Lexember 2016

Woah. It’s been a whole year since my last post. Let’s just say graduate school and life tend to get in the way of conlanging.

Anyway, since it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I give you the first half of Lexember, 2016 edition:

1 –       pauno – to bring attention to; to alert; to warn; to forebode
Paunon – warning; omen; attention

2 –       eradha – deliver good news (lit. something along the lines of “to word well”)
            dveradha – deliver bad news (lit. something along the lines of “to word poorly”)

3 –       cada – to take by force
            gala – to get (as a gift)
            Ngagala – gift; present
            do – to get through deliberate actions; to earn (of items); to forage

4 –       zëdha – to smoke tobacco or other plants (cite: MrKrov)
Nazëdha – tobacco, cigars
            Nazëdhak – pipe for smoking tobacco

5 –       Tluka – unification, collaboration, common ground, consensus (of political parties,    government bodies, scientific bodies, etc.) (cite: Creyeditor, Modern Omlut)
zir tluka (reflexive) – to unify, find common ground/consensus, to collaborate

6 –       Ob – leaf (of a tree), page (of a book), scroll (cite: Dezinaa, Otvei)

7 –       Chen – blood (red liquid inside bodies) (cite: Ebon, At’elas)
Chenet – family, kin (lit. out of blood)

8 –      zir henge (reflexive) – to keep a secret, to be secretive
Heng – secret
           kaule – to lie; to be dishonest; to be untrue (kaules attributively)

9 –       ine – to be honest (of a person; inen attributively)
drebe – to be true (of a statement; dreben attributively)
Dréb – truth, honesty (of either)

10 –     Kainedh dai dve i – to wear me down; to exhaust me (lit. to go against my soul)
Kaine-dh         dai                   dve                  i
soul-ASS        1S.GEN          against             go.PRS

11 –     Dhak – tongue (to.taste-instrument)
duo – to be heavy (of weight) (duon attributively)
ice – to be light (of weight) (ices attributively)
Dhak lai duo. – She can’t keep a secret. (lit. Her tongue is heavy.)
Dhak uai ice. – He can be trusted. (lit. His tongue is heavy.)

12 –     uide – to rush/do something speedily

13 –     etoipe – to catch up/make up for one’s short comings/to do penance


Maybe when I have time, I’ll attach sound recordings.

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And I’m only 24 days late!
But I think (maybe) I’ve maybe up for it by having 142 words this year!

Lexember 2015:

Séko – mouth; rumor; a gossip
séko – to spread rumors; to gossip

Kset – noise; sound
kseté – to make a noise; to make a sound; to be noisy (n-verb)
Ngiks – annoyance from sound (from reduplicated participle of kseténgikseté)

Nete – parent (mother or father); parents; from the verb nete – to bear children

bilhe – to pee; to urinate; to poop; to vomit; to fart; to burp; to sneeze (generally to relieve a bodily function; to specificy an elative object is used, which is never used in polite company; a nondescript ‘passive’ is used:
           tov robilhe – 3.neut-acc must-relieve.prs

nouns used are often derived from a general noun plus the bodily function morpheme –bu:

Vanébu            pee – liquid-body.func
Pochbu            poop – brown-body.func
Cwebu             diarrhea – fall.down-body.func
Minalbu           vomit – up-body.func
Riraibu            sneeze – nose-body.func

in casual senses, these nouns have become reflexive verbs (ksir):

de ksir vanébu; deks vanébu

uma – to be sober; not drunk; clear of mind etc.
umar – sober, not drunk; clear of mind; impartial; objective (this is one of the few adjectives that is not derived from the stative verb by the mechanics that govern the majority of stative verbs when used attributively, that is, it’s not an N-verb or an S-verb, which describe the ending that the stative verb takes when used attributively in an adjective like way)

Ilh – woolen blanket; coat for very cold weather;
Ilhngere – wool; winter coat (of animals)

nurna – forget; (n-verb ) to be forgetful; to be absentminded

dekmo – (s-verb) be hesitant; to be timid; to doubt oneself; to be reserved

ciri – (s-verb) insightful; considerate; compassionate

y – (n-verb) confident (not nikte – to be sure/certain, which applies to a single item, as opposed to y which has more of a holistic meaning)

diamikoso – to procrastinate; (n-verb) to be lazy
Diamikoso – procrastination; laziness
Dimik – lazy person

Tynam – the central room of a modest home where the cooking, eating and lounging happens, the bedrooms are typically directly attached to this room

Padhnak – world; universe; reality; existence
Utal – world; day-to-day; routine; perspective

mlase – to invite someone’s attendance
Mëmlasen – invitee
Mlase – the act of invitation
Mlaseb – a physical token of invitation (such as a card) (mlase+b, deriv. suffix                                   that derives nouns that aid in the accomplishment of the verb)
mëmlase – (s-verb) to be welcoming; to be prone to inviting people over; to be hospitable

Gloska – stomach (the internal organ, not the abdomen in general); digestion; curiosity
mires Gloskav oido – to be curious (lit. to have a big stomach)

Lagor – fitness; exercise; diet; attempts to be healthy;
Lagorv cydo – to work out, to exercise, to be on a diet, to be health-conscious (lit. to hold fitness)

gola – to hunt
Ngagolan – big game that is frequently hunted
ngagola – to be a hunter
Goléir – hunting permission; right to hunt

kendhai – sell goods (translocative prefix+buy)
pvi – sell services
dhai – buy goods (okay, this one existed before Lexember, but the distinction is new)
Nidhais – a good; an item that can be purchased (bread, metal, etc)
vrama – buy services (assistance from waitstaff, farmhands, etc)

alhargili – save money; acquire wealth; become educated (alh-Argil cis-locative prefix+money+vowelforverbalendings)

Chilh – a spice used mainly in meat dishes and an alcoholic tea that is drunk during the winter, similar to cinnamon, but with a bit of a black-pepper quality; the name for the alcoholic tea mentioned above

si – to heal; to restore to health
Sisis – doctor; the field of medicine; hospital
Chyn – medicine; remedy; curative (from an archaic word for herb (replaced by Naba); traces of which is now exclusively present in the word for berry bush Nolchyn (red-bush). The berry, Nol, is used to make wine (also called Nol). This superficial relationship between Nolchyn and Chyn has lead to the wives’ tale that mass consumption of wine at the onset of a cold cures it.

– to believe something based on faith (God, the goodness of a person, etc.)
rize – to believe something based on an empirical evidence (evolution, Global warming)

kete – (s-verb) to be trusting; to be friendly; to be gullible (from kate – to trust)
Ngëket – servant, page, assistance (not slave; lit. trusted one)

dodoi – to give credit to someone; to cite; to reference

brusku – to fly through the air (not metaphorically extended to swiftness)
Arani – bird
Ëknak – flying insects
Ibruska – fascination with flight; someone who is prone to day dreaming

Mras –edge of land water that is not potable (oceans, brackish water, bogs); seashore; shore; coast
Dola –edge of land and water that is potable (rivers, streams, lakes), bank, shore
Girn – bog; acidic standing water, forms peat, mossy, feed by rain so they are low in nutrients
Ulgos – fen; alkaline, fed by ground water often, richer than bogs, also form peat            Kacma – swamp; woody plants
Anéng – marsh; herbaceous plants
Gom – ocean/sea; large salty body of water; can be landlocked or not
Pvas – lake; large fresh body of water; with tributaries; landlocked
Okuoi – pond, puddle (standing body of water without tributaries)
Iciv – stream/brook/creek (linear body of water that can be crossed without swimming or with water going above the waist), smaller than Crasdo
Crasdo – river (linear body of water that must be swum across or where the water is substantially deeper than the waist)
molhi – to ford, to cross a river by wading, to wade
Molhik – a ford, a natural crossing of a river
Immal – bridge (from i+minal (lit. go over) > iminal > im(i)nal > imnal > immal)

Kër – kitchen (an independent room only in large houses); cooking spot, pit, hearth, fireplace (used in the Tynam)
isga  – to mix, to stir
vrasga – whisk, whip, beat (vracos+isga)
gade – to cut, to sever, to chop
gigaide – mince, dice (iterative of gade)
cigaide – to slice, to cut thin pieces (cic+gigaide)
ci – to be thin, skinny; to be simple (irregular attributive form of cic)
py – bake, roast, cook in an oven with dry heat
Py – oven
medo – cook
vole  – to fry
Vole – frying pan, skillet
duolo – boil
Duolo – pot, kettle
zobvemo – burn, overcook
my – to knead dough
Mym – dough
raza – to crack an egg; to begin something that cannot be stopped
ga ga ga ga – ideophone(?) to be running around frantically in the kitchen trying to get a meal together

Korak – root vegetable (onion, garlic, potato, turnip)
Kuana – leafy greens (cabbage, lettuce, arugula)
Nuenad – stalk vegetables (celery, asparagus, cinnamon, bamboo)
Pi – flower vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, dandelion)
Ada – fruit vegetables (non sweet fruits, e.g. tomato, cucumbers)
Oione – fruits (sweet)

Inai – metal
Malga – gold
Lydh – silver
Hoios – copper
Tlaigo – bronze (Salman – tin)
Rydinai – brass (‘yellow metal’) (Gran – zinc)
Fies – iron
– iron ore; metal works in general
Rof – steel
Mamavan – cast iron (‘that which is cast’)
Inainé – lead (‘flexible metal’)
Buola – mercury
ao – to smelt (‘to melt’ in general; not just for metals)
oao – molten
Coa – slag
ikuo – mine
oikuon – ore (‘that which is mined’)
mava – to cast (from va – to pour)
Inaikër – forge (‘metal fireplace’)
Blas – hammer
bla – to hammer; to beat with an object
Kromos – anvil

Nacmat – hangover, grogginess
Nacmatnol – hangover cure (lit. ‘hangover wine’; see above)
Okosiag – headache
            Okosiag ym dalh. – I have a headache (lit. ‘A headache is at me.’)
Okos – head
Iag – pain; ache; illness (often appended to body parts)
puapua – to be queasy (N-verb)

zolzaka – adv. to and fro; hither and thither; back and forth; (S-verb) directionless; unfocused; wandering; meandering


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Not in Kansas anymore

So, I’ve been in a translaty mood lately. Here’s an example of that:

The first paragraph from Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:
Dorothy lives in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles.

Hal Téla mimris Ia.
hal Téla mimris Ia
EXIST girl.NOM named Ia.NOM
There once was a girl named Ia.

Ca Téla mir Ergatinel Selkenelh kstau.
ca Téla mir Ergatin-el Sel-ken-elh kst-au
this girl.NOM large Ergatin-GEN wild.grass-place-LOC live-PST.PFV
And this girl lives in the great grasslands of Ergatin.

Bom lai Asagodh lai Cuemidh lai kstau.
bo-m lai Asag-odh lai Cuem-idh lai kst-au
that-DAT she uncle-ASS her aunt-ASS her live-PST.PFV
And she lived there with her uncle and aunt.

Asag lai mimris Daron em Palach.
Asag lai mimris Daron em Palach
uncle.NOM her named Daron COP.PST.PFV farmer.NOM
Her uncle Daron was a farmer.

Ham Cuem lai mimris Malha em Palachal Ala.
Ham Cuem lai mimris Malha em Palach-al Ala
and.DS aunt.NOM her named Malha COP.PST.PFV farmer-GEN wife.NOM
And her aunt Malha was the farmer’s wife.

Miai Kstaken dhen,
mi-ai Kstaken dhen
they-GEN house.NOM be.small.PST.PFV
And their house was small,

ukue Dhauv tai Léoldh tai rigéun.
ukue Dhau-v t-ai Léol-dh tai r-ig-éun
because wood-ACC it-GEN wheel-ASS far.ADV must-carry-PST.PFV
because the house’s wood had to be carried far.

I changed the names to be in-world-consistent.

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Wednesday’s Word – Sons and daughters…and such

This post delves a bit more into the culture of the people who speak Mychai than previous posts might. It’s about familial relationship terms.

Mostly Mychai isn’t too surprising here. There’s a word for father (Asag), mother (Mrem), brother (En), sister (Ler), son (Ksro) and daughter (Dhuil). There are also words for maternal grandmother and grandfather versus paternal grandmother and grandfather (I haven’t fully solidified these though. So these terms are all quite simple.

Where things get a little unusual is when you get into extended relationships. While cousins (cross or otherwise) are simple, Rebe for males and Rab for females, what you call your aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, parents-in-law and children-in-law, depends on you. More specifically, your sex.

And by that I mean that your sex determines the word you use for your relationship with that person. Let’s start with the words a male uses (and since I’m male, that doesn’t seem too sexist a place to start): If I am referring to my niece or daughter-in-law*, I use the same word for daughter: Dhuil. While my nephews are Loce. Now, for the generation older than me, for my aunts and my mother-in-law*, I use the same word for mother: Mrem. But for my uncles, I use Cuem.

All that’s easy enough. Now for the women:
For their nephews and sons-in-law, they use the same term for son: Ksro. And for the nieces, Loce. Wait…Loce means niece here, but up there it meant nephew… Yes, that’s right. The actual meaning of Loce is dependent on the sex of the speaker. Perhaps a better translation of the word for be “my siblings child of the same sex as me”. Okay, that’s simple enough, and maybe you can see where this is going. For a female, her uncles and father-in-law are the word for father, Asag, while her aunts are Cuem. So Cuem works much like Loce in that it can mean aunt or uncle depending on the sex of the speaker (or person who is in the relationship, more accurately). A better translation of this might be “my parents sibling who is the same sex as me”.

Now, why does this system exist? Perhaps it’s because for the speakers of Mychai they attribute a heavy cultural significance to cross-sex relationships between the generations, and so words the convey closeness are used. Or maybe it’s because there is a huge cultural taboo from having sex with family members that closely related so the words used up the ick factor. Who can tell? Certainly not the inventor.

*I haven’t quite worked out the terms you use for in-laws who are the same sex as the speaker, so that’s still pending.

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Wednesday Word – mim

So, it’s been a while… Nearly a year. Sorry, but grad school is busy. Anyway, here’s a new Wednesday Word…on a Tuesday. I’ll get back to a regular schedule soon.


Previously, in the post on mar, I mentioned the particle/adverb mim*. I’m calling this an irresultative, but it’s also got some more subtle things wrapped up into it. (See here for another example of such a thing, though independently conceived.)

To translate mim, at least generally, it conveys a meaning like “tried to” to the verb. When mim is used, the action or state described by the verb is in some way not satisfied to its prototypical fullness. This can be a marker of (most obviously) failure to complete the action:

U mim e.
u      mim        e
he    try.to      go.PST.PFV
He tried to go.  

Lai Aiev dai mim aibe.
lai                    Aie-v              dai               mim         aib-e
3S.F.NOM     hand-ACC     1S.GEN      try.to       grab-PST.PFV
She tried to grab my hand/She grabbed at my hand.

It can indicate that the action was completed but that the speaker was not satisfied with the outcome:
Mal ksir mim aidau.
mal         ksir                 mim         aid-au
we           each.other    try.to        kiss-PST.PFV
We tried to kiss each other. (Like the above examples)
but it could also have the meaning:
We kissed, but there was no chemistry.

*The matching with the thematic vowel of the verb no longer applies to this word. So all instances are simply mim.


Audio pending.

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After a ‘productive’ Saturday, I think I’m mostly caught up on sound samples for Mychai. I’m particularly happy with the Hobbit clip. Enjoy!

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‘Wednesday’s’ Word – zir and ksir

Today’s post delves a bit more into the grammar of Mychai than the previous few posts did. It’s all about reflexive and reciprocal expressions (see Middle voice); how they’re similar to English, and how they’re different.

First off, let’s cover how to make singular reflexive expressions along the lines of John shaved (himself), where in English the reflexive pronoun can be dropped and you still assume John is shaving himself and not someone else.

De ksir/zir kstire. 
de              ksir/zir            kstire
1.AGT      REFL                shave.PRS
I am shaving (myself).

In Mychai, the reflexive particles (not truly a pronoun) cannot be omitted as in English without changing the meaning. Since objects can easily be omitted, the meaning remains active:

De kstire. 
de            kstire
1.AGT     shave.PRS
I am shaving someone.

So, back to that reflexive particle: ksir and zir are often interchangeable in the singular, and largely either can be used. However, some dialects disallow ksir in singular expressions. Recently, the Seren dialect of Mychai (this reminds me, that I ought to put up some maps) has developed shades of meaning between ksir and zir in the singular, namely that ksir expresses something being done due to an external pressure (the agent was convinced to do something or forced to do something to themselves), while zir expresses that the agent has full agency in the action.

In the plural, however, there is a clearer distinction between ksir and zir. Zir is used for reflexive expressions, while ksir is used for reciprocal actions. In this way, ksir can be understood as meaning each other or one another.

Mire zir kstire.
mire            zir              kstire
3p.NOM     REFL        shave.PRS
They are shaving (themselves).

That is each man in the group I’m referring to is shaving himself, and no one else.

Mire ksir kstire.
mire            ksir              kstire
3p.NOM     RECP        shave.PRS
They are shaving each other.

Perhaps they’re unable to shave themselves or need help.

Importantly, not all expressions in English that use reflexive pronouns are covered by the middle voice markers (ksir/zir). Intensive expressions such as I myself cut the grass, where the subject is being focused is primarily done through shifting word order in Mychai.

Also, anticausative expressions, such as the German Die Tür öffnet sich (The door opens) or English The window broke, are done simply through omission of a subject.

An additional meaning of the ksir/tsir particles is that of together or jointly.

Mal ksir e.
mal                 ksir               e
1.PL.NOM     together      went
We went together.


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Word of the day – Ëzonék (ambiguity)

Today’s post (sorry it’s not Wednesday…), is all about ambiguity! The title word, Ëzonék /ø.t͡so.ne͡ɪk/, is translated as ambiguity, and it maps pretty well to the English equivalent in terms of its coverage. It describes a state of affairs where multiple interpretations are possible.

Let’s look a little more into the building up of Ëzonék:

ëze (verb) to mean; to signify; to be clear

Ëzo (noun) denotational meaning (not significance); clarity of meaning, or of mental state

ëzoné (adj) ambiguous; not clear; meaning multiple things (we’ve seen this – derivational affix before)

and finally:

Ëzonék (noun) ambiguity; something ambiguous; or the state of ambiguity

and related:
ëzopue (verb) to define; to make clear; to clarify; to disambiguate (-pue being one of the causative suffixes)

Now to hear all those words:

Today’s post is a bit rushed, and doesn’t have any interesting examples, my apologies. This was more of a result from me toying around with derivations.



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Wednesday’s Word – Radh

Today’s word is word. Well, one of the key translations of today’s word, Radh, is word.  Word in the sense of a unit of speech or writing.

Ca Thles emeth Radhel ngua.
ca      Thles          emeth        Radh-el        ngua
this   sentence    five             word-GEN  is.made.of
This sentence has five words.

Radh also has the meaning of public speech.

U ta Radhev thle.
u          ta            Radh-ev         thl-e
he        PL          word-ACC      say-past
He gave a speech.

Note: The reading of he said (some) words, is not likely here, because the pluralization particle above (ta) is used for speech(es). That literal meaning would need the pluralization particle dlu. This has the interesting effect that speech and speeches are both rendered as ta Radh, and that context must distinguish he gave a speech from he gave speeches. And when quantifiers are used, context must once again distinguish he gave many speeches from he said many words.

Another meaning of Radh is turn, opportunity or chance such as when playing games:

Lai it Radhev oido.
lai         it         Radh-ev         oido
she       now    turn-ACC       has
It’s her turn now.

It’s also important to know that Radh cannot be used to mean news (Have you heard any word?), promise/oath (You have my word), or conversation (Let’s have a  word).

Though, the latter two are obviously related:

Mie dem Kenradhev halau.
mire         de-m         ken-radh-ev                hal-au
they          I-DAT       TRANS-word-ACC   give-PST.PFV
They gave me their word/oath. They promised me.

Mal Ëradhev zir oido.
mal       ë-radh-ev             zir             oido
we         talk-word-ACC   REFL       have.PRS
We are having a conversation.

I promise I will have recordings up for all that’s been posted since The Hobbit entry sometime this weekend.

I give my word.


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Wednesday’s word – guta

Mychai has several postural verbs that can double as copulae with certain nuances.
One such example is guta which can mean to stand or to be.
When it bears the meaning of stand it is used intransitively much like in English.

Le Aladh dai guta.
le Ala-dh dai guta
1sub wife-ass 1gen stand
I am standing with my wife.

It cannot be used in a transitive sense as Stand the lamp back up. For that see last week’s word: set

However, guta can also be used as a copula to express that the subject has some control over the relationship being described, or rather that the subject is very highly agent-like. While their is a sense of control, such statements are generally permanent or very long lasting.

These meanings can only be used for high animate subjects (people, gods, mystical creatures), and perhaps oddly tall subjects namely tall trees, buildings taller than three or so stories, and mountains. This probably comes from associations with the position of people when standing.

So that example above could have a second reading:
Le Aladh dai guta.
le Ala-dh dai guta
1sub wife-ass 1gen stand
I am with my wife forever, till death do us part.

Ed Thau nguiguta rala.
ed Thau nguiguta rala.
that tree has.been forever
That has been here forever and will be here for a long time.

Additionally, because guta‘s thematic vowel is u, and not a, it is an irregular verb:

Pfv. Ipfv. Retro.
Prs. —- guta nguiguta
Past gauta​ géunda nguigéunda
Fut. gusta​​ géusta nguigéusta

Prec. guarta

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