And now for the last Lexember word of this year!

31st word:
_turá_ [tuˈɾäˑ], alienably possessed noun: “skill, ability; endurance,

So, to finish this year’s Lexember, I thought I’d share a culturally
relevant word. As you can see, _turá_ has two meanings that seem quite
unrelated to us, that of “skill” and “endurance”. Also, it’s a simple root,
and it’s not inalienably possessed (it is not seen as a metaphorical body
part, like many other human characteristics are). Also, notice what I
didn’t translate it as: “talent”. That is because _turá_ does not refer to
skills that one can do simply because they were born with that talent.
Rather, it refers to skills acquired though continuous training, whether
one started with some talent for them or not. It refers not only to these
skills themselves, but also to the fact that they are the result of a
journey, that needed endurance, and the will to never give up.
For the Mountain Folk (speakers of Haotyétpi), _turá_ is one of the pillars
of a righteous life. We humans have the ability to learn to do things we
couldn’t do before, and this ability should be used to hone one’s skills
and develop new ones as much as possible.
In fact, a cornerstone of their religious beliefs is that this ability to
improve skills and to learn new ones is a strictly human quality. The
various spirits and gods of their religion, however powerful, are basically
stuck: they cannot grow beyond what they already are, unable to improve and
unable to change. A sizeable fraction of their tales concern spirits that
got incarnated as humans (either willingly or as punishment) for the
explicit purpose of being able to learn some new skill.
Also, according to their beliefs, the worst thing evil spirits can do to
humans (besides killing them outright, something spirits cannot usually do
directly) is to steal their _turá_. Many of the Mountain Folk’s religious
proceedings are meant to ward themselves (or others, especially children)
against such a thing. Losing one’s hard-trained skills is about the worst
thing that can happen to a Mountain Person, and another sizeable fraction
of their myths are cautionary tales about dealing wrongly with spirits and
ending up losing one’s _turá_ to them.

So, that's it for Lexember. I'll keep working on Haotyétpi for the time
being (not forgetting Moten, just taking a sabbatical). I like the way it's
turning out and I want to develop the language and its underlying culture
more. Expect more on Haotyétpi in the future!

And a Happy New Year to everyone!
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
President of the Language Creation Society (

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