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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Wednesday’s Word – set that down!

Warning: today’s word entry is more about meaning and doesn’t really include examples – I wasn’t up for it tonight.

In Mychai, you have a couple of different ways to express set. And by set, I mean like in the  first one in the following example, but definitely not the second.

Set that book down before I set you on fire!

In much the same way that many Native American languages encode shape, consistency, etc of an object in the verb, so does Mychai’s verbs for what in English is covered by set down/place/lay.

zui verb to place something non-rigid down
téco verb to place something rigid down in a non-upright or improper orientation or place
a verb to place something rigid on a horizontal surface in an upright position or in its proper orientation or place

There are two different distinctions being made here.  The first is the rigidity of the direct object. Nonrigid objects like a pillow, T-shirt, piece of meat or necklace would need zui.

Whereas rigid objects, or those that don’t change form easily need to use either téco or a. The distinction between when to use téco or a has to do with the final resting position of the direct object after it has come to rest. If the object comes to rest or is placed in what is deemed its proper or natural position (an upright glass, a closed book, fruit in a fruit bowl), then a is used. If the object is not in a position that is deemed to be proper or is skewed or not in its proper place (a shoe on the ground knocked over, a book placed downward and open as to save a position, or a sock that didn’t quite make it to the hamper) then téco is used.

Importantly, these cannot be used for people or animates in general. Thus a baby that you set in its highchair would need a different verb entirely. Or maybe it would need a causative locative expression, along the lines of I caused my baby to be in its highchair. (I haven’t decided yet!)


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Wednesday’s word – Ksoli

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these, but life’s been crazy. I’m recommitting to doing these regularly again.

Today’s word is snow, in honor of this terrible winter. Ksoli.

There is no verb directly for to snow. In Mychai, most weather events use the irregular verb zal (to fall).

Ksoli zal.
snow.NOM      fall.PRS
It’s snowing.

Ulet ed Elmal Ksoli zel.
particle    that    night.GEN     snow     fall.PST.PFV
Man did it snow last night!

Also, there’s a cute little derivation I’m toying around with for weather nouns:
Ksoli -> Ksolis
snow -> snowflake

Kcha -> Kchas
rain -> raindrop

That’s all for now!

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Major updates to the grammar!

The Grammar has been updated again! The document is really taken shape and it’s fast approaching the final form. The first 30 or so pages are in their genuinely final form.

The next 20 or 30 pages are in pretty rough shape. They are somewhere between sketch format and a rough first draft. The bones won’t change, but the sections will be fleshed out more with examples and discussions.

The verb chapter is pretty much complete, just needing more examples and explanations.

And the remaining portion of the document needs LOTS of explaining and examples.

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In a hole in the ground…

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Rumalh Pochalh hal kstau Dhemaral (dhan Maral).
Rum-alh         Poch-alh             hal          kst-au                    Dhemaral
hole-INE        ground-INE       EXIST    live-PST.PFV       midget

Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole,
Odomme Rum marem kua hus mulaz.
Odon-me                        Rum                      mar-em                               kua      hus       mulaz
but.DS-unexpected      hole.NOM            NEG-COP.PST.PFV          dirty    nasty    wet

filled with the ends of worms
dime dlu Pochnérav oidau mor
di-me                             dlu     Poch-né-ra-v                              oidau                      mor
and.SS-unexpected    PL      earth-flexible-piece-ACC         have.PST.IPV       NEG

and an oozy smell
iamos chelhime mir.
iamos       Ches-lhim-e                             mir
or              rot-smell.of-PST.PFV            NEG

nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole
Ezkisi ca Rum marem roch gaisde guone.
ez-kisi        ca                       Rum                  mar-em                                roch     gaisde  guone
but-also     DEM.NOM      hole.NOM       NEG-COP.PST.PFV           bare     dry        sandy

with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat:
Kisime aupstes manza
kisi-me                          aupste-s            manza
also-unexpected          warm-ADV       sit.PST.IPFV

di dreve thnen
di                 dreve         thn-en
and.SS        happily     eat-PST.IPFV 

it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
To em Dhemaral Rum,
to                     em                             Dhemaral         Rum
3S.N.NOM    COP.PST.PFV         midget.GEN     hole.NOM

ukué Aupstesos tov oive.
ukué             Aupstesos            to-v                   oive
therefore     comfort.NOM     3.S.N-ACC      characterize.PRS


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