Monday, 18 February 2013

My books

I'm back from a visit to Wellington.  A pleasant weekend away, I got to see jousting, mediaeval re-enactment, and metal weapons combat.  What fun!

Also I got to raid second-hand book stores for new material for my eclectic language project.  Three new Teach Yourself books added to my collection.

The first two are TY Welsh and TY Beginner's Hindi.  These are later publications from the Hodder&Stoughton period of this franchise.  I'm pleased with finding them.  I have an earlier TY Welsh from the English Universities Press period so I was glad to find a more modern version.  I didn't have a good Hindi title in this series so Beginner's Hindi was a good find.  Perhaps one day I will find more good introductions to this language.

As these are later titles they don't list the irregularities or highlighted words in the contents that I want to use and incorporate into my eclectic language.  I will add them to the stack of books I want to work through and see if they add any new material in my write-up of my own grammar.

The third book I found was irresistable! TY Hausa from 1973!  The patron saints of invented languages have been looking after me this weekend!  It's an interesting language with glottalised and non-glottalised stops, and tense-marking in pronouns!  I like the latin orthography, a very attractive language.

Following the rules of incorporation into my eclectic language I have three new extracts to note for my grammar creation of an eclectic tongue: 1. some new notes on the verb 'to be'; 2. the future aspect of the verb 'to go'; and 3. notes on the relaters sai and da.

I was also tempted by a modern edition TY Swahili.  I resisted as I felt I had made enough dents into my budget.  Perhaps it will still be there in a future visit.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Conlang Card Exchange 2012e

Ní âre premye babik Yeu ve shapâmet premyeron nenon.
Ossí premyeron nenon wo' a?
Ossí ya dacha pidya údna binnya bina ve milt pena woha.
Ossí pena shapâma premye babik Yeu ve dúde latette nilimwege.
Daka kembí sha.
make.IMP you together
May you do likewise.

The final line of the Conlang Card Exchange is an admonition.  Daka is an imperative, 'make!', 'do!'  The pronoun modifies it to a jussive, 'may you do!', and sha is a useful adverb that adds emphasis, 'very', 'the same', 'just'.

I think one of the reasons for conlanging is putting things together, quite literally, like models. One of the early names for the Secret Vice on the internet was Model Languages.  What I think we are modelling, ultimately, is the universe.  Language shapes perception of the world we live in.  So go play and show what you come up with!

Fiat lingua!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Conlang Card Exchange 2012d

Ní âre premye babik Yeu ve shapâmet premyeron nenon.
Ossí premyeron nenon wo' a?
Ossí ya dacha pidya údna binnya bina ve milt pena woha.
Ossí pena shapâma premye babik Yeu ve dúde latette nilimwege
CONJ in command.INF first grandfather Y. NONPRESENT gave order
And in speaking First Grandfather Yeu gave order to the world.

Sorry to take so long over this.  One last line which I hope to post tomorrow.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Conlang Card Exchange 2012c

Ní âre premye babik Yeu ve shapâmet premyeron nenon. 
Ossí premyeron nenon wo' a? 
Ossí ya dacha pidya údna binnya bina ve milt pena woha.
CONJ COM do.INF ask.INF one.NEUTER:PL thousand.ADJ:NEUTER:PL thousand.NEUTER:PL NON:PRESENT come:to.3PRES in be.INF
And with the asking of the (first) question a thousand thousand things came into being.

It seems to be an appropriate line to end this chiasma.  I return to completing this translation after the interruption of the holidays.  I would have returned to it earlier except that I pushed my way through making notes from Describing Morphosyntax by Thomas Payne.  The next challenge I have set myself is to create a coherent language out of my notes.  I hope you remain with me as I rally and compile my thoughts.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Conlang Card Exchange 2012b

Second Line:

Ní âre premye babik Yeu ve shapâmet premyeron nenon. 
Ossí premyeron nenon wo' a?
conj first.neuter word be.past interrogative

In the beginning first grandfather Yeu said the first word.
And the first word was 'eh?'

The interrogative particle a usually comes at the beginning of a sentence where it acts like the English verb 'do' in a question: A shapâmet Yeu? Does Yeu speak?  In this text I decided to play with it and use it as an utterance of surprise: oh! hey! huh!  So for the Shente they say, In the beginning was the word, and the word was D'oh!  Maybe things started out differently for them.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Conlang Exchange Card 2012a

I posted my cards for the Conlang Exchange today.  Here is the first line:

Ní âre premye babik Yeu ve shapâmet premyeron nenon.
loc beginning.dat first.masc grandfather Y. nonpresent command.past first.neuter word
In the beginning first grandfather Yeu uttered the first word.

First grandfather Yeu is the primal ancestor of the Shente.  The Shente call him babik grandfather because everything originated from him.  Because of his importance the Shente use superior status language when talking about him.  He doesn't just say the first word, he commands the first word.

 The language of the Shente has grammatical gender.  Babik is masculine and nenon word is neuter.  The word for 'first' changes before each word, being premye before babik and premyeron before nenon.

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.