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CONLANG  June 2012, Week 1

CONLANG June 2012, Week 1

Subject:

Feeling a little Erma Bombecky

From:

Douglas Koller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 2 Jun 2012 16:14:33 -0400

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text/plain

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Some random thoughts:
 
1) Two weeks ago, a storm system passed by north of this area (Worcester, MA), which meant that there was a great light show to behold. And *that* meant I was able to pull out a verb I've just been dying to use:
 
Sal thlünsakh thenge, seth lé arheth.
It was lightning two weeks ago (as light play in the clouds).
 
And then last week, there was another summer-like deluge the prelude to which allowed me this:
 
Cha hereçkethlünsav, seth lé pabal.
It was lightning last week (general light flashes in the sky).
 
It's nice to have a humble plethora of weather terms if you can actually use them once in a while. There was also talk about "quarter-sized hailstones" further northwest. There is a word for "hail", both as a noun and a verb, so "hailstone" shouldn't be a big reach. And then to find some cultural bonbons to compare sizes with; "quarters", "golfballs", and "softballs" just ain't going to cut it.
 
2) One knows that it's all been done before, but I'd struggled for years with the "-p" ending of the nominative plural; it just didn't "feel" plural to me. But now I discover that Berbice Dutch apparently has it, too. Swell! I writhe in angst over not going with something more familiar like an "n" or an "s" or an "r" or a "zh" (well, actually, that pops up in the dual; sue me, I caved), I finally internalize "-p" and consider it natural, only to find that it's an ANADEW?! Now I wouldn't wish linguistic erasure on anyone, mind you, but mercifully, Berbice Dutch has apparently gone extinct recently. This town just wouldn't have been big enough for the two of us.
 
3) In a similar ANADEW light, one expects spill-over into and from other langs, conlangs included. So I was not phased when Géarthnuns "ífa-u" ([i'fau]), "also", popped up last month as Jim Henry's sketchy artlang's masculine "love" verb or earlier as James W.'s a:seka`eni word for "four" (one wonders if the pronunications are the same). But I was crestfallen to find that my beloved "ferü" ("in days of old") has an incarnation in French "féru", meaning "passionné" (not identical pronunciation, but close enough for government work). Oh, the humanity.
 
4) Thanks to whoever mentioned shawms on the list last month. "Shawm" ranks right up there with "snood" as among some of my favorite words in English. Then there I was, driving to work, and the local classical station was playing shawm music. I took it as a sign. It was time. The word is now in the lexicon. The jury is still out on what to do about snoods.
 
5) I noticed recently that the hortative of the Géarthnuns be-verb, "nöi", namely "nü", in the native script looks an awful lot like the "om" symbol in Devanagari. "Om" and "let it be" looking similar? I suspect there was a batik T-shirt or two on Géarthtörs back in the 60s.
 
Kou

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