Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Monday, April 5, 2010

The conceptual space of beauty

So I was very productive recently, and I worked out how Reisu divides the conceptual space of beauty. To talk about this in Reisu we have to talk about the senses because beauty is perceived by the senses.

See - Oki
Hear - Milu
Smell - Zego
Taste - Sula
Touch - Hola
Think - Geki

Hola is special because it doesn't simply mean physical touch. It also means emotions. Geki means thought with or without emotions. I did not mean for this ambiguity to occur, but I worked out the meaning of hola when I worked out how to handle the copula, so it's too late to change now. A little ambiguity is good, right? I have said that before I think, but for some reason when it's in my own writing I see it as a glaring error. I tell myself to stop being so technical, and on to the words for beauty.

There are different words for saying something is beautiful depending on how the thing is perceived. For example using 'larelai' to describe beautiful music is awkward. It's better to use 'nali'. However if you're talking about a concert and you wanted to comment on the visual spectacle of it we could use 'larelai'. Here's a chart of the words for beauty and their antonyms:

What is perceiving the beautyBeautiful (adjective)Ugly (Antonym)

Below are some example sentences to highlight the difference between these words in relation to the main five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

Lila nali, bo yeto.
Music sound.good, but look.bad.
The music was beautiful, but the performance was bad.
~There's no need to specify that you're talking about a concert even though we used the noun for music. Obviously if we're using yeto we're talking about something visual. There's a similar idea in the sentence below.

Pana larelai, bo fuma.
Food look.good, but taste.bad.
The meal looked delicious, but it tasted was awful.
~Larelai is referring to how the food literally looked, as in how it was plated. This not referring to how it sounded when described, or how it was written on a menu. We would use nali/gomu to describe how something seems when being read about despite reading being visual.

Yesisopua xuma, emodoge neina, bo ei eli yesijeva.
Silk feel.good, people-many say, but I like cotton.
Many say silk feels nice, but I prefer cotton.
~Yesisopua and yesijeva are compound words formed from yesi for cloth. Most of the words for types of cloth contain yesi-.

So what of puati and deto? We would use those to speak of things that are experienced primarily in the mind. Another way to think of it labeling goodness or badness in '-isms'. For example religious, political and psychological options or experiences are primarily labeled on a scale of puati/deto. We can call emphasis to those feelings effecting us physically by using xuma/goti instead, but xuma/goti has connotations specific to physical and emotional experiences that puati/deto does not have.

Below are some example sentences. These can all be translated as 'God is good', but they have different connotations.

Doza aku.
~God is good, and this is a fact.
Doza puati.
~God is good, and this is my personal belief (or, and this is how I think).
Doza xuma.
~God is good, and I have experienced his goodness physically/emotionally.
Doza nali.
~From what I've heard, God is good.

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