126.96.36.199: Re: atsusa / atsumi etc.
(2011-06-07 00:04) [#8555]
Robert: Bill is right, I'm afraid. Great and ordinary in no way express the difference between atsusa and atsumi, nor is there a sliding scale between them. But I can see where you are coming from, and I can sympathise.
-sa and -mi are endings added to adjectives. Almost any adjective can take -sa but rather few take -mi. Both produce abstract nouns, but -mi is considered less abstract and something of a special case. To take a couple of other adjectives for comparison, takai = high, takasa = height in a general abstract way (altitude), takami means an actual height, a high place. Omoi = heavy, omosa = the concept of weight as in "it is 5kg in weight", omomi = weight as in "break under the weight of something". In the case of atsumi in go, it is less abstract in that you can point to it and even list the stones that comprise it - it might even be a wall. But with atsusa you can't point to it - it's a quality that a very stable group just has. It's in the air.Etymologically the -sa ending is thought to be from -sama = appearance -maybe that helps.
However, there are sentences in Japanese that I see can lead you to your conclusion. Here are some (even though out of context):
1. You will therefore turn mi-thickness into sa-thickness (atsusa) and bring about a "thick game" (atsui go).
2. Mi-thickness must be connected with long-term trends by converting it into sa-thickness at an early opportunity.
3. Mi-thickness is part of sa-thickness.
4. Sa-thickness games are not only examples of how to use mi-thickness but they also include examples of various kinds of thick styles of play (atsui uchikata).
5. Turning local mi-thickness into overall sa-thickness.
6. But if mi-thickness and sa-thickness are confused, pre-emptive defence by the opponent (mamori) will be decisive.
But it is dangerous to try to draw inferences from this sort of thing without knowing the language, and also without knowing the context. For example, you have to deal with even trickier sentences such as 7. "In general usage, mi-thickness refers to the degree of sa-thickness."
Furthermore, the lexicon is not limited to atsusa and atsumi. E.g.
8. Mi-thickness can be understood to mean the same as "thick shape" (atsui katachi), but then what does "thick" mean?
9. "Outside influence" and "walls" can be used as synonyms for mi-thickness, but on the other hand there are phrases such as thick moves (atsui te) and thick (teatsui) and we need to understand the relation between them.
10.. External influence (gaisei) can also used by turning its mi-thickness into a wall (kabe).
A further possible problem is change in Japan. It is my impression that atsusa was once relatively rare in go texts. Nowadays it seems to be becoming more common. If true, I suspect this may be to do with changing styles of play.
I think your sliding scale approach is interesting and useful, but I don't think you should try to justify it in terms of Japanese terminology, or to claim that it explains Japanese terminology.
As Bill says, my main plank in the past has been to try to create an awareness that thickness has been misleadingly used to translate both atsumi and atsusa in English books. I have generally resisted giving definitions because that's not the way Japanese terminology or my brain works. I likewise resist using a single term (when translating, it might work in most cases but not in others - as a translator I need freedom). But if you want to pin me down *temporarily* while you get a fix on the concept, I'll suggest that "thick shape" may be useful for atsumi and "solidity" may be useful for atsusa.