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Thread: A device that would enable people to talk secretly in public..?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Navajo has a word for "whale"??? Curious!
    Why is it curious? You mean because they don't have whales where they live? Lots of languages have words for things they never see but only hear about. I'm sure that there's an Inuit word for giraffe, even if they never see them. I would be interested in the etymology of Lo-tso though. I suspect it may just mean big fish.
    As above, so below

  2. #32
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    I wonder if deaf people could get words from a sort of watch, that sent vibrations through the watch and its strap. That would enable them to watch TV without taking their eyes off what was going on on screen. The TV could send a signal to the watch. Maybe a voice recognition thing, in the watch, could also do the same thing....
    Perhaps if there were 16 vibration points that could give 2^16 vibration patterns, that's over 65thouand words...I dunno, that's a lot of combinations to learn.

    Perhaps it could be like Braille, and only have 6 vibration points.
    Last edited by Frog march; 2017-Apr-15 at 07:12 AM.
    ................

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Why is it curious? You mean because they don't have whales where they live? Lots of languages have words for things they never see but only hear about. I'm sure that there's an Inuit word for giraffe, even if they never see them. I would be interested in the etymology of Lo-tso though. I suspect it may just mean big fish.
    Yes, we have the words "line" and "circle" even though we have never seen either.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root
    Navajo has a word for "whale"??? Curious!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Why is it curious? You mean because they don't have whales where
    they live? Lots of languages have words for things they never see but
    only hear about. I'm sure that there's an Inuit word for giraffe, even if
    they never see them. I would be interested in the etymology of Lo-tso
    though. I suspect it may just mean big fish.
    If "lo-tso" literally means "big fish", then the term for "battleship"
    would be "big fish" rather than "whale".

    If Inuit has a word for "giraffe", it is probably "giraffe" or "zhirafa" or
    the like. A borrowing from English or French or Danish or Russian,
    just like the English, French, Danish, and Russian words for "giraffe"
    are all borrowed from Arabic. If Navajo has a word for "whale", it is
    almost certainly borrowed from some other language, not really a
    Navajo word.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  5. #35
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    Isn't it possible that Navajo (or some of them) travelled and/or traded with people who lived or travelled by the sea (Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, or Gulf of California) and DID see whales, or heard of them enough to construct a word? Before European contact, most native groups traded and travelled extensively and would be familiar with more than just whatever remnant land they were put on (reservations).

    CJSF
    "I found my mind on the ground below. I was looking down, it was looking back.
    I was in the sky, all dressed in black.
    See the constellation ride across the sky. No cigar, no lady on his arm.
    Just a guy made of dots and lines."
    -They Might Be Giants, "See The Constellation"

    lonelybirder.org

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    If "lo-tso" literally means "big fish", then the term for "battleship"
    would be "big fish" rather than "whale".

    If Inuit has a word for "giraffe", it is probably "giraffe" or "zhirafa" or
    the like. A borrowing from English or French or Danish or Russian,
    just like the English, French, Danish, and Russian words for "giraffe"
    are all borrowed from Arabic. If Navajo has a word for "whale", it is
    almost certainly borrowed from some other language, not really a
    Navajo word.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    English had words for lions, elephants, and giraffes before any had been seen.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Isn't it possible that Navajo (or some of them) travelled and/or
    traded with people who lived or travelled by the sea (Pacific, Gulf
    of Mexico, or Gulf of California) and DID see whales, or heard of
    them enough to construct a word?
    Possible, but I think far more likely that they would either use the
    same word (borrowing) as the people who lived by the sea and saw
    whales over and over and were familiar with them, or combine
    existing descriptive Navajo words, as Jens suggests with "big fish".

    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Before European contact, most native groups traded and travelled
    extensively and would be familiar with more than just whatever
    remnant land they were put on (reservations).
    It hadn't occurred to me that the Navajo word for "whale" might
    have been coined as recently as the formation of reservations.
    I'm fairly sure, though, that the Navajo nation was not moved
    en masse the way those in the east were. However, what you
    say makes me realize that their territory probably shrank from
    what it was, and it could very well have previously extended all
    the way to the west coast. That would then be what surprised
    me about Navajo having a word for whale: That they may have
    once had a presence on the coast.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    It hadn't occurred to me that the Navajo word for "whale" might have been coined as recently as the formation of reservations.
    The Navajo are a part of the Dene linguistic lineage which migrated down from the Arctic and Canada. They almost certainly had direct experience of whales prior to their settlement in the south. So it is more likely that they just didn't lose the word, rather than regain it at a later date.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    English had words for lions, elephants, and giraffes before any
    had been seen.
    You mean English had words for lions, elephants, and giraffes
    before any of those animals had been seen by native English
    speakers. That's likely. But those words aren't really English.
    They're borrowed from other languages. "Lion" and "elephant"
    are from Greek via Latin and French. "Giraffe" is from Arabic
    via Italian and French. The changes from Greek and Arabic
    are minimal.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I wonder if deaf people . . .
    Bone conduction of sound

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    You mean English had words for lions, elephants, and giraffes
    before any of those animals had been seen by native English
    speakers. That's likely. But those words aren't really English.
    They're borrowed from other languages. "Lion" and "elephant"
    are from Greek via Latin and French. "Giraffe" is from Arabic
    via Italian and French. The changes from Greek and Arabic
    are minimal.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Well, seen by native English speakers, yes. English had a word for lion directly from Latin (leo), then, after the Conquest, adopted the French word. Since these were remote animals, never seen except in bestiaries, Middle English seems to have used the same word for elephant and giraffe (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=elephant) and was not too clear about the difference between "lion" and "leopard."

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I wonder if deaf people could get words from a sort of watch, that sent vibrations through the watch and its strap. That would enable them to watch TV without taking their eyes off what was going on on screen. The TV could send a signal to the watch. Maybe a voice recognition thing, in the watch, could also do the same thing....
    Perhaps if there were 16 vibration points that could give 2^16 vibration patterns, that's over 65thouand words...I dunno, that's a lot of combinations to learn.

    Perhaps it could be like Braille, and only have 6 vibration points.
    The vast majority of people who are blind are illiterate in Braille, in the US, anyway. Like more than 90%. In fact, people who can Braille don't get paid to do so, as a consequence, classes in Braille are offer to the general public for free.

    The main issue is that technology is perfectly happy to put words on the screen via captioning where as people learning braille can't read the source and can't see the teacher. The problem is one of chicken and egg. Since people are largely visual creatures, deafness has some easier answers than blindness. Also, blindness is often a measure of degree, which make this a question of complexity. I have trained blind people to work in a call center with virtually no accommodation because they were not completely blind. Computers have build in systems to accommodate people who are partial sighted, it takes relatively few add-on devices to allow them to use a phone and computer easily. Many "solutions" aren't technological, for example, a bed, mat and water bowls for companions is hardly sophisticated. For hearing loss, the tools are very simple too, better headphones and perhaps an external amp. Training for TTY is fairly standard, more social conventions than operation.
    Solfe

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