Wednesday, 23 February 2011

An Occasional Word: Liudí

  • Liudí, people, persons, human beings

  • Liudí tent maluk, Human beings are hurting.

    This is true in Christchurch, New Zealand, tonight. While this loss doesn't affect my immediate whanau that I know of, I am moved by the loss to so many in my country, the restraint that so many have shown in the face of adversity, and the generosity of so many in our islands and across the ocean.

    In Maori cosmogony Ruaumoko is the unborn child of Papatuanuku, Broad Mother Earth. When he turns in his mother's womb he causes earthquakes and eruptions. Well that's a big baby's kick that he provided this week and the city of Christchurch came tumbling down.

    Liudí is used as the plural of dunianin which means human beings regardless of gender.

    Wednesday, 16 February 2011

    An Occasional Word: Dunianin

    Dunianin: man, person, human being

    Bodú mí yodin dunianin, shim yodin nome, I am a human being, not a number.

    The first of the people words: human being, without reference to gender. Ignore that reference to man coming first. Man as a male human will come later. The Shente could argue that this is humanity when they first came out of the earth. The first doctrine says: The human creature is a noble creature.

    This may also be human as contrasted to other talking races. The lexicon makes no mention of them.

    Sunday, 13 February 2011

    An Occasional Word: Shente

  • Shente: people, a people, folk, members of an ethnic group

    Bodúta dien yodní shente, We become a people.

    While I'm battling with deciding where to go next with Pronouns I will post some words. This seemed a good one with which to start. It is the only word that I have listed under Groupings of People. So I will use it as a working name for the Eclectic Language People. They are the Shente.

    The word comes from French gens. The ending -te comes from a list of weak plural endings in Gaelic. As a rule it goes on the end of any noun that ends in an non-obstruent, especially n, l, (r) and s. It is the same morpheme at the end of boduúta, so it wonders around a bit; and obviously plays around with a rough rule of vowel harmonisation. -Te if the word is made of front vowels; -ta if the word is made of back vowels. Originally bodú, I, your servant, was written as boduh. I decided that the word-final h was fricative enough to allow the weak plural ending. As the word shifted with use the weak ending has remained.

    Note that descriptive words with shente also have to be in the plural, like yodní.

    The sentence comes from a creation myth and is the first statement about human beings after they came out of the ground into the world of light. It is an important statement.
  • Saturday, 12 February 2011

    A is for yablok

    Yay! I have finished adding the substantives file to my lexicon. What a long and exhausting process it has been. I still have two more files to add to the lexicon: Pronouns and Chuvmey. They are shorter files so hopefully I can get through them more quickly. Then hopefully after that I will be in a position where I can play with this language.

    Perhaps I will introduce more words from this language, and return to the dialogue exercises. After what I have learnt by compiling the lexicon the dialogues will need to be tidied up.

    One of the last words to go in was yablok. It comes from Russian. You may have guessed it means Apple. The people know about yablokí, apples, surushikí, pears, and dihí, bananas. I wonder where they get the bananas from. I suspect that the people must live within a tropical belt. If they do, then I think one of their season words is going to have to shift to mean The Time of Year When The Rains Come.

    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Rhoticism in an Eclectic Tongue.

    I had been wondering what to do with this languages R-sound when word-final or before a consonant. Like a number of natural languages the R-sound has become silent or swallowed in these positions. It had inherited a sound change that made this accompanied by vowel lengthening following rules from Pidgin English. I wondered how this rule applied in the current form of the language which has become heavily inflected following the adoption of new rules into this language.

    Then the other day I realised that there is no problem. In the forms of words where the R-sound is word final, such as can happen in the nominative / accusative form of the masculine adjective, then the R-sound is dropped leaving the form of the word ending in a vowel. Where it is followed by an ending beginning with a vowel, such as the feminine gender ending -a and the neuter ending -on then the R-sound is restored. This might even lead to hypercorrection in the language.

    Hopefully this means problem solved.