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.