Archive for November, 2010


Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'i'ava'.


  • (n.) meal
  • (v.) to have a meal

I’ava eino a.
“We’re having a meal.”

Notes: I realized that there aren’t many pictures of me up on the internet (a few, but not many), so here’s one with me:

Me, Erin and Sally Caves.

That’s a picture of me, my wife Erin, and Sally Caves, creator of Teonaht. We were out having lunch at her parents’ just north of where I live.

This word, i’ava, is a kind of…not formal word, but “higher class” word when used as a verb. It’s a fancy way of saying “We’re eating”. I’ve found that a number of languages have a word like this, for some reason. In English, we can use “take” (e.g. “I took my lunch on the veranda”). Arabic has a fancy one, but I’m not actually sure what it means. But to say something like “I took my lunch”, it’d be:

أطناول الغداء

In IPA that’d be something like [ʔa.tˤa.ˈnaː.wal al.ɣi.ˈdaːʔ].

Anyway, so this is the Kamakawi “fancy” word for eating. The word i’ava was certainly a noun first (derived from hava, “to eat”), and while you can use just about any word as a verb or a noun in Kamakawi, social custom dictates what words are commonly used. This is a noun that has been adopted as a verb and is used as often as “fancy” language is required.

‘xarad: to transmit

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Example: Xe’la’ma’ta ‘xarad namin’han.
( (INF)transmit here-ALL)
I could not send [messages] here

This was of course because I have had no time due to NaNoWriMo and the fact that I am relocating to Ireland.

This is often used for data and the like, but also with messages, which conveniently are xarad’het. A xarad’he is a messenger (human, not a program which beeps when someone demands your attention) and xarad’tan means transmission.


Saturday, November 27th, 2010



Before I get to this word, a note:

I’m going to go through the Babel text now, in a similar fashion as I did with the North Wind and the Sun. This should take the rest of the year and maybe a few days of 2011. After that, I’m not sure. Suggestions always appreciated.

The first sentence of the Babel text is:

iēlte la anmārwi pa antaxōni ān tēna;

iēlte again means “once upon a time”. The rest of the sentence is of the form la NP1 pa NP2 and signals that NP2 is a part or an attribute of NP1. The words anmārwi, antaxōni, and ān tēna have not yet been blogged. Which brings us to today’s word.

anmārwi is the word for “world” and implies all known areas and the people and things in them. It is generally in the collective, though the singular can be used when talking about a specific world within a multitude of worlds.

grandmother is imaosa (revisited)

Saturday, November 27th, 2010
imaosaimaosa = grandmother (noun) (some things Google found for "imaosa": a rare term; user names; a Star Wars related character first name; somewhat similarly named Emarosa is a six-member post-hardcore band from Kentucky)

Word derivation for "grandmother" :
Basque = amona, Finnish = isoäiti
Miresua = imaosa

This change is because I changed the word for big. My previous word for grandmother was imaoni. This word is a compound of mother (ima) + big (osa).


Friday, November 26th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'laumi'.


  • (v.) to be lying down
  • (v.) to recline
  • (adj.) lying down, reclining
  • (n.) nap

Ea: A laumi ei. Ea: Ia ie elenetiá li’i.
“Yes: I’m lying down. And yes: You are my bed.”


For those who read last week’s post, no, things are not back to normal. Keli is still pretty much a downstairs cat.

However, things are improving. We’ve returned her water fountain to its normal spot, and she comes upstairs to drink. She’s also explored a little bit upstairs (even coming onto the carpet!). She still won’t go near the bed. But my hope is, maybe not next week, but maybe in two weeks, she’ll be back sleeping on the bed like she used to.

She’s been very cuddly downstairs, though, and likes to have us down there. And she’s gotten back to one of her favorite evening activities: Using us as furniture (partially). The picture will explain.

Keli by the window.


Friday, November 26th, 2010



ke is a particle that only occurs with the relational se. It denotes a volitional, animate source. In the ninth sentence of the North Wind and the Sun:

tō jāo temme jalerāen ien la malō pa antāken anānexa ke mūrāna masīrien;

ke renames the source referred to by the inflected temme. temme is se in the past tense plus a third person source and a third person beneficiary. The object of se is jalerāen “admission/confession” and what is admitted is la malō pa antāken anānexa “the sun is strongest”. The source of the admission, the person admitting this, is mūrāna masīrien “the North Wind”.


tō jāo temme jalerāen ien la malō pa antāken anānexa ke mūrāna masīrien;
So, the north wind admitted that the sun had the most strength.

All that is left is to say se jatōrren “The end.”

High Eolic – lesson 3: At the market – basic use of nouns and verbs

Friday, November 26th, 2010

This lesson deals with some basic points regarding the use of nouns, including number, definiteness, and the accusative case. It also covers basic use of transitive verbs (ie., verbs that take a direct object). Finally, this is the first lesson to include some short exercises at the end. The ones in this lesson cover the grammar points and vocabulary from lessons 1-3.

3.1 Consonant mutations (sandhi)

As promised in the last lesson, we must first consider the details of consonants turning into other consonants when suffixes are added. This is a process called sandhi, named after certain rules along the same lines in Sanskrit. In High Eolic, sandhi occurs for certain final consonants of nouns – namely s, l, n, and m. That is, for nouns that end in s, l, n, and m, these consonants change when any kind of suffix is added.

Let us take the noun párun ‘house’ as an example. As mentioned in the last lesson, noun-final -n turns into -nd whenever a suffix is added. So if one wants to put párun into the essive case, the resulting form (adding -es) is párundes (rather than *párunes). In a similar way, any noun-final -m turns into -mb: thus the essive form of hám ‘gold’ is hámbes.

Noun-final s and l geminate and become ss and ll, respectively, whenever suffixes are added. However, this does not happen if the vowel preceding them is long. In this way, the essive form of cel ‘arm’ is celles, while the final l of cál ‘blue-eyed’ does not change, because it is preceded by a long vowel – so the essive form is cáles. It is exactly the same with s: pas ‘thought, idea’ becomes passes, while pús ‘horse’ becomes púses.

To summarize:

1) when they appear as the final consonants in a noun, n, m, s and l change whenever a suffix is added to the noun;
2) n and m change into nd and mb, respectively – thus párundes, hámbes;
3) s and l change into ss and ll, respectively – thus celles, passes – except when preceded by a long vowel – thus cáles, púses.

3.2 Grammar: number and definiteness

In addition to sandhi rules, there are two major and very important grammatical points in today’s lesson. The first concerns how nouns are used in HE. As you may have noticed, names of persons often appear with the suffix -ut. You should note that -ut is a singular definite suffix – used similarly to English the.

High Eolic nouns in their dictionary form are inherently indefinite – that is, -ut needs to be added to make them definite. As an example, let us again take the noun párun ‘house’:

1) in its dictionary form párun, this noun is indefinite, and has the meaning “a house” or “some houses” (see below);
2) when the suffix -ut is added to form the definite singular form párundut (note the n > nd change), it has the meaning “the house”.

There is one other suffix that should be noted here. This is the suffix , which roughly marks a noun as definite plural: so páruná means “the houses”. Note that you can never use and -ut together; the use of one excludes the other.

You will also have noted that there is no way to say simply “houses” in HE; you have to say “the houses”. This is why the dictionary form of any noun (which is always indefinite) is undefined with regard to number: it can mean “a house”, “houses”, “some houses” etc. You have to tell from context which meaning is the most appropriate! Initially, this may seem difficult, but you’ll get a feel for it quickly.

One further important point is that the number and definiteness suffixes and -ut can be used together with case suffixes. Here, case suffixes always precede the number and definiteness suffixes. So, for instance, if putting párun into the essive case, but also making it singular and definite, we get:

párund-es-ut ‘the house’ (essive)

as opposed to

párund-ut ‘the house’ (nominative)
párund-es ‘a house’ or ‘some houses’ (essive)

To summarize, there are the following points to be memorized regarding the number/definiteness suffixes and -ut:

1) marks the definite plural, while -ut marks the definite singular. Nouns with neither of these suffixes are indefinite, but can be understood as either singular or plural – so párun can mean “a house”, “some houses” etc.;
2) only one of or -ut can appear on any noun;
3) case suffixes can appear together with number/definiteness suffixes; in this case, the case suffix always precedes the number/definiteness suffix (e.g. párundesut).

3.3 Grammar: the accusative case and transitive verbs

It’s time to bolster your armory of HE cases through introducing the accusative case. This is the case used to mark direct objects – that is, objects of verbs that are directly affected by the event that the verb refers to. Consider the following sentence:

you saw him

In this sentence, you is the subject, and him is the direct object. In HE, all objects in this position are in the accusative.

Similar to English, accusative objects in HE follow the verb directly, while subjects – standing for the agents of the verb – precede the verb, as in the following example with the verb ngúrnam ‘to see’:

send ngúrnam mál
you see.PERF he/she.ACC
“you saw him/her”

mál is the accusative form of már ‘he/she’. Thankfully, most nouns add a regular case suffix to form the accusative, namely the suffix -al. Look at the following example:

ca ngúrnam yunándalut
I see.PERF doctor.ACC.DEF
“I saw the doctor”

In yunándalut, of course, both the accusative suffix -al and the singular definite suffix -ut are present – as already noted above, the case suffix always precedes the number/definiteness suffix.

There are two important points that you should note about using verbs like these the accusative:

1) The vast majority of verbs that take direct objects in the accusative – that is, transitive verbs – end in -am, or -m. This is because, for a verb to be understood as transitive, it has to appear with the transitive suffix -am. Other kinds of verbs get other kinds of suffixes. This is a slightly complicated point, but very important to understanding the HE verb system, and will be dealt with in full in a few lessons’ time.

2) You should also be aware that ngúrnam is the perfective form of the verb ‘to see’ (like ngá and erc from the previous lesson are the perfective forms of the copulas). This means that the action it denotes only took place at one specific point in time, and is usually understood to be in the past – that’s why it’s translated in the past tense in English. Again, you shouldn’t worry about all this too much yet; just note that ngúrnam (and all the other verbs provided in this lesson) is in the perfective. The differences between the imperfective and perfective, and how to form them, will be discussed in the next lesson.

3.4 At the market: using nouns and transitive verbs

Now, we’ll put all this knowledge to use through looking at some very basic sentences describing a hypothetical person’s trip to a typical Eolic marketplace (nattúc). (The next lesson will consider market etiquette and dealings in more detail – including how to ask for price.) In addition to ngúrnam, two other verbs will be used:

tendápam – bought
sicándam – sold, traded (something)

You might also find useful the following market-related nouns:

handarc – honey
laren – flower
mbevánd – wood
mullat – bread
rápa – meat
sác – milk
yangar – apple; fruit

Finally, memorize the following expressions:

essát – then, after that
nattúcúninut – at the market (literally “on the market” – in the superessive case, which will be covered in a few lessons’ time)
tavunga – yesterday

From all this, and using our knowledge from the previous lecture, we can compose a nice simple story about Andárut, a doctor who went to the market!

Andárut civa yunándes.
Tavunga ngúrnam mullatal nattúcúninut.
Már tendápam mullatalut.
Essát már sicándam hámbalá.

(Listen to the entire story here!)


Andárut is a doctor. Yesterday he saw some bread at the market. He bought the bread. Then he sold the gold pieces.

Note how mullatal is used without a number/definiteness suffix – with the meaning “some bread”. mullatalut and mullatalá, by contrast, have the respective meanings “the bread” and “the pieces of bread”. Compare also with how hámbalá is translated – it has the specific meaning “the gold pieces”, that is, with both a plural and a definite meaning (the understanding is that the gold pieces had already been mentioned at some earlier point in the story).

3.5 Exercises

Translate the following five sentences from High Eolic:

Ca civa nírcas.
Ma-carnut civa máru-láyurces.
Tavunga ca tendám yangaralá.
Már ngúrnam vicúsasal.
Ca sicándam mbevándalut.

Translate the following five sentences into High Eolic:

He is a farmer.
You are 36 years old.
She saw the market yesterday.
You bought a flower.
The warriors sold some milk.

You can also write a short story (4-5 sentences) about your experiences at the market yesterday.

3.6 Summary of new vocabulary

cál – blue-eyed
cel – arm
essát – then, after that
hám – gold
handarc – honey
laren – flower
mál – he/she (accusative)
mbevánd – wood
mullat – bread
nattúc – market
nattúcúninut – at the market
ngúrnam – saw (something)
párun – house
pas – thought, idea
pús – horse
rápa – meat
sác – milk
sicándam – sold, traded (something)
tavunga – yesterday
tendápam – bought
yangar – apple; fruit


Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'mitatiala'.


Mitatiala takenevi i nanai oi’i.
“The kind turkey is my friend.”

Notes: Happy Turkey Day! ~:D

Indeed, the day has come where everyone in America traditionally feasts on turkeys. I am a meat eater, but I do love turkeys (the birds). They’re such charming creatures—like all animals. I feel bad about eating them, but obviously not bad enough not to.

It’s troubled me for some time, though, the whole meat-eating thing. The only thing that I think rescues it (a bit) is that many animals are, in fact, devoured in the wild. So it’s not as if eating meat is unnatural (if naturalness can be considered a valid measure of morality [about which I have my qualms]). Still, I really like all animals. They’re so pleasant…

The Kamakawi word for “turkey” comes from the Zhyler word (in the romanization, müsažal), and the Zhyler word is a combination of the stem müsa, which has to do with walking, and the suffix -žal, which denotes birds. Thus, a turkey in Zhyler is a “walking bird”—an oblique reference to The Simpsons. :)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving today, if you live in America! If not, enjoy your Thursday! :D


Thursday, November 25th, 2010



an admission, a confession, a concession of an argument. This word also occurs in the ninth sentence of the North Wind and the Sun.

tō jāo temme jalerāen ien la malō pa antāken anānexa ke mūrāna masīrien;

It occurs as an object of se (here as temme) and is renamed by the clause following the particle ien: la malō pa antāken anānexa. From previous days we know that this means “the sun is the strongest”. We will discuss the last phrase ke mūrāna masīrien tomorrow.

grandfather is isaosa (revisited)

Thursday, November 25th, 2010
isaosaisaosa = grandfather (noun) (some things Google found for "isaosa": a rare term: Isaosa S.A. de C.V. is a fertilizer company in Mexico; user names)

Word derivation for "grandfather" :
Basque = aitona, Finnish = isoisä
Miresua = isaosa

This change is because I changed the word for big (see previous post). My previous word for grandfather was isaoni. This word is nearly a compound of father (isai) + big (osa).