Lexember 29

Lexember 29

Welcome to the Lexember Challenge!

Every year, conlangers can take the opportunity for the month of December to challenge ourselves to add a new word to our conlang’s lexicon.

What word have you coined today? Any cultural or associated worldbuilding notes? Tell us about your inspiration!


8 thoughts on “Lexember 29

  1. Now I have words for in-laws!

    The Nahul word for ‘gift’ is waní, from the verb lo-wan, ‘to give’.
    Putting this with anní, ‘mother’, and enná, ‘father’, you get

    wananní ‘mother-in-law’
    wanenná ‘father-in-law’

    wanisa ‘parents-in-law’ (sa means ‘parents’)
    waniwal ‘children-in-law’

    Putting waní with olú, ‘daughter’, gets you wanolú, ‘daughter-in-law’. Now, the Nahul are primarily patrilocal, though exceptions aren’t uncommon. The unmarked default state if you have a daughter-in-law is that she either lives in your household or she and your son have moved to set up a brand new household not too far from where you live.

    When it’s instead your son who moves into your daughter-in-law’s household, or if the couple starts a new household a fair bit away, like in another town, you can indicate this lexically by calling her a thuwanolú (Highlands Nahul) or a saiwanolú (Lowlands Nahul). Coast Nahul doesn’t make the distinction.

    Similarly, wanigen means ‘son-in-law’. If your son-in-law has moved in with your household, or set up a new place closeby, you might call him your biwanigen (Highlands Nahul) or your heiwanigen (Lowlands Nahul).

    (Bi- and thu- are kinship prefixes generally used to indicate a relative on one side of the family: for instance, if you’re female then bijomin means ‘female cousin on my mother’s side’, while thujomin means ‘female cousin on my father’s side’. When the speaker is male it’s the other way around. The idea is of proximity vs distance, which is why the Highlands Nahul re-uses those same prefixes for these in-law words. Meanwhile, hei- and sai- are usually enclitic deictic markers where hei means ‘this one right here’ while sai means ‘that one over there’. Both are less used than the all-purpose deictic prefix ho-. Again, proximity vs distance.)

    orajomin ‘sister-in-law’. From orai, ‘new’, plus jomin, ‘sister’.
    orakhorin ‘brother-in-law’

    wanijomin Surprisingly this doesn’t mean ‘sister-in-law’, nor does wanikhorin mean ‘brother-in-law’. Instead it’s like this: if you’re the paternal grandparent of a child, you use wanijomin for the same child’s maternal grandmother and wanikhorin for its maternal grandfather. And vice versa. The collective word for a couple you share grandchildren with is waninohin (as nohin means ‘sibling’).

    Oh, and finally, a daughter-in-law might refer to her mother-in-law as thuwananní and to her father-in-law as thuwanenná if she doesn’t live with them, if she speaks Highlands Nahul. It’s saiwananní and saiwanenná for Lowlands Nahul.

      1. Thank you!

        Haha, I was influenced by that English saying, “you haven’t lost a daughter, you’ve gained a son” to a couple when their daughter gets married.

      1. Thank you! I know there are words for that kind of relationship in several languages, and it’s one thing I wish we had in Swedish, to be honest!


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