Archive for December, 2010


Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'iteiwomo'.


  • (n.) the full change of the moon (i.e. going from, for example, one new moon to another new moon)

Inivieke uomoko i iteiwomo.
“It’s a marvelous night for a full change of the moon.”

Notes: Heh, heh… Little multilingual pun there.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone but me will get it, because I just realized I haven’t done the word tei yet! Argh! 8O

Anyway, if you break it down, iteiwomo means “moon dance”. Now hopefully fans of Van Morrison will get it. :)

Hey, today is a special day! Today marks the 365th post to the Kamakawi Word of the Day Blog! :D Despite adversity, I made it through a full year, with only one unfortunate break. Not a bad word for the anniversary, either.

See, the movement of the celestial bodies is conceptualized as a dance (at least for the calendrical system). The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite is conceptualized as a turn, and then the return to its original position is a dance.

In some ways, the iteiwomo is like a month in our calendar. However, an iteiwomo is not necessarily twenty eight days: an iteiwomo is an iteiwomo, no matter how long it takes. As such, it’s not a reliable enough metric to make reference to. Furthermore, it’s not thought of as comprising any number of days in a particular order. So from one new moon to the next is an iteiwomo, but so is the change from one waning crescent to another waning crescent.

This system, of course, does not hang together perfectly. To see the kluge that keeps it together, tune in tomorrow! :mrgreen:

Conlang Exchange

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
I have decided to use this language for the Conlang Exchange. Creating something proved to be easy. I bought some cards from the stationary warehouse and played around with creating a rose window design on them. This fits in with the Amenite festival of Rose Moon, this year on the solstice full moon at the 21st December. Now the challenge is creating a text to accompany the card. More difficult than I originally thought. I haven't discovered the words for the astrological bodies yet: sun, moon, and stars. This rules out talking about solstice and full moon in the Amenite religion

There are other gaps in the lexicon, like how to say renew the vows of priesthood. I shall probably find more gaps as I work through my cards' blurb.

I could go through the books that I haven't used to add words to the language because they didn't fit into the criteria with which I was researching the language initially. At this stage that feels like cheating. It would feel like I'm cherry picking words from those books just to fill a gap I have at this time. It could prove that part of the culture of this language is that it has gaps that I need to discover and fill after I've finished this stage of language creation. Maybe there should be gaps in the language. For instance I'm intrigued to discover that the language has titles for nobles, and a verb for electing, yet at this stage no word is listed in my lexicon I'm making for president or prime minister.

There is still more work to do before I feel that this language is a presentable working corpus. I want to have the cards posted in the next couple of days. So tonight I shall spend some time piecing together a festive text. Hmmmmm.....


Tuesday, December 28th, 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;

rēha is a future marker. So the subordinate clause ja ñatta rēha translates as “that they will do” and modifies ankāe ancēji, the “doable deeds that they will do”. And this entire noun phrase ankāe ancēji ja ñatta rēha is the object of la and thus the next noun phrase jāo jānne is an attribute of this one. Got that? la NP1 pa NP2 = NP2 is an attribute of NP1.

“Then He said: the people have unity and they have only one language and the doable deeds that they will do…”


Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'umewomo'.


  • (n.) a Kamakawi two week cycle (perhaps equivalent to a fortnight)

Eteke mowoito ki ti umewomo.
“Fourteen days make a fortnight.”

Notes: We haven’t yet finished up discussion of the ill-defined Kamakawi calendar. We’re getting close, though! :D

As has been mentioned previously, the Kamakawi “week” consists of fourteen days. This “week” is referred to as an umewomo. It refers to a changing of the moon: The time it takes for the moon to go from a new moon to a full moon, or vice versa. This is often considered the basic unit (beyond the day) of the Kamakawi calendar. In usage, then, it’s like a month, even though it’s closer to a week. That said, there are no special names for the umewomo: Just one after another after another after another.

More terms shall follow!


Monday, December 27th, 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;

ancē denotes the quality or attribute of “doable” or “able to be done”. It is here in the collective plural modifying ankāe. Taken together, the phrase ankāe ancēji means something like “doable deeds”, or “deeds that can be done”. The phrase is then modified by the subordinate clause ja ñatta rēha and by the pa clause pa jāo jānne. More on that tomorrow.


Monday, December 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'uomo'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'uo'.


  • (n.) moon
  • (v.) to be night
  • (adj.) bright white

A teve uomo.
“The moon is bloody.”

Notes: Here’s a nice picture of what the Dothraki would call a jalan qoyi, or “blood moon”:

A blood moon over New Zealand.

Photo Credit: photo by Jurvetson (flickr)

The glyph for uomo has a bit of a tangled history. Originally, the glyph for uo up there was the glyph for “moon”. It was just a moon character, and so a line was added below it to give it height. Pretty soon, the curvature of the moon part of the glyph changed, and came to look kind of like a hacek. Finally, the semantic concept “moon” became completely dissociated from the glyph, and it became just a syllabic glyph for uo (and we’ve seen it before in words like uola). It became such that a line determinative was needed to convey that the glyph meant “moon”.

Now, though, that usage has pretty much been phased out by the new glyph for “moon”. You can tell that it’s newer because the curvature of the moon part of the glyph has remained, and wasn’t angularized (spell check tells me that isn’t a word. I say fie on spell check!) the way other earlier curved glyphs were. Again, though, the curve of the moon was not felt to be large enough, and so the “ground” determinative was added beneath it, and that gives us the modern iku for “moon”.

New concept based on real world languages

Monday, December 27th, 2010
I have been conlanging since before I had ever heard of conlanging, or of any conlangs. I am not going to go into my full story now, but I will note back in March of 2009 that I posted on here regarding a language I was working on called Lekmokulka. I am still working on that and I will be posting more about Lekmokulka here in the future.

However, at the moment I have been considering starting another project, and have been working on some sound changes to go with it. It is something I have never tried prior to this, and will likely not try after, which is to create a language based on real-world languages.

This is a conceptual language for a post apocalyptic world in which a group of Swedish speaking people have intermingled with a group of people from Mid Northern Scotland and Shetland islands of Scotland. This will have occurred (in this future world) around the year 2100. After that they have been relatively isolated from all other groups of people, in effect becoming their own tribe, and the language has been isolated for approximately 500-600 years. This is the general concept of this language and where it will be starting from. I have been working on sound changes, based vaguely on the spoken language of the Shetland islands, Shetlandic, (mostly, and amongst other self-invented potential sound changes) to affect the spoken Swedish of today. I have NOT as of yet worked on a vocabulary shift in this future-Swedish which would account for many loan-words. This will NOT be a pidgin or creole, but the influence of a smaller-number of Shetlandic speaking and Mid Northern Scots peoples on the larger, originally Swedish, group of people.

Grammatically speaking the Swedish will still be very influential; however, I intend to include influences from Mid Northern Scots. These will go hand in hand, to a large degree, with loan-words.

The general, basic idea I have so far (including some of the Scots and Shetlandic influence) is this:

My language: Ög häla sæla aw hedde væssenna, ög enna sæm spig.
Swedish: Hela jorden hade samma språk och samma ord.
English: And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
Literal: (and whole world all had language-the/one, and the same speech)

Where sæla comes from Scots "syle" meaning "soil" and "aw" from Scots for "all" hedda is a mix of Swedish "hade" and Shetlandic "hed" - væss is influenced by Scots "vyce" meaning "voice" which in my language, over time came, to mean "spoken language" - enna is from Swedish "en" meaning "one, the" - and spig from "spik" the Shetlandic for "speak"

This is very early in its creation stage, just trying to get sound changes and the "feel" of the language right before I do too much in the loan-word category, although this example has much of that. Any opinions? And remember I am still in the early, early stages of working on this! Constructive criticism greatly appreciated.

‘tore: to hurt, to be in pain

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Numy’het’xe yh mi’tore ,xe’la’sinu tuku, lija.
Ankle-GEN1S left 3S-hurt ,1S-PST-step wrong, because.
My left ankle hurts because I made a wrong step.

Indeed it does. I just wanted to go to a high place to make some photographs of the city. It worked, but going down what felt like maxint* stairs, I missed one, almost fell and twisted my ankle. It sucks. I would like to go to bed, but atm, climbling into the upper bed in the room I sleep in sounds like the kind of thing which would make it scream in pain again. And if it does so, metaphorically, I might do so literally. What also pains me is to see the ratio of legitimate comments vs. spam. There were mother than three times the amount of spam (thankfully eaten by Akismet) than of legitimate comments. Spammers are the scum of the earth!

Tore’tan is the kind of pain which is unwanted, annoying, and hurting. If it is pain which is part of a religious ceremony or generally has a positie connotation, rejistanis use another word: aela’tan.

It is also interesting that the expression ‘sinu tuku does not just literally mean to step wrongly, but also metaphorically all kinds of clumsiness.

* I learned programming in the 16 bit era, and thus maxint (the highest value which fits into an integer variable) to me still is 32767.

box is katxo

Sunday, December 26th, 2010
katxokatxo = box (noun) (some things Google found for "katxo": an uncommon to rare term; user names; a rare last name or first name that may be Basque; a Basque term for a fish which is probably the Iberian chub)

Word derivation for "box" :
Basque = kaxa (or kutxa), Finnish = laatikko
Miresua = katxo

Today in the UK and Canada is Boxing Day.


Sunday, December 26th, 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;

jakā is here in the collective plural form ankāe. jakā means “deed, something done”, so ankāe is deeds.