Attention & to think (of, about) ?

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I just read that Simone Weil considered the etymological -and conceptual - link between attendre, to wait, and attention in French very interesting.How do you translate attention, and is there a link with thinking or another verb?

    In Dutch there is:
    - to think of: denken aan (something like 'to', as in penser à)
    - attention: aandacht
    BTW: we also have 'nadenken over', reflecting on [na-denken over, bowing back on], where the tendency towards mastering, seizing, under-standing is evident).

    I suppose though both languages share some directionality (at-, aan-), being focused on something, whereas the verb as such is less important (tendre, think)..
  2. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Uppmärksamhet - attention
    Uppmärksam - notice
    Märka - see, notice
    In Swedish the word andakt means worship and andäktig means devotional, a false friend
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Oh yes, we have a word like that too: opmerkzaamheid. It is used a little differently, I think, referring to a general attitude, not very specific. But strictly speaking I suppose the directionality is implied again in : upp/ op + notice.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    תשומת לב tesumat lev - paying attention
    טיפול tipul - taking care of x (medical or like taking care of a project, or simply "its under my care")
    דאגה de'aga - taking care (this word's root is used for worry too)
    התחשבות hitkhashvut - this root is used for think, calculate.
    קשב keshev - attention (like the missing one in ADHD)

    I wouldnt say hebrew has an explicit connection between attention and think, but it is somewhere there.
  5. Radioh

    Radioh Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    "chú ý"(noun/verb) can be roughly translated as "attend to", "pay attention to"(attention) and "notice".
  6. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    ... But not 'wait', I guess, more like seeing...

    Hebrew: interesting link care/ worry (we have that too in Dutch. I have been wondering about the 'attention' words in (a) and (e):
    - tesumat lev - paying attention to what? Is it something like 'be with it with your heart [lev]' ? Just a wild guess, just happen to know that 'lev' may mean 'heart'...
    - keshev - more like concentration then? Concentration on classes, focus on teaching ? (For a second I though keshev might have the same root as kosher, but it does not...)

    In (d) you are referring to the regular attention needed for calculating and thinking, I suppose, not to extra attention.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    Tesumat lev - paying attention, observe the heart of the events.
    keshev - yes.

    התחשבות is considerate, thoughtful.
    its root is ח-ש-ב kh-sh-v/b;
    this root is also used for think words and calculate words.
  8. Словеса Senior Member

    Russian: внимание, literally something about "taking in", the root is a fellow of the root of the verb иметь (to have). This is a verbal noun, the corresponding verb is внимать: to be attentive to someone's words (used not commonly). The perfective version of the same verb, внять, means something like "to choose or to be able to understand", "to accept someone's words". The word внимать has many "cognates" in Russian, one of them is понимать, to understand.
  9. ancalimon Senior Member


    ilgi : attention (it comes from "il" meaning "connection" in general. It probably is a very important word because there are many words in Turkic that's related with it. There are also many borrowed foreign words starting with "il" that are related with "connection" which suggests an early Turkic influence in those languages)

    düşünmek: to think

    So no connection between these two, but there might be other words for both of them which might be related.
  10. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    To think: «Σκέπτομαι» ['sceptome] & colloq. «σκέφτομαι» ['sceftome] --> to think, contemplate < Classical deponent v. «σκέπτομαι» sképtŏmai --> to look around, look back, spy, contemplate, consider, survey (PIE *speḱ-, to see sharply, spy, survey cf Skt. पश्यति (pazyati), to look at, notice, examine; Lat. specere, to observe, watch).
    Thought (noun): «Σκέψη» ['scepsi] (fem.) < Classical 3rd declension fem. noun «σκέψις» sképsīs --> contemplation, deliberation, examination.

    To reflect/reflect upon: «Στοχάζομαι» [sto'xazome] < Classical deponent v. «στοχάζομαι» stŏkʰắzŏmai --> to target, shoot at, seek to achieve, guess, conjecture, explore, calculate, medidate (with obscure etymology and no certain cognates outside of Greek).
    Reflection/medidation (noun): «Στοχασμός» [stoxa'zmos] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «στοχασμός» stŏkʰăsmós --> guessing, suspicion.
    Interestingly enough, in Greek the root of the words reflection/meditation («στοχασμός») and target («στόχος») seems to be the same.

    To pay attention: «Προσέχω» [pro'sexo] < Classical v. «προσέχω» prŏsékʰō --> to turn one's mind/attention to a thing, be intent on it < compound; prefix, preposition and adverb «πρός» prós --> furthermore, thereto, from, by, at, to, towards, in face of (PIE *proti-, against cf Skt. प्रति (prati), about, to; Proto-Slavic *pretivъ, against > OCS против, against, opposite) + Classical v. «ἔχω» ékʰō (archaic reduplicated form «ἴσχω» ískʰō < «(σ)ίσχω» (s)ískʰō) --> to possess, retain, have (PIE *seǵʰ-, to hold, have cf Skt. सहस् (sahas), force, power, might, victory; Celtic sego-/sege- found in toponymics e.g. Sego-dunum, Sego-briga etc).
    Attention (noun): «Προσoχή» [proso'çi] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «προσοχὴ» prŏsŏkʰḕ --> attention, soberness.

    So, no apparent etymological link between attention-thinking/contemplating, and reflecting/medidating, in Greek.
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    @Russian: would you mind transcribing the words? I know part of the signs, but not all (a broad transcription will do).

    @Ancalimon: could you give five more il-words to have a better idea of the different words it is used in?

    @Apmoy: 'target' // 'reflection' - interesting; isn't the target the object of reflection? Doesn't reflecting somehow imply some goal?
    'soberness' refers do drinking, does it?

    No link? Don't worry. It is just a bias based on my mother tongue, where the link is quite clear (denken/ nadenken). Yet, I guess you do see some semantic, or no, natural, link between /skeptome/ and /stoxazome/ (which is not a purely linguistic issue).
  12. Словеса Senior Member

    Внимание: vnimani'e.
    Иметь: im'et'.
    Внимать: vnimat'.
    Внять: vn'at'.
    Понимать: ponimat'.
    Sorry, I am not able to tell how to pronounce them. The stressed vowel letters have been bolded. The words have been transcribed in the order of their appearance in the original post. The roots have been underlined.
  13. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    You're right I guess, one can see a natural link between /skeptome/ and /stoxazome/.
    And soberness does not always refer to drinking --> solemnity, seriousness are its synonyms (frivolity its antonym)
  14. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    pozor = attention;
    pozorný = attentive;
    pozornost = attentiveness;
    pozorovati = to watch, to observe;

    zříti = to look;
    zrak (< zor-kъ) = (sense of) sight;

    The stem is *zьr-/zor-.

    Strangely, in Russian the word позор (po'zor) means 'shame', probably somehow connected to 'pillory'.
  15. ancalimon Senior Member

    ilişki: affair, relationship
    il (prototurkic): culture, civilization
    ilim: science
    bil: to know
    bilim: science
    ileri: forward, advanced, sophisticated
    ilet: to forward
    ileti: message
    iletişim: communication
    il: city
    ilçe: district
    ile: with
    ilmek: slipknot
  16. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Apparently, the meaning of Latin attendere was "to pay careful attention (to something)".

    So, perhaps the derived noun attention preserves the earlier meaning of the verb, whereas the verb itself has developed into the meaning "wait" (French attendre, Italian attendere), or the meanings "address (an issue)" / "serve (a person)" (Spanish/Portuguese atender). Maybe these two semantic developments are connected (i.e., maybe one preceded the other).
  17. Словеса Senior Member

    This is not strange. The word does not mean exactly 'shame' (стыд). It does not directly mean a feeling (the feeling of shame), it means an event: one in which everybody sees (see the root) that something is wrong and deserves repulsion or disapproval. Yes, the meaning 'see' is loaded with conclusions on immediate settings of action towards the things that are seen, more simply with 'feelings'; but this is usually the case with Russian, nothing strange here. The hypotheses about any connection with any specific custom are absolutely not necessary, though I obviously cannot exlude anything.
  18. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you comment on this further? I have a hunch, but I cannot really understand what you mean by the phrases in italics... At least the seeing is already filled with 'feelings', so it is more than seeing, it is judging already, but that is what you mean by 'loaded with conclusions', I suppose. But then???
  19. Словеса Senior Member

    Let's see: the word позор (pozor, by-seeing or once-seeing) refers either to some by-products of our seeing the thing or to somebody's limited in time action of looking at them (hard to tell which one for me). Those by-products may be whatever; the results of the seeing may also be whatever; so in Czech and in Polish the meaning is general, it refers to having the thing in consideration, to looking at the thing. Since either the by-products or the results may be whatever, the meaning also may be special, not general: in its core may be the action of looking at the thing that is loaded with conclusions. Which conclusions? A specific kind: those that may change our attitude towards the thing looked, to switch it from positive to negative. So far, what the Russian language did seems logical enough: taking a special case and developing the meaning on it is a natural kind of operation, nothing strained. Save one question: why Russian needed to convey the operation of specification at all? Well, this kind of specification is not unusual or extra-ordinary; for example, the meaning of the word 'curieux', when it came into Russian usage, transformed from 'noteworthy' to 'funny', i.e. the mental setting of how we feel and are supposed to act about the curious thing was explicitly specified: we are supposed to feel an inclination to laugther. Exactly the same thing happened to the word 'anecdote'. On the second thoughts, the meaning of the word 'pozor' may as well be initiated with the pillar of shame, which is «позорный столб» in Russian (a place to look at people whose deads are being disapproved); just this meaning is not artificial anyway, not something that is strange.
  20. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But now I understand way better: indeed, if you can analyse it into po-zor, by-seeing, ocne-seeing, then its underlying meaning is more than just 'shame', I guess, if you can analyse it in that way. We cannot produce such a. strong meaning, it seems to me, by adding prefixes. We do have afzien though, meaning 'to suffer' (lit. 'see off'), but also uitzien, lit. 'see out', to look forward to, which might be considered in some way linked with waiting, having to wait. But indeed, there are often shifts of meaning that are quite unexpected.

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