LINGUIST List 2.411

Fri 16 Aug 1991

FYI: Bladderslugs

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  1. , The Bladder Slugs of Yik

Message 1: The Bladder Slugs of Yik

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1991 15:03:50 +0800 (SST)
Subject: The Bladder Slugs of Yik
The Bladder Slugs of Yik.
For the general entertainment of all you Metaphor fans
out there, I am posting a first year undergraduate
assignment which I conceived (maybe in a drug-crazed
state but more likely commuting) some three years ago.
Sadly it is often the only thing introductory linguistics
students remember from their year of Linguistics 100.
Should any of you be inclined to use this yourselves, be
my guest. The assignment follows lectures on temporal
metaphor for which the following sources provided the
main inspiration and examples:
Foley, W. (1980) "Functional grammar and cultural
 anthropology" Canberra Anthropology, 3:67-85.
Geertz, C. (1975) "Person, time and conduct in Bali". in
 "The Interpretation of Cultures" London: Hutchinson.
 pp 360-411.
Klein, H. (1987) "The future precedes the past: time in
 Toba" Word 38:173-185.
Lakoff, G. & M. Johnson (1980) "Metaphors we live by"
 University of Chicago Press. (surprise, surprise).
And I think my inspiration for the Bladder Slugs
themselves was most likely James Tiptree's sci-fi novel
"Up the Walls of the World", which I read years ago
somewhere but have never seen since.
Read on and have fun!
Alan Dench
Department of Anthropology
University of Western Australia
Nedlands, WA 6009
University of Western Australia
Department of Anthropology
Linguistics 100 (UWA)
Tutorial Assignment: Temporal Metaphors
You are Chief Linguist aboard the starship Benjamin Lee
Whorf orbiting the gaseous giant Arcturus IV. Your most
pressing task is to compile an analysis of the temporal
system of the Yik language of the freefalling Bladder
Slugs. Given the following translations from Yik, what
metaphor(s) seem to prevail in the Yik temporal system?
Feel free to draw diagrams and offer explanations.
a. I perceived a large glabbage upperday.
b. The time for implosion is just below us.
c. The pressure increases, the light is dimming,
 I'm plummeting old.
d. How deep until we fall on dense times.
e. Three days above I consumed a large splodj.
f. In the rarified days of my youth, I set my life
 on a helical path.
g. The foolish Yik lives like a falling space rock.
h. At darkest bottom, we all meet at the centre.
i. The aliens, who live for eternity high above the days
 of our youth, believe the universe is expanding. But
 according to the great physicist Alblort Einslug, it
 is merely moving up into its own "past".
j. All lives converge. At impact we will share our
 common destiny.
k. I hope our bladderlings will rise into the upper
 reaches of the brightest past.
l. I believe the shadows of our downtime bladderlings
 fell across us upperday.
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