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The Atlantic name for Rami.

I forget, sometimes, that those of my languages that share the same space ought to be influencing each other.  Atlantic, for example, is supposed to have many loanwords from Menashean (a later stage of Drake) but I have not put many in yet—mostly due to the woeful lack of progress in the latter.

And so I was working on Rami, and found I had written that it had the same name both among the Rami people and by others.  Then I realized, that didn’t seem right — because I knew that Kirumb had a different name for the Rami people.  So I thought I’d better look it up and see how it turns out in Atlantic.

The Kirumb word for a Rami person is boró /vʊˈruː/, stem born- /vʊrn-/.  In Âdlantki the reflex of this is vorné /wɔ̀rne/, and in Atlantic vɔrne /vɔ̀rne/.

The basic adjective formed from this root in Kirumb is bornikos /vʊr.nɪˈkʊs/, which becomes vornki /wɔ́rnki/ in Âdlantki and vɔrnkɛ /vɔ́rnkɛ/ in Atlantic—and this last would also be the name of the language.  (The ending -kɛ is the same in Vɔrnkɛ as in the native name of Atlantic itself, Ədlantkɛ.)

I’m pretty sure the other languages of Nother will have their own names for Rami (and each other) as well; I’ll need to work them out at another date.

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On Ibran orthography (a start)

Following my post in 2009 on describing writing systems, I’ve started working on a description of Ibran’s orthography:

Ibran has a long written history, leading back to Old Ibran, which is first attested in the 10th century. Though the standard language did not vary among Ibran speakers, the orthography was highly variable; over the centuries, writing systems heavily influenced by neighboring languages such as French and Dutch are found.

It is not until 1784, with the publication of Noé Tesstuor’s grammar of Ibran, that a standard orthography came into widespread use; the book was influential both in New Ibria and in Ibria itself. Tesstuor’s orthography took as its basis those spellings used in the Bible that was being printed in New Royce at the time, and which was itself very popular; from this base, he removed several archaisms characteristic of older Ibran that he deemed to have no relevance in the modern language.

Now, a few issues to work out with this already… first off, Noé Tesstuor is obviously a ‘guest star syndrome‘ version of Noah Webster,  and I’m not entirely sure I want to do that.

Secondly, I assert that some archaisms were removed, but I’ll need to check if there are any examples of such things  I can attribute to this, or if I’ll have to invent something.

And thirdly, I think I’ve vacillated several times in the opening phrase, as to whether ‘Ibran has a long written history’ or not.  I’m not even entirely sure the claim makes sense—how long does it take to ‘be placed among the perfect and the ancient’ as opposed to ‘the cheap and the modern’, as I have a habit of mentioning Horace said?   I mean, you may think a thousand years is a long time, but that’s just peanuts compared to classical languages like Latin, Sanskrit, and Greek…

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Kirumb word of the moment.

homíí|óm, hómííís|a, hómáyóók|a. (hʊmijijuːm) v. trans. To understand.  [Proto-Indo-European *som-HyeH₁- . Cf. Greek συνίημι.]

Sometimes Kirumb words tend to get … interesting strings of vowels.  The ííí in the aorist hómííísa is probably one of the longer ones I’ve come across.  That’s three long is in a row, and as vowels in hiatus are broken up with a glide, the word is pronounced [huːmijiˈjiːsɑ].   Each reflects a morpheme: the first -í- is the augment, the second -í- is the root—which is also -í- in the normal stem, and -yó- in the stative—and the last -í- is the suffix that gives the verb a durative sense.

It wasn’t about halfway through putting together this post that I’d realized I’d made a mistake in the headword; I’d put in homíáyóm as the headword, as if there were an H₂ in the root, not H₁.  Always helps to take a second look at things!

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A short one — Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 24.1:

Itaque Regio extemplo abscessum est.

And so they left Reggio immediately.

There are two cities in Italy called Reggio, or R(h)egium in Latin: Reggio nell’Emilia in the north and Reggio di Calabria in the south, at the toe of the Italian boot.  The latter is the one being referred to here, as the Carthaginians had to leave due to the approach of Roman ships crossing the strait from Messina (Latin Messana) in Sicily.

[For abscedo.]

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Kirumb words of the moment.

Feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve worked on Kirumb, for some reason.

So, one of my projects in it is to make sure I have a decent amount of vocabulary.  The official beginning of this is translations of all the NSM primes.   I already had words for ‘I’ and ‘you’, but I confirmed their declensions:

  • šoŋ, mos.(ˈʃʊŋ) pron. (acc.mi,, dat.mai, loc.mi.)  I; the first-person singular pronoun.  [Proto-Indo-European *eǵHom.]
  • tó, cos. (tuː) pron. (acc. ci, abl. cit, dat. cai, loc. ci.) You; the second-person singular pronoun. [Proto-Indo-European *tū .]

The declension of  actually shows a bit of analogical levelling; the genitive should actually be tos, but it becomes cos to match the rest of the stem, and the pattern in šoŋ.

The next word on the list is ‘someone’.  This is a tough one!  I had a firm idea it should not be something monomorphemic, like the Greek τις is.  I found Sanskrit कश्चन kaścana and decided to go with it.   For the first element I used the Proto-Indo-European *kʷis ‘who’; the affix is *kʷene which denotes ‘Verallgemeinerung und Unbestimmtheit’ —so the  literal meaning would be ‘whoever’, I suppose, which is a meaning the final Kirumb word will also have.

I think I will use *kʷene in a few places as a clitic particle that would go on the end of the declined form of the word (like Latin’s -cumque).  Because of this I needed to put together the whole declension of Kirumb’s reflex of *kʷis.

It’s ridiculously irregular. Luckily it all goes away with the rest of the case system in Âdlantki.

sing. plur.
m. & f. n. m. & f. n.
nom. kis kid káis
acc. kiŋ kid kís
gen. kišo kairoŋ
abl. kišo kaivos
dat. kihmai kaivos
loc. kihmi kairo

So there’s our word for ‘who’; we still need our word for ‘someone’.  The original *kʷene comes out in Kirumb as -kin; the declension of kiskin ‘someone’ looks like this:

sing. plur.
m. & f. n. m. & f. n.
nom. kiskin kitkin iskin kin
acc. kiŋkin kitkin kískin kin
gen. kišokin kairoŋkin
abl. kišokin kaivoskin
dat. kihmaikin kaivoskin
loc. kihmikin kairokin

In most forms, due to the late loss of the original final -e, the stress is not in the place normally expected by Kirumb stress rules.  I have underlined the stressed syllables in these cases.  (It just happens that these are the same syllables accented in the unsuffixed forms of kis, but I’m not yet sure whether this will necessarily be the case whenever -kin is added.)

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Rami vowels, part 1.

So I started a stub page on FrathWiki about the Rami alphabet.  Not much in the way of detail yet; this is one of the areas where I have a lot of rudiments worked out, but not much finished polished product.  Didn’t even have any decent image files of the characters put together—so I’m taking some time to make a couple of them now.  As these are small sizes for running text, I’m gracelessly blowing them up to double-size for the purpose of this post.

Letter Value Letter Value
i /i/ ii /iː/
ö /ø/ öö /øː/
e /ɛ/ ee /ɛː/

The same base glyph is used for the short and long variants of each vowel, but the short vowel has a hook along the top, and the long vowel has a hook on the upper right corner.  Most of the vowel forms are reversible: the base shape of /i/ is the inverse of that of /ø/; likewise the reversed /ɛ/ is /ɤ̃/, the reversed /æ/ is /u/, and the reversed /ɑ/ is /o/.


Henaudute sentence of the moment.

‘Do I not rule an excellent land? Are there no women in my own country?

(The label ‘Γ’ on μάνδαθη indicates the gender called γαρη “earth” in Henaudute; it is used chiefly for inanimate objects and parts of things that aren’t considered parts of other things.)

I only had to make up a couple of words for this one:

  • φαῖνε, infix point at φά·ινε. /pʰɑ́ v. trans. To rule over; to govern. [Dele *pahi “lead (v.)”> *phahi (VV6) .]
  • νένε, oblique form νεῦνευ /né.ne/, /néu.neu/.  pron. I myself; my own; first person singular emphatic pronoun. [Reduplication of νε “I”.]

This story I’ve been posting fragments of is a sort of Ardan Cinderella tale.  The speaker in this line is the first Hena king, Ἥνατε /hǽːnɑ.te/.  Since it might be a while before we get to any information about other characters, I’ll let you know the oppressed sister is called Θύσσαθα /tʰús.sɑ.tʰɑ/, which means “homely”, and the cruel sister is Ῥήνθιχαρε /rʰǽːn.tʰi.kʰɑ.re/, which means “heartless”—for reasons generally explained by superstition, Hena names are almost always negative qualities; I haven’t decided whether the name Ἥνατε itself, literally ‘yellow’, was meant to be an example of this (connotations of jaundice, maybe).

I noticed as I was pulling this file out to work on that I had already translated about 21 lines of this story.  I don’t know what it is about Henaudute that lets me get so much created in it; I mentioned last time I touched this text that it was the longest bit of Henaudute I have—I think actually it’s the longest I have in any of my langs.  I seriously need to start the Henaudute texts page on FrathWiki.  (The texts page on the old website is still up, for those who want to check it out.)



New Atlantic words.

  • Axayɛ. (ɑ́.xə.ʒɛ) adj. and n. Achaean. [Greek Ἀχαιός.]
  • aʃɛ. (ɑ̀.ʃə) n. An ill, a woe, a calamity, a trouble.  [Proto-Indo-European *agh-o-.]
  • murɛ. (mù.ɾə) adj. Countless, innumerable.  [Proto-Indo-European *muH-ro-.]

Axayɛ is a reborrowing from Greek. If it had been borrowed in the Kirumb era its Atlantic reflex would be *Ahvɛ—compare the Latin Achivus—but I don’t think it would be a high-enough-profile ethnonym to have survived in that form.

Murɛ is cognate to the Greek μυρίος of the same meaning.  Unlike the Greek word, which can also mean ten thousand, it didn’t acquire a specific numerical sense in Atlantic.

Aʃɛ was built to parallel Sanskrit अघ agha; English ail is a cognate.

These are all for the next piece of the Iliad; I thought I might need to make up a word corresponding to ἔθηκε to finish it off…but on burrowing through my notes tonight, found out I already have one.  So:

that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans
The bit that gets me the most here is that the postposition adə is doing double duty here; I think the word order is functional here, and the proximity of the object to the verb disambiguates it from the reading *”that put Achaeans onto countless ills”—for which I suppose we would write “təmme ʒitɔ Axayɛs adə aʃes murɛ adə“.

Âdlantki word of the moment.

prušni. (prúʃ.ni) n.

  1. Offspring, progeny.
  2. A baby; an infant.

    [Proto-Indo-European *proH₂-ǵnH₁-o-.]

    As one of the glosses suggests, this is a near cognate to “progeny”, though the formation was meant to follow Sanskrit प्रजा prajā.

    It can be used both of descendants generally, or of infants—compare “child” in English—but I think the more usual sense is the latter.  It has a sort of baby-ness to it.

    The image is what I think the word might look like in the Kirumb alphabet.  The font is pretty old, and I write /p/ differently nowadays, though I’m not sure if that was an intentional evolution in the character, or one of the innovations from writing English in it so much—the English mode would use different characters for uš, and i as well.

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    Cases in Drake.

    The other day I was sitting down to work on Drake’s FrathWiki page and going through old notes on what to add.  I found the note: “cases: nom gen dat acc loc”.

    Ah wonderful, I says to myself, I haven’t had much grammar in this yet.

    I rummage through everything else, though, and am only able to turn up that the accusative is a prefix in le- and the nominative is zero.

    Didn’t have the time to rectify the gaps at the time, so now let’s sit down and see what the cases look like.  Fun part is I don’t even remember where le- itself came from, outside of that the protoform was *la-. Now, Proto-Afro-Asiatic itself, according to Ehret, seems to have preferred suffixes; prefixes were most likely derived from free morphemes becoming bound morphemes.

    A look in the roots list does in fact show *la “at, to”; Hebrew ל־ “to, for, of” would be cognate.

    To this, then, we can add:

    Proto-Afro-Asiatic *ni ‘of’ >  Proto-Drake *nə- > Drake no- / ne- / na- ‘GEN’

    Looking through the sound changes shows that some of the vowel shifts depend on sounds later in the word.  Though only le- was attested so far, there is actually another form:

    PAA *la ‘at, to’ > PD *lä- > D le- / lo- ‘ACC’

    With this in mind we can look for the others:

    PAA *ar ‘at, by’ > PD *är- > D er- / or- ‘DAT’

    PAA *nê(e) ‘with’ > PD *ni- > D ni- ‘LOC’

    An example declension, with mīne ‘house’:

    sing. plur.
    nom. mīne mīnā
    gen. nomīne nomīnā
    dat. ermīne ermīnā
    acc. lemīne lemīnā
    loc. nimīne nimīnā
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