Rhonda K. Marsh

Hallelujah! I'm a linguist, too, and this discussion about the particle "-sec-" rings absolutely true. I love it!

You're approaching the concept called "deixis"; the this/that polarity. Whether any object is called *this* thing or *that* thing depends on its proximity to the speaker, just as "here/there" and even "I/you" do ("I" isn't any particular person, of course, it's whoever is speaking; "you" is the addressee). There are other deictic pronouns, too, I just can't think of them offhand.

Leigh Kimmel:

Yes, and it shows how deixis in Simelan is dependent upon Sime senses, and thus why Gens can't master the adult-Sime mode because of that lack. They can't perceive the field gradients that are essential to determining whether it's "here" or "there" when "here" and "there" depend on a matrix of field gradients instead of simple spatial nearness or farness from the speaker, the listener, or some other referent. R

Jacqueline Lichtenberg:

Yes yes yes! But that's only the merest shadow of the real reason Gens can't master Simelan.

When our LANGUAGE parses the universe in a certain way (I/you for example) our entire philosophy, epistemology and sense of right and wrong is DERIVED FROM THAT PERCEPTION of that parsing as 'Natural Law' - it forms the unconscious assumptions behind the unconscious assumptions etc, in a long chain before we get up to any philosophy that can be articulated.

It's that higher level of ABSTRACTION that Gens can't express in Simelan (in any way intelligible to Simes that is). It's not that Gens can't think on that level - but that they can't TALK on that level in Simelan - except to other Gens who share their perceptual reality. That's why a "genlan" language develops out of Simelan when the Householdings let Gens "grow up" and become educated yet deprive them of a real language they can use to speak of what they understand abstractly.

Since a lot of Householder Gens have an out-T background (as ex-captives), a lot of that Gen language is borrowed and assimilated out-T dialect. The result is a kind of Gennish (like Yiddish).

And note: the ability to abstract grows with age. That's why the Gen use of Simelan seems "child's language" to Simes.


 

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