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The Semantic Drift Thread
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=38023
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Author:  Imralu [ Fri May 06, 2011 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  The Semantic Drift Thread

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"?

Author:  Yng [ Fri May 06, 2011 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

You mean like this?

Author:  Imralu [ Fri May 06, 2011 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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".

Author:  blank stare II [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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.

Quote:
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

Author:  Åge Kruger [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

naïve --> honest --> advisor

Next: teddy bear

Author:  Christopher Schröder [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Next: Leaf (of a plant)

Author:  Risla [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Leaf > blade > weapon.

Next word: coconut.

Author:  Christopher Schröder [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Next: Pencil

Author:  Ollock [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

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

Next word: kill

Author:  äreo [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

next: river

Author:  Christopher Schröder [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Author:  Lyhoko Leaci [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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:
Attachment:
semantic shift game.zip [21.94 KiB]
Downloaded 281 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

Author:  Kvan [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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:
Attachment:
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

Author:  Rodlox [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Kvan wrote:
clandestine


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

next word: jump

Author:  Kvan [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Author:  Gojera [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Author:  joey [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Gojera wrote:
Next word: louse


louse > itch on head > brain-teaser > question

Next word: intelligent

Author:  Åge Kruger [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Necktie

Author:  Risla [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Next: disembowel.

Author:  Ollock [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Next: disembowel.


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

Next word: lawyer

Author:  Qwynegold [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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.

Author:  joey [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

Next word: poison

Author:  Rodlox [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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.

Author:  blank stare II [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

Rodlox wrote:
poison -> doses -> medicine


Nice.

Quote:
next word: (to) harry.


Is that 'marry'?

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

Next word: competitor

Author:  Astraios [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Semantic Drift Thread

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

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