I’m working on my Lexipedia, and I’d like to have many examples of semantic divisions that are different from English.  Things like this:

  • French doesn’t bother to distinguish ‘city’ and ‘town’, making do with ville
  • Japanese divides ‘water’ into mizu ‘cold water’ and yu ‘hot water’
  • Guugu Yimithirr speakers don’t point out things as left/right, but as north/south/east/west
  • In some languages there are not four cardinal directions but eight (that is, directions like northeast have their own names not derived from the main four)

But the more examples I have the better, so if you have some, lay ’em on me (markrose at zompist dot com).  Note that what I’m after is not just different words, but different categorizations of the world– places where a semantic field is mapped out differently (even if trivially), as in the above examples.

Naturally, I’ve accumulated quite a few examples already, from various languages, but they’re mostly things I’ve run into randomly, and you alert readers may well know some that I’ve never heard of.  (If it’s in Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, however, I’ve heard it.)

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