I was talking to someone yesterday, and this story came up. It occurred to me that it didn't exist in Sandic, so I.... fixed that. :) I found this version of the story here.
Can you hear the dog yawn? I guess she didn't think the story was interesting. ;)
I'm not entirely sure why I spoke it as "awwneot aDE" when it's supposed to be "awwneot Ade", but ehhh. Maybe it was the emphasis the gisin were laying.
Order of texts: Sandic -- English
Sriitnia pa metnia oxmest gisin oxahl kis. Mohnnia otian oxmii ta kamestin ta jutin, “le:ee ta gisin, pa met meer ba mon baahl ialifant.”
Frn kia baahl ialifant oxneot sa ta gisin. Oxmeja aan “jjiave aan biab awwteneot meeaa an raug, bian otawwfeed wii biab otawwres.” Ian mead ba oxfeed ta ivin. Biab kaxres ivi.
“Le:ee ta zumin, topsoi baahl ba ialifant,” kaxmii ba treei, ba lozab ba ialifant kaxres.
“A lena peemii! Tiamsoi baahl,” kaxmii ba jeei, ba jeleeb ba kaxres.
“A iat lena. Heefsoi, kiamjsoi baahl,” kaxmii ba keei, ba tokuub ba ialifant biab kaxres.
“Fanasoi baahl, erini,” kaxmii ba wwori, ba oreelab ba ialifant kaxres.
“Pinasoi baahl,” ba peeni kaxmii, ba harenab ba ialifant kaxres.
“A hafsoi baahl.” kaxmii ba kisi, ba lisatab ba ialifant kaxres.
Otian oxrep aan nem frn ba ialifant, wii faee op ivi kaxmii aan auniab kasa. Eenguuin oxmee-eso. Frnsainia pa mead op kaxahl katreekai, wii otiab kaxraug kamain nem. Kaxsem aan treekaa, wii otian kaxbas, “Kia batoka lena?” Oxmii, “Wwiab awwneot ade frn kiajiavi baahl lee ialifant.” Ba frnsai hu otian kaxmii, “A ivi auniab kamii. Ba skra frn ba jut ta miin le:ee inee baahl aan ialthab juti ba ialifant kaxres ivi. Ba ialifant jeedso baahlra, wwee ta dabin ivin le:eexmii.”
“Aa.” Kaxmii ivi. Siad oxneot nem. Le:ain oxahl skra sem oxfe aan auniab baxahl umii-i.
Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."
They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, "Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.
"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg.
"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail.
"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.
"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.
"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.
"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.
They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?" They said, "We cannot agree to what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said." "Oh!" everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.
So’ɔwa piga ɔ kɛ ivrɛ mve, dal ntɛga lu letsədə ah mpaskale.
Eseya xa ño u mɔkə kɔnze!
NULL.AUX-2SG>3 initially INDEF.ACC one story say, but then DEF.ACC opposite of.3 declare // EMPH.AUX-1SG>3 this.ACC as.3 INDEF.NOM contradiction blame
“First you tell one story, and then you say the opposite.
That’s what I call flawed logic!”
Derived terms: mvoŋkə (v.) ‘contradict, be in conflict with’ (formed by adding the causative prefix mvo- and syncopating the medial syllable)
Etymology: mɔkə descends from Ndak Tamâukkin ‘protest against oneself’, a reflexive derivation of mâuk ‘protest, complain’. Other etymologically related words in Buruya Nzaysa are əmɔh ‘accept’ < ermâuk ‘fail to protest’ and əmɔyla ‘compromise, middle ground’ < ermâukla ‘that which meets no protest’ (patientive participle of ermâuk).
Semantically related words in Buruya Nzaysa include yovla ‘superstition, unfounded reasoning’, nzesu’ə ‘incompatible thing’, mesə ‘insufficient thing’, yaba ‘faulty thing’, bɔvla ‘mistake, blunder, error’, sumɔ ‘falsehood, counterfactual statement’, tsəñe ‘unlikely or far-fetched explanation’, and ntsətəmla ‘point of disagreement’. All of these can be used to question the validity of a statement, but they all have slightly different connotations, which should be fairly obvious from the glosses.
evastun = answer (noun) (some things Google found for "evastun": a rare term; name of the Spanish website and twitter account for Escuela Valle Astún (Astún Valley (Ski) School); similar Vastun is a rare last name; similar Vasstun is the name of a place in Norway)
Word derivation for "answer" Basque = erantzun, Finnish = vastaus Miresua = evastun
This snippet is from the Mad Tea-Party scene:
"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. "No, I give it up," Alice replied: "what's the answer?"
The riddle was "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" The Hatter asked Alice a riddle that had no answer.
Today we talk about a bunch of wacky and wonderful auxlangs. Links and Resources: Real Character Caracteristica universalis aUI (Wikipedia, original site, a not-so-friendly review) Dnghu Babm Blissymbolics (official site, Wikipedia) Solresol
Sa u uyɔlvo puh ŋkə lu mevuna tsapse
u ri steya lu ŋkana ntɛ u dənziya ovla.
NULL.AUX-3SG>3 INDEF.NOM philosopher for.3 same DEF.ACC task give
of.3 SUB.NOM PROG.AUX-3SG>3 DEF.ACC world by.3 INDEF.NOM logic explain
“A philosopher gives himself the task
to explain the world through logical thinking.”
Etymology: dənziya is derived from the verb dənzi ‘prove, demonstrate, draw conclusions, argue for sth.’ by means of the honorific nominalizer -ya. The verb itself descends from a compound of the Ndak Ta words dene ‘reason’ and sien ‘prove’. The phonological development is slightly irregular here (the expected outcome would have been *dənze’ə); most likely this is due to influence from Delta Naidda where the reflex of sien is shïn [ʃɪn].
Despite my almost obsession with congruence between adjectives and nouns in NPs, I have decided not to do that in Ćwarmin. As previously noted, Ćwarmin has about 20 cases. The case suffix normally goes on the head noun, but sometimes a determiner will carry the main case marking of the clause, with the head noun either taking the genitive, the general ablative or the possessed objective (the last of which never goes on the determiner).
On occasion, an adjective may be inflected in some case other than the case of the noun. The only cases that do not appear on adjectives standing as attributes of nouns are the reflexively possessed accusative and the accusative.
There are a number of determiners - demonstratives, indefinite determiners (including the negative determiner), amount-related determiners (numbers, 'many', 'a few', 'all', etc). As mentioned, these sometimes carry the whole noun phrase's case, in which case the noun either agrees with it in case (if the whole phrase is nominative, accusative or genitive), or takes either the general ablative or genitive.
Those determiners which can have a singular as well as a plural meaning usually have number congruence with the head noun.
Some special lexemes
'One' - er - in combination with the nominative complement case or genitive, eramće or erća, roughly works like specific or particular. The genitive is most often used with timespans or with mass nouns, but does occur with other nouns as well.
eramće seltumga - a specific fisherman
erća teŋugil - one particular winter
erća mehwi - a particular loaf of bread
Ćul - 'few' - combines with the complement cases for a meaning along the lines of 'just a few' ćulamće nedim, ćulamćan nedim - just a few bits. In the genitive it signifies 'too few'.
Cases with Adjectives
Negative - the negative simply negates an adjective, essentially like sticking in- or un- or a- before an adjective in English.
Complement cases - the complement cases tend to mark temporary or qualities. The nominative complement is used with rather objective qualities or qualities an animate noun intentionally acquired or maintains, whereas the accusative complement more often implies that the quality has been caused to the noun without its participation or against his or her wishes.
General ablative - roughly like affixing -ish to an adjective in English.
Genitive - generally used to intensify the adjective.
Instrumental - generally used to intensify the adjective.
Locative cases - sometimes nouns with these cases are used as adjectives.
Dative - for some peculiar reason, this marks first-hand knowledge evidentiality.
Comitative-with and comitative-to mark different levels of evidentiality - basically hearsay and 'anything further off than that'.
It’s December again, and this means that it’s time to start posting “words of the day” on a regular basis in the context of #Lexember. For those of you who missed it last year: Lexember is a social media game with the purpose of expanding the lexicon of one’s conlang. It was first played in December 2012, mostly on Twitter. (See here for a short note on the origin of the game, and here for my own results from last year.)
The rules are simple: For the duration of one month, every participant will create and publish one word per day, ideally with some short notes about etymology, semantics, or usage, possibly augmented by a glossed example sentence. As a new thing this year, there will be a topic of the week (usually a fairly broad semantic domain) in order to encourage the creation of several semantically related words at a time. The first topic of the week in Lexember 2013 is Categories, Structures, Relationships.
And here’s my word for Lexember 1st 2013 in Buruya Nzaysa, inspired by Pete Bleackley’s first Khangaþyagon word tibilun ‘heap or assortment of small objects, this and that, trivia, frivolous matters’:
ira (n.) ‘trash, junk, rejected item’
Esaxa nzɔ nzukatu ɔ səmi mvunɛ.
Olexa ño u ira salaspo.
EMPH.AUX-3PL>3 TOP.NOM tomato INDEF.ACC mildew hold
OBL.AUX-1PL>3 as.3 INDEF.NOM trash discard
“There’s mildew on these tomatoes.
We’ll have to throw them away as trash.”
Etymology: ira is a loanword from Delta Naiddaidda, also meaning ‘trash’.
It turns out I already had a word for ‘junk, rubbish, useless things’ in Buruya Nzaysa: gastu, borrowed from Miwangwāstu ‘dump’. The main semantic difference between these words is that ira refers to things that are not usable (anymore) for their usual purpose or that don’t have a purpose at all (e.g. rotten food, inedible parts of a plant or animal, or a tool that’s broken beyond repair = things that must be dumped), whereas gastu can also refer to things that are strictly speaking still usable but considered pointless to use (e.g. a tool that doesn’t really make the current task much easier, or a contract that’s not worth the paper it’s written on = things that would better be dumped [but possibly can't be done away with just yet]).
One day in December 2003, in the week just after the 1st Advent,1 the idea for a new conlang was born. An idea that turned out to stick with me for already 10 years now. You guess it: it’s Ayeri’s 10th birthday. Yay!
At that time, my 17 years old self was still fairly new to this whole making-up languages business, read things about linguistics here and there, and wasn’t shy to ask questions about terminology (and, looking at old mails, a little impertinently teenager-like so – sorry!), for example on CONLANG-L and the Zompist Bulletin Board. One thing seemed to catch my interest especially: syntactic alignments other than the NOM/ACC of the few languages I was familiar with, that is, German, English, and French. Apparently this curiosity was big enough for me to grow bored with my second conlang, Daléian (declared “quite complete” after maybe half a year of work or so), and to start something new from scratch in order to put newly acquired knowledge to test. I had read about “trigger languages” on CONLANG-L and wanted to try my hands on making my own. I can’t remember how long it took me to come up with a first draft of an Ayeri grammar, however, I do remember having been told that a good language can’t be made in a summer. Of course, I still didn’t really know what I was doing then, even though I thought I had understood things and authoritatively declared “this is how it works” in my first grammar draft when things sometimes really don’t work that way. But at least an interest had been whetted. Even now, after 10 summers and with more experience, I still come across aspects of my language that can use some work, clarification or correction, as the ‘blog’ page you can find on my website since March 2011 proves over and over again.
Just for fun, slight embarrassment and nostalgia, I went through some old backups contemporary with the very early days of Ayeri. Here is a sentence from the oldest existing document related to it, entitled “Draft of & Ideas for my 3rd Conlang” – the file’s last-changed date is December 14, 2003, though I remember having started work on Ayeri in early December. I added glossing for convenience and according to what I could reconstruct from the notes. This uses vocabulary and grammatical markers just made up on the spot and for illustrative purposes; little of it actually managed to make it over into actual work on Ayeri:
‘He reads a book on the bed.’
According to the grammar draft of September 5, 2004, this would have already changed to:
‘He reads a book on the bed.’
Pinam ‘bed’ was only (re-)introduced on October 24, 2008. In the current state of Ayeri, I would translate the sentence as follows:
‘He reads a book on a/the bed.’
You can see, quite a bit of morphology got lost already early on, especially the overt part-of-speech marking (!) and animacy marking on nouns. Also, prepositions were just incorporated into a noun complex as suffixes apparently. Gender was originally only divided into animate and inanimate, but I changed that sometime because speaking European languages, it felt awkward to me not to be able to explicitly distinguish “he”, “she” and “it”. A feature that also got lost is the assignment of thematic vowels in personal pronouns to 3rd-person referents: originally, every 3rd-person referent newly introduced into discourse would be assigned one of /a e i o u/ to disambiguate, and there was even a morpheme to mark that the speaker wanted to dissolve the association. Constituent order was theoretically variable at first, but I preferred SVO/AVP because of familiarity with that. Later on, however, I settled on VSO/VAP. Also, I had no idea about “trigger morphology” for the longest time – I’m not saying that I know all about it now, just that I have a better understanding … Orthography changed as well over the years, so 〈c〉 in the early examples encodes the /k/ sound, not /tʃ/ as it would today; diphthongs are spelled as 〈Vi〉 instead of modern 〈Vy〉. What was definitely beneficial for the development of Ayeri was the ever increasing amount of linguistics materials available online and my entering university (to study literature) in 2009, where I learnt how to do research and where I have a huge library available. Now I only wish I had the time to read all the interesting things I’ve downloaded and occasionally photocopied over the years.
One of the things people regularly compliment me on is my conlang’s script – note, however, that Tahano Hikamu was not the first one I came up with for Ayeri. Apparently, I had already been fascinated with the look of Javanese/Balinese writing early on; this file is dated February 9, 2004:
First designs for an Ayeri script.
However, since the letter shapes in this looked so confusingly alike that I could never memorize them, I came up with this about a year later:
First draft of Tahano Hikamu.
What is titled “Another Experimental Script” here is what would later turn into Tahano Hikamu, Ayeri’s ‘native’ script. According to the notes in my conlang ring binder, the script looked much the same as today about a year from then, but things have only been mostly stable since about 2008.
So what’s on for the next 10 years? For one, I’m still kind of embarrassed that I haven’t managed to provide a full-fledged reference grammar in all those years – what you can currently download from my website has been left unfinished for about 3 years now, since working on that grammar always becomes tedious again after newly found enthusiasm typically ebbs after a few weeks. Also, I have long meant to figure out either a proto language for Ayeri, or maybe daughter languages or dialects. However, I don’t really have any schedule or agenda, so I’ll continue to tinker on whichever aspect of Ayeri seems right at the time.