Archive for September, 2014


Friday, September 26th, 2014

Contrastive vestibular fold vibration. 

Here’s an example of what I mean.


Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Making at least one productive affix in the inflection or derivation system of the language actually be semantically empty…that is, whether or not it is necessary to use it is determined by the utterer’s taste rather than the form(s) of any other word(s) placed about the word to which it is to be attached.

Moten Words for the Day

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

kemi /ke̞mi/, noun: “pleasantness, wonderfulness; also as adj. pleasant, wonderful, good”

abal /abal/, noun: “dreadfulness, lousiness; also as adj. dreadful, lousy, bad”

There, feeling better? :)

So, we’ve already seen two ways to translate “good” and “bad” into Moten: vo|sa and slim, which refer to fitness for purpose, and ufan and tlebe, which refer to objective quality. Today, we’re adding two more possible translations, this time referring to “good” and “bad” as simply a matter of opinion.

Kemi and abal are respectively positive and negative statements of opinion, and only opinion. They simply indicate whether someone likes whatever is qualified, or not. They are different from vo|sa and slim in that there is no need to have a purpose in mind in order to like or dislike something, and they are different from ufan and tlebe in that you don’t need to be able to objectively justify your opinion on something. As such, if you state that something is abal, you won’t be expected to explain for what purpose it is, nor will you be expected to justify your statement based on objective qualifications. At most, people will ask you why you are harbouring such an opinion.

To illustrate the difference between these three ways of translating “good” or “bad”, consider an example I gave earlier: that of a chair. A chair is ufan if it’s made of quality wood and built by a master carpenter (for instance). A chair is vo|sa if it sits comfortably and can easily handle your weight. Finally, a chair is kemi if you like it :).

Notice that these three forms of “good” are not necessarily companions. A chair that is ufan can still be slim if it’s uncomfortable. A chair can be both ufan and vo|sa and yet still be abal, if you just don’t like its design. Finally, a chair that is a heirloom from your favourite relative, who specifically donated it to you, can still be kemi, even if it’s both tlebe and slim. All those words refer to specific facets of goodness and badness, which are mostly independent from each other.

With these two, we have the three main pairs of words used to translate “good” and “bad” in Moten. There are others, naturally (just like English has things like “awful”, “fantastic”, “nice”, etc.), but those are the main ones and the most commonly used.


from Tumblr


Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

An auxiliary language speakable only during fellatio, which uses the unique phonemes created with the penis situated in different parts of the mouth. The deeper phonemes you can create, the higher register you can speak.

Detail #101: Case marking hierarchy

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
A system whereby which word in a noun phrase carries the case marking for the entire noun phrase is determined by a hierarchy. In this language, all adjectives are essentially nouns in apposition.

Which word goes where in the phrase is determined by various patterns. Examples include:
age immediately precedes title or occupation
terms of kinship are titles, but if another title appears in the same phrase, the kinship term goes after it.
adjectives denoting shape, material or colour (for inanimate objects) indirectly precede titles (i.e. if other things precede them, other things go closer to the title)
personal appearance (beard, hairiness, hair colour, skin colour,) indirectly precede descriptions of age, but go after descriptions of shape
non-title agentive nouns/adjectives go first 
and a bunch of similar rules

Now, let's further come up with a hierarchy were basically each noun and adjective has a rank, and the highest ranked  noun or adjective gets the case marking:

old captain Stanford.acc
beardy old.acc  captain 
beardy old chieftain.acc 
dancing/-er beautiful.acc young
dancing/-er.acc skilled young
The main challenge in making such a language would of course be keeping track of the rules for ordering the words and then structuring words into the hierarchy. I imagine the results could be pretty cool, though.

To really break this idea out of what might seem even remotely realistic, how about having each case have its own hierarchy?

Do you have any good conlang ideas? :-P

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I do! But this blog is not the place for them. If you like good conlang ideas, though, I can direct you to some places:

Miniature conlangs was kinda the inspiration for starting this blog. 

Ayeri and Novegradian are, in addition to being some of the first conlangs on the internet that I found, are some of the best out there.

Anthologica, the ZBB, the CBB, and Conlang-L are some of the better places to discuss conlanging on the Internet. Anthologica in particular has features for you to easily store and update info on your conlang, including a neat feature for dictionaries, with more features on their way - check it out!

Because I’m a narcissist I have to link to my main blog, kanpeteshuniami, where I talk about my own conlangs, among other things. 

If anyone else has any neat conlang links that I didn’t list here, feel free to send them my way!


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

A sign language where each phoneme seems sexually suggestive to the average Western watcher.

Moten Words for the Day

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

ufan /ufan/, noun: “greatness, also as adj. great”

tlebe /tle̞be̞/, noun: “mediocrity, also as adj. mediocre, bad”

That squirrel knows its stuff.

So, last time I explained that Moten doesn’t have generic words for “good” and “bad”, and introduced vo|sa and slim as a less generic pair that can be used to replace them. It makes sense to carry on and introduce another pair of words that can be translated as “good” and “bad”, with a different specialisation.

Here, ufan and tlebe are the extremes in the range of objective quality. In other words, something is ufan when it can be objectively argued that it has excellent quality. Its opposite tlebe, on the other hand, denotes mediocrity, in the sense of a lack of objective quality.

By “objective quality”, I mean a characteristic that is not up for opinion. For instance, a manufactured object will be ufan if it’s a sturdy, good build, and made of quality materials. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the object will be fit for purpose (i.e. vo|sa) or even that the speaker has to actually like it. For instance, a dish will be ufan if it’s masterly cooked from quality ingredients. That doesn’t mean the speaker has to actually like the dish (those ingredients may not be to their liking), or even that the dish is fit for purpose (it might be a starter when the speaker was expecting dessert!). But as long as it can be objectively stated that something is excellent, it will be ufan.

By the way, ufan is too strong to be translatable as “good”. That’s why I translate it as “great” instead. If one wants to indicate that something is simply of good quality, rather than really excellent, one can use the diminutive ufsin instead, which reduces the meaning of ufan while still keeping it positive. Tlebe, on the other hand, works rather well as a translation of “bad”.

Also, while I’m saying that ufan and tlebe are to be used only when one is talking about objective quality, I’m not saying that Moten speakers never use them subjectively: Moten speakers are just as likely to lie, exaggerate, mislead or simply be incorrect as anyone else ;).


from Tumblr

beet is jurmotxas (revisited)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
jurmotxas = beet (noun) (some things Google found for "jurmotxas": an unique term; similar is a comment by someone with the last name of Jurmo about Texas)

Word derivation for "beet":
Basque = erremolatxa (similar to Spanish remolacha)
Finnish = juurikas (also punajuurikas, where puna means red)
Miresua = jurmotxas

My previous Miresua conlang word for beet, the vegetable, was juremitxa. As in Finnish, the j is pronounced like consonantal y. As in Basque, the tx is pronounced like ch.

As I expected, the word beet doesn't occur in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-glass.

Imbas Forosnai: Poetic Inspiration of the Irish Filidh, by Ali Isaac

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
       I have recently discovered Ali Isaac, who blogs about Irish mythology and writes stories utilizing it.  She has done an impressive amount of research on this subject, and since I'm not particularly well versed in Irish myth, I thought one of her posts would enhance the topic of my blog, namely, the adaptation of myth in fiction. 
       Oh, by the way, Ali is writing a series called the Tir na Nog trilogy.  Check them out when you go over to her blog to read the rest of this post.  I haven't read them, but I'm about to put them on my To-Read list on Goodreads, because they definitely seem like my kind of book!  FYI, "Tir na Nog" means "Land of the Young" and is a name for the Irish Otherword. 
The Salmon of Knowledge
       Something which intrigued me during my research for my latest book, Conor Kelly and The Fenian King, was Fionn mac Cumhall’s ability to call forth his magical powers and divine the future by sucking or biting on his thumb.
       The story goes that, as a boy, whilst serving an apprenticeship with the Druid Finegas, he catches the Salmon of Knowledge and cooks it for his master. As he turns the fish in the pan, he scalds his thumb. Instinctively, he places his thumb in his mouth to cool the burn, thus ingesting the tiny scrap of fish skin stuck there, and acquiring the salmon’s knowledge. Afterwards, he has only to touch his thumb to his mouth to foretell the future, and seek the answers to his questions.
       According to the Senshas Mor (an ancient book of Brehon law), Fionn uses this power twice in the story ‘Fionn and the Man in the Tree’. When the Sidhe steal the Fianna’s food three times in a row as the food is cooking, Fionn is enraged and chases the thief back to his Sidhe-mound. A woman slams the door behind the thief, trapping Fionn’s thumb. He pops the injured digit in his mouth, and receives some kind of divine knowledge which he recites in a poem. Later in the same story, he discovers the identity of an escaped servant by putting his thumb in his mouth and chanting an incantation.
       This act of looking into the future and chanting or reciting prophecy in the form of poetry is called Imbas Forosnai (imbas meaning ‘inspiration’, in particular the sacred poetic inspiration of the ancient Filidh, and forosnai meaning ‘illuminating’ or ‘that which illuminates’). It involves the use of sensory deprivation in order to pass into a trance-like state.
Read more of this post HERE.