Sunday, 31 December 2017

31st Lexember Word

etíku [e̞ˈd͡ʑiˑɡʊ̆], intransitive verb: “to be/become new”

For this last day of Lexember 2017, and last day of 2017 itself, I tried to be at least slightly on topic :-).

Etíku refers to to things and concepts that are new, i.e. newly created or newly conceived. It can only be used of things and concepts, not of people or animals, except as a short cut (for instance, you would use etíku to refer to someone as a “new friend”, because the new thing in that case is not the person itself, but your friendship with them, and friendship is a concept).

A peculiarity of etíku is that it has what I call a “fragile vowel”. Simply put, its last, unstressed vowel u gets elided when various suffixes and clitics are added to the verb, even when one wouldn’t expect it to disappear according to the phonotactic rules of Haotyétpi (or its many sandhi rules). In other words, while etíku appears as such when used on its own, when suffixes and clitics are involved, the actual stem of this verb is etík.

So that’s it for Lexember 2017. I hope you enjoyed my additions to the Haotyétpi language. I know I had fun coining these words, and they’ve made me think really hard about the culture underlying this language. Don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions about the words I created this month, and see you again next Lexember!

from Tumblr

Saturday, 30 December 2017

30th Lexember Word

ompáw [o̞mˈbä͡ʊ], alienably possessed positional: “earlier moment, earlier time; beforehand”

To expand on yesterday’s renás, we now have its opposite. While renás refers to a moment later in time than the time that is relevant to the conversation, ompáw refers to a moment earlier than that time.

Apart from that difference in meaning, ompáw behaves pretty much in the same way as renás. It’s also a positional, meaning it can be used adverbially to mean “before that time, beforehand”.

An interesting use of renás and ompáw is as modifiers of other nouns referring to moments in time. This is done first by adding the copula -(s)e to these nouns (yes, in Haotyétpi, the copula is a suffix), and then using the result as a relative clause completing another noun. When doing so, we get renáse, which in this context means “following” or “next”, and ompáwse, which means in this case “previous” or “last”. For instance, with nów: “month”, we can form renáse nów ta: “next month”, and ompáwse nów ta: “last month” (=ta is mandatory here, as nów is not a positional). It’s an interesting usage, and a pattern that is found in various places in Haotyétpi.

from Tumblr

Friday, 29 December 2017

29th Lexember Word

renás [ɾe̞ˈnäˑɕ], alienably possessed positional: “later moment, later time; afterwards”

Now for something completely different! Or, in this case, not “now”, but “later” :-P. Simply put, renás is a noun that refers to a moment in time later than whatever moment in time is relevant at this point in the conversation. That moment can be “now”, but it can also be some point of time in the past or the future. It doesn’t matter when the relevant moment in time is, renás refers to a time after it.

A peculiarity of renás is that it is a positional. Positionals are a subtype of nouns that usually refer to locations, in space or time, and have a somewhat different behaviour from normal nouns regarding the use of locative particles. In particular, when they are used with the plain locative particle =ta (“at, on, in”), that particle can actually be omitted. Effectively, this means such nouns can be used as is with an adverbial meaning of “at + location”. Examples of such nouns are ciéke (“house” -> ciékun: “at home”, literally “(at) my house”) and (“day” -> kaam ké: “today”, literally “this day”). That’s why renás can be used on its own to mean “afterwards”, i.e. literally “(at) a later time”. It’s not wrong to say renás ta, but it’s felt as redundant and thus would only be used to be emphatic.

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Thursday, 28 December 2017

28th Lexember Word

yakisú [jäd͡ʑɪˈzuˑ], transitive verb: “to hurt (s.o. or sthg)”

As I explained yesterday, akimés can mean “to hurt”, but only in its intransitive sense. In Haotyétpi, valency is an important property of a verb, and a verb cannot usually change valency without an explicit voice affix being added to it. This is very different to English, where many verbs can be used transitively and intransitively without a single morphological change.

So akimés can only be used to mean “to hurt” in the sense of “my foot hurts”. If you’d rather say “I hurt my foot”, you need to use another verb, in this case yakisú.

Yakisú is used when it’s the object that is in pain (and that object can be a person or a body part, basically like the subject of akimés), and the subject is the cause of that pain (or its unwitting facilitator, as it often enough happens :-P).

In terms of morphology, yakisú is formed using the verb-forming suffix -su, basically the opposite of -mes (-mes marks attachment, -su marks emission). The y- prefix it also sports is common in verbs that refer to a sensation or a feeling, or verbs referring to the workings of one’s brains (like yortamés: “to remember” and yortasú: “to suppose”). It originates from an applicative voice prefix that isn’t productive anymore.

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

27th Lexember Word

akimés [äd͡ʑɪˈmëːɕ], intransitive verb: “to hurt, to be painful, to be in pain”

Expanding on yesterday’s noun, we now have the associated verb. In terms of morphology, this verb is formed like urmés, with the -mes verb-forming suffix. To explain its shape, either -mes was added to akíhi which lost its last, unstressed syllable as a result (a likely outcome: syllables in direct post-stress position are very weak in Haotyétpi), or -mes was added directly to the interjection akí (not as unlikely as one might think). It’s not possible to rule out either of these origins. This uncertainty does not change anything about the meaning of this verb though.

Akimés is an intransitive, stative verb, referring to the state of pain (or, in a more dynamic meaning, referring to reaching that state). Its subject is always either the person experiencing pain, or the specific body part that hurts them. It cannot be used in the transitive sense of “to hurt (s.o.)”. We’ll see how that is done tomorrow :-).

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

26th Lexember Word

akíhi [äˈd͡ʑiˑʝɪ̆], alienably possessed noun: “pain”

So, while this may not be a very Christmas-y kind of word (here in the Netherlands we celebrate Boxing Day as “2nd Christmas Day”, so it’ll still be Christmas here when this post is published :-)), my shoulder is killing me as I am typing this, and my husband had to have a tooth extracted yesterday, so I really couldn’t think of any other word to coin.

Quite simply, akíhi refers to the very disagreeable sensation one gets when hurt. In principle, it refers to physical pain only, and the word is probably of onomatopoeic origin: the cry of pain that is transcribed as “ouch” or “ow” in English is akí or akkí in Haotyétpi.

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Monday, 25 December 2017

25th Lexember Word

eów [e̞ˈo̞͡ʊ], intransitive verb: “to be/become white”

I already knew of the verb réy, which refers to both lack of colour (“to be/become black”) and lack of light (“to be/become dark”). Moreover, I already knew that verb has an antonym: murí. However, murí is the opposite of réy only in the “light” sense, not in the “colour” sense. In other words, murí strictly means “to be/become bright/light”, and not “to be/become white”. So réy had to have another opposite for the “colour” sense. And I finally found it: eów.

Just like murí opposes réy on the “light-dark” scale, eów opposes réy on the “white-black” scale.

Notice that eów is never used to refer to a skin colour, except maybe for corpses and people with skin diseases. The Mountain Folk themselves do not have what people in Europe and the US would consider “white” skin anyway.

from Tumblr