Archive for September, 2011

Kahtsaai Vocabulary: -(i)rwa

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Learning a language represents training in the delusions of that language.1

I am a great collector of lexical derivation methods. I ran across one a while ago — I wish I could remember where — which I immediately grabbed for Kahtsaai (PDF). This resulted in a minor lexical upheaval, but I'm very fond of the results.

The form is -rwa after vowels, -irwa after all consonants except r, l and ł, in which case it's just -wa. For now, it is only attached to verbs. It produces stative verbs meaning that something has the characteristic of causing or permitting the verbal action. That's a bit obscure. Some examples make it clearer:

łeit fear, be afraid of łeitirwa scary
weir be sick weirwa contagious
posé trust, believe póserwa trustworthy, believable
tááít go to someone for help; seek sanctuary tááítirwa messed up or dangerous beyond one's ability to cope with alone

Some of the resulting words are similar to English nouns in -able, but most are not. It seems very useful, and is so far doing a good job of taxing my ability to come up with English definitions for things. What, for example, would this derivation of kén urge, impel, set in motion mean? What about kitra tame, subdue? The notions seem useful.


1 Given as a "Gowachin aphorism" in Frank Herbert's novel Whipping Star.

coal is havikaili

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
havikailihavikaili = coal (noun) (some things Google found for "havikaili": an unique term; this is a compound Miresua word of havi (stone) and kaili (carbon; coal))

Word derivation for "coal" :
Basque = harrikatz (harri = stone + ikatz = coal,charcoal)
Finnish = kivihiili (kivi = stone + hiili = carbon,coal)
Miresua = havikaili

To be precise, this is the Miresua word for bitumous coal, as opposed to anthracite coal.

Why the conlang words for coal? For one, because this conlang is used in a world that is not modern. Also because I personally know what it's like to burn coal to stay warm. I spend some time, particularly in the warmer months, at an old family house in the mountains that lacks central heating.

mattūtōnte

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

mattuutoonte

mattūtōnte

This refers to someone with authority, generally earned through some sort of mastery of skill. It is also a specific guild rank in certain guilds.

Sentence #37:
ē ñi sapāla luhañen aþ temme jakekōrja ke mēla matūttōnte sū mīþi hāl ien ē se jawēra sarāpa mo jamāonre þō ī ōrra ñi makerāon manōña il jahōλen ī hēja ñatta sāen makerāon āl cī ī hēja ñi sāen rā jamāonre mē cī aþ ilwae ñi sāen manōña rēha;
Still he was weeping, and one with authority, in front of the rest, explained to him that this city was named sarāpa and that the king had been dead a long time and now they would make him the king and that he should come into the city and then never would he die.

Ove

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ove'.

ove

  • (v.) to dissipate
  • (n.) dissipation
  • (adj.) dissipating

He kupiki ue ie ove o heva.
“Let’s wait for the fog to clear.”

Notes: Here’s an iku I thought worked out very well by happenstance. It’s a standard ikunoala (combination of o and fe), but it’s reminiscent of several similar words. Compare, for example, heva, which describes a wide area (e.g. one that something would disperse across) or is the word for “fog”. There’s also kawi, the word for “cloud”, which is a thing that may or may not disperse.

Another coincidence is the word ovethat in Dothraki, which means “to fly”. I don’t know if I ever gave much thought to the phonetic sequence [ove], but it seems to have cemented itself in my head as…airy, in some way. Actually what comes to mind specifically is the sound of a large bird’s wings flapping. Ove, ove ove… Is that just me? I think it might be…

High Eolic word of the day: assem

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

assem (noun): paper, sheet of paper.

varándut sittíndupam assemb-alá lattárandettárut
father.DEF throw.PERF.TRANS paper-ACC.PL fireplace.ILL.DEF
“[my] father threw the paper(s) into the fire”

Listen to the example sentence here: W_HE_132_assem_example

This noun is derived from the Trevecian word sema, with the same meaning, reflecting the large number of High Eolic vocabulary related to books and printing derived from Trevecian (adopted in parallel with, in turn, the writing system, religious literature, and most recently the printing press).

Out-of-date documentation

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The grammar I have linked over there on the right is terribly, terribly out-of-date. I plan on working on that a little bit today. It's still going to be very informal. Writing it all out in a conversational tone helps me get over my aversion to writing it out at all, and it makes it easier reading for my friends who aren't really all that interested in languages but are curious about what it is that I do.

In any case, whatever comes out of the revision will be better than the best available documentation for ea-luna. For instance, the ENTIRE documentation for ea-luna verbs is this:
 (ma/buna) (ae/ewe) (ema/ide) (eni) (uma/punu/bana) 
That makes perfect sense to me, but it really doesn't tell anyone else much of anything useful. That's what I am working from on my end, though, for most of my languages-- just a cheat sheet for my own benefit that needs to be expanded and explained before it is fit for public consumption.

On an different, but perhaps not wholly unrelated, note, the Nevashi word du jour, newly minted just this morning, is semosva, "procrastination" (or, more literally, "not-doing-ness"), which is just shy of simosva, "laziness".




Out-of-date documentation

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The grammar I have linked over there on the right is terribly, terribly out-of-date. I plan on working on that a little bit today. It's still going to be very informal. Writing it all out in a conversational tone helps me get over my aversion to writing it out at all, and it makes it easier reading for my friends who aren't really all that interested in languages but are curious about what it is that I do.

In any case, whatever comes out of the revision will be better than the best available documentation for ea-luna. For instance, the ENTIRE documentation for ea-luna verbs is this:
 (ma/buna) (ae/ewe) (ema/ide) (eni) (uma/punu/bana) 
That makes perfect sense to me, but it really doesn't tell anyone else much of anything useful. That's what I am working from on my end, though, for most of my languages-- just a cheat sheet for my own benefit that needs to be expanded and explained before it is fit for public consumption.

On an different, but perhaps not wholly unrelated, note, the Nevashi word du jour, newly minted just this morning, is semosva, "procrastination" (or, more literally, "not-doing-ness"), which is just shy of simosva, "laziness".




Olu

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'olu'.

olu

  • (adj.) wide
  • (v.) to be wide
  • (n.) width
  • (v.) to be open (said of mouths, eyes and similar things)
  • (adj.) open

Témepa, olu lau o lea.
“Temba, his arms wide.”

Notes: That quote is from the famous (or infamous) Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Darmok”, where the alien Tamarians have a language that they apparently refuse to use—or understand. A truly puzzling one to think about as a language enthusiast.

Today’s iku is, I think, the real base for fala, the Kamakawi word for “father”, as opposed to opu, the Kamakawi word for “flea”. This one’s a true ikunoala (a straightforward blend of o and lu), and fala is the same glyphed simply flipped around.

And, of course, it’d make sense (perhaps?) for there to be a word for “father” before a word for “flea”, so it seems likelier that the glyph for fala had a notch added to it to produce opu, rather than the notch having been removed from opu to produce fala.

So, yes. I’m glad to have that figured out. On to the next mystery…

jatanīsa

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

jataniisa

jatanīsa

This is an adornment worn on the body for decoration, like jewelry or beads or some such thing. It is related to janīsa “bead”.

Sentence #36:
il ñi sapāla sū xō il ñi mēli rū jamāonre rā jatarōn jawēha jahāwa nū nīkan anīλi nīkan antanīsi nīkan anlāni nīkan anlāsi;
While he was there weeping, people came from the city to near the edge of the mirage with cloths and decorations and greetings and welcomes.

carbon, coal is kaili

Monday, September 26th, 2011
kailikaili = carbon, coal (noun) (some things Google found for "kaili": a common term; a last name that can be Hawaiian, notably Greek member of Parliament and former television news presenter Eva Kaili; a feminine first name that can be a variant of Kaylee, notably American actress Kaili Thorne; song title by alternative music artist Caribou; the Kaili Formation Cambrian fossil beds of southwest China; Kaili language group of Sulawesi, Indonesia; name of cities in China, Indonesia, India and Senegal)

Word derivation for "carbon, coal":
Basque = karbono (carbon) and ikatz (coal; charcoal)
Finnish = hiili (carbon; coal)
Miresua = kaili

This Miresua conlang word notably uses two Basque source words.