Archive for December, 2010

Ume

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ume'.

ume

  • (v.) to rotate (something)
  • (v.) to turn around
  • (v.) to revolve
  • (n.) rotation
  • (adj.) revolving, rotating

Po’u ie hoki poki u ume i ika…
“You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around…”

Notes: That’s what it’s all about! :D

In the past, I’ve done posts on words that have been derived from this word (e.g. umeke), so I figured it was about time.

The iku for this word is kind of an ikuiku in more than one way. First, conceptually, if you trace a path with your finger from one end to the other, you will be turned around at the end of it (though you can’t do it without crossing over a line!). Second, though, this is actually an iku’ume, or a turned glyph, as it’s the rotated version of nimana. In this way, you can get the meaning of the word literally from the glyph itself, since what was done to the glyph for nimana is what the word itself means.

Otherwise, this word is not related to the meaning of “impossible”. I think those who attached the glyph to ume just noted the symbolic nature of the tracing.

Hey, I almost forgot: It’s football day! :D Here’s how I did with my predictions last week:

Week 15

  • Indianapolis 23 Jacksonville 20
  • Atlanta 31 Seattle 20
  • Oakland 48 Denver 7
  • New England 32 Green Bay 14
  • Minnesota 19 Chicago 17

That’s 4-1! I’m now 50-25 on the season. (And hey, for those keeping track, the Raiders are now 5-0 in their division with one more divisional game to play against the Chiefs!)

I had an unbelievable turn of events in Fantasy Football. I was down by four points with two minutes left to play. I had New England’s defense and my opponent had Tom Brady and Mason Crosby (Green Bay’s kicker). Matt Flynn had Green Bay moving, and it looked like they were going to score. On a second down play, he was sacked, giving me a point (down by three now). On the next play, Flynn completed a long pass, leaving them with fourth and, say, five. Due to some confusion on the field, Green Bay, with no timeouts, took a heck of a time getting a play called. When they finally got the ball snapped with six seconds left, Flynn dropped back, then scrambled forward and was sacked (+1 point for me), fumbled (+1 point for me) and New England recovered (+2 points for me) to end the ball game.

Meaning that the result of the last play of the game gave me a one point victory in fantasy. I’d never been so overjoyed to see the slimy New England Cheatriots win.

Next week, though, my outlook is pretty dismal. I’m playing a hot team (his QB is Michael Vick), but will need to overcome to make it to the finals against my best friend Blaine (who will most certainly be in the finals).

Here are my Week 16 predictions:

Week 16

  • San Francisco 31 St. Louis 28
  • Miami 17 Detroit 14
  • San Diego 35 Cincinnati 12
  • Philadelphia 28 Minnesota 23
  • Atlanta 20 New Orleans 17

‘keldadimil: to save (file)

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Example:
Xe’la’keldadimil ameri’het ,xe’ki’ta ,mi’aru sunra, het, venil.
1S-PST-save text ,1S-know-NEG ,3S-be where, this, but.
I have saved the text, but I do not know where it is.

I have to admit that this was something which kept me up a while: How can I say ‘to save a file’ in Rejistanian. Conlang insomnia at its best. Then, the inspiration came from a discussion on an IRC channel about keyboard shortcuts. I am very idiosyncratic about that. I still refuse to use Control+C and Control+V for copy and pasting. Why? Because I dislike Windows and everything associated with it. I remember actually crying when my parents got rid of OS/2 and instead used that clumsy, ugly Windows 3.1. After that bad start, Windows never really gained much ground on me. Yes, Windows 9x was better than Windows 3.1, but at that time, I already experienced DOS software and pretty much used it to run many DOS programs simultaneously. Linux has been a relevation. Not only was KDE 1.x pretty neat when I tried it, but also there was a textmode editor which supported all the keyboard shortcuts which I knew from the Turbo Pascal editor (which I used for about everything related to text). One of these was Control+K-D to save a file. I realized that it would be nice if this was actually a mnenomic for something in rejistanian and thus created ‘keldadimil, which means something like: to remain written.

Why? Because if a file is saved, it cannot be forgotten if the power fails. Well, unless the powerfail dissects the filesystem, of course. ;)


anānīke

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

anaaniike

anānīke

Continuing on to 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;

Unfamiliar words are anānīke, ankāe, ancēji, rēha, jāo, and jānne.

anānīke denotes the abstract quality of unity or union, of separates joining together and becoming one. This makes it the opposite of ankepōla.

“Then He said: the people have unity and they have only one language and…”

Inevi

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'inevi'.

inevi

  • (n.) gift
  • (v.) to make a gift of something

Kiko i Ki Inevi!
“Today is Gift Day!”

Notes: Merry Gift Day! :mrgreen:

If Christmas were somehow to make its way to the Kamakawi Islands, they’d probably call it Ki Inevi (rather than Kilitimata). The historical reason for Christmas would probably seem pretty silly to the Kamakawi—as would the compulsory gift-giving—but, hey, any reason for a party is a reason to party! :D

To all y’all, may you have a joyous Gift Day, and enjoy anything and everything. I’ll be having a good time spending Christmas with my wife’s family, who know that the real reason for the season is spending time with those you love, and reflecting on how wonderful it is to have them in your life, since we have so little of it to live.

New Conlang: Qekri

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Who speaks Qekrii?

Qekrii [ˈʔɛ.kri] is a tentative name for this conlang. It means “chaos”. It is a dead language that was spoken in my conworld many thousands of years ago, when magic was wild and shape-shifters and time-travellers were the norm, and the four Spirits did not yet exist. Old Talajyn was spoken at this time, which evolved into Talajyn and Fae (which was also influenced by Qekrii).

Why another conlang?

Well, why not? I like to play around with phonologies, which is mostly how I start conlangs now. And this phonology is pretty fun.

Qekrii is also an extremely roundabout solution to a minor problem that could have been solved much more easily. But when you can solve a problem by inventing a fantasy language—is that really a choice?

The quite simple problem was with Jahara (which in Talajyn should actually be spelled with a dž, not a j), and to be more specific, with her name. Jahara has always been her name, and I couldn’t bring myself to change it, even though she is Talaran and her language has no /h/. Nothing even close. I tried to make myself call her “Jakara” (Džakara), but it just wouldn’t stick.

So the obvious solution (despite its execution not requiring the invention of a language) would be to just add the phoneme /h/ to Talajyn. I could add it to the phonology and sprinkle it in throughout already-created words. Or I could make it a very rare phoneme that only occurs in a very few words[1].

But instead of having a phantom phoneme popping up in random places with no explanation (even though that does actually happen in natlangs!), I thought it would be a much more awesome solution to create a new conlang that would have interacted with Old Talajyn, from which Talajyn borrowed a few words containing the phoneme /h/.

So I played around with a kick-ass phonology, and created the word “xahaqra” [xɑ.hɑ.ʔrɑ], which means “icicle”. So now whenever Talajyn needs a new word, I will consider adapting something from Qekrii. Preferably including /h/s.

Phonology Overview

I’ll post some in-depth charts later, but for a quick overview:

Qekrii has three sets of consonants. The first set consists of the plosives and fricatives, which must be the initial onset of the syllable (i.e., a syllable can’t start with a vowel). The sound represented by the letter “q” is a glottal stop, but more accurately a glottal plosive. It’s very forceful and is considered by native speakers to be a “normal” consonant like any other—very unlike English!

The second set of consonants are the two approximants, one trill, and one lateral fricative (replacing the usual “l”!). These are optional secondary onsets that can form a consonant cluster at the onset when they follow the required plosive or fricative.

Then comes the nucleus—the eight vowels in Qekrii are a little different than anything I’ve done before, but they’re not complicated.

Then, optionally, the coda. A coda is always a nasal. Qekrii has a distinction between four nasal sounds: labial, alveolar, velar, and uvular. The placement can be influenced by the preceding vowel or following consonant, and vary by speaker, but there are minimal pairs for each.

Comments? Thoughts? It would be awesome if someone knows what I’m talking about with the whole “frog” word thing. Or if anyone knows any other examples of a native—must be native!—phoneme occuring in very, very few instances in a language. Rare phonemes in borrowed words are meh.

  1. [1] This does happen in natlangs. I read recently (and unfortunately can’t remember where) about a language that has a native phoneme that occurs in only one word (I think it means “frog”), and nowhere else. Weird…

Related posts:

  1. Conlang Word Generator in PHP

ōrra

Friday, December 24th, 2010

oorra

ōrra

We’re on sentence 6 of the Babel text:

il aþ ñi λi ārōn rā āke tō sema mo sarōña jamāonre nīkan jakōnōr ja ōrra ñatta;

ōrra is a past tense marker denoting completion.

“And then the Lord went there to see the city and the tower that they had built.”

Kimoko

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kimoko'.

kimoko

  • (n.) day five: the fifth day of the first week of a two week cycle (also known by some as Friday and/or Caturday)

Kiko i kimoko!
“Today is Friday!”

Notes: Today is a sombre Caturday, since I can’t be with my darling cat Keli. :( I miss her terribly. I hope she’s doing well. Here’s a picture taken (mid-lick!) on my new iPhone, whose camera is much better than the old one:

Keli investigating Sylvia Sotomayor's laptop.

Talajyn: Tower of Babel, verse 3, section 1

Thursday, December 23rd, 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.

Analysis

First section

Soreral kajalo atiečagai

Sorera-l
honorific 3rd person plural-[nominative]

kaja-lo
this-[accusative]

ati-eča-gai
say-[honorific distant past]-[reflexive*]

The phrase Soreral kajalo atiečagai means “They said this to each other” or “They said this amongst themselves”; “kaja” (this) being the object of “ati” (say); the rather flexible and sometimes ambiguous reflexive ending “gai” means they are doing it among themselves or to each other. Or among each other and/or to themselves.

I hate asterisks that go nowhere, but I wasn’t sure where to put it. Here: *see above paragraph for a somewhat vague gloss of an explanation of the reflexive ending.

Questions? Comments? Unrelated but interesting links? Please to share below.

Related posts:

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

Thropoi Phonology

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
The phonology of Thropoi is pretty standard, with one or two exceptions.

Consonants


p b t d th k
p b t d θ~ð k

f v w s z sh zh
f v w~ʋ s z ʃ ʒ

m n l r j
m n* l r** j

* <n> is /ŋ/ before k
** <r> is /ɹ/ when not followed by a vowel

Vowels


a á o ó i í
ɐ a ɔ o ɪ i

u ú ü e é ë
u y ʏ ɛ e *

The last vowel is the most interesting. It is generally not pronounced. You could consider it a mix between a glottal stop and a /ə/. For instance, "darëthi" ('my') is pronounced [dɐɹθɪ], [dɐɹəθɪ] or [dɐrəθɪ]. The combination "të ... të" would be [tə ... tə] in most cases.

When a vowel is followed or preceded by an ë, the ë is omitted. E.g. 'mano'+'ëth' > "manoth" ('I have'). When there is a word break in between, the ë remains visually, but is not pronounced. For instance, "atë átallëth" ('and I eat') would be [ɐ:ta:tɐlθ].

Alternatively, you could write the <ë> as <'>. For instance "at' átallëth" or even "at' átall'th".

Thropoi Phonology

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
The phonology of Thropoi is pretty standard, with one or two exceptions.

Consonants


p b t d th k
p b t d θ~ð k

f v w s z sh zh
f v w~ʋ s z ʃ ʒ

m n l r j
m n* l r** j

* <n> is /ŋ/ before k
** <r> is /ɹ/ when not followed by a vowel

Vowels


a á o ó i í
ɐ a ɔ o ɪ i

u ú ü e é ë
u y ʏ ɛ e *

The last vowel is the most interesting. It is generally not pronounced. You could consider it a mix between a glottal stop and a /ə/. For instance, "darëthi" ('my') is pronounced [dɐɹθɪ], [dɐɹəθɪ] or [dɐrəθɪ]. The combination "të ... të" would be [tə ... tə] in most cases.

When a vowel is followed or preceded by an ë, the ë is omitted. E.g. 'mano'+'ëth' > "manoth" ('I have'). When there is a word break in between, the ë remains visually, but is not pronounced. For instance, "atë átallëth" ('and I eat') would be [ɐ:ta:tɐlθ].

Alternatively, you could write the <ë> as <'>. For instance "at' átallëth" or even "at' átall'th".