Archive for April, 2010

Uei

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'uei'.

uei

  • (pron.) we (1st person plural exclusive pronoun)

Au nemei uei; a mei ia.
We’re leaving; you’re staying.”

Notes: Kamakawi is one of those languages that distinguishes between an inclusive and exclusive first person plural pronoun. This one is the exclusive pronoun (the one that doesn’t include the addressee in the “we” part).

English’s pronouns don’t distinguish clusivity, but we have our ways (take the above, for example). I don’t think English is the poorer for it. It allows for some extra fun in romantic comedies. In fact, I think our lack of an inclusive/exclusive distinction is a direct result of our fascination with romantic comedies.

Take Notting Hill, for example. Say what you will about Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Richard Curtis, and everything else, for that matter, but I liked it. Fine movie.

And you know what else? Trevor Jones does some score work for it. Who is Trevor Jones, you might ask? I’ll forgive you for asking, but I hope you facepalm yourself when I tell you that it was Trevor Jones that scored the movie Labyrinth. Yes, David Bowie, the mortal god, did the songs, but Trevor Jones actually did the scored bits (the background music for the goblin battle, the music leading up to Sarah’s hallucination, etc.). Ahh…what a wonderful movie… Wish I were watching it right now, but it’s too late. :( Perhaps tomorrow…

Invaluable resource for writing glosses

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Lots of good tips here for writing glosses. I imagine these techniques are another level to making sure your conlang isn't too like your native language.

Rejistanian ‘Still Alive’

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Conlanging is fun, and some of its pleasures are simple. Like forgetting the words of a song and singing something rejistanian which vaguely fits the meaning and probably then expanding it into a real song translation. So just for fun: an attempt to translate the first stanza of Still Alive by Jonathan Coulton:

Jilih mi’yri.
This 3S-succeed
This succeeds / This was a triumph

Xe’dimil namek’het: “MI’DARY!”
1S-write reminder-HET: “3S-be-.excellent!”
I write down as a reminder: “It is excellent” / I’m making a not here: “Huge success!”

Xe’ma’ta ‘alhanija isin’tan’xe.
1S-be_able-NEG (INF)exaggerate happiness-TAN-GEN1S.
I cannot exaggerate my happiness / It’s hard to understate my satisfaction.

Avetu Hsyji
Aperture Science

Xen’va ,xen’ni, het ,xen’ma, lija.
1PL-do ,1PL-must, this ,1PL-be_able. because.
We do what we must because we can.

Sjihe mi’rala’tinhu ixunus’he’ny’veri.
Everyone 3S-PASS-be_advantageous dead-HE-PL-ABESS
Everyone benefits except the dead ones / For the good of all of us except the ones who are dead.

Xen’ena’ta ‘sil ,ulu mi’juku’ta, het.
1PL-require-NEG (INF)cry ,something 3S-work-NEG, this.
We do not have to cry if something does not work. / There is no use crying over every mistake.

Xen’itera ‘najny ,ovik mi’jaliex, jet.
1PL-continue (INF)try ,food 3S-suffice, TEMP.
We continue while there is food. / We just keep on trying until we run out of cake.

Xen’va ekeki’tan. Xen’ines svenha salan

1PL-do scheince. 1PL-invent gun big
We do science. We invent a big gun / And the science gets done and you make a neat gun

hej’ny’han ,min’sanja kimda, het.
person-PL-ALL ,3PL-live still ,this.
for the benefit of the people who still live / for the people who are still alive.


munali: to be mature

Monday, April 26th, 2010

In case someone else than the spambots follows this blog: Munali means mature, adult or for programs: stable.

It also is an editor as work in progress which hopefully will work very well for conlanging. It is currently being developed as my final year project. It is written in Java, and with lots of praying to the deity of your choice, it can already be used. I called it Munali not only because it is a forced acronym but because a program SHOULD be munali. If the program is referenced in rejistanian, you’d say munaliha to indicate that it is a proper name.

Munali’he is an adult, munali’het something stable or mature (not in the XXX context), munali’tan is maturity.

Example: Munaliha mi’munali’ta kimda (Munali 3S-stable-NEG still)


Tela

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'tela'.

tela

  • (n.) sibling of a parent (non-gender specific)

Ipe iu tela oi’i: Pinia oi Kaino.
“These are my parents’ siblings: Pinia and Kaino.”

Notes: If you were looking at the word above and wondering just how it would ever be useful, this is how. Say you have an Aunt Pinia and an Uncle Kaino, and you wanted to introduce them to someone. In English, you’re stuck with just introducing them by name without stating their relation, or you say, “This is my aunt and uncle.”

Peh, I see! Kamakawi loads up on the familial terminology, and so instead of saying anything like that, you’d say, “These are my tela, Pinia and Kaino”. Bam! That’s taking care of business.

Legal dipthongs

Monday, April 26th, 2010
I've written twice now about changing a vowel syllable to an H+vowel syllable when two vowels are next to each other that do not make a legal diphthong, but I realized I've never explicitly said what a legal diphthong is.

There are three: ei, ai and ua (ɛi, ɑi and øɑ). Other combination of vowels take an h between them in spelling if they are created when forming a compound word. Non-compound words don't place other vowels next to each other.

I imagine in quick speech the h is sometimes dropped, and/or replaced with a glottal stop.

Change to TCL Homepage

Monday, April 26th, 2010

TCL Logo

A box for Most Recent Updates has been made to the homepage of The Library. The idea is to provide a quick and easy way of looking at “new stuff” on the homepage, while at the same time providing some context within this blog for those items. The current “Updates” include:

…plus, we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of this blog. Hmmm…we’ll have to think of some way to celebrate.

Ουрα

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
Today I would like to look at the word ουрα. It generally means "sky" or "air", but as air is vital (without breathing you'd die), it also has a touch of "life" in it.

Ουрιδεр, for instance, means "breath", but also "mind" and "soul".
More importantly, ουрειн - "to live" has derived directly from ουрα. From there, ουрυ - "life" is formed.

Both ουрα and ουрυ are neuter. The first shows the suffix -α (which is normally a feminine suffix), but is conjugated as any other neuter word, dropping the α in any other case or number. This special neuter form is used for astrological phenomena, e.g. ᴧυнα (moon) or ceцα (wind), but not all, e.g. ἑᴧecε (sun) or ἱcтεр (star).

Please note that geological names (e.g. Βрιтαннια (Britain), Mοcκцα (Moscow) or Mιccιccιππια (Mississippi)) are in fact feminine, and are declined as such (e.g. Mοcκцαα - "of/from Moscow").

Verb moods: Imperative, Infinitive and Coniunctive

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
Verb have a number of moods, including the indicative, imperative, infinitive and coniunctive. I will go through these four here.

Indicative

No specific affix.

Is used to state actions in the present, past or future. Also used to describe habits.

Imperative

-εтι for singular and dual;
-εтε for plural;
-υcтε for general advise

Is used to give orders or give advise. The plural form is used for all groups (thus more than one person/object), except when the subject is dual, e.g. (a pair of) eyes, legs, partners etc. The general form is used to advise people unknown to the speaker/writer, for instance in manuals or cooking books.

Infinitive

-ειн

Is used to describe the action on itself, e.g. Нιтω παнxοιн. - "I like to eat". The infinitive is actually a participle noun. (Also have a look at this post.)

Coniunctive

-e- or lengthening the root-vowel; e.g.: ἁπтω > ἁπтeω and cтω > cтαω (resp.)

Is used to state wishes, irrealities and possibilities.

kuxu: poor

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

“The Phoenicians invented money, but why did they not invent enough of it?” The kuxu’he (poor person) Sala Asidi has problems making ends meet. He can live in absolute or only relative kuxu’tan (poverty). He can come from a rich family and did ‘kuxu’han (impoverish), or he did ‘kuxu (be poor) for the entire time he had been on this planet. He might have a plan to ‘kuxu’tes (get out of poverty) and maybe it works. Probably however, fate will be a harsh mistress and his project will be a kuxu’het (something lacking resources).

If against all odds, Sala does succeed, we will meet him again at sletin (rich).

Sala might not have noticed but we did, that the suffixes for allative and ablative can also be affixed to a verb meaning something like “into a state” and “out of a state”. This is the one place where state verbs are required. The usage of adjectives here would create unwanted ambiguity. This is a typical situation where rejistanian recycles affixes when they vaguely fit their meaning. It does have something of an ika’het, but is done by design. This was supposed to help the learner.

Sala mi’vana ‘kuxu’tes ,mi’selme esda, venil.
Sala 3S-want (INF)be_poor-ABL ,3S-be_indebted high, but.
Sala wants to escape poverty but is highly indebted.