The Dailies. June 3

The Dailies. June 3

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?


5 thoughts on “The Dailies. June 3

  1. Stuff for Nahul! Some of this is due to thinking of words that could be part of a poem or song lyrics and wanting to have them in Nahul. More on this later!

    aled (n) bow (for shooting with). Object form aledat.
    thimá (v) I shot, lo-thim ‘to shoot’. Meaning to use bows, crossbows, slungs or the like, since there are no fire-arms on the South-West Continent. (At least there haven’t been so far.)
    ethim (n)archer, crossbowman, slunger etc: someone who shoots.
    guná (v) I held, lo-gun ‘to hold’
    sepá (v)I continued, I kept [doing something]; lo-sep ‘to continue, to keep (doing something)’. Not used for the sense ‘to keep [an object]. (Following Swedish semantically rather than English here.)
    sepekh (n) a storehouse or a storeroom, especially for food. Can be as small as a walk-in closet
    sesó (v) it sank, it decreased, it waned, lo-ses ‘to sink, to decrease, to wane’. Variance: esesó, infinitve leses.
    hanó (v) it rose, it increased, it waxed (in the lunar sense). Infinitive lo-han.
    smáth (v) spear, object form smáthat, plural phi-smáth.
    burá (v) I ambushed/robbed/assaulted (someone); lo-bur ‘to rob/ambush/assault’
    buru (n) robbery/ambush/assault
    eburu (n) robber, bandit, pl. neburu

    Gunó ennanó aledató. She held her father’s bow./He held his father’s bow.
    Sepoi zef lo-han! The river keeps rising!
    Ellethekedá. Sepeká. I will not stop. I will continue.
    Ma-gun mamínai ni! Hold my flower!
    Esesó Nús ho-dovan. Nús [the planet’s largest moon] was waning that night.
    Mien thimár neburu ra-maddonel? Did the bandits shoot the Learned One?
    Ipok eoi smáthei koth sepekhat? Why is your spear in the storeroom?

  2. So a random discussion about the passiveness or not of the sentence “Bee received a letter from Bear” as relates to a conlang I collaborate on inspired me to translate it into Firen to demonstrate the various voices there, because Firen has rather different sentence structure from either that language or English. I realized that I had no word for “bear”, and coined one, but while I was adding it to my dictionary, I realized that I had never properly gone through and converted it all to use proper vowel harmony, so lots of my old words are phonotactically invalid. I tagged them all so I can get back to them later, and did some other tagging as well.


    I also remembered an additional quirk: Firen doesn’t have a word meaning “receive” or “get”, only one meaning “give” (it also doesn’t have one meaning “send”, which is less intentional but I don’t think I’m going to add one just now). That sort of transformation is done with voices, rather than lexically, in Firen. So some of the translated sentences translate back with “give” and others with “get” in natural English.

    Anyways, the sentences I wrote: (rereading these now, I realized I got Bee and Bear switched. Oh well.)

    • Active:
      • Kullupoku gulride tuddupogu zůgůtasaobo.
      • Kullu=po=ku  gul-ride tuddu=po=gu zů=gůta=sao=bo
      • bee=ADDRESS=ERG mark-paper[ABS] bear=ADDRESS=DAT PRXPST=give[IND]=A3A=P3I
      • Bee gave a letter to Bear.
    • Dative-passive: (simplified gloss, [brackets] mark removable elements)
      • Půt zůgůtasaobo tuddupoku gulride [kullupoga].
      • Půt zůgůtasaobo tuddupo=ku gulride [kullupo=ga]
      • DPV PRXPST:give:A3A:P3I bear:ADDRESS=ERG mark:paper [bee:ADDRESS=PEG]
      • Bear got a letter [from Bee].
    • Passive:
      • Nad zůgůtaza gulride tuddupogu [kullupoga].
      • Nad zůgůta=za gulride tuddupogu [kullupoga].
      • PSV PRXPST:give=A3I mark:paper bear:ADDRESS:DAT [bee:ADDRESS:PEG]
      • A letter was given to Bear [by Bee].
    • Passive dative-passive:
      • Nad půt zůgůtaza gulride [tuddupoga].
      • Nad půt zůgůtaza gulride [tuddupo=ga]
      • PSV DPV PRXPST:give:A3I mark:paper [bear:ADDRESS=PEG]
      • A letter was gotten [by Bear].

    While in all of these sentences, the verbs could grammatically go at either the end or the beginning, when voices are involved, VSO order is much more likely than SOV (in active-voice sentences VSO is slightly marked). This is partially because the voice particles (which are strongly bound phrasally with the verb) convey information that affects the semantic structure, but also because noun phrases in cases other than ergative, absolutive, and dative (in this case, the noun case of note is pegative) are typically found after the core elements of the sentence, but verbs strongly like to be peripheral. So the possible arrangements are (using C (‘core’) to refer to S, O, and indirect/dative all taken together, and X to refer to any other NP) VCX, CVX, and CXV (technically, Firen has free word order (except that ergative must go before absolutive with nothing between) so other variations are also possible, like XVC or VXC, but they are very marked) and of those three, VCX is the only one with a peripheral verb that isn’t separated from its arguments, and therefore feels most neutral.

    In summary, Firen prefers, in order: CV, VC, VCX, and anything else is rare.

    Also, I had to coin a word for “letter”, and decided to derive a compound for it. I looked up the etymologies of all the English synonyms, and then decided that none of them seemed quite right but I did like that “note” came from a word which also meant “to mark” (Latin nota), and decided that a letter in Firen is a paper which was marked upon.

    1. All this is really impressive! Man, I feel I have nothing to contribute in reply. I probably need to brush up on my grammar studies a lot.

      I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a pegative case, nor one that marked address! But it all seems very well thought-out and creative!

      1. Pegative is a case label I mostly made up; it’s based on the rule of “if you invent a case that’s like an English preposition you’re probably good” applied to “by” as used in passive statements, but then generalized differently than English does it. I never found any better name for it than “pegative”. So, don’t feel bad for not knowing about it!

        And the address marker isn’t a case, it’s more of an honorific. But Firen only has one (well, there’s also -(t)aṙ but that’s a bit different), so it’s a choice between having it and not at all, rather than how some languages do it with multiple levels. Usually it’s a bit formal, but in this case, it conveys that Bee and Bear are names of people rather than simply regular nouns, so I used it.


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