The Dailies. August 28, 2022

The Dailies. August 28, 2022

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?


9 thoughts on “The Dailies. August 28, 2022

  1. Continuing to talk about new conlang Naqlikar, from the same continent as Beldreni. Previous comment here.

    As before: circumflex = long vowel
    apostrophe = glottal stop
    acut accent mark = non-typical stress (any stress that’s not on the initial syllable)
    the letter j = the phoneme [j] (just like in Swedish)
    the letter q = the phoneme [tɕ] or less commonly the phoneme [tʃ]

    The Naqlikam divide themselves up into two main groups (or four… see below): the hujnim and the salkam. The Hujnim are Coastlanders, the Salkam are Inlanders. This is used both for winter and summer conditions. In winter, the Naqlikam mainly live in the south-east in the winterlands, particularly in the citystate of Thenathina. In summer, they live in the north-east corner of the summerlands and of the whole continent, on two different coasts (northern and eastern) with some other ethnic group’s territory splitting the Naqlikam’s area in half when it comes to the coastlands. However, the areas connect up again in the inlands.

    Interestingly, citydwellers in winter, called aribantem, are considered to be part of the Hujnim, coastlanders, even when it’s a city that’s inland. This only goes for winter; the Naqlikam who live in the much smaller summer towns in summer aren’t considered Aribantem the same way and they’re either Hujnim or Salkam depending on where the town is.

    Unusually for languages in this world, the Naqlikam use the same terms, hujnim and salkam, for these two divisions whether it’s about winter or summer living areas. But they do have a way to distinguish if need be. Let’s say it’s in winter and everyone is living in the south. Someone wants to talk about summer and how their people will live then. Then they add the distal suffix –pal to the terms: hujnim-pal and salkam-pal. Literally meaning “the coastlanders/inlanders far away”, pragmatically it rather means, “the coastlanders/inlanders during the other half of the Year”.

    It’s possible that –pal is also a distal determinative, but I’m not sure about that yet. The duplicative –palpal can be used to mean ‘very far away’ for many nouns (but not for the very fixed concepts hujnim and salkam).

    The word the Naqlikam use for the great journey between summerlands and winterlands, north and south of the continent, is Kamaj. It is again unusual that they have the same basic word regardless of whether it’s the spring journey or the autumn journey. When they do feel a need to specify which one it is, if the context isn’t enough, they use Benekamaj for the journey north in spring and Angekamaj for the journey south in autumn.

    Four important nouns:
    wata societal harmony; peace in a wider sense
    nuran (roughly) peace after a treaty, in a narrow sense; can also be something like ‘armistice’
    qim discord, strife, battle; war
    kuqim formal war; prolonged war

    One word for ‘gift’ (orig. ‘great gift’) is kufra. Tuma (adj) means ‘eternal’. Put together, kufratuma, ‘eternal great gift’, is the word used in Naqlikar for the spiritual energi/low-level magic that exists in this world. As with the Beldreni equivalent, it can be roughly translated as “Blessings”.

    While Naqlikar doesn’t have grammatical gender per se, there are two nominal suffixes that can be called masculine and feminine collectives. They’re only used for referents with biological sexes (and for humans, societal gender as well). The masculine one is -dagem, the feminine one is -nebem.

    mojdagem = roughly, ‘the men of the village’ (môja, ‘village’; the long vowel disappears in compounds)
    mojnebem = roughly, ‘the women of the village’

    -eva seems to be an adjectival suffix which gets stressed:

    tsu hujnéva a woman from the coast
    pia hujnéva a man from the coast
    tsu salkáva A woman from the inlands
    pia salkáva A man from the inlands
    hujnimdagem men from the coast
    salkamdagem men from the inlands
    hujnimnebem women from the coast
    salkamnebem women from the inlands

    To be continued – next time I will go into verbs!

    1. Oh my goodness! I love these!

      -pal is delightful and feels very real and -palpal is such a good use of reduplication! I particular love the overlapping concepts of inlanders vs. coastlanders here with cities vs. towns and I’m perhaps also taking good notes now that I’m writing a migratory culture myself. And I like the handling on the masculine / feminine affixes that are not (yet?) gender. There’s a lot of that kind of complexity in the diachrony and synchrony of languages. Like its partially grammaticalized but it’s definitely not there yet, and this stuff does tend to spread outward from person, kinship, and proper nouns. (in reverse order really but still)

      nuran is one of my favorite words in this batch. It’s nicely scoped and contrastive with other peace-related concepts. <3

  2. I suppose I really should sit down and intro to Courtly a bit, which I originally working titled Slayer of Thousands because really, I’m just hoping to write three short stories about him and that doesn’t require a whole whopping conlang. Yeah, sure, get right back to minimizing that some other year.

    Hilariously, the reason I started up the conlang has not been conlanged yet. I still can’t say Slayer of Thousands in Courtly at all. That said, let’s start with the fact that I’m basically writing a/b/o xeno fantasy since I did translate the sexes to get my head out of stereotypes and am basing the whole worldbuilding on a humanified version of lekking birds with resident, satellite, and mimic variations. So:

    • asara1, p. asaravi: “bearing” person, characterized by smaller physical size, a more delicate bone structure, the physical ability to bear young, and a lack of combative instinct during mating season
    • asara2, p. asarabi: a member of any of the three sexes who find it biologically easier to bear than to sire, i.e. saro, mahi, and natse
    • saro, p. sarobi: “bearing” male
    • mahi, p. mahibi: “bearing” female
    • eiban, p. eibani: “traveling” person, characterized by a lean but strong build, a stronger migratory instinct, a weaker breeding and mating instinct, and a lack of territorial instinct during mating season
    • dzol, p. dzolebo: “traveling” male
    • natse, p. natsebi: “traveling” female
    • ara1, p. aravo: “territorial” person, characterized by larger size, sturdier bones, a strong territorial and mating instinct, combative instincts during mating season, and a weaker migratory instinct
    • ara2, p. arabo: a member of any of the three sexes who find it biologically easier to sire than to bear, i.e. begez, hano, and dzol
    • begez, p. begezevo: “territorial” male
    • hano, p. hanobo: “territorial” female

    The amount of actual lexicon I’ve built is significantly larger than this, but that’s the foundation of it. We’ve got the six sexes which are variations on two genetic qualities, male/female and bearing/traveling/territorial.

    Their countries are things like Maktabumir, the Well-Watered Paths, where this language is spoken, and the as yet untranslated Mountain Valley Paths, where Slayer of Thousands is actually from. I’m pretty sure those two countries speak the same basic language, though I’m sure there are dialectical variations.

    The basic non-formal nominative pronoun system matches the way their grammatical genders have actually shaken out, which is sarwuul, bearing rather than feminine, and arwuul, siring rather than masculine. They actually have words for male and female! ayara and apara, which absolutely have sa. and ar. versions, since you need ayavo to refer to hanobit and apavi to refer to sarobit, making it clear that where there’s overlap between statuses, it’s actually the bearing/siring distinction that wins.

    Interestingly though, pronouns do not decline the way nouns do.

    singular plural
    1st vaara, vaasi vaarod, vaasit
    2nd hawara, hawasi hawarod, hawasit
    3rd yaaba, yabi yaabod, yabit


    So there’s a lot of things that really emphasize gender on these, but this also demonstrates that plural in pronouns tends to just go straight to the collective ending in nouns, sans thematic consonant.

    • sa. plural endings: -i, -bi, -ebi, -ibi, -vi, -evi, -ivi
    • sa. collective ending: -{pl}-t
    • ar. plural endings: -o, -bo, -ebo, -ibo, -vo, -evo, -ivo
    • ar. collective ending: -{pl}-d


    There’s a lot in this language of reusing the same handful of phonemes for stuff, much to my chagrin.

    The language is SOV, accusative alignment, with a zero copula and liberal application of serial suffixation to get where they’re going. In fact, dropping verbs altogether when a nominal suffix will do works great for them and there’s a very fuzzy line between non-finite verbs and the rest of the language. Throw in there that there’s also a very fuzzy line between nouns and adjectives, and mostly you can tell the parts of speech apart by how they inflect.

    The biggest category of non-standard plural thus far is adjectives or verbs ending in a nasal. -n is singular and -m is plural, and that’s basically it.

    I actually have mostly hammered out the verb system today with a few things I want to make sound sayable, but I’m going full bore on mood and voice apparently. They have an active stem, a middle stem, and a passive stem. The participles of these voices are used to differentiate adjectival meanings:

    • kaidan1, p. kaidani: n. book
    • kaidan2, p. kaidam: adj. act. ptcp. 1. writing or logging in a book, list, or registry; 2. journaling; 3. scribing or record-keeping
    • kaidant, -d, p. kaidamti, -do: adj. pass. ptcp. 1. written or logged in a book, list, or registry; 2. recorded, 3. on record, verified as having said or done a thing
    • kaidank1, p. kaidanko: n. ger. 1. book-writing; 2. the writing of things into a book, list, or registry; 3. journaling; 4. record-keeping
    • kaidank2, -g, p. kaidamti, -go: mid. ptcp. 1. automatically being written or logged in a book, list, registry, or other record; 2. putting oneself on record; 3. accidentally or intentionally confirming one’s previous words or actions


    So basically the active and passive are used as expected, to indicate whether the noun/pronoun modified is doing the verb sense or experiencing it. The middle is used for the impersonal act thereof or the proper middle sense of the modified noun experiencing a thing in a “this sort of  happened” way. Which is actually a pretty terrible explanation, but my explanatory brain is running out a bit, so I’m going to just stop here for now.

    1. So as not to accidentally kill my table, missing items and errata:

      • Countries are called paths because they’re migratory. It’s considered ideal for a country to be sovereign over an entire migratory path, but in practice, some paths stray outside of a particular country into a second.
      • That’s hanobod, not hanobit. Like seriously, in a sentence pointing out those are in the ar. grammatical gender too.
      • kaidank2, -g, p. kaidamti, -go should be kaidank2, -g, p. kaidamki, -go
      1. Oh, very cool! Makes a lot of sense that a country would try to be sovereign over a migratory path. (That’s not how it works in my migratory world, but it’s a bit weird. This take feels more plausible!)

        1. I think yours makes plenty of sense, given biology! And tradition. There have always been cultures and periods, even on our world, with less of the national sovereignty business going on and more of fuzzier or complicated ties.

    2. This is all very impressive!

      Their countries are things like Maktabumir, the Well-Watered Paths, where this language is spoken, and the as yet untranslated Mountain Valley Paths, where Slayer of Thousands is actually from.

      How pretty!!! Both the sound of Maktabumir and the English translations.

      In fact, dropping verbs altogether when a nominal suffix will do works great for them and there’s a very fuzzy line between non-finite verbs and the rest of the language. Throw in there that there’s also a very fuzzy line between nouns and adjectives, and mostly you can tell the parts of speech apart by how they inflect.

      So complex and neat!

      Since you have those words for ‘book’ with derivations – do they have something like libraries/archives?
      Maybe booksellers/bookshops…?

      1. I did not, but went to a bit of work. Didn’t intend to let multiple days pass, but I’ll hit up as far as I got in the next post, which doesn’t cover quite all four of those things.

        Also discovered, that was supposed to be kainan, not kaidan, and I just have atrocious handwriting, but I’ll eventually figure out which one I like better and dictionary it that way.


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