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Hi everyone, and a Happy New Year to those following the Gregorian Calendar
:). Or as we say in Moten: _Imonuj |ledan!_ ("(have a) peaceful/healthy
Turning!")

Just wanted to share this lovely article I found via the Conlang RSS
aggregator: http://www-01.sil.org/~tuggyd/Tlahtia/TLAHTIA.htm

It's about the verb _tlahtia_ of a dialect of Nahuatl. It's surprising both
because of its meaning: "to give someone a baptismal or wedding garment, as
this is your duty as the person’s godparent", and because it's made of two
affixes added together without a stem anywhere in the neighbourhood :).

The analysis of the article makes it clear however that neither the
formation nor the meaning of the verb are accidental or surprising, once
you take into account both the large tendencies shown by the grammar of the
language, and the cultural expectations set by the speakers of the
language. It's a great analysis and the principles behind it should be used
more commonly in linguistics.

I also think the article is a must-read for any conlanger, as it shows very
well how morphology, syntax and semantics can interact to form things that
are surprising to an outsider, but are very logical once you take the
history and the cultural background of the language into account. It's a
principle I've taken to heart when developing Moten, although it's
difficult to simulate well without a lot of thinking about the culture of
the people speaking the language.

Anyway, I thought it was a good, relatively light read for the beginning of
the year :).
-- 
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/