The Dailies. December 7
Did you work on your language today? Create any new rules of grammar or syntax? New progress on a script? New words in your lexicon?
On the other hand, do any excavating or reading or enjoying stuff you’ve already created? Do you have any favorites to share?
How did you conlang today?0
One thought on “The Dailies. December 7”
So I got a couple new characters interacting in a story, and as a result, I got a fistful of new words plus some interesting dialect notes.
So I’ve got a pair of multilingual characters who were in a friendly argument and she tells him he needs to stop, and he goes, “Bóka?” as in “I do?” or “Do I?” and this is wrong on several fronts.
In Akachenti, that should be “ba” without any stress or “óba” if one wants to emphasize you’re doing it for someone. Additionally, no way that’s not a question, so it should probably also have a “hu” on the front of it.
She calls him out on it too, and his response is that the Ogunn butcher their own tongue. Argument continues, but I’m sitting there going, so in Chulotti (his language), their dialect of Kachan uses explicit agent suffixing on what is a much more degraded verb in the major Akachenti dialect. They’ve pretty much gone down to just the consonant. In Chulotti, the “bo” is as small as it goes and the vowel of that root isn’t mutable. It’s fixed.
Which I refuse to make any relationship between his language and how he speaks Kachan, but it does give me some delightful thoughts on how I want to organize the direction of language change for Akachenti and how it got the way it did.
Particularly, I love the explicit marking “for you” he used, putting the answer on her and essentially pointing out there was no reason he had to stop for anyone else’s benefit, particularly because this helps me figure out some of the least English-like details of how object-marking works in Akachenti, which is most confusingly.
Another interchange I did this morning was:
Character 1: Himivkhashót? “He’s your lover / sexual partner?”
Character 2: Ieh. Uno:sat… ede danengaki umivkhashát. “No. He’s my brother (in arms)… and also sometimes lover.”
So character 2 initially said no because she was thinking “committed” then mid-answer realized that the word character 1 had used covered any kind of sexual relationship at all, including just friends with benefits. So the answer was that they were partners (in a particular tradition) and okay, also sometimes lovers, but the interesting thing here for me was the way that word-initial u just popped up for me. Both times.
So the first one, u-no:s-at, has the first person relational affix -at, which is “my” (and would normally be stressed as if it were object/patient if it weren’t for the long vowel in the previous syllable) with no:s being the root meaning “brother”. That leaves u-, which is also in an object/patient form, “him”. And the -at couldn’t be stressed due to prosody but it could have been converted to an -et but it wasn’t. Which leads me to conclude that 1. there is some kind of differential object marking, even if I don’t fully get the intellectual rules behind it (I do always know which to use though), and 2. that the alternate vowel forms can be used on a noun to omit the copula and rewrite a sentence as a relative or subordinate clause, even a headless one.
So in English, we’d say, “he is my brother,” and cast “he” as the subject. In Akachenti, they’d say, “him brother to me” and cast “me” as the primary object and “him” as the secondary object as far as agreement markers go. There is no verb in this construction.
In a verbal construction, it would be So no:sat. That’s
But a possessive is not a verb and so it plays by different rules. Throw bóka on top of that, and I’m starting to realize Kachan doesn’t remotely follow an English-like concept of what is an object. Fun, fun.