Lexember #9 – ƿabál

Orthography is, in its simplest terms, how you write a language. You probably don’t think of it much, but the written word is in your face all day. It probably becomes invisible to you until confronted with the foreign. Arabic, Hindi, Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese, Chinese characters stand out because they are intrinsically meaningless to a non-speaker, or should I say non-reader. It takes time and effort to learn and eventually see through the new script. But we also rarely think about how even the same alphabet is used for different languages.

For instance, I’ve posted quite a bit of Irish on here. One of the things that makes Irish so strange and so hard to pick up is that it is essentially incompatible with the Latin alphabet. Some things are easy, like mór is pretty easy to figure out. It’s sort of like more in English. What about mhór? Can you figure out that it is like war English? Or are you stuck on that ‘h’ in the middle? What about Maidin mhaith? Maiden wath? What about “mazin wa”?

H does weird things in Irish.

Orthography is also important in translating, specifically in what is called transliteration. Transliteration is taking a language from its native orthography and putting it into a foreign orthography. When I post translations here it is always in two forms of Latin Orthography – the extended and the simplified (basically one that I use when able and one that is better compatible with reddit and this site).

Some languages are easy to transliterate. Usually because they use similar alphabets to ours. Take German, which uses an extended Latin alphabet. Fußball is easily made Fussball. Bäume is easily made Baeume. But what about Chinese? Or Korean? That gets a little harder.

Anyway, Hadysh is pretty easy to transliterate. It uses a very “shallow” orthography. That is to say most letters correspond 1:1 to letters. That isn’t 100% true, but compared to most languages it is. Today’s word is  ƿabál, which can also be written hwabail.  Both are pronounced the same, but I think that the first is significantly more concise.

What does it look like in Hadysh? It looks like this:

Lex_9_2

Hadysh is an alphabet in the truest use of the word. That means individual glyphs (letters) must be combined to create a syllable. This is compared to abjads (like Arabic), abugidas (like Tamil), and syllabaries (like hiragana).

In an abjad the vowel sound is often not written. In an abugida the vowels are marked, but often as a part of the consonants (think Tengwar if you are familiar with it). Syllabaries use a single glyph for each, distinct syllable.

Hadysh started out as a abugida but eventually transitioned to an alphabet (though can easily still be written as an abugida, and usually is for religious and ceremonial reasons). In-world the shift occurred  when writing became cheaper and more in-demand and then was formalized with the creation of the printing press. Basically it was easier to print words when you didn’t have to worry about the placement of vowels over consonants. That explains why vowels are simple (e.g. “=” for /a/ and “v” for /ɛ/) with much more complicated glyphs for the consonants.

Some sounds retain their old abugida versions. Diphthongs and nasalized vowels still appear over the letters “y” and “n” respectively. You can see a diphthong in the example above, the three apostrophes over the long symbol represent the /a/ and /ɪ/ sounds that make up the diphthong.

Like some alphabets it lacks a distinct “upper” and “lower” case.  There are also hand-written versions, though I have yet to work on a cursive script for the alphabet.

Anyway today’s word:

ƿabál (adjective) – gentle

I have chosen this word specifically for its use in a little translation fun I’ve had. I’ve translated the second-ish stanza of An die Freude, the words that go along with Ode to Joy.

Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

So here is An die Freude translated to Hadysh and in the long-form of Latin:

Lex_9

tshathwuzhac donazhulk

din thwoitaut sleid dzhukeguhad

adzhuzax hed pfau’s pfaucalren

um zhe threelin dzhuwelfezh hwabail

Cheers everyone!

Lexember #8 – Parental Units and Word Creation

A big question that is nearly always thrown at a conlanger, regardless of skill, is “how do you create vocabulary?”. After-all the whole point of Lexember essentially is to beg that question.

So how are Hadysh words created?

Mostly with me pounding away at a keyboard while consulting a “sound library” document that I keep in order to have some rules on what sounds can follow what other sounds. I also try to keep certain things in mind. Simple concepts generally have simpler words. Generally. Complex concepts generally have more complex or compound words.

We often don’t think about compounding as a way to build vocab, especially in English given we usually keep the words physically separated. The other day I was talking on a thread about “hyper specific foreign words” when I mentioned English has this too. For example, in English, we have a word that means “to go crazy because you’ve been stuck in your house too long because of bad (generally cold) weather” – cabin fever.

Crazy huh?

Hadysh, given that it is vaguely Germanic, also compounds many words. My favorite so far is Sofyūdršaled (Sofyuudrshaled) which literally means “drawing of the moon” but actually means “caricature”, the implication that the artist is drawing from a dream or bad memory.

Today I was translating the line “You really are an ass, just like your father” and the words that came up were “ass” and “father”. Hadysh usually creates gendered words with prefixes that mean “male thing” and “female thing”.  So “father” would be “male parent”. That means I’d have to come up with “parent” and then “father” and at that point I might as well create “mother” and once I’m that far why not create “papa” and “mama” as well.

After all, that’s what people actually say, right?

 

Astē (masculine noun) – papa

Dual – astēr, Plural – astēs

Object – astẽ

Genitive – astēd

Instrument – astẽ

 

Istē (feminine noun) – mama

Dual – istēn, Plural – istēnz

Object – istēn

Genitive – istēd

Instrument – astēn

 

Oh? And the line that started it all?

Ťęna ð̌é že ogẽ m du dap̌a̋stolgẽ.

Tseuna ddhei zhe ogen m du dapfaustolgen.

 

Enjoy guys.

Lexember #6 + #7 – Volžnixar + Umuga̋

I actually got around to Lexember yesterday, but the WordPress update caused a bit of a glitch on my computer. Today I’ll post two days worth of Lexember.

From yesterday:

Volžnixar (adjective) – human, mortal

It comes from the word žnixar which means “those of the land of death”. Because Hadyrland has a society split into the immortal elite and the mortal peasantry. Hopefully you recognize some of that from a previous post this month!

 

For today, ironically, is yesterday:

Umuga̋ (masculine noun) – yesterday

Dual – umuga̋r, Plural – umuga̋s

Object – umuga̋ẽ

Genitive – umuga̋d

Instrument – amuga̋ẽ

 

Umuga̋, ďox gen vožnixar.

Umugau, dyox gen vozhnixar.

Yesterday, I was human.

 

 

On a different note, I’ve been working on creating the Hadysh alphabet as a classier font. You’ve already seen a hand-written version, but now I’m working on a Times New Roman version that’ll look significantly better (I think).

Preview

Not quite finished yet, but it’s getting along. I might work on the nasal vowels (the last three symbols) so they are less “meaty” and more in line with the rest of the glyphs. Hopefully once that is complete it’ll be easier to type things out and post them here, which I’m sure is something everyone is interested in.

Lexember #4 – p̌a̋f̥argẽ

I’ve long ago come to terms with the fact that my languages tend to go overboard on the accents. It’s probably because I am a fan of the 1:1 letters:sounds scripts. While sounds have variation it is stupid to assign two completely different sounds to one letter. C.f. c, g, j, s, and many more.

Instead each letter represents a single, specific sound.  represents the /pf/ bi-articulated sound from German found in words like pferd (horse) or, probably more well-known kampf (struggle). Sometimes it makes sense not to bother with a new letter if the difference is extremely minor. The m in mom is actually different from the m in symphony. Say “mom” and your lips come together to start the first /m/. Now start saying symphony and end on the m. Your lips want to come together but you’re already starting the /f/ so your /m/ is articulated slightly differently. This is /ɱ/.

Anyway, I’ve decided to translate a line from my book that would’ve been spoken in Hadysh. It is Einar speaking to Rozenn so it’s extra fun for me to see/hear a line from my book as it should “actually” be written.

 

P̌a̋f̥arg (masculine noun) – guard

Dual – p̌a̋f̥argr, Plural – p̌a̋f̥args

Object – p̌a̋f̥argẽ

Genitive – p̌a̋f̥argd

Instrument – ap̌a̋f̥argẽ

 

D’ min þodų. D’ nux á uže fargõ. D’ nux á uže p̌a̋f̥argẽ. Ǩo nux á ž̯utufẽ.

D’ min thoduah. D’ nux ai uzhe fargon. D’ nux ai uzhe pfaufwargen. Kso nux ai dzhutufen.

Lex_4-2

(Rough spot. Far from the castle. Far from the guard. Not far from trouble.)

Lexember #3 – Mēl…za

Going to be brief tonight, spent a bit longer on this than I had hoped and created a number of words for a Hjalmar Söderberg quote.

Mēl…za (Weak, divided verb) – To seek, to look for
Mēlūv gen za ďel – I seek it
Mēliť ð̌é za ďel – You seek it
Malus gen za ďel – I sought it
B̌émēlūv gen za ďel – I am seeking it

Sentence:
Űpapaç uže ƿá fřid onďukẽ ť mēlaç ďal za gēnin ū em swilp̌in.
Oupapach uzhe hwai fhrid ondyuken ts meelach dyal za geenin uu em swilpfin.
(The soul shudders before oblivion and seeks connection at any price. – Soderberg)

Lexember #2 – Žnix

I know I said I wouldn’t do this every day, but consider this something for day #2. Eventually I’ll fall behind, aye?

It is important to recall that Hadysh is a conlang intended to be spoken by one of the peoples from my books, specifically it’s the  native language of two of the main characters – Rozenn and Einar. As such there are bits in a language that don’t always act logically or need to mean logical things, so that’s where today’s word comes in.

Today’s work is žnix (zhnix). I might drop the extended Latin and stick with the mobile-friendly version. Not exactly how I wanted this to work, but there you go.

Žnix (feminine noun) – death

Dual – žnixun, Plural – žnixunz

Object – žnixin

Genitive – žnixd

Instrument – ažnixin

 

Sentence:

Dū ďal mařa̋ẽ ť soƿupiçõ é volgamfyẽ l é žnixin.

Duu dyal mahrauen ts sohwupicho ei volgamfyen l ei zhnixin.

(There is love and life in Hadyrland, as in death; old Hadysh saying)