Lexember 2019: December 1-7

It is once again Lexember, the time of year when conlangers work on our lexicons.

Looking Back

Last year, I wrote a language called Eamaru/Eamarubhe from scratch to support a creative writing project called Ossia, a story about the daughter of Salus Niksubvya who is solving the puzzle of who lived in the ancient ruins she finds in the Canyons while anchoring herself in the present by telling the story of her life — a mystery which grows into obsession as she entices the God of Time and Eternity, Saämatsra, through her repeated time travel. It allowed me to move from this:

A few younger adults followed me. They pointed and said something like ut-ta-ka-mia-de-sa, which I couldn’t break into words. The syllables ta-kam happened more often than others. Ta-ka-mia less often.

To this later on:

These day-sky blossoms are harvested during the night, when the air is cool, at this time of year. They will be crated and sent via air freight to a processing center that will dry and crush them for the pigments they hold. 

Flowers are less brittle when their petals are closed.

It’s a phrase I have heard from Aðokei several times now, that I heard from Ktanja before. In Eamaru, it is, Fhin itn-me ei jabh meða ẖam rak muto ziur llejabh ba. To think that all of that refers to this? Day-sky pigment is expensive — it is not made artificially, after all — but this is what it meant?

… but also the realization (hey, drafts, right?) that the younger adults were probably not speaking Eamaru, but Dásna, spoken by the Ékkivá (accents are high tones), even though Toma learns and is taught Eamaru instead.

Ossia has a draft that is 198,000 words. The main character, Toma, learns Eamaru during the story. And, of course, you can check out the words and phrases I made in the 2018 Lexember here (a link to my tag for Eamaru).

Moving Forward

The year before, though, I was working on my Tveshi dictionary. Tveshi was my first conlang, and it is old, cumbersome, and beloved. Basically, I was the lexicon and expanding it from brief notes that looked like this:

tha, mark
thåtotei (AN), loneliness
thåtoyė (AN), Criminal
thau (NN), earth
thaufoi (DN), cavern
thaukinị (NN), Earthquake
thena (DN), Practice
thie, smear
thau (NN), earth
thaufoi (DN), cavern
thaukinị (NN), Earthquake
thena (DN), Practice
thie, smear

to robust entries that incorporate polysemy, derived words via prefixes/suffixes/compounds, verbs, and more (basically, what you’ll see farther down here). Sometimes, I have to fix and clean things a lot, too.

This year, I’m continuing that work — starting in the Ns and going down as far as I can. Apart from Lexember, I’m finishing up a poetry project right now.

December 1

Nau, /naʊ̯/ n. Class N. Deep, a term for valley, ravine, or low place. When followed by an article, this indicates the Canyon region of Narahja: nau sof /naʊ̯ soʊ̯f/, sometimes nau aif /naʊ̯ aɪ̯f/ because the Canyons are seen as divine.

I also made a phrase, reyanakourić efa mėi. It uses the word reyana, strength, with the suffix -kouri to denote that someone does something (often professional, but colloquially, it often just accentuates that someone is performing a role), and for plural. Efa is the plural emphatic article, and mėi is a first person possessive pronoun. Roughly, it means those who bring me strength, but it has the connotation of my peeps, my comrades, et cetera, in a colloquial, endearing way. It can be shortened to reiekoufam.

December 2

Nea /nɛɑ̯/, n. Class N. Hand.

Aianea /aɪ͡anɛɑ̯/, cross purpose.
Uneayi /ʊ.ˈnɛɑ̯.ji/, wealthy/well-resourced.
Enanea /ə.ˈnɑ.nɛɑ̯/, Providence.

Nåneayi /nɔ.ˈnɛɑ̯.ji/, fresh, inexperienced, novice.
Anåneait /ʌ.nɔ.ˈnɛ.a͡ɪt̪/, to try out.

Ćė nåneat måtua. 
/t͡ʃɛ nɔ.ˈnɛ.ʌt̪ ˈmɔt̪.uɑ̯/
You.informal had tried out teachings/ways.

December 3

Ninna,/ˈnĩ.ðʌ/, n. Class A. Trace, track. Aninnait, to trace, to track.

Ver ninnamị thunoyėa naui vo athovamị vė.
They (formal) tracked the young woman through the gorge and killed lim. [no gender in #Tveshi 3PS]

Ninnashåsso, storm-trace, a fulgurite (fused trace left by lightning).
Sininna, argument following from a prior.
Uninna, talent, aptitude.
Uininna, an act of kindness done for someone whom one will never meet in a place before ler arrival to make things better for lim.

December 4

Nitha /ˈni.θʌ/, n. Class D. Ditch
Anithit /ʌ.ˈni.θit̪/, to drag down into the mud, to slander, to diminish, to defame

Sher nithoiyi henehågep fågoim mėi.
You-informal-pl most likely defamed/slandered my teacher without remorse.

But I did more on December 4 than just that.

Nuita /ˈnui̯.t̪ʌ/, n. Class N. Temporal flux, temporal jumble, time travel. A neologism created by the writer of a book called Ko Foali MånauptuTime’s Beginning/Momenting/Succession of Instants Is Endless, a horror novel about a woman who gets lost in the woods and must solve a time travel puzzle to avoid being devoured by forest spirits. The term has passed into pop usage.

… I would actually read something like that.

The forest spirits, incidentally, are called klamodya (sing. klamoda) in Narahji, and the reason a Tveshi woman would be harassed by them is that the Tveshi neglected the klamodya shrines when they conquered Shija. The Tveshi word for nature or tree spirits is atuat or enayoi; the term for a klamoda is enayoi thuani, or evil tree spirit. (They’re not actually evil.)

December 5

Rahị /ˈɾɑ.hɪ/, n. Class D. Mote, speck.

Rahi, invisible, dustlike, insignificant.
Oirahị, bacterium.
Nårahi, no longer relevant.
Årahi, irrelevant.

Sirahị, prioritization. This actually means something like, the art of identifying insignificant things. Setting priorities by eliminating what is actually unimportant, right? 😂

Thuyirahị, bribe. I was asked to explain this. Thuyi- is a prefix that indicates badness or wrongness, much like nua- (the two can be used interchangeably, but the latter prefix is increasingly used less for some social reasons in the culture). It’s an allusion to how difficult it can be to know that someone has been bribed — a mote or speck that can do so much damage, but that is invisible until close inspection.

December 6

Rout /ɾo͡ʊːt̪/, n. Class N. Crevice, openingRouti /ˈɾo͡ʊː.t̪i/, openAroutait /ʌ.ˈɾo͡ʊː.t̪a͡ɪt̪/, to make space

Oiroutlung or other respiratory mechanism, in the case of blood-vining plants. 
Thuyirout, a bad situation that has a narrow chance of escape. 
Kaiarouta softening of the heart, often seen as a reflexive verb, akaiaroutait.

Mė mėis kaiaroutaia helai sha amatara laihua tusa mėi.
My heart will soften if le takes care of my nine bowls.

After doing this, I did a few other words and learned I had a double entry for this word and that there were already some other things in the other entry. I then merged them together. From that previous work, I have:

Rout is also used colloquially to mean opportunity or possibility. Da routi is an achieved opportunity.

December 7

Sassė /ˈsɑ.ʂə/, n. Class N. Air

Aisassė /a͡ɪ.ˈsɑ.ʂə/, air filtration system on a space ship or submarine. 
Hosassė /ho.ˈsɑ.ʂə/, atmosphere. 
Oisassė /o͡i.ˈsɑ.ʂə/, exhalation. 
Nåsassė /nɔ.ˈsɑ.ʂə/, inhalation. 

Mė våsam saishehio aisassė. 
I fixed the air filtration system for a cousin.