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.

from Tumblr

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.

from Tumblr

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 :-).

from Tumblr

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.

from Tumblr

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

Sunday, 24 December 2017

24th Lexember Word

urmésko [uɾˈme̞ˑɕkə̆], nominalisation: “named person, child, boy, girl, teenager”

So far we’ve been so busy talking about namelessness and how nameless children are referred to despite their namelessness that we haven’t talked about what happens afterwards, when they have actually been named. How do you refer to them once that’s happened?

Now, we’ve seen that for nameless children, we have words like turáppo, ussáppo (rarely), and things I’ve not mentioned yet like poyá (“child”, i.e. offspring of someone), hóm (“son”) or tán (“daughter”). For adults (i.e. people who have come of age), kár (“person”) does nicely, or more rarely urák (“human being”, used to refer to Mountain Folk only). But for people that have received a name but haven’t yet come of age (i.e. between the ages of about 3 to about 16), the Mountain Folk prefer not to use any of the options I just gave:

  • Ussáppo is just not valid anymore for named children, and it is insulting;
  • Turáppo is only usable for nameless children, except in certain specific contexts (it could still find its way on school reports for instance :-) );
  • Poyá, hóm and tán simply feel too “childish” to be used on children older than 3, except when the speaker is a parent of the child in question;
  • Kár and urák, on the other hand, feel too “adult” to be used on children that have yet to undergo their coming of age ceremony.

So, what’s a good Haotyétpi speaker to do in this situation? In this case, a common way is, rather boringly, to use the nominalisation of urmés. And indeed, urmésko (“one who is named”) has become so associated with children and teenagers that it’s never used of adults, despite the fact that adults have names as well.

from Tumblr

Saturday, 23 December 2017

23rd Lexember Word

turáppo [tuˈɾäˑpːə̆], nominalisation: “baby, nameless child”

As I mentioned before, the “logical” way to refer to a nameless child or baby, i.e. the word ussáppo, has taken on such a negative connotation that it’s hardly ever used that way anymore. But people still need a way to refer to babies, don’t they? How can they do so?

That’s where turáppo comes in. When a serviceable word becomes so pejorative that it cannot be used in its original sense anymore, people will either start extending another word to cover that sense, or create a new way to refer to that sense. In this case, the Haotyétpi speakers chose the second method. They started referring to unnamed children as turáppo, which is the nominalisation of turáp, a verb which when used intransitively means “to be able to be, to be able to exist” (it’s the potential form of ás: “to be, to exist”). In other words, it means “one that can be, one that can exist, one that has potential”.

This way of referring to children goes very well with the Mountain Folk point of view that nameless children have the potential to be many things, hence they shouldn’t hastily be given a name that may not fit what they are going to become. Also, it is a very positive way of referring to someone, even if that person were to be an adult, so there is little chance that the word will get a negative connotation anytime soon.

Because of that, the use of turáppo has spread among the Haotyétpi speaking community quite fast, despite it being a relatively recent coinage (at least when used in that sense), and is now the standard way of referring to babies or nameless children. It is, however, never used as a temporary name for nameless children. The main reason is probably the very positive connotation this word brings, which clashes with the strong tradition to use words with negative connotations to call nameless children.

from Tumblr

Friday, 22 December 2017

22nd Lexember Word

ussáp ortáse [uˈsːäˑp o̞ɾˈtäˑʑə̆], noun phrase: “nameless god(s)/spirit(s)“

These last few days, I’ve kept mentioning these “malevolent spirits” that could discover and attack children if they were given a name too early. As it happens, the Mountain Folk have a generic name for these spirits, so I might as well mention it. In Haotyétpi, these spirits are called ussáp ortáse, i.e. “nameless spirits” or “nameless gods” (the traditional Mountain Folk animist religion does not really make a distinction between spirits and gods).

According to tradition, these “nameless gods” are spirits that for some reason lost their names. Either they got their names stolen by other spirits, or they lost them to an unnaming ceremony performed by human beings (according to Mountain Folk beliefs, the spirits must be respected and honoured to maintain balance in the world, but that respect must go both ways, and humans are entitled to punish spirits for not doing their part of the bargain), or they simply lost them to carelessness or wickedness. As I mentioned before, names have power in Mountain Folk beliefs, and for a spirit losing one’s name is equivalent to losing most of one’s identity. The god loses form, purpose and even most of its capacity to reason (if it had any) and becomes a formless, wandering spirit that yearns only one thing: to fill in the gap left by its lost name. Such spirits tend then to aggregate and will try to attack other spirits or even humans to steal them their strength, their health, their turá, even their name if they can.

The effect on people, according to traditional Mountain Folk beliefs, is diseases, i.e. the ussáp ortáse were traditionally considered to be the main cause of diseases, hence the need to ward people, especially young children and babies, against such spirits.

from Tumblr

Thursday, 21 December 2017

21st Lexember Word

ussáppo [uˈsːäˑpːə̆], nominalisation: “baby, nameless child; moron“

Today’s word is a simple nominalisation of yesterday’s ussáp, using the nominalising suffix -ko which assimilates to -po after p.

As I mentioned yesterday, ussáp is used more and more to indicate stupidity and less and less to indicate actual namelessness (although that meaning hasn’t disappeared entirely). In the case of ussáppo, that semantic shift has gone even further, and whenever it is used it’s mostly as an insult meaning “moron”. In any case, it’s never used to refer to babies or nameless children in general.

The only times when ussáppo is actually used in its original meaning is as a temporary name to refer to a specific nameless child. As I explained before, nameless children are referred to in various ways when needed, and just calling a child ussáppo is a common way to do so. This usage persists despite, but also probably because of the overwhelmingly negative connotations that this word has taken. As I wrote before, using words referring to unattractive things (or with negative connotations) to refer to nameless children is believed to protect them against malevolent spirits, as those spirits will only attack children that have something worth stealing (strength, intelligence, and other positive characteristics). By using insulting words to refer to nameless children, the Mountain Folk believe they can fool spirits into thinking they are not worth attacking.

from Tumblr

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

20th Lexember Word

ussáp [uˈsːäˑp], intransitive verb: “to lack a name, to be nameless; to be stupid“

Carrying on within the same semantic field, we now have the opposite of yesterday’s urmés.

As we saw yesterday, namelessness can be used as a way to imply stupidity (since only very young children are nameless, saying that of an adult implies that they never left that stage in their development). This is especially true of today’s verb ussáp. While it can still be used to refer to the state of children before the naming ceremony, it is much more commonly used to mean “to be stupid”, and most Haotyétpi speakers will understand it that way unless it is made very explicit that one is talking about a nameless child.

In fact, it seems that the use of ussáp as an insult is currently in the process of taking over from its more literal meaning, especially in the younger generations, and many Haotyétpi speakers already feel uncomfortable using it in that latter sense, even when the context is clear. And as we’ll see tomorrow, this particular shift is even more pronounced with another word.

In terms of morphology, ussáp is simply the root of usé, together with the verb-forming suffix -sap: “to lack, -less“.

from Tumblr

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

19th Lexember Word

urmés [uɾˈme̞ˑɕ], intransitive verb: “to be/become named, to have/receive a name”

As I explained yesterday, names are very important in traditional Mountain Folk culture, And children spend quite a few years nameless, only receiving a name when they are three to four years old. The naming ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies in one’s life in their culture, and the fact that one has got a name is an important enough characteristic that urmés is a relatively common word to use in Haotyétpi.

Urmés really simply means: “to have/receive a name”, i.e. “to undergo the naming ceremony” (dynamic meaning) or “to have undergone the naming ceremony” (static meaning). What it doesn’t mean is “to be called”, i.e. it cannot be used to ask about someone’s name. That is done using the expressions =ku ayét (=ku is a quotative clitic, and ayét is the antipassive of yét: “to say, to tell”).

In terms of morphology, urmés is formed by using the root of yesterday’s noun usé, together with the verb-forming suffix -mes, which is used to form verbs that indicate that something is attached (literally or metaphorically) to something else. The change from s to r is due to sandhi, as s always changes before a nasal stop. Although in this case the sandhi is slightly irregular, as normally s fully assimilates before a nasal, so we would have expected the verb to be *ummés. And indeed, some Haotyétpi dialects have ummés. But the most common form of this verb is urmés, so it’s the one I use here.

An interesting use of urmés is that since being unnamed is a mark of someone being a baby or a very young child, accusing an adult of being unnamed is saying that they have the intelligence of such a young child, i.e. they’re an idiot! Hence the following question, which when used by a Haotyétpi speaker sounds pretty much like “what are you, 12?” when used by an English speaker:

Inurmés hure n’ ás?: “Are you (even) named?”

from Tumblr

Monday, 18 December 2017

18th Lexember Word

usé [uˈʑe̞ˑ], inalienably possessed noun: “(one’s) name”

And now for something completely different, we start today with a series of words having to do with a major area of Mountain Folk culture: naming.

For the Mountain Folk, names are serious business. Names have power, especially people’s names. They hold meaning, and meaning can influence reality. Also, according to the Mountain Folk beliefs, names are what make humans visible to spirits, despite the spirit world and the human world being separate. Nameless people (or rather, people not named according to Mountain Folk tradition through a naming ceremony) are effectively invisible to all spirits, be they benevolent or malevolent. These two properties of names are the reason children of Mountain Folk are kept nameless until they are about three to four years old:

  • An ill-chosen name that does not fit the nature of a child could stump its development and even cause it a great deal of harm, so the Mountain Folk wait until the child starts to develop an own personality before giving it a name that describes it properly;
  • Babies and young children haven’t had time to build up a resistance against attacks from malevolent spirits (a main cause of diseases according to old Mountain Folk beliefs), nor have they had time to undergo the various ceremonies meant to protect them. For this reason, keeping them nameless ensures malevolent spirits cannot target them.

Nameless children are referred to in a variety of ways, and adults must actually take care of not calling children using the same word or expression more than twice in a row, as it is believed that a word or expression used three times in a row to refer to a child effectively becomes its name. There are, luckily, unnaming ceremonies meant to undo such accidental namings, and using words referring to unattractive things (like excrements!) can keep malevolent spirits at bay, at least until such a ceremony can be performed.

But back to the word itself: as one might expect, usé is an inalienably possessed noun, that is, a noun with a mandatory possessor, which appears as a suffix. The actual root of the word is ús, which implies a definite third person possessor (meaning thus “his/her/its/their name(s)”). The citation form usé actually includes the indefinite suffix -(s)e, so that usé actually means “someone’s name” (it’s the form used when one wants to talk about names in general, rather than a specific person’s name in particular). Other forms are for instance usún: “my name” and usí: “your (sg) name”.

Naming is really serious business in Mountain Folk culture, so they have a lot of vocabulary surrounding this area. We’re going to see a few of these words in the next days.

from Tumblr

Sunday, 17 December 2017

17th Lexember Word

retáppa [ɾe̞ˈdäˑpːə̆], transitive verb: “to save/rescue (someone); to help/aid (someone); to resucitate (someone)“

Two days ago, I explained how nihárpa only refers to “non-vital” help, i.e. help in “safe” situations like helping someone with their homework or helping them put an IKEA closet together (which is only dangerous if you do it with your partner! ;-P). I also mentioned how there was a way to refer to helping someone out of a dangerous or even lethal situation. And retáppa is the way!

Like nihárpa, retáppa is a causative form of retáp that has shifted in meaning. From its original meaning of “to make (someone) alive” (which is still used in the sense of “to make (someone) alive again”, i.e. “to resuscitate”), it has come to mean “to save” or “to rescue”, and by extension “to help (someone) out of a dangerous situation”. Saving someone from drowning, or from a vicious badger attack, or helping them deal with that contract that’s on their head, are all cases where retáppa is the right verb to use (at least to describe the situation, not necessarily to solve it :-P).

Like nihárpa, retáppa also has a slightly irregular plural form retámmo. It’s used exactly like nihámmo, so refer to that post for more information.

from Tumblr

Saturday, 16 December 2017

16th Lexember Word

retáp [ɾe̞ˈdäˑp], intransitive verb: “to live, to be/stay alive; to survive; to be born“

What we have here is essentially the opposite of kúr: “to die, to be dead“. This verb refers to the state of being alive, but also to the concept of reaching that state, and of maintaining it despite adversity.

While it somewhat corresponds to the English verb “to live”, it is more restricted in its use than the latter. In particular, it cannot be used when “to live” means “to dwell, to reside” (in Haotyétpi ás: “to be, to exist” is sometimes used in that sense, although there are other verbs for that specific meaning), nor is it used when you want to talk about “living in a certain way” or when you want to mention that someone is “still alive” despite their age (here again, ás will usually be used to cover that sense). Rather, it is used whenever the notion of “being alive” is connected to that of “surviving”. Basically, if you want to say: “he has lived for a long time”, you use retáp. If you want to say “he has lived for a long time in that house”, you use ás or another verb of dwelling. If you want to say “he has lived a long time with his wife”, you use ás as well.

Also, in its dynamic sense, retáp means “to be born” in the conceptual, abstract sense, not the biological one. It could be more accurately translated as “to come into existence”, but that’s a mouthful :-P. Also, while it does not refer to birth as an actual, biological event, it still refers to someone or something “becoming alive”, so it cannot be used to refer to something that is not alive coming into existence. Here again, ás can be used for that (in its dynamic sense).

from Tumblr

Friday, 15 December 2017

15th Lexember Word

nihárpa [ɲiˈɦäˑɾpə̆], transitive verb: “to help/assist/aid (someone)“

What we’ve got here is an interesting case of semantic shift. Nihárpa is morphologically the causative form of nihár. However, it’s an old causative form that is not productive anymore and that has changed meaning with time, going from “to make (someone) strong” to “to help (someone)” (because helping is effectively giving, or at least lending, someone the power to solve their problem).

In terms of meaning, nihárpa is used strictly for “non-vital” help. It is used for instance to speak about helping someone do their homework, or helping someone fill in their tax forms (Being late with one’s tax declarations is not lethal, right?). Helping someone out of a dangerous, life-threatening situation is handled differently, as we’ll soon see :-).

Like a number of other verbs, nihárpa has a separate, slightly irregular plural form: nihámmo. It’s used when the object of the verb is plural or indefinite (i,e. not mentioned in speech or known by context), as with every transitive verb with a plural form.

from Tumblr

Thursday, 14 December 2017

14th Lexember Word

nihár rosen [ɲiˈɦäˑrə̆ʑe̞̽ŋ], verb phrase: “to be weak; to be trivial“

I will not spend much time on the semantics of this phrase, which is basically the opposite of yesterday’s word. Rather, I want to point out that it’s a rather interesting construction.

To put it simply, =rosen (the = is used to emphasise its status as enclitic) is a verbal clitic used to mark the desiderative mood (i.e. “to want” or “to need”). However, with intransitive verbs, it often forms more idiomatic constructions marking a state of lack or want. For instance, with cupí: “to sleep“, one can form cupí rosen: “to be tired, to be sleepy“ (literally “to want/need to sleep”, compare and contrast with urún: “to tire, to be/get tired”). With : “to eat“, you get ayóm rosen: “to be hungry“ (literally “to want/need to eat”. Ayóm is the antipassive form of , turning it into an intransitive verb with no need of an object). This is a relatively common construction, and nihár rosen is just another example, where “weakness” is described as a “need to become strong”.

There is also a level of euphemism going on here. Calling someone weak is a relatively strong insult in Mountain Folk culture, so people tend to avoid directly pointing that out. A circumlocution like nihár rosen contains the word nihár itself, and thus “feels” more acceptable. Also, =rosen implies a will to leave that state of weakness, which further softens it. That’s why this idiomatic use of =rosen is rather common: when people want to ascribe a negative quality to someone else, it is much more diplomatic to say that they “want to reach” a positive quality, rather than abruptly stating that they lack it altogether.

from Tumblr

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

13th Lexember Word

nihár [ɲiˈɦäˑɾ], intransitive verb: “to be/become powerful, to be/become strong; to be/become serious”

With nihár, we leave the semantic field of warm and cold, and get into that of power :-). Interestingly, this is not the first time I introduce a word meaning “to be strong” during a Lexember event. Last year, I coined már: “to be violent, to be intense; to be strong”. The two are definitely not synonyms, as you can see from the glosses, but they do overlap a little. Basically, már is used when extreme force is currently being exerted. In particular, it is used with weather phenomena to indicate that they are stronger than usual (hence the noun markó: “windstorm”). Nihár, on the other hand, refers to intrinsic strength or power, whether it currently translates into applied force or not.

Moreover, már’s semantic field extends into the areas of violence and intensity (a light can már, if it is blinding), while nihár is rather used of situations, to indicate that they are to take seriously and not as a laughing matter. Here again, notice that we are not talking about an immediate threat: a situation can be serious without immediately being an issue. Rather, it is potentially an issue. Nihár refers to strength as a potential, már to strength as it is observed.

Notice that in the gloss, I indicated that nihár can mean both “to be powerful” and “to become powerful”. This is a general property of stative verbs in Haotyétpi that they can also take a dynamic meaning of becoming or reaching that state, without any derivation needed. So a verb like nák can mean both “to stand” or “to stand up”, and a verb like ankyoyták can mean both “to be cold” and “to become cold”. Context is usually more than enough to disambiguate between the stative and dynamic meanings of such verbs (and there are ways to make them explicit if needed). The only reason I didn’t mark all the relevant glosses of the stative verbs I introduced so far that way is because that made the glosses much too long and somewhat confusing. For the same reason, I will usually not add the “/become” next to “be” in the glosses of the upcoming stative verbs. But remember that it is always there :-).

from Tumblr

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

12th Lexember Word

okkoáp [o̞kːo̞̽ˈäˑp], intransitive verb: “to be/feel warm/hot (to the touch)”

With okkoáp, we finally finish our trip through the various ways of talking about temperature in Haotyétpi (well, of course there are more ways, but this will do for now! :-P).

Okkoáp is quite simply the opposite of titúp. It doesn’t refer to the environment, nor to a feeling that is experienced due to the environment, but to an object’s inherent warmth or heat. Something (or someone) is okkoáp if they feel warm or hot to the touch (or if they look like they would feel that way if you were to touch them). Of course, okkoáp forms a complementary pair with yesterday’s ankokkoáp, in the same way that titúp forms a complementary pair with ankyoyyé:

  • Things that are ankokkoáp: people in a warm environment, rooms, porches, halls;
  • Things that are okkoáp: a nice sweater, coffee, hot water, anything coming out of an oven, living people (they can feel cold, but that’s usually a temporary state, or they are not well!).

A peculiarity of okkoáp is that unlike the other words referring to warmth that we’ve seen so far, but like okkó itself of which it is an obvious derivation, it doesn’t distinguish between plain warmth and uncomfortable heat. So something that is simply warm will be just as okkoáp as something that is scalding hot. If you really need to make the distinction, a simple way to do so is to simply qualify okkoáp. There are various ways to do so, but simply using peksó (an adverb meaning “badly”, which is also commonly used as an intensifier) is an easy way to achieve that, with peksó okkoáp meaning “to be very warm” or “to be hot”. Another common way is to use the excessive suffix -yatome, forming okkoápyatome: “to be too hot”.

As I mentioned before, titúp is not only used for the literal coldness but also for the metaphorical one. This extends to okkoáp, which can also be used of people to indicate that they are kind or caring.

from Tumblr

Monday, 11 December 2017

11th Lexember Word

ankokkoáp [äŋgo̞̽kːo̞̽ˈäˑp], intransitive verb: “to be hot, to feel hot”

Following yesterday’s counterpart to angaróm and ankyoyták, today we have the counterpart of aróm and ankyoyyé!

Like its counterparts, ankokkoáp is used of people, to indicate that they are experiencing uncomfortable heat, and of enclosed spaces, to indicate that they are uncomfortably hot. It is basically a more extreme version of aróm, but its formation is virtually identical to that of ankyoyyé: they both use the prefix ank(e)-, and while they use different verb-forming suffixes, -ap vs. -ye, these suffixes are quite close to being synonyms, both being added to nouns describing a property to form verbs that indicate that something has that property. The difference between the two is difficult to pin down, but besides some irregular phonological considerations, the main distinction between these suffixes is that -ap is usually added to nouns that have a positive connotation, while -ye tends to be used with nouns that have a negative connotation. It’s not a hard rule though, as evidenced by today’s verb: despite ankokkoáp not really having a positive connotation (and neither does okkó itself, at least in the sense that it is used in forming this verb), it still is formed with the suffix -ap.

from Tumblr

Sunday, 10 December 2017

10th Lexember Word

ankokkonák [äŋgo̞̽kːo̞̽ˈnäˑk], closed verb: “to be hot (as a weather phenomenon)”

As I wrote yesterday, while okkó itself does not distinguish between comfortable warmth and uncomfortable heat, there are still ways to make the distinction. When one is talking about the weather temperature, that distinction is made by using the verb ankaróm for comfortable warmth, vs. today’s ankokkonák for uncomfortable heat.

As you probably noticed, ankokkonák is based on okkó, once again with the environmental prefix ank(e)-. In fact, it is formed exactly in the same way as ankyoyták, and like that verb is a closed verb that cannot take a subject (unlike ankaróm, as I mentioned before, which is simply intransitive).

from Tumblr

Saturday, 9 December 2017

9th Lexember Word

okkó [o̞ˈkːo̞ˑ], alienably possessed noun: “warmth, heat, high temperature“

This noun is quite simply the opposite of yóy, and refers to warmth as a concept, as a property that things can have. As with yóy, okkó is not used to indicate a warm sensation (that’s aróm), nor is it used to indicate warm weather (that’s ankaróm).

Interestingly, okkó refers both to “comfortable” warmth and to “uncomfortable” heat, i.e. it refers to any high temperature regardless of whether it is simply warm or scorching hot. However, it’s still possible to distinguish between the two, as we’ll see with the next Lexember words :-).

from Tumblr

Friday, 8 December 2017

8th Lexember Word

ankaróm [äŋgɐˈɾo̞ˑm], intransitive verb: “to be warm (as a weather phenomenon)”

So now we have what basically is the opposite of ankyoyták. It’s the verb used to indicate that the weather is warm. The fact that it also uses the ank(e)- prefix on yesterday’s verb will not have gone unnoticed I bet :-).

So with this verb we now have a neat quartet of verbs going over two axes, one of cold vs. warm, and the other of weather vs. feeling:

  • Cold: weather ankyoyták vs. feeling ankyoyyé;
  • Warm: weather ankaróm vs. feeling aróm.

(too bad Tumblr doesn’t do tables…)

Despite them being opposites, there is one key difference between ankaróm and ankyoyták that somewhat breaks this symmetry: while ankyoyták is a closed verb and cannot take a subject, ankaróm is simply intransitive and will happily take one. It doesn’t need to: ankaróm can be used by itself, indicating that its subject must be understood through context (which is usually not difficult given the semantics of this verb). But it can, and that means that ankaróm can be used in constructions where ankyoyták cannot be.

from Tumblr

Thursday, 7 December 2017

7th Lexember Word

aróm [äˈɾo̞ˑm], intransitive verb: “to be warm, to feel warm”

Yes! After spending so much time in the cold, time to get warm again :-).

Basically, aróm is the opposite of ankyoyyé. It’s used in the exact same situations where ankyoyyé would be used, but to indicate warmth rather than cold. So it is used of people to indicate that they feel warm due to their surroundings being warm, and with enclosed spaces to indicate that those are warm.

And by warm, I mean acceptably warm. Aróm is always a nice feeling to have. As soon as you are sweating, it’s not aróm anymore (of course, no everyone has the same opinion of what a nice temperature is, so aróm, like all the words I’ve talked about so far, is ultimately rather subjective).

from Tumblr

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

6th Lexember Word

netá [ɲe̞ˈdäˑ], alienably possessed noun: “cold, cold weather; cold wave, frost“

As mentioned yesterday, netá is basically a synonym of ankyoytákpi that just happens to be used much more commonly than the nominalisation, probably due to it being so much shorter.

In terms of etymology, netá is actually a borrowing from neighbouring (and unrelated) language Mengazu. The original word in Mengazu is NGēdā, and is actually the name of the Mengazagh god of the Northern wind and the winter season. This is not an isolated phenomenon: the Haotyétpi word for “sun” (as a weather phenomenon, not as a celestial body), kyarrú, is based on the name of the Mengazagh Sun goddess Carrū. In both cases, the names lost their proper name status when borrowed into Haotyétpi, and are simple nouns referring to weather phenomena in that language.

Like any other noun referring to a weather phenomenon, netá can be used with the verb nák: “to stand (up)“ to indicate that the weather phenomenon is happening. In fact, because noun incorporation is so productive in Haotyétpi, it is possible to form the closed verb netanák. Interestingly, netanák is not exactly a synonym of ankyoyták, despite netá being a synonym of ankyoytákpi. Rather, while ankyoyták is simply used to indicate that it’s cold outside, netanák is stronger, indicating that the temperature has dropped below freezing point, or at least feels that way.

from Tumblr

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

5th Lexember Word

ankyoytákpi [änd͡ʑo̞͡ɪˈdäˑkpɪ̆], nominalisation: “cold, cold weather; cold wave, frost“

Aaaand we’re back with the yóy derivatives! Don’t worry, we’re nearly done with cold stuff ;-).

To be more precise, ankyoytákpi is not just a derivation of yóy, but the nominalised form of the verb ankyoyták. The use of nominalisations is extremely common in Haotyétpi; in fact, the -pi in Haotyétpi is the same suffix as in ankyoytákpi. In other words, the name of the language itself is a nominalisation! (it’s the nominalisation of the phrase haotyét: “we speak to each other”)

In terms of semantics, ankyoytákpi refers to the cold as a weather phenomenon, in contrast with yóy which refers to the cold as a property of things. It is commonly found in old stories and fables, but is hardly ever used in modern Haotyétpi language. Haotyétpi speakers will more likely use the verb ankyoyták itself, and if in need of a nominal version, there is a synonym to ankyoytákpi which is much more commonly used. But we’ll see that one tomorrow! :-P

from Tumblr

Monday, 4 December 2017

4th Lexember Word

titúp [t͡ɕiˈduˑp], intransitive verb: “to be cold, to feel cold (to the touch)”

No, we’re not finished with the cold (it’s -1°C here outside right now, so it’s relevant :-P). However, this time the word in question isn’t derived from yóy. Which may seem a bit weird, since titúp has more to do with yóy than the verbs we’ve seen so far. But that’s how languages are.

The intransitive verb titúp refers to things being cold to the touch, either because they actually are at low temperature, or simply because they feel that way (like how metallic objects at room temperature actually feel colder than they are). Titúp forms a neat complementary pair with yesterday’s ankyoyyé:

  • Things that ankyoyyé: people in a cold environment, rooms, porches, halls;
  • Things that titúp: ice (ice cream!), water, anything coming out of a freezer, dead people.

Interestingly, the speakers of Haotyétpi also metaphorically describe a lack of caring for others as coldness, and titúp can also be used of living people to indicate that they are cold-hearted or unfeeling.

Once again, no example today. I’ll make it up for everyone as soon as I can.

from Tumblr

Sunday, 3 December 2017

3rd Lexember Word

ankyoyyé [änd͡ʑo̞͡ɪˈje̞ˑ], intransitive verb: “to be cold, to feel cold”

(it seems the reason why IFTTT failed to copy my Tumblr posts to Blogger was the addition of GIFs, so for now I’ll refrain from using them until that problem is solved)

This verb refers to being or feeling cold due to the environment being cold (as evidenced by the prefix ank(e)- present in this verb, just like in yesterday’s verb). While it may seem redundant compared to yesterday’s ankyoyták, the two verbs are actually complementary, and used in completely different situations:

  • While ankyoyták is a closed verb that cannot take a subject, ankyoyyé is a normal intransitive verb, and can take any subject that is semantically acceptable, even human beings, including (and in fact most commonly) the speaker.
  • While ankyoyták refers to the weather, and thus the outside environment being cold, ankyoyyé is used when someone wants to say that they are feeling cold due to the temperature of the environment around them, or when they want to indicate that they think the enclosed (or at least roofed) space they are in is cold.

In other words, ankyoyták is about the outside world being cold, while ankyoyyé is about closed rooms being cold, or people feeling cold.

Still no example today. I was away all day and haven’t had enough time to think of one…

from Tumblr

Saturday, 2 December 2017

2nd Lexember Word

ankyoyták [änd͡ʑo̞͡ɪˈdäˑk], closed verb: “to be cold (as a weather phenomenon)“

(no GIF this time, as I am testing whether that is what causes the IFTTT issue)

So when I wrote yesterday that yóy was the basis for quite a few words, I meant it. Expect this to not be the last word derived from it that I will show during this Lexember event :-P.

This verb refers specifically to the weather being cold. It’s used when you want to say it’s cold outside, and in no other situation. It’s also a bit of a weird verb in that it is closed, i.e. it doesn’t accept any argument (linguists would say it has zero valency). In other words, it cannot even take a subject, and must be used as is.

That’s because in terms of derivation, this verb is actually the intransitive verb nák: “to stand (up)“, with an incorporated subject yóy, and the prefix ank(e)- which indicates that the verb refers to something that is happening to the environment in general rather than to some object in particular. Since the subject is already incorporated into the verb, there’s no place for an additional subject (as for the change from n to t for the first consonant of nák, that’s just a regular sandhi rule that Haotyétpi is subject to: nasals after diphthongs lose the nasalisation and become plain stops).

No example today, once again due to lack of time. I’ll try to make it up in the next entries.

from Tumblr

Friday, 1 December 2017

1st Lexember Word

yóy [ˈjo̞͡ɪ], alienably possessed noun: “cold, low temperature“


Originally posted by png-saturnanimal

So, here we are, Lexember has finally arrived! And for the first word of this month, let’s have something cool :-P.

Seriously, yóy refers to the fact that things can be cold, i.e. objects can have a low temperature. It does not refer so much to the cold sensation nor to a cold weather (we’ll see how Haotyétpi does that in a few days) as to “cold” in general, the property that all cold objects share.

This noun is not commonly used, as one does not usually talk about the concept of cold itself separately from it use to indicate a sensation or a weather phenomenon. However, it is used as the basis for quite a few other words, so I thought it necessary to introduce it first.

No example today due to lack of time. I’ll try to make it up tomorrow :).

(And sorry for the empty post earlier. Unfortunately, IFTTT still seems to have problems with copying the contents of a Tumblr post to Blogger. I'll look into that)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Once Again, Lexember is Close at Hand!

So the weather is getting colder, and the days are getting shorter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). You know what this means: Lexember is upon us!

As I did in the last two years, I’ll participate with Haotyétpi. That language is still very much in its infancy, vocabulary-wise, and a 31-new-word injection would do it good!

Once again, don’t expect me to follow the themes or topics proposed by others, although I will definitely have a look at everyone’s entries and I’ll get inspiration from them as needed :). Haotyétpi still needs some very basic vocabulary, so I’ll try to focus on that.

As usual, all my Lexember posts will be tagged as such, so filter away if you only want to check those out. Also, I’ll post my words on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as well as on my Blogger blog (if the IFTTT applet I set up deigns to work), but Tumblr is very much the first place where they will appear.

I’m looking forward to see everyone’s entries. Let’s make this a success again!

from Tumblr

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Sixth Lexember Month: Another Month of Haotyétpi Words

So, like last year, December was the Lexember month, and of course I participated, once again with Haotyétpi. While Haotyétpi's grammar is now more or less complete, its vocabulary is still far too small to be usable, so naturally I wouldn't pass on an event whose entire purpose is to create vocabulary! And what an event it was once again!

As with last year, I wrote all my Lexember posts on Tumblr. It is the best platform for this event, hands down. I also automatically shared them on Twitter and manually shared them on Facebook, Google+ and the CONLANG mailing list. The automatic link I had set between Tumblr and this blog somehow failed to work correctly, so I ended up duplicating the Tumblr posts manually here, so that they would also appear on the Conlang Aggregator. Sorry about the empty posts (which I came back to and updated with the correct information), I'm now looking into what caused the automatic link to fail. Hopefully it won't fail me next year!

As I did last year, I will give here the short definitions of the created words and link to the relevant posts. Don't hesitate to follow the links: each Lexember post contains additional information about Haotyétpi in general and the created words in particular, together with topical GIFs and in some cases even example sentences! So, without further ado, here are all the new Haotyétpi words:

1st word: sohé [so̞ˈʝe̞ˑ], alienably possessed noun:
wind, breeze.
2nd word: már [ˈmäˑɾ], intransitive verb:
to be violent, to be intense; to be strong.
3rd word: markó [mäɾˈko̞ˑ], alienably possessed noun:
storm, windstorm.
4th word: wakkumárpi [ʋäkːʊˈmäˑɾpɪ̆], nominalisation:
5th word: ortáse hón [o̞ɾˈtäˑʑə̆ ˈvo̞ˑn], noun phrase:
6th word: remuríp [ɾe̞mʊˈɾiˑp], alienably possessed noun:
lightning, flash of lightning.
7th word: ós [ˈo̞ˑɕ], alienably possessed noun:
8th word: eków [e̞ˈgo̞͡ʊ], transitive verb:
to cross, to pass, to go through.
9th word: oseków [o̞ʑe̞̽ˈgo̞͡ʊ], intransitive verb:
to strike (for lightning); to fall, to shoot (for a shooting star).
10th word: repé [ɾe̞ˈbe̞ˑ], inalienably possessed noun:
shade, shadow.
11th word: ossép [o̞ˈɕːe̞ˑp], alienably possessed noun:
clouds, cloud cover.
12th word: patíse [päˈd͡ʑiˑʑə̆], inalienably possessed noun:
person, animal, location (or other) of special significance for the possessor; "soulmate".
13th word: táw [ˈtä͡ʊ], alienably possessed noun:
river, stream, brook; riverwater, water from the ground.
14th word: ikkóte [iˈkːo̞ˑd͡ʑə̆], inalienably possessed noun:
rainwater; drinkwater; juice, broth, sauce, consumable liquid.
15th word: [ˈme̞ˑ], alienably possessed noun:
tree; wood (material).
16th word: meomá [me̞o̞̽ˈmäˑ], alienably possessed noun:
(tree) branch.
17th word: hayré [hä͡ɪˈɾe̞ˑ], intransitive verb:
to be left, to be on the left side; to go/turn left.
18th word: socú [so̞ˈd͡zuˑ], intransitive verb:
to be right, to be on the right side; to go/turn right.
19th word: aspá [äɕˈpäˑ], transitive (causative) verb:
to put, to place.
20th word: ankehayrép [änd͡ʑe̞̽ɦɐ͡ɪˈɾe̞ˑp], nominalisation:
left side, left area.
21st word: ankesocúp [änd͡ʑe̞̽zo̞̽ˈd͡zuˑp], nominalisation:
right side, right area.
22nd word: pekrépe [pe̞kˈɾe̞ˑbə̆], inalienably possessed noun:
disease, sickness.
23rd word: urún [uˈɾuˑn], intransitive verb:
to tire, to be/get tired.
24th word: tamín [täˈmiˑn], alienably possessed noun:
riverside village, fishermen’s settlement.
25th word: harté [häɾˈt͡ɕe̞ˑ], intransitive verb:
to party, to celebrate.
26th word: saér [säˈe̞ˑɾ], transitive verb:
to enter, to go/come in.
27th word: saériwe [säˈe̞ˑɾɪ̆ʋe̞̽], ditransitive (causative) verb:
to put in, to place inside.
28th word: wessó [ʋe̞ˈsːo̞ˑ], alienably possessed noun:
boat, ship.
29th word: peón [pe̞ˈo̞ˑn], alienably possessed noun:
speech, language; word.
30th word: peorrép [pe̞.o̞̽ˈre̞ˑp], alienably possessed noun:
writing, written words; document.
31st word: imíke [iˈmiˑd͡ʑə̆], inalienably possessed noun:
back, behind; end.

In terms of statistics, before this last Lexember event the Haotyétpi dictionary contained 356 entries (including affixes, clitics and some important phrases). By the end, it contained 388 entries (yes, one more than Lexember entries. That's because of the addition of one suffix -te, created for the harté entry, but which I felt was not productive enough to include as an actual Lexember entry), i.e. a 9% increase in total vocabulary. Not bad for a month of work!

I don't have anything to add that I haven't said before. I still enjoy Lexember as much as when we started with it 5 years ago (5 years already!). I enjoy reading everyone's entries, and it motivates me to create words, which as you know is usually a very tedious activity for me. Count me in once again next December!