5.14. Some types of asymmetrical tanru

This section and Section 5.1 contain some example tanru classified into groups based on the type of relationship between the modifying seltau and the modified tertau. All the examples are paralleled by compounds actually observed in various natural languages. In the tables which follow, each group is preceded by a brief explanation of the relationship. The tables themselves contain a tanru, a literal gloss, an indication of the languages which exhibit a compound analogous to this tanru, and (for those tanru with no English parallel) a translation.

Here are the 3-letter abbreviations used for the various languages (it is presumed to be obvious whether a compound is found in English or not, so English is not explicitly noted):

Aba

Abazin

Chi

Chinese

Ewe

Ewe

Fin

Finnish

Geo

Georgian

Gua

Guarani

Hop

Hopi

Hun

Hungarian

Imb

Imbabura Quechua

Kar

Karaitic

Kaz

Kazakh

Kor

Korean

Mon

Mongolian

Qab

Qabardian

Que

Quechua

Rus

Russian

Skt

Sanskrit

Swe

Swedish

Tur

Turkish

Udm

Udmurt

Any lujvo or fu'ivla used in a group are glossed at the end of that group.

The tanru discussed in this section are asymmetrical tanru; that is, ones in which the order of the terms is fundamental to the meaning of the tanru. For example, junla dadysli, or clock pendulum, is the kind of pendulum used in a clock, whereas dadysli junla, or pendulum clock, is the kind of clock that employs a pendulum. Most tanru are asymmetrical in this sense. Symmetrical tanru are discussed in Section 5.1.

The tertau represents an action, and the seltau then represents the object of that action:

Table 5.1. Example tanru
pinsi kilgauca'a pencil sharpener Hun
zgike nunctu music instruction Hun
mirli nunkalte deer hunting Hun
finpe nunkalte fish hunting Tur,Kor,Udm,Aba fishing
smacu terkavbu mousetrap Tur,Kor,Hun,Udm,Aba
zdani turni house ruler Kar host
zerle'a nunte'a thief fear Skt fear of thieves
cevni zekri god crime Skt offense against the gods
Table 5.2. Mini-Glossary
nunkilbra

sharpness-apparatus

nunctu

event-of-teaching

nunkalte

event-of-hunting

terkavbu

trap

zerle'a

crime-taker

nunte'a

event-of-fearing

The tertau represents a set, and the seltau the type of the elements contained in that set:

Table 5.3. Example tanru
zdani lijgri house row
selci lamgri cell block
karda mulgri card pack Swe
rokci derxi stone heap Swe
tadni girzu student group Hun
remna girzu human-being group Qab group of people
cpumi'i lijgri tractor column Qab
cevni jenmi god army Skt
cevni prenu god folk Skt
Table 5.4. Mini-Glossary
lijgri

line-group

lamgri

adjacent-group

mulgri

complete-group

cpumi'i

pull-machine

Conversely: the tertau is an element, and the seltau represents a set in which that element is contained. Implicitly, the meaning of the tertau is restricted from its usual general meaning to the specific meaning appropriate for elements in the given set. Note the opposition between zdani lijgri in the previous group, and lijgri zdani in this one, which shows why this kind of tanru is called asymmetrical.

Table 5.5. Example tanru
carvi dirgo raindrop Tur,Kor,Hun,Udm,Aba
lijgri zdani row house

The seltau specifies an object and the tertau a component or detail of that object; the tanru as a whole refers to the detail, specifying that it is a detail of that whole and not some other.

Table 5.6. Example tanru
junla dadysli clock pendulum Hun
purdi vorme garden door Qab
purdi bitmu garden wall Que
moklu skapi mouth skin Imb lips
nazbi kevna nose hole Imb nostril
karce xislu automobile wheel Chi
jipci pimlu chicken feather Chi
vinji rebla airplane tail Chi
Table 5.7. Mini-Glossary
dadysli

hang-oscillator

Conversely: the seltau specifies a characteristic or important detail of the object described by the tertau; objects described by the tanru as a whole are differentiated from other similar objects by this detail.

Table 5.8. Example tanru
pixra cukta picture book
kerfa silka hair silk Kar velvet
plise tapla apple cake Tur
dadysli junla pendulum clock Hun
Table 5.9. Mini-Glossary
dadysli

hang-oscillator

The tertau specifies a general class of object (a genus), and the seltau specifies a sub-class of that class (a species):

Table 5.10. Example tanru
ckunu tricu pine tree Hun,Tur,Hop

The tertau specifies an object of possession, and the seltau may specify the possessor (the possession may be intrinsic or otherwise). In English, these compounds have an explicit possessive element in them: lion's mane, child's foot, noble's cow.

Table 5.11. Example tanru
cinfo kerfa lion mane Kor,Tur,Hun,Udm,Qab
verba jamfu child foot Swe
nixli tuple girl leg Swe
cinfo jamfu lion foot Que
danlu skapi animal skin Ewe
ralju zdani chief house Ewe
jmive munje living world Skt
nobli bakni noble cow Skt
nolraitru ralju king chief Skt emperor
Table 5.12. Mini-Glossary
nolraitru

nobly-superlative-ruler

The tertau specifies a habitat, and the seltau specifies the inhabitant:

Table 5.13. Example tanru
lanzu tumla family land

The tertau specifies a causative agent, and the seltau specifies the effect of that cause:

Table 5.14. Example tanru
kalselvi'i gapci tear gas Hun
terbi'a jurme disease germ Tur
fenki litki crazy liquid Hop whisky
pinca litki urine liquid Hop beer
Table 5.15. Mini-Glossary
kalselvi'i

eye-excreted-thing

terbi'a

disease

Conversely: the tertau specifies an effect, and the seltau specifies its cause.

Table 5.16. Example tanru
djacu barna water mark Chi

The tertau specifies an instrument, and the seltau specifies the purpose of that instrument:

Table 5.17. Example tanru
taxfu dadgreku garment rack Chi
tergu'i ti'otci lamp shade Chi
xirma zdani horse house Chi stall
nuzba tanbo news board Chi bulletin board
Table 5.18. Mini-Glossary
dadgreku

hang-frame

tergu'i

source of illumination

ti'otci

shadow-tool

More vaguely: the tertau specifies an instrument, and the seltau specifies the object of the purpose for which that instrument is used:

Table 5.19. Example tanru
cpina rokci pepper stone Que stone for grinding pepper
jamfu djacu foot water Skt water for washing the feet
grana mudri post wood Skt wood for making a post
moklu djacu mouth water Hun water for washing the mouth
lanme gerku sheep dog dog for working sheep

The tertau specifies a product from some source, and the seltau specifies the source of the product:

Table 5.20. Example tanru
moklu djacu mouth water Aba,Qab saliva
ractu mapku rabbit hat Rus
jipci sovda chicken egg Chi
sikcurnu silka silkworm silk Chi
mlatu kalci cat feces Chi
bifce lakse bee wax Chi beeswax
cribe rectu bear meat Tur,Kor,Hun,Udm,Aba
solxrula grasu sunflower oil Tur,Kor,Hun,Udm,Aba
bifce jisra bee juice Hop honey
tatru litki breast liquid Hop milk
kanla djacu eye water Kor tear
Table 5.21. Mini-Glossary
sikcurnu

silk-worm

solxrula

solar-flower

Conversely: the tertau specifies the source of a product, and the seltau specifies the product:

Table 5.22. Example tanru
silna jinto salt well Chi
kolme terkakpa coal mine Chi
ctile jinto oil well Chi
Table 5.23. Mini-Glossary
terkakpa

source of digging

The tertau specifies an object, and the seltau specifies the material from which the object is made. This case is especially interesting, because the referent of the tertau may normally be made from just one kind of material, which is then overridden in the tanru.

Table 5.24. Example tanru
rokci cinfo stone lion
snime nanmu snow man Hun
kliti cipni clay bird
blaci kanla glass eye Hun
blaci kanla glass eye Que spectacles
solji sicni gold coin Tur
solji junla gold watch Tur,Kor,Hun
solji djine gold ring Udm,Aba,Que
rokci zdani stone house Imb
mudri zdani wood house Ewe wooden house
rokci bitmu stone wall Ewe
solji carce gold chariot Skt
mudri xarci wood weapon Skt wooden weapon
cmaro'i dargu pebble road Chi
sudysrasu cutci straw shoe Chi
Table 5.25. Mini-Glossary
cmaro'i

small-rock

sudysrasu

dry-grass

Note: the two senses of blaci kanla can be discriminated as:

Table 5.26. Example tanru
blaci kanla bo tarmi glass (eye shape) glass eye
blaci kanla bo sidju glass (eye helper) spectacles

The tertau specifies a typical object used to measure a quantity and the seltau specifies something measured. The tanru as a whole refers to a given quantity of the thing being measured. English does not have compounds of this form, as a rule.

Table 5.27. Example tanru
tumla spisa land piece Tur piece of land
tcati kabri tea cup Kor,Aba cup of tea
nanba spisa bread piece Kor piece of bread
bukpu spisa cloth piece Udm,Aba piece of cloth
djacu calkyguzme water calabash Ewe calabash of water
Table 5.28. Mini-Glossary
calkyguzme

shell-fruit, calabash

The tertau specifies an object with certain implicit properties, and the seltau overrides one of those implicit properties:

Table 5.29. Example tanru
kensa bloti spaceship
bakni verba cattle child Ewe calf

The seltau specifies a whole, and the tertau specifies a part which normally is associated with a different whole. The tanru then refers to a part of the seltau which stands in the same relationship to the whole seltau as the tertau stands to its typical whole.

Table 5.30. Example tanru
kosta degji coat finger Hun coat sleeve
denci genja tooth root Imb
tricu stedu tree head Imb treetop

The tertau specifies the producer of a certain product, and the seltau specifies the product. In this way, the tanru as a whole distinguishes its referents from other referents of the tertau which do not produce the product.

Table 5.31. Example tanru
silka curnu silkworm Tur,Hun,Aba

The tertau specifies an object, and the seltau specifies another object which has a characteristic property. The tanru as a whole refers to those referents of the tertau which possess the property.

Table 5.32. Example tanru
sonci manti soldier ant
ninmu bakni woman cattle Imb cow
mamta degji mother finger Imb thumb
cifnu degji baby finger Imb pinky
pacraistu zdani hell house Skt
fagri dapma fire curse Skt curse destructive as fire
Table 5.33. Mini-Glossary
pacraistu

evil-superlative-site

As a particular case (when the property is that of resemblance): the seltau specifies an object which the referent of the tanru resembles.

Table 5.34. Example tanru
grutrceraso jbama cherry bomb
solji kerfa gold hair Hun golden hair
kanla djacu eye water Kar spring
bakni rokci bull stone Mon boulder
Table 5.35. Mini-Glossary
grutrceraso

fu'ivla for cherry based on Linnean name

The seltau specifies a place, and the tertau an object characteristically located in or at that place.

Table 5.36. Example tanru
ckana boxfo bed sheet Chi
mrostu mojysu'a tomb monument Chi tombstone
jubme tergusni table lamp Chi
foldi smacu field mouse Chi
briju ci'ajbu office desk Chi
rirxe xirma river horse Chi hippopotamus
xamsi gerku sea dog Chi seal
cagyce'u zdani village house Skt
Table 5.37. Mini-Glossary
mrostu

dead-site

mojysu'a

remember-structure

ci'ajbu

write-table

cagyce'u

farm-community

Specifically: the tertau is a place where the seltau is sold or made available to the public.

Table 5.38. Example tanru
cidja barja food bar Chi restaurant
cukta barja book bar Chi library

The seltau specifies the locus of application of the tertau.

Table 5.39. Example tanru
kanla velmikce eye medicine Chi
jgalu grasu nail oil Chi nail polish
denci pesxu tooth paste Chi
Table 5.40. Mini-Glossary
velmikce

treatment used by doctor

The tertau specifies an implement used in the activity denoted by the seltau.

Table 5.41. Example tanru
me la .pinpan. me'u bolci Ping-Pong ball Chi

The tertau specifies a protective device against the undesirable features of the referent of the seltau.

Table 5.42. Example tanru
carvi mapku rain cap Chi
carvi taxfu rain garment Chi raincoat
vindu firgai poison mask Chi gas mask
Table 5.43. Mini-Glossary
firgai

face-cover

The tertau specifies a container characteristically used to hold the referent of the seltau.

Table 5.44. Example tanru
cukta vasru book vessel Chi satchel
vanju kabri wine cup Chi
spatrkoka lanka coca basket Que
rismi dakli rice bag Ewe,Chi
tcati kabri tea cup Chi
ladru botpi milk bottle Chi
rismi patxu rice pot Chi
festi lante trash can Chi
bifce zdani bee house Kor beehive
cladakyxa'i zdani sword house Kor sheath
manti zdani ant nest Gua anthill
Table 5.45. Mini-Glossary
spatrkoka

fu'ivla for coca

cladakyxa'i

(long-knife)-weapon

The seltau specifies the characteristic time of the event specified by the tertau.

Table 5.46. Example tanru
vensa djedi spring day Chi
crisa citsi summer season Chi
cerni bumru morning fog Chi
critu lunra autumn moon Chi
dunra nicte winter night Chi
nicte ckule night school Chi

The seltau specifies a source of energy for the referent of the tertau.

Table 5.47. Example tanru
dikca tergusni electric lamp Chi
ratni nejni atom energy Chi
brife molki windmill Tur,Kor,Hun,Udm,Aba
Table 5.48. Mini-Glossary
tergusni

illumination-source

Finally, some tanru which don't fall into any of the above categories.

Table 5.49. Example tanru
ladru denci milk tooth Tur,Hun,Udm,Qab
kanla denci eye tooth

It is clear that tooth is being specified, and that milk and eye act as modifiers. However, the relationship between ladru and denci is something like tooth which one has when one is drinking milk from one's mother, a relationship certainly present nowhere except in this particular concept. As for kanla denci, the relationship is not only not present on the surface, it is hardly possible to formulate it at all.