Archive for October, 2011


Monday, October 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fe'a'u'.


  • (v.) to be known

Fe’a’u amo!
“It is known!”

Notes: Okay, so I may have cheated with this word, but I wanted to give a shout out to Bryce Homick, who put together an authentic Halloween costume of Khal Drogo from scratch! It’s quite impressive! To take a look at this handiwork, check out today’s Dothraki post.

But regarding passives, there are some theories of syntax which hold that—necessarily!—passive versions of active verbs must be listed separately in the lexicon. That’s just crazy! The relationship between a passive and active version of a verb is so systematic, and so rarely produces actual different lexemes, that treating them like different lexemes is, to me, indicative of a failing in the theory, and not very illuminating about language. But that’s just what I think.

Conlangery #22: Pronouns

Monday, October 31st, 2011
George’s father has pragmatics issues, but anyway … pronouns!  (Almost) every language is going to have pronouns of some sort.  We talk all kinds — closed-class, open-class, free, clitic, and even having pronouns for bizarrely specific people.  Also, we review Baranxe’i Links and Resources: Swahili concord (alternate) Mixtec Xavante (look for the reference to a’ama) WALS on demonstratives […]

Hajas, Zhey Khal!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I know it’s not the most popular costume this Halloween, but some may have the idea of going trick-or-treating as Khal Drogo. You could probably grab a Conan the Barbarian costume and modify it, sure. That’s cool.

Or you could make your own Khal Drogo costume. Authentically. From scratch.

Sound impossible? If you’re someone like me, yes. If you’re someone like Skxawng over at the Dothraki forum, though, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility.

Way, way back on June 10th, Skxawng announced his intention of creating a Khal Drogo costume. He mentioned the materials he thought he’d need to create a leather girdle, bracers, a medallion belt, an arakh, etc., which sounded impressive, but it’s the pictures that really tell the story.

Here, for example, is an arakh in the process of being made:

An arakh made by Bryce Homick (image by Bryce Homick).

Click to enlarge.

And here’s one of the knives that Drogo carries with him:

A knife made by Bryce Homick (image by Bryce Homick).

Click to enlarge.

And here’s the girdle in the early stages:

Dothraki girdle made by Bryce Homick (image by Bryce Homick).

Click to enlarge.

But perhaps the most impressive shots are these before and after shots. Here’s the cardboard mock-up Skxawng made at the beginning:

Dothraki girdle mock-up made by Bryce Homick (image by Bryce Homick).

Click to enlarge.

And here’s what it looks like today:

Finished Khal Drogo costume by Bryce Homick (image by Bryce Homick).

Click to enlarge.

Are you kidding me?! That’s outstanding! Great job, Skxawng!

If you want to read more details about the creation process, you can go to the original topic at the Dothraki forum, or you can go to Skxawng’s (real name Bryce Homick) blog In fact, there’s quite a bit more detail at Skxawng’s blog (including how he made these incredible horse medallions!); I highly encourage you to go check it out.

There is one bit remaining issue, though. In the original post, Skxawng was looking for some Dothraki phrases to memorize to go with the costume. I’m not sure if he ever got them, so here are some that might serve:


  1. M’athchomaroon! “Hello!”
  2. M’ath! “Hi!”
  3. M’ach! “Hi!”
  4. Athchomar chomakea! “Greetings to you all!”
  5. Hajas! “Be strong!” (Like “Goodbye!”)
  6. Dothras chek! “Ride well!” (Another farewell.)


  1. Ifas maisi yeri! “Go walk with your mother!”
  2. Yer affesi anna! “You make me itch!”
  3. Ezas eshna gech ahilee! “Find another hole to dig!”
  4. Ki fin yeni?! “What the heck?!”

Some Compliments

  1. Yer chomoe anna. “You do honor to me.”
  2. Hazi davrae. “That’s good.”
  3. Yer zheanae (sekke). “You’re (very) beautiful.”
  4. Anha vazhak yeraan thirat. “I will let you live.”


  1. Hash yer asti k’athijilari? “You’re speaking truthfully?”
  2. Hash yer dothrae chek asshekh? “Do you ride well today?”
  3. Hash anha atihak yera save? “Will I see you again?”
  4. Fini hazi? “What is that?”


  1. Yer ojili! “You’re wrong!”
  2. Anha efichisak haz yeroon! “I disagree!”
  3. Anha dothrak chek asshekh. “I feel well today.”
  4. Athdavrazar! “Excellent!”

Skxawng’s going to have some more pictures after Halloween, so stay tuned! Again, great job!


Monday, October 31st, 2011



This is the word for a sphere.

High Eolic word of the day: taya

Monday, October 31st, 2011

taya (quantifier): nobody, no thing, nothing.

ta ca ngúrnucám máru-taya-l
NEG I see.POT.TRANS it.GEN-nothing-ACC
“I could not see anything”

taya belongs to the class of ‘numeral-like quantifiers’, which exhibit syntactic behavior identical to that of proper cardinal numerals (such as mbár ‘one’); that is, it acts as a modifier within a noun word by following an undefined nominal in the genitive, as in the example above. Moreover, it requires double negation: any clause it occurs in must be negated with the clause-level negative particle ta.


Monday, October 31st, 2011

hirve. (í n. A hero. [Âdlantki *hirvé, from Kirumb *hírós, from Greek ἥρως hērōs.]

A couple more words left to fill out this line:

[It] despatched many brave souls of heroes.

I think that, culturally, hirve might have at least one more meaning in Atlantic. The Greek ἥρως was originally a sort of demigod, or one of the people of the fourth Age of Man, and these myths—if indeed they are myths in Nother—would have some effect on how similar sorts of people might be described. The ἥρως, I mean, might be identified with some specific race of people, perhaps still extant, when borrowed into Kirumb, and that identification might persist to the current day. I still have a lot of the syncretism of Nother to work out, though.

falcon is balka (revisited)

Monday, October 31st, 2011
balkabalka = falcon (noun) (some things Google found for "balka": a common term; a last name notably Polish modern artist Miroslaw Balka; Kele Balka are plantain/banana chips from India; Balka: Three Stories (2010) is a short documentary about women struggling with drug use and HIV in Ukraine; Hotel Balka Strand in Denmark; means beam in Russian (transliterated); Tigrovaya Balka is a Nature Reserve in Tajikistan; name of places in Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey)

Word derivation for "falcon" :
Basque = belatz, Finnish = haukka (falcon or hawk)
Miresua = balka

My previous Miresua conlang word for falcon was hatza. I decided to redo this word to start it with the less common letter B. Also I didn't like that word hatza was quite similar to the Basque word for owl, hontza.


Sunday, October 30th, 2011



This is the word for cylinder.


Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'pea'.


  • (pron.) third person singular gender-neutral animate pronoun

Ai pea i hopoko oi eine ai?
“Are they a man or a woman?”

Notes: Kamakawi has a bunch of pronouns, and one of them is an animate gender-neutral third person pronoun. Basically, it’s used in the place where we would use singular “they” in English. You use it for a human whose gender you don’t know, or can’t identify right away—or for when gender isn’t important or isn’t stated. It’s better than using amo, because it’s animate (it refers to humans). I end up using it quite a bit, though I’m not sure how it would survive in a natural language.

The iku is a standard combination of pe and a, but it looks pretty cool (kind of edgy!). In fact, a number of the pronouns end up looking pretty good. I’m pleased enough with them.

Building Dictionaries

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
How do you build dictionaries?

So far I've just been keeping lists of words across Word docs and Evernote, but I want to build a legit dictionary. I've looked on a previous post about build-your-own-dictionary programs and so far the most viable options seem to be Lexique Pro and GoldenDict.

Can anyone who's used them both tell me about the differences between the two? Or can anyone who's used either of them on their own tell me how easy/hard they are to use? Both seem geared to just using dictionaries of existing languages, how easy are they for making whole new languages/dictionaries? Lexique Pro exports to Word Docs and HTML files. Does GoldenDict export to anything? I know it can import entries from other online dictionaries if the screenshots are anything to go by, but what about exporting?

If there are any other build-your-own dictionary programs, can you let me know? Also, has anyone tried building a Wiki/Wikia for their conlang? I think that is what I will likely do, but I can see that getting pretty complicated pretty fast. I also am considering a GoogleSite.

Any other suggestions? Thoughts? Experiences?