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.

Hobbit spotting

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I am finding no incentive to report on lectures at the moment.  Perhaps it’s where I am.  There have been a sudden flurry of opportunities to house-sit for friends in the latter part of the year.  A friend visits his partner in China for a month in winter.  I house-sit for him and care for his cats.  Another friend hears of it and I jumps at the opportunity that I could care for her sixteen year old cat while she is on leave overseas in Europe.  I’m happy to provide for them and sit here typing into their spare laptop while Glitzy Candle-bears curls up beside me.  A happy situation.

Friends ask me if I still have a flat.  Yes, I visit my studio room to keep my pot-plants watered and cared for.  They look after themselves.  I will go stay there for a couple of weeks in October and then I go house-sitting again.  This time with chickens instead of cats.  This should be a challenge.  Chickens are a specialised highly evolved form of dinosaurs.  We kept chickens when I was a kid.  I should manage.

Other than that life goes on.  I heard today one retired minister at Opoho is going into Ross Home Hospital in the interim.  It sounds like he will be permanently moving there.  Another death has happened in the congregation.  Unfortunately at this stage I will not be getting to the funeral.  We have too many people away from the Archives this week and I will be the only permanent staff member on that day.  I feel I need to be at work.  I will have to put in my apologies.

Current Brithenig project: translating words from Te Wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week).  I going to have to stop at the university library again and look how I want to create a word to mean ‘pass’ in ‘boarding pass’.  I thought passedig would do it, but that means ‘walkway’ or ‘drive’.  The usual word for ‘passage, ride’ is pas, and I know that the word I want to isn’t that.  I will look again to create the word I want.

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.

Hobbit, distracted

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My attention to updating this blog recently has been diverted.  I picked my copy of A Descriptive Dictionary: Bislama to English off the bookshelf recently and looking through it I realized it had descriptions that I could adapt to the eclectic language on which I had been working as a project.  The two blend nicely.  Unfortunately for readers I am only in the As so this could take some while.  Time is limited at the moment so I’m enjoying expanding lexicon descriptions over the weekend.  Perhaps some of this might be posted to a blog at a later date.

At the same time I enjoyed watching a performance of Il Trovatore from the Metropolitan Opera today.  I will post my description of that story at a later time.  Tomorrow I’m busy at church as we are looking at a new candidate for the parish’s ministry.  All very exciting, and eventful.

Brithenig Dictionary

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I’m interested to see that someone passed through this blog looking for the Brithenig Dictionary.  Hello!

The Brithenig Dictionary can be found here both as webpages and a pdf file under the section on lexicon.  I’ve added a couple of words to it since then, nothing to dramatically change it.  Brithenig has taken a backburner while I get my eclectic language project underway.  With the current discussion on the conlang list about Euroclones I am considering making it an active project.  My two goals should be to expand the lexicon to make it a practical working language; and to create a corpus for it.  I probably have enough resources at my finger tips to start on this.  I’m tempted to start translating pieces of my lectionary.  That should be a challenge as the Bible influences Comroig literature.  We shall see if I rise to the challenge.

I have no issues with calling Brithenig a euroclone.  I have often referred to it as such.  It is meant to be a European language.  I have no qualms about being deprecating about my own work.  It is nothing I want to take seriously.

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