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Wed, Dec. 21st, 2011, 10:11 pm
zhanahe : Intro

Wil sha.

My given name is Amy, but I transliterated it to Emi on the Láadan Language site. Here, though, I transliterated (and altered a little because I like the sound better) my Japanese name, Sanae, into Zhanáhe. It means "early seedling." I love different names and have collected a lot of them for myself over the years. Please feel free to call me by any of these names!

I hope I can keep up with this. I hope you all join me too and share your experiences!

I, like many of us, have suffered olob (trauma) in my life. If-- I should say, when-- I discuss it, I will put it behind a cut with a trigger warning. I sincerely do not want to add to anyone's pain more than I add to her harmony...

I might also pitch Encodings, or ask if anyone knows words for certain concepts. I hope together we can keep Láadan alive and growing!

The one sentence that keeps coming into my mind from Amberwind's lesson #2 is:

Bíi áya hena wa.
(The sibling is beautiful.)

I don't have any hena (siblings by blood). But I hope you will all become my héena (siblings of the heart) in Láadan. And you are all áya.

And for those who celebrate or mark the turning of the year, my attempts at a wish for you:
Wil othel minararoth.
or maybe
Wil othel shiniledaleweman.

wil = let there be
othel = to be blessed, holy
minararoth = mina (move) + ra (not) + roth (sun)
shiniledaleweman = shiniledal (middle) + [e] + weman (winter)

Are there words for the solstice that I'm not finding? Do I have the order wrong on any of these? I couldn't find a word for "long" to make "longest night," and I couldn't find a word for "stand still" as in solstice, just "still, calm" as in a quiet pond-- or even "pause." Do any of you have creative seasonal greetings?

Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)

Wil sha, Zhanáhe.

Amberwind here. I feel I must clear up a misconception I must have fostered in you. I am not a woman; I'm a gay man—though with a strong feminine/nurturing side to my nature. Now, on to your post.

First of all, thank you for the lovely holiday wish. As to the mechanics of it: I perceive we need a word for the Winter Solstice. As you clearly understand, the word "solstice" actually means "sun stand still"; the Winter Solstice is also the beginning of the season we call winter. To form a word for "solstice," we could use various forms of "mina" (move), "sháad" (come/go/-gress), or even "thib" (stand) or "wam" (still/calm). For the first two of these, we might want to propose a new aspect prefix, say "nóo-" meaning "to pause in VERBing". This would be an addition to the set that Suzette coined that includes: "na-" (begin); "ná- (continue); "ne-" (repeat); "nó-" (stop); and "no-" (finish). We'd need to create a compound of the verb (possibly with the new prefix) and the word "rosh" (sun). And "wam" is used as "be still" as in "don't move" as well as the "be still" of "not moving", so it would be a valid choice if we wanted to use a verb in a compound for "solstice". However, it seems easier and more succinct to use an aspect prefix (usually reserved for verbs) with the word "weman" (winter); "naweman" (literally BEGINto + Winter) might do very well; it's compact, it's easy to pronounce, and it has no other intrinsic meaning. BTW, if approved, "naweman" (winter solstice) would also suggest "nawuman" (summer solstice), "nawemen" (vernal/spring equinox), and "nawemon" (autumnal equinox).

Taking "naweman" as "winter solstice" (pending approval), we now proceed to the grammar: My understanding of your intent is that you are wishing us all a blessed solstice. The form "Wil [subject]" is shorthand for a more fully expressed sentence, but we can address that at another time; it stands well on its own for this purpose. However the English phrase "a blessed solstice" is, in its turn, a contraction of the phrase "a solstice that is blessed." English makes the short form by rearranging things and deleting some stuff; Láadan handles this function rather differently. Láadan has a prefix, "wo-" (called a relativizer), that one attaches to the verb (adjectives are a class of verbs in Láadan) and the noun, which follows immediately after the verb). So, the phrase "blessed solstice" (taking "naweman" as "winter solstice") would be "wohothel wonaweman". So, the wish for "A blessed solstice" would be translated "Wil wohothel wonaweman."

If, on the other hand, your intended wish was "Let your solstice be blessed," the grammar would be slightly different. Here we'd want to use the fully qualified sentence, complete with Type-of-Sentence word and Evidence word. The relativizer would not be required because "othel" (blessed) is now the verb in the sentence rather than merely modifying "naweman" (putatively "winter solstice"). The full sentence would be "Bíi wil othel naweman wa," (Let the solstice be blessed).

There is a verb "rahahí" (be of great duration). However, we don't have a superlative structure, per se: no "-est" forms. So, "longest night" would be a long and convoluted thing to try to say--not really good for trying to wish someone a happy holiday.

Personally, I wish folks--all of us--"Wil thena diídineya," (Let there be joy for good reason at holiday-time).

Fri, Dec. 23rd, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)

As I wrote also to Amberwind, I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding. (I know-- you emailed me back and said there was no need to apologize, but... well, is it more rude to apologize after you're told it's not necessary, or to just go ahead and skip the public apology?)

And that said, wow. This is a whole lot of great information and it makes me realize how new I am to Láadan. I like that there are no superlatives. It adds a feel of groundedness and equality. Perhaps the novels will explain why this is so.

After reading this several times, I think what I was going for was along the lines of "Wil wohothel wonaweman." Something akin to the shorter phrases "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," "Blessed Yule." But with the longer form I might change "Bíi" to "Bíilan" (in celebration, I say...) just for added joy!

Wil thena diídineya!

Sun, Dec. 25th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)

Wil sha.

Láadan doesn't make it easy to do comparison. In the original grammar the only comparative structure males use of differing degree markers on the same verb to imply that the one noun is "more" or "less" VERB than another.

Suzette later coined a verb, "hesho" (to surpass, in comparisons), that makes the comparison explicit. In this model we must state that the two nouns both VERB and that one of them "surpasses". Clearly the culture embodied in Láadan does not value ranking one thing over another.

The verb "hesho" could conceivably take an Object (that which is surpassed). If that Object were "dal woho" (everything) out something like, that could be taken as a superlative. However, it would be kind of clunky and awkward.

Just thinking out loud, really.

Dathimithedeyul (Amberwind)

Sat, Dec. 24th, 2011 06:48 am (UTC)

Wil sha, Zhanahe.

Just a small correction: high tones (well, accented vowels, if that makes it clearer) are only found adjacent to low tones (unaccented vowels) of the same sort, as in héena. So you could be Zhanáahe or Zhanaáhe, but *Zhanáhe doesn't work.

Sat, Dec. 24th, 2011 06:54 am (UTC)

Aaand now I'm questioning my memory of Láadan, because I can't find any evidence for this and maybe I'm just full of it. Sorry about that, maybe someone here can correct my correction.

Sun, Dec. 25th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)

Wil sha, embryomystic.

I formed my name based on Amberwind's rules and example names here. I also found some words in the dictionary here, like áhesh (to be responsible) and bédi (to promise) which are both marked as core words. But the words with high tones paired up with low tones are much more prevalent. So I think it works. (But I could also drop the accent, which I added because I like how it sounds, and be Zhanahe.)

I didn't find, and I don't know if this is just because I didn't see it, any examples of words with high-toned vowels next to different low-toned vowels-- but I think maybe that is not allowed, because with the exception of different tones, vowels and consonants must alternate. Right?

Thu, Dec. 29th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)

Wil sha, Zhanáhe.

I was mistaken. Please accept my apologies for jumping in to correct you. You are correct, diphthongs are not allowed, and my spotty memory generalised that.


Sun, Dec. 25th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)

Wil sha, embryomystic.

Vowels are available in four tonal variations: normal, high tone, bisyllabic high-low, and bisyllabic low-high. This is true for each of the five vowels.

No dissimilar vowels may occur next to each other; vowels and consonants must occur in strict alternation except for the bisyllabic pairs mentioned above.

The vowel consonant alternation is absolute insofar as consonants are concerned.

Dathimithedeyul (Amberwind)

Thu, Dec. 29th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)

Wil sha, Dathimithedeyul.

Apologies. I got mixed up because I was once corrected when I transliterated a name with two adjacent dissimilar vowels, and my memory generalised that incorrectly.