Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Conlang Exchange

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.....

Sunday, 12 December 2010


I have completed my notes for a lexicon from my file on verbs. So I will move on and fill in the lists from the substantives file. My favorite part of this lexicon at the moment is to discover that I have eight words that describe vehicles. They know about flying machines, which they call aweríon; and they have wheeled vehicles, makkina and know about buses and trucks: otobus and grushowik. I don't know what I am going to do with otobus. It is an international word and should be retained. They know about trains, trenon and have a stem for bikes kikl. They appear to have an advanced material culture with technology and machines.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Not dead but re-lexing

Just popped in to say this blog hasn't died. I got distracted by creating a complete lexicon for this language. Everything is being sorted out and placed into a list of words based on Rick Harrison's lexicon. I have an old copy of it on my computer under the heading UWL for Universal Word Lexicon. I have had to add a section for words that come outside the lists in the collection.

In the time that I have been silent I have not yet managed to complete working through my list of verbs. Currently I have reached a section from Bengali about verbs which mark the agent with the instrumental preposition in the past tense, and those which don't. It adds a curious restriction on the language as many of them are common verbs.

Afterwards I shall move on to including my notes on Substantives, Pronouns and Chuvmey (mostly particles). You may hear from me soon.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Sentences 4.26-27

Ten ítí eng kotte ot niwú?

Moniant pena kebalnia tratia, magari ya kembí en dâkotte

Where are there some on sale (It be-at some sold away-from-speaker at.where?)

If you go on the main street perhaps you may buy some (going-on in main street, perhaps of you some come-buy)

Interesting structure to the sentence, borrowed from the original Chinese dialogue, just to confuse me.

Moniant is the verbal noun, to go up, to mount, to ascend. It appears that it is even used to what would be flat ground, on main street.

Kebalnia, main, has the adjective ending for a feminine noun. The stem of the word means 'head'; and tratia is 'street'.

Magari is the word for 'perhaps', borrowed from Italian, and looking a bit too obvious, IMO. I may have to disguise it further. It is followed by the preposition ya, which in this position acts as a jussive, let.

And en is the pronoun some, which takes the n-ending before a word beginning with D.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sentence 4.26

Ten ítí nassodin kotte ot dâ

There were none on sale here.

The pronoun none is based on Italian nessuno. The first morpheme is na- rather than ne- in this language so the vowel changed. Then I substituted the second morpheme uno for slavic odin which has become the default for 'one' in this language. I kept the linking double-ss in the centre so it's the same word really.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sentence 4.25

A ítí ten eng kotte ot dâ?

Are there any on sale here?

Ten ítí, it is-at, is used to mean 'there is'.

We have used em twice in these sentences. Eng is a varient form that occurs before words starting with k-. It is an example of sandhi at work in this language.

We have seen dâkotte, buy, or transaction coming to me. Its partner is kotte ot, sell, or transaction away from me. Away-from-speaker has its own particle, ot.

The stem of the verb 'come' ends the sentence being used as an adverb of place.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Sentence 4.24


In the market.

A sentence of a single step. The stem word is maraga, market. It's classified as a place word and can take the coordinate prefixes, the same as was used in the previous sentence.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Sentence 4.23

Kembí ve dâkotte te niwú?

Where did you buy them? (You bought them at-where)

Two new words:

Dâkotte, bought. The stem is kop-, buy or sell. With dâ-, come, prefixed the transaction is towards the buyer.

Niwú, where. The interrogative place word , where, has a coordinate of place ni-, at or in, prefixed to it.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sentences 4.21-22

Te katatôkí tí duon, kodin?

Shim monion duon

Those cigarettes are good, aren't they?

Not very good.

The word for 'very' is the neuter of moní, great, used to mean 'greatly'

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Sentence 4.20

Nam, da tí meskoren

No, it belongs to the teacher.

Usually is followed by ya when it means 'belong'. An exception is made here. The word for teacher is made of two parts. The first part means 'my', a possessive adjective; and the second part means 'lord' or 'sir' as a title. The first part of the word has the genitive ending mes so ya is dropped; the second part of the word has the oblique ending koren. Literally the sentence is It is of-teacher.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Sentence 4.19

A tí da butilka inon yiha dua?

Is the bottle of ink his too?

Butilka, bottle, is a new word. Readers might recognise it from Russian. Yiha, his, is taken from a Indo-European language I have taken several attempts to create. I used this form because it turns up in various forms in different languages. So the third person possessive pronoun comes from a different stem than the other forms of the pronoun. The sentence ends with the balance word dua, which can be translated here as 'too, also'.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sentence 4.18

Da tíhim a bodú. Da tí ya shadrome bodú

It is not mine. It belongs to my friend.

Literally She is-NEG of 1s. She is of friend 1s.

The negative adverb is him after a vowel, and shim after a consonant. It comes from the Welsh not ddim. In this language TH and DH sounds become S. The deep grammar form of this word is *sim. Between two vowels S becomes H producing -him, and on a whim I decided to disguise *sim as -shim after a consonant.

Friend is shadrom, shadrome in the indirect object case. This is a last minute change. I have played with príant from Germanic and mik from Romance. This third option comes from a Turkish construct where friend means back-fellow (fellow at your back?). Says something about how Turks perceive friendship! This means I will have to go back and change the causative verb for 'accompany, get up'.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sentence 4.17

Da trinia tugika tí ya kembi, kodin

The writing brush is yours, isn't it?

Well that troubled me for a moment. Why had I introduced a new adjective into the sentence, trinia? The masculine would be triní. I looked at the original text and it fell into place. The stem of the word means 'hair'. So trinia tugika means 'hair-like writing-tool', a writing brush. So this language makes its own concepts.

At least I used the correct pronoun for 'yours' unlike in sentence 4.14. I must go back and correct it in the dialogues.

I went to a class on how to do Chinese calligraphy a couple of weekends ago. It was cool. The brush is held between the first two fingers and the thumb of the right hand. The second two fingers are held against the same side of the brush as the thumb. It is always held in the right hand, no allowances for southpaws as is now the practice in writing the latin alphabet. There are eight basic strokes to be learned. In writing the stroke resting the brush against the page, and lifting it at the end of the stroke is part of good calligraphy. It was a fascinating class to do and a good introduction to how another culture records information.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sentence 4.16

Ai da em?

What about that one?

I like this sentence. It surprised me when I created it. It's not the way I normally think in language.

Ai is a question marker. It is used when the next word is not a verb. In this case it is the pronoun da, so that is grammatical. Ai and a, which comes before verbs in questions, are borrowed from Welsh. Em is another pronoun introduced in this dialogue modifying da so it becomes that one (of them) or that one (of two).

A question made of two pronouns. I like it!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sentence 4.15

Da dônia tugika tí ya bodú

That steel pen is mine.

One new word, steel, dôní. It's an adjective and have the common adjective ending -ní. In the above sentence it agrees with the noun and takes the feminine ending. It is singular so it doesn't take the n- ending found in plural cases.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sentence 4.14

A tí te yilian tugikí a bodú?

Are those two pens yours?

The new word in this sentence is yilí. It is an adjective and means two. Before the feminine plural noun tugikí, writing tool, it takes the an-ending. It comes from the Swahili adjective -wili. As words in Swahili can change their initial consonant due to the prefix attached to it I have looked sideways for a rule to adapt and borrowed a sound change from Hebrew which says that an initial w- changes to y- on verbs and applied it to the adjective yilí, just to make it look different.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Sentence 4.13

Nam, bodú kusshim tôkí

No, I don't smoke.

In the middle of a dialogue that is diverted off subject to talk about cigarettes this sentence turns up! As we say in New Zealand Yeah, Right. If you need that explained I suggest you goggle the Tui Billboard ads, a surprisingly robust ad campaign for a New Zealand brewery that has been going on for several years. I have translated the tag into Brithenig (Si, druith), haven't done it for this language yet. Give it time.

The phrase for smoking tobacco is kuhant tôkí, eating tobacco. In Dialogue 2 the phrase Have you eaten yet? as a courtesy phrase was introduced. The past tense of the verb is baget (from Greek phago). So we have two stems for eat-verbs. Kus- or kuhant for eating food in general, and baget as the past tense.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Sentence 4.12

Kú ye bodú, kembí em wolt, kodin?

I have, do you want some?

The same possessive phrase as sentence 4.11 is repeated. Then it is followed by a question. The verb is wolt, want, wish, would like, be willing. Shamelessly Euroclone!

Then we have the object pronoun em. It comes before the verb, and also is a part of the language's Euroclone heritage. It's borrowed from French en (I have it on loan) and is used to mean of it, of them, some. This is its first appearance in Dialogue 4 and will appear a couple of more times.

I have been to the Conlang Card Exchange to update my address. This year I hope to use this language and its culture and be creative with it. I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sentence 4.11

Ei ullan shapalkí kú ye kembí, kodin?

Do you have any matches? Literally Topic any matches at of you, question

ull is an adjective meaning 'any'. In this phrase, after the topic marker ei and before a plural noun it takes the ending -an. The vowel -a- suggests the following word is feminine. (I suspect that this language would appeal to anyone who read the recent article on alien languages in Speculative Grammarian. The speakers probably come from a planet called Earthos!)

Shapalkí means matches. It has the same plural ending as katatôkí. It does have a singular form, shapalka.

is a preposition meaning at, especially at a place. It is used with ei to mark the owner of a possessed object. Together ei and mean have. Ei marks the possessed object, the possessor. The possessor in this case is kembí, you. As kembí is a uninflected pronoun and takes the dative case the oblique accompanative preposition ye is used between them making a composite long preposition. Now I wonder if it should be kuye as a single word...

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sentence 4.10

Te katatôkí tí ya bodú!

Those cigarettes are mine.

I knew there was reason why the plural ending of katatôkí was significant. It's not just treated as a plural noun the ending also means it's a collective noun. I realised that because the base word tôkí, tobacco, had to be a collective noun, small things found together. So 'a cigarette' would have to be 'one of the cigarettes. Must remember that.

The pronoun bodú takes the accompanative particle ya when it is used as a possessive. This is different to 'whose, of who' which was tamú chí in yesterday's entry. Different rules for different pronouns. I wonder if I will rationalise that in a later entry.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sentence 4.9 whose cigarettes

A tí te katatôkí tamú chí?

Whose cigarettes are these? The order reads Are these cigarettes whose? These cigarettes are the subject. Whose? is the object. Again the order of the sentence is different. I wonder if this will turn out to be the common practice.

I suspect that the age of the text is showing through. It was written in 1947. I suspect that anyone going to China in that period was assumed to be single, adult and an imperialist. And also a smoker. Ironically only a few years later the Chinese government would close its borders to foreigners from the colonial powers. That is another story.

The word for cigarette troubled me. The characters used are tobacco-roll-nominal. For a start I didn't have a word for tobacco. I went to an older form of this language where the word was tovako and applied some rules to shorten it toako > tôko. I found a verb kata, to roll. Did I want to add a nominal ending to it. That sounded like it would be too long. I decided that I would swap the order around and make it roll-tobacco. The word is cigarettes with a plural i-ending. What will the singular look like? If it is used in the singular. Thoughts for another day.

The word in front of katatôkí, te is an article. It is the plural form we have encountered as ta, male article, da female article and ten, neuter article. It can be a demonstrative, a definite article or a pronoun as needed.

The article is used again with the phrase for whose. Here it is direct object before the word for who. The form for 'whose' where it is based on 'the who' (not to be confused with the band). The language does not use the accusative case if the noun or pronoun is considered to be a person, instead the direct object is used, which is the dative case without a preposition before it.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sentence 4.8

Nam, poka châ brútse brobant chân, poka wodata brútse abachant wodata

"No, a tea pot is used for brewing tea, a kettle is used for boiling water".

New words:

brútse, is used, literally 'uses itself', the ever-popular reflexive verb.

brobant, to brew or prepare (tea), the imperative brobú was used in an earlier dialogue.

abachant, to boil (water).

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Sentence 4.7 Pot, Kettle

Poka châ ya poka wodata tí dasham, kodin?

Is a teapot the same as a kettle? The literal order is Pot tea and pot water is the-same, no?

So the word poka can mean teapot or kettle. The word that follows poka distinguishes its use.

Wodata means water. When it stands on its own like here it is always in the plural number.

Dasham, the same, is written as one word. The first morpheme is da, the feminine definite or demonstrative article or pronoun. The second part of the word is the stem sha which is used to mean all or like or together. It can often stand on its own. Without researching my construction of this word I would suspect that the m-ending is used here to mark it as a thing-word.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Sentences 4.5-6

It's time to get back to this after having moved flats and then waiting an unbearable amount of time for my internet connection to catch up with me! These things happen.

Let me look at the next sentence:

A tí da chet? Da tí yodna pokan chân

Q. What is that? A. That is a teapot.

The word for that is feminine da, so we already know the gender of the object (useful, that!) The word for pot is poka. In the sentence above it is in the accusative case. Followed by the word chân, tea, also in the accusative case it becomes teapot, pot of tea. The feminine indefinite article yodna does not have the accusative ending.

The enforced lack of access to the internet has not been without benefits. I found a copy of TY Turkish and took some notes from that. What an interesting language that one is: on the edge of Europe yet different from anything else around it.

Also I have started making a list of words and meanings found in this language. It has begun in the last week. I think it will effect how I see words joining together and creating new ones in this language.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sentence 4.4

Ei dashayon kú bolon châ, ei kodnen dashayon kú bol châ

What's the difference between bolon and bol you ask? Well let me tell you.

A bolon of tea has a handle, a bol of tea has no handle. That's what the above sentence says. Of course you have to remember that the structure of this sentence is topic-marker possessed at possessor. This was what I was trying to cover with yesterday's entry.

So this is the difference between bolon and bol. A bolon is a cup with a handle. Thing-nouns are regarded as big and physical. A bol is a drinking bowl that can be held in one hand. In contrast to the thing-noun the masculine noun is considered smaller and finer (yeah, right!) So the two words imply a difference in size. This contrast was taken from Swahili where small things are KI-class and large things are MA-class. Ghostian has adopted this onto its gendered nouns. Whether it has done this consistently will be found out from future entries. We'll find out.

As an aside I was interested to watch an episode of the entertaining and informing comedy quiz show QI hosted by Stephen Fry where he explained that because the Chinese discovered china pottery they never developed glass and associated technologies, like lens-making, until the modern age when it was introduced by the colonial powers. If I'm using these Chinese-to-English dialogues to establish the culture of the ghostians it will be interesting to see if the same holds true to them as well.

Yesterday I saw a school leaver's hoodie which had on the back what looked like the lion of St Mark carrying a long banner coloured red, yellow, red. It inspired me to think that the ghostian flag could be made into a similar banner. The ghostian flag is a horizontal tricoleur of yellow-blue-yellow based on the original dust covers of the Teach Yourself Language Books produced by the English Universities Press.

As for the heraldic animal that bears the banner, I think it might be a hadrosaur. When I walk through the gardens and see the ducks I think that a grazing duck-billed quadruped would look rather neat. It goes without saying that The New Dinosaurs by Dougal Dixon is one of my favourite books. So there you have the ghostians and their crazy duck-billed heraldry!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Sentence 4.3

Ei kakaya rashlikana kú bolon châ ye bole châ?

I have been thinking about this sentence for a while now. How to get it correct, and how to find time to post it. The second is obvious. Stop dithering and post it. What difference is there between a bolon and a bol. Well for a start a bolon is a thing-noun, and a bol is a masculine noun. I've also had to bend a rule here, as I think bolon and bol should both be in the dative which for both would be bole. So bolon still has the nominative/accusative ending to accentuate the difference.

It interests me that there is two words for cup in ghostian, and they differ in grammatical gender. The difference will be explained in the next entry. Let's look at other parts of the sentence. The abstract noun rashlikana comes first after the topic marker. Abstract nouns are usually feminine nouns without the a-ending of other feminines. It's added here because it comes after the topic marker and needs to be dative in form. Feminine dative nouns keep the a-ending of the nominative form. Kakaya is the feminine form of the interrogative adjective What kind of.

The preposition doesn't mean between, it means at, especially at one's home, or at one's workplace. It's also used as the verb 'have' after the topic marker. The possessor follows the preposition . So this sentence is understood to mean A bolon and a bol have what difference? (That's beginning to make better sense now.) is usually followed by a genitive. It appears thing-nouns do not change in the genitive case.

There is another rule about ya which is if it comes after an indirect object it changes to ye, which it has done before bole as it comes after the preposition .

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sentence 4.1 and 4.2

A nashiwatse ten tuon chet?

Ten tí yodin bolon chân

Another day another dialogue. This one is between two friends. In the original version they were A and B. When I was writing it up on my computer I named them after the internationally famous stars Iko and Ipe. They were looking for a job after their last gig and seemed to fit in well. I think I have been a bad influence on them as by the end of this dialogue they have wandered off looking for cigarettes! (Smoking is not cool, kids!) So I will keep them anonymous for now.

Sentence 1 has been covered before, it means What is this called? I've made a change since the last time I wrote it because I realised that reflexive verbs can use the short enclitic -se rather than the longer form sebio which is used for 'oneself' or 'you'. There's a gap in the polite second person pronoun and sebio has stepped in to fill it. That's another story. The verb nashiwantse means 'to call a thing' (not a person, different verb).

The answer is It's a tea cup. The new word is bolon, cup. I will be saying more about it in my next entry. Suffice to say it is a neuter noun. Ghostian doesn't say 'cup of tea', instead it puts the two words together without a joining word. Châ has taken the accusative ending because it comes after the verb in that position.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Get your things

Te tua dost o bodú. Dua bodúta kiriben.

Duen. Bodúta kiriben

These two sentences bring Dialogue Three to a close so I will do them together. Pupil says I will get those things. Then we will write. Teacher agrees and says Good. We will write.

The word 'to get' is dohant. Ghostian reverses the arrangement of the sentence from English. The things to be gotten, te tua, move from the object position after verb to the subject position in front of it. The agent of the verb is marked by a special preposition o to show this is who does the action. So dohant is really a passive verb: Those things are gotten by me. Dost would be the most common form in the present tense, the plural form dohen is only used after pronouns, which in this case would be te, those, these, standing alone. Dos, the first person singular form, would be exceedingly rare.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Making a list (and checking it twice)

Dribí ninâ bodúta tí yodna tugikan, yodin pipas, yodin inon a yodna slina. Dua penglúyen yodne bekken wodata, ya malant inon

Ye gods, what a lot of new words this sentence introduces. What Teacher says is We need a pen, a paper, some ink and a slate. Then add a little water and mix the ink.

When a subject is used with dribí it comes after the long preposition ninâ, on, is used. Bodúta is the plural of bodú, I. So 'we need' literally means 'needs on us'.

What follows is a list of things. Each is a different gender, and sometimes case. Tugika is a writing tool, a pencil, a pen, or a brush. Context will make it clear which it is. It is a feminine noun and takes the accusative ending. Pipas, paper, a masculine noun, does change its form in the accusative. Inon, ink, is a thing-word, like tuon, thing. The plural would be ina like tua. All thing-nouns are neuter. Slina is feminine. Because it follows the accompanitive particle a it is not in the accusative case.

Ya is a little devil of a word. It sneaks into sentences every where. At the beginning of a sentence it might be used to mean 'let us' or to soften a command so it means 'would you'. In the middle of a sentence it can mean 'and' or 'with' and the word after it is dative. If the word after it is feminine it becomes yi, and plural then ye. If the word before it drops the Y and becomes a, e, i. It's a tricky little thing. (I'm not sure if I've mastered it myself yet!)

Teacher's second sentence also introduces new words. Penglúyant is a verb meaning to add, it has the plural ending in the sentence above following Teacher's first sentence so it's (We) add. I think the verb malant, mix things, is usually found as a verbal noun.

The word for water is wodata. It's a plural noun, I think the singular form has dropped out of the language (unless I need it for other things later on, like derivatives). So the indefinite article yodne, and the adjective bekken, little, both have plural endings to agree with wodata. I'm still undecided if adjectives follow the noun, or precede it. I think I'm more comfortable with this order.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Needs must

Ei kiriba, a tí dribí kakaye tua

I'm having one of those sentences that leads me to revise an earlier one.

Pupil asks What do we need for writing. That's how we would say it in English. The order is different in ghostian.

The topic comes first. It is the word kiriba preceded by the topic marker ei. The topic marker is a weaselly word in ghostian. It blurs between being a preposition, a verb, or a particle. It can mean 'for' or 'about' or 'there is', depending how it is used. Kiriba has dropped the accusative ending used in earlier sentences. The plain noun is the form used after ei.

After the topic the main clause uses the word dribí, need or necessary. In ghostian this is a plural noun, and with , is, are, is used to mean 'we need'. The pronoun can be assumed here. The object after the verb is kakaye tua, what kind of things. Tua is the plural form of neuter noun tuon, thing. Before it the interrogative adjective kakai also changes to the plural adjective.

Looking for words in the earlier dialogues I realise that dribí is the word I wanted when the Host in the first dialogue said 'no need'. It should be kodnen dribí. I shall have to go to the complete dialogue at Frathwiki and correct it. I think it works better, which is a purely subjective thing, of course.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Sentences 21 and 22

Nam, kin bodú wol tai úwed

Dok, yao reb mapena melion úwidant kembí

Two sentences today. The second does not introduce new material. There are some useful comparisons between them.

Pupil replies to Teacher's question, No, but I am willing to learn. Nam means no and is used as an exclamation. After a negative the word for 'but' is kin. Wol is the first person singular form of the verb to want, to wish, to be willing. It is followed by the desiderative particle tai.

Teacher replies I will do my best to teach you. This sentence was used in an earlier dialogue. I will describe it briefly. Dok is a sequence or balancing word used to mean so or then. Reb is the first person word for strive. The phrase for 'best' is mapena melion. Melion is the neuter form of the adjective, better, used as an adverb. The particle mapena marks it as a superlative.

Two different words for 'I' are used in these two sentences. Pupil calls himself bodú the egalitarian first person, the equivalent of 'your servant'. Teacher addresses himself as yao, the superior first person used by persons formally in charge. As the form of the word comes from Indo-European languages I imagine that there has been some language shift to restrict its use.

Úwed and úwidant are different forms of the same verb. Úwed is the first person singular; úwidant is the verbal noun or infinitive verb. The underlying meaning is to come to know. In ghostian it translates both 'teach' and 'learn'.

I've just noticed I titled my last post a 'introducation' (sic)! I'm going to hide under a pillow!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A re-introducation

Yay! This blog is no longer disappearing into the void of its own sounding board. It has joined the the Conlang Aggregator Blog. Yes! *Pumps fist*

As most people read blogs from when they join them I should insert an introduction here.

I'm Andrew Smith. I did Brithenig. This is not a Brithenig blog, that language so has its own life now. This is a blog for creating an Eclectic Language Project. I pulled every Teach Yourself Grammar off the shelf and listed every irregularities in the grammar and non-English word listed in the contents of each. I broadly catagorized them as Verbs, Substantives, Prepositions, Pronouns and Chuvmey (a useful Klingon word that means leaftovers). A quick count and I have collected 56 grammars on my shelf. At the moment I am reading through Teach Yourself Chinese (1947: English Universities Press) and translating them into this new language. There is no extent grammar except of what I putting together and revising as I go. Bear with me.

The language is quite eclectic. It has a lot of rules which must be ferreted out and applied. It has three grammatical genders, masculine, feminine and neuter, marks plurals, and has a adjective system that combines gender, case and weak/strong adjectives. The verbs are more regular, although some common verbs appear to use endings from an older form of the language. What a challenge!

In English I call the language ghostian, the language of the pale people. They haven't told me their name for it yet. In one dialogue it has been called riaknia nena, national language, a borrowing from Chinese. The completed dialogues are being posted to FrathWiki.

I should finish with today's sentence:

A sapiet kiriban kodin?

Teacher asks Can you write? This introduces sapiet, the word for can or know how. The stem sapie- comes from latin. A introduces a question; kiriban is the word for writing; and kodin is used as a question tag, 'don't you?' The normal word for you, kembí has been dropped here presumably for length and is taken for granted.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I like

Duen. Bodú mí suk kiriban

I am in the process of organising for moving house, an activity that throws me into great anxiety. As a distraction I will post another sentence.

In this one pupil says Good, I like writing. Ghostians don't use a verb for liking, they use an adjective. It belongs to a set of adjectives, only a handful, that agree with the subject when in the predicate position. We have already met gotú, ready. Most adjectives in this position would default to the simple form which is used for the masculine case. Sad, but true. Apologies if you think this is chauvinist. It just happens that way. Let's hope that the ghostians can live out their equality even if their language doesn't.

Kiriban is the word for writing. It's a feminine noun and takes the accusative ending in this position because it is considered impersonal.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

To write

Bodúta ve kakiriben

The weekend has come about and I should take the time to introduce today's new sentence. It has a new word. In response to the pupil's question Teacher says We could write. The stem of the word is kirib-. It has the plural ending -en and the future marker ka-.

From these dialogues it seems to me that ghostian is selective about using the future tense. It prefers the unmarked present tense verb. Perhaps this may be the future action is continuing from the present moment. If the future tense is uncertain, or conditional, or in a subordinate clause then it will choose to mark it as future. It is an interesting detail to note.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

What else?

Nú dua shaleste knihan, ai bodúta kadachen chet satek?

Pupil asks, Now that we have finished reading, what else shall we do? It's been a while since I wrote this sentence so I have to wonder how I constructed it. That happens a lot.

is obviously 'now', and it is lengthened with the balance word dua. Also note that when ghostian has a vowel after a short u or i the first vowel becomes a consonant so dua is pronounced 'dwa'. I imagine in the ghostian writing system these letters have a special form, perhaps reduced in size or shape so that they have become jers.

It seems that to finish doing something in ghostian means that the verb is said as definite. Shaleste, done reading (the book).

The question follows a SVO form with the question word in the object position, the common position for question words in ghostian. The initial question tag at the beginning of the clause is ai before a non-verb. When the verb is moved into first place, which happens like English and other languages the question tag is a.

After the question word chet, what? follows the adjective satek. It is translated as 'else'.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Correcting mistakes

Smiet. Da kinan tí duon

Teacher replies to the question, Yes, that method is good. He uses the affirmative verb, It is allowed for yes.

Kam bodú ve galeste salan, kulahú betant bodú

A second sentence, and a longer one too. Pupil says, If I make a read a mistake, please tell me. The word for 'if' is kam, after it the verb has become a conditional tense, adding the suffix ga- to a past tense verb. Salan is the word for mistake; and betant the word for to tell, to inform.

Teacher replies Shawoltaran, it is my duty. That word gets around!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Read, First, Then, After, Allow

Dok, kembí lest primon, dua bodú les posli ya kembí, smiet kodin?

Pupil replies Then, you read first, then I read after you, okay?

Some notes:

The verb stem for to read changes from leh- to les- if there is no vowel following. In ghostian if an 's' comes between to vowels in a word it turns into 'h'.

The word for first is primon. If an adjective is being used as an adverb it takes the neuter ending as it does here. So the stem of first is prim-. We will find first as an adjective as prim, with masculine nouns, and maybe as a short form with neuter nouns (I don't know what the rules will settle as yet); and prima with feminine nouns.

Dua is used between clauses and means 'then, but, again.

Posli is a preposition meaning after (in time). It takes the genitive case. As kembí doesn't inflect the accompanitive preposition is inserted between them.

Smiet is a verb meaning, may, or to be allowed. It is used here with the question tag to invite agreement.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Method, good

Da kinan tíhim duon

Again one sentence as it introduces new words. Teacher replies to pupil That method is not good. Kinan, arrangement, method, way, is a derived noun which is considered to be feminine, even without the a-ending of of most feminine nouns. The verb kinant means to arrange or to lay out.

Duon is the adjective form of the adverb duen previously introduced, and means good. As a predicate adjective it is not normally inflected for number and gender.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Listen to you

Kulahú lehant. Bodú kâ ot

I will do one sentence today. It has two new words. The pupil says to teacher Please read. I will listen.

is the word for listen, hear after the first person singular. In this position ghostian uses the simple verb stem. It is followed by the directional particle ot, which means Away from the speaker. In this case I am listening to what comes from you. Kânt is a word that cannot be used without directional particles. Dakânt would mean listening to me, hearing me.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Dialogue 3.9-10

A ve kalehen bodúta kakanian knihan?

Pupil asks Do we read which book? Nothing new here. I should note that the stress in the word kalehen should be on the verb stem kalehen. Putting the stress on the prefixed syllable sounds wrong.

Ye bodúta ve kalehen ten lehayon

Teacher says Let us read this reader. Again this sentence uses words that we have already encountered. A new word is the neuter instrument lehayon made with the stem, to read, so an instrument for reading. Again the stress would have to be on the stem, not in this case the second syllable.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Dialogue 3.7-8

A ve kadachen bodúta chet?

So begins a series of questions making up a lesson. First the pupil asks What shall we do? The verb stem for to do or to make in ghostian is dach-. Here it has taken a plural ending, -en because the subject is bodúta, the plural of bodú, the prefix ka- marks it as future tense.

Ye bodúta ve kalehen

Teacher replies Let us read. He puts the plural accompanitive preposition to make it a jussive. The stem for the verb to read is leh-, and here it is marked as a future plural noun as above.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

More things

A nashiwat ten tuon sebio chet?

Da tí yodna tugikan

Two sentences this time. In the first sentence pupil says What does that thing call itself? Ghostians feel that to call something is a reflexive verb. The word for thing is a neuter noun, tuon. The word for 'it' is also used as an article, usually demonstrative. It can be used to mean 'this' or 'that' without distinction.

Teacher replies It's a pencil. He changes the gender to feminine to agree with the noun.

Monday, 30 August 2010

What is that?

A tí da chet?

Da tí yodna knihan

A tí da kakanian knihan?

Da tí yodin nenayon

And so begins the third dialogue between a teacher and a pupil. I will jump straight into the dialogue this time, rather than post my draft version.

First the pupil asks What is that? Literally in ghostian, question-tag is that what. Pupil earns some points for identifying the object as feminine case in ghostian and uses the feminine pronoun, da. Don't put it past a pupil to deliberately ask for a word that is obvious. Pupil also uses the question word chet, what? In ghostian it is placed as the object of the sentence.

Teacher replies It is a book. Books are considered inanimate objects and take the accusative case as an object. Your average book tends to tolerate this sort of prejudice, but that's not to mean it enjoys it. The indefinite article before it is yodna. It does not take the accusative ending, although it is marked as feminine with the a-ending. The indefinite pronoun is used less often than in English, and tends to mean One or A Certain... Pupil asks What Kind of book is it, which is another leading question. Which or What Kind is treated as an adjective and has a longer ending than yodna.

Teacher says It is a dictionary. This word took a lot of thinking out. None of my grammars have provided me with a word for dictionary and I eventually went back to the oldest forms of the Old Tongue where a dictionary is called a collection of words. In the end I settled for this form. It means something like a word-tool and is used for keeping words in. The ending makes it neuter and before it yodin drops the a-ending from the feminine word.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Concluding Second Dialogue

Nena riaknia tí dakil úwidant, kodin?

Sha shim odakilion

Bodú wol tai úwed nena riaknia duen

Yao reb mapena melion úwidant kembí

In the first sentence lady student asks National language is easy to learn, isn't it? The new word is dakil which is used here to mean 'easy'. It turns out the verb úwidant, to get to know, is also used for to learn or to teach. Convenient!

Teacher says Not too difficult. The phrase he uses literally translates as All not un-easy-very. Dakil is the same word used in the above sentence.

Lady student says I want to learn national language well. The desiderative particle tai is used to join 'want' and 'learn', and the second verb takes the same tense as the first rather than become a verbal noun. So it literally means I want that (I) learn...

Teacher vows to teach her well. He uses a bit of hyperbole here. The sort of language that it is. He says I strive most well to teach you. As a teacher he uses the yao-form of the first verb. The superlative mapena is used before the comparative adjective of 'good' to make it 'best'.

That is the end of the Second Dialogue and it will go on Frathwiki soon.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

talking in language

Ei nena riaknia lâ, nadastâmshim monion

Kuan veandâde kembí kariakkan e bodúta

Bodú veandâde na kariakkan a kembí yodin mâwet porom

Kembí dâguôt nena riaknia duen

Kembí tí'na dohantie sudabodú

Ten tí alidení. Kembí dâguôt sha duen

A longer exchange as we head towards the end of the second dialogue.

The lady student opens the discussion by talking about the language they are learning. The language name is moved to the beginning of her statement between the topic marker ei and the emphatic particle . Here the language is called nena riaknia. In the previous dialogue nena meant words and here is being used for language. For the name of the language I have copied the original Chinese dialogue and the lady student refers to it as nena riaknia, national language. Riaknia is an adjective derived from the word meaning kingdom, the same word is used later in these sentences.

The lady student completes the sentence by saying I don't understand very well. The word for understand is nadastâm. Most verbs don't mark the end of the first person singular verb. Nadastânt is one of a handful of verbs that are different and take an -M at the end of the finite verb. Ghostians argue that these are a set of very old verbs that are done in the old way. They should be respected whereas the rest of the language has moved on. Nadastânt is not yet changing like some of these old verbs are changing. The adverb monion used for very well literally means greatly.

Wow, the next sentence is full of lots of new words. Teacher asks When did you arrive in our country? Going through it word by word: Kuan is a question word, when; Veandâde, arrived, is a verb moved directly after the question word, it beginning with the non-present particle ve which has fused with the A of andâde. It's our friend dânt, to come, with a prefix borrowed shamelessly from German so it means to arrive; Niriakkan means in the country, the word for country is riakka, kingdom, which is the stem of riaknia used above, here it is an accusative noun after the prefix ka-, to, for, which can only be used on place-words. Our is translated from e bodúta, which is the plural of bodú, I, me. It acts like a noun rather than a pronoun and needs the plural accompanitive preposition to mark it as a possessive.

Lady student replies I arrived in your country only last month. When kembí is used as a possessive it needs the accompanitive preposition like bodú which is why it is often replaced by sebio, one's own. The time phrase is yodin mâwet porom, one month last, or only last month.

Teacher tells her You speak national language well. The student replies You flatter me. The word for flatter is another causative verb created from a noun meaning praise. To make it excessive she adds the reflexive particle súd to bodú, literally 'self-of-my'. Her disclaimer literally says You are praising myself.

Teacher reassures her It is true; you speak really well. The word true, alidení has the same ending as riaknia above, without agreeing with the noun it follows. The word translated as really is sha which is common as an interjection in sentences.

Friday, 20 August 2010

More tea?

Yako brobú chân kapena moikorí

Íe. Da tí gotúa duen

Kulahú, moikorí, pihant chân


The student orders the servant to bring tea. Ghostians seem to run on the stuff! She introduces the command with the phrase yako. Ako is the pronoun used for addressing inferior ranks, such as servants, children, students and animals. It was be insulting to address a friend or equal by it. The Y-prefix is the same as the accompanitive preposition a used in the previous dialogue. At the beginning of a sentence the preposition begins with a Y, and it means Let you (prepare tea for the teacher).

The servant replies that it is well ready. The word châ being feminine the pronoun used here for 'it' is da which is otherwise translated 'she'. The adjective for ready gotúa also has a feminine ending to agree with the pronoun. It is not always necessary for the adjective to agree with the subject in this position. In this case gotú belongs to a set of adjectives with which it is necessary. Yet again this is a case of 'that's the way it is'.

The student invites the teacher to take tea and he thanks her.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Kulahú sedant sebio

Kembí tí talik bohoras ristú

Kulahú. Ta tí shawoltaran

Teacher and lady both invite each other to sit down, Please sit yourself. The lady student declares that the teacher is too polite. The words she uses are bohora, which means life-force and ristú, of a guest. Teacher is the soul or spirit of a guest.

Teacher dismisses her compliment. Please! It is shawoltaran. Shawoltaran is an abstract word. It means What Ought To Be Done, a common courtesy or good manners.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Moikorí Kinig ya, a ítí kembí duen ya

Duen. Makorina ya, kembí aft baget alí, kodin?

Íe. Kembí aft baget alí, kodin?

Belem, yao a'bagetshim or Sonan yao a'

Four sentences this time. The first is straightforward, 'Mr Kinig, are you well?' or 'How are you' The second sentence is 'Well. Have you eaten, lady?' In English this would be an impertinent sentence. In other cultures this inquiry is considered courteous. Remember the original dialogue comes from a Chinese grammar. It seems ghostians think similarly, as the phrase literally translates 'Have you eaten rice'. Ghostian already had the word alí for rice. The word does not refer to rice plant, but cooked rice. Presumably rice in other contexts is a different word, I haven't checked.

The second sentence introduces two other new words: aft, have (done something), and baget, eaten, following after aft. Also at the end of the sentence ghostian uses kodin as a question tag. We would say 'haven't you', instead ghostians use kodin.

In reply the lady student says Yes, and asks the same question. There are two longer answers as alternative in the fourth sentence: Not yet, I have not eaten; and On-the-contrary, I have. The teacher refers to himself as yao, I. Yao is used when a person has higher rank than the other. A teacher or a boss may use yao and expect a student or a worker to use the humbler egalitarian bodú in reply. After yao, or bodú the past perfect verb aft is shortened to a'.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Teacher announced

  • Moikorí Kinig ítí dâde

  • Kulahú tamum pendânt

  • Two simple sentences to begin with that we have already covered. The servant announces to her mistress that Mr Kinig has arrived. The lady tells the servant to ask him in. As in Dialogue No. 1 she uses polite language to refer to her visitor.

    Also note that Dialogue One is up in its completed form at FrathWiki.

    Monday, 16 August 2010

    Dialogue 2: The Teacher Arrives

    This is my rough copy. Some work necessary.

    Servant: Korí Kinig ítí dâdeMr Kinig has come
    Learner: Kulahú tamum pendântAsk him to come in
    Learner: Korí Kinig ya, a ítí kembí duoní yaMr. Kinig, how are you?
    Teacher: Duonon. Ahkorina ya, kembí aft baget alí, kain?Well, thank you. Lady, have you eaten?
    Learner: Íe. Kembí aft baget alí, kain?Yes, have you eaten?
    Teacher: Belem, yao a'bagetshim or Sonan yao a'I have not yet eaten, or, Yes, I have
    Learner: Kulahú siedant súdakembíPlease take a seat
    Teacher: Kulahú siedant súdakembíPlease be seated first
    Learner: Kembí tí behoran talika ristúYou are too polite
    Teacher: Kulahú. Ta tí shawoltaranDon't mention it. It is common courtesy
    Learner: Yako brobú gai kapena koríMake tea for the teacher
    Servant: Ya. Ta aft gotú duononRight, it is ready
    Learner: Kulahú, korí, pihant gaiTake a cup of tea
    Teacher: Âriget ârigetThank you, thank you
    Learner: Ei nena riaknia lâ, epastâmihim manioI don't understand national language very well
    Teacher: Kalik-akatia veandâde kembí niriakkan a bodúWhen did you arrive in our country?
    Learner: Bodú veandâde na kariakkan kembí malaman poromanI came to your country only last month
    Teacher: Kembí guôt nena riaknia duononBut you speak national language well
    Learner: Kembí tí'na dohantie sudabodúYou flatter me
    Teacher: Ta tí alidení. Kembí dâguôt duoní massoIt is true. You speak really well
    Learner: Nena riaknia tí wirissí úwidant, kain?Is national language easy to learn?
    Teacher: Sha shim gluhionNot too difficult
    Learner: Bodú wol tai úwed nena riaknia duononI would like to learn national language well
    Teacher: Yao reb naimelion úwidant kembíI shall do my best to teach you

    Sunday, 15 August 2010

    Drinking Tea

    I'll revisit this sentence by reverting to a form of this sentence that I was using earlier. Rather than use gai for 'tea' I will use chân. The a-ending means it is a feminine noun and being non-person it uses the accusative ending -n whereas +person nouns use the dative ending as the direct object. When asked ghostians will say it just happens that way. It's their language! Go figure!

    Wednesday, 11 August 2010


    It turns out that Trushika must leave too soon after his arrival. Kinig says to him, A pohatshim kembí sedant sebio nidolgon?, can't you stay a little longer? Pohat means 'can', and nidolgon is a phrase meaning 'for a long time'.

    Trushika cannot and replies Gúhú! Ten ítí chomú-dâ so kapena bodú chekant. Bodú mús tai redir, Sorry! There is someone who is waiting for me. I must return. Gúhú is an apology word. So is another way of making the relative clause. It means 'who is'. The verbal noun is governs, chekant, to wait, comes at the end of the clause. kapena here is used to mean 'for'. Mús, must, is followed by the voluntary particle tai before another verb redir, which is in the same form of the verb, in this case first person.

    Then Trushika adds Úhim'na mikantie., don't get up! The word he uses for 'get up' is mikantie, which is an causative verb. The stem is mik, friend, and in ghostian cause-to-be-friends is used to mean to accompany someone. In ghostian the causative ending can only be added to a verbal noun, so another way of using it in sentences must be found. Here it follows an imperative úhim, do not be. The first verb and the verbal noun are joined by the reduced preposition 'na.

    Kinig and Shirab reply with the polite phrase Talik e nena dât ishikuda!, where do such words come from. Talik means 'such' and the word following it must be in the genitive. Here the plural word nena, words, is preceded by the plural form of the accompanitive preposition e. Dât is the verb 'come', that is often used in combination with other verbs to mean 'here', or 'towards me'. This time it is being used as a verb on its own. The last word is a question-word. Ghostian likes its question words at the end of the sentence, the opposite way around to how we expect it in English. Ishikuda means 'from where'.

    The last word farewells the dialogue, duabin, again-see, or see you again. A way of saying goodbye in ghostian.

    Next time we move onto Dialogue 2: The Teacher arrives.

    Sunday, 8 August 2010

    Drinking Tea

    Once everyone is seated Kinig orders Shinuwin to make some tea. (Well, of course the servant shouldn't be sitting with the guests if the master of the house is there!) Kinig says Brobú gai! which means Brew tea! Very abrupt command as to be expected.

    Shinuwin replies, Kembí dâguôt nena dok bodú dâ, you say the words as I come, or coming as you speak. The word dâguôt is a compound word come+speak because the words are directed at Shinuwin. Nena means words, and is a neuter plural noun by the ending. Dok is a conjunction meaning so or thus.

    Kinig uses more polite language to Trushika and says to him Kulahú pihant gai, please drink some tea. Pihant is a polite word meaning to drink which is used in requests like this.

    Next time, making a departure (oh, dear, I hope the tea didn't disagree with someone!)

    Saturday, 7 August 2010

    Welcoming Mr Trushika

    Trushika joins the people in the house and his host Kinig welcomes him, Moikorí Trushika ya, a ítí kembí duen ya? Hello Mr Trushika, are you well? Ghostians, it appears from this dialogue don't use greeting words. They acknowledge each other and move into conversation.

    Trushika replies, Duen. Moikorí Kinig a meikoren Shiraba ya, a ítí ba sebio duen? Quite well. Are you, Mr Kinig and Mr Shirab, both well? Duen is an adverb meaning good or well. Note that Shirab's name changes form after Kinig's. It is joined by the accompanitive preposition which means 'and' or 'with' and after the pronoun the form of the title moikorí has become the oblique form meikoren, and the name Shirab has added the ending -a. Moikorí is made up of two words, and literally means 'my lord'. Both parts of the word change after prepositions. Also note that the word for you in this sentence after the word for both has become the reflexive pronoun sebio.

    Kinig and Shirab assure Trushika that they are well and invite him to sit down, Duen, duen. Kulahú sedant sebio. The verb for sit down is to sit one's self. Reflexive verbs seem more courteous in ghostian. Trushika thanks his hosts, âriget.

    Next time, let's have some tea.

    Friday, 6 August 2010

    Mr Trushika announced

    Shinuwin announces the arrival of Mr Trushika Moikori Trushika ítí dâde, Mr Trushika is come. Ítí is used to make the past participle dâde into a past perfect verb.

    Kinig uses polite language to let Trushika in, Kulahú tamum pendânt, ask him to come in. The word for ask in this case is the same imperative used previously as 'please'. Tamum is the object form of taní.

    Next time let's make Mr Trushika feel at home.

    Thursday, 5 August 2010

    Sentence 1.7

    The next set of sentences have the servant Shinuwin talking to the stranger outside the door. Invoking probability I don't think I need to change these sentences.

    Shinuwin asks the stranger his name: Moikorí ya, a tí kembí kakai sinú? Translated back into English this reads 'O mister, you are which clan?' Kembí is the usual word for you. It is used for addressing superiors and also among friends. It is used with as the verb. While sinú means tribe or clan, it is used here to mean surname.

    The stranger replies Moi sinú tí Trushika. A ítí moikorí Kinig kú sebio? 'My name is Trushika. Is Mr Kinig at home?' At home is translated 'at one's own' Sebio is a reflexive pronoun referring back to the subject. It is used with most pronouns.

    Shinuwin can say that his master is home. Íe, taní ítí kú sebio. Kulahú pendânt, Yes, he is home. Please come in. Shinuwin refers to his master, Mr Kinig, by the polite third person pronoun taní rather than the plain form ta. He uses the polite imperative for addressing Mr Trushika kulahú, which here means please or be invited. It is followed by the verbal noun pendânt, to come in.

    Mr Trushika is happy to come in. He says âriget, thank you. Yes, this is a straight plagiarism from Japanese arigato. Arigato looks like a italianate past participle to me, and so does the ghostian word.

    Next time, Mr Kinig and Mr Trushika meet.

    Wednesday, 4 August 2010

    Kodin and Shabinant

    I went looking through my notes again and found I was using the wrong form for the indefinite negative article. Kodin will be the final form for now. It is a hybrid of German kein and Russian odin. While adjectives in ghostian have gender, it like the rules for strong and weak adjectives from German governs the form of the adjective. Kodin is what appears before masculine and neuter nouns. I think looking at the rules, the ending on adjectives is going to be more restricted in use than I anticipated.

    I noticed in the sentence I revised yesterday I left out the verb 'to see'. I have decided to revise this verb. I have a verb-stem from Persian, bin, so I have decided to use that. So the definite verb, which is the more common version of it now will be shabin. The stem for the past tense is borrowed from Greek and is contracted to 'd. A rule from Bengali says the subject of the past tense is in the instrumental case. On top of that ghostian borrows dependent verbs from Irish, and the verb stem for that is waka.

    So the sentence 'Go see who it is' reads Yirú shabinant kem tí ta chomú. Phew!

    Tuesday, 3 August 2010

    Kodní and Kem

    I skipped July as I tried my hand in writing something original in a conlang over July. I got 1500 words into writing a story in my other language Brithenig before I stopped. The opening scenes were written, now I need to know how the adventures of Ill Peleirin and Daisy would move forward to its denouement. Perhaps I will come back to it.

    Anyhow there are a couple of corrections that I need to make to ghostian. I have decided that the indefinite negative article will now be kodní so the phrase 'no need' is now kodní gieruk. Works for me.

    And I found the word that introduces the subordinate clause would not be tai. Instead in the last sentence it is kem: Yirú kem tí ta chomú. There are other forms of the relative pronoun. In this case kem is used when there is no preceding noun or pronoun which the relative pronoun has to agree with in regards to case or gender. Tai will remain between verbs of wanting and a following verb.

    Back in August to describing and updating more sentences in ghostian.

    Monday, 28 June 2010

    Sentence 1.6

    Moving on we have an exchange between the host and his servant, Shinuwin. First the host calls the servant by name, Shinuwin. No use of the vocative marker. This might mean something, I don't know, everyone else will prove to be of equal status.

    Shinuwin replies Íe, which means yes. Shinuwin is a good servant, attentive to his master's wishes.

    The host calls him over Dâdâ!. It's a reduplicated command. The simple stem for come is . The same verb can be prefixed to other verbs to mean here, hither, to here, to the speaker.

    When Shinuwin is in attendance his master gives him his instructions, Ei chomú-dâ kú druí. Yirú shahestant tai tí ta chomú, Someone is at the door; Go and see who it is. Most of this is self-explanatory. (I'm not sure of the order of the subordinate clause yet, we'll see.) Yirú is the simple imperative, it means go! Shahestant is the infinitive following the command and in this case is not joined by a preposition. Tai is a new word introducing the subordinate clause. This language has several different ways of introducing a subordinate clause governed by that or which, and this is the first that we have met. The clause that follows translates as Is he who?

    Íe, Shinuwin goes to address the stranger at the door.

    Saturday, 26 June 2010

    Take a look and telling the servant

    I have decided that my notes say that the pronoun for 'there' should be the neuter pronoun ten after all. Who is there? becomes A ítí ten chomú?

    Onto the next two sentences in the dialogue.

    The visitor sitting with the host says 'I will go and see', Bodú yir shahestant, literally I go to take a look. Shahestant is another definite verb and means to take a look. It is more common than the plain verb.

    The host replies, 'No need. I will tell Shinuwin to go', Kain gieruk. Bodú bâm Shinuwin a yirant. The word the host uses for telling Shinuwin to do something means 'command' and is perfectly acceptable in this language. Poor Shinuwin! Servants get a bum deal. Fortunately he will prove to be a jolly chap! To tell to do something is joined by the accompanitive preposition which here is a.

    Friday, 25 June 2010

    It has been a month but I am ready to pick this up again. Lots of new notes made. I figured out the flag for this ficticious language. It is a vertical tricoleur of yellow blue yellow, just like the old books.

    Saturday, 22 May 2010


    I picked up two new grammars from the 24 Hour Book Sale at the Regent Theatre yesterday. One was Teach Yourself Hindi from Hind Pocket Books, rather than Teach Yourself Books, which is the copy I am still looking for; and Mastering French. TYHindi has added some rules about how endings of nouns change depending on the case, more complications for nouns. And now I am working through Mastering French to add more notes to my grammatical information on my eclectic language. This will delay further translation work on the dialogues. Back later.

    Friday, 21 May 2010

    Sentence 1.4

    The next exchange is between two men in the house.

    A tí ta chomú?, who is it?

    is the normal word for 'is', when 'is' means something exists rather than at a place. Compare it with the earlier sentence.

    Ta here is being used as a pronoun meaning 'it' or 'he'.

    The other man replies:

    Bodú úwedshim, I don't know.

    Bodú is the normal word for 'I'. It is used between people of equal status or strangers talking to each other. Originally it meant something like 'your servant' and is quite humble. Now it is more common than the me-pronoun.

    Úwedshim is a combination of two different words or morphemes. Úwed is a verb for 'I know'. It is a definite verb, used for a single action of 'coming, or getting, to know'. The ending -shim is a negative suffix and means 'not or do not'.

    Wednesday, 19 May 2010

    Sentence 1.2

    The next sentence is A ítí ta chomú?, Who is there?

    A is the normal word to introduce a question.

    ítí means 'is'. It is only used when 'is' points out where something is, so it means 'is (at a location)'.

    Ta is a pronoun. In this case it is used to mean 'there' and is the subject of the verb ítí.

    Chomú means 'who?' It is the object of the verb ítí.

    Unlike English chomú is not moved to the beginning of the sentence. Literally the sentence is translated 'Is there who?' which is a different order to English.

    The stranger outside the door replies Ei'm, 'it is me'. Ei is the topic marker discussed previously used again. After the topic marker the pronoun in this case is reduced to 'm, 'me'. Note that in this dialogue the 'me' pronoun is only used by people in charge when they are talking to servants. There is another pronoun 'me' used for talking to friends which will be introduced in a later sentence.

    Monday, 17 May 2010

    Sentence 1.1 redux

    I looked at this sentence again. Especially at the word piras. It is a survival from OT1.0 where it was pulta from porta, borrowed from Quechua or something like that I believe. Borrowing from the old form of the language did not satisfy me so I went looking through my notes again. I discovered the word drúí. It is a plural word 'double doors' which acts as a singular 'door'. Ghostian is not as particular or irregular at marking case in plurals as it is in singular nouns. The plurals appear to have leveled out. So the revised form of this sentence is: Ei chomú-dâ kú drúí.

    Sunday, 16 May 2010

    Sentence # 1

    I took a hiatus from this blog while I made new notes from two new grammars that I have bought: Living French and TY Italian. The notes are now finished although I haven't assimilated them yet. There is new material that I haven't included into the preposition list.

    To resume activity I shall start revising the first dialogue.

    The first sentence is Ei chomú-dâ kú piras.

    Ei is a common word in the language. It marks the topic in a sentence, usually something that can be sensed by the speaker. In this case it is translated as 'there is'. In other sentences it can be used for 'about' or 'for'. It is included as a preposition. In this case it takes the place of a verb.

    chomú means 'who', and with the ending it means 'someone'. The ending means the person is unknown.

    is another preposition. It means 'at a location'. It is followed by the genitive case.

    piras, 'door'. The -as ending marks it as a feminine noun in the genitive case.

    Wednesday, 17 March 2010

    Dialogue 1: A Friend Arrives

    Host: Ei chomú-dâ kú pirasThere is someone at the door
    Servant: Chota ítí ta?Who is there?
    Friend: Ei'mIt is I
    Visitor: Chota tí ta?Who is it?
    Host: Bodú úwedshimI don't know
    Visitor: Bodú ve kayir siestantI will go see
    Host: Kain gieruk. Bodú ve kabâm Shinuwin yirantNo need, I shall tell Shinuwin to go
    Host: Shinuwin!Shinuwin!
    Servant: Íe!Yes!
    Host: Dâo dâ!Come here!
    Servant: Íe!Yes!
    Host: Ei chomú-dâ kú piras. Yirú siestant chota tí ta.There is someone at the door. Go and see who it is.
    Servant: Íe!Right!
    Servant: Korí ya, kakai sinú tí kembí?What is your name, sir?
    Friend: Moi sinú tí Trushikan. A ítí korí Kinig kú soi?My name is Trushika. Is Mr Kinig at home?
    Servant: Íe, taní ítí kú soi. Kulahú penyirant dâYes, he is. Please come in
    Friend: ÂrigetThank you
    Servant: Korí Trushika ítí dâde Mr. Trushika has come
    Host: Kulahú ten penyirant dâAsk him to come in
    Host: Korí Trushika ya, a ítí kembí duono ya?Hello Mr. Trushika, how are you?
    Friend: Duoní. Korí Kinig a koren Shirab ya, a ítí ba kembien duonoQuite well. Are you Mr. Kinig and Mr. Shirab, both well?
    Host and Visitor: Duoní, duoní. Kulahú siedant súdakembíQuite well. Please take a seat
    Friend: Âriget ârigetThank you, thank you
    Host: Brobú chân!Prepare tea!
    Servant: Kembí guôt dâ nena dok bodú dâComing in a moment
    Host: Kulahú, korí Trushika, pihant chânTake some tea Mr. Trushika
    Friend: ÂrigetThank you
    Host: A pohatíshim siedant súdakembí nidolgon bikkonCan't you stay a little longer?
    Friend: Púch! Ta tí chota-dâ so kapena bodú kiekant. Bodú múhe tai redyirSorry! There is someone waiting for me. I must return
    Friend: Ûhim'na príantantie.Don't get up.
    Host and Visitor: Ishikude dât talik a nena!Where do such words come from!
    All together: Dua sieh, dua siehGood-bye, good-bye