Wednesday, 20 December 2017

20th Lexember Word

ussáp [uˈsːäˑp], intransitive verb: “to lack a name, to be nameless; to be stupid“

Carrying on within the same semantic field, we now have the opposite of yesterday’s urmés.

As we saw yesterday, namelessness can be used as a way to imply stupidity (since only very young children are nameless, saying that of an adult implies that they never left that stage in their development). This is especially true of today’s verb ussáp. While it can still be used to refer to the state of children before the naming ceremony, it is much more commonly used to mean “to be stupid”, and most Haotyétpi speakers will understand it that way unless it is made very explicit that one is talking about a nameless child.

In fact, it seems that the use of ussáp as an insult is currently in the process of taking over from its more literal meaning, especially in the younger generations, and many Haotyétpi speakers already feel uncomfortable using it in that latter sense, even when the context is clear. And as we’ll see tomorrow, this particular shift is even more pronounced with another word.

In terms of morphology, ussáp is simply the root of usé, together with the verb-forming suffix -sap: “to lack, -less“.

from Tumblr

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