Localisation of linguistic terminology: occagram

There’s a bit of a trend to localise web browsers, software, books and so on for local use. I can get google in Catalan, Kirghiz or Xhosa, and on my trip to Milingimbi last year we were translating parts of speech into Yolŋu Matha.

I reckon it’s time that Australian English was freed from the shackles of Latin grammar. I reckon we should get to use our own terms. Here is a preliminary proposal (which I will, of course, be submitting to the Australian Linguistic Society’s executive committee in due course). I’m on the lookout for coauthors for further advancement of this worthwhile localisation project.

Poncy Latin term True Blue Occa Term
masculine blokative
feminine sheilative
eye-witness evidential squizzative
vulgar infixation sledgabloodytive
noun thing
verb verb-thing
anachronism grannitive
malefactive badative
prefix pre-thing
super/suprasegmental fly-spit on the paper(ative)
dubitative who-knowsative

In the next installment, we will see how productive such a localisation strategy can be. In this case, it has led to the discovery of new grammatical categories!


6 responses to “Localisation of linguistic terminology: occagram

  1. Well, I don’t know much Strine, but here are a few possibilities:

    PLT affirmative –> TBOT toorightative
    PLT anglicism –> TBOT pommicism
    PLT superlative –> TBOT corkative
    PLT distal –> TBOT backobourkative
    PLT calque –> TBOT cadge-translation
    PLT interrogative –> TBOT sussative

  2. irrealis: yourdreamingative.

  3. David Marjanović

    I predict the squizzative will take on a life of its own, like the thagomizer has done.

  4. diminutive -> woosative
    augmentative -> balsative

    dubitative -> fnosative

    ergative -> fukertive
    absolutive -> bastative (formerly *bastardative though this became reduced via haplology, a variety of pissweakening)

  5. You know Geoff O’Grady (Indo-Pacific fascicle 6) called nominal derivational affixes ‘status quo suffixes’…so maybe here in Oz we should call them ‘sherbet suffixes’. But he also said they were ‘nondivisive’ – which, for lovers of 70s Oz rock, Sherbet certainly are.

    Bonus points Claire for a music and linguistics joke in one??

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