On 14 March 2016 at 02:41, David Peterson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> That second example is ambiguous. All it says is that one is lacking a
> dispossessed head: it doesn't say WHOSE dispossessed head one is lacking.
In my new language Haotyétpi, which also has obligatory possessed nouns (I
call them "inalienably possessed nouns"), one cannot make such a noun
dispossessed. The closest one can do (and indeed does) is to mark the
possessor as third person indefinite ("something's/someone's"), to indicate
that the possessor is irrelevant/unknown.

So "a pile of heads" in Haotyétpi would probably be translated as _ossén
coré_: "a great many heads" (without the indefinite possessive suffix
_-(s)e_, the phrase would become _ossén cór_: "a great many of their
heads", implying possessors that have already been mentioned or are known
by context). One could also say _yussú coré_: "many heads", but using
_yussú_ implies that one can still easily count how many heads there are,
which, to me at least, is not quite what one means when they say "a pile of
heads". _Ossén_ implies that something that is normally countable might as
well be uncountable, due to sheer number (_yussú kár_ is just "many
people". _Ossén kár_ is "a sea of people, a large crowd).

As for "headless" or "lacking a head", there are various ways to handle
that. _Coré saprú_ means "without someone's head", from the verb _sáp_: "to
lack" together with the adverbial suffix _-ru_: "while ...+ing". It
implies, naturally, that the person is normally walking around with some
head hanging from their belt, and they're missing it. If they were missing
their own head, _cór saprú_: "without his/her/their head" would do it,
although it would be ambiguous between whether one is missing their own
head or somebody else's head, who's known from context or has been
mentioned before (as in English basically). If you really want to say
"headless, without one's own head", the easiest way would be to use the
verb _corsáp_: "to be headless, to lack one's head", formed by noun

And yes, talking about piles of heads and headless beings is quite
important indeed :P.

> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Mar 13, 2016, at 6:17 PM, Sylvia Sotomayor <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > I am working on a grammar for a new language (looks a bit like the
> > previous one) and I just found myself writing: "Obligatorily possessed
> > nouns can become dispossessed by appending =yo to the noun, as in
> > pe=lene sono=yo (COLL=pile head=dispossessed) ‘a pile of heads’. An
> > obligatorily possessed noun must first be dispossessed before it can
> > be lacking: sono=yo=tepe (head=dispossessed=lacking) ‘without a
> > head’." because it is so very important to be able to talk about
> > headless beings and piles of heads. :-)
> >
> > -S
> >
> > --
> > Sylvia Sotomayor
> >
> > The sooner I fall behind the more time I have to catch up.

Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
President of the Language Creation Society (

Personal Website:
Personal Tumblr: