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Daedalus et Icarus, 7

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Aqua quae eum recepit nomen ab illo tenet. At pater infelix, nunc non iam pater, “Icare,” dixit, “Icare, ubi es? Quo in loco te quaeram? Icare,” dicebat cum pennas notas in undis summis spectavit et damnavit suas artes. Tum corpus carum filii in sepulchrum posuit et terra a nomine pueri dicta est–Icaria.

la anhāri anakkāsimma pa jawēramma; ē masōwa mamāsa āl wa masōwa; samma ien λi īkarus; λi īkarus, la sāen sūkēñ; salla jarūna mo riēn sūkēñ; il samma ien λi īkarus il sema jatīāni jawāññi sū jatāoni ōl ī samma jatūrelil mo jakēlimma; ē ñamma mīsa macāna janōññū rā jajōste ī āl pa jekiēn mamōīñ jawēramma īkarja;

la anhāri anakkāsimma aqua quae eum recepit
pa jawēramma nomen ab illo tenet
ē masōwa mamāsa at pater infelix
āl wa masōwa nunc non iam pater
samma ien λi Ä«karus “Icare,” dixit
λi īkarus, la sāen sūkēñ Icare, ubi es?
salla jarūna mo riēn sūkēñ Quo in loco te quaeram?
il samma ien λi Ä«karus “Icare,” dicebat
il sema jatīāni jawāññi cum pennas notas…(spectavit)
sū jatāoni ōl in undis summis
ī samma jatūrelil mo jakēlimma et damnavit suas artes
Ä“ ñamma mÄ«sa macāna janōññū tum corpus carum filii…posuit
rā jajōste in sepulchrum
ī āl pa jekiēn et terra
mamōīñ jawÄ“ramma Ä«karja a nomine pueri dicta est–Icaria

Me and Storm Bride on Conlangery

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

I’m a few days late posting this (because reasons), but I’m very excited to post this interview I recently did with the folks on Conlangery, about the languages of Storm bride, and a bunch of other questions regarding fantasy literature and language creation. You can listen here:

We talk about:

  • How I got into linguistics and conlanging
  • Why there’s only two sentences of actual conlang in Storm Bride
  • Why most fictional languages in SFF suck
  • Ursula K. LeGuin’s Always Coming Home and other SFF works that at least try to get it right
  • How to present strange phonologies without terrifying your readers
  • Cultural appropriation issues when conlanging based on an real languages and cultures
  • Other stuff that I can’t remember.

This was the most fun I’d had in a while! Hope you like listening.

Tagged: conlang, conlangery, cultural appropriation, leguin, linguistics, podcast, praseo, storm bride

Interesting word

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Earlier today I came up with an interesting word for my constructed language, Trai’Pahg’Nan’Nog, which is noteworthy for three reasons.

First: It is four syllables long (or three, depending on your POV) and is composed entirely of vowels. Not a single consonant in it. Best I can do to write it out in Latin letters is:
ah-ah’ee’ah’eye though I think I’ll use an alternate spelling ah-ah’ii’ah’i
The ah-ah part looks, when spelled out, like two syllables, and kind of it but kind of isn’t. The two syllables are conjoined in a way I don’t have good words to describe. Instead of being like “OOO (nano-pause) OOO”, it is more like ooOOooOOoo. (Or “AH AH” and “aaAHaaAHaa” if you prefer.)

Second: Its meaning. The best English translation is “pre-industrial revolution.” But it is NOT interchangeable with “primitive.” The word that the Traipahni people would translate “primitive” into is considered a derogatory word. Ah’ah’ii’ah’i is NOT a derogatory word, merely descriptive. It covers any civilization that either has not had an industrial revolution, or has abandoned industrial civilization. So both Amazonian rain forest tribes and the Amish would fall under ah’ah’ii’ah’i. So too would Renaissance-era Europe.

Third: The strange conjunction of the two initial AH’s, combined with the aesthetics of the word when written in TPNN characters, prompted me to make a new symbol for the written language for TPNN. I don’t have a name for the symbol, nor a picture I can share, but the symbol denotes the kind of conjunction in “ah-ah’ii’ah’i.”

If anyone knows words to help me describe some of the things I’ve come up with, I would greatly appreciate it if you let me know.

In The Beginning… Part 1

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

The following begins the creation myth of the Tylnor translated from Umod:

Before all, there was only Mognokum (1). No thoughts rippled the essence of his great mind. He was the void, and nothing existed outside of him.

Time began when Mognokum became aware and when he started to take form. His limbs stretched. His hair grew from his body, and his horns sprouted and curved through space. Yet his eyes remained closed. Ages passed in contemplation as he grew in strength and size.

His eyes opened slowly and light shown from them. That first light piercing the void, and light and darkness came into being. Mognokum exhaled and space expanded around him. Again, he exhaled, and, again, the void expanded. Three times in all, Mognokum breathed the breath of life into the void, and yet his breath knew no form. His breath, he could see with his eyes of light, and yet it continued to have no form which he could touch. A desire rose up within his mind to use his hands and body to touch a form other than his own.

Long did he consider his desire, and the form which it should take. As he pondered this, his eyes perceived a form moving toward him from out of the void. It was a form like unto his own and yet different. As the form neared, it spoke to him:

“Galyluma,” she said (2): The first word ever uttered in the void.

Mognokum could not reply for his thoughts had not yet taken the form of words. Galyluma reached out her hand and touched the cheek of Mognokum with the back of her hand. Her fingers touched his lips, and Mognokum bellowed the second word ever uttered in the void:

“We are one.”(3)

Both Mognokum and Galyluma had eyes of light and slowly circled each other, seeing each other, slowly reaching out, softly touching, and retreating. For ages, they existed in this way, two beings in the void. They discovered love and trust and commitment.

Ages passed until Mognokum and Galyluma saw another form coming toward them out of the swirling breath of life. This form was both like and unlike each of them, but Galyluma was troubled at its approach.

Galyluma put her arms about Mognokum and held him tight. Mognokum held her in his powerful right arm and lowered his head, his horns pointed toward the approaching form.

The form’s horns were pointed, its long flowing hairs trailed behind it.

Mognokum uttered the third instance of words in the void:

“Who are you?”

The form was silent and motionless. Mognokum raised his horns.

The new form leaped across the void and grabbed Mognokum’s horns, throwing his head back. The form lowered its own sharp horns and ripped across Mognokum’s chest. Pain and anger arose in the void.

Mognokum released Galyluma. She spun away from him into the void crying his name. Mognokum bellowed with rage, his divine essence seeping into the void from the wound across his chest.

The newcomer leapt into the darkness of the void. Mognokum’s eyes flared with light, illuminating the fleeing form. Mognokum had no other thought than to catch the one who had wounded him. For a time, his mind forgot his beloved Galyluma…


(1) Mognokum is the name traditionally given to the originator of all. It can be translated as First Divine: mognok = “first” um=a particle with various meanings but, in this case, it signifies the first, best, or paramount of something. In context, it can also mean “divine” “superior” “royal” etc.

(2) Note 1. There is discussion within the orthodox Tylnor community concerning whether Galyluma was born of the thoughts of Mognokum, out of his own breath of life, or whether Galyluma was co-existent in another part of the void, and breathed her own breath of life into the void. Those who contend the latter maintain that existence came forth from the intermingling of the two breaths of each deity.

(2) Note 2. Controversy surrounds the original words of Galyluma. In fact, some early manuscripts appear to have not Galyluma but Ngalyuman. This discrepancy is significant to the Tylnor and has had numerous treatises written about it. Galyluma can be interpreted as simply her name; however, Ngalyuman can be interpreted as “I am one who is divine” [Ngaly uman]. Even those who contend the correct reading is Ngalyuman still refer to her as Galyluma.

(3) In the best texts, this is actually one word: an inclusive first-person plural pronoun: ngorok (or in later manuscripts: ngrok)

Amerysk Word of the Day: Dyr

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Dyr (plural: dyras)

English: animal
German: Tier
Dutch: dier
Swedish: djur
Danish: dyr
Norwegian: dyr
Yiddish: chaye
French: animal
Spanish: animal
Esperanto: besto

Dyr is pronounced just like the English word ‘deer’. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon

dÄ“or which means ‘animal’. 

Myn dyras.
Æ dyr.
Tha dyras.
My animals.
An animal.
The animals.
Meine Tiere.
Ein Tier.
Die Tiere. 
Miaj bestoj.
La bestoj.

LoCoWriMo Day 2

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Kansu mi’isa enju’tes minas. Olsadi’he’ny’mi ji jesten’he’ny’mi ji ysu’he’ny’mi min’unidu kimda ji min’lanja’tekneluru veka alnany Kansu. Mi’ki’ta ,mi’ma’isa, ra ,mi’itera ‘isa, venil. Jvenu’het’ny’mi min’disde ladja’het yjik’het’ny’ra halek ikis ji luka ji sinit. Jinhes kali mi’inta ,heta’naxah minas’jet jilih, het. Kansu mi’mesu’ta yjik’het’ny. Mi’mesu sinutera’het’ny’mi’han. Mi’itera ‘sinu ji ‘asav ji ‘rala’yly ji ‘sanja jusituru’het. Mi’sikeva ‘xitak jyxe’het’ny’mi ,mi’vana’ta ‘sil, lija. Mi’mesu ,mi’sidekhir eranakali’het Xeseja Su, het. Mi’telui’ta ,mi’kaska ra’het jilih, lija. Mi’la’sikeva ‘isa sike’han ,mi’la’nuvan, la. Kansu mi’nuvan aji. Mi’imji xedaxatsa’het’ra ji mi’mesu hesal’het ji sudisudi’het’ny. Min’ki ra’het’min ji myju’het’min. Min’nuvan’ta. Demna’het’mi mi’vasu sinit ,Kansu mi’tari ‘lija ‘dekesa ehral mje’het, lija. Mi’ni ‘hanluru dimis’tan vi mi’ki’vasu ojyu. Mi’kesi lejen’het idira. Lejen’het mi’inta vijit ji derek. Lejen’het’ny vinik min’rala’seve lejen’het’han demna lama’he’ny’sy exkola javene. Kansu mi’jula tuhul lejen’het. Jatni mje’het mi’xasy elu’het’mi {Rejavisko’het’mi leji’tan -mi’rala’visiri Elis Marukimi’sy}. Kansu mi’nai’ta Elis. Elis mi’la’aru kemeva’he’mi ,mi’la’dekesa asty’het al lystas uljija musin’ta, venil. Mi’la’sanja doa al. Mi’la’ytin netju’ta ji itera oyku’tan ji esaku’het ji myju’het. Mi’la’enju nanti’het’ny’ra hakim. Olsadi’he’ny min’la’demu ,mi’la’vasu ojyu, het. Kansu mi’ma’ta ‘koleni ,Elis mi’la’dimil lejen’het jilih hidaxu’het’sy kisin ji njinji’het’ny, het. Kansu mi’la’xitri lejen’het’ra. Lejen’het hakim mi’la’dimil hidaxu’het’sy kisin ji dimil’tan mi’oejelu ji mi’salan ji mi’tuhul. Hyji’het’ny vared mi’la’aru’ta. Kansu mi’tari ‘ameri jilih. Rejavisko’het visiri mi’la’inta doa. Mi’rala’dimil rejadimil’tan’sy jusa. Mi’la’seve ltekxer’het’ny ji aojenu’het’ny telan al. Kansu mi’letena ‘ameri lejen’het.

Kansu leaves the house in the morning. Ens parents and older siblings and younger siblings still sleep and probably dream better than Kansu. En does not know where to to (where he goes) but he continues. His Legs decide the path through the small, curved and empty streets. Jinhes city seemed to be deserted (appeared as if no one is awake) during this morning. Kansu does not see the roads. En sees his shoes. En continues to walk (make steps), to think, to be scared and to feel doom. En regularly closes his eyes because he does not want to cry. En sees that en reaches the Xeseja Su park. En is not surprised because en likes this place. En went there often when he was sad. En sits down and looks to the lake and the ducks. They know their place and their home. They are not sad. Because en is becoming hungry (ens stomach is becoming empty), en starts to devour (cause to disappear) the first fruit. En must distract enself or en is going (becoming) crazy. He examines the bee book. Similar books are used as diaries by primary school children. Kansu opens the book carefully. The first page contains the title (name): Language of Truth described by Elis Marukimi. Elis was his fathers mother but she disappeared a few years ago for an unknown reason. She lived a very strange live. She moved job and employment and home not seldom. She lived in all nantis. The Parents told that she became crazy. Kansu browses through the book. The writing was beautiful, big and careful. There was no striked out mistake. It is written in the Latin (American) alphabet. It uses many different consonants and vowels. Kansu concentrated on reading the book.

Some comments about Day two:
* Save tonight, actually: save right now!!
* a lot of new words were created (including the one of break xeda’het, which was not used)
* Rejistanian sometimes can be quite compact as soon as you do not translating from something but writing something and translate back to English

‘dorikansa: to make a sacrifice to the gods

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

{Dorikansa’il ixtehji’het} ji {duxu’il vitil’het’sy} ji {vimsikansa’il Taderekansa’han} min’ma’ta ‘rala’limesu emikir’he’ny ines.

“Sacrifice a goat”, “hit is with a dull object” and “pray to Taderekansa” are not suggestions to be given to new techies (literally: are not ablle to be suggested to new techies).

I read that quote actually elsewhere, just with a different deity and thought it was too good to pass up. Sometimes in tech support you do get close to suggesting any of these suggestions. So far I could resist 😉

Dorikansa of course has the root ‘dori (to give) or dori’het (gift) and kansa (god). So sacrifice means to give a gift to the gods. It is not used secularly though students call doing boring, repetitive work as doriexkola’het (kansa was replaced by “exkola’he” teacher).

Sacrifices are still common but generally by now are only symbolic. Instead of giving up a real vudux, a wooden statue of the creature (a small deer) is burned. It happens for important celebrations, both personal and public. I will write about various festivities later.

‘esinaxalvu: to yearn for

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Example: Xe’esinaxalvu il’han! Xures’il xeles!
(1S-yearn 2S-ALL! return-IMP2S soon)
I yearn for you! Return soon!

This word is created from the word ‘esina (to want) and ‘xalvu (to be desperate) and thus means desperately want. Esinaxalvu’tan was used to translate the German word Sehnsucht. It is very alike in meaning, but I find it hard to express that in English. Sehnsucht is one of the untranslatable words to me.

Random real life info: I started excercising (walking) to lose weight a while ago. What I lost so far is a negligible amount of kilos and a quite significant amount of calmness, free time and happiness. I probably started with too much and walked too often, but I think, tomorrow, I won’t leave the bed at all. Except to go to the restroom.

oseka: with faked friendliness

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Humans are generally civilized, which is illustrated by the fact that despite much of the [EXPLETIVE] which happens, they will not scream, shout and become violent. Often a smile and a fake nod while in secret planning to ruin the life of the other person are betters ways to handle a situation.

Example: Mi’la’visko oseka “Xe’ki’va jilih. Mi’halen al!”
(3S-PST-say faked.friendly “1S-FUT-do this. 3S-be.importnat very!”)
S/he said with faked friendliness that s/he would do it and that it was very important [to him/her] interview

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

David Peterson & Sai Emrys interviewed by Andrei Serov of in English and Russian.

Note: David’s answers were originally in English, and Sai’s in Russian; the other language versions were translated by Andrei.