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dwnielsen
2009-Jun-26, 04:51 AM
Sorry if this has been talked to death, but I hope to get some traction on this topic.

What do you consider the most important individual bodies of the solar system?
And, if you were to rename the major bodies of the solar system, what names might you give?

I must say, I like consistency, and this abandonment of the Latin naming convention is kind of sickening. Latin is a major basis of the English language as well as the Romance languages. It has a natural significance to us. If we should use other language forms, it would seem we wouldn't be using island names that are representative of a small group of now-vanished people far out at sea. Not that they are bad, but they may be too far off from our current experience and given names. I realize many names may be taken already. Perhaps they should have been reserved in the first place for greater astronomical entities. I think we should either consider them open for reappropriation, or use names that represent larger portions of the world and history.

I'd really love to hear any ideas someone might have on this! I really don't know anything about the dwarf planet candidates, though, and can't tell which might be really good candidates.

Here is what I would do..

Keep the usual identifications..
Sol (Apollo)
Mercury
Venus
Terra (Gaia)
Luna (Diana)
Mars
Vesta
Ceres (I don't understand why an asteroid would represent agriculture, unless you consider the asteroid "field")
Pallas
Hygiea
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto

Old: Haumea
New: Cybele
Cybele is a mother goddess, like Haumea, current name of this egg-shaped dwarf planet. Two moons remind of her two chariot lions.

Old: Makemake
New: Minerva
Minerva is owl-like, which reminds of the color of this bright dwarf planet. Makemake was a bird-man.

...?
Eris
...?

Jens
2009-Jun-26, 05:25 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "reserving" names. What do you mean when you say that many names are "taken"? Are there other astronomical objects that are given those names?

Hornblower
2009-Jun-26, 09:56 AM
Is this a solution in search of a problem?

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-26, 10:34 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "reserving" names. What do you mean when you say that many names are "taken"? Are there other astronomical objects that are given those names?Asteroids 63 Cybele and 93 Minerva have "taken" the names the OP proposes to use for Haumea and Makemake. It's now IAU policy to avoid duplicate names. The existence of asteroid 3908 Nyx is what drove the mutated spelling of Pluto's moon Nix, for instance.

I'd be sorry to see us restricted to the mythology of two dead European cultures. There are many more cultures and mythologies than Roman and Greek, and many more language groups than Romance. Bring 'em on, I say. :)

Grant Hutchison

Ampatent
2009-Jun-26, 01:23 PM
Bring 'em on, I say. :)

It's only a matter of time before we start seeing stars and planets being named "Spock" and "Kirk". :lol:

Rhaedas
2009-Jun-26, 01:41 PM
It's only a matter of time before we start seeing stars and planets being named "Spock" and "Kirk". :lol:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2309_Mr._Spock

eburacum45
2009-Jun-26, 01:57 PM
There are all sorts of mythologies that can be drawn upon for planet names;
for instance
http://eg.orionsarm.com/im_store/daffy2.jpg
.
.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-26, 02:37 PM
I guess what most bothers me is

1) We are using these names in an English setting (for us), and have so far used the same language. It seems odd and inconsistent to randomly change the names now. For instance, "ab" would mean "out from a source" in Latin, related to "father" in Semitic tongues, and interestingly "abhi" is "into, higher" in Sanskrit. It seems it would make sense to use other languages when a fundamental concept is best expressed by them.

2) Very little is known about Rongorongo, although it is interesting, so other connected names cannot be given in a way that might have even made sense to the Rapa Nui.

3) These island cultures did little to advance astronomical science, not that this is the only measure of poetical imagination. Although, there were not a lot of them, so they may have made very interesting use of their resources, and may have done what they could. So in this sense their language may have some unique and interesting element to it.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-26, 04:45 PM
1) We are using these names in an English setting (for us), and have so far used the same language.But of course speakers of other languages have their own names for the planets that are observable with the naked eye. Romance speakers use their own versions of the Latin and Greek names. In a global age, isn't it better to have names that are standard across languages and sampled from many languages?


2) Very little is known about Rongorongo, although it is interesting, so other connected names cannot be given in a way that might have even made sense to the Rapa Nui.Rongorongo is something of a red herring, since it's an undeciphered system of petroglyphs. Just talk to some Rapa Nui people, and they'll tell you their mythology. So connected names are available, if required. The reference to Easter Island links to the Easter discovery date for Makemake.


3) These island cultures did little to advance astronomical science, not that this is the only measure of poetical imagination.The were extraordinarily adept star-navigators, however, if you want to search for a justification in astronomical science.

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-26, 07:18 PM
.. In a global age, isn't it better to have names that are standard across languages and sampled from many languages?

Is this a valid sampling?


.. Just talk to some Rapa Nui people, and they'll tell you their mythology. ..

If I were to randomly talk to a few speakers of Romance languages today, should I trust their account of the stories of the ancients? Oral tradition has its place, but is very prone to distortion in a small sampling, especially in a culture that has dramatically changed. If the accounts are so clear, it would seem that the petroglyphs might be decipherable.


.. The reference to Easter Island links to the Easter discovery date for Makemake. ..

An unfixed holiday in the Christian calendar that has extremely little reference to the ancient Rapa Nui people - a date that is not even agreed upon between churches, even if one were to assume one date is correct. Why the planet was originally called Easter Bunny just due to the discovery date I have no idea; at least Haumea looks egg-shaped.


The were extraordinarily adept star-navigators, however, if you want to search for a justification in astronomical science.

Very true (at least the ones who lived). There are other excellent sea-faring peoples, so then I have to ask the sampling question again. And did the world learn much from them? I don't know.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-26, 08:02 PM
Is this a valid sampling?No single example is a valid sampling. Fortunately the naming process applies to thousands of bodies.


If I were to randomly talk to a few speakers of Romance languages today, should I trust their account of the stories of the ancients? Oral tradition has its place, but is very prone to distortion in a small sampling, especially in a culture that has dramatically changed.So you have something against the actual spoken traditions of present-day Rapa Nui people? What makes you reject their traditions in favour of ancient inaccessible ones? By that reasoning, we must reject Latin and Greek tradition, since it is merely a shadow of the unknown proto-Indo-European mythos, which in turn reflected even earlier traditions.


An unfixed holiday in the Christian calendar that has extremely little reference to the ancient Rapa Nui people - a date that is not even agreed upon between churches, even if one were to assume one date is correct.It's a pun. It doesn't need to connect to the ancient Rapa Nui people. I'm no great fan of Mike Brown's rather laboured word-play myself, but discoverers are permitted to make linkages that we don't necessarily like.


Very true (at least the ones who lived). There are other excellent sea-faring peoples, so the I have to ask the sampling question again.And again I have to respond that you have selected a single data point from a large sampling process. By the same reasoning, one wonders how we justify the name of the planet Venus. Were there not also male gods? Were there not gods with other preoccupations apart from love? It's a ridiculously unrepresentative name; I reject it utterly.

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-26, 09:03 PM
No single example is a valid sampling. Fortunately the naming process applies to thousands of bodies.

I'm not speaking of thousands. My point is that the major bodies of the solar system should include figures that have had a major influence on world tradition, and attempt to maintain a sense of order and consistency. I did make a mistake, meaning to list Eris as "Discordia".


So you have something against the actual spoken traditions of present-day Rapa Nui people? What makes you reject their traditions in favour of ancient inaccessible ones? By that reasoning, we must reject Latin and Greek tradition, since it is merely a shadow of the unknown proto-Indo-European mythos, which in turn reflected even earlier traditions.

We cannot easily see back that far, although some have tried and done a pretty respectable job of constructing a unified world tradition (Santillana/Dechend and many others). It is not yet entirely consistent and ordered. The ideas must grow out naturally. I do not think that the current naming will be the best possible, but it is at least a stepping stone to a better one.


It's a pun. It doesn't need to connect to the ancient Rapa Nui people.

It's not really a pun; both were discovered on the declared day of Easter. Was there some significance as spring is supposedly a time of death of the old and birth of the new? In this case Eris was the new-comer.


I'm no great fan of Mike Brown's rather laboured word-play myself, but discoverers are permitted to make linkages that we don't necessarily like.

And we are permitted to ignore them. Else Uranus is "Georgium Sidus"; Ceres is "Ceres Ferdinandea".


And again I have to respond that you have selected a single data point from a large sampling process. By the same reasoning, one wonders how we justify the name of the planet Venus. Were there not also male gods? Were there not gods with other preoccupations apart from love? It's a ridiculously unrepresentative name; I reject it utterly.

Half the human population approximately is female. Venus comes from Latin meaning "to come" and is related to many words still used every day by us. It represents a lot: prettiness, self-absorption, romantic love, sex. It does not represent all women, so there should be more females in the solar system and are, such as Ceres, Vesta, Hygiea, Eris. Where is a big Juno? A big Cybele? A big Minerva?

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-26, 09:36 PM
I'm not speaking of thousands. My point is that the major bodies of the solar system should include figures that have had a major influence on world tradition, and attempt to maintain a sense of order and consistency.This is your opinion, rather than a fundamental principle. Yes?


We cannot easily see back that far, although some have tried and done a pretty respectable job of constructing a unified world tradition (Santillana/Dechend and many others). It is not yet entirely consistent and ordered. The ideas must grow out naturally. I do not think that the current naming will be the best possible, but it is at least a stepping stone to a better one.So you propose a continuous process of renaming?


It's not really a pun; both were discovered on the declared day of Easter.Indeed. So the word Easter has multiple associations when spoken with reference to Makemake. A pun, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a word used so as to "suggest two or more meanings or different associations". It may not be as laboured and excruciating as the puns in childish jokes, but it's a pun nevertheless. :)


And we are permitted to ignore them.Of course. There's something of a cottage industry in ignoring the IAU these days. But I think your first aim must be to convince us that we should ignore them.


Half the human population approximately is female.And the other half is male. Venus does a terrible job of representing them. She does an even poorer job of representing the sex distribution of the gods. We can find a reason to reject any name we dislike, if we use your "sampling" argument.


Venus comes from Latin meaning "to come" and is related to many words still used every day by us.More to do with attractiveness and love in Latin, I think. But this is a parochial argument based on the happenstance that you speak an Indo-European language. Why should speakers from other language groups be impressed?

Grant Hutchison

thoth II
2009-Jun-26, 09:58 PM
Any names are ok to me.

I only disagree with how they're classified. If I did it: (a) sun (b) planets: 8
(c) minor solar system objects: (i) Oort cloud objects (ii) Kuiper belt objects (includes Pluto, Eris) (iii) asteroids (iv) comets (v) meteroids

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-26, 10:42 PM
This is your opinion, rather than a fundamental principle. Yes?

I don't think so. Mnemonics suggests certain order already inherent in language: we use base words and suffixes. Phonology, and even the idea of any kind of unified human mythos, suggests a sort of fundamental principle. For instance, "na" is an expression of negation in many independent languages. The world offers much of the same repertory of sound across the globe: the sound of birds, chopping wood, water running.


So you propose a continuous process of renaming?

Sure; languages, belief systems, educational curricula, cultural identifications undergo constant change. Hopefully for the goal of improving, or at least adding interest.


Indeed. So the word Easter has multiple associations when spoken with reference to Makemake. A pun, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a word used so as to "suggest two or more meanings or different associations". It may not be as laboured and excruciating as the puns in childish jokes, but it's a pun nevertheless.

Okay.


Of course. There's something of a cottage industry in ignoring the IAU these days. But I think your first aim must be to convince us that we should ignore them.

The above words are in large part aiming at that.


And the other half is male. Venus does a terrible job of representing them. She does an even poorer job of representing the sex distribution of the gods. We can find a reason to reject any name we dislike, if we use your "sampling" argument.

I think you are supporting my specific argument there. If you were to throw a dart randomly at the map of excellent sea-faring people, you'd be unlikely to hit a Rapa Nui person symbol. If you were to throw a dart at a sex category representation, you'd be just as likely to hit a male or a female. Now the question becomes, Does the Rapa Nui godhead best fill an important place in the planetary pantheon sequence?


More to do with attractiveness and love in Latin, I think. But this is a parochial argument based on the happenstance that you speak an Indo-European language. Why should speakers from other language groups be impressed?

Certain other groups should most definitely also be represented where significant. One can however show that Latin is to a certain extent consistent and ordered. It has been useful for this for a long time, and has been used by the West as a common language, even to the exclusion of other excellent languages. I realize this sounds like an appeal to tradition, but it is not baseless. [addition:] For a global tradition, rename all the major bodies. (Certain other countries already do this.) I am only terribly interested in the parochial, for I only really understand the Western tradition.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-26, 11:24 PM
I don't think so. Mnemonics suggests certain order already inherent in language: we use base words and suffixes. Phonology, and even the idea of any kind of unified human mythos, suggests a sort of fundamental principle. For instance, "na" is an expression of negation in many independent languages. The world offers much of the same repertory of sound across the globe: the sound of birds, chopping wood, water running.So how does this support your idea that "the major bodies of the solar system should include figures that have had a major influence on world tradition, and attempt to maintain a sense of order and consistency"?



So you propose a continuous process of renaming? Sure; languages, belief systems, educational curricula, cultural identifications undergo constant change. Hopefully for the goal of improving, or at least adding interest.The potential for confusion seems to me to outweigh the possibility of interest, in this instance.



Of course. There's something of a cottage industry in ignoring the IAU these days. But I think your first aim must be to convince us that we should ignore them.The above words are in large part aiming at that.I understand. We just seemed to be jumping to "ignore" before we'd passed "convince".


[I think you are supporting my specific argument there. If you were to throw a dart randomly at the map of excellent sea-faring people, you'd be unlikely to hit a Rapa Nui person symbol. If you were to throw a dart at a sex category representation, you'd be just as likely to hit a male or a female.So the languages and mythology of minorities should be neglected, as being of no consequence in the grand scheme? Setting aside the cultural bankruptcy of that argument, I need only point out that if I throw a dart at a map of religious practices, I will not strike a Venus-worshipper very frequently.


Now the question becomes, Does the Rapa Nui godhead best fill an important place in the planetary pantheon sequence?You're begging the question. "(Dwarf) planetary names must fill an important place in the planetary pantheon sequence because that's how we choose planetary names." You've yet to demonstrate that this rule is sensible or useful.


Certain other groups should most definitely also be represented where significant. One can however show that Latin is to a certain extent consistent and ordered. It has been useful for this for a long time, and has been used by the West as a common language, even to the exclusion of other excellent languages. I realize this sounds like an appeal to tradition, but it is not baseless.It seems baseless to me, given that we're talking about proper names, not language structure or the usefulness of a lingua franca.

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-27, 01:16 AM
So how does [your statement about inherent order in mnemonics and phonology] support your idea that "the major bodies of the solar system should include figures that have had a major influence on world tradition, and attempt to maintain a sense of order and consistency"?

There is a natural order to language and meaning for humans. Sure, I could decide tomorrow that "Screw off" means "Hi, how are you?" But I won't ever really think that. Additionally, there are universal sounds that connote certain concepts across the globe. Some sounds are long, some short, and involve definite mechanisms for production. These become conceptual. The conceptal schema becomes embedded as our understanding of the universe. We can then take it and apply it ad hoc where it fits. All these associations reinforce it, and it allows us to increase knowledge and understanding. In a Socratic way, it also may reveal characteristic clues for gaining new knowledge where it might otherwise be missed.


The potential for confusion [in changing the names] seems to me to outweigh the possibility of interest, in this instance.

Can't really argue with an opinion. I thought it would be interesting to hear some alternative ideas, even if just to contemplate them in my own way - not out to change the solar system, just to construct an alternative minority view.


I understand. We just seemed to be jumping to "ignore" before we'd passed "convince".

Yes, but the goal of the original post was not really so much to gather argument. I was trying to find inspiration. I was hoping some imaginative posts might offer something striking and interesting to me. But criticism can be a form of inspiration. And I'll take what I can get, although without as much interest. What would be interesting is if someone offered insight into the stories and meanings of representations of Makemake, Haumea, etc.


So the languages and mythology of minorities should be neglected, as being of no consequence in the grand scheme? Setting aside the cultural bankruptcy of that argument, I need only point out that if I throw a dart at a map of religious practices, I will not strike a Venus-worshipper very frequently.

Then you are in favor of renaming the planets? Let's assume some Christians would be in favor also, but there is just not much excitement in naming them "Solomon", "Jonas", etc. Or maybe there is for some. In fact, you will meet many people who unintentionally "venerate" Venus, from which the word comes. Spirits connect the universe from the very small to the very large. Expressing ourselves through them pays homage to the gods.


You're begging the question. "(Dwarf) planetary names must fill an important place in the planetary pantheon sequence because that's how we choose planetary names." You've yet to demonstrate that this rule is sensible or useful.

I try to explain this above in the traditional Socratic way. (There is probably an Eastern philosopher under-represented in the Western world that I could have cited, but, being stuck in the provinces of ignorance, I have not afforded to. I think a certain nonbeliever said something similar to Euthyphro.)


It seems baseless to me, given that we're talking about proper names, not language structure or the usefulness of a lingua franca.

Why is a supposedly mythological proper name different? Gods can bind lands together or rend them apart. "Gaud" (God) can mean "Joy". "Santa Claus" can mean "Divine Gate". These may be bad translations, but since when did all humans think infallibly?

hhEb09'1
2009-Jun-27, 02:52 AM
Why is a supposedly mythological proper name different? Gods can bind lands together or rend them apart. "Gaud" (God) can mean "Joy". "Santa Claus" can mean "Divine Gate". These may be bad translations, but since when did all humans think infallibly?I just typed that paragraph into google language, chose english --> english, and it came back with "All your base belong to us. And what is the name of this little planet with a few small moons?"

HenrikOlsen
2009-Jun-27, 07:05 AM
What do you consider the most important individual bodies of the solar system?

My point is that the major bodies of the solar system should include figures that have had a major influence on world tradition, and attempt to maintain a sense of order and consistency.
Unfortunately, at the moment the media apparently think the most important individual bodies of the solar system are Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-27, 12:03 PM
Yes, but the goal of the original post was not really so much to gather argument.Perhaps you shouldn't have launched with a phrase like "this abandonment of the Latin naming convention is kind of sickening", then. "Abandonment" and "sickening" are emotive words, pushing a particular view. Folks tend to push back under these circumstances, if so inclined.


Then you are in favor of renaming the planets?Not at all. I was illustrating how your argument from "sampling" can be used to justify discarding any name at all.


Why is a supposedly mythological proper name different? Gods can bind lands together or rend them apart. "Gaud" (God) can mean "Joy". "Santa Claus" can mean "Divine Gate". These may be bad translations, but since when did all humans think infallibly?And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Grant Hutchison

Jens
2009-Jun-27, 01:45 PM
Perhaps you shouldn't have launched with a phrase like "this abandonment of the Latin naming convention is kind of sickening", then. "Abandonment" and "sickening" are emotive words, pushing a particular view. Folks tend to push back under these circumstances, if so inclined.

Yes, I definitely agree here. I was kind of "attracted" to this thread by that initial post. And I must say, however, that the discussion has been interesting. I basically agree with Grant (I think...) that if we are going to have the IAU make decisions on naming bodies, it should do so in a way that incorporates the sort of plurarity of human cultures. It shouldn't be a culturally biased choice.

Just as an aside, dwnielsen has repeatedly brought up the idea of sound symbolism, which is something that I am very interested in. I'm not sure how it relates to the naming of planets, however. The sound of a bell is similar in many languages because, well, bells sound a certain way. Many languages have a word for "cut" that has the /k/ sound, which is natural because cutting actually seems to sound that way to the human ear. But I can't imagine how Jupiter or Saturn might sound. They're just lights in the sky.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-27, 02:02 PM
.. "Abandonment" and "sickening" are emotive words, pushing a particular view. Folks tend to push back under these circumstances, if so inclined.

"Abandonment" is a little emotive, but not particularly so. The major bodies of the solar system were being named under the convention of Latin god names, as already given by the first 14 names in the given list (except for Hygiea, who was known as Sirona, but not as well known), starting with the Sun and moving outward. The new ones are named for island gods and a Greek god. It is a pretty simple picture that describes working on one task, then leaving it and changing convention.

"Sickening" I kind of regretted using. I anticipated the question, Why would this project matter? I was trying to describe the sentiment in few words. I have tried to elaborate on this. The criticism came, but not what I was requesting (except from Thoth II).


Not at all. I was illustrating how your argument from "sampling" can be used to justify discarding any name at all.

I was being tongue-in-cheek, though usually try to be more sincere. I was just trying to show that I don't agree, so I would accept your argument as stated.


And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Psychodynamics is not practically very useful because you just can't tell what motives are behind things, but that doesn't mean all analytical systems regarding interpretation are discredited. People make analyses of linguistic and representational data. I was trying to give a convincing sort of sketch of how these associations could be formed.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-27, 03:40 PM
Just as an aside, dwnielsen has repeatedly brought up the idea of sound symbolism, which is something that I am very interested in. I'm not sure how it relates to the naming of planets, however. The sound of a bell is similar in many languages because, well, bells sound a certain way. Many languages have a word for "cut" that has the /k/ sound, which is natural because cutting actually seems to sound that way to the human ear.Phonosemantics takes this a little farther, noting word clusters with common sounds and meanings, unrelated to simple onomatopoeia. One can exploit this with invented words, as in the famous "bouba/kiki" experiment. Subjects exposed to these words for the first time, and asked to associate them with objects, would reproducibly identify the rounded, lumpy object as the "bouba", and the spiky, sharp one as the "kiki". This happens with subjects who speak languages from many different language groups. Does it go back to the sounds of lumpy and sharp objects interacting with the environment? Maybe. But there are other examples that are purely visual, like the "gl-" group that associates with light sources (gleam, glitter, glister, glisten, glow, glint, in English).

However, to me the proposed application to astronomical bodies has more than a whiff of alchemical/magickal symbol-making to it: a stretching after relationships that aren't really there; mistaking puns for deep meanings.
My reference to Freud was supposed to work at that level: it's a negative comment on symbol-peddling, written by a symbol-peddler, and it also provides a symbolic reference to the shape of the dwarf planet Haumea. Move over, Robert Anton Wilson! :lol:

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-27, 03:42 PM
"Abandonment" is a little emotive, but not particularly so. ... It is a pretty simple picture that describes working on one task, then leaving it and changing convention.Have you ever felt abandoned? Have you ever abandoned anyone or anything? Were these emotionally neutral experiences?

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-27, 04:09 PM
Unfortunately, at the moment the media apparently think the most important individual bodies of the solar system are Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

Well, Michael Jackson with Moonwalker did give a certain idea of what moonlife is like. But he certainly seems like a son of Mercury: fast and expressive, if superficial. (I just heard someone say that Jackson died over $500 million in debt. How does anyone spend that much in one lifetime?)


.. But I can't imagine how Jupiter or Saturn might sound. They're just lights in the sky.

Jupiter's identifying sound would probably be authoritarian or regal, since it's big and a median planet (moving light in the sky). "J" was like "I", as in "Yahweh"; "John", "Joan", "Jane", the "Jon" in "Jonathan", etc derive from this. "James" and "Jacob" derive from "supplanter". Saturn, his father, moves nearby.

If you are actually wondering what sound might be associated with the planets, I am very interested in this, but not precisely in the Pythagorean sense per se. The solar system is full of periods. No one denies that the tidal day, the lunar month, and the solar day have an extreme influence on people. Well, those are relative periods, which, if moved into the range of human hearing, might have some natural mental resonance. I have played around with this a little, but have not come to any great clarity on how to do it. Kepler had his own sounds of the spheres, which I also find interesting in a different way.

Assuming humans ever make it that far, Earth might become a light in the sky, then invisible.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-27, 04:32 PM
Have you ever felt abandoned? Have you ever abandoned anyone or anything? Were these emotionally neutral experiences?

Sometimes not very emotional.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-27, 04:39 PM
Have you ever felt abandoned? Have you ever abandoned anyone or anything? Were these emotionally neutral experiences?Sometimes not very emotional.Then you are fortunate. :)
The question was rhetorical, however. Readers will come to their own conclusions about the emotional content of the word "abandon".

Grant Hutchison

AndrewJ
2009-Jun-28, 04:45 PM
I agree that there is no necessity to maintain the tradition of naming planets after deities. Perhaps we should use any resonant word from a tongue on the verge of extinction (an equivalent of "ghostly", "brothers", "jewel", "dancer" etc.) so that at least one word from that language is immortalized.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-28, 11:16 PM
I like that idea. It would capture a spiritual essence. What would the most effective form of this essence be? I might think it would be one that can associate with many important other spiritual essences. Since humans can express themselves in many visceral ways we understand - cutting, negating, etc - it might be anthropomorphic. But then, humans cannot without abandoning their native abilities for machinery physically swim like dolphins, or cut like woodpeckers, or dance like a mimic octopus. So maybe higher animals are the best candidates. Or maybe abstract concepts (as opposed to animals) are clearest and most complete. Then there are the nonliving physical forms - tools - a connection between the living world and the concept. Maybe the forms should balance some or all of these. Completeness, unification, and immediate understanding all seem important in giving meaning.

But when does naming an object for a concept or a set of living creatures demean the concept or creatures? Some people would be honored to have a disease or a bacteria named for them, some wouldn't. Would the feelings of those people matter? [addition:] Do concepts matter, or not matter, in a similar way to the feelings of persons?

Ara Pacis
2009-Jun-29, 06:10 AM
Phonosemantics takes this a little farther, noting word clusters with common sounds and meanings, unrelated to simple onomatopoeia. One can exploit this with invented words, as in the famous "bouba/kiki" experiment. Subjects exposed to these words for the first time, and asked to associate them with objects, would reproducibly identify the rounded, lumpy object as the "bouba", and the spiky, sharp one as the "kiki". This happens with subjects who speak languages from many different language groups. Does it go back to the sounds of lumpy and sharp objects interacting with the environment? Maybe. But there are other examples that are purely visual, like the "gl-" group that associates with light sources (gleam, glitter, glister, glisten, glow, glint, in English).

Maybe we should just take an idea from fiction. In Stargate: SG-1 the Ancients use a series of symbols to identify coordinates for a planet. In one of the later episodes, we learn that the symbols have a phoneme and the destination has a name that can be pronounced with the phonemes.

So, maybe we can take the idea above, use phonemes attached to numbers or metrics used to identify orbital elements and use that to produce a phonetically pronouncable name. What would we call such a system, phonoelemetrics?

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-29, 11:55 AM
Rongorongo is something of a red herring, since it's an undeciphered system of petroglyphs.Just a note to say I got this wrong. Although there are petroglyphs on Easter Island, and some of them resemble Rongorongo glyphs, Rongorongo itself is carved into wooden tablets, of which only 25 are known to exist. So it's not strictly petroglyphic.
For anyone interested in why the Rongorongo script is so difficult to decipher, I recommend Andrew Robinson's Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, published this year.

Grant Hutchison

Tobin Dax
2009-Jun-29, 12:36 PM
Maybe we should just take an idea from fiction. In Stargate: SG-1 the Ancients use a series of symbols to identify coordinates for a planet. In one of the later episodes, we learn that the symbols have a phoneme and the destination has a name that can be pronounced with the phonemes.

So, maybe we can take the idea above, use phonemes attached to numbers or metrics used to identify orbital elements and use that to produce a phonetically pronouncable name. What would we call such a system, phonoelemetrics?
Sounds somewhat like a star/exoplanet naming system (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/57787-naming-extrasolar-planets-2.html#post980634) proposed on BAUT a couple years ago.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-29, 01:09 PM
I've wanted to do similar things - developed an alphabet and some association rules for such purposes - but have never really found anyone interested, so it seemed best to try to use what was widely and historically understandable with others. "W" isn't a distinct phoneme, but otherwise that is an interesting system.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-29, 01:29 PM
"W" isn't a distinct phoneme, but otherwise that is an interesting system.The phone [w] is phonemic in the version of English I speak, and certainly looks to be phonemic in Matthias's chart: that is, the chart doesn't offer an English speaker any allophones for [w], as far as I can see.

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-29, 02:04 PM
Oh, you're correct, Grant. I thought he was separating basic vowels from consonants, and I saw "u" and "ou" listed, which I thought were ascribed to the "oo"s. I wouldn't consider "w" a basic phoneme, as it is easily recognized when replaced by the common and versatile horseshoe sound. Very few people would be able to tell the difference. But now I see the lack of allophones.

Jens
2009-Jun-29, 02:29 PM
Sorry for a blatant self-reference, but because you guys are discussing sound symbolism and phonemes and things like that, you might be interested in the project I have. It's a project for an international language, called Neo Patwa. And sound symbolism plays a part in it, along with other things. There are no names for planets, sort of. For the main planets, I've adopted the system used in East Asia, so Mars is fire-star, Venus is gold-star, Mercury is water-star, Jupiter is wood-star, and Saturn is earth-star.

Jens
2009-Jun-29, 02:33 PM
For anyone interested in why the Rongorongo script is so difficult to decipher, I recommend Andrew Robinson's Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, published this year.


I would be interested in the book, but just out of curiosity, have you read it? My (limited) understanding is that the Rongorongo script is strange because it doesn't follow Zipf's law. You don't find a system of the most common character being repeated often, and next most common character a ratio of that, etc. Another sort of interesting thing, but I've seen comparisons of Rongorongo with inscriptions found at the Indus valley sites. And there is really some striking about the resemblence.

Jens
2009-Jun-29, 02:47 PM
Phonosemantics takes this a little farther, noting word clusters with common sounds and meanings, unrelated to simple onomatopoeia. One can exploit this with invented words, as in the famous "bouba/kiki" experiment.


I thought that phonosemantics and sound symbolism were basically synonymous, with onomatopes beings something much stricter. For example, the sound bowwow is onomatopoeic, but I thought the association between the vowel "a" and large size could be termed either phonosemantic or sound symbolism. But there may be some distinction that I don't understand...

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-29, 03:14 PM
Another sort of interesting thing, but I've seen comparisons of Rongorongo with inscriptions found at the Indus valley sites. And there is really some striking about the resemblence.

Yes, stories about the island and the language abound. Some evidence has supported all kinds of things: Thor Heyerdahl's work, the bizarre ideas of Lemuria, etc. The island seems a sort of melting pot of the believe-it-or-not.

Neo Patwa - extremely interested! Thanks for the info, would love to find out more.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-29, 03:17 PM
I would be interested in the book, but just out of curiosity, have you read it?I have. As I say, I recommend it.
Yes, the odd structure of Rongorongo is partly what makes it such a challenge to decipher. One suggestion Robinson mentions is that it isn't a written language at all, but a set of standardized mnemonic images to aid ceremonial chanting. Robinson also discusses and illustrates some of the resemblances between Rongorongo and the Indus script.

I thought that phonosemantics and sound symbolism were basically synonymous, with onomatopes beings something much stricter. For example, the sound bowwow is onomatopoeic, but I thought the association between the vowel "a" and large size could be termed either phonosemantic or sound symbolism. But there may be some distinction that I don't understand...You're right, they do often seem to be used interchangeably. I've also seen them used as a spectrum (onomatopoeia -> sound symbolism -> phonosematics) with phonosemantics as the most general, and sound symbolism including only those sounds that seem to have real-world auditory cues (that is, coming from onomatopoeia, but not necessarily being onomatopoeic). The fact you used "cut" as an example made me think you were talking about this latter, more restricted, meaning of sound symbolism. Sorry.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-29, 03:22 PM
Thor Heyerdahl's work ...Hugely unpopular among the Rapa Nui people, it turns out. They set much store by their Polynesian origins.

Grant Hutchison

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-29, 07:45 PM
Hugely unpopular among the Rapa Nui people, it turns out. They set much store by their Polynesian origins.

Who would imagine? Oh well, the IAU has coopted their religious icons out of their own context and ascribed meaning for the solar system, placing island gods between the gods of chaos and the underworld. Now that their business is world business, we may as well tell them what their history is as well. Especially considering that mythology and feeling have no merit when considered against the body of cold, dead, and much-random scientific knowledge. [addition:] I'm not trying to reach the sun, just not fall into the ocean.

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-29, 08:40 PM
Well, the Rapa Nui people I've met had a strong sense of their own history and culture, but were comfortably smart enough to tell the difference between a borrowed name and cultural imperialism. After all, they have practical experience of real cultural imperialism.

Grant Hutchison

Ara Pacis
2009-Jun-30, 07:19 AM
Sounds somewhat like a star/exoplanet naming system (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/57787-naming-extrasolar-planets-2.html#post980634) proposed on BAUT a couple years ago.

I don't recall reading that. Anyways, I'd do more than just make it a base-100 phonocipher. I'd somehow incorporate orbital-element categorization data into the phoneme system directly. Maybe the end result would be the same, I dunno.

Jens
2009-Jun-30, 10:48 AM
Neo Patwa - extremely interested! Thanks for the info, would love to find out more.

I have a wiki page (http://patwa.pbworks.com) describing it, and I'm definitely the person to answer any questions or criticisms or suggestions. . . It's basically a very simple kind of travel or trade pidgin, influenced by languages like Chinook Jargon, Sabir (Mediterranean Lingua Franca) and South Seas Jargon. A great book that uses similar forms is The Sea of Poppies.

Jens
2009-Jun-30, 10:52 AM
The fact you used "cut" as an example made me think you were talking about this latter, more restricted, meaning of sound symbolism. Sorry.


No need to apologize. I was a bit unsure myself of how the terms are used; I think in a lot of cases different scholars use different terms to use the same thing, but others don't, so terminology is always confusing. In any case, you might know I'm a big fan of yours, I even invented the term "grant unified theory (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/90094-gravity-force.html#post1518889)." :)

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-30, 04:46 PM
Neo Patwa looks neat. I think the word selections are pretty good, and sentences seem to have a good flow.

Just tiny notions:

"Malato" and "mali" sound similar, which to my mind has possessions sounding malo. Possessions can be helpful, though. And if they're not, you can just give them away. Although, "m" often has connotations of grinding weight, such as "mill", "murder", "mash", etc. And possessions can be a burden to take care of. And they might be used to crush the have-lesses.

"Safahi" and "maha-y" are the only cases in the dictionary I see that contain the "ahi" or "ahai" sound combination, which often practically becomes "eye" or "ay" instead. Eg, "nahiin"->"nein" or "nay".

With some Hindi in the mix, I was a bit surprised that the question subjects "kahan", "kya", etc didn't show up (and "jahan", etc).

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-30, 05:31 PM
I don't recall reading that. Anyways, I'd do more than just make it a base-100 phonocipher. I'd somehow incorporate orbital-element categorization data into the phoneme system directly. Maybe the end result would be the same, I dunno.

I think that sounds like the right approach. There are many details to this, and many more applications than just astronomical bodies. But the astronomical may be a good test field. The physical universe is fractal, so sounds may as well represent that. Let's assume a sort of system. Let us say a star is "S", and "I" represents a heuristic such as "noticable", and "N" means friend or offspring. Then Ganymede reading from left to right is ISININ: "noticable star's noticable friend's noticable friend". I would lock the phonetic "I" to the sound between "ee" and "ih".

In this case the vowels represent characteristics and the consonants represent objects, so they are spaced naturally.

I'm not saying that's the right approach. The first that came to mind. :^/

Jens
2009-Jul-01, 10:32 AM
I think that sounds like the right approach. There are many details to this, and many more applications than just astronomical bodies. But the astronomical may be a good test field. The physical universe is fractal, so sounds may as well represent that. Let's assume a sort of system. Let us say a star is "S", and "I" represents a heuristic such as "noticable", and "N" means friend or offspring. Then Ganymede reading from left to right is ISININ: "noticable star's noticable friend's noticable friend". I would lock the phonetic "I" to the sound between "ee" and "ih".
/

Just my two cents about philosophical systems for naming is that it often leads to a situation where things that are similar to one another end up having names that sound alike. Which is actually a bad thing in many situations, because for example, when talking about two planets, it's usually fairly obvious from the context that you are speaking about a planet -- what is less obvious is which planet you are talking about. And having similar names makes it hard to catch the difference. For example, the numerals in a human language should sound different from one another, not similar. One of the many stupidities of the English language, IMO (not intentional, of course!) is that words like 13 and 30 sound almost the same. So pilots have to use a different way of counting to make sure that a pilot instructed to fly at 30,000 feet doesn't accidentally bump into the 14,000-feet mountain that happened to be in the area. . .

Jens
2009-Jul-01, 10:34 AM
The physical universe is fractal, so sounds may as well represent that. /

I happen to believe so, and basically my suspicion is that the universe is fractal "all the way up." But I think many, perhaps most people, would disagree, and say that the universe is basically homogeneous at some scale.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-01, 01:12 PM
Just my two cents about philosophical systems for naming is that it often leads to a situation where things that are similar to one another end up having names that sound alike. Which is actually a bad thing in many situations, because for example, when talking about two planets, it's usually fairly obvious from the context that you are speaking about a planet -- what is less obvious is which planet you are talking about. And having similar names makes it hard to catch the difference. For example, the numerals in a human language should sound different from one another, not similar. One of the many stupidities of the English language, IMO (not intentional, of course!) is that words like 13 and 30 sound almost the same. So pilots have to use a different way of counting to make sure that a pilot instructed to fly at 30,000 feet doesn't accidentally bump into the 14,000-feet mountain that happened to be in the area. . .

That's one of the problems for connectionist approaches: Are "hot" and "cold" closely related because they both describe temperature, or are they disparate because they represent opposite concepts? And if they are close together, what's the opposite of temperature? The Gabor function, because it describes such local extrema neatly, may prove to be important in such studies understanding how minds and senses respond to these things, as it has in the retina.

European languages often follow the right-to-left broadening-detail convention, as opposed to the left-to-right I gave. Assuming "-ology" to be a broad context, "Biology" and "Philology" contain the small-scale identification at the beginning, getting to the point more quickly. A student in a biology class may just say "Bio" class of course. I don't know if there is a good general heuristic for determining when something's context is already apparent, so that it need not be stated, without a lot of mental record-keeping. "Astrology" is not the class you would expect to find in a (reputable) school.

Yes, "13" and "30" is a bad one for confusion. "Can" and "can't" also. There are lawyers making a living off of such things. There is a lot of ambiguity for meaning in the language also ("you" and "you all"). You may have heard of the McGurk effect, which demonstrates that (for most people) word sounds may even be misinterpreted when intoned completely correctly.

[addition:] Ridding a language of ambiguity seems to me to be a risky process, susceptible to pleiotropy - in the same way that changing the human DNA sequence to provide humans with wings might also unintentionally give disease or deformity.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-01, 01:42 PM
I happen to believe so, and basically my suspicion is that the universe is fractal "all the way up." But I think many, perhaps most people, would disagree, and say that the universe is basically homogeneous at some scale.

Hmm, I was speaking practically, but didn't think that deeply when that statement was made, picturing images of wispy superclusters. Maybe there's something more to that line of analogy. Sorry for any misinformation I gave.

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-01, 04:37 PM
I think that sounds like the right approach. There are many details to this, and many more applications than just astronomical bodies. But the astronomical may be a good test field. The physical universe is fractal, so sounds may as well represent that. Let's assume a sort of system. Let us say a star is "S", and "I" represents a heuristic such as "noticable", and "N" means friend or offspring. Then Ganymede reading from left to right is ISININ: "noticable star's noticable friend's noticable friend". I would lock the phonetic "I" to the sound between "ee" and "ih".

In this case the vowels represent characteristics and the consonants represent objects, so they are spaced naturally.

I'm not saying that's the right approach. The first that came to mind. :^/

A relational system is probably better than an attempt at an absolutist system, but the incorporation of numerical and physical parameters into the phonemes might help prevent confusion from similar sounding names. Instead of "noticable friend", I would clarify the hierarchy more directly with orbital elements and omit the higher hierarchy that is unnecessary for context. It's not necessary to include the galactic coordinates of the star, which could be a preceding name used when talking about a planet or moon from a galactic perspective. Once in the star system, only the localized, short name is necessary for identification. We only need three levels of hierarchy, and that will let us code necessary data into the names directly since a single phoneme can represent several bits of information.

So, instead of "noticable star's noticable friend's noticable friend" it might be Star x's "4th-&-largest-planet's 3rd-&-largest-planetoidal-moon". The "largest" bit may not be needed for either the planet or its satellite, but might be useful for easier identification, kinda like a checksum. Of course, referring to the gallilean moons with an adjective planetoidal will help rule out any smaller satellites in orbit around the planet in question. Come to think of it, it might be better to work the names backwards, so it's Sun X's "planet-#4-(largest) posessing planetoidal/moon-#3-(largest)

BTW, I think we should use all the phonemes separately, instead of having long vowels and short vowels. Unfortunately, this will still result in mispronunciation by speakers from differnent languages unless we use new glyphs and give every language and dialect it's own pronunciation guide so that their own latin letter spelling would be different than that of another language that uses latin letters.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-01, 05:29 PM
So, instead of "noticable star's noticable friend's noticable friend" it might be Star x's "4th-&-largest-planet's 3rd-&-largest-planetoidal-moon". The "largest" bit may not be needed for either the planet or its satellite, but might be useful for easier identification, kinda like a checksum. Of course, referring to the gallilean moons with an adjective planetoidal will help rule out any smaller satellites in orbit around the planet in question. Come to think of it, it might be better to work the names backwards, so it's Sun X's "planet-#4-(largest) posessing planetoidal/moon-#3-(largest)

But assuming we are doing this from broadest category to least broad, the category is already implicit (assuming there are distinct categories such as "planet", "moon", etc). You are also assuming that overall spatial distance is the implied ordering metric. Perhaps we should compare the scheme to common data-encoding schemes..

A few comparisons of basically random bitwise data and astronomical classification in this context would appear to be the following:

1) The classification of smaller and smaller bodies depend on the larger bodies being there. (A moon doesn't exist without a planet-like object.) Random data shows no dependence overall. At the universe level, perhaps there is no dependence. (So perhaps in the referent language, "universal" systems should be different from "astronomical" systems.)

2) The simplest encoding scheme, run-length encoding, provides context initially, and then is basically pluralization. Ie, "star X - planet 4 - (Gal. moon 1)(Gal. moon 2)(Gal. moon 3)(Gal. moon 4)". There could be various stopping points for the context throughout a sentence, but that would require mental book-keeping.

3) The speech process is linear-time, as a speaker may be thinking things out while they are speaking. Encoding methods that assume knowledge of later data may not be applicable. Also, methods that are used to encode high-resolution data may not be applicable, because there is not often that much data to encode and certain filter types may not be useful to speech encoding.

Maybe there could be some built-in Hamming correction for misheard coordinates or such. There are so many data filter types, it's probably best to consider elegance over hybridization. I don't know.

[addition:]

A basic convention for word length might be something like,

Word length inversely proportional to (probability of reference) * (cost if word is not expressed clearly in time)

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-01, 07:40 PM
But assuming we are doing this from broadest category to least broad, the category is already implicit (assuming there are distinct categories such as "planet", "moon", etc). You are also assuming that overall spatial distance is the implied ordering metric. Perhaps we should compare the scheme to common data-encoding schemes..

A few comparisons of basically random bitwise data and astronomical classification in this context would appear to be the following:

1) The classification of smaller and smaller bodies depend on the larger bodies being there. (A moon doesn't exist without a planet-like object.) Random data shows no dependence overall. At the universe level, perhaps there is no dependence. (So perhaps in the referent language, "universal" systems should be different from "astronomical" systems.)

2) The simplest encoding scheme, run-length encoding, provides context initially, and then is basically pluralization. Ie, "star X - planet 4 - (Gal. moon 1)(Gal. moon 2)(Gal. moon 3)(Gal. moon 4)". There could be various stopping points for the context throughout a sentence, but that would require mental book-keeping.

3) The speech process is linear-time, as a speaker may be thinking things out while they are speaking. Encoding methods that assume knowledge of later data may not be applicable. Also, methods that are used to encode high-resolution data may not be applicable, because there is not often that much data to encode and certain filter types may not be useful to speech encoding.

Maybe there could be some built-in Hamming correction for misheard coordinates or such. There are so many data filter types, it's probably best to consider elegance over hybridization. I don't know.

[addition:]

A basic convention for word length might be something like,

Word length inversely proportional to (probability of reference) * (cost if word is not expressed clearly in time)

I don't quite follow all you are saying. I did study communications theory in college as a minor, but we didn't get into linguistics.

1 - I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that planets do not generally orbit stars? We could have a phoneme for galactic-orbiting rogue planet and include galactic coordinates as we might with a star.

2 - I should have also included orbital parameters with the moons, such as a distance-from-parent-planet parameter to be encoded. Still, just labelling the moons as something akin to Joveplanetoidmoonone, Joveplanetoidmoontwo, Joveplanetoidmoonthree, Joveplanetoidmoonfour still have the ability to sound different with the use of distinctive phonemes where the distinctions occur. But the way I list it above may not necessaily seem so cumbersome if we consider that we might omit Jove as redundant if we know the context is the jovian system, and "planetoidmoon" can be a single phoneme or phone of, let's say, poo. Or perhaps we can code such that poo is at the end of the word. A smaller, asteroidal-type, moon might be something completely different sounding, such as las. Also, as we can assume that large plantoidal moons are rare and that a planet will only have a handful of them, we might include ryhmes to distinguish between the first, second, etc and per planet-of-a-sun. So, the first might be poo, followed by boo, doo, and voo.

We may also use basic known metrics for distance from the primary/parent planet such as hundred-thousand-kilometers or light seconds or radii. As I mentioned above, we still might include a unique phone or phoneme as a check to increase the identifiability, perhaps as the initial phoneme. So, we might end up with (and I'm making this up as we go along)a three syllable name for a moon: checkname-distance(in multiples of 100km)-order&type&parentplanet. Thus, Io, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede might be something like: Yolipoo, Yershaboo, Ganiboo, and Calayvoo. the names would be distinctive enough to tell apart but similar enough to be related in a certain way. The Earth's moon might be Lunapoot.

3 - I have no problem with people not necessarily being able to extract all the information from the encoding in their head. They will probably have charts and computers available to look it up if they need to know more about the object beyond the ability to distinguish it's identification from others. If they can't do that, they shouldn't be in the field of astronomy or astrogation.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-01, 08:32 PM
1 - I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that planets do not generally orbit stars? We could have a phoneme for galactic-orbiting rogue planet and include galactic coordinates as we might with a star.

I was trying in a generalized way to differentiate random data from this astronomical data. I'm not making an evaluation - just trying in an unbiased way to determine what information generally characterizes astronomical systems. I was attempting to show that there is already information inherent in the system (planets orbit stars, moons orbit planets), whereas with random data there is not. The information that is implied may be transferred to the language system to lessen the amount of information that needs to be communicated. So, filling in the gaps between variables: X "orbits" Y "orbits" Z. Other systems may have other implied data; by connecting the systems informationally, a robust language may be constructed.


2 - I should have also included orbital parameters with the moons, such as a distance-from-parent-planet parameter to be encoded. Still, just labelling the moons as something akin to Joveplanetoidmoonone, Joveplanetoidmoontwo, Joveplanetoidmoonthree, Joveplanetoidmoonfour still have the ability to sound different with the use of distinctive phonemes where the distinctions occur. But the way I list it above may not necessaily seem so cumbersome if we consider that we might omit Jove as redundant if we know the context is the jovian system, and "planetoidmoon" can be a single phoneme or phone of, let's say, poo. Or perhaps we can code such that poo is at the end of the word. A smaller, asteroidal-type, moon might be something completely different sounding, such as las. Also, as we can assume that large plantoidal moons are rare and that a planet will only have a handful of them, we might include ryhmes to distinguish between the first, second, etc and per planet-of-a-sun. So, the first might be poo, followed by boo, doo, and voo.

Under a numeral system, we could say p=1; b=2; d=3; v=4. But "p" in many languages represents a precise bursting, as in "pop", "prick", "plop". What if that concept was best represented by a planet other than the first? And what if new planets are discovered that throw off the numeric ranking system? Isn't it easier to remember a person who looks like a "Hillary" than one who doesn't? (Unless that person is so noticably different as to be memorable, such as a transsexual.)

I find it kind of spooky that you chose the suffix "oo", as that's the one I think of in my own system (in which "oo" is noted with two circles and is associated with the mouth, which somehow reminds of oo-ing over a circular planet). I think a lot of sci-fi uses "oo" too for planets, doesn't it?


We may also use basic known metrics for distance from the primary/parent planet such as hundred-thousand-kilometers or light seconds or radii. As I mentioned above, we still might include a unique phone or phoneme as a check to increase the identifiability, perhaps as the initial phoneme. So, we might end up with (and I'm making this up as we go along)a three syllable name for a moon: checkname-distance(in multiples of 100km)-order&type&parentplanet. Thus, Io, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede might be something like: Yolipoo, Yershaboo, Ganiboo, and Calayvoo. the names would be distinctive enough to tell apart but similar enough to be related in a certain way. The Earth's moon might be Lunapoot.

3 - I have no problem with people not necessarily being able to extract all the information from the encoding in their head. They will probably have charts and computers available to look it up if they need to know more about the object beyond the ability to distinguish it's identification from others. If they can't do that, they shouldn't be in the field of astronomy or astrogation.

What you are doing is disconnecting the ideas of astronomy from other ideas, and creating a technical vocabulary. I think a robust language should be able to connect many ideas in surprising but honest ways. You wouldn't want to say, "I said 'Yo', which obviously means Io in this context, as I am an astronomer - not 'Help! I'm having having a heart attack!'"

Following basic Huffman coding, if we talk a lot about the Moon, you might just want to shorten it to "Lu", whereas those others might be more syllables.

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-02, 06:10 AM
I was trying in a generalized way to differentiate random data from this astronomical data. I'm not making an evaluation - just trying in an unbiased way to determine what information generally characterizes astronomical systems. I was attempting to show that there is already information inherent in the system (planets orbit stars, moons orbit planets), whereas with random data there is not. The information that is implied may be transferred to the language system to lessen the amount of information that needs to be communicated. So, filling in the gaps between variables: X "orbits" Y "orbits" Z. Other systems may have other implied data; by connecting the systems informationally, a robust language may be constructed.I still feel confused. That doesn't happen often. I guess what I'm thinking of is more of an addressing system where the phonemes and phones create words that can also serve as a proper name. The system I'm suggesting below is a bit redundant, by encoding data that may not be relevant but might allow for additional phonemes and phones to be logically included in the name so that not all of the names sound alike. I was thinking that your purely relational code might produce names that might be all but indistinguishable, such as ISININ, ISINIT, ISINIM, or whatever is the code for -next-noticable-friend, -third-noticable-friend, and so on. Or would that be something more like ISININ, ISINAN, ISINON?


Under a numeral system, we could say p=1; b=2; d=3; v=4. But "p" in many languages represents a precise bursting, as in "pop", "prick", "plop". What if that concept was best represented by a planet other than the first? And what if new planets are discovered that throw off the numeric ranking system? Isn't it easier to remember a person who looks like a "Hillary" than one who doesn't? (Unless that person is so noticably different as to be memorable, such as a transsexual.)I was just using those phones as examples. I'm not married to them. I once, after reading Tolkien a few times, tried to create my own language and script using certain phones certain ways because I thought the sound implied some basic thought. So, I inderstand what you mean about words needing to feel right. However, building an entire language system seems to be more than what is necessary for a naming system. I know that at some point a relational hierarchy might take on similarities to languages like latin where we might be conjugating in certain places to possibly indicate activities and declining in others to show possession (genitive), typologies (not unlike genders), plurals, etc.

The system I was using above is also a relational system, and the moons in question were the four large, unmistakable and unambiguously planetoidal moons. For asteroidal moons, a different numbering system might be used to indicate a more ephemeral status more befitting of a catalogue than cognative destination. Big moons aren't going anywhere. Little asteroidal moons might be ground up from impacts or moved around or ejected or mined into oblivion. If we are using the naming convention as a form of addressing instead of a physical description, then the sound that comes to mind when a visitor first sees the object won't matter if he can't figure out where the object is from the name.


I find it kind of spooky that you chose the suffix "oo", as that's the one I think of in my own system (in which "oo" is noted with two circles and is associated with the mouth, which somehow reminds of oo-ing over a circular planet). I think a lot of sci-fi uses "oo" too for planets, doesn't it?I simply abreviated "planetoidal moon" into a form that sounded somewhat similar.


What you are doing is disconnecting the ideas of astronomy from other ideas, and creating a technical vocabulary. I think a robust language should be able to connect many ideas in surprising but honest ways. You wouldn't want to say, "I said 'Yo', which obviously means Io in this context, as I am an astronomer - not 'Help! I'm having having a heart attack!'"I didn't want to start off with a two-syllabic vowel-sound for a single andress coordinate. I thought "yo" was a better and perhaps more historically accurate pronunciation of the name, which I incorporated as a check-variable. The first syllable has no addressing function except to make it unique from any other "-lipoo" that might be in the catalogue in another star system. The "-lipoo" would indicate that this particular moon
(Yo) was the moon at approximate radius of 400,000km (li) and the first planetoidal moon out from the fourth planet (poo).


Following basic Huffman coding, if we talk a lot about the Moon, you might just want to shorten it to "Lu", whereas those others might be more syllables.I have to admit I don't know much about Huffman coding, and reading the wiki summary didn't change that. But anyways, I did shorten it to "Lu". The "na" was meant to imply an approximate radius of 200,000km and I used "na" for humor, as it fit the original name, which I probably should not have done. The "-poot" should, perhaps, be something different too, although I thought that "poo" would again imply the first planetoidal moon and that the ending "t" could be the phoneme that signified the third planet. I didn't spell it out very well and in comparison with the jovian system shows room for improvement. I was making it up as I went along for the same of example. A robust system would have more rigor to it. Maybe a singular moon won't need the "p" phoneme added to the "oo" to identify it as first since it is "the only" and might use another phoneme to mark that distinction. Things to think about.

Sticks
2009-Jul-02, 10:25 AM
With apologies to T S Eliot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._S._Eliot)

The naming of planets is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a planet must have three different names

First of all, there's the name that the public use daily
Such as Mercury, Venus, Earth or Mars
Such as Victor or Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus
All of them sensible, everyday names

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter
Some for the dwarf planets, some for the asteroids
Such as Ceres, Vesta, Eledris, Disnomia
But all of them sensible everyday names

But I tell you a planet needs a name that's particular
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified
Else how can he keep up it's MP registration
Or spread out it's moons, or cherish it's pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Triton, IO or Titan
Such as Calisto, or else Encelidus
Names that never belong to more than one planet

But above and beyond there's still one name left over
And that is the name that you never will guess
The name that no human research can discover
But the planet itself knows, and will never confess

When you notice a planet in profound occultation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
It's "mind" is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought
Of the thought
Of the thought
Of it's name

It's ineffable effable effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-02, 03:24 PM
Sticks, that poem is very good! Is it completely original? I especially like the last portion.


.. I was thinking that your purely relational code might produce names that might be all but indistinguishable, such as ISININ, ISINIT, ISINIM, or whatever is the code for -next-noticable-friend, -third-noticable-friend, and so on. Or would that be something more like ISININ, ISINAN, ISINON?

Yeah, those were the observations that led to my tone of disillusionment at the end of that post. It was just an example, though. I think it's pretty clear now that words best begin with the small-scale identifier, so ININIS, ANINIS, ONINIS. I'd also abandon the vowel-consonant convention I was using for identifier-object, as some vowels are often difficult to distinguish in practice for the untrained ear or mouth. "Oo" would be a sound representing "orbic body", and it's a vowel; it seems to make more sense to use deep vowels for objects.

The conversation in here inspired a thought about words. I'd often thought the word separation convention seemed rather arbitrary. Spaces were once non-existent in many written languages, and every syllable connected to its neighbors in some sense. But really, words are a chance to reverse the flow of thought, so as the ideas of a sentence move from broad to specific, the sounds in a given word go from specific to broad. It's like sweeping a broad swath of hair from left to right, and then feathering it up from right to left.


.. However, building an entire language system seems to be more than what is necessary for a naming system. I know that at some point a relational hierarchy might take on similarities to languages like latin where we might be conjugating in certain places to possibly indicate activities and declining in others to show possession (genitive), typologies (not unlike genders), plurals, etc.

.. If we are using the naming convention as a form of addressing instead of a physical description, then the sound that comes to mind when a visitor first sees the object won't matter if he can't figure out where the object is from the name.

The ideas of language in general seem applicable in this context. It seems that to add extremely precise astronomical data would be to needlessly confuse things. I think it's as important to remember the basic character of a body as its precise distance.

For conjugation, I've been trying to work on ideas as well. Nothing much yet, except identifying certain "natural" vowels that combine with consonants.

Incidentally I was reminded by these posts that the popular Russian mystic Gurdjieff actually had a rather unusual system for representing cosmological category or "scale": the musical scale in solfege syllables (do-re-mi-fa-so-la-si). I don't know if he was the first to use it; the ladder to heaven is a common mystic symbol, repopularized by people like Raymond Lull. Solfege syllables have been seen by some as a "natural" way of singing. The relative wavelengths of Gurdjieff's musical notes did not express the actual sizes of astronomical scale in exact proportion, but instead he followed representational word association, such as..

do = dominus ("God", the inner absolute ideals)
re = regina ("queen" of the sky, the Moon)
mi = microcosmos (the Earth and those on it)
fa = fatus ("destiny", the planets)
so = sol ("the Sun")
la = lactea ("milk" of the heavens, the Milky Way)
si = sidus/sitara ("star")

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-03, 05:44 AM
Yeah, those were the observations that led to my tone of disillusionment at the end of that post. It was just an example, though. I think it's pretty clear now that words best begin with the small-scale identifier, so ININIS, ANINIS, ONINIS. I'd also abandon the vowel-consonant convention I was using for identifier-object, as some vowels are often difficult to distinguish in practice for the untrained ear or mouth. "Oo" would be a sound representing "orbic body", and it's a vowel; it seems to make more sense to use deep vowels for objects.These ideas can be incorporated into a coding scheme to make it more pleasant to speak and hear. But other than those "ergonomic" considerations, the linguistic and philosophical reasoning will be lost on most of the people who would employ such names.


The ideas of language in general seem applicable in this context. It seems that to add extremely precise astronomical data would be to needlessly confuse things. I think it's as important to remember the basic character of a body as its precise distance.On the contrary, I think encoding multiple levels of astronomical data demands a much broader range of phonemes and phones increasing both the number of possible permutations. The more phones we have to work with, the more will we have the ability to distinguish one object from another. Not everyone who knows a name will need or even want to decode it. That they know it can be decoded to reveal encoded detail is enough, should they wish to look up a decoding table.

The point of having a name for anything is to distinquish it from something else. Once upone a time, names had meanings in a language like "beloved of God" but these days a person may be named "David", because it's a family name and sound different from "Jonathan". The namers may know what the original meaning of the name is, but the name no longer evokes that meaning in everyday utterance because the sounds and constituting words do not have that meaning in our present language. (I refer to english, since I don't know if that is the case with Hebrew speakers.)

If we look at two pairs of names, which ones seem to be more easily distinguished from their partner: ISININ & ASININ or Mellimor & Kezelmat? I think it is the latter pair, and if we want to figure out a naming convention that uses harsh sounding "k" to represent some aspect of the object that we would consider harsh, then that can be built into the code. Perhap "K" will be restricted to use in rocky, terrestrial planets.

Jens
2009-Jul-03, 11:11 AM
It's "mind" is engaged in a rapt contemplation

It's ineffable effable effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name

Just because it's a very nice poem, I thought I'd mention that those "it's" should really be "its". . .

Jeff Root
2009-Jul-03, 03:45 PM
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty...

.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-03, 09:53 PM
These ideas can be incorporated into a coding scheme to make it more pleasant to speak and hear. But other than those "ergonomic" considerations, the linguistic and philosophical reasoning will be lost on most of the people who would employ such names.

On the contrary, I think encoding multiple levels of astronomical data demands a much broader range of phonemes and phones increasing both the number of possible permutations. The more phones we have to work with, the more will we have the ability to distinguish one object from another. Not everyone who knows a name will need or even want to decode it. That they know it can be decoded to reveal encoded detail is enough, should they wish to look up a decoding table.

The point of having a name for anything is to distinquish it from something else. Once upone a time, names had meanings in a language like "beloved of God" but these days a person may be named "David", because it's a family name and sound different from "Jonathan". The namers may know what the original meaning of the name is, but the name no longer evokes that meaning in everyday utterance because the sounds and constituting words do not have that meaning in our present language. (I refer to english, since I don't know if that is the case with Hebrew speakers.)

But the idea of phonosemantics is that the associations of other words have an influence on our interpretation of new words.


If we look at two pairs of names, which ones seem to be more easily distinguished from their partner: ISININ & ASININ or Mellimor & Kezelmat? I think it is the latter pair, and if we want to figure out a naming convention that uses harsh sounding "k" to represent some aspect of the object that we would consider harsh, then that can be built into the code. Perhap "K" will be restricted to use in rocky, terrestrial planets.

Mellimor and Kezelmat? Those are great!

Like I said, that was just a simple example. We are only using a few letters in that example. The question is how to "rationally" construct the system for putting together phonemes into distinct units for astronomical data in particular, but in a way that provides the information contained in other systems as well. That is what I meant when speaking of the construction of connectionist models - the subtlety of connecting related ideas without allowing them to fall into the gulf of obscurity and indistinguishability.

No offense to any Brits, but I may be busy July 4. After that I hope to post a few ideas for language schema, if there's interest. It will hopefully demonstrate what it is I mean.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-08, 04:40 AM
Hi,

I'm still working on this phonoaesthetic schema for naming planets. I have a sort of fundamental ontological question. It is this: Might my aim be to reflect sensory human experience, or to show what exists logically? I'll try to explain what I mean with an example not to be taken as particularly significant..

Let's say a planet is notable for being hot. Let's call it Planet "Heat". "Heat" is a word that just sounds sizzling when it's pronounced. Now let's say another is Planet "Cold". "Cold" to my ear sounds cutting and draining. These words both reflect to some degree an immediate sensation and possibly action resulting from contacting something very hot or very cold respectively.

Now let's think about the actual phenomena. It is often said that cold is just the absence of heat - molecular kinetics. It could be as easily said that molecular kinetics is the absence of molecular stability, but that just doesn't sound as true to experience. We expect things stationary until disturbed. We see kinetic energy as additional to a common and predictable zero state.

So, following this convention, instead of Planet Cold, we will say Planet No-Heat. Let's say the sound "No" is representative of a negative void. In that case, No-Heat means "void from emanating molecular kinetics". What we have lost is the immediate sensation of "Cold", and in its place we are actually instantiating its opposite, "Heat", as we negate it.

So, what do you think: Planet "Cold" or Planet "No-Heat"? And what about for other concepts?

Jens
2009-Jul-08, 05:05 AM
My opinion about the cold/no-heat question is somewhat related to my dislike of so-called philosophical languages (like Loglan). In formulating concepts one has two choices: how human beings sense things, and how we know that nature works. My choice would be for the humanocentric approach. If people feel cold as a real feeling, not simply the absence of heat (and we certainly do), then I would suggest using "cold" and not "no-heat." I could add the caveat that it might be worthwhile looking at other languages than English. If it turns out that a lot of natural languages use "non-hot" to mean "cold", then I could see using it. But every language that I've studied has a separate word for "cold".

Jens
2009-Jul-08, 05:07 AM
It's interesting also that you started this thread proposing purely Latin names, but now seem to have moved into an a priori naming scheme. It sounds like maybe you are looking for something "pure," that you don't really like the current hodgepodge approach.

Edited to add: looking back at the OP, I see that stated specifically that you liked consistency. So I am merely restating that.

AndrewJ
2009-Jul-08, 05:22 AM
The IAU should design a simple program that randomly generates a dozen names composed of six letters from the International Phonetic Alphabet comprised of three consonants and three vowels or four consonants and two vowels. A lucky lottery winner could then choose their favourite!

We would have trans-neptunian objects called things like a-l-a-n-zh-a or g-r-ai-m-oo-l.

Sticks
2009-Jul-08, 06:43 AM
Don't they already do something like that with their Minor Planet Centre (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html)

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-08, 06:49 AM
So, what do you think: Planet "Cold" or Planet "No-Heat"? And what about for other concepts?

The french word for hot is chaud, which sounds more like the english word cold than hot. Even if we look for a pure sound that evoked an onomatapoietic sound, it may still be culturocentric instead of a human universal concept.

AndrewJ
2009-Jul-08, 02:31 PM
Don't they already do something like that with their Minor Planet Centre (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html)

Is that their "generate ephemerides" application?

Sticks
2009-Jul-08, 04:43 PM
Is that their "generate ephemerides" application?

I'm not sure, I just assume that as they catalogued NEO's they would have a naming / numbering convention already established.

Jeff Root
2009-Jul-08, 05:38 PM
They are numbered as they are identified. They are named by their
discoverers, subject to approval. A discoverer could give naming rights
to someone else. I expect that selling the rights would be frowned
upon unless it was for a charitable cause.

I believe someone named an asteroid for a pet dog (Not Pluto), and it
wasn't caught by the committee. They don't want people doing that,
but I don't see anything wrong with it.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-08, 05:52 PM
The french word for hot is chaud, which sounds more like the english word cold than hot. Even if we look for a pure sound that evoked an onomatapoietic sound, it may still be culturocentric instead of a human universal concept.

That's a good point. There is always a counterexample in some language, so my example wasn't meant to be too literal. On a wild supposition, I might guess the French are big on gastronomy, as were the Romans, so I could imagine their word for heat might be related to something useful. Chaud might be anciently related to our words for chowder and cauldron - a sort of useful (especially for killing parasites), not painful, heat. A sort of heat that "cuts" through branches and cold, "crusting" bread and "charring" meat to "chew" and to "consume". Like I said, total conjecture to illustrate a point.

No offense to the French, but, it could be argued that, when it comes to Golden Age naming at least, they provide plaster standards. After all, our months are named strangely for gods, emperors, and numerals; chemical elements have rather false "-gen" titles; Neptune was Planet La Verrier.

[addition:]

I just realized I have three threads running all related to the topic, "Something that kills organisms or produces change can be good and useful for the human body in one way, but not in directly-applied larger amounts".

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-08, 06:25 PM
My opinion about the cold/no-heat question is somewhat related to my dislike of so-called philosophical languages (like Loglan). In formulating concepts one has two choices: how human beings sense things, and how we know that nature works. My choice would be for the humanocentric approach. If people feel cold as a real feeling, not simply the absence of heat (and we certainly do), then I would suggest using "cold" and not "no-heat." I could add the caveat that it might be worthwhile looking at other languages than English. If it turns out that a lot of natural languages use "non-hot" to mean "cold", then I could see using it. But every language that I've studied has a separate word for "cold".

So, do you see this as being something that might change on a word-by-word basis? In other words, might sensory experience be a mask over conceptual knowledge? For something we respond to quickly due to necessity - a person feels fire, and doesn't have time to contemplate the mechanism of heat production - all one cares about is the sensory zero standard of "comfortable sense of touch". Or, in the case of freezing cold, might it be that a person always feels that they need heat, that it is a necessity, and the moment they hear "No-Heat", they respond immediately to this lacking? For concepts that do not require immediate mental processing, words may be expressed differently and in a more precise manner?

pumpkinpie
2009-Jul-08, 06:42 PM
With apologies to T S Eliot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._S._Eliot)

The naming of planets is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a planet must have three different names

First of all, there's the name that the public use daily
Such as Mercury, Venus, Earth or Mars
Such as Victor or Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus
All of them sensible, everyday names

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter
Some for the dwarf planets, some for the asteroids
Such as Ceres, Vesta, Eledris, Disnomia
But all of them sensible everyday names

But I tell you a planet needs a name that's particular
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified
Else how can he keep up it's MP registration
Or spread out it's moons, or cherish it's pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Triton, IO or Titan
Such as Calisto, or else Encelidus
Names that never belong to more than one planet

But above and beyond there's still one name left over
And that is the name that you never will guess
The name that no human research can discover
But the planet itself knows, and will never confess

When you notice a planet in profound occultation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
It's "mind" is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought
Of the thought
Of the thought
Of it's name

It's ineffable effable effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name

I think of that verse every time I see the name of this thread, and even considered referring to it this time. Thanks for posting it!

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-09, 10:23 AM
No offense to the French, but, it could be argued that, when it comes to Golden Age naming at least, they provide plaster standards. After all, our months are named strangely for gods, emperors, and numerals; chemical elements have rather false "-gen" titles; Neptune was Planet La Verrier.

True, lots of naming conventions that are arbitrary. So, maybe this one could be too, a little. We might follow my own private mantra of "standardization without conformity" and create a base code for the construction of names in a manner similar to what I described above, using sounds that you think are appropriate. Then, the rest of the world can get used to it, if they care enough to think about why the system was setup that way (which the majority of them probably won't).

As for what you and Jens are talking about, with regards to feeling heat, I might offer some insight. IIRC from anatomy class in high school and college, humans detect neither hot nor cold, but delta-T, or a change in temperature. I don't know how fine the resolution is nor what the upper or lower limits are. Moreover, there are other nerve sensations tied into that which are, nevertheless, different sensations and nerves. This might include pain and pressure if the heat or lack of heat causes localized physiological phenomena detectable by those nerves. I suppose that extended hypothermia or hyperthermia can reveal itself more generally via systemic effects as well, perhaps with general malaise if certain nerves at the core, like the vasovagal nerve, are stimulated from those systemic effects.

While I'm on the topic, it might also be interesting to note that other methods of stimulation can result in a sensation of heat, such as certain chemicals (e.g. capsaicin) and pressure. After all, a pinched nerve can also present a burning feeling, which I discovered all too well a few months ago.

Jens
2009-Jul-09, 11:01 AM
As for what you and Jens are talking about, with regards to feeling heat, I might offer some insight. IIRC from anatomy class in high school and college, humans detect neither hot nor cold, but delta-T, or a change in temperature.

Not on topic either, but I think that's not quite accurate. Maybe it's a simplification. I think that what we feel is actually whether our body is having to expend energy to keep our body temperature up or down. The reason I say this is that air at 35 centigrade feels uncomfortably warm, whereas getting into a bath at 35 centigrade feels cold. I think it's because the 35 degree water drains out body heat, whereas the air doesn't. In any case, I can go outside in cold temperature, and keep feeling cold even if the temperature hasn't changed.

Jeff Root
2009-Jul-09, 05:56 PM
We have sensory nerve endings in the dermis (the layer between epidermis
and hypodermis) that respond to "hot" and others that respond to "cold".
"Hot" and "cold" are defined by the sensory mechanisms. The parts of the
brain which interpret the signals from these nerves at a low level aren't
aware that "hot" and "cold" are actually parts of the same continuum.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-10, 04:51 PM
Good point, Jeff. I can't seem to find my human perception book. Maybe it's bad form, but I'll go by the Wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoreceptor. It states (with poor grammar)..


..The adequate stimulus for a warm receptor is warming, which results in an increase in their action potential discharge rate. Cooling results in a decrease in warm receptor discharge rate. For cold receptors their firing rate increases during cooling and decreases during warming. Some cold receptors also respond with a brief action potential discharge to high temperatures, i.e. typically above 45C, and this is known as a paradoxical response to heat. The mechanism responsible for this behavior has not been determined. ..
..
..Temperatures likely to damage an organism are sensed by sub-categories of nociceptors that may respond to noxious cold, noxious heat or more than one noxious stimulus modality (i.e they are polymodal). The nerve endings of sensory neurons that respond preferentially to cooling are found in moderate density in the skin but also occur in relatively high spatial density in the cornea, tongue, bladder, and facial skin. ..

So, apparently, specific pain receptors are involved, explaining the likeness to other pain perceptions you described, Ara. Why pinched-nerve pain feels hot over cold, I can't say. [ed: Maybe pain receptors tend to kick in more quickly or frequently for the case of heat.] In the case of the bath experiment you described, Jens, I'd guess this feeling is due to a relatively constant temperature difference (in a very large bath), as the water draws away the heat by Newton cooling, while your skin maintains approximately the same specific heat capacity. This wakes a person up initially, then becomes eventually draining.

[ed: I just reread your post, Jens, and remembered you were talking about a particular temperature of 35 degC. Oops.]

In this case of two different types of low-level response mechanisms, hot and cool, it would seem that sensory response is to be the measured quantity, instead of measuring a certain maintained amount of heat energy in the skin. So, "No-Heat"associates to No-Hot-Response and therefore does not seem as emotionally powerful or representative as "Cool-Response".

I keep trying to imagine that No-Response normally means atomic particles of air and skin moving and colliding at an almost continual rate. But I don't know how easy it is to internalize this idea. It seemed cumbersome, until I started trying to think about things relative to absolute hot [ed: which is possibly equivalent to absolute zero]. "Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions" (OWHolmes).

Hornblower
2009-Jul-11, 12:23 PM
What do these last few posts have to do with the choices of names for planets?

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-11, 03:36 PM
Yes, we're using two hypothetical planets "Hot" and "Cold" known for being extreme in temperature to try to determine what sensory experience and cognitive processing might say about a best-naming scheme. Hopefully, if we could pin down at least this little example in a way that is satisfactory to us, a little light might shine on other examples. Temperature is not really the focus, in fact it may be a terrible way to describe a planet. But its consideration could say something important about language, memory, and sense.

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-11, 10:11 PM
Maybe the universal symbol for cold is not the "cold" phoneme but the "burr" phoneme.

showboat
2009-Jul-12, 03:24 AM
I had opportunity at one time to give names to California reservoirs if not named.

If historical they were named historically found out and named, but if not I named out on the giant reservoirs, after me , my parents and my girl friend.

So on the map there, but just four.

Never get off map now.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-13, 06:53 AM
Maybe the universal symbol for cold is not the "cold" phoneme but the "burr" phoneme.

Ara, IMO, that's brilliant! (Although I'm not sure why you use the term "phoneme".)

It seems to me what you've done is to focus on the physically acting portion of the perceiving-acting cycle (PAC). That was exactly what I was ignoring by focusing on sensation/sense memory and representation/cognition/memory.

The reasoning, it would seem, is that it is difficult to form a clearly defined and commonly understood phonemic-sequence expression for a perception or cognitive representation; a physical act, however, is easily measurable.

But on a more philosophical note, it is the human response to the situation. Vibrating the lips and cheeks and breathing heavily are ways to keep heat in the face.

So, it seems you are assuming..
1) There is a common human response to cold
2) It involves making a sound with the mouth
3) The sound made is common
4) The common sound is representable

It seems also that we now have 5 methods of possible phonemic construction:
1) A physical sound at the source - eg, ice cracking, "k"
2) A nonauditory sensation interpreted as sound - eg, painful cold, "ow"
3) A cognitive representation interpreted as sound - eg, knife cutting, "k"
4) A physical reaction producing speech - eg, "brr"
5) A physical reaction sound interpreted as speech - eg, rubbing hands, "shh"

There are various perceptual and cognitive mappings along the way, but these seem like the basic categories to me.

Jens
2009-Jul-13, 07:11 AM
It seems as if we are discussing two different things in this thread. One is how to name stars, the other is a more technical discussion of sound symbolism, related to a proposal for naming stars. I'm very interested in the issue of sound symbolism, and the idea of using "brrr" for cold is something that I find interesting, specifically for use in a sort of international pidgin language.

However, I think the idea of using some kind of sound symbolism for naming celestial objects is not a good idea. I think a system basically like we have now, of cataloguing objects and giving stars names based on a constellation and letter or number of some kind, is the most practical. And it performs very adequately for what it's supposed to do. After all, it is only people with a serious interest in astronomy who have any interest in the names of all but the most prominent stars in the sky.

Ara Pacis
2009-Jul-13, 09:08 AM
But on a more philosophical note, it is the human response to the situation. Vibrating the lips and cheeks and breathing heavily are ways to keep heat in the face.

But I think that it's a more generalized shivering than a labial fricative. I don't know if the distinction makes a difference.

Jens may be right, but as we discover more exoplanets, it might be a good idea to have a better way for naming than the current system of I-saw-it-first, apotheosis, and whim.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-14, 03:31 AM
But I think that it's a more generalized shivering than a labial fricative. I don't know if the distinction makes a difference.

I'm assuming we are talking about a sound approximation, eschewing bizarre sounds that lie close but generally exist outside the range of clear speech. (Technically, it may be something like "brhbrbrhhhh".)


However, I think the idea of using some kind of sound symbolism for naming celestial objects is not a good idea. I think a system basically like we have now, of cataloguing objects and giving stars names based on a constellation and letter or number of some kind, is the most practical. And it performs very adequately for what it's supposed to do. After all, it is only people with a serious interest in astronomy who have any interest in the names of all but the most prominent stars in the sky.


Jens may be right, but as we discover more exoplanets, it might be a good idea to have a better way for naming than the current system of I-saw-it-first, apotheosis, and whim.

Agreed; what is a constellation but the most powerful symbolism that can be attributed to a group of dots? I think it is exactly because this is an example of celestial hermeneutics that it should be maintained. And if it is possible to relate the constellations in a consistent way to one another as a whole, then that is preferred. And if it is possible to identify the most significant and outstanding characteristics of bodies within a constellation, then that is to be preferred, also. I have only recently taken up an interest in astronomy, so I will beg ignorance of the systems out there for naming the dots in the sky. It seems obvious that planets orbiting our Sun would be more intimate than planets in another system. It doesn't seem obvious that visibility should be the only measure for ranking intimacy, however - a huge body relatively near to us may be darker than one far away.

I think it is important to include the history and evolution of celestial bodies as part of their characteristic. In other words, what is known of their past and what is expected in the future course of events - explosions, movements, etc - should affect their names. Also, our envisioned journey through the future could affect their names; if we expect to spend much time on Mars, then perhaps Mars should have a close relation to human events.

An interesting point is that the bodies near to us we know the most about, so a name might be given to convey much information. On the other hand, a close body is also likely to be intimate, so that a short name is preferred, due to the frequency of referring to the body. Maybe a constellation should have about the same level of intimacy as a planet. And perhaps a large planetary feature should have about the same level of intimacy as a visible star.

Jens
2009-Jul-14, 04:30 AM
Jens may be right, but as we discover more exoplanets, it might be a good idea to have a better way for naming than the current system of I-saw-it-first, apotheosis, and whim.

To be honest, I don't find anything wrong with the current system, even the whim and apotheosis (how do you know such a word? :) It means naming things after gods?).

When I first started studying Japanese a long time ago, there was something that fascinated me (being the easily fascinated type). I found out that the days of of the week were named after "elements" of the ancient kind, and that incidentally the planets were too. And because my second language is French, I knew that it was pretty much done the same way (moon for monday, mars for tuesday, etc.) First, I assumed that the Japanese had borrowed the idea from Europe during the Meiji restoration, but not so. The sysetm was borrowed from the Chinese, who borrowed it from the Indians I think, who borrowed it from the Babylonians, and I'm under the impression that it goes back to the Sumerians. So here we have this intriguing historical story.

So when things are done at whim, then we build up this sort of historical story of names. Why are some stars (in English I mean) named after their Arabic names, and others their Greek names? There's a cultural story or something there, and changing the names to some kind of a priori system would seem to take away from that.

I know a guy, a language designer, who seriously believes that the names of countries should be changed to a word based on the latitude/longitude of the capital of the country. To be that is rational but (I don't want to say stupid, but I'm not sure what word to use). The country names we have now have a cultural significance.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-14, 06:11 AM
When I first started studying Japanese a long time ago, there was something that fascinated me (being the easily fascinated type). I found out that the days of of the week were named after "elements" of the ancient kind, and that incidentally the planets were too. And because my second language is French, I knew that it was pretty much done the same way (moon for monday, mars for tuesday, etc.) First, I assumed that the Japanese had borrowed the idea from Europe during the Meiji restoration, but not so. The sysetm was borrowed from the Chinese, who borrowed it from the Indians I think, who borrowed it from the Babylonians, and I'm under the impression that it goes back to the Sumerians. So here we have this intriguing historical story.

So when things are done at whim, then we build up this sort of historical story of names. Why are some stars (in English I mean) named after their Arabic names, and others their Greek names? There's a cultural story or something there, and changing the names to some kind of a priori system would seem to take away from that.

It seems that your story reinforces the idea of influential common language schema. I certainly would never claim to be able to understand anything at all close to the entirety of language. That is why I would walk with the best railing I can find - that being a systematic search for meaning. Now that is not to take on hubris, claiming the grail of rationality, and losing all humility. Language is a magical thing, just look at how involved the "Hot"-"Cold" example has become.

I think of it kind of like simulated annealing. We begin with some broad constraints as we knock around ideas. Eventually, though, due to the fact that only a few people are working on developing a system to represent a large range of meaning, the systematics must take over and allow a straightforward development process. Luckily there is a wide range of data available on a variety of languages to show just how "representative" any constructed language really is in the end.