Today, We Feast; Tomorrow, We #Lexember

Tomorrow is #lexember. I’m not a #NaNoWriMo person because, as an academic librarian, my achievable word count the month I write an academic article column for a science librarian journal is more like 20-30K. I’ve never understood why #NaNoWriMo is during peak academic output season.

This year, my word count was even lower because I was suffering from the Cold from Hell for most of October, which impacted my to-do list in November. I usually don’t get sick, especially not for three weeks, but 2017 is the year I started submitting short stories and poems to lit mags again. People handle rejections in a variety of ways, but my brain does it by having vivid flashbacks to every bullying event I experienced between second grade and my junior year of high school, which raises my anxiety, cortisol, and loneliness, which all depress my immune system. Anything my brain processes as social ostracization/rejection can trigger that.

Moving on from darkness, #lexember will be fun this year. I started conlanging in my teens. It’s actually how I learned English grammar and usage. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I spent an entire summer glued to Wikipedia’s linguistics pages. I took both Old English at Smith College and a class on Tolkien and Old English while studying abroad at Royal Holloway for a semester junior year. I took French all four years, and I actually skipped from intensive elementary to literature courses because my professor flagged me as a student who would be bored in the intermediate class.

A lot of this early stuff influenced how I wrote Tveshi, which has a sound pattern like the bastard child of Latin, Old English, and something vaguely Japanese. Google Translate usually tries to autodetect it as Indonesian. But the other effect of Tveshi being so old is that it was my most developed language and is the brutal survivor of WordPerfect and a variety of other file formats before I discovered the LaTeX linguistics packages. Tveshi is in pain.

Tveshi dict example. My dictionary is in pain!!!
A screencap of my Tveshi dictionary. The blue entries are ones that are complete. The black entries are the ones that I have not edited. If I scrolled up to B-D, I’ve done a much more comprehensive job of fixing this, but I wanted to show you the Worst Case Dictionary Page.

For #lexember, my plan is to work on the Tveshi lexicon by fixing and expanding the dictionary and the word usage examples so I can eventually put this online with my other constructed languages. Tveshi needs so much TLC that it’s ambitious, too, to think that I can finish it in just one month — realistically, this probably won’t be a reality until February.

But Tveshi is my fuzzy child blanket language, the one I started out with, and it deserves to be recognized and not forgotten while I work on my newer conlangs like Mamltab, Narahji, and Classical Atarahi. Even if the people who speak it have a brutal history.

And I’ll leave you with a piece of Epiphany that is translated into Tveshi (with some Narahji sentences):

Mė ni ai sinnah kin tai aråhit liju mė modahem helai kefu Sapaji ni hasė tauhuoć peshė. Mė modahetaio Narahjiyui, Xai ku tsekto xikanosaịrru tsurhjas tsansakssa. Ueileluyuo, so narahịptis åsseka nia feasåć nia ratịtuć, sakit va koushesu moda aushi nia tsekto va thåtosui lithi moda aushi lo nia lė da jinnahio lir rer hjakait.

I dont know how to translate what I said next because the Sabaji dont have a way to say it. In Narahji, it reads, Xai ku tsekto xikanosaịrru tsurhjas tsansakssa. For the future, if this goes into an archive, sakit is a very specific word for apologizing, and tsekto is a form of alienation, both for people who have been left out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *