The Semantic Drift Thread

Museum for the best conlanging and conworldery threads. Ask mods to move threads here.
User avatar
Imralu
Smeric
Smeric
Posts: 1640
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:14 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Imralu »

This thread is for anyone who's doing diachronics and not quite sure what to do with semantic drift. Basically, anyone like me. I'm having fun with sound changes and grammatical changes, but semantic changes are a bit more difficult for me. I've come up with a few changes that I'm happy with (for example "tiny">"small" ... "air">"sky">"outer space/universe" ..."try">grammatical particle indicating on-purposeness ... "work">"try") but there are a thousand other instances where I want some semantic drift to happen but I just can't think where it could go. I need some inspiration.

This thread might work a bit like the Lexicon Building thread. Each post should include a word for the next person to show an interesting pathway of semantic drift for, past to present and/or present to future, with or without exemples from your conlang.

I don't know how realistic these examples are, but anyway:
The first person wrote:Blah > blah > blah
Next word: "sky"
The second person wrote:light+fast > lightning > storm > weather > air > sky > outer space > darkness/night
Next word: "mountain"
The third person wrote:"climb"+"land" > "mountain" > "mountains of" + genitive > "a lot/much/many"
Next word: Blah
So, to start it off, can anyone think of a good past and/or future for a word meaning "give"?
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific
________
MY MUSIC

Yng
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 880
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:17 pm
Location: Llundain

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Yng »

You mean like this?
كان يا ما كان / يا صمت العشية / قمري هاجر في الصبح بعيدا / في العيون العسلية

tà yi póbo tsùtsùr ciivà dè!

short texts in Cuhbi

Risha Cuhbi grammar

User avatar
Imralu
Smeric
Smeric
Posts: 1640
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:14 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Imralu »

YngNghymru wrote:You mean like this?


Oh, yes. Pretty close. My bad. That looks more complicated than my idea. I tried to search for it but didn't find it under "semantic drift".
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific
________
MY MUSIC

User avatar
blank stare II
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by blank stare II »

YngNghymru wrote:You mean like this?


That thread must not exist anymore. Neither does the search function show any other threads dealing with the subject. I missed the last one, but semantic drift is a difficult area for me too, and probably others, so hopefully it's alright to bring this thread to the front.

So, to start it off, can anyone think of a good past and/or future for a word meaning "give"?


I'm going to say
yield > give > pay, e.g. a debt

Next word: naïve
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke

User avatar
Åge Kruger
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:33 am
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Åge Kruger »

naïve --> honest --> advisor

Next: teddy bear
[quote="Soviet Russia"]If you can't join them, beat them.[/quote]

Christopher Schröder
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:05 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Christopher Schröder »

teddy bear > cute fuzzy comfort object > anything which is comforting > something enjoyable > something one enjoys too much > obsession

Next: Leaf (of a plant)
"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."
-Jane Austen, [i]Pride and Prejudice[/i]

User avatar
Risla
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 800
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:17 pm
Location: The darkest corner of your mind...

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Risla »

Leaf > blade > weapon.

Next word: coconut.

Christopher Schröder
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:05 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Christopher Schröder »

Coconut > coconut shavings > cake icing with conconut shavings > icing > soft candy which resembles icing > candy > glass bead

Next: Pencil
"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."
-Jane Austen, [i]Pride and Prejudice[/i]

Ollock
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:04 pm
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Ollock »

stick > stylus > (+diminuitive) pencil > penis > penis (taboo) > idiot

(sorry, you have to admit it's logical)

Next word: kill
George Corley
Producer and Moderating Host, Conlangery Podcast

User avatar
äreo
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:40 pm
Location: Texas

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by äreo »

swallow > eat > consume, waste > get rid of > kill > destroy, devastate > dominate > control > hold > have

next: river

Ascima mresa óscsma sáca psta numar cemea.
Cemea tae neasc ctá ms co ísbas Ascima.
Carho. Carho. Carho. Carho. Carho. Carho. Carho.

Christopher Schröder
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:05 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Christopher Schröder »

channel > (+ augmentive) river > flowing water > water > sheet of water, lake, mere > stagnant water, water that does not move > puddle > mud > something generally dirty > dust > pollen
"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."
-Jane Austen, [i]Pride and Prejudice[/i]

User avatar
Lyhoko Leaci
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 716
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:20 pm
Location: Not Mariya's road network, thankfully.

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Lyhoko Leaci »

blank stare II wrote:
YngNghymru wrote:You mean like this?


That thread must not exist anymore. Neither does the search function show any other threads dealing with the subject. I missed the last one, but semantic drift is a difficult area for me too, and probably others, so hopefully it's alright to bring this thread to the front.

I copied down the results of that thread back when it existed:
semantic shift game.zip
(21.94 KiB) Downloaded 115 times
This might be missing the last shift or two, but nearly all, if not all, of the shifts that popped up in that game are compiled here. (in Excel document form)

And the next word, since there isn't one in the previous post...: leech
Zain pazitovcor, sio? Sio, tovcor.
You can't read that, right? Yes, it says that.
Shinali Sishi wrote:"Have I spoken unclearly? I meant electric catfish not electric onions."

User avatar
Kvan
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Kvan »

Lyhoko Leaci wrote:
blank stare II wrote:
YngNghymru wrote:You mean like this?


That thread must not exist anymore. Neither does the search function show any other threads dealing with the subject. I missed the last one, but semantic drift is a difficult area for me too, and probably others, so hopefully it's alright to bring this thread to the front.

I copied down the results of that thread back when it existed:
semantic shift game.zip
This might be missing the last shift or two, but nearly all, if not all, of the shifts that popped up in that game are compiled here. (in Excel document form)

And the next word, since there isn't one in the previous post...: leech


leech > leeching/bleeding by leeches > remedy > poison > bitterness

clandestine
From:
Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.69

To:
Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

Rodlox
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Rodlox »

Kvan wrote:clandestine


buried -> hidden -> clandestine -> known but not spoken -> paperwork

next word: jump
MadBrain is a genius.

User avatar
Kvan
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Kvan »

Rodlox wrote:
Kvan wrote:clandestine


buried -> hidden -> clandestine -> known but not spoken -> paperwork

next word: jump


stumble --> rebound --> jump --> leaping (as in to attack) --> last ditch effort --> pyrrhic victory

Next Word:infinitessimal/itty-bitty/wicked-frickin'-small
From:
Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.69

To:
Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

Gojera
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Gojera »

infinitesimal > > a speck > a freckle > a mole > a burl > a crag or jutting rocky outcropping > a skerry

infinitesimal > micro- (meter) > a hairsbreadth > a single hair > a small patch of hair > human genitals

Next word: louse

User avatar
joey
Sanci
Sanci
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: Mom and Dad's basement
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by joey »

Gojera wrote:Next word: louse


louse > itch on head > brain-teaser > question

Next word: intelligent
Stubbornly trying to rekindle my conlanging passion.

User avatar
Åge Kruger
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:33 am
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Åge Kruger »

intelligent -> clever -> sly -> tricky -> fiddly

Necktie
[quote="Soviet Russia"]If you can't join them, beat them.[/quote]

User avatar
Risla
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 800
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:17 pm
Location: The darkest corner of your mind...

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Risla »

jewelery > necklace > necktie > noose > rope > string > shoelace

Next: disembowel.

Ollock
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:04 pm
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Ollock »

Risla wrote:jewelery > necklace > necktie > noose > rope > string > shoelace

Next: disembowel.


split+body "disembowel" > decapitate > execute > kill > murder

Next word: lawyer
George Corley
Producer and Moderating Host, Conlangery Podcast

User avatar
Qwynegold
Smeric
Smeric
Posts: 1606
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 11:34 pm
Location: Stockholm

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Qwynegold »

rule (as in the rules of the game, or whatever) > everybody + rule (law) > law + man (lawyer) > clerk > corrupt

I don't have a word, so someone else can go.
Image
My most recent quiz:
Eurovision Song Contest 2018

User avatar
joey
Sanci
Sanci
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: Mom and Dad's basement
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by joey »

no-word = silent > impassive > unhelpful > difficult > loathsome

Next word: poison
Stubbornly trying to rekindle my conlanging passion.

Rodlox
Avisaru
Avisaru
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Rodlox »

joey wrote:Next word: poison


beer -> bad beer (poorly made) -> poison -> doses -> medicine

beer -> bad beer (poorly made) -> poison -> barren -> void, vacant.


next word: (to) harry.
MadBrain is a genius.

User avatar
blank stare II
Lebom
Lebom
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Contact:

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by blank stare II »

Rodlox wrote:poison -> doses -> medicine


Nice.

next word: (to) harry.


Is that 'marry'?

Friend > of a pair(adj) > to become one of a pair(v) > to marry

Next word: competitor
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke

Astraios
Sumerul
Sumerul
Posts: 2974
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:38 am
Location: Israel

Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Post by Astraios »

blank stare II wrote:
next word: (to) harry.
Is that 'marry'?
No, it's harry.

Post Reply