The Dailies. August 29, 2021

The Dailies. August 29, 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?


8 thoughts on “The Dailies. August 29, 2021

  1. So on the matter of some interesting “plurals”:

    • donghuan – gym, formerly “training area”
    • donghuali – outdoor training area divided into multiple smaller spaces, which was once either “trainings” or “training areas”, I’m not actually sure which yet
    • kofu – war clans, currently collective
    • kofnea – of the war clans, clannish
    • kofualine – recognized members of the war clans, where “recognized” means someone who has challenged for recognition, succeeded at the rite of passage, been marked with their band and clan markings, and sworn fealty to their band and clan leaders
    • kofne – recognized member of the war clans
    • mritzovke – a pie dish, though it’s never sweet, and basically is used to refer to any dish with a top and bottom crust where the filling is sauce and vegetable or meat but no oil
    • senmi – grasses or herbs, as in mritzovke senmi is “grass pie” and refers to a greens and herbs pie

    Technically, I’m 100% sure that the whole -ne(a) ending is derived from -nar, which meant “people” in the starting language of the colonizers of this world. But it’s also clear that their original plural of -li became irregular at some point or at least merged into some roots.

    Further, stress is penultimate, except where there’s suffixes. Stress must always be on the root. Sometimes with suffixes, it’s penultimate on the root and sometimes syllable-final on the root, which I shall eventually figure out which is which, I’m sure.

    1. Very cool!

      I wish I could taste some mritzovke, the very word looks tasty!

      If “kofu” is currently collective, did it behave differently in the past?

      (A couple worldbuilding questions if you feel like answering – what happens to those who fails at the rite of passage? Are there many war clans, and do they tend to be large or small?)


      1. Food is so fun to conlang for!

        Kofu started off as singular “war clan” with kofuali the plural, but now, it’s just kofu all the time without bothering to differentiate.

        Those who fail at a challenge for recognition may try again until they succeed, though it definitely hurts your reputation if you do that, so most people just try to either get enough skill for the challenge in advance or pick wisely in the kind of challenge they want to do. Reputation absolutely opens and closes doors in their society, and despite it becoming more urbanized and modernized over time (which is not to say they didn’t have technology but they started off with super small settlements when they colonized), the physical skills of fighting, survival, or being protectable (there are actual tested skills to it) remain important to their culture at a fundamental level.

        If you don’t succeed in a challenge before 25, that’s what they call the age of forfeiture, when they’ll treat you like an adult instead of a kid but there are some things you still can’t do without being recognized, regardless of whether you’re an adult. You get adult status early if you challenge successfully before 25.

        The clans started small but are quite large at this point. They cover a full half a continent and have basically divided into four larger groups: the hilakhot kofu (far north), the paschtha kofu (near north), the vannu kofu (east), and the daanni kofu (south). And of course, the southernmost group on the other side of the mountains are outcast but used to be considered clans. When they went to war, they all became war clans instead of just clans and adopted the War Protocols, which have since been mostly discontinued. The Hilakhot consist of 5-6 clans, the Vannu 2-3, the Paschtha 7, and the Daanni, I’m not quite sure, and the clans consist of large, exogamous bands. You don’t know everybody in your clan, but you might know most people in your band if it’s a smaller one and the band mostly lives together.

        As they urbanized and due to the war they came out of, there was a lot more centralization and mixing of all the clans into cities and educational spaces, but there’s an annual clans gathering where everyone sorts themselves out into their proper groups every year, swear fealties, confirm recognitions, and all the clan leaders do a political session with input from their band leaders before they all go back to their lives for the rest of the year.

        So overall, yeah, large at this point. You might as well have four nations, but they refuse to reorganize into a nation-like governmental structure and are only starting on having political relationships much beyond their immediate neighbors.

        1. Very interesting!

          the clans consist of large, exogamous bands. You don’t know everybody in your clan, but you might know most people in your band if it’s a smaller one and the band mostly lives together.

          So people tend to marry outside their band, but within their clans, would that be right? Do marriage patterns and traditions tend to be the same within each of the big four groups, or do they vary between clans in each group?

          Clans have a significant role in the North-East continent on my world when it comes to how communities are organized, but that’s by now unrelated to warlike activities. They’re in use by all ethnolinguistic groups though internal details are sure to vary a lot. (For instance within the Beldreni some clans are traditionally patrilocal while other clans are traditional matrilocal, and so inter-clan marriages can sometimes lead to a lot of discussions beforehand…)

          1. So people tend to marry outside their band, but within their clans, would that be right?

            Frequently, though they may marry other clans as well, more likely if they’re from a city that means they meet people from a lot of different clans. Marriage patterns vary a bit: Paschtha does more marrying outside of the clan and has some of the most centralized structure. Hilakhot and Vannu are more traditional and tend to marry either for political reasons or within the clan, though if they go outside the clan, it is generally going to be with an explicitly already allied clan. Daanni is… Well, they maintained the War Protocols, so you basically have to ask for an exception if you don’t want to marry the “optimal partner” arranged for you based on the contracts with gods you both hold and what will produce the most powerful or useful children. They’ll go outside the clan for that and there is no level of poor enough you don’t get assessed and matched.

            Which sounds terrible, so let me unpack that slightly. The outcast clans decided at one point to kill off all the god-contracted “protectors” of the clans because they felt there was inequity of power and it had to change. They succeeded with many of the clans but the remaining clans, who are the kofu today, basically banded together, instituted the war protocols based on actual war exigencies in their agreed upon clan laws and traditions but extended, and a war king or queen stepped up to lead them in time of war and they solved the problem by endeavoring to make all their population powerful, rather than killing off the ones that were. The target generation ended the war with an overwhelming force when they took back their land and there’s a ton of strain between Daanni and the remaining clans because they’re the only ones who did not suspend the Protocols at the end of the war. The Paschtha have an active war queen, but her function is in charge of things related to war and keeping the Daanni from forcing their war king’s rule on the rest of the clans. The Hilakhot and the Vannu do not maintain an active war queen or king, though both have one on standby should they go to war again.

            So because Paschtha maintains an active, centralized war government, there’s a lot of intermixing of clans and they tend to intermarry freely. Paschtha is also currently the host for the annual clans gathering as their war queen is responsible for handling the war king of the daanni, so that’s as neutral a territory as they’re going to get. Whereas Vannu actually swear fealty to the Paschtha war queen, they still basically live make it as an allied group of clans and handle all non-war issues themselves. So they and Hilakhot, who are the most traditional and don’t swear fealty to the Paschtha war queen at all, tend to stick to marrying in their own clans (except those who live among the Paschtha) and only marrying outside to strengthen alliances.

            Okay, I love the idea of patrilocal vs. matrilocal and logisticking that! Actually, that’s some of the most fun stuff of figuring out worldbuilding for clans / household / family-based worldbuilding in my opinion. Did they start from warlike activities? I kinda like how much of your worldbuilding doesn’t seem to be born out of massive conflicts, tbh (esp. as compared to mine). 🙂

            1. Did they start from warlike activities? I kinda like how much of your worldbuilding doesn’t seem to be born out of massive conflicts, tbh (esp. as compared to mine).

              I will answer for the North-East Continent because I don’t have as clear a feeling for the South-West Continent’s history yet, though in broad strokes I think a lot of it holds there as well.
              I might well be very unrealistic about it, but I guess I’ve felt that the great seasonal duality of life in this world makes extended warring by no means impossible, but a little more, hm, complicated maybe? Even in the more warlike past, there was a taboo in place when it came to making war on other tribes/clans/etc for most of the long journey north and south, when people are particularly vulnerable. The taboo did get broken during particularly bitter and bloody periods, but there were consequences for breaking it in how much other tribes/clans would trust you after that. This doesn’t mean that the long seasonal journeys were devoid of hostilities, especially over scarce resources, but there were cultural constraints in place to stop violence from escalating too much. Those who ignored such constraints tended to be outcast bandits (or, okay, pretending to be) rather than acting in the official interest of their clan or tribe, so to speak.

              In winter the citystates in the south went to war against each other now and then, competing for things like good ports, fertile farmland and so on. But the wars were usually kept short and official or at least de facto truces would usually occur at the end of the winter half of the year when the cities and their hinterlands were emptied out as always, since everybody started to wander north. The citystates in this world in effect cease to be half the time, as even the priests, the bureaucrats and the very rulers all put that part of their identity aside as they too travel north in spring along with all the other inhabitants of the citystates.

              It’s not that you entirely forget that you’re a citizen of X city, of course, and in the past I imagine in fact the leaders were involved in a lot of discussions and negotiations in the summertime as well when it came to making alliances and plans for the winter. But their context as well would have changed and their subjects/citizens would be all spread out into different clans and territories. The winter citystates are multiethnic, but the summer territories are divided up by ethnicity first and clans second.

              During the summertime, the clans in fact become the main way of organizing people above a village and family level. There are summer towns, too, but they’re relatively small and often dominated by single clans like the villages or at most a couple of clans. If you as a farmer feel you need help getting by, maybe need to defend yourself if there are hostilities, or help getting through bad harvests, you turn first to your neighbours but secondly to your clan chief. (Maybe there’s an in-between level though for the large clans! I like your ideas of bands within clans.) When two clans border, there is often trouble, doubled so if they are clans of two different ethnicities. Due to the multilingual nature of the southern winter citystates, you can often understand a neighbour speaking another language, but in summer people do tend to keep to their own language much more than in winter and get perhaps more parochial and insular. Also, big personal rites of life like coming of age ceremonies and marriages occur in summer and are often tied to clan meetings. For the Beldreni at least you need the signature of the chief of your clan to be able to complete your transition to adulthood with your new adult name.

              However, people are also more solitary and less social in summer. So, sure, you do band together within clans and can make trouble that way, when it feels needed, but the clan is there to help you get by and cultivate your land enough, not necessarily to enlarge its own territory and bring glory to the clan chief. That being said, the ownership of uncultivated land is often a point of contentment between clans and tribes in summer as well! Plus back in the days when slavery was allowed, people would raid each other’s territories for slaves. So  in the past there were often summer wars…

              And indeed clans probably were founded way back in the ancient past out of such activities. But as the winter cities came to be and civilizations started, it was more unusual for wars to keep going from winter to summer and back, because of the wide network of alliances and cross-alliances that were necessary for fights between citystates to continue as fights between clans and ethnicities (or vice versa) and back again. All that being said, the road to the current state of mostly-peace was very long and arduous and took centuries to accomplish.

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