Saturday, 6 December 2014

6th Lexember Word

joami /jo̞.ami/, verb: “to feel, to sense, to notice; to smell, to taste, to feel by touch”

That… is surprisingly a correct example of how joami is used. And incidentally also how my dog reacts to cheese :).

When it comes to feelings, Moten is quite complicated, using different words depending on whether we are talking about internal or external sensations, whether it’s the speaker speaking about themself or someone else, etc. Joami, however, is not the most complicated one of the bunch. It simply refers to experiencing something from your environment using one or more of your senses. Basically, if you can see, hear, smell, taste or feel something by touch, you can use joami to describe that experience. That’s what you call a hypernym (here of the various verbs of sensing). And given this generic meaning, it can also be used where English people would say “to notice”.

This said, the fact is that in Moten, there are specific verbs referring to seeing/watching (ipe|laj) and hearing/listening (jezeti), but none for the remaining senses. So it’s common for joami to refer only to those remaining senses, in which case it’s more a counterpart of ipe|laj and jezeti, and it can mean “to smell”, “to taste” or “to feel by touch” depending on the context.

As with all transitive verbs, the exact meaning of joami depends on the form of its subject. If that subject is in the nominative case, it marks an active form of sensing or probing (compare once again ipe|laj and jezeti, which mean “to watch” and “to listen to” respectively, with a subject in the nominative case). If that subject is in the instrumental, it marks it as an experiencer, i.e. a passive recipient of sensory stimulations (in that same case, ipe|laj means “to see”, and jezeti means “to hear”).


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