Archive for December, 2010


Friday, December 31st, 2010



On to sentence eight of the Babel text:

il tamma ien rēha ñatta janahan ja se jaþēŋŋe jacē lā;

The unfamiliar words are janahan, jaþēŋŋe, and lā.

janahan is an indefinite pronoun meaning “something” or “anything”.

“Then he said, they will make anything that …”


Friday, December 31st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fiti'.


  • (adj.) cold
  • (v.) to be cold
  • (n.) a cold thing

Fiti iko etielele!
“This winter is cold!”


I’m back home with my cat! It’s a wonderful day! Keli was hiding under the bed when we came in, but once she was sure that it was really us, and we were really back, she came out meowing! Not only did she sleep on the bed again, she stayed there the entire night. And since then, she’s been getting plenty of snuggles and love from us:

Keli getting snuggled.

What a cat! Don’t let her expression fool you: She’s loving it!

It’s been quite an up and down year. The up was up, but, man, was the down down… Looking forward to a little more up next year.

Here’s hoping.

festival is jala

Friday, December 31st, 2010
jalajala = festival (noun) (some things Google found for "jala": a very common term; an uncommon last name; JALA is an acronym for Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation; Jala Bars all natural probiotic frozen yogurt bars; Beit Jala (means "grass carpet" in Aramaic) is an Arab Christian town in the West Bank; Jala Neti nasal irrigation; JALA International does telework and telecommuting; Roti Jala (net bread) is a Malaysian dish; means "on foot" in Estonian; means "net" in Malay; in Spanish conjugations of the verb "to pull"; the name of cities in India, Nigeria, Mexico, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sierra Leone)

Word derivation for "festival" (celebration) :
Basque = jai, Finnish = juhla
Miresua = jala

I made this word word similar to the English word "gala".

Qekri Phonology

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I previously wrote a little intro to this conlang which you can read here: New Conlang: Qekrii. It tells a little of the backstory of why I created it and who speaks it, and has a brief overview of the phonology and phonotactics.

First I’ll go over each section of a Qekrii syllable, and then you’ll see some phonetic charts at the bottom. You can skip to those if you like =)

In the next post on Qekrii, I’ll go over the orthography I’ve chosen.

Notes on Terminology &c

This article uses IPA symbols to represents sounds. You can find out more about the IPA here on Wikipedia. Links to Wikipedia are provided throughout the post for various linguistics terms.

Syllable Structure

As mentioned previously, Qekrii has three sets of consonants, which are used in different parts of the syllable. There is one set of consonants always used for the onset, one set optionally used as a second onset to form a cluster, and one set used as an optional coda. These groups do not overlap.

Onset Consonants

In Qekrii, syllables must begin with one of these consonants (They may not begin in a vowel). This set of consonants consists of four plosives and four fricatives. None of these are voiced. They contrast in their place of articulation: labial, alveolar, velar, and glottal.

The plosives are p, t, k, ʔ. The fricatives are ɸ, s, x, h.

Optional Cluster Consonants

Syllable onsets may be made into consonant clusters with the four consonants of this second set, which includes a voiced labiovelar approximant [w], a palatal approximant [j] (which has a velar approximant [ɰ] as an allophone), an alveolar trill [r], and a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative [ɬ].


Qekrii has eleven vowels, five tense and six lax (though one is an allophone and is sometimes not counted “officially”). The lax vowels are more central/open than the tense vowels. A syllable nucleus may contain only one vowel.

Whenever the syllable is open, the vowel is tense. When the syllable is closed, the vowel is lax.

Tense-Lax Vowel Pairs
orthography a e i o u
tense [IPA] [a] [e] [i] [o] [ɯ]
lax [IPA] [æ] [ɛ / ə] [ɪ] [ɔ] [ʊ]

Optional Coda

The third set of consonants is used exclusively for the syllable coda, which is optional. They are all nasals which contrast in their place of articulation (identical to the first set of onset consonants but for the last, but only because there’s no such thing as a glottal nasal =)): labial, alveolar, velar, and uvular.

Phonetic Charts


labial alveolar velar uvular glottal
plosive [p] [t] [k] [ʔ]
fricative [ɸ] [s] [x] [h]
approx. [w] [j/ɰ]
trill [r]
lat.fric. [ɬ]
nasal [m] [n] [ŋ] [ɴ]


front near-front central near-back back
close [i] [ɯ]
near-close [ɪ] [ʊ]
close-mid [e] [o]
mid [ə]
open-mid [ɛ] [ɔ]
near-open [æ]
open [a]


  • 01/05/11: Changed the whole “nucleus” section, updated vowel chart.

Related posts:

  1. New Conlang: Qekri
  2. Conlang Word Generator in PHP
  3. Talajyn Phonology

Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 3

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Verse 3

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

Soreral kajalo atiečagai: Točemkuda, rigidžolo dželamžasa en ralo tetea jakamžasatu, kaja. Rigidžon idžian-am en kakarun maltan-am dželaeča.


Third section

Talajyn: Rigidžon idžian-am en kakarun maltan-am dželaeča.
Gloss: bricks stone-not and tar mortar-not make
English: They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

Instead of using a verb meaning “to use”, Talajyn repeats the same verb “make” from the previous sentence, and uses the dative/instrumental case on the nouns. The sentence actually means something more like “[They] made [it] using brick, not stone, and tar, not mortar.” The “they” and “it” are implied/understood by context.

The “en” (and) is not necessary; the sentence would still be grammatical without it.


idžia-n-am en
stone(s)-[dative/instrumental]-no/not and



make-[honorific distant past]

Related posts:

  1. Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 2
  2. Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 1
  3. Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 2


Thursday, December 30th, 2010



OK. Last post on the seventh sentence of the Babel text:

il tamma ien ē pa mēli anānīke ī pa sāim antaxōni ān tēna ī la ankāe ancēji ja ñatta rēha pa jāo jānne;

jānne means “beginning” and modifies jāo, and the phrase pa jāo jānne modifies ankāe ancÄ“ji ja ñatta rÄ“ha. I mentioned yesterday that jāo refers to pa mÄ“li anānÄ«ke Ä« pa sāim antaxōni ān tÄ“na “the people have unity and they have only one language”. So that state is the beginning of ankāe ancÄ“ji ja ñatta rÄ“ha “the doable deeds that they will do”.

“And he said: the people have unity and they have only one language and the deeds they will do have this as a beginning.”

And that’s all for the seventh sentence. Yay!


Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kiokuku'.


  • (n.) a make up day to help the Kamakawi calendar get back in sync

Kiko i kiokuku!
“It’s nothing day!”


The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite doesn’t always line up exactly with fourteen days. So it may happen that neki has come, but the moon isn’t full (or new, depending on where one started from). When that happens, the village chief declares a kiokuku.

A kiokuku is a kind of holiday, where anything goes. And since its declaration is dependent entirely on the discretion of those keeping track of the calendar, you can sometimes get several kiokuku in a row. And it will frequently happen that different islands which don’t communicate with each other regularly enough will end up being on different days. When that happens, one or the other of them will declare however many kiokuku are necessary to get the two calendars in sync again.

That (referring to all the calendar posts) is the Kamakawi calendar in a nutshell (at least, before the coming of the Zhyler speakers).

Ehk pahtwii foht jiijiinahr. (A prayer for health.)

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Since I have a slight cold, I decided to write a prayer in Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog, something I do a lot of, since I adopted the Traipahni religion of Yahgahn as my own. Due to limitations of extant vocabulary, but working with the flexibility of the language, this is a good example of how the language works, and how an incomplete knowledge of the language can still get you by.

Sahn-ah'iik Jiijiinis veh Alorno, Ahnai flo Kriiah Taykwiiah, ah'iik moiul'duun'zaen thiiah jiijiinahr tahdjah. Ah'iik sohlohrt zaen-maak ehm thiiah da-nykyah-gwebahr-maik yiniiku. Ah'iik oy thiiah nykyah-gwebahr hii'glorng la piik fii-taykay'yah da-bahzah-moiulainas. Ah'iik moiul'dahk la da-nykyah'gweb'moiulj-maik seh thiiah somaik, hii'glorng-kez la da-fii'ahn'kwiinj flo thiiah somaik. Thiiah somaik bain vwonylk, thiin toik sehk thiiah Ahn'Kwiinj foht la noh’hkwii-maak seh la da-bahzah-moiulainas. Uuj Kriiah Zahvahshah, Jiijiinis veh Alorno, veh uuj thiiah zahvahshah, thiin rahk ziz'zik hohrihg-kez egtah grehn tók. Sahn-kia, Koh Soh La Kohrain.


Much-please Jiijiinis and Alorno,1 Holy in Your Splendor,2 please strengthen my [good health].3 Please give strength to my [white blood cells]. Please help my blood destroy the little ugly sick-makers. Please clean the [blood vessels] of my body, destroying the (things not wanted)4 in my body. My body is mine, I call with my Will for the banishment of the sick-makers. By Your Power, Jiijiinis and Alorno, and by my power, I know it is happening as we speak. Many-thanks, You Are The All.

Part of the challenge in writing this is I haven't come up with a word for "cell" (as in white blood cell) or "germ," etc, yet. So I had to improvise. And I like how it turned out. :-) It was a pleasant surprise to find "fii'ahn'kwiinj," meaning "a thing not wanted" in my list of TPNN words; it is a perfect fit. (Actually, in the file, it's "fii'ehl'ahn'kwiinj," but the ehl can be dropped, since the word is derived from "fii'ehl," meaning "the opposite of" and "ahn'kwiinj," meaning "Will." Something opposed to your Will is not wanted, hence the translation "a thing not wanted."

As to "little ugly sick-makers," the word "moiulainas" (from "da-bahzah-moiulainas" in the prayer) is actually "creator." Closest word I have in TPNN to "maker."

1 = Jiijiinis: Deity of Health. Alorno: Deity of Healing.

2 = I have a standard format for prayers. [Name], oh [Name], Holy in Your Splendor. [Content/supplication]. Many-thanks, You Are The All. (I do it this way because "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsch says that the most effective prayer is a prayer of gratitude for what you know will happen. And it works very well for me.)

3 = Brackets indicate non-literal translation. Literal translation of "jiijiinahr tahdjah" is actually "health good." Literal translation of "da-nykyah-gwebahr-maik yiniik" is "plural-life-water-thing white." Also, "da-nykyah'gweb'moiulj-maik" is literally "plural-life'water'area-thing"; it is related to "gweb'moiulj-maik," the word for "a channel of water."

4 = Parentheses indicate literal translation is the best translation.

Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 2

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Verse 3

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

Soreral kajalo atiečagai: Točemkuda, rigidžolo dželamžasa en ralo tetea jakamžasatu, kaja. Rigidžon idžian-am en kakarun maltan-am dželaeča.


Second section

Talajyn: Točemkuda, rigidžolo dželamžasa en ralo tetea jakamžasatu, kaja.
Gloss: come, bricks make and them thoroughly bake, this
English: “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.”

This section is pretty similar to the English, except that I gave the verbs “make” and “bake” different endings. The verb “make” has just an honorific future ending; taken together with the imperative “Come”, it gives the sense of a very polite command, perhaps to a superior or in distinguished company: “Come, we will make bricks”. The “we” is understood by context.

The second verb, “bake”, has the honorific future ending plus a hortative ending. The phrase “ralo jakamžasatu”, “them bake[future][horative]” is more of a request than a command: “Let’s bake them!” So taking the two phrases and slightly different endings in mind, we have something connoting a translation more like “Come, we will make bricks, and let’s bake them thoroughly!”

There are a lot of different ways I could have phrased this, like using the hortative on both or no verbs, or not using an imperative at all, but I took some artistic license and like the connotative result! =)

You may be wondering what the “this” on the end is for. It’s one way of quoting someone in Talajyn, and signals the end of the quote. Think of it this way: “Here’s what they said: Blah blah blah <--this." The word doesn't take any case endings; it's just a plain "kaja"/"this", the proximal demonstrative pronoun.

Now, word-for-word:

toča is “to come”, “emkuda” (replacing the ending vowel of the verb) is the honorific imperative ending


make/build-[honorific future]

en ra-lo
and [3rd-person singular pronoun]-[accusative]

“teteu” means thoroughly; you change the last vowel to match the modified verb; in this case, “jaka” (bake)

bake-[honorific future]-hortative

I’ll do the last sentence next time. Questions? Comments? Please to share below.

Related posts:

  1. Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 1
  2. Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 2
  3. Talajyn: Tower of Babel verse 1


Wednesday, December 29th, 2010



Still on the seventh sentence of the Babel text:

il tamma ien ē pa mēli anānīke ī pa sāim antaxōni ān tēna ī la ankāe ancēji ja ñatta rēha pa jāo jānne;

jāo is an abstract pronoun or rather a pronoun that refers to an abstraction. In this sentence jāo refers to pa mÄ“li anānÄ«ke Ä« pa sāim antaxōni ān tÄ“na and not to ankāe ancÄ“ji ja ñatta rÄ“ha as one might think. jāo can’t refer to ankāe ancÄ“ji ja ñatta rÄ“ha because the entire pa clause pa jāo jānne refers to it already.