Sunday, 21 December 2014

21st Lexember Word

tneban /tne̞ban/, noun: “war, warfare, conflict; bad health, also as adj. unhealthy”

Other relevant memes just looked too depressing…

Anyway, I know this is the time of “peace on earth” and all that, but it’s difficult to talk about peace when you can’t talk about war. And while Moten already had a word for “peace” (|la, a very important concept to Moten culture), it lacked one for “war”. This is now solved thanks to the word tneban.

Basically, tneban is the full opposite of |la. And since |la refers not only to peace but also to good health, tneban refers not only to war and conflict, but also to bad health. And like |la can be used as an adjective to mean “healthy”, tneban can be used as an adjective to mean “unhealthy” (Moten speakers seem to consider a peaceful society to be equivalent to a healthy organism. There are worse metaphors :P).

And if you wonder whether tneban is related to yesterday’s itneboj, the answer is “yes”, but not in a productive way. There is evidence that as some point, Moten had an agent suffix -an(a). That suffix isn’t productive anymore, but it’s left its mark on the language in the form of various nouns ending in -an which still look related to verbs, although semantic drift has somewhat changed their meanings from straight agent nouns. Other examples include linan: “bird”, from |li|n: “to fly” and oskan: “event, show” from joski: “to happen, to proceed, to last”.

Questions?


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Saturday, 20 December 2014

20th Lexember Word

itneboj /itne̞bo̞j/, verb: “to hurt, to injure, to damage”

I think the red sliver is still too wide.

Itneboj is a transitive verb, so it refers strictly to the action of damaging something or someone, rather than the result of that damage. In other words, it means “to hurt” as in “I hurt my leg”, not as in “my leg hurts”. Unlike English verbs, Moten verbs are very strict when it comes to valency.

Another thing to remember is that itneboj refers strictly to physical damage. Hurting someone’s feelings requires another verb.

Questions?


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Friday, 19 December 2014

19th Lexember Word

sili /sili/, noun: “exterior, outside”

I hear outside doesn’t even have checkpoints and implements permadeath in such a way that you can only ever play it once! Who let people release reality when it’s obviously still in alpha?!

So, I had a word for “inside” (melag), but not one for its “mythical” antonym. How silly! (pun intended) This is now corrected, with the word sili referring to the exterior or outside (of whatever we are talking about).

Generic location words like melag and sili are quite important in Moten. Since Moten lacks adpositions, and its cases do no allow precise positioning, the way it handles marking precise location is by making use of such words in adverbial phrases, with a noun phrase in the genitive case in front of them. For instance:

  • umpevi (mo)meleag: “in the house” (literally “in the inside of the house”);
  • umpevi (mo)siledin: “(moving) out of the house” (literally: “to the outside of the house”).

They can naturally also be used on their own, as in the annoyed mother’s staple: siledin!: “(go) ouside!” :)

Questions?


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Thursday, 18 December 2014

18th Lexember Word

jelzdu|l /je̞lzduʎ/, verb: “to choose, to select, to pick out”

Talk about picking the right side of the fight :P.

So, once again we have a compound verb based on istu|l: “to summon, to call”, this time with yesterday’s elbo. So jelzdu|l means literally “to summon a rib”… Eh no… I mean “to summon a side”, i.e. “to choose”.

I actually can’t believe that after all that time working on Moten I still didn’t have that verb. Oh well, the gap’s filled now :).

Questions?


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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

17th Lexember Word

elbo /e̞lbo̞/, noun: “rib; flank, side (of a symmetric object); side (of an argument)”

What?! No cookies?! Then no dark side, sorry.

So, the canonical meaning of elbo is “rib”, i.e. the curvy bone. Unlike other words referring to parts of the body though, this one can be used with anything with ribs, whether they are human, large animals or small animals.

But elbo has seen quite a bit of semantic expansion. First, it can be used to refer to the flank or side of a person or animal, and more generally to the side of any object with a left-right symmetry. And second, it can be used more abstractly to refer to the various sides of an argument.

It’s quite a useful word that one, especially when you see what you can make of it tomorrow :).

Questions?


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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

16th Lexember Word

funma|z /funmad͡z/, noun: “present, the current moment in time”

I promise that’s not what made me publish this one 6 hours too late! It was… simply to make a relevant joke. Yeah, that’s it! No procrastination, just a joke :/.

So, as I wrote before, in Moten the metaphor of time is related to a flowing river. Basically, the present moment is an unmoving observer on the riverbank, while events go with the flow. Future events have not passed by yet, so they are upstream (and indeed, the word for “upstream”, zekjem, also means “future”), while past events have already passed by, so they are downstream (and indeed, the word for “downstream”, so|nem, also means “past”). Given this metaphor, one would expect the word for “present” to at least be related to ma|z: “riverbank”. And that’s indeed the case: funma|z is a compound of ma|z with funa: “second, moment”, and refers to the present moment, as opposed to both the past and the future.

Questions?


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Monday, 15 December 2014

15th Lexember Word

imazdu|l /imazduʎ/, verb: “to cut (sthg)”

Using a Willy Wonka meme that ironically comments on the use of Willy Wonka memes, just because it uses the phrase “cutting edge”, to illustrate a word for “to cut” in a language where that word is derived from a word meaning “edge”… That’s either really cutting edge, or I’ve just created so much irony this post is going to collapse on itself and create a black hole. Either way it’s entertaining :P.

So, as I wrote above, imazdu|l is a compound of yesterday’s ma|z, together with istu|l, a verb meaning “to summon, to call”. In other words, in Moten “to cut” is literally “to summon an edge” :). It feels extremely right :).

Istu|l, by the way, is very commonly used to form verbs based on nouns or other verbs

Questions?


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