Archive for August, 2010

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]


Cave Felicem

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Єυтιε Καтαᴧυ!


This picture is taken after Noortje smelled the whipped cream I had to move around the room, because Streepje was trying to enjoy more of it than the fingertip I gave her.

Цαᴧтε δειнυтωн αцεнοрιεc, καтec οικιεc δυнαc нουтαιн ειнιωн ὡc мαтει.

Although seemingly non-hurt.adj, cats home.adj can kill.inf only.adv their cuteness.dat.
Although seemingly harmless, domestic cats can kill with merely their cuteness.

I really run out on inspiration on this picture, so I made up this completely and utterly serious sentence. 'Cause don't think they can't. They just don't have a reason to. One meow is all it takes.

Cave Felicem

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Єυтιε Καтαᴧυ!


This picture is taken after Noortje smelled the whipped cream I had to move around the room, because Streepje was trying to enjoy more of it than the fingertip I gave her.

Цαᴧтε δειнυтωн αцεнοрιεc, καтec οικιεc δυнαc нουтαιн ειнιωн ὡc мαтει.

Although seemingly non-hurt.adj, cats home.adj can kill.inf only.adv their cuteness.dat.
Although seemingly harmless, domestic cats can kill with merely their cuteness.

I really run out on inspiration on this picture, so I made up this completely and utterly serious sentence. 'Cause don't think they can't. They just don't have a reason to. One meow is all it takes.

Cave Felicem

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Єυтιε Καтαᴧυ!


This picture is taken after Noortje smelled the whipped cream I had to move around the room, because Streepje was trying to enjoy more of it than the fingertip I gave her.

Цαᴧтε δειнυтωн αцεнοрιεc, καтec οικιεc δυнαc нουтαιн ειнιωн ὡc мαтει.

Although seemingly non-hurt.adj, cats home.adj can kill.inf only.adv their cuteness.dat.
Although seemingly harmless, domestic cats can kill with merely their cuteness.

I really run out on inspiration on this picture, so I made up this completely and utterly serious sentence. 'Cause don't think they can't. They just don't have a reason to. One meow is all it takes.

Derivational Morphology

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Boá: Ku túhúmol. Today I am going to talk a bit about some derivational morphology, used to change the part of speech of a word or in building new words from previously existing lexemes.

We’ve already seen a and -ef, used to indicate the patient and agent in a verb-noun compound. Thus mutíkana eater of clams and mutíkanef stuff eaten by clams. Yesterday we saw the weird word í, used to make an abstract sort of noun by fulfilling the subject of an existential intransitive verb, of sorts. (Again, I’m not entirely sure that this works, or that my terminology is correct.) There’s a few other ones I want to go over, today.

One is making something a verb. This is actually fairly easy, and is done by adding -ún. I’ve been thinking about different sorts of -ún, but I am undecided. (Examples would be: for verbs of exchange, for inchoatives, for ditransitives, in different phonological environments.)

It’s generally much easier to go the other way. A good way to make a noun that’s related to another noun is to put an infix on it. For instance, yáü fire, yáop flame. This is pretty undproductive – but I don’t like using that word for conlangs, because, effectively, I can kind of do whatever I want. Unproductive is a word that is only useful when people are cut off from making their own words in a language: as in, all of you. Say rather that this is actually prety unpredictable, and it changes some things sometimes. Why did the ü go away, there? Let’s, at this junction, say ‘phonological reasons’. This has happened a lot, actually. I tend to be very guilty in Llárriésh of not following the same rules for compounding and derivation. That should probably be changed, but I like it because it gives more reality to my conlang, I feel. I’m not sure I like how incredibly analysable many of the conlangs I’ve studied have been. A bit of random variation never hurt anyone.

Another reason is that I didn’t lay out the derivational morphology earlier for fear of trying to derive every possible word from the word, say, sea otter. I wanted a lot of arbitrary morphemes to work with (terminology check?). A third reason is that this takes a lot of time, laying out rules, and a lot of assumptions about where you want the language to go, which I wasn’t ready to commit to. This may have been an error in my process.

However, there were a few things that I decided early on. One of them is that, as said, verbs can be made easily. (By the way, if a noun or word has an aspectual marker attached to it, that remains in the verbing. So: yáopún to flame, but yáún to burn (note: not yaún to swim.) Another was that a particle can often be made by isolating an aspectual marker by itself: thus oho, a resultative marker for clauses as well as the resultative prefix.

And then there’s some new ones. Like, =óth makes a word an adverb (as far as possible.) Thus moan safe moánóth safely. =dá can likewise be used to make a word an adjective (yes, that’s a clipping of dáo.) As in, bóshung tempest bóshúngdá tempestuous. Both of these are suffixes. Another is =nák, as in mutíkanánák small stone used to eat clams. This is used for highlighting the instrumental object which is used – here, it’s a stone used by sea otters to crack them open. This is the same word used for a, say, oyster shucker. (Although that would technically be mutlopaníánák, as that is the word for oyster – this word is avoided in decent conversation, however, due to another definition of oyster that probably shouldn’t be shared here, but can be guessed at.)

And I’ll leave it there for today. There’s some fun stuff going on I didn’t talk about (and no, I don’t mean the amount of ..uh… dirt words), in today’s vocabulary, by the way – I mean the elbow/armpit stuff. Worth the read through.

§

Vocabulary:

  • ántwún v. to smile
  • avér n. wrist
  • avérgorr n. the inside of the elbow
  • avéruro n. the outside of the elbow
  • behna n. the foot or base of a wave
  • byórk n. anchor
  • doshgorr n. wave trough
  • doshkon n. wave wall, the mid-section of a wave
  • doshop n. a whitecap, the breaker on a wave
  • ébllefa n. messenger
  • éboún v. to announce
  • eérwa n. hunger
  • éllaún v. to cruise
  • gádot adj. wicked
  • goína n. feast
  • goínaún v. to feast
  • gorr n. acute angle, inside
  • grángorr n. armpit
  • gránuro n. the outside of the shoulder
  • húop n. thought
  • hurr n. throat
  • íllún v. to pretend
  • ithonún v. to mail, send something
  • karrt n. mode, way
  • kash n. pole
  • kiçhhún v. to cause pain
  • kúmini n. anchovie
  • lip n. window-gap
  • llakash n. fishing pole
  • llamiáh n. freshwater fish
  • loaún v. to portion out, mete
  • murrn n. old men
  • mutíkanef n. detritus, nutrients
  • mutíkanánák n. stone used to break open clams
  • mutlopanínák n. oyster shucker, cock
  • nee adj. any
  • needú pn. anything
  • ngullún v. to swallow
  • nolwosh n. past
  • pát n. mouse
  • póllli n. sargasso seaweed
  • rrü n. larch
  • shíçú n. cheek, crest of a wave, ridge
  • shíçúlluch n. cheek bone
  • shost n. destruction
  • shostún v. to destroy
  • shúwa n. bench
  • sïdní n. pubic hair
  • sllo n. wake, trail (after)
  • sllodhún v. to follow
  • sweéún v. to bloom
  • tagósh n. counter-current
  • tára n. memory
  • tarhúi pp. outside
  • tluchgorr n. crotch of a tree, body
  • tluchuro n. fork, derivation
  • torósh n. current
  • úkti adj. final
  • úkti í n. finality
  • úktiún v. to finish
  • unuóï adj. long (temporal)
  • uroka n. obtuse angle, outside
  • útrí n. fox
  • yáopún v. to flame
  • yúçna n. pillar
  • ʔah adj. fresh

§ Rrí, I have three more days. That means I need to translate another 300 words of my story, translate/rewrite the poem I plan to use, and present a conversation. I also need to provide another 200+ lexemes. This is a tough order, but I think I can do it. Luckily, August has 31 days, so I can technically take 31 if I like (although I didn’t start on the first, I started on the 4th.) It means that my day off tomorrow will probably be entirely taken up by Llárriésh, for one. It also means that I will be done within the week, which is fantastic, as my sister is getting married this weekend and I won’t have any time to do this. I will be moving the content of this blog, comments and all, to http://llama.conlang.org when that occurs. I hope that you’ll stay with me: I’ll shift the aggregator over, too, don’t worry.

Today was a fun day to write. Should have done this ages ago. But now I have a really solid base to work on, when I go over and edit this thing. And now i know better what to do, and what not to do.

A’i

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'a’i'.

a’i

  • (adj.) white
  • (v.) to be white
  • (v.) to be misty
  • (n.) mist

Mata ei ie a’i o feya tou.
“I can see the white of the waves.”

Notes: Apropos of nothing, that sentence struck me as a good one, so there it is.

The word for “white” comes from the older word for “mist”, it being nice and white most of the time. I’d say both meanings are quite common.

Or, I would if I were saying such things.

But I’m not.

So what is there to say today…? It’s a nice ikunoala, this one. There’s not much from the a in there, but there’s enough to be recognizable.

Here’s the thing. There was something conlang-related that I wanted to report today, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Grrr…

If I remember tomorrow, I’ll let you know.

More things

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
A nashiwat ten tuon sebio chet?

Da tí yodna tugikan

Two sentences this time. In the first sentence pupil says What does that thing call itself? Ghostians feel that to call something is a reflexive verb. The word for thing is a neuter noun, tuon. The word for 'it' is also used as an article, usually demonstrative. It can be used to mean 'this' or 'that' without distinction.

Teacher replies It's a pencil. He changes the gender to feminine to agree with the noun.

Worlds Collide

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Arika OkrentI had the oddest experience today. I work at a large metropolitan library and was walking down the hall today when a patron saw me and said, “Saluton! I was reading about you in a book today.” This particular patron was vaguely familiar, but I hadn’t really had the opportunity to speak with him for a couple years. Not since I worked in a different department. Well, my brain started spinning, and I finally asked, “Do you mean Arika Okrent’s In the Land of Invented Languages? He said, “Yeah. Can you say hello in your chipmunk language?” Unfortunately, I’ve been away from Drytok for a while, so I couldn’t oblige him…the shock of being asked to speak it out-of-the-blue notwithstanding. We talked for a while; I told him about Arika’s new book I heard she was working on, and I encouraged him to check out the posting at the Language Creation Society page of the actual LCC presentation of Drytok’s first public appearance. All in all, a great way to brighten up a Monday! :-)

‘nadit: to do something in vain, to be in vain

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Example: Xe’nadit ‘inatu esaku’tan’han.
(1S-nadit (INF)advertise employment-ALL)
I try in vain to apply for a job.

This is not quite correct. Currently, I can only say that I am applying, but have not yet received any results. I can however say that applying for jobs sucks. It makes me wish that we were in a socialist state where jobs were assigned to people. Even though I am normally libertarian. It is a so bizarre ritual apparently intended to humiliate applicants. I understand that advertising is necessary, but I feel uncomfortable by advertising my own skills and abilities while simultaneously hiding the issues (like my disability). So, yeah… if anyone wants to hire a code monkey with a love for constructed languages, tell me!

Back to ‘nadit: It can be used intransitively, mostly in the expression [Jilih] mi’la’nadit ([this] 3S-PST-nadit: this was in vain), but it can as well be used to say that something is done in vain like in the example above.


Okuku

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'okuku'.

okuku

  • (pron.) nothing

Iko i okuku i ia!
“There’s nothing here for you!”

Notes: Today is Doug Ball’s birthday, and so I themed today’s entry after what I’m getting him: Nothing! :D

Just kidding (well, not about the nothing, but about the intent behind it). Today, though, I’d like to wish Doug a very happy birthday. Happy birthday, Doug! :D

Doug (currently a professor of linguistics at Truman State) is the inventor of the Skerre language, and is one of the best conlangers I know. We knew each other in our undergraduate days from the Conlang List, and met each other by chance as prospective linguistics graduate students at UCSD. As it turned out, I ended up going to UCSD, and he ended up going to evil (boo, hiss!) Stanfurd. Despite that mistake, we’ve remained friends over the years, and have kept up an e-correspondence in which we talk about our main passions: conlanging, music and sports.

Being able to bounce ideas off Doug has helped to improve my conlanging probably more than anything else. He’s helped me with Kamakawi over the years, and also my more experimental endeavors (often I end up asking him what exactly I can get away with, positing odd diachronic explanations on the fly [I still think /k/ > [h] / C[+nasal]_ makes sense somehow!]). His is a friendship I prize very highly, and today is a special day: He’s turning 30!

So, tikili i ia Doug on thirty grand years, and here’s to thirty more! :mrgreen: