Archive for July, 2010

Henaudute sentence of the moment.

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I started a mid-length sort of fairy tale in Henaudute a long while ago and I’m hoping to pick it back up again. It was the longest stretch of text in the language I have, so far as I know, and it remembers more things than I’ve forgotten; most particularly, it has stress marked, and I’m not entirely sure what the principles were; I’m guessing here on λῶχονε and ὑμμέτνε based on how other verbs act.

ἀρὺν
but
REL
λῶρυχορε
hear.REL.3S
ὑμμέτατρε
refuse.NAR.3S
Ἥνατε
Henate
“But Henate would hear none of this.”

Vocabulary:

  • ha relative marker
  • ἀρύν arun “but, moreover”
  • Ἥνατε Hēnate “Henate” (name of the first Henaudute king)
  • λῶ·χονε lōchone “to hear”
  • ὑμμέ·τνε hummetne “to refuse”

The only new word here is ὑμμέτνε, which is literally ‘not to want’, ὑν- ‘not’ + *μετ, a root meaning to wish or want; it seems unusual that ὑν- can be applied to a verb this way, so I’m not sure this would be a common formation.

vasina’tan: love

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I already mentioned this word in an earlier entry about takani’tan. Let me contrast these two words again. Takani’tan (carnal love, attraction) is what makes you wake up next to a person whose name you cannot remember. Vasina’tan is what makes you call the person you love in hospital every day even though it is an expensive intercontinental call fo you. Thank you again for that, Boris. It meant so much to me!

It is very important not to confuse these two stems when talking about children. You can use ‘vasina to express your deep dedication and parental love towards them.

‘vasina means “to love” and “vasina” means loved. Vasina’he means someone you love and kenvasina’he is the significant other in a marriage. Marriage itself is antal’het vasina: ceremony of love.

The stem sounds almost like a part of the female anatomy, that is unfortunately true, but it is actually vana with the infix -si-, which here works as intensifier. -si- is not productive in Rejistanian but in its source languages.

Example:
Boris, xe’vasina il. Xe’ma’ta ‘sanja saovi.
(Boris, 1S-love 2S. 1S-be_able-NEG (INF)live alone)
Boris, I love you. I cannot live alone/without you.

In other news: I love the maturity of the conlanging community. I did not get comments about the last Rejistanian word of the Day but only about the unrelated linguistic questions. :)

Matthew Martin, the Toki Pona speaker who translated Unabsteigbarkeit for me linked in his blog to a budding new ressource for conlangers: A Stackexchange site-to-be. Let me link to how he describes its pupose. You probably are unable to comment on his blog due to technical issues. He didn’t know of this until I mailed him about it.

Also, in case you are coming from the aggregator: I made a static page about why I conlang and why I made rejistanian. It was partly inspired by the comments of that Esperanto advocate in the posting downblog as well as the comments I hear IRL about it.

And the infrequent IRC quote:

( Fenhl) I should learn more Rejistanian
( MalfermitaKodo) Fenhl: It is a rather easy leanguage at least in terms of grammar
( Fenhl) I know, I’ve read parts of the overview on github
( Fenhl) not very much though
( Kasuaarit) I still haven’t read more than 50% of the overview
( Kasuaarit) and I get by.. alright
( Kasuaarit) I guess I just learn by imitating Mal

I take it that this is the sign of a consistent, comprehensible grammar.


Oku

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'oku'.

oku

  • (expr.) no
  • (part.) not (sentence-final negator)
  • (part.) used with negative sentences in the present tense in place of a subject status marker
  • (adj.) no
  • (aux.) shouldn’t
  • (aux.) wouldn’t

Oku hea i iko ti ho’o ika…
“You wouldn’t get this from any other guy…”

Notes: Funny story about this iku… I think I originally intended this word to be oko, in which case it would have been a perfect ikunoala. I think, though, I either forgot that that was the word, or I mixed up the glyphs for ko and ku (which, at this point, seems quite absurd to me, since the Iku for ku is so distinctive). As it stands, though, the iku looks like a face with a superimposed o over it, which is pretty good. It looks like a face in the middle of saying “no” (oku). I’ll take it!

Back to the song, without even trying, the first three lines rhymed. This line, though, so fits the meter, that I abandoned the rhyme. It still doesn’t sound bad…

For the content, I changed the lyric to, “You won’t hear this from another guy”.

Hey, actually, you know what? I could switch out ika for toi (“any”) and get the rhyme. For some reason I don’t think it sounds as good, though… I reserve the right to put it in there, though, if I change my mind.

Here’s something I found randomly on the internet that’s pretty good. Mouse over for the answer!

Multiple choice Rick Roll quiz.

Olisa sulano

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Today we're going to talk about olisa sulano or flavors (literally types of taste). There are several words that that we can use for olisa sulano.

SweetIki
SaltyZute
SourPeri
BitterSate
SpicyUbi
SavoryAbo
FattyHuxua


There are other things that could be olisa sulano in the proper context. Textures of foods for example like siri (crunchy) or zuba (smooth). Pretty much anything that could be described as part of tasting is an oli sulano.

Many of these words can also be olisa zegono or fragrances (types of smells). Iki kuala roki! Sweetness smells good!

Ei eli amuhe ubi ro peri! Bo olisa sulano xido sula akuga :)
1P-SING enjoy food spicy or sour! But types taste-POSS new taste best :)
I enjoy spicy or sour food! But new flavors taste best :)

The Bixwá Verb: Part the Second

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
In the previous post on Bixwá's verb system, I talked about grammatical affixes, aspect and valency. This post will cover affixes that are more lexical, though the direction prefixes are used for some aspectual refinements. The verb so far:

Aspect - STEM - Voice


Instrumental Prefixes


I got the idea for the instrumental prefixes, once again, from Native languages of North America, though not Athabascan for a change. Instrumental prefixes are fairly common in unrelated languages across a wide area, from Haida in British Columbia to the Siouan languages of the plains. The Bixwá set is larger than some, but is by no means the largest.

The instrumental prefix comes to the left of any aspect prefix. The instrumental prefix will be separated from the verb stem by any aspect prefix, and I use a dash in the lexicon as a reminder, ró-má read (from ró- by/with words, language and see).

In Bixwá the instrumental prefixes can cover a range of meanings, not all of which are really instrumental. For several of them, such as kwí- by thought, by contemplation, by planning, the significance can be pretty metaphorical, as in kwí-'ééz rage from ééz burn.

All verbs with instrumental prefixes are transitive (a habit sometimes seen in natural languages with these). Any noun stem is converted to a verbal meaning when taking one of these prefixes.

A lot of fun lexical derivation can go on with these:

olo-'éke bore someone to tears olo- by falling, by dropping, éke head
olo-míír to cast a shadow, shade something olo- by falling, by dropping, míír shadow, shade
nóó-ját write nóó- by color, by dye, ját sign, mean
ró-nó'ó interrupt someone speaking ró- by language, speaking, nó'ó to break off
thahe-nó'ó burn, cauterize something off thahe- by fire, heat, nó'ó to break off
xaa-nó'ó cut off xaa- by edge, by blade, by arm, nó'ó to break off
bii-vích spit something a distance bii- by mouth, vích to take flight, to enter the air
thahe-vích to rise into the air from heat thahe- by fire, heat, vích to take flight, to enter the air



Direction and Mode


To the left of any instrumental prefix come the direction prefixes. Most of the time they are oriented to the speaker, but the focus of orientation can shift in a narrative. Bixwá has the usual set, chu- for away from the speaker and ní- towards the speaker. These give direction to basic verbs of motion, such as áá which without other marking can mean either go or come.

These prefixes interact with the aspect prefixes to give some refinements. With stative verbs (which do the job of adjectives in Bixwá), chu- with the perfective ho- gives the inchoative, né chuhochis I got sick (from chis to be ill, weak). With any verb type, ní- with the conclusive perfective isii forms the experiential perfect,

maaákaní-ró-'isii-má
ISGthatbookaway-by.language-CONCL.PF-see
I have read that book


The prefix lii- is a deictic marker that situates the action in some communications technology, usually some online social sphere. It goes into the same slot as the direction prefixes. Rarely it can co-occur with one of them, and will be to the left, but more likely it will drive any direction prefix away.

jónéová'lii-ho-xod
1PLtogetheronline-PFV-speak
We talked together.


The Verb Template



After all of that, the full template for verb affixes is:

Direction - Instrumental - Aspect - STEM - Voice


Next I'll cover the preverbs, which will always occur before the verb complex I've given above. They're not counted part of the affix chain, since their phonology precludes their use as prefixes.

‘xamie: insert euphemism here

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I really do not want to see the Rejistanian Word of the Day being considered not safe for work. And since I found out that there are very quick ways to get fired (and that my significant other and me even once got someone fired by something he said and I posted to QDB), I will just say that this is what people do when they love each other very much to encourage the stork to come. The word is on a rather high end of formality. More like ‘having intercourse’ than like any four-letter words.

Example: Vexivalumu’het mi’mesuvisko kidhi’het’ny ykal xamie’tan avutu’het’ra iran asty’het’jet xuvsu.
(police 3S-report occurance some intercourse car-LOC moving year-TEMP each.)
Every year the police reports a few incidents of sex in a moving car.

I declare this SFW because I read a joke relating to an incident like that in a book of jokes which was not especially marked as explicit material.

And on a completely unrelated topic: I tried to explain to someone recently why Esperanto is so easy and again used the example of ‘Unabsteigbarkeit’ to illustrate how Esperanto often uses affixes to create new words. However since the person was USAmerican, I translated the example as ‘unrelegatability’. This did not translate well. He did not get it and only later I realized that top leagues in the USA do not have a relegation/promotion system. So here is a question to my readers, especially those who are American. Can you give me a good example I can use which can completely be understood even without having seen it before by looking at the stem and its affixes?

BTW: Even though Esperanto was an influence for rejistanian, it has less ways to use affixes to change meanings. For example ‘place for’ has to be said as its own word. Unabsteigbarkeit however can still be one word even in Rejistanian: ehasalan’ta’tan. And now I wonder how a language like Toki Pona could express that? ;) I should not bash Toki Pona too much, but I do think that its simplicity is deceptive. It lacks the mechanisms to create words like Unabsteigbarkeit and instead has to form very intransparent constructions. I think the Toki Pona speakers traded one form of complexity for another one and while that might be a useful tradeoff to them, it looks disadventageous to me.


Fulele

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fulele'.

fulele

  • (v.) to want, to desire
  • (v.) to need, to require

I nevinevi fulele ei…
“A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of…”

Notes: OMG. I just created the best word ever. But I refuse to give it short shrift. The word it’s coined from hasn’t been done yet, so I’m going to wait to do that word, and then I’ll do this one. But, oh, man, it is goooood!

The word I did do, fulele, is also derived from a word I haven’t done yet, but its derivation is more straightforward. When I do eventually do that one, I think I’ll have to do some grammar discussion, because it’s one of the more bizarre corners of Kamakawi grammar. Fulele is pretty straightforward: The wanter is the subject; the wanted thing is the object marked by i. Notice, though, that it’s actually a causative…

For today’s great moment in Rick Rolling, how about a strip from one of my favorite comics XKCD (complete with hover-over message)!

Comic 351 from XKCD.

[Note: Original comic can be found here.]

We have a fan site

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
http://www.dothraki.org/
http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/44722-dothraki-dictionary-dothrakiorg/

SO. CUTE.

Now we just have to wait until HBO official production & advertising really gets into gear so we can release more info on a regular basis for the fans.

But still, we have at least one squeeful fanboy. And I think I just cutegasmed.

It's actually a very similar sensation to seeing http://thecutest.info/top.html - almost painful cuteness.

I hope the rest of our fans turn out this way. That'd be awesome.

We have a fan site

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
http://www.dothraki.org/
http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/44722-dothraki-dictionary-dothrakiorg/

SO. CUTE.

Now we just have to wait until HBO official production & advertising really gets into gear so we can release more info on a regular basis for the fans.

But still, we have at least one squeeful fanboy. And I think I just cutegasmed.

It's actually a very similar sensation to seeing http://thecutest.info/top.html - almost painful cuteness.

I hope the rest of our fans turn out this way. That'd be awesome.

The Results Are In!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Our twtpoll received 38 responses. The question, you might remember, was:

Who has had the most impact/influence/inspiration on you in your own conlanging?

The single person with the most votes was JRR Tolkien with 14; however, the “others” received more votes overall. Here is the raw data:

Other – 15 votes (39%)
JRR Tolkien (Quenya, Sindarin, etc) – 14 votes (37%)
LL Zamenhof (Esperanto) – 5 votes (13%)
John Quijada (Ithkuil) & Sonja Elen Kisa (Toki Pona) – 2 votes each (tie) (5% each)
Marc Okrand (Klingon) – 0 votes
I will admit I cast my one vote for Tolkien.

The comments left by those responding to “other” were the most interesting pieces of information to come out of the poll. There were 13 in all. Some were general:

  • No-one has had any significant impact
  • various fantasy novels with naming languages, but not Tolkien (haven’t read him)
  • No one, really. I just read somewhere that artificial languages existed, and I thought it was a neat thing to do.

Others named persons who were influential. One comment on the previous post said, “I think only to have conlangers here is a bit of an issue. I mean… my philosophy teacher was a big reason for me to start conlanging…” This is exactly why I was so glad we got the following responses to the “other” category:

The links are all my own, and the comments are typed here as they were at the poll. If any links point to the incorrect person, I sincerely apologize. That being said, I was fascinated to find that someone attached to MAD Magazine (Edward Nelson Bridwell) was instrumental in coming up with a “language” for Superman. I was glad to see our own David J. Peterson (or Mr. Dothraki as I like to call him) was mentioned. Suzette Haden Elgin is one conlanger that deserves more mention. All in all, a nice collection of esteemed names, both linguistically and conlanguistically.

Thanks for taking part in the poll! Head over to twtpoll.com/r/nl7r0j to see the colorful graph created by twtpoll from our data.