The Dailies. April 25, 2021

The Dailies. April 25, 2021

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. April 25, 2021

  1. I’ve been thinking about what I know (or guess) about the worldview of the priests on the North-East Continent, and how this might be reflected in their language. A good number of them speak Beldrēni , since the Beldrēni are the most populous ethnolinguistic group on the continent. Of course many of the terms used by priests also get taken up by the secular world, or sometimes originated there in the first place.


    I already have the two contrasting adjectives hewashan, ‘priest-related, clerical, religious especially in an institutional sense’ and botipakos, (roughly) ‘worldly, non-clerical, secular’ (more or less). Now I have two new words, ki’tūs, ‘knowing, wise, informed’, and ki’dzhetūs, ‘ignorant, uninformed’, based on the verb tūs, ‘knows’. They both have more general meanings like the corresponding terms in English, but in a priestly environment, these terms tend to be used to separate those who have received at least the fundamentals of a religious-philosophical education and those who haven’t. The former aren’t just priests and acolytes, though, since quite a few parents with intellectual aspirations for their children let them take part in such an education, typically together with a more worldly schooling at the same time. Unlike “university” education, this one isn’t funded by city taxes directly so it does tend to cost a fair bit. This sounds maybe more standardized than it really is – exactly how long you need to study to be considered to know the basics has never been fully settled, and there’s a widespread attitude that the more renowned your teacher, the less time you need to spend before becoming a Knowing Person in the eyes of the priests.

    One of the first words I came up with for this language was apayo, ‘teacher’, formed on the verb appa, ‘teaches’. Now I’ve put the nominalizing prefix ko- in front of the formal version of the verb to form koappi, ‘teaching, schooling, education’. The term koappi gajo, lit. ‘right schooling’, is what Beldrēni-speaking priests use to signify those basics of a religious education that’s supposed to make you Wise and Knowing.

    There’s more categorization among the priests, though! The most common word for priest is washan. (I say ‘priest’, but it also covers ‘monk’, ‘nun’, ‘priestess’ and really most any sort of religious professional who’s studied long enough for it, although you can be considered to be part of that world and so a hewashan person even without being a priest or an acolyte/novice.) There’s also the word rūbenza, which also means ‘priest’ (from rūben, ‘pattern’) and which is often used quite interchangeably with washan. However, whenever people want to make distinctions, the wider meaning tends to be assigned to washan, the more narrow meaning to rūbenza.

    Washan is often used to mean ‘anyone considered by the general community they live in to be a priest’, while rūbenza is then specified as ‘a priest from one of the three great schools of religious thought and practice’ (the Red School, the Yellow School, and the Black School).

    But many priests from the three schools, particularly in the Black School, are stricter than this. They reserve washan itself for someone who’s part of the three great schools (or sometimes, they can also belong to smaller religious communities but only if they’ve taken in the “right schooling”, koappi gajo, mentioned above). As for rūbenza, it’s then defined as ‘a priest from one of the three great schools who’s skilled at manipulating “blessings” (=spiritual energy/low-level magic)’. Not all priests are gifted in perceiving and managing what they call “blessings”, others are more administratively or psychologically gifted, but some like to have a specific term for those who are.

    Then there’s the term min kashon. This comes from the loanword kash from Lakespeech, the language of the Lakefolk, where the word means ‘sacrifice, offering’. Beldrēni-speaking priests took this word and made the adjective kashon and then the phrase min kashon, which means, roughly, ‘a person who performs religious rituals and ceremonies without necessarily having a formal religious education’. This can be used quite objectively and neutrally, as for heads of the household conducting sacrifices and other ceremonies at the family altar, for instance. However, the term can also have a dismissive and at least mildly pejorative terms when used for priests from smaller religious groups who haven’t gone through the so-called “right schooling” of the three great schools – they have, after all, still gone through a lot of training and education of their own!

    The discovery that the wandering shaman-priests of the South-West Continent, while still respected and relied upon, are a lot more marginalized than the priests on the North-East Continent led to a lot of uneasiness among the latter. Although the term min kashon would seem to describe them all, there’s been a debate that to use it so freely about all of them would be to unfairly take part in their marginalization, and many use the more neutral ben-ben ho washan instead, lit. ‘priest of the far west’.

    Come this far, I realized that I didn’t have a Beldrēni word for ‘sacrifice’ yet. I looked at ibel, ‘gift’, and the most humble pronoun for the first person plural (exclusive), köse. I put them together, figuring that köse no doubt has a cognate for the etymological purpose, to make köspel, ‘sacrifice, offering’.

    Köspel is used with the verb rensel, from ren, ‘before, forward’ and sel, ‘carries’, so: carry forward. Incidentally, this sounds almost identical to the Swedish noun “ränsel”, ‘satchel’, but that’s pure coincidence.

    Köspel di lao renselis. She carried out the sacrifice/She put forward the offering.

    And a renselío is someone who performs a sacrifice or puts forward a significant offering – be they a min kashon, a washan, and/or a rūbenza!

    Jogar ben-ben chenna ho washan min kashon wai. ‘All priests on the South-West Continent are “uneducated”.’

    Glossing:All west-west world GEN priest person “sacrifice”-ADJ is-FORMAL.

    (Hey, how do you gloss a loanword properly for conlangs?)

    1. I absolutely love all your detail and worldbuilding and how the distinction between washan and rubenza is used differently by different speaker groups, and basically all of this. So much heart eyes.

      1. Thank you very much!!
        I have been hindered in getting back to my worldbuilding by the fact that I can’t find certain of my old notes at all, and while I have some new ideas for locations and place names, I *know* I also had old ones I don’t want to lose…

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