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George talks about how we borrow words for cultural concepts, even when the concept isn’t all that alien to our culture.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenia_(Greek)

6 Responses to “Conlangery SHORTS #06: Borrowing Cultural Concepts”

  1. Katherine

    I’m, what, seven months late on this, but — I love the new formats! I listened regularly through about last June, then got bogged down in my MA thesis; since I’m not actually *done* with the thesis yet, I’m especially excited about the shorts. Bite-sized conlang fix? Sign me up 🙂

    Great job, as always — thanks, y’all!

    Reply
    • admin

      Thanks. I’m glad people enjoy the shorts. For one, it’s much easier to build up my buffer when I can throw in shorts, but also there’s some topics that pop in my head that really aren’t worth a whole episode, and don’t really fit into anything upcoming.

      Reply
  2. CMunk

    Another example: The Greenlandic word ‘illu’ and the Inuktitut word ‘iglu’ simply mean “house”. But in English ‘igloo’ has come to mean a particular form of snow hut.

    Reply
    • admin

      Interesting. I’m curious about the words for “igloo” in those languages, now, considering an igloo is not really a house (my understanding is that they are temporary structures).

      Reply
      • Jyri

        I couldn’t find a decent dictionary to get a proper answer to this. But having heard that the stereotypical igloos are indeed temporary shelters, and not even very typical, and that Eskimo varieties are generally very compound happy, I’d expect that you’d have to use a compound to refer to a shelter built from ice.

        Reply
      • CMunk

        Seems it’s called “illuigaq” (greenlandic) and “illuvigaq” (inuktitut). Can’t find out what the other half of the word means, but I suppose it’s a derivation of some sort.

        Reply

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