Challenge: Lexember 2017
Lexember is the challenge of creating a word a day.
In the Sikunn language, it's quite typical for the second vowel to completely disappear, especially before an l.
- ishkalahe • [ iʃ.k.'laɛ.hɛ ] • n. one's committed significant other, their culture's equivalent of a beloved wife, lit. "blood of my heart"
- sheko • [ ʃɛ.ko ] • n. blood; that which carries life, e.g. a river is the "blood" of a city
In Sikunn culture, oaths or vows are considered bonds on a person’s soul, so much that it’s a saying in that part of the world that “The Sikunn swear no oaths but to their god.” That being said, that’s why the meanings of this word. I’ll IPA it later.
- okeletos • [ ok.ɛ.'lɛt.os ] • n. 1. sworn oaths or vows; 2. chain, whether for jewelry, machinery, etc.; 3. archaic. slavery or servanthood.
- sosen • [ 'so.sɛn ] • adj. spicy, flavorful and with moderate heat
Sikunn language again, even though I probably picked a bad language for this round as it seems loosely related to Akachenti for all it also seems it isn't. Lots of language contact maybe.
- pakosunn • [ pɑk.os.'un: ] • n. 1. travelers; 2. caravanners; 3. nomadic people groups or members of them.
- mendit • [ 'mɛn.dit ] • n. a traditional spicy food dish served at festivals and certain special occasions, such as homecomings
Yesterday, I ended up going to bed in the middle of the day, out sick. This morning, I made up for it!
- aekh • [ aəç ] • interj., no or hardly, with incredulity, disbelief, or other strong feeling of negative surprise
- a’kcht • [ ɑʔxt ] • part., yes, in response to a positively framed question
- mikach • [ mi.’kɑtʃ ] • n. period of young adulthood or adolescence immediately following childhood, generally during which physical development still occurs, the exact window of which varies by region and culture, e.g. in Southern Chulotti culture, this is generally before the age of adulthood, but in Northern Chulotti, it is generally applied until one is married or shielded, see dainye
- ahlet • [ ‘ɑɦ.lət ] • n. a initial period of training and mastery of a given skill, during which proficiency is gained but not expected and mistakes are often plentiful
- ahlotef • [ aɦ.’lot.ɛf ] • adj. vulgar. having sex, used as a swear word
- emausa • [ ɛ.’maʊ.sa ] • n. the Baganechi “year-day”, equivalent to the celebrating of a birthday, on which the person whose emausa it is has the right to claim one possession from the band or family treasury (or communal possessions) as their own; for kosnechi, or the “taken” or adopted, this is celebrated annually on the date they were brought into the family (itself a first emausa where they are permitted to claim three personal possessions), whereas for usnechi, or the “born” members of the family, it is celebrated on the anniversary of their first formal contribution to the treasury.
So I got a couple new characters interacting in a story, and as a result, I got a fistful of new words plus some interesting dialect notes.
So I've got a pair of multilingual characters who were in a friendly argument and she tells him he needs to stop, and he goes, "Bóka?" as in "I do?" or "Do I?" and this is wrong on several fronts.
In Akachenti, that should be "ba" without any stress or "óba" if one wants to emphasize you're doing it for someone. Additionally, no way that's not a question, so it should probably also have a "hu" on the front of it.
She calls him out on it too, and his response is that the Ogunn butcher their own tongue. Argument continues, but I'm sitting there going, so in Chulotti (his language), their dialect of Kachan uses explicit agent suffixing on what is a much more degraded verb in the major Akachenti dialect. They've pretty much gone down to just the consonant. In Chulotti, the "bo" is as small as it goes and the vowel of that root isn't mutable. It's fixed.
Which I refuse to make any relationship between his language and how he speaks Kachan, but it does give me some delightful thoughts on how I want to organize the direction of language change for Akachenti and how it got the way it did.
Particularly, I love the explicit marking "for you" he used, putting the answer on her and essentially pointing out there was no reason he had to stop for anyone else's benefit, particularly because this helps me figure out some of the least English-like details of how object-marking works in Akachenti, which is most confusingly.
Another interchange I did this morning was:
Character 1: Himivkhashót? "He's your lover / sexual partner?"
Character 2: Ieh. Uno:sat... ede danengaki umivkhashát. "No. He's my brother (in arms)... and also sometimes lover."
So character 2 initially said no because she was thinking "committed" then mid-answer realized that the word character 1 had used covered any kind of sexual relationship at all, including just friends with benefits. So the answer was that they were partners (in a particular tradition) and okay, also sometimes lovers, but the interesting thing here for me was the way that word-initial u just popped up for me. Both times.
So the first one, u-no:s-at, has the first person relational affix -at, which is "my" (and would normally be stressed as if it were object/patient if it weren't for the long vowel in the previous syllable) with no:s being the root meaning "brother". That leaves u-, which is also in an object/patient form, "him". And the -at couldn't be stressed due to prosody but it could have been converted to an -et but it wasn't. Which leads me to conclude that 1. there is some kind of differential object marking, even if I don't fully get the intellectual rules behind it (I do always know which to use though), and 2. that the alternate vowel forms can be used on a noun to omit the copula and rewrite a sentence as a relative or subordinate clause, even a headless one.
So in English, we'd say, "he is my brother," and cast "he" as the subject. In Akachenti, they'd say, "him brother to me" and cast "me" as the primary object and "him" as the secondary object as far as agreement markers go. There is no verb in this construction.
In a verbal construction, it would be So no:sat. That's
But a possessive is not a verb and so it plays by different rules. Throw bóka on top of that, and I'm starting to realize Kachan doesn't remotely follow an English-like concept of what is an object. Fun, fun.
- dainye, -i • [ 'dain.jɛ ] • adj., n., shield arm, in reference to the Chulotti warrior tradition of swearing loyalty and partnership to a fellow warrior, to fight and stand beside each other until death; commonly called shield brother, brother in arms, or shield arm in translation, sometimes simply shield. These partners are considered as family and take an active role in caring for and/or training each other's children and caring for each other's elderly when necessary.
Also, discovered that Chulotti is a zero copula language. Nice.
Also playing catch-up, some Chulotti swear words because clearly that’s the important thing to come up with (my characters!).
- ipoka • [ i.’po.kə ] • n. vulgar. imbecile, fool
- feyeg • [ ‘fej.əg ] • n. vulgar. serpent’s tongue, analogous to “bull”
- bagoka • [ ‘bɑg.o.kə ] • n. the name of the mythological wilderness of emptiness where souls wander without food, water, or ability to die in Chulotti mythology; frequently used as a curse or swear word
And dialect of Kachan that the northern Chulotti clans speak is called Aban. In which a question word gets used for it’s actual original meaning.
- he • [ he ] • part. yes, yeah, that’s so, lit. truth
- mikhe • [ mi.xə ] • adj. pretty; having fine, sharp features; generally associated with women more than men, especially young women
So had another sick day and have to play catch up again.
- alee • [ ɑ.'lɨ ] • adj. beautiful, connoting something of great value
- isak • [ 'i.sɑk ] • n. ignorant person, a "know-nothing"
- chisuk • [ tʃɪ.'sʊk ], [ tʃɪ.'suk ] • n. lover, sexual partner
- ka'ati • pron. inf. between equals, yours
- ati • pron. your
- kautati, kauta'ati • pron. inf. respectful to higher status referent/addressee, yours
So I have learned that the Chulotti use some level of honorifics and formality differentiation and also some of the variations on pronunciation and usage. I'll deal with that more in January I feel.
So I've been laid up sick and am behind, but to make up for it, a few Chulotti words:
- bokes • [ 'bok.əs ], [ 'bok.ɪs ] • particle., yes (in response to a negative question); compare a’kcht, used in response to a positive question
- sasi • [ 'sɑ.si ] • n. daughter of one's shield arm or dainyi
- mase, -i • [ 'mɑ:.sə ] • adj., n. female adopted protegee, one being trained as heir despite not being a blood-born relative; legally treated as family, but socially and for marital purposes considered still a member of one's own birth family
- amasau'ta • [ ɑm.ə.'saʊʔ.tə ] • n. adopted mother/trainer/mentor one is trained as heir to where there is no blood relation; considered a family and parental figure but in addition to the trainee's birth family and parents
- kolann • [ ko.lan: ] • n. 1. category of ancient warrior wielding spears or other type of lance-like melee weapon; 2. organized infantry or mounted infantry, outfitted with modern-day individual-carry directed-energy weapons (modern "spears") or other melee weapons and firearms; 3. a desert region somewhat southeast within the Ogunn Block, which mostly edges the main trade route of the continent and home to a variety of ethnic groups and historical nations; 4. adj. belonging to the Kolann Guard, founded by mounted infantry warriors of several disciplines and multiple ethnic groups in the first coalition militant body of the modern day Kolann region
- ik • [ ik ] • pron. 3rd person, informal, singular
- hlafunn • [ ɦlɑf.'un: ] • n. children; youths
- kasa'kch • [ kɑs.'ɑʔ ] • n. a party, celebratory social gathering