Friday, 9 November 2012

Starlings' Song 5

Some final comments on this translation.

rodinití heroic deeds the stem is rodina hero.  The ending makes it into an abstract noun.

imbon song or hymn a neuter noun

I needed to create three words for names of bird species.  I chose in the end to look in a guide to birds of my local city.  I found out that 'starling' has been borrowed into Maori as taringi.  I borrowed that word and disguised it as tadrin.  

'Heron' came from the Maori word kotuku which I can trace back to a proto-Polynesian list of words.  The Kotuku is the white heron, a sacred bird in some traditions.  It crosses between the worlds of the living and the dead.  I made the word kôduk.

I was pleased to find the skylark in the guide.  Its Maori name is whioi, the whistler.  I couldn't find a word for 'whistle' so I used the word wúya, to blow. Wúyayon means 'instrument for blowing', I changed the ending to a diminutive, wúyayet, little whistler.  I don't rule out that the stem of the bird-name may change if I uncover a more suitable word.

The word for rain is wua.  Feminine nouns in the dative change the stem with the inclusion of an i-sound, wia.

Bina see, look is one of a handful of verbs that changes stem if it is in a dependent clause, a rule borrowed from Irish Gaelic.  In this case the dependent verb is wabina.

The sentiment of the last line appeals to me in this language.  Who knows the truth about birds?  My theory is we create language to make a model of the universe.  I think the Shente have a creation myth that when premye babik Yeu first grandfather Yeu said Ai petten? what's that? the universe came into being.

Now to play with something new.  See you in a while.

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