Tuesday, 30 December 2014

30th Lexember Word

dukpuza /dukpuza/, noun: “fullness, emptiness, level; contents”

Indeed! While safety margins are a thing, engineers do want to fit needs as strictly as they can. And it often comes back to bite them later ;).

OK, I just couldn’t have a full month of Lexember without giving an example of what I think is the coolest word formation pattern in Moten :). Really, it’s that rad!

So, think of all the things that are basically ranges, like age, height, weight, distance, good vs. bad (and everything in between), etc. Those usually have a name, as well as words referring to specific values (usually extremes) on them (for instance, related to age are the words “young” and “old”; related to weight we have “light” and “heavy”; and related to distance we have “close” vs. “far”). In English, the name of a scale is usually either unrelated to the words referring to specific values (see “age” vs. “young” and “old”), or related to only one of them (“height” is related to “high”, but not to “low”).

In Moten, while some scales also have unrelated names, most scales are named by taking the words referring to extremes on those scales, and compounding them together into a single word! For instance, from odun: “young” and ukol: “old”, one forms ukodun: “age”. In the same way, from sezgo: “fast” and bontu: “slow,”, you get sezbon: “velocity, speed”.

Dukpuza, then, belongs to that type of nouns. It’s a compound of opposites duki: “full” and puza: “empty”, and rather than referring to a specific (high or low) level of contents within a container, it refers to the concept of such a level itself (hence the translation “level” being probably the most accurate here, although dukpuza lacks many of the other meanings of English “level”).

Naturally, since languages abhor neat and symmetrical things, it had to be that dukpuza would develop another meaning, moving from the level of contents within a container to referring to those contents themselves (at least in general). But that’s language for you ;).


from Tumblr http://christophoronomicon.tumblr.com/post/106601783497

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