
prevalent in that culture or society,
so it is (somewhat/very much) related to the artistic intentions
of the conlanger/conworlder.
\end{itemize}

My conclusion from Khemehekis' Core Vocabulary:
A ''core vocabulary'' is not a ''basic vocabulary''.

\subsection{On ''basic'' concepts}

\subsubsection{What does ''basic'' mean?}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
Morphological criteria:
no/few composita, few derivation; often monosyllabic
\item
Pragmatical criteria:
frequent occurrence
\item
Semanitic/lexic criteria:
basic concepts, essential for survival in nature or in pre-technology era
\item
Concepts which need to be known/addressed
to ensure the existence/survival of a people.
\item
Has something to do with dayly life and dayly survival.
\item
Depends on the physical and mental capabilities of the species,
respectively.
\item
Depends on the environment a species typically lives in:
the environment the species would prefer if there is no external force
to go to a certain environment.
\item
Terms for prevalent and prominent things, even if they have little impact
on the life and cannot be influenced by the people, e. g. the stars.
\item
Common dangerous things, animals, phenomena: fire etc.
\item
Terms found in an early form of culture, such as hunter/gatherers,
before the invention of advanced technology.
\item
A basic concept yields at least some significant advantage
for the (con-)people over not having it.
\item
Basic nouns often imply related basic verb(s) or adjectives:
child $\to$ to play, is sick/ill.
\item
Is not (that much) related to the (artistic) intentions of the conlanger.
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{What is not ''basic''?}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
Compounds, as they often specify subsets/subconcepts
of a more general concept.
\item
Pronouns, particles, interjectons, etc.,
as they may differ amongst languages.
\item
Numbers, as some cultures do well without an elaborated number system.
\item
Seasons of the year, as they depend on where the species/people live.
\item
Colour terms, as colour perception can differ amongst cultures.
\item
Technological terms, as technology is not basic.
\item
The clock, as this implies some technology, and therefore is not basic!
\end{enumerate}

\subsection{Choosing ''basic'' concepts}

For a balanced and useful list, instead of just listing basic words,
many concepts are associated a predicate etc.
The predicates/verbs should cover a typical aspect of the noun
they are associated with.

\subsubsection{Basic kinship terms}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
mother -- to care for so./sth., to feed
\item
father -- to care for so./sth., to hunt
\item
son
\item
daughter
\item
brother
\item
sister
\item
child -- to play, is sick/ill
\item
boy
\item
girl
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{Basic body parts}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
eye -- to see
\item
ear -- to hear
\item
nose -- to smell (sth.)
\item
mouth -- to speak, to eat, to drink
\item
tooth
\item
tongue
\item
arm -- to hold
\item
hand -- to hold
\item
leg
\item
foot
\item
skin
\item
blood
\item
hair -- is long/short
\item
feather -- is light
\item
wing
\item
beak % der Schnabel
\item
claw % die Kralle
\item
horn % das Horn
\item
tail -- is long % der Schwanz
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{Celestial bodies}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
sun -- to rise, to shine, to set
\item
moon -- to shine
\item
star
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{The four elements}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
earth
\item
water -- to flow, is cold, is warm, is hot
\item
air -- to breathe
\item
fire -- to burn, to glow, is warm, is hot
% Blackmore's Night ~ Toast to Tomorrow lyrics,
% ab 1:02 -- Warmed by the fires glow
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{Environmental terms}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
sky -- is bright
\item
cloud
\item
sea/ocean -- is calm/wild/wide/deep
\item
land
\item
valley -- is deep, is narrow, is wide
\item
mountain -- is high
\item
wood % der Wald
\item
rock -- is hard/heavy/weighty
\item
stone -- is heavy
\end{enumerate}

In German, there is a distinction between Wald (wood) and Forst (forest),
the latter one is not basic, as done by humans.

Sea/ocean corresponds to land and therefore an environmental term rather
than a body of water.

\subsubsection{Waters/bodies of water}

\begin{enumerate}
\item % Running water/bodies of flowing water:
ditch/stream/brook/rivulet/torrent
\item
river -- to flow
\item % Stagnant water/body of standing water:
lake -- to lie
\end{enumerate}

Pond/pool (germ. Teich) would correspond to ditch/rivulet (germ. Bach)
but I don't consider that basic, as it is not that frequent.

Puddle (germ. Pfütze) is common but not an important phenomenon.

The difference between a ditch/stream/rivulet/torrent and a river:
a human can jump over a ditch etc. but can't jump over a river.

\subsubsection{Weather terms}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
wind -- to blow
\item
rain -- to fall
\item
storm
\item
flash/lightning/bolt % Blitz
\item
thunder
\item
snow -- to fall
\end{enumerate}

Hail (germ. Hagel) does not occure very often, so it is not included.
Does ice need to be included, as people would rather live in a warm land?

\subsubsection{Time of day}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
dawn
\item
morning -- is bright
\item
noon
\item
evening
\item
dusk
\item
night -- is dark, is deep
\end{enumerate}

Should dawn and dusk be included?
These two concepts are important for people
living a life in the wilderness.

\subsubsection{Basic kinds of animals}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
cat -- to hunt
\item
dog -- to hunt
\item
mouse
\item
horse -- is fast
\item
bird -- to fly, to dive
\item
fish -- to swim
\item
snake -- to bite
% \item
% insect -- to fly, to sting
\item
bee -- to fly, to sting
\item
beetle/bug % Käfer
\item
fly -- to fly
\item
spider -- to bite, to hunt, to lurk, to weave
\item
worm -- is long, is slow
\item
snail -- is slow
\end{enumerate}

Cat, dog and horse are included because they are extremely common
in human society and extremely useful for humans.

Mice are common and considered basic anyway.

Snakes are considered dangerous almost everywhere, they also introduce
the verb ''to bite'', which I consider basic.

Insects and spiders are almost everywhere, so they need to be included.
They also introduce the important verbs ''to sting'' and ''to weave'',
respectively, even if not all insects sting and not all spiders are
weaving spiders.
Insects are rather diverse, so it is better to introduce
bee, bug/beetle and fly instead of insect.
Bees, wasps, gnats and mosquitoes can fly and sting
so would be even better to introduce that verbs.
Bees are the most useful for humans (and bears) so I take that.
I'm not sure if gnats and mosquitoes are the same,
mosquito makes me think of jungle.

Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included?

Should ''duck'' or ''goose'' be included,
to introduce the verb ''to dive''?

\subsubsection{Basic plant terminology}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
flower -- is beautiful % die Blume/die Blüte
\item
grass % das Gras
\item
herb % das Kraut
\item
tree -- is high % der Baum
\item
root % die Wurzel
\item
leaf % das Blatt
\item
fruit -- is sweet, is bitter % die Frucht
\end{enumerate}

% trunk % der Stamm/Baumstamm

Should ''blossom'' = Blüte and ''trunk'' = Stamm/Baumstamm be included?
According to Leo, ''root'' can also mean ''Stamm'':
\pathßhttps://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/rootß.
What about branch (Ast) and twig (Zweig)?

\begin{enumerate}
\item
good
\item
\item
new
\item
young
\item
old

% ~~~ Adjectives introduced by other concepts

\item
beautiful -- flower
\item
bitter -- fruit
\item
bright -- morning, sky, sun, moon, stars
\item
calm -- sea/ocean
\item
cold -- water, snow
\item
dark -- night, hair, skin
\item
deep -- valley, sea, ocean
\item
fast -- horse
\item
heavy -- rock, stone % hard/heavy/weighty
\item
high -- mountain, tree
\item
hot -- fire,water
\item
light -- feather
\item
long -- worm
\item
narrow -- valley
\item
sick -- child is sick/ill
\item
slow -- worm
\item
sweet -- fruit % die Frucht
\item
warm -- water
\item
wide -- sea/ocean
\item
wild -- sea/ocean
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{Basic verbs}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
to do
\item
to make
\item
to give
\item
to take
\item
to put
\item
to go
\item
to stand
\item
to come
\item
to leave
\item
to lay down
\item
to fall down
\item
to move
\item
to say
\item
to tell
\item
to feel
\item
to stay
\end{enumerate}

\subsubsection{Verbs introduced by other concepts}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
to bite % ~~~ dog, snake, spider
\item
to blow % ~~~ wind
\item
to breathe % ~~~ air
\item
to burn % ~~~ fire
\item
to care for so./sth. % ~~~ mother
\item
to dive % ~~~ bird
\item
to drink % ~~~ mouth
\item
to eat % ~~~ mouth
\item
to see % ~~~ eye
\item
to fall % ~~~ rain, snow
\item
to feed % ~~~ mother
\item
to flow % ~~~ river, water
\item
to fly % ~~~ bird, insect
\item
to glow % ~~~ fire % glühen, leuchten, schimmern, glimmen, glänzen; aufglühen
\item
to hear % ~~~ ear
\item
to hold % ~~~ hand/arm
\item
to hunt % ~~~ dog, spider, father
\item
to lie % ~~~ lake
\item
to lurk % ~~~ spider
\item
to rise % ~~~ sun
\item
to set % ~~~ sun
\item
to shine % ~~~ sun, moon
\item
to smell % ~~~ nose % to smell (sth.)
\item
to speak % ~~~ mouth
\item
to sting % ~~~ insect
\item
to swim % ~~~ fish
\item
to weave % ~~~ spider
\end{enumerate}

\begin{enumerate}
\item
above % ~~~ sky
\item
after
\item
before
\item
behind
\item
below % ~~~ earth, soil, stone
\item
early
\item
in front of
\item
late
\item
today
\item
yesterday
\item
tomorrow
\item
now
\item
never
\item
still
\end{enumerate}

\subsection{List of basic words}

\begin{enumerate}

% ~~~ nouns -- basic kinship terms

\item
mother % to care for/of so./sth., to feed
\item
father % to hunt
\item
son
\item
daughter
\item
brother
\item
sister
\item
child % to play
\item
boy
\item
girl

% ~~~ nouns -- basic body parts

\item
\item
eye % ~~~ to see
\item
ear % ~~~ to hear
\item
nose % ~~~ to smell (sth.)
\item
mouth % ~~~ to speak, to eat, to drink
\item
tooth
\item
tongue
\item
arm
\item
hand
\item
leg
\item
foot
\item
skin % ~~~ is dark
\item
blood
\item
hair % ~~~ is long/short/dark
\item
feather % ~~~ is light
\item
beak % ~~~ der Schnabel
\item
claw % ~~~ % die Kralle
\item
horn % ~~~ das Horn
\item
tail % ~~~ is long % der Schwanz
\item
wing

% ~~~ nouns -- celestial bodies

\item
sun % ~~~ to rise, to shine, to set
\item
moon % ~~~ to shine
\item
star % ~~~

% ~~~ nouns -- the four elements

\item
earth
\item
water % ~~~ to flow
\item
air
\item
fire % ~~~ to burn, to glow

% ~~~ nouns -- environmental terms

\item
sky % ~~~ is bright; above
\item
cloud
\item
sea, ocean % ~~~ to be calm/wild/wide
\item
land
\item
valley % ~~~ is deep, is narrow, is wide
\item
mountain % ~~~ is high
\item
wood % ~~~ % der Wald
\item
rock % ~~~ is hard/heavy/weighty
\item
stone % ~~~ is heavy; below

% ~~~ nouns -- waters/bodies of water

\item
ditch % ~~~ stream/brook/rivulet/torrent
\item
river % ~~~ to flow
\item
lake % ~~~ to lie

% ~~~ nouns -- weather terms

\item
wind % ~~~ to blow
\item
rain % ~~~ to fall
\item
storm
\item
flash
\item
thunder
\item
snow % ~~~ to fall

% ~~~ nouns -- time of day

\item
dawn
\item
morning % ~~~ is bright
\item
noon
\item
evening
\item
dusk
\item
night % ~~~ is dark, is deep

% ~~~ nouns -- animals

\item
cat % ~~~ to hunt
\item
dog % ~~~ to hunt
\item
mouse
\item
horse % ~~~ is fast
\item
bird % ~~~ to fly, to dive
\item
fish % ~~~ to swim
\item
snake % ~~~ to bite
% \item
% insect % ~~~ to fly, to sting ???
\item
bee % ~~~ to fly, to sting
\item
beetle/bug % Käfer
\item
fly % ~~~ to fly
\item
spider % ~~~ to bite, to hunt, to lurk, to weave
\item
worm % ~~~ is long, is slow
\item
snail % ~~~ is slow

% ~~~ nouns -- basic plant terminology

\item
flower % ~~~ is beautiful % die Blume/die Blüte
\item
grass % ~~~ % das Gras
\item
herb % ~~~ % das Kraut
\item
tree % ~~~ % is high % der Baum
\item
root % ~~~ % die Wurzel
% \item
% trunk % ~~~ % der Stamm/Baumstamm
\item
leaf % ~~~ % das Blatt
\item
fruit % ~~~ is sweet/is bitter % die Frucht

% ~~~ Adjectives not introduced by other concepts

\item
good
\item
\item
new
\item
young
\item
old

% ~~~ Adjectives introduced by other concepts

\item
beautiful % ~~~ flower
\item
bitter % ~~~ fruit
\item
bright % ~~~ morning, sky, sun, moon, stars
\item
calm % ~~~ sea/ocean
\item
cold % ~~~ water, snow
\item
dark % ~~~ night, hair, skin
\item
deep % ~~~ valley
\item
fast % ~~~ horse
\item
heavy % ~~~ hard/heavy/weighty % ~~~ rock, stone
\item
high % ~~~ mountain
\item
hot % ~~~ fire, water
\item
light % ~~~ feather
\item
long % ~~~ worm
\item
narrow % ~~~ valley
\item
sick % ~~~ child is sick/ill
\item
slow % ~~~ worm
\item
sweet % ~~~ fruit % die Frucht
\item
warm % ~~~ water
\item
wide % ~~~ sea/ocean, valley
\item
wild % ~~~ sea/ocean

% ~~~ verbs

\item
to bite % ~~~ snake
\item
to blow % ~~~ wind
\item
to breathe % ~~~ air
\item
to burn % ~~~ fire
\item
to care for so./sth. % ~~~ mother
\item
to come
\item
to dive % ~~~ bird
\item
to do
\item
to drink % ~~~ mouth
\item
to eat % ~~~ mouth
\item
to fall % ~~~ rain, snow
\item
to fall down
\item
to feed % ~~~ mother
\item
to feel
\item
to flow % ~~~ river, water
\item
to fly % ~~~ bird, insect
\item
to give
\item
to glow % ~~~ fire % glühen, leuchten, schimmern, glimmen, glänzen; aufglühen
\item
to go
\item
to hear % ~~~ ear
\item
to hold % ~~~ hand/arm
\item
to hunt % ~~~ dog, spider, father
\item
to lay down
\item
to leave
\item
to lie % ~~~ lake
\item
to lurk % ~~~ spider
\item
to make
\item
to move
\item
to put
\item
to rise % ~~~ sun
\item
to say
\item
to see % ~~~ eye
\item
to set % ~~~ sun
\item
to shine % ~~~ sun, moon
\item
to smell % ~~~ nose % to smell (sth.)
\item
to speak % ~~~ mouth
\item
to stay
\item
to stand
\item
to sting % ~~~ insect
\item
to swim % ~~~ fish
\item
to take
\item
to tell
\item
to weave % ~~~ spider

\item
above % ~~~ sky
\item
after
\item
before
\item
behind
\item
below % ~~~ earth, soil, stone
\item
early
\item
late
\item
today
\item
yesterday
\item
tomorrow
\item
now
\item
never
\item
still

\end{enumerate}
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Khemehekis
runic
Posts: 2501
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
31 Aug 2019 15:15
Yay! One of my favorite threads!
If there are different words for a river floating into the sea
in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,
this contrast does not seem ''basic'' to me at all.
This kind of distinctions have a lot of prerequisites:
The (con)people need to have knowledge on the course of the rivers,
which implies having done explorations and drawn maps, which in turn
implies expeditions and the existence of some methods of storing
the results of that expeditions, which does imply lots of other things,
especially some more or less advanced technology.

However, having that kind of distinction sheds some light on the culture
and the way of thinking of the (con)people.

Distinctions like e.\,g. various names for rice in different stages of being
processed just add to the depth of the (con)culture, but are not basic.
Items like those in the Landau Core Vocabulary just reflect the splitting principle in the LCV. People should be aware of the distinctions certain natlangs make that they could make in their conlangs.

There are a number of conlangs, such as Kisa's Toki Pona or Masako's Kala, that are strongly lumplangs, and they will have many fewer words in their core vocabularies than there are items in the LCV.
Terms for prevalent and prominent things, even if they have little impact on the life and cannot be influenced by the people, e. g. the stars.

Common dangerous things, animals, phenomena: fire etc.
These, definitely.
{What is not ''basic''?}

Pronouns, particles, interjectons, etc.,
as they may differ amongst languages.
I left these out of the Basic 200 list for this reason, although all of these are included in the full LCV.
Numbers, as some cultures do well without an elaborated number system.
I left these out of my Basic 200 list.
Seasons of the year, as they depend on where the species/people live.
I used to have the seasons in my Basic 200 list, but took them out when I learned the Ancient Egyptians had a different system of seasons.
Colour terms, as colour perception can differ amongst cultures.
I have "white" and "black" on the Basic 200 list, as all human languages distinguish white from black, but have the other colors only in the full LCV, because (1) not all human languages have words for "red", "blue", "yellow", and "green", and (2) it's possible to have a quite anthropic species that doesn't see in color. One can also imagine a human population wherein everyone has Daltonism.
Technological terms, as technology is not basic.
Agreed.
The clock, as this implies some technology, and therefore is not basic!
Agreed. "Day" and "year" are "basic", but "hour", "minute", and "second" are not.
boy
girl
{Celestial bodies}

sun -- to rise, to shine, to set
moon -- to shine
star
Good.

Speaking of the stars . . .

All the distinctions made in the LCV (including the Basic 200 subset) are made by at least one natlang spoken on Earth. I remember when I showed an early version of the Basic 200 subset of the LCV on a board, and someone said, "'Star' and 'sun' are the same, and should be one item". This showed a very nowist mindset, as well as disregard for the distinctions in the LCV, which split concepts on an empirical and not logical basis. Virtually all Terran natlangs make distinctions between "star" and "sun": estrella vs. sol, Stern vs. Sonne, kochav vs. shemesh, hoshi vs. hi, and so on. Ancient peoples wo7ld not be expected to know that the Sun is a star, nor that other stars may have planets of their own, nor even that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way around.
In German, there is a distinction between Wald (wood) and Forst (forest),
the latter one is not basic, as done by humans.
Is "Wald" cognate with English "wood"?

I'm not sure about that, but I'm pretty sure it's cognate with "weald".
Pond/pool (germ. Teich) would correspond to ditch/rivulet (germ. Bach)
but I don't consider that basic, as it is not that frequent.
Agreed. I have words for lakes and rivers on the Basic 500 list, but "pond" appears only in the full LCV and not in its Basic 200 subset.
Puddle (germ. Pfütze) is common but not an important phenomenon.
Agreed. I don't even have "puddle" in the full LCV.
The difference between a ditch/stream/rivulet/torrent and a river:
a human can jump over a ditch etc. but can't jump over a river.
Sounds accurate.
Hail (germ. Hagel) does not occure very often, so it is not included.
Agreed. I have "hail" in Part V rather than Part IV of the LCV, as it is a less common word.
Does ice need to be included, as people would rather live in a warm land?
I have both "ice" and "to freeze" in the Basic 200. Even Hawaiian has a native word for ice: "hau".
Should dawn and dusk be included?
These two concepts are important for people
living a life in the wilderness.
I have both "dawn" and "dusk, twilight" on the full LCV, but not the Basic 200.
insect -- to fly, to sting
bee -- to fly, to sting
beetle/bug % Käfer
fly -- to fly
spider -- to bite, to hunt, to lurk, to weave
worm -- is long, is slow
snail -- is slow

Insects and spiders are almost everywhere, so they need to be included.
They also introduce the important verbs ''to sting'' and ''to weave'',
respectively, even if not all insects sting and not all spiders are
weaving spiders.
Insects are rather diverse, so it is better to introduce
bee, bug/beetle and fly instead of insect.
Bees, wasps, gnats and mosquitoes can fly and sting
so would be even better to introduce that verbs.
Bees are the most useful for humans (and bears) so I take that.
I'm not sure if gnats and mosquitoes are the same,
mosquito makes me think of jungle.
How about "ant"? That's on the Leipzig-Jakarta List. I know Iceland doesn't have ants, but most places where humans live have them.

"Gnat" is a vague term; sometimes it refers to mosquitoes, sometimes to midges.

I have "mosquito" but not "gnat/midge" in the full LCV.

"Spider" is a high-frequency word and a ubiquitous animal important in human cultures, so a basic list for Earth's humans, or any planet with the human bioswath (dogs, horses, snakes, chickens, spiders, etc.) should include it.

In the full LCV, I have hundreds of plants and animals native to Earth, but my Basic 200 list is restricted to concepts all anthropic cultures will have, not necessarily cultures spoken by humans on Earth. Therefore I have no words like "dog" or "snake" on the Basic 200, since your conplanet might have a different menagerie of species from Earth. I also exclude "breast" and "milk" from the Basic 200, as your conworld might not have mammals*, and "feather", as your conworld might not have evolved birds nor any ornithologue (= bird-equivalent) class that is close enough to Earth's birds to have evolved feathers.

*Some sapient species of the Lehola Galaxy, for what it's worth, are not mammals but do produce a galactologue (= milk-equivalent) fluid in their breasts, however. For example, chais women from Keitel produce un, and añak women from Querre produce ñu.
Cat, dog and horse are included because they are extremely common
in human society and extremely useful for humans.
Common words, should definitely be on a human list.
Snakes are considered dangerous almost everywhere, they also introduce
the verb ''to bite'', which I consider basic.
Yes. Being circumspect around snakes is on the famous "cultural universals" list for humans. It's one of the most common animal words on almost every English word frequency list.
Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included?
Bear, probably. It's high-frequency in English, and very important in human cultures.
Should ''duck'' or ''goose'' be included,
to introduce the verb ''to dive''?
I'd choose "duck" over "goose" as it's higher-frequency. Asians and Americans are also more likely to eat duck than goose.

And speaking of "poultry", any basic human list should include "chicken", a bird that according to The Cartoon History of the Universe, was domesticated by "just about everyone". "Chicken" is also a very high-frequency word on English word frequency lists -- like "dog", "horse", "cat" and "snake", it is one of the most common animal words.
Should ''blossom'' = Blüte and ''trunk'' = Stamm/Baumstamm be included?
Is there a real difference between "flower" and "blossom"?
What about branch (Ast) and twig (Zweig)?
So that's where the German surname Zweig comes from!

"Twig" is not on the full LCV, although I've been considering adding it, but "branch" is.

You might want to check out Veris' list, in this thread:
Spoiler:
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 61,367 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

eldin raigmore
korean
Posts: 6390
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

If there are different words for a river floating into the sea, in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,
Surely rivers don’t float at all!
Did you mean “flow”?

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

eldin raigmore wrote:
02 Sep 2019 04:21
If there are different words for a river floating into the sea, in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,
Surely rivers don’t float at all!
Did you mean “flow”?
Yes, flowing. Thanks, eldin!
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

If there are different words for a river flowing into the sea
in contrast to a river flowing into another river or into a lake,
this contrast does not seem ''basic'' to me at all.
At least not for humans. For Catys, that's a different story. As they can fly,
they could easily -- or with less effort -- see what type of river it is.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
However, having that kind of distinction sheds some light on the culture
and the way of thinking of the (con)people.

Distinctions like e.\,g. various names for rice in different stages of being
processed just add to the depth of the (con)culture, but are not basic.
Items like those in the Landau Core Vocabulary just reflect the splitting principle in the LCV. People should be aware of the distinctions certain natlangs make that they could make in their conlangs.

There are a number of conlangs, such as Kisa's Toki Pona or Masako's Kala, that are strongly lumplangs, and they will have many fewer words in their core vocabularies than there are items in the LCV.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Seasons of the year, as they depend on where the species/people live.
I used to have the seasons in my Basic 200 list, but took them out when I learned the Ancient Egyptians had a different system of seasons.
They had two or three seasons, it was mentioned either in Mark Passio's
or Jordan Maxwell's video about Astrotheology. One was the season of life,
the other the season of death. Jordan Maxwells video/lecture provides
a vivid insight into the thinking/mindset of those ancient people.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Colour terms, as colour perception can differ amongst cultures.
I have "white" and "black" on the Basic 200 list, as all human languages distinguish white from black, but have the other colors only in the full LCV, because (1) not all human languages have words for "red", "blue", "yellow", and "green", and (2) it's possible to have a quite anthropic species that doesn't see in color. One can also imagine a human population wherein everyone has Daltonism.
I ditched all the colours, even though black and white are no colours in the
physical sense. I have "bright" and "dark" instead. Every colour can come in
a bright (light) and a dark version.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
The clock, as this implies some technology, and therefore is not basic!
Agreed. "Day" and "year" are "basic", but "hour", "minute", and "second" are not.
Agreed for hour, minute and second, as they require a technological means to measure them.
Forgot day, but year, I'm not sure of. In tropical regions, detecting a year by seasons
might be impossible or at least difficult. In space stations or cosmic arks, there might be no year at all.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
boy
girl
Expected that question. You need boy and girl to tell the sex of a baby,
or using these words as replacements for male and female.

You just see if someone is a man or a woman. Having this words for just
saying "I'm a man." or "I'm a woman." is quite pointless, as you easily
can see it. You might use it as a counting word like in ''There are three
men/woman at the ship'' would be possible, but yields problems when the
crew is mixed.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
{Celestial bodies}...
Speaking of the stars . . .

All the distinctions made in the LCV (including the Basic 200 subset)
are made by at least one natlang spoken on Earth.
I remember when I showed an early version of the Basic 200 subset
of the LCV on a board, and someone said, "'Star' and 'sun' are the same,
and should be one item". This showed a very nowist mindset,
as well as disregard for the distinctions in the LCV,
which split concepts on an empirical and not logical basis.
Virtually all Terran natlangs make distinctions between "star" and "sun":
estrella vs. sol, Stern vs. Sonne, kochav vs. shemesh, hoshi vs. hi,
and so on. Ancient peoples wo7ld not be expected to know that the Sun
is a star, nor that other stars may have planets of their own,
nor even that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way around.
That's a very professional approach.

If you would live in an other solar system, you would call the other sun
"the sun" and Sol would be just a star. But you would say that the stars
are just suns like our sun (of that solar system).

This is an application of:
"Terms for prevalent and prominent things, even if they have little impact
on the life and cannot be influenced by the people, e. g. the stars."
The sun is prevalent and prominent, and has much influence on the life, but
cannot be influenced by the people. Of course, you can call this an
empirical approach.

But there are the Dogons.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
In German, there is a distinction between Wald (wood) and Forst (forest),
the latter one is not basic, as done by humans.
Is "Wald" cognate with English "wood"?

I'm not sure about that, but I'm pretty sure it's cognate with "weald".
I don't know.
According to Leo, forest and wood can be translated Wald. Engl. wood can also mean germ. Holz=timber. And there is Gehölz, of course. Weald is ''open landscape''.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Pond/pool (germ. Teich) would correspond to ditch/rivulet (germ. Bach)
but I don't consider that basic, as it is not that frequent.
Agreed. I have words for lakes and rivers on the Basic 500 list,
but "pond" appears only in the full LCV and not in its Basic 200 subset.
There's also Tümpel.

Puddle (germ. Pfütze) is common but not an important phenomenon,
except maybe for little children.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Does ice need to be included, as people would rather live in a warm land?
I have both "ice" and "to freeze" in the Basic 200. Even Hawaiian has a native word for ice: "hau".
This needs further consideration, I think. I do not want to base that on Hawaiian alone.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should dawn and dusk be included?
These two concepts are important for people
living a life in the wilderness.
I have both "dawn" and "dusk, twilight" on the full LCV, but not the Basic 200.
Twilight is a generic term for dawn and dusk, isn't it?
Dämmerung.
As I have listed tree purposes for a basic vocabulary, including dawn and dusk
maybe depends on the purpose.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
insect -- to fly, to sting
bee -- to fly, to sting
beetle/bug % Käfer ...
How about "ant"? That's on the Leipzig-Jakarta List. I know Iceland doesn't have ants, but most places where humans live have them.

"Gnat" is a vague term; sometimes it refers to mosquitoes, sometimes to midges.

I have "mosquito" but not "gnat/midge" in the full LCV.

"Spider" is a high-frequency word and a ubiquitous animal important
in human cultures, so a basic list for Earth's humans, or any planet
with the human bioswath (dogs, horses, snakes, chickens, spiders, etc.)
should include it.

In the full LCV, I have hundreds of plants and animals native to Earth,
but my Basic 200 list is restricted to concepts all anthropic cultures
will have, not necessarily cultures spoken by humans on Earth.
Therefore I have no words like "dog" or "snake" on the Basic 200,
since your conplanet might have a different menagerie of species from Earth.
I also exclude "breast" and "milk" from the Basic 200,
as your conworld might not have mammals*, and "feather",
as your conworld might not have evolved birds
nor any ornithologue (= bird-equivalent) class that is close enough
to Earth's birds to have evolved feathers.

*Some sapient species of the Lehola Galaxy, for what it's worth,
are not mammals but do produce a galactologue (= milk-equivalent) fluid
in their breasts, however. For example, chais women from Keitel produce un,
and añak women from Querre produce ñu.
Leo gives Käfer, Insekt and Wanze for bug, besides others.
Many people might not be able to discern a beetle (Käfer) from a bug (Wanze), even though it is quite easy.

I considered ant, but I forgot it. I did not use any list for making my basic list.
I made it totally from the scratch, in a few days. The list is not yet complete.

What's the difference between midge and gnat?
In German, we have Mücke and Schnake, but I consider that the same.

So you have a distinction between mosquito and gnat/midge? What exactly is it?

Leo does not know bioswath.

I've choosen spider because spiders are everywhere -- and because I like them!
It is said that everywhere a human is, there is at least one spider within 1 meter distance.

I have not specified the what kind of species my basic wordlist should apply to.
It implies some kind of human like creature (human, elf, dwarf, etc.) together with
the usual animals and plants found on earth.
The list should evolve to be more specific on what kind of species/conworld.
This is implied by severel items listed in the ''What does 'basic' mean?'' section.
If humans will colonize other planets, they'll take lots of animals with them,
especially dogs and cat -- and most likely the related parasites.

If un and ñu serve the same purpose as milk, why not call it milk? It could
be referred to chais milk or añak milk respectively, if there is an need to
distinguish it from mammalian milk.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included?
Bear, probably. It's high-frequency in English, and very important
in human cultures.
Wolf seems equally important as bear. Both are present in myths.
And dogs stem from wolves.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should ''duck'' or ''goose'' be included,
to introduce the verb ''to dive''?
I'd choose "duck" over "goose" as it's higher-frequency.
Asians and Americans are also more likely to eat duck than goose.

And speaking of "poultry", any basic human list should include "chicken",
a bird that according to The Cartoon History of the Universe,
was domesticated by "just about everyone".
"Chicken" is also a very high-frequency word on English word frequency lists
-- like "dog", "horse", "cat" and "snake", it is one of the most common
animal words.
I'm neither Asian nor American, and I don't eat poultry (and I avoid meat in general).
Both words are quite seldom.
And in Europe, we have Nils Holgerson.

The list should have only abaut 200 words, and I already have many animals.
But chicken would also imply egg, which is even more important.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should ''blossom'' = Blüte and ''trunk'' = Stamm/Baumstamm be included?
Is there a real difference between "flower" and "blossom"?
Flower (Blume) is the whole plant, blossom (Blüte) is the/a reproductive part
of that plant.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Pabappa
sinic
Posts: 298
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Some flowers grow on trees .... botanically speaking there is no such thing as a flower, unless you are willing to call apple trees, cehrry trees, etc "flowers". in fact, pineapples are flowers too. i suspect outside of gardening there would be little reason to need to distinguish between blossoms, pocket-sized flowering plants, and flower-bearing trees. this is for a list of only 200 words, right?
Sorry guys, this one has the worst sting.

eldin raigmore
korean
Posts: 6390
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
02 Sep 2019 09:22
eldin raigmore wrote:
02 Sep 2019 04:21
If there are different words for a river floating into the sea, in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,

Surely rivers don’t float at all!Did you mean “flow”?

Yes, flowing. Thanks, eldin!
I was intrigued by the idea of a conworld and/or conculture that did have floating rivers, and hoped you’d tell us more!
But then I reread that this thread is about basic vocabulary, and realized it must be a speech-to-text or auto”correct” error.

Maybe you’ll be inspired to put floating rivers in one of your conworld threads?

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Pabappa wrote:
02 Sep 2019 15:50
Some flowers grow on trees .... botanically speaking there is no such thing as a flower, unless you are willing to call apple trees, cehrry trees, etc "flowers". in fact, pineapples are flowers too. i suspect outside of gardening there would be little reason to need to distinguish between blossoms, pocket-sized flowering plants, and flower-bearing trees. this is for a list of only 200 words, right?
This is called Cauliflory.

In English a "flower" can mean blossom, i. e. the reproductive organ of the plant. In German, there is "Blume", which means the plant with the blossom, and the word Blüte which specifically means the reproductive part of the entire plant including the sepals and -- most important for human aesthetics -- the petals. As you can see, Leo gives blossom, bloom, florescence and flower as translation, while there is only flower and spue for Blume. There is also the word Schnittblume = cut flower, which you put into a vase. You can't put blossoms into a vase.

Yes, the list is supposed to have ca. 200 words.
Last edited by Tanni on 06 Oct 2019 13:55, edited 1 time in total.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Salmoneus
MVP
Posts: 1780
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

That surprises me, given that Blume in several cases famously refers to the flower itself and explicitly NOT the plant that bears it.

For instance:

Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras
und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen
wie des Grases Blumen.
Das Gras ist verdorret
und die Blume abgefallen.

(For all flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of mankind
As the flower of grass.
The grass withers
And the flower falls.

(no, I don't know why the German seems to be in the past tense...)

If a 'Blume' was indeed the entire plant, then 'des Grases Blumen' would seem to make no sense - the grass would BE the Blume, not HAVE one!

------

Speaking as somebody from the weald: no, a weald is not open land, whatever leo might say! Wiktionary does give that meaning, but I've never heard it used that way, or described as meaning that.

In general, the meaning has split with the word - "weald" refers to wooded land, and "wold" refers to unwooded land, though their ancestor could mean either.
Ironically, a forest is also wooded land, except in the weald, when it instead means an unwooded land...

And no, 'weald' and 'wood' are not related. Except that I wonder whether the use of 'wood' to mean 'forest' may in part be influenced by Dutch 'woud', which is indeed cognate to 'weald'. Don't know, though.

-----

I don't understand this thread, and not just because the first post is illegible.

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
That surprises me, given that Blume in several cases famously refers to the flower itself and explicitly NOT the plant that bears it.
This is not surprising at all. There is the normal usage of a word, and some special usages, where the meaning is deviant, narrowed down, broadened or poetical, see Boutonnière (franz., dt. Blume im Knopfloch). So "Blume" can also refer to Blüte in some cases. (But this usage is not "basic" in the sense of this thread.) In every day usage, Blume is the plant with the blossom, or cut flowers, while Blüte is the colourful part of the plant.
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
For instance:

Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras
und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen
wie des Grases Blumen.
Das Gras ist verdorret
und die Blume abgefallen.

(For all flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of mankind
As the flower of grass.
The grass withers
And the flower falls.

(no, I don't know why the German seems to be in the past tense...)
It's Perfekt Indikativ Aktiv, but in a somewhat archaic form:

ich bin verdorrt, du bist verdorrt, er, sie, es ist verdorrt, wir sind verdorrt, ihr seid verdorrt, sie sind verdorrt
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
If a 'Blume' was indeed the entire plant, then 'des Grases Blumen' would seem to make no sense - the grass would BE the Blume, not HAVE one!
Grass is normally not considered to be a flower, at least not contemporary, and it's blossom is rather unimpressive. Again, this is poetical usage.
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
Speaking as somebody from the weald: no, a weald is not open land, whatever leo might say! Wiktionary does give that meaning, but I've never heard it used that way, or described as meaning that.
It's not just Leo: https://www.dict.cc/englisch-deutsch/weald.html
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
In general, the meaning has split with the word - "weald" refers to wooded land, and "wold" refers to unwooded land, though their ancestor could mean either.
Ironically, a forest is also wooded land, except in the weald, when it instead means an unwooded land...
So the meaning depends on where you are actually in?
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
I don't understand this thread, and not just because the first post is illegible.
The thread is to elaborate criteria for and a list of basic concepts. This is in contrast
to the LCV, which is about core concepts. It took me a while to understand that there
is a difference between the two.

If you are used to LaTeX sourcetext, it perfectly is.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Salmoneus
MVP
Posts: 1780
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:42
It's Perfekt Indikativ Aktiv, but in a somewhat archaic form
I'm aware it's the perfect. What I didn't know was why German used the perfect to translate something that in other languages is in the simple present.
That link, you may notice, is still to a German website, and therefore irrelevent. I don't care what Germans tell each other the English word means, I'm telling you what it actually means in my experience, speaking as somebody who is from the place most commonly referred to with that word, which is famously the opposite of the definition you give. (The Weald is a historically densely forrested area, the core of which comprises a range of low but steep and irregular hills, cut through by deep, steep-sided gorges.)

So the meaning depends on where you are actually in?
Of 'weald', or of 'forest'? Of weald, no, 'weald' and 'wold' are different words now, although they arose as dialectical variations of the same word.
Of 'forest'? Well, for everybody the primary meaning of 'forest' is indeed 'woodland'. But if you're in the weald and you say that something is 'on the forest', you specifically mean that it's in an area of unforested land. Specifically Ashdown Forest in the Weald is an area that is artificially maintained as unwooded - it is therefore 'open country'.

(this is because legally a 'forest' was defined as a hunting park, and different hunting parks looked different depending on what was being hunted. Ashdown Forest, like several smaller parks and 'forests' in the Weald and surrounding areas, was a deer park, so was kept unwooded (which was also facilitated by parts of it being common land used for grazing and furze).
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
I don't understand this thread, and not just because the first post is illegible.
The thread is to elaborate criteria for and a list of basic concepts. This is in contrast
to the LCV, which is about core concepts. It took me a while to understand that there
is a difference between the two.
But you don't appear to give any real definitions of either term or clearly distinguish them from one another (and I wonder whether this is another artifact of your being, no offense, not a native speaker of this language); and certainly there doesn't seem much of a link between the words offered here and any genuinely 'basic' or 'core' vocabulary. How can it be either 'basic' or 'core' to lack a word for, say, "crop" or for basic foodstuffs, or indeed for "urine", and yet to make a pedantic distinction between "beaks" and "noses"!?
If you are used to LaTeX sourcetext, it perfectly is.
But 9999 out of every 10000, generously, are not used to LaTeX sourcetext, and I'd wager that even among those who are the majority would not find it intuitively easy to read by hand.

Likewise, if I wrote a post in my conlang, ciphered into a numeric ciphertext with punctuation and linebreaks indicated only in code, it would in theory be legible to people who knew all this code, albeit only with difficulty. But my post would still be unnecessarily pretentious and alienating.

You might find more people engaging with your posts if they didn't basically come with a big "fuck off I'm not interested in your thoughts unless you're l33t" banner in the form of a visually cluttered "formatting" that most people are unfamiliar with...

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Salmoneus wrote:
03 Sep 2019 13:57
Tanni wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:42
It's Perfekt Indikativ Aktiv, but in a somewhat archaic form
I'm aware it's the perfect. What I didn't know was why German used the perfect to translate something that in other languages is in the simple present.
How can I know? I'm not the author, nor am I the translator.

Judging from it's look and feel, the poem is a japanese haiku translated independently into English and German, maybe for comparison. The tense chosen in the translations is likely the tense usually used for rendering the origianl tense in the target language respectively. This would also explain the weird grass and flower symbolic and the distribution of the syllables amongst the lines.
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Sep 2019 13:57
That link, you may notice, is still to a German website, and therefore irrelevent. I don't care what Germans tell each other the English word means, I'm telling you what it actually means in my experience, speaking as somebody who is from the place most commonly referred to with that word, which is famously the opposite of the definition you give.
This websites exit for many years now and are used by English native speakers too, see the comment section in Leo. If you think it is the wrong translation, feel free to drop a comment or inform the caretakers of that sites.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Salmoneus
MVP
Posts: 1780
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
03 Sep 2019 16:33
Salmoneus wrote:
03 Sep 2019 13:57
Tanni wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:42
It's Perfekt Indikativ Aktiv, but in a somewhat archaic form
I'm aware it's the perfect. What I didn't know was why German used the perfect to translate something that in other languages is in the simple present.
How can I know? I'm not the author, nor am I the translator.
I didn't say you knew, I said I didn't know. Not the same thing.
Judging from it's look and feel, the poem is a japanese haiku translated independently into English and German, maybe for comparison.
...seriously?

It's an incredibly famous quotation from the Bible. The translator of the German is Martin Luther. The translator of the English is a committee of seven renowned scholars working under commission from King James, and also me (who removed the "-eth"s and a "thereof").

I don't speak Greek, but the Vulgate, for what it's worth, appears to also be in the present tense.
This websites exit for many years now and are used by English native speakers too, see the comment section in Leo. If you think it is the wrong translation, feel free to drop a comment or inform the caretakers of that sites.
...I find it hard to believe that you're seriously telling a native speaker they're wrong about the meaning of a word for the place they're from, on the basis that a German dictionary disagrees.
Who lives here? Who speaks this language? Do I need to show you a map and some photographs, to demonstrate the unopenness of the local terrain!?

eldin raigmore
korean
Posts: 6390
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Getting off topic.

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Basic vocabulary

An approach towards the concept of basic vocabulary.

Inspired by: CBB-Conlangs -- The Landau Core Vocabulary

Purpose of a basic vocabulary:
• Possible list of basic concepts for cross-language comparison.
using the concept of basic words for language comparison
=> frequent variant, inalienable word roots vs. words + possessiv.
• Possible starting point for conlanging/conworlding.
You wish to cover a lot of basic concepts describing the world or culture.
• Possible starting point for learning a language.
Some words like dawn or dusk seems not that important and can be
replaced by more important concepts.
So even a basic word list depends on the purpose it is intented to be used for.

On the term ''core vocabulary''

If there are different words for a river floating into the sea
in contrast to a river floating into another river or into a lake,
this contrast does not seem ''basic'' to me at all.
This kind of distinctions have a lot of prerequisites:
The (con)people need to have knowledge on the course of the rivers,
which implies having done explorations and drawn maps, which in turn
implies expeditions and the existence of some methods of storing
the results of that expeditions, which does imply lots of other things,
especially some more or less advanced technology.

However, having that kind of distinction sheds some light on the culture
and the way of thinking of the (con)people.

Distinctions like e. g. various names for rice in different stages of being
processed just add to the depth of the (con)culture, but are not basic.

So, inspired by Khemehekis' thread, when it comes to conlanging,
to my understanding the terms ''core'' and ''basic'' describe different
artistic intentions.
• The term ''core'' does not (necessarily) mean ''basic''.
• The term ''core'' hinges around some central topic/topics or concept/concepts prevalent in that culture or society, so it is (somewhat/very much) related to the artistic intentions of the conlanger/conworlder.
Conclusion from Khemehekis' Core Vocabulary: A ''core vocabulary'' is not a ''basic vocabulary''.

On ''basic'' concepts

What does ''basic'' mean?
1. Morphological criteria:
no/few composita, few derivation; often monosyllabic
2. Pragmatical criteria:
frequent occurrence
3. Semanitic/lexic criteria:
basic concepts, essential for survival in nature or in pre-technology era
4. Concepts which need to be known/addressed
to ensure the existence/survival of a people.
5. Has something to do with dayly life and dayly survival.
6. Depends on the physical and mental capabilities of the species,
respectively.
7. Depends on the environment a species typically lives in:
the environment the species would prefer if there is no external force
to go to a certain environment.
8. Terms for prevalent and prominent things, even if they have little impact
on the life and cannot be influenced by the people, e. g. the stars.
9. Common dangerous things, animals, phenomena: fire etc.
10. Terms found in an early form of culture, such as hunter/gatherers,
before the invention of advanced technology.
11. A basic concept yields at least some significant advantage
for the (con-)people over not having it.
12. Basic nouns often imply related basic verb(s) or adjectives:
child --> to play, is sick/ill.
13. Is not (that much) related to the (artistic) intentions of the conlanger.
14. Having that concept is necessary for dayly survival. ???
What is not ''basic''?
1. Compounds, as they often specify subsets/subconcepts
of a more general concept.
2. Pronouns, particles, interjectons, etc.,
as they may differ amongst languages.
3. Numbers, as some cultures do well without
an elaborated number system.
4. Seasons of the year, as they depend on where the species/people live.
5. Colour terms, as colour perception can differ amongst cultures.
6. Technological terms, as technology is not basic.
7. The clock, as this implys some technology, and therefore is not basic!
Choosing ''basic'' concepts

For a balanced and useful list, instead of just listing basic words, many concepts are associated a predicate etc. The predicates/verbs should cover a typical aspect of the noun they are associated with.

Basic kinship terms
1. mother -- to care for so./sth., to feed
2. father -- to care for so./sth., to hunt
3. son
4. daughter
5. brother
6. sister
7. child -- to play, is sick/ill
8. boy
9. girl
Basic body parts
2. eye -- to see
3. ear -- to hear
4. nose -- to smell (sth.)
5. mouth -- to speak, to eat, to drink
6. tooth
7. tongue
8. arm -- to hold
9. hand -- to hold
10. leg
11. foot
12. skin
13. blood
14. hair -- is long/short
15. feather -- is light
16. wing
17. beak % der Schnabel
18. claw % die Kralle
19. horn % das Horn
20. tail -- is long % der Schwanz
Celestial bodies
1. sun -- to rise, to shine, to set
2. moon -- to shine
3. star
The four elements
1. earth
2. water -- to flow, is cold, is warm, is hot
3. air -- to breathe
4. fire -- to burn, to glow, is warm, is hot
% Blackmore's Night ~ Toast to Tomorrow lyrics, ab 1:02 -- Warmed by the fires glow
Environmental terms
1. sky -- is bright
2. cloud
3. sea/ocean -- is calm/wild/wide/deep
4. land
5. valley -- is deep, is narrow, is wide
6. mountain -- is high
7. wood % der Wald
8. rock -- is hard/heavy/weighty
9. stone -- is heavy
10. hill
11. web/cobweb
12. cave
In German, there is a distinction between Wald (wood) and Forst (forest), the latter one is not basic, as done by humans.
Sea/ocean corresponds to land and therefore an environmental term rather than a body of water.

Waters/bodies of water
1. % Running water/bodies of flowing water:
ditch/stream/brook/rivulet/torrent
2. river -- to flow
3. % Stagnant water/body of standing water:
lake -- to lie
Pond/pool (germ. Teich) would correspond to ditch/rivulet (germ. Bach)
but I don't consider that basic, as it is not that frequent.
Puddle (germ. Pfütze) is common but not an important phenomenon.
The difference between a ditch/stream/rivulet/torrent and a river:
a human can jump over a ditch etc. but can't jump over a river.

Weather terms
1. wind -- to blow
2. rain -- to fall
3. storm
4. flash/lightning/bolt % Blitz
5. thunder
6. snow -- to fall
Hail (germ. Hagel) does not occure very often, so it is not included.
Does ice need to be included, as people would rather live in a warm land?

Time of day
1. day
2. morning -- is bright
3. noon
4. evening
5. night -- is dark, is deep
Should ''dawn'' and ''dusk'' be included? These two concepts are important for people living a life in the wilderness.
No, according to Khemehekis.
Instead of ''dawn'' and ''dusk'', should a general term ''twilight'' be included?

Basic kinds of animals
1. cat -- to hunt
2. dog -- to hunt
3. mouse
4. horse -- is fast
5. bird -- to fly, to dive
6. fish -- to swim
7. snake -- to bite
8. insect -- to fly, to sting ???
9. bee -- to fly, to sting
10. beetle/bug % in German, beetle = Käfer, bug = Wanze
11. fly -- to fly
12. spider -- to bite, to hunt, to lurk, to weave
13. worm -- is long, is slow
14. snail -- is slow
Cat, dog and horse are included because they are extremely common
in human society and extremely useful for humans.

Mice are common and considered basic anyway.

Snakes are considered dangerous almost everywhere, they also introduce
the verb ''to bite'', which I consider basic.

Insects and spiders are almost everywhere, so they need to be included.
They also introduce the important verbs ''to sting'' and ''to weave'',
respectively, even if not all insects sting and not all spiders are
weaving spiders.
Insects are rather diverse, so it is better to introduce
bee, bug/beetle and fly instead of insect.
Khemehekis wrote:How about "ant"? That's on the Leipzig-Jakarta List. I know Iceland doesn't have ants, but most places where humans live have them.
If there's just one or a few countries without ants, this should not be a criteria to not have them on the list. You might speak more frequently of bees, wasps, beetles or spiders, than of ants.

The list of basic animal concepts is already quite long, so I don't like to include ants.
This does also hold for wolf and bear.

Should there be a distinction made between beetle and bug?
Beetle is common in human recognition, bugs are not. Obviously, many people can't even discern them. This is similar to opiliones, as many people can't discern them from spiders.

Bees, wasps, gnats and mosquitoes can fly and sting so would be even better to introduce that verbs.
Bees are the most useful for humans (and bears) so I take that.
I'm not sure if gnats and mosquitoes are the same, mosquito makes me think of jungle.
Khemehekis wrote:I have ''mosquito'' but not ''gnat/midge'' in the full LCV.
So I don't include them here. Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included? Should ''duck'' or ''goose'' be included, to introduce the verb ''to dive''?
Khemehekis wrote: I'd choose ''duck'' over ''goose'' as it's higher-frequency. Asians and Americans are also more likely to eat duck than goose.
Seems to me that duck is more prevalent in the US, while goose is more prevalent in Europe. So they are not basic. This also means that dive isn't basic. Not sure if I should add chicken instead, even if it's frequent. Animals for food aren't basic, as people might live vegetarian or vegan. This is more basic than eating animals.

Basic plant terminology
1. flower -- is beautiful % die Blume/die Blüte
2. grass % das Gras
3. herb % das Kraut
4. tree -- is high % der Baum
5. root % die Wurzel
6. leaf % das Blatt
7. fruit -- is sweet, is bitter % die Frucht
Khemehekis wrote:Is there a real difference between "flower" and "blossom"?
In German, it is. If I have root, leaf and fruit, there also should be blossom.
If there isn't that much a distinction in English, that doesn't meant that other (con)languages
doesn't make or shouldn't make that difference. As in the ''Basic body parts'' section many
body parts are mentioned, there also should be some plant parts.

Should ''blossom'' = Blüte and ''trunk'' = Stamm/Baumstamm be included?
According to Leo, ''root'' can also mean ''Stamm'': https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/root.
What about branch (Ast) and twig (Zweig)?

1. good
3. right
4. wrong
5. new
6. young
7. old
Added right and wrong, as, according to Mark Passio's Natural law presentation, they are basic, as they are non-man-made intrinsic parts of the universe applying at all times and everywhere for beings able to understand the difference between harmful and non-harmful behaviour.

1. beautiful -- flower
2. bitter -- fruit
3. bright -- morning, sky, sun, moon, stars
4. calm -- sea/ocean
5. cold -- water, snow
6. dark -- night, hair, skin
7. deep -- valley, sea, ocean
8. fast -- horse
9. heavy -- rock, stone % hard/heavy/weighty
10. high -- mountain, tree
11. hot -- fire, water
12. light -- feather
13. long -- worm
14. narrow -- valley
15. sick -- child is sick/ill
16. slow -- worm
17. sweet -- fruit % die Frucht
18. warm -- water
19. wide -- sea/ocean
20. wild -- sea/ocean
Basic verbs
1. to do
2. to make
3. to give
4. to take
5. to put
6. to go
7. to stand
8. to come
9. to leave
10. to lay down
11. to fall down
12. to move
13. to say
14. to tell
15. to feel
16. to stay
Verbs introduced by other concepts
1. to bite % ~~~ dog, snake, spider
2. to blow % ~~~ wind
3. to breathe % ~~~ air
4. to burn % ~~~ fire
5. to care for so./sth. % ~~~ mother
6. to dive % ~~~ bird ???
7. to drink % ~~~ mouth
8. to eat % ~~~ mouth
9. to see % ~~~ eye
10. to fall % ~~~ rain, snow
11. to feed % ~~~ mother
12. to flow % ~~~ river, water
13. to fly % ~~~ bird, insect
14. to greet % ~~~ child, boy, girl, mother, father
15. to glow % ~~~ fire % glühen, leuchten, schimmern, glimmen, glänzen; aufglühen
16. to hear % ~~~ ear
17. to hold % ~~~ hand/arm
18. to hunt % ~~~ dog, spider, father
19. to lie % ~~~ lake
20. to lurk % ~~~ spider
21. to rise % ~~~ sun
22. to set % ~~~ sun
23. to shine % ~~~ sun, moon
24. to sit % ~~~ The spider is sitting/lurking/hunting in its copweb.
25. to smell % ~~~ nose % to smell (sth.)
26. to speak % ~~~ mouth
27. to sting % ~~~ insect, bee
28. to swim % ~~~ fish
29. to teach % ~~~ the father/mother teaches the child/boy/girl
30. to weave % ~~~ spider
Should ''to dive'' be ditched, as duck and goose were ditched?

1. above % ~~~ sky
2. after
3. before
4. behind
5. below % ~~~ earth, soil, stone
6. early
7. in front of
8. late
9. today
10. yesterday
11. tomorrow
12. now
13. never
14. still
Last edited by Tanni on 25 Sep 2019 12:55, edited 5 times in total.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Khemehekis
runic
Posts: 2501
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
02 Sep 2019 13:33
If there are different words for a river flowing into the sea
in contrast to a river flowing into another river or into a lake,
this contrast does not seem ''basic'' to me at all.
At least not for humans. For Catys, that's a different story. As they can fly,
they could easily -- or with less effort -- see what type of river it is.
The Catys are your bat-people, right?
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Colour terms, as colour perception can differ amongst cultures.
I have "white" and "black" on the Basic 200 list, as all human languages distinguish white from black, but have the other colors only in the full LCV, because (1) not all human languages have words for "red", "blue", "yellow", and "green", and (2) it's possible to have a quite anthropic species that doesn't see in color. One can also imagine a human population wherein everyone has Daltonism.
I ditched all the colours, even though black and white are no colours in the
physical sense. I have "bright" and "dark" instead. Every colour can come in
a bright (light) and a dark version.
That's true. Light and dark are definitely basic (and useful) concepts to have.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
The clock, as this implies some technology, and therefore is not basic!
Agreed. "Day" and "year" are "basic", but "hour", "minute", and "second" are not.
Agreed for hour, minute and second, as they require a technological means to measure them.
Forgot day, but year, I'm not sure of. In tropical regions, detecting a year by seasons
might be impossible or at least difficult. In space stations or cosmic arks, there might be no year at all.
The Swadesh List includes "year". But you're right that space stations will not use years. I have the most advanced civilizations in the Lehola Galaxy use Planck time.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
boy
girl
Expected that question. You need boy and girl to tell the sex of a baby,
or using these words as replacements for male and female.

You just see if someone is a man or a woman. Having this words for just
saying "I'm a man." or "I'm a woman." is quite pointless, as you easily
can see it. You might use it as a counting word like in ''There are three
men/woman at the ship'' would be possible, but yields problems when the
crew is mixed.
Makes sense.

"Man" and "woman" appear on Swadesh, though. On the Basic 200 subset of the LCV, I have "girl (female child)", "boy (male child)", "girl (young woman)", "boy (young woman)", "woman", and "man".

Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
{Celestial bodies}...
Speaking of the stars . . .

All the distinctions made in the LCV (including the Basic 200 subset)
are made by at least one natlang spoken on Earth.
I remember when I showed an early version of the Basic 200 subset
of the LCV on a board, and someone said, "'Star' and 'sun' are the same,
and should be one item". This showed a very nowist mindset,
as well as disregard for the distinctions in the LCV,
which split concepts on an empirical and not logical basis.
Virtually all Terran natlangs make distinctions between "star" and "sun":
estrella vs. sol, Stern vs. Sonne, kochav vs. shemesh, hoshi vs. hi,
and so on. Ancient peoples wo7ld not be expected to know that the Sun
is a star, nor that other stars may have planets of their own,
nor even that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way around.
That's a very professional approach.
Thank you.
If you would live in an other solar system, you would call the other sun
"the sun" and Sol would be just a star. But you would say that the stars
are just suns like our sun (of that solar system).
We would definitely do that if Earth's humans explored the Milky Way. Of course, we may encounter alien life-forms there who have never developed the scientific knowledge to know that all the suns, including their sun, are stars, and call Sol simply a star.

In Kankonian, any star can be called hayaz (star), but only a star that has at least one planet (inhabited or not) orbiting it can be called a heles (sun).
This is an application of:
"Terms for prevalent and prominent things, even if they have little impact
on the life and cannot be influenced by the people, e. g. the stars."
The sun is prevalent and prominent, and has much influence on the life, but
cannot be influenced by the people. Of course, you can call this an
empirical approach.
Yes. Definitely empirical.
But there are the Dogons.
I remember reading that the Dogon people apparently got their knowledge of the Sirius star system from Griaule.

In homage to the Dogon people, the Kankonian word for "Milky Way" is Amma.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Pond/pool (germ. Teich) would correspond to ditch/rivulet (germ. Bach)
but I don't consider that basic, as it is not that frequent.
Agreed. I have words for lakes and rivers on the Basic 500 list,
but "pond" appears only in the full LCV and not in its Basic 200 subset.
There's also Tümpel.

Puddle (germ. Pfütze) is common but not an important phenomenon,
except maybe for little children.
True. Although there are many puddles you encounter throughout the day on rainy days, the word is low down on frequency lists.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Does ice need to be included, as people would rather live in a warm land?
I have both "ice" and "to freeze" in the Basic 200. Even Hawaiian has a native word for ice: "hau".
This needs further consideration, I think. I do not want to base that on Hawaiian alone.
OK.

Both "ice" and "to freeze" appear on the Swadesh List.
Twilight is a generic term for dawn and dusk, isn't it?
Yes, it is. Also a vampire movie.
Leo gives Käfer, Insekt and Wanze for bug, besides others.
Many people might not be able to discern a beetle (Käfer) from a bug (Wanze), even though it is quite easy.
I understand that in British English "bug" refers only to insects of the order Hemiptera. In American English, though, it is an informal classification for non-marine arthropods (insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, and pillbugs (Rollasseln), but not pycnogonids, horseshoe crabs, nor non-pillbug crustaceans).
I considered ant, but I forgot it. I did not use any list for making my basic list.
I made it totally from the scratch, in a few days. The list is not yet complete.
Swadesh does not have "ant", but Leipzig-Jakarta does. Most "basic" word lists also include "louse".
So you have a distinction between mosquito and gnat/midge? What exactly is it?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midge

"The term 'midge' does not define any particular taxonomic group, but includes species in several families of non-mosquito Nematoceran Diptera."
Leo does not know bioswath.
That's because I invented the word. It has to do with the iteli, and the way identical species can evolve independently in multiple planets in the Lehola Galaxy. See this post for an explanation.
I have not specified the what kind of species my basic wordlist should apply to.
It implies some kind of human like creature (human, elf, dwarf, etc.) together with
the usual animals and plants found on earth.
I see! What someone writing about the Lehola Galaxy would call "the human bioswath".
If humans will colonize other planets, they'll take lots of animals with them,
especially dogs and cat -- and most likely the related parasites.
True! We'll bring lice and fleas over, and quite likely ants and spiders. And we'll need honeybees to pollinate many of our crops.
If un and ñu serve the same purpose as milk, why not call it milk? It could
be referred to chais milk or añak milk respectively, if there is an need to
distinguish it from mammalian milk.
I could do that -- we have "almond milk" and "soy milk" after all, although now Congress in the U.S. is trying to legislate against calling beverages that do not come from ruminant mammals "milk".
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included?
Bear, probably. It's high-frequency in English, and very important
in human cultures.
Wolf seems equally important as bear. Both are present in myths.
And dogs stem from wolves.
Yes, you should have "wolf".
And in Europe, we have Nils Holgerson.
I see! Both ducks AND geese.
Is there a real difference between "flower" and "blossom"?
Flower (Blume) is the whole plant, blossom (Blüte) is the/a reproductive part
of that plant.
I see.

Don't all angiosperms (more than 90% of the plant kingdom!) have flowers, though?
Last edited by Khemehekis on 07 Sep 2019 03:54, edited 1 time in total.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 61,367 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Khemehekis
runic
Posts: 2501
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Salmoneus wrote:
02 Sep 2019 20:13
And no, 'weald' and 'wood' are not related. Except that I wonder whether the use of 'wood' to mean 'forest' may in part be influenced by Dutch 'woud', which is indeed cognate to 'weald'. Don't know, though.
Good to know!

Although "weald" is not part of my active vocabulary, I understand it to mean a wooded land, as Salmoneus says. My mother once pointed out a magazine article in which "weald" was misspelled as "wield" (as in "to wield a knife"). Perhaps the author had the spelling of the word "field" in mind.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 61,367 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Khemehekis
runic
Posts: 2501
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Tanni wrote:
06 Sep 2019 13:02
Purpose of a basic vocabulary:
• Possible list of basic concepts for cross-language comparison.
using the concept of basic words for language comparison
=> frequent variant, inalienable word roots vs. words + possessiv.
• Possible starting point for conlanging/conworlding.
You wish to cover a lot of basic concepts describing the world or culture.
• Possible starting point for learning a language.
Some words like dawn or dusk seems not that important and can be
replaced by more important concepts.
Wow, great minds think alike!

I had all three of those goals in mind (but especially conlanging) when creating the Landau Core Vocabulary.
Khemehekis wrote:How about "ant"? That's on the Leipzig-Jakarta List. I know Iceland doesn't have ants, but most places where humans live have them.
If there's just one or a few countries without ants, this should not be a criteria to not have them on the list.
I agree.
You might speak more frequently of bees, wasps, beetles or spiders, than of ants.
I don't know about German, but in English "ant" is a higher-frequency word than "wasp". We also have ant spray (in the Raid commercials), the Maxis game SimAnt, ant farms, and the movie Antz.
Beetle is common in human recognition, bugs are not. Obviously, many people can't even discern them. This is similar to opiliones, as many people can't discern them from spiders.
True. I call Opiliones harvestmen, but a lot of people I know simply call them spiders. Daddy-longlegs is also a common name in the U.S.
Khemehekis wrote: I'd choose ''duck'' over ''goose'' as it's higher-frequency. Asians and Americans are also more likely to eat duck than goose.
Seems to me that duck is more prevalent in the US, while goose is more prevalent in Europe. So they are not basic. This also means that dive isn't basic. Not sure if I should add chicken instead, even if it's frequent.
According to the American English corpus at https://www.wordfrequency.info/free.asp?s=y , "duck" (as a noun) is the 3,553rd most common word in English, while "goose" does not make the top 5,000.

At the British English Kilgarriff corpus at http://www.kilgarriff.co.uk/BNClists/lemma.al , "duck" (as a noun) is word #3,858, and "goose" does not make the top 6,318 words.

From what I've read, English people will traditionally eat goose on Christmas. I can't tell you the last time I saw goose meat available in the U.S.
Added right and wrong, as, according to Mark Passio's Natural law presentation, they are basic, as they are non-man-made intrinsic parts of the universe applying at all times and everywhere for beings able to understand the difference between harmful and non-harmful behaviour.
Last edited by Khemehekis on 08 Sep 2019 12:47, edited 1 time in total.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 61,367 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
At least not for humans. For Catys, that's a different story. As they can fly,
they could easily -- or with less effort -- see what type of river it is.
The Catys are your bat-people, right?
Yes!
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
The Swadesh List includes "year". But you're right that space stations will not use years. I have the most advanced civilizations in the Lehola Galaxy use Planck time.
We are not doing a Swadesh list here.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
"Man" and "woman" appear on Swadesh, though. On the Basic 200 subset of the LCV, I have "girl (female child)", "boy (male child)", "girl (young woman)", "boy (young woman)", "woman", and "man".
A basic list also implies that most categories will not be complete, as e. g. the four elements.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
{Celestial bodies}...
Speaking of the stars . . .
This category is likely to be the only one present in all basic vocabulary list. But wait, what about a (con)people living underground, or in an ocean under a thick layer of ice on a moon of a gigantic planet like Jupiter?
If you would live in an other solar system, you would call the other sun
"the sun" and Sol would be just a star. But you would say that the stars
are just suns like our sun (of that solar system).
We would definitely do that if Earth's humans explored the Milky Way. Of course, we may encounter alien life-forms there who have never developed the scientific knowledge to know that all the suns, including their sun, are stars, and call Sol simply a star.
Maybe humans already have explored the Milky Way? Do not underestimate the aliens!
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
In Kankonian, any star can be called hayaz (star), but only a star that has at least one planet (inhabited or not) orbiting it can be called a heles (sun).
Is there a special name for a star with inhabitable planets (most important for human colonisation), in contrast to those which aren't orbited by inhabitable planets?
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.

Tanni
greek
Posts: 808
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 02:05

### Re: Discussing basic vocabulary

Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
But there are the Dogons.
I remember reading that the Dogon people apparently got their knowledge of the Sirius star system from Griaule.

In homage to the Dogon people, the Kankonian word for "Milky Way" is Amma.
Why should he have done this? See here: Michael Tellinger -- Advanced Ancient Civilization in South Africa, Michael Tellinger on Great Zimbabwe 2019 and Dogon Tribe 2019.

There as so-called "debunkers" who try to blurr up the work of real researchers by revisiting e.g. the Dogon
(or, in another case the Mount Ararat, where somebody has found a ship-like structure) and try to superseed it with their own misinterpretations.

You should also check out Zecharia Sitchin's official website.
Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
Leo gives Käfer, Insekt and Wanze for bug, besides others.
Many people might not be able to discern a beetle (Käfer) from a bug (Wanze), even though it is quite easy.
I understand that in British English "bug" refers only to insects of the order Hemiptera. In American English, though, it is an informal classification for non-marine arthropods (insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, and pillbugs (Rollasseln), but not pycnogonids, horseshoe crabs, nor non-pillbug crustaceans).
The English we learnt at school was British English. Asseln are also a very interesting kind of animal.
Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
Leo does not know bioswath.
That's because I invented the word. It has to do with the iteli, and the way identical species can evolve independently in multiple planets in the Lehola Galaxy. See this post for an explanation.
I have not specified the what kind of species my basic wordlist should apply to.
It implies some kind of human like creature (human, elf, dwarf, etc.) together with
the usual animals and plants found on earth.
I see! What someone writing about the Lehola Galaxy would call "the human bioswath".
Ok, that's all the life forms that come together with humans.
Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
If humans will colonize other planets, they'll take lots of animals with them,
especially dogs and cat -- and most likely the related parasites.
True! We'll bring lice and fleas over, and quite likely ants and spiders. And we'll need honeybees to pollinate many of our crops.
In one relativly recent Perry Rhodan story, someone (an alien shape shifter infiltrating the solar system) discovers a Mondspinne on Moon. The knowledge about that kind of spiders was part of his preparation for his mission. There are other Perry Rhodan novels mentioning alien bioswath on earth, PR 2632 -- Die Nacht des Regenriesen. It's in the story of the "15-year old Terraner Geronimo Abb and his Au-pair-girl Dayszaraszay Schazcepoutrusz".
Khemehekis wrote:
07 Sep 2019 03:16
If un and ñu serve the same purpose as milk, why not call it milk? It could
be referred to chais milk or añak milk respectively, if there is an need to
distinguish it from mammalian milk.
I could do that -- we have "almond milk" and "soy milk" after all, although now Congress in the U.S. is trying to legislate against calling beverages that do not come from ruminant mammals "milk".
I've heard about that. Assuming that the chais and the añak are animal-like and not plant-like, there's no reason why not use the word "milk".
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Should ''wolf'' and ''bear'' be included?
Bear, probably. It's high-frequency in English, and very important
in human cultures.
Wolf seems equally important as bear. Both are present in myths.
And dogs stem from wolves.
Yes, you should have "wolf".
If there are doubts like bear or wolf, beetle or bug, duck vs. goose vs. chicken, I tend to see them as not basic. Hence not in the list.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
And in Europe, we have Nils Holgerson.
I see! Both ducks AND geese.
But Nils does his journey with the wild geese! And there's also Die Gänsemagd.
Khemehekis wrote:
01 Sep 2019 01:44
Don't all angiosperms (more than 90% of the plant kingdom!) have flowers, though?
It seems to be so at least in the English speaking world.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.