The Dailies. January 5

The Dailies. January 5

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?


4 thoughts on “The Dailies. January 5

  1. Hullo! Long time no see, everybody!


    I fell out of the habit of posting about conlanging, but also of conlanging period, for the most part. Enough so that when I got back in the mood, I’d forgotten a ton of words and several rules, and had to look up my notes.

    The past few days I’ve come up with a word for a particular string instrument in the Nahul language which is called tuwá in the nominative. Wanting to use the word in sentences, I ended up adding a number of other words as well.

    Brief reintroduction of Nahul: It’s an accusative VSO language with verbs conjugated after person and number, frequent prodrops, three cases (nominative, oblique/accusative, and genitive), and three grammatical genders (one animate, two inanimate). The stress is always on the last syllable of a word. Acute accent designates a long vowel (though I haven’t been entirely consistent with this – sometimes I’ve used double vowels instead). The string /ch/ stand for the [ʃ] sound, and /ph/, /th/ and /kh/ designate the aspirated forms of those unvoiced stops. Yes/no-sentences begin with the word mien, and, when polite, often end with the meaningless softener ni. Imperative sentences usually end with ni. Negations are primarily expressed on the verb.

    New words:

    tuwa   a string instrument. Class III gender. Oblique form tuwán with a lenghtened vowel

    lo-ther to play an instrument; therai I play, therei you play, theroi he/she/it played, etc.

    lo-veng to sit; fengai I sit. (/F/ turns to /v/ in intervocalic position in Nahul.)lo-suhin to govern; to rule.

    lo-di to allow, to let; diai I let/allow (sthng).

    aito close to “even” in the sense ‘not even’, when paired with a negated verb. Comes from the diminutive prefix ai- plus the independence negation ido, which is used sometimes when there’s no handy verb to negate. There’s a T because ai- devoices the following phoneme if it’s voiced to start with.

    moth song, class II gender. Oblique case mothat, genitive mothet; nominative plural phi-moth. From the irregular-ish verb lo-mu ‘to sing’. When I was trying to come up with this one I noticed I fell into the “pretty” trap where I wanted the word to mean ‘song’ to sound good. I had to tell myself to get over it.

    rao bridge, class III gender. Oblique case rón, genitive raoli, nominative plural el-rao.

    Sample sentences:

    Fetraionoi inek ji-tuwán-ji-therei.        Your playing the tuwá makes me happy (fetrai, ‘happy’; lo-fetrion ‘to gladden’, ‘to become happy’)

    Zénatai thiarr ji-tuwán-ji-therei.        I really like your tuwá-playing.

    Tata therezé tuwán fetrionlezá.        If you were to play the tuwá, I would be gladdened. (fetrionlezá is in the subjunctive passive, therezé in the subjunctive active.)

    Madonedár bubi mamé aito lo-ther tuwán.     They didn’t even teach us to play the tuwá.(Bubi is the pronoun, here used without pronoun drop. Mamé is the oblique form of the, like ‘us’. –Ed– is the negative infix in the verb.)

    Diedár mamé aito lamad lo-ther tuwán. They didn’t even let us learn how to play the tuwá.

    Ma-madon inek lo-ther tuwan ni!        Teach me (how) to play the tuwá!

    Theró ankhit be mazit phi-mothat da be fetraimit phi-mothat. The woman played two calm and two happy songs.

    Ipok theredé ho-mim orimit mothat?        Why didn’t you play that new song?

    Mien imerei lo-ther tuwanei ni?            Do you have to play the tuwá?

    Ma-ther muraimit mothat ko inek!        Play the old song for me!

    Finally, here are four famous lines that work as “core lines” in a piece of music which musicians of the tuwá make their variations on, sometimes for a long time, while adding to the lyrics as well, often in pure improvisation.

    Note: The world where Nahul and Beldréni is spoken has three moons, one big and two fairly small in comparison (at least when viewed from the planet itself). Nuus is the Nahul word for the biggest moon. I haven’t come up with names for the other two in Nahul yet, nor a common word for all three of them. Hence I let the lyrics talk about the smaller moons as the sisters of the bigger one. But this might just be a poetic conceit rather than mirroring actual folklore and myth.

    Fengai therai ho-laviin tuwánai

    Ohári inek Nuus da na-jominó

    Ruan lumi suhinekh dován

    Ma-di inek lo-vach mothet el-rón

    I sit and play my tuwá this evening

    The big moon and its sisters are watching me

    You who rule over the night

    Let me build bridges of song


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