Nov. 29th, 2011

lilfluff: Pithani the student-librarian mouse from Mars Academy as a mad scientist. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Mad Science Pithani)
[personal profile] lilfluff
While working on a follow up to Frigid I decided the character Osita would be faced with the task of learning the language of the people he'd been traded to (one boy, capable of carrying some of the other trade items offered, so can we please have that last metal ax blade?). Which meant that he'd be hearing words in a language he didn't know, the perfect opportunity to actually put some dialog in another language.

Here's the brief sketch I have so far:

ta- 2nd person
taya- 2nd person imperative

-koni- verb: sit
-razha- verb: eat

-lina- locator: here

tayakonilina: you sit here!

-zhon- root: no, also negator when attached to another word

-toa- adverb: only,

"Zhon, takoni. Takonitoa." -- "No, you sit. That's all." (Hey, it lost the imperative, the one speaking to him must be feeling friendlier. That and he was being told he wouldn't be tied up, at least for the moment.)

Tayarazha: Eat! (Said when he's slow to start eating a second bowl of stew)

That's it so far. Still subject to change and improved description. I still need to work out the exact set of sounds available and acceptable syllable structure. Also what the ordering is for the types of prefixes and suffixes that plug onto the root.

I did say brief. :) I was creating it on the spot as I wrote and only created what I needed at the moment.
inventrix: (Default)
[personal profile] inventrix
I was talking to Lyn about how language shapes one's thought processes and worldview and remembered an article, which I thought'd be a great thing to share with y'all.

It's from the NY Times last year; Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

The most fascinating bit is at the bottom, regarding what they call geographical languages. A couple of excerpts:

Whenever we would use the egocentric system, the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions. If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room, they’ll say “move a bit to the east.” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house, they’ll say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.”

So everyday communication in a geographic language provides the most intense imaginable drilling in geographic orientation (it has been estimated that as much as 1 word in 10 in a normal Guugu Yimithirr conversation is “north,” “south,” “west” or “east,” often accompanied by precise hand gestures). This habit of constant awareness to the geographic direction is inculcated almost from infancy: studies have shown that children in such societies start using geographic directions as early as age 2 and fully master the system by 7 or 8.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (LynLyn2)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Talking with Freo, Shuts, and Trix on Twitter got me thinking about genders for my proto-Callanian language.

Current-era Callanthe society differentiates between skilled and unskilled labor sociality and garb-wise - I'm still working on this, because I think that unskilled labor is an acknowledged and respected second class.

I'd mentioned splitting gender by useful and un-useful, which is not the same as skilled and un-skilled.

Which has me to

Skilled -- practical
-- theoretical
Unskilled - decorative
- practical

But I don't know if that makes any sense
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Was nosing around looking for info on various real world natural languages and stumbled across Omniglot. This site seems to have sketches of loads of languages.

It also has a lovely page of idioms in multiple languages - inspiration for idioms for our languages. :-D


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