Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Big Ol' Name Post

My fifteenth word for Lexember was kis, to be named. I thought I would take a moment here to explain how  kis works in practice.

Ma kis im Mia. 
1st/non-past/be be-named DO-singular Mia.
I am named Mia. My name is Mia.

Mish kis il ambai cei im Sherry it lash.
3rd/singular*/be/causative be-named Subj-dual parent my DO-singular Sherry IO-singular me(dat.)**
My parents named me Sherry.

The name is the direct object. The subject of kis is the person who is named, or the person doing the naming when the causative is used. In the event that you are using the causative, talking about someone naming someone or something else, the recipient of the name is the indirect object.

Two grammar points here:
* Although it is mentioned in the grammar, it's worth noting here that the dual counts as singular for the purpose of conjugating verbs. I very nearly made a little error there myself, so I decided to mention it, even though it is unlikely anyone else will be writing any sentences in Nevashi.  And if someone did, what are the chances that it would have a dual subject?

** I don't think that it has been previously mentioned anywhere, but it has become an established practice with me that pronouns still carry the case markings from the old grammar even when used with the indirect object marker. I can't say why. It just is.

So, how do you ask someone what their name is? I have a couple of ways to ask:

Kisa dei, mi an eyos? (lit., "Your name, it is what?")
Me kis eyos? (lit., "You are named what?")

The former would probably be the more usual way of doing it. The second, I am not so sure about. I think maybe it should be "Me kis im eyos?" -- that is, making "what" (eyos) the direct object of kis-- but that's not the way it used to be done, and I am not 100% sure I will make that change, no matter how logical it is.

For about 15 seconds, I considered a "How are you named?" option, but that wouldn't really make much sense, since the thing you are looking for is a "what"-- the thing that would be the object of the verb.

And that brings us to the current list of personal names in Nevashi. The list is short so far.

Feminine Names
  • Taji, Tajisha - Marigold
  • Delya - Victory
  • Sema - Beautiful
  • Omanet - Sailor
  • Yuna - Brave
  • Umosha - Bear

Masculine Names
  • Delyafan, Delyafano - Victor
  • Edhél - Strong
  • Oman - Sailor
  • Yun - Brave
  • Semu - Beautiful
  • Umo, Umowe - Bear

Unisex Names

  • Imevi - Hopeful
  • Imevazha - Worthy of Being Wished For
  • Edhélva - Strength
  • Shaoshan - Owl
  • Kyun - Explorer (from ki yun, "he/she explores", possibly under the influence of kyu-, "away/down")
  • Cevek - Deer

Yeah, a lot of those feminine names end in an unstressed a. I know, I know. Sue me. So do some of the unisex names... so there! Actually, this is just general usage; sex-and-gender isn't really such a big deal on Nevash. The only definitely masculine or feminine names up there are the ones that end in -sha (f) or -we (m), which are sex-specific diminutives. Go ahead, name your son Tajiwe. Nobody will laugh. I promise.

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