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”.


from Tumblr

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