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Reply To: Language as Metaphor?


    Oh Stephen, now you’re hitting bull’s eye!

    Language… I’m blessed being dutch because we’re used to learn besides dutch also english, french and german. Three germanic and one romanic, members of the the same group yet very distinct (nomative vs verbative {is that the proper word?}). But in utter contrast: there are more languages in Papua-New Guinea then in the rest of the world, mainly by it’s extreme accidented landscape, shouldering english to mandarin to hopi to latin to hindi: the other is an alien, and taste good by the way.

    How things and experiences are cast in words is nature, nurture, environment and interpretation (read: the the tale of the winner). Each speaker of a languge considers its own as the perfect representation of the right sounding words. Splash and gush suffice in english, but sounds as ‘spetter’ and ‘plons’ in dutch. My daughters first sounds sounds as pwa-pwa-pwa-pwa, which I take as curious variation (!).

    Where does it come from? Apes evolving, mumbling, the males on hunt (MwuhMhuh!, meaning mammoth {english is strange: mother-moth?}), the woman more sedentary invent, unfold and refine speech, civilizing the game-loaden males on returning to their primitive settlement. The world is infinite, and hence the various languages.

    Just into the reading of Sumerian history, an almost complete civilisation emerges from nowhere with a equal male-female balance (a requirement for a true and fruitfull culture) with an extreme steep developing language, wedges in clay is the technology only. A marvalous mythology, much copied, unsurpassed in it’s origins.

    Ramblings are ok, and lots of references sweep through my memory and the pile of unread books grows out of my chimney (that’s certainly not english, but I’m sure you’ll understand), and I’ve not even mentioned Chomsky! (Now I did.)

    On metaphors, the menu is not the meal: your perception of reality is not the reality, but only your perception of it, and hence it is not the reality. Ceci, c’est n’est pas une pipe. Your senses are impaired, your vocation crippled.