Sunday, March 22, 2009

Six more sentences

The next 6 sentences yielded more new vocabulary. They were also a little trickier than the first 8, but I guess that's the general idea of the graded sentences.

I will have to recheck this one and the previous entry with eight sentences to fix the grammatical errors I've almost certainly made, but in the meantime, here's a stab at the next six:

9. School began again. Ludi siv rakesh ya tholfis.

Lu-di siv rakesh ya tholfis.
inceptive-past-3rd s. be-in-session(active/on) again the school.

I don't know exactly why the definite article is required here, but it is. Siv may turn out to be really useful, since it can be used in sentences like, "All the lights in the house are on."

And it just made it really obvious that I need a way to use the causative and imperative together, in order to get it around to being useful in sentences like "Turn on the TV!" Back to the drawing board on that one.

10. The child ran quickly. Gi adad nisas ya mishtu.

Gi adad nis-as ya mishtu.
Past-3rd run quick-adv the child.

There's that mishtu again. Nis is quick or fast, -as makes it an adverb.

11. Yellow daffodils nodded gaily. Egi henaf jeyas denduloran wera.

Egi henaf jeyas dendulora-n wera.
3rd pl.-Past nod happy-adv daffodil-pl yellow.

Henaf, dendulora, and wera are new words. From henaf are hen (up) and naf (down). (Too precious? Deriving those from "nod" or vice versa. Probably. So is talala for 'laugh'. But I like the sound of those, so they are staying.)

12. Little Marigold cried bitterly. Ji pluva le'osias Tajítsha.

Ji pluva le'osi-as Tajítsha.
Past-3rd-s. cry bitter-adv Marigold-dim.

I had to assume that Marigold (Tajíta) is used as a name here, since it is capitalized, so I just put the diminutive on it. Tajítasha probably would have been equally correct, and I might have gone that way if TN was a penultimate-syllable-stressed language, but since it isn't, I thought Tajítsha sounded nicer.

Le'osi is a new word. I sort of felt like the glottal stop was underused, so there it is. I decided to go with a pretty literal English>TN rendering, with "bitterly" being translated exactly. I can easily see flavors being used not only for that sort of emotion, but expanded far beyond where they might appear in English, and with the flavors assigned to different emotions than you might expect if you speak English. (I tend to associate emotions (and words) with flavors and smells anyway, so this is appropriate for Nevashi from the "culture of Me" point of view.) I rather I briefly considered "sourly" for this particular translation, but "sour" has more melancholy and less anguish in it.

13. All the people shouted. Eji magan ya jenen shen.

Eji magan ya jenen shen.
3rd pl-Past shout the people all.

"All the people" gave me fits. I considered "Shena kye ya jenen" ("All(n) consisting-of the people") and several other alternatives before settling on just using "all" as an adjective for "the people". It also means "total" or "complete", so I think it implies "all of this".

I thought about telozh for shout, but I think magan represents a higher volume than that. It (the word) sounds bigger. Telozh is your Uncle Danny talking over everyone else at Thanksgiving. Magan is your Aunt Betty telling him to "SHUT UP!" when she just can't take any more.

14. I recited twice. Ja hlal ravan.

Ja hlal ravan.
1st s.-past recite twice.

Ravan comes from ra+van (ra+two). Cf. Rakesh, again. ra+more.

Hlal is a new word. There are a lot of initial consonant clusters permissable that I haven't been using, and I love hl and hr, so there it is. This word means "to tell a story, give a speech, or recite". Derived from it is hlalim, "story, speech, recitation".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First 158 words of Language X

I found a bit of a conlang in a little notebook that was at the bottom of one of my totebags. It's mostly just a word list, and now it is HERE. There are no notes about grammar to accompany the list. WYSIWYG.

I was able to tease some of the intended phonology out of notes with that were with certain entries on the list. |c| = /tS/, |x| = /S/, |j| = /Z/, as noted in many of the entries.

The pronouns have two forms-- the first is an honorific form you might use with someone you perceive to have authority or to be of a higher social status. That much surfaced in my memory when I was putting it all into that spreadsheet. 

There are two words for "book", and I really don't know that there's a difference between them, except that one seems derived from "read" and the other from "write", so I guess it depends on whether you see books primarily as something written or something read.

Some of the words were obviously begged, borrowed, or stolen from English or Spanish. There seem to be some derivational affixes in there (mostly prefixes), but I haven't broken them down to see what, if anything, they contribute to the meaning. 

It's not much of anything, but I've come to the conclusion that more documentation is better than less. I've been toying with the idea of a collaborative language project, so I wonder if this would work as seed vocabulary for such a thing. 

I've been involved in a few collaborative conlangs that eventually fizzled (some sooner than others). I've been wondering if a collabolang (which is REALLY fun to say) might be more successful if it were built for a specific purpose-- for instance, as an in-game language for a guild in some massively multiplayer online RPG.

And with that, I now return you to your regularly scheduled Teliya Nevashi... 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eight sentences

Teliya Nevashi has no marking for collective/mass plurals like "birds", nor does it have marking for habitual actions, so these first ones were pretty straightforward...
Sort of.

1. Birds sing. Eci selis shanan.
2. Children play. Eti voya mishtun.[1]
3. Dogs bark. Eci buf kevrin.
4. Bees hum. Eci zhun mintan. 
5. Baby laughed. Ji talala Bene.[m]; Ji talala Bena. [f.]  
6. The sun shines. Si donu ya cea. 
7. The wind blows. Si feyu ya shushu.
8. The car started. Luti muzhu ya otomo. [2]

[1] Speakers of Nevashi are apparently much more age and gender conscious than speakers of English, because there are words for boy and girl at different age ranges (infant, toddler, preschooler, school kid (5-11), teenager (12-17)) that would be in far greater circulation than mishtu, which is a gender neutral word for a minor (non-adult). And though some people might consider it sexist and awful, the male form would probably be used for mixed groups and mass plural as well. So, while this is a correct and straightforward translation, a native speaker might well say "Eti voya levten." (Levte = boy, 5-11.) 
[2] Ha! A use for the inceptive! Muzhu refers to the running or working of engines, motors and machines, so this could be translated back as "The car began to run."

Weekend Conlanging Plans

Since I won't be at the Language Creation Conference this weekend, except through the magic of Internet simulcast, I thought I might actually do some conlanging this weekend instead.  To that end, I've printed the first two lists of graded sentences from Gary Shannon's site -- this one and this one -- to translate, in order to work out some grammatical knots and expand the Nevashi lexicon. 

I am hoping to develop a more comfortable relationship with the language on my way to fluency, and that's the other part of why I will be translating all those sentences. I start every language with the intention of becoming fluent in it, but those good intentions usually fail to produce the results I'd like. 

I was able to use ea-luna to some degree once upon a time, but that was a long time ago. I've got an urge to translate those sentences into ea-luna at the same time that I am working on the Nevashi translations, but that would probably be counterproductive in several different ways. I will give ea-luna some attention in the near future, but for now, I am working mainly on TN.

Speaking of what projects I am working on (or not working on), I opened a little notebook that was in the bottom of the totebag I've been using to carry my books around and discovered the beginnings of yet another language. I am going to take a little time this evening to document the vocabulary and grammar notes from that. It's not much of anything and it doesn't even have a name, but it might yet have words I can steal, or it might later develop into something more than what it currently is. In any case,  if there's one thing I've learned from ea-luna, it is that having a single hardcopy of any given bit of conlang documentation is a bad idea. Multiple electronic copies FTW. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tiny little updates

There have been a few new vocabulary items added to the dictionary, and the grammar has had a derivation section added back into it.

That is all.