Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Eighth Annual State of the Language

It's SEPTEMBER! I am so late! I had planned to do this much earlier in the year, in the form of a video address, but I had a baby in February and it has been pretty much non-stop craziness since then. I thought I might record a video tonight, but it is 11:30pm, I am in my pajamas, and I look terrible. (I thought about taking a still shot to demonstrate how terrible, but it was too terrible to show. I need to get some sleep and tame my snake-hair.)

Sorry about all that.

Enough with the excuses and apologies. Here's what's going on:

I haven't been doing as much conlanging as I might have liked over the last year, but I have done a little here and there. The grammar of Nevashi seems to be shifting in subtle ways as I use it more, but I am not prepared to describe exactly how. I've been  giving a good deal of thought to the separation of  Ashea (Earth) Nevashi and Ianea (Fictional World) Nevashi, but it hasn't quite escaped the thought stage yet. The lexicon is up to 832 entries. I found some word lists while repacking my belongings to move, so that number may jump soon.

I found my notebooks for Laozhea when I was repacking, so that project may see some work soon, also.

I've been thinking more about how and why I create languages, and why it is that I remain a serial conlanger, despite wanting to settle down with and become proficient in one of my languages. I am still looking for The One. I don't think Nevashi is The One-- it's fun, and I enjoy tinkering with it, but it isn't where I want to settle down. Ea-luna definitely isn't, although I find it charming and quirky at this point. I don't think Laozhea will be either; I had some notion that it might be when I started it.

I always have that notion before I start.

So, we're well on our way to 2016, and I just started a heavy fall semester, which will be followed by an equally heavy spring. I wouldn't expect much before I graduate in April, really. I will continue thinking about the underpinnings of my personal conlanging, though, and I may turn out a few posts on that topic before it is all over.

I have been thinking more about what I want in a personal language made for my own use (rather than what I think might be fun to experiment with), and I've also been considering another stab at a collaborative conlang at some point. My idea for that is to provide a basic or "classical" language and see if I can trick persuade people to use, expand, and modify it, individually, in community, or both.

But not tonight.

Veku! Bye!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 7th Annual State of the Language Address


It's that time of the year again. As you can tell by the post count, it was a slow year for Nevashi on the Internet, but there were some substantial advances made offline. The language grew by about 100 words over the last two months alone, and it saw more usage in short translations and status posts on Facebook this year. 

It was another horrible year for public documentation of the ever-shifting grammar. It is beginning to settle a little bit, but there will need to be a lot more "test driving" before I've got all the kinks worked out. It seems that there's another little wrinkle around every corner I turn with this language.

There's a bit of bad news: I have started a new conlang. I don't intend to entirely shelve Nevashi (or ea-luna, for that matter), but my main effort for 2014 will be toward developing Laozhea

And I still owe y'all a video/audio post. I am trying to decide between one entirely in Nevashi and one in English talking about Nevashi. I have a laptop with a camera now, so I really don't have any excuse for getting on with it. 

Anyway -- Im ceana noa yevaséd! A peaceful new year to you! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Totally TMI Idiom Du Jour

I am female and sometimes I need to talk about the biological things that come along with that for most of us female folk. I recently came up with a Nevashi phrase for menstruation: to have high tide. This uses "ca" (bodily functions and speech) with "def" (to have, hold, contain, etc)-- a fairly rare combination.

Ci def im ececian. She has high tide. (Insert your favorite euphemism for menstruation here.)

You can blame Alabama for this, by the way. A Crimson Tide bumper sticker on the car ahead of me at a stoplight started this train of thought.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lexember x2

Since there are two -ember months in a row, I've decided to do back-to-back Lexembers, or 61 days of word creation. Today is day five, but Nevashi has gained more than five words so far. Here's the list: 

zereneshvegetable (food)zere + nash, with the e carried over 
ortluasquash, gourd
densound, noise; to make a sound/noise (fa)
neddento chant (ca; religious) nedh + den
vesatorso; (tree) trunk
detishnanotebookdetish (paper) + na  (collective)
defíncontainer; storage; box
yaiwall (structural, e.g. of a house); separate (fa)
yaivaseparation (n)
dyofiosoutdoorsdyo + fios
pafiosindoorspa + fios
ashanfield, meadow; yard
yai ashanifence, wall (as fence)
yaidefincabinet, cupboard
defar storage room; closet; pantry
And with that, I've passed the 700 word milestone. Defar was word #702. Onward to 800! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nev, Tef, and Zel (Talking to myself in public)

I have three words in my lexicon-spreadsheet-thing that are undefined: nev, tef, and zel. These would all probably be verbs, just looking at them. A lot of Nevashi verbs are CVC in their most basic form, and then add other bits to become other parts of speech.

Nev is the first element in "Nevash," the name of the island where the Nevashi people are from. The ash part means "land," but after all these years, I still don't know what the nev part means. No idea.

Tef is a possible verb form that might be behind the word tefya, "zero". I think it might have to do with absence or not-being. There are a lot of possibilities in running this through the different verb types: ma tef, "I am absent", or as a movement verb: ka tef, "I leave"... I will have to meditate on how that works.

I've tentatively defined zel as "to write poetry," backformed from zelea, "poem,"  but at some level, I know that's not exactly what that means. I'd like to find a way to make this work for writing poetry, composing music, and maybe for doing visual arts as well. And I wonder what it would mean as a verb of movement-- I have a word that means "to dance," but there's nothing wrong with having two ways to say that, I suppose.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The 6th Annual State of the Language Address

Didn't I just write one of these? What happened to 2012?

Here we are in 2013.  Remember all those things I said I'd do over the course of the last year?  Yeah. That didn't happen. It was a good year for Nevashi anyway.

The Revised Revised Lexicon grew to 655 entries this year. Lexember gave a nice end of the year boost to the count. That raw number doesn't take into account any of the words that gained additional meanings or the new affixes you might use to derive new words from the old ones. Among those new affixes, my favorites are the two that you can use to make a given thing into a collective of those things: -rí (extracted from zirirí (swarm) and used in sirurí (guts)) and -na (used in omanena (crew)).

I haven't written a new grammar, and the old one is teetering on the brink of being obsolete. What I have done is start working on compositions and translations. This is letting me iron out some kinks. I don't think I'll use the "write a grammar and then try to use it" method of language building again. I'm happy with the way that Nevashi has turned out, but it is evolving further and faster through use than it did through trying to build a structure to hang a usable language on later. I hope to do more writing and translating this year.

I am slowly getting a better grip on the details of Nevashi culture. If I were to make any one resolution for Nevashi this year, it would be to write more about that. I still don't even know what Nevash means. I know that ash means "land." I have reserved line #656 in the Revised Revised Lexicon for nev.

Since the last "State of the Language", I started attending the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (known locally as UPJ). I still have to work and I still have kids, too. This doesn't leave a lot of time for working on languages. That hasn't stopped me, but it is a factor in how much gets done. Language construction does make a nice diversion when I need a break from studying.

So... That's that. I still owe y'all a video or some audio, at least. I did try to record a video at some point in the spring, but my daughter kept making me laugh, so I gave up on it. I would at least like to record some Nevashi so that people can hear what it sounds like. It's on the to-do list.

Im ceana wadi jeyaséd! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31, 2012

31 Days of Lexember

Well, we have reached the end of Lexember and the end of 2012. I actually completed this month long challenge, albeit with some early and some belated entries. These were not the only words created in December. The total number of entries in the Revised Revised Lexicon grew to 655.
  1. Urad Hristi, Christmas
  2. nashín, meal
  3. gitcea, noon. git, middle, center.
  4. tath, root. pwentath, ginger
  5. cevek, deer
  6. umo, bear (the animal)
  7. bron, to be tired (with ca); to be bored (with sa
  8. sashín, candy
  9. hula, circle
  10. ka'encel, depressed. ka'encelva, depression.
  11. nanal, to study, in the sense of learning something academic, what you do to prepare for an exam.
  12. suthol, to study something to learn about it, research, "do a science"
  13. gwisa, ice. gwisha, frost
  14. vegaviozh, truck
  15. kis, to be named. kisa, name.
  16. yun, to be brave (with ma), to explore (with ka)
  17. col, milk
  18. lemyan, river
  19. drus, meat, flesh, muscle. siru, organ, organ meat. sirurí, guts, internal organs (collectively)
  20. hin, cloud
  21. badh, cow
  22. zopa, sheep
  23. zhwes, goat
  24. peya, chicken.
  25. thes, to dance (with ka)
  26. grayu, raven. gawa, crow
  27. hom (with sa), to think. homa, thought or idea. homsiru, brain.
  28. hlet, to lead (with fa), to persuade (with ca).In the "in charge" sense.
  29. byu, after (in a sequence of physical objects), following (adj)
  30. joa, to save or rescue (with sa). joava, rescue or salvation
  31. pie, to jump (with ka). ropie, to leap up (ka), to pounce upon (ta)