Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A phonetic sketch for a warrior tongue

  • Bodú me bâhan í ratiotí ya bodú, I speak the language of soldiers

  • Speaking a language is like counting the children in your family: BE lANGUAGE X reflexive.

    Every so often Klingon is mentioned on the Conlang list. The conversation usually goes along the lines of "It's nice but the phonetics is deliberately missing sounds that would complete the range of sounds in a human language. So unvoiced /t/ is a dental sound, but voiced /d/ is retroflex articulated on the roof of the mouth. /q/ is a uvular (I think) without an accompanying velar /k/, I understand that they usually go together. The sibilant is a retroflex, a nice sound, but I think it usually appears in languages that has /s/ and /S/.

    I looked up an IPA chart about halfway through doing the above paragraph. Apologies if my inaccuracies made any reader cringe who is more familiar with Klingon or phonetics than I am.

    An idea on my backburner is What Would a Warrior Tongue Look Like If The Gaps Were Filled In? My guess would be:

    P B M
    F V
    T D N S TL
    SH CH J
    K G NG KH GH
    Q QH
    W Y L R

    I think that that would be the way that I would do it, with dental and retroflex stops. Comments and suggestions are welcomed. It would be tempting to play with it a bit further, to see what a language sketch using those consonants would look and sound like.

    I went looking through my eclectic language lexicon for words that suggested the Shente were a warrior race. For the most part they weren't there and I used soldier instead of creating a new word for warrior. I feel relieved to discover that about them.

    Tuesday, 29 March 2011

    An Occasional Word: Taknok

  • Da tí yodin taknok-se, She has one child.

  • Taknok means child. When counting children the language uses 'to be' rather than 'to have' and counts the children as a reflexive. The plural of taknok is a different word: Deti. Taknok has a derived plural, takneta. I think this is a diminative plural and is used to mean 'lads'. Initially I thought that this was a gender-inclusive word. Now I'm not so sure. Takneta might be a group noun for the Boys, the Lads, as a social group. I think the female equivalent might be Kalketa, the Girls, the Lassies.

    The stem is also used in an abstract noun takniost, childhood, childishness

    Sunday, 27 March 2011

    An Occasional Word: Bahon

    In the creation of the lexicon I have discovered that the Shente have few words for clothing. Bahon is one of the few that I have discovered. It is based on baju, the Bahasa word for blouse. Looking at the use of this word in Malaysia from Wikipedia I conclude that a bahon is a light cloth top worn by women over other clothing. It is normally about waist length and fastened by clasps at the front.

    I doubt that the Shente are an immodest people. I will have to consider other means to find what are their clothing and costume words.

    Sunday, 20 March 2011

    Translation exercise

    There was a translation exercise on the Conlang List. The challenge was to translate an ambivalent sentence LOVE PEOPLE COOK THEM TASTY FOOD. So where do you put the punctuation? Is it Love people, cook them tasty food; or is it Love people, cook them! Tasty food!

    Reminds me of when it was my turn to cook in a shared flat. If it was late people would come up and say Feed me! And I would reply What to? (Hmmm, a language where transitivity must be marked with an embedded tag....)

    Anyhow I was away from this terminal while this thread was active. Conlangers are as flighty as elves! I planned to post something here. I'm following a trend established by Mia at Teliya Nevashi on the Conlang Aggregation List.

    The first sentence would be: Liamú liudí! Pachú duoní pachí-pachí kapenalhí. Love-IMP People. Cook-IMP good-PL cooked_dishes for_them-ACC.

    And the second sentence: Liamú liudí! Pachúlhí! Douní pachí-pachí Love-IMP People. Cook_them-ACC. Good-PL cooked_dishes.

    I'm not moving any faster in creating the declensions of the pronouns for this language. It looks like the language uses -lhí as an enclitic for 'them'.

    Also there doesn't seem to be a single word for 'food'. I considered using âkuhí which means 'eats'. Then I realised that pachí-pachí which means 'cooked or prepared dishes' would work better.