Vlürch wrote: ↑
28 May 2020 14:52
Salmoneus wrote: ↑
28 May 2020 13:37
How is that obvious? "Shame" is a classic example of a thick moral concept - it's a complicated concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate. Indeed, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture (philosophers have a concept of shame, and psychologists, and those concerned with history and historical literature, but I think most people at least in the UK have no real conscious shame-concept anymore, as distinct from other related concepts).
Wait, are you saying people in the UK don't feel shame for things they've done or for historical wrongdoing?
No, I'm saying that 'shame' is a classic example of a thick moral concept that only exists within a particular culture and is extremely difficult to translate; furthermore, I'd say it's only just hanging on to existence in modern Western culture, outside of specialist subjects.
In other words, the question of whether Bob feels shame over something clearly isn't a question that has an objective answer. Bob feels something, but there is no objective truth of whether what he feels is 'shame' (or equivalent to 'shame') or not. Different languages will describe it differently.
Obviously, people feel bad about things they've done. But I don't think most people really distinguish shame as a coherent category of bad sentiment.
Shame is arguably having a bit of a comeback, due to the increasing popularity of 'shaming'. But although the word is used, at least as a verb, I'm not sure it's really a coherent concept here (I think most people use it just as a nicer way of saying 'publically guilt-trip'). For instance, if you ask people "can you describe an occasion when it would be right to publically shame a person for something they did but that they should not feel guilty about?", I suspect most people could not give an example. But of course, if you asked the same question of people throughout most of European history, they'd have no trouble answering it, because for them, shame and guilt were two different feelings.
And as for historical wrongdoing by others - sure, the word 'shame' is found now and then, but actually no, I don't think it's talked about much. I think both sides of the debate are more likely to use concepts like guilt, regret and debt, rather than shame. Indeed, the idea of feeling shame over the actions of other people is strange to me - I can easily be embarassed by a parent's actions, for example, but I don't think I could be ashamed of them. I agree, of course, that shame for the actions of others is a prototypical element of the shame concept... but that just means, I think, that my instinctive shame concept is, like most people's, rather limited and largely in the process of merging with guilt.
I mean, most Finns don't want to acknowledge the dark stuff in our country's past either so I get that, but those that do acknowledge it are ashamed of it (or at least I am, more and more as I learn more about history). I won't argue the politics of that, it's just that shame is what's felt for that kind of stuff even without a sense of collective guilt.
Oh, well, if you have italics on your side, I can't see how I can rebut that!
Salmoneus wrote: ↑
28 May 2020 13:37
In the case of shame, it lives in a crowded area. Every culture will have words to describe feeling bad about things that have happened, and yet at least partially responsible for them. But whether there is a word for "shame", as distinct from "guilt", "regret", "embarrassment", "dishonour", "self-loathing", "ambition" (to do better), "sadness", "vulnerability", "immodesty" and so on is much more questionable.
Well, I don't necessarily mean a word that corresponds perfectly to the English word "shame" because like you said, these concepts won't map 100% clearly between any two languages, but generally a word for anything within the wider concept that includes most of what you just listed.
Well, "the wider concept" there is just "feeling bad", so you've gone from one end of the specificity scale to the other!
Anything relating to reconstruction is speculation to some degree, but there are different degrees of certanity and professionalism to it. It could totally be that, had the Proto-Uralic word not been replaced in Finnic, the sound changes leading to modern Finnish would be different from my attempt. There could be some detailed rules to how some specific sound changes affect each other that I'm not aware of; I just compared the correspondences to piece together a hypothetical descendant of the Proto-Uralic word, but it could well be that some wider sound change would invalidate that. If I'm sucking at explaining what I mean, I just mean there are correspondences that would point to a hypothetical *vatsa but it could also be *vatse, or maybe something else if the sound changes go differently.
So your real question is "what are the sound-changes from Proto-Uralic to Finnish?", then?