Friday, 27 May 2011

How to learn an eclectic language

The conlang list was talking about this link a week ago as I write. Without considering the debate on the list I wondered how the sentences would work in Bâha:

Ta yablok tí kidmit, The apple is red.
Ta tí yablok a Yônú, It is John's apple.
Bodú dô ta yablok kapena Yône, I give the apple to John.
Nas dôyen ta yablok kapena tamú, We give him the apple.
Ta dôt ten kapena Yône, He gives it to John.
Da dôt ten kapena damú, She gives it to her.

Bodú mí múhant dôyant ten kapena tamú, I must give it to him.
Bodú wol dôyant ten kapena damú, I want to give it to her.

Well, creating the sentences and comparing them proved to be an interesting exercise. The first sentence shows how to use a predicative adjective, although says nothing about attributive adjectives. The rest of the first group of sentences give examples of various pronouns with number and gender and how they work. More enquiry would fill in more gaps. There is no example of a noun as subject. It also shows that Bâha declines nouns. From the examples above a learner has all the forms of the present tense finite verb, which is lucky.

And, my god, this is a long-winded language, especially when auxiliaries are used!

I think the theory has merit. A learner could be introduced to a language. It would take longer to master it, at least to the point ordering beer!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Reading and Writing

After watching the thread on this theme on the Conlang list I went and looked up these words in Bâha. To read, recite, or learn, is lehant, and to write is kiribant.

yao/bodú les/kirib, I read, I write.

nas/te lehen/kiriben, we, they read, write.

X lest/kirift, X reads, X writes (X can be any other pronoun or noun).

Lehant is borrowed from Germanic, kiribant from Romance with some changes to the stem that reflect influences from similar forms in other languages.

Related verbs to kiribant are nakiribant, to finish writing, and shakiribant to make notes, to note down. Kiriba, a feminine noun, means writing, usually as read on a page.

Out of curiosity I looked up the same words in Maori. To read is korero pukapuka, to talk book, and to write is tuhi or tuhituhi, which if I understand it correctly, originally meant to stitch patterns into a wall panel. I think both of those are kind of cool.