Hobbit Spotting

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A friend read my blog and asked me where I was.  I’m across town in an old house halfway between Columba Collge and the green belt.  It’s an old character house.  This is a nice way of saying it could be warmer,.  The owners are away until the end of the month on a tour across Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.  Mostly cathedrals.  Every so often I see a little photo story from St Magnus in Orkney, Petersborough, Ely or Jarrow.

It could be warmer, especially today with spring snow in Dunedin.  The days are getting earlier in the hypernotides, the islands beyond the south wind.  I wake up to the cold blue sky of the pre-dawn.

Also picked up some books from the library that I have been waiting to read: Rivers of London, the first in the series by Ben Aaronovitch about the wizarding and supernatural cops of that city.  The protagonist, new cop Peter Grant, is a little slow.  I worked out about 100 pages ahead of him that the big bad he is hunting is a popular sea-side puppet anti-hero, who just happens to be on the cover!  I am enjoying reading the magic training classes Grant is doing, so far making balls of light, levitating apples, and now up to casting fire balls.  I haven’t read this kind of description in a while.

The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi, is sitting on my dressing table. I’m getting through it more slowly, only my second chapter in.  It’s a different kind of fiction.  I have set Saints of the Shadow Bible aside while I work through the library books.

At work I have swapped Poems by Iain Banks and Ken McLeod for McLeod’s Descent. It was a mutual swap for titles the other had not read.

After looking at the dictionaries again it looks like ill pasedig a weddir will remain the word for boarding pass.

Conlang Relay 19

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Usually I would put this stuff on my Blogger account, but I’m battering my head there because something’s disabled and I can’t get it to work.  The WordPress interface seems less clunky for me (at the moment), so I will post the fun I’ve been having with this translation exercise here.  Ignore as you please.
I had been doing a translation of Amanda Babcock Furrow’s text for the Conlang Relay 19, which is here.  It seemed like a good exercise to translate it into my current imaginary language.  The exercise took longer than I expected and I worked on it at my own time and leisure.  Here’s the result:

Ten âyet yilí botí nirúmbe benas. Údnon premye habot ve kashte “Gak súda petten âyet nisha bena?”

Tal ve bonte “Na’dâ ve kawiden shame”

Deng a lúka íyet. Pena kúhya, brekí ve kashten, “Ya botí, na’dâ pochen shodya nisha benan. Na’dâ ve kashoden ye dâya lúb, dok gúya pena Sei ei petten so bina wa nastra, dok kembí ve kawidet.” Botí ve shahente, dok deng a lúka ve shodyete bôt.

Pet poslí kata deng ve plogete lúb a kashte:

“Bodú ve ploget nisha benan, dok bodú ve bint bradí surutí, wôda ría ye aotoka dradra.

Premye habot ve kashte “Magarí kem na’dâ ve gabinten ten.”

Tal ve bonte “Nas shradyega budet sús nipana.”

Nidolgon poslí merega, luk ve dâyet lúb a kashte:

“Bodú ve seft nisha benan, dok bodú ve bint títíg haní, títíg bishí, ye títíg dúdwan.”

Premye habot ve kashte “Na’dâ wolenshim bina ten.”

Tal ve bonte “Nas shradyega budet shaten nipana.”

There were two rocks on the slope of a mountain.  Once the first rock said, “I wonder what’s beyond the mountain?”

The other replied, “We shall never know.”

A bird and a mouse was there.  On hearing, they said, “O rocks, we can go beyond the mountain.  We can go and come again, and tell to you about what we see, and you will know.  The rocks agreed, and the bird and the mouse went away.

Soon after a time the bird came back and said:

“I flew beyond the mountain, and I saw wide streams, green brooks and tall trees.”

The first rock said, “I wish we could see that.”

The other replied, “Our hearts will be troubled forever.”

A long time after some days the mouse came back and said:

“I went by foot beyond the mountain, and I saw the same grasses, the same seeds and the same insects.”

The first rock said, “We don’t want to see that.”

The other replied, “Our hearts will be happy forever.”


Why Brithenig Ain’t an Engelang

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On a whim I visited the Conlang List website a couple of nights ago.  I was surprised to see the thread with the above title.  When I have a subscription to the list I keep my account as Nomail because I don’t want the high amount of traffic in my inbox.  While there was some discussion of my work on Brithenig the discussion had moved on before I had noticed.

On physical examination of myself I found that neither of my ears were burning.  If my right ear was warm then I guess somebody was praising, if my left ear then somebody was dissing me.  I’m still breathing, and I think I can find a pulse, I’m not very good at finding that.  No contact had been made to me by the members of the discussion.  I had become an observer on people talking about my work, even though I’m not dead yet.  Is this how Jesus feels?

I only glanced briefly at the discussion.  I had come to the conclusion that the creation of a posteriori language creation is a weak form of engelang as much as it is an artlang.    The criteria for it to be aesthetically pleasing is subjective.  Brithenig has rules  of historical soundchange that dictate the appearance of the language.  The distinction to me is blurred and borderline, and irrelevant.  Mind you, I am not a student of the distinctions between artlang, engelang, nor auxlang.  They don’t interest me.

Conlangery 44: Negation and Brithenig

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I should note that the Podcast blog Conlangery has done a review on Brithenig.  The first part of the podcast is about inventing negative clauses in imaginary languages.  In the second part they review the webpages on Brithenig, my language.  They recorded it in March at 6pm Atlantic Coast Time.  As this is in the early hours of the morning for me in my timezone I declined to be interviewed.  I some ways listening to them looking through my pages I am a little glad I was not interviewed.  I would have felt a little defensive.  I am probably being thin-skinned (which I am!)  The language is a ‘a postiori’ created out of existing material rather than ‘a priori’, created from imagination.  In this case it is created from Romance language grammar and lexicon created to touch and feel like Welsh.  It pioneered a cluster of similar languages, and its own secondary world.  The language deserves a revision.  The webpages available on Brithenig have become dated in content and appearance.  I think dedicating some time to work on this is some time away yet.  Never mind.

infinite recursion

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I have been trying to design an eclectic language for a while. If you don’t know what I mean, google ‘conlanging’. A few links will have you fleeing screaming in terror in no time.

I’ve started a grammar on Frathwiki called OT2.0. It hasn’t got very far. Tonight I decided to try a different direction. I took an old copy of Rick Harrison’s Universal Lexicon and started designing words for it based on an earlier version created from Lingua Franca and other creoles. Creole languages are underappreciated in my opinion. I took indo-european stems from the American Heritage Dictionary and applied soundchanges from a language project I started some time ago with lots of fricatives. This time I hope to get a bit further with it.

After I got back from the gym this evening, doing my weights programme, I worked my way through the preposition list. I got just under half way through. I have to think of a new word to mean ‘like’ or ‘similar’ after I find an acceptable etymology for ‘come’ (Italian word, not English).

That’s enough strange confessions for one evening.