How do you say ‘dork’ in Nyjichun?

I’ve been working on my conlang a lot. I have a newer version of the tiddlywiki to upload, but since everything is tagged ‘wip’ I’m holding off. I also started a tiddlywiki lexicon instead of doing it in Excel, because it’s more useful for translations and notes. I’ll upload that as well at some point.

I recently changed the alternation so I have to redo all my words, but here’s one that’s done:

morass
  • Gloss: up, to rise, to climb
  • Stress: mo.rass
  • Phonetic (IPA / Nyjichɯn transliteration): ɱɜ.ˈɾaz / moraz

Nyjichun word of the day – hafnxhyb

(weird spelling in the title to is how I write stuff when I don’t have the full character-set)

As requested from my girlfriend. I actually thought I had this word and didn’t, so here you go.

Our word of the day is ŋafnɯŋyɒ

Meaning: girl. Literally ‘female child’. Can refer to people or animals (people only would be ŋafnɯŋwyw, but that is almost never used).

It’s one-thirty in the morning and I don’t feel like figuring out the stress so I can figure out the alternation, so you don’t get the pronunciation. Maybe in the manana.

As always, requests accepted and you can see more Ŋyjichɯn by following the link on the sidebar to the tiddlywiki.

 

Nyjichun word of the day

I’m working on Ŋyjichɯn again. I’d like to get it up to 500 words and get the tiddlywiki cleaned up enough that I could submit it to the Conlangery Podcast to be considered for the featured conlang. Since I’m currently obsessing about it, I’ve decided to do a Ŋyjichɯn word of the day for at least a while.

Our word of the day is Ŋyjichɯn.

Meaning: name of the language, to speak Ŋyjichɯn. From ‘people speech’

It’s pronounced /nʏ.dʒi.tʃɯŋ/, or for those who don’t speak IPA, Ni-jee-chung, where i is like in ‘bit’, ee is like in ‘meet’, and u is like the vowel in ‘hook’.1 (I’d like to do a recording, but can’t at the moment).

Any words or sentences you’d like to see?

1. It doesn’t exactly follow the spelling because of alternation, but all the sound changes are easily predictable.

Hm… apparently this is a habit for me

I’m working on translating something into Nyjichun that thedankabyss on tumblr asked for, when I discovered that something I was going to do with the pronouns in Ie, I had also done with Nyjichun. I, uh, may want to change that. Actually a couple things…

(I did inclusive vs exclusive we as well, but the main one I noticed is having multiple sets of pronouns each person – so you could, for example, refer to multiple men in a conversation without confusion or repeatedly using their names. Lojban apparently has it too, with the ko’a system – to no one’s who knows anything about Lojban surprise. In Nyjichun, it’s only for 3rd person, but in Ie I was going to do it for 2nd too. Since I’m doing other cool things with Ie’s pronoun system, I’ll just remove that…)

I think it’s a cool thing that would be useful, but I don’t need to do it in multiple conlangs.

Nyjichun Culture Notes

A bunch of random things I wrote about the Nyjichun. Completely unedited, so rather rambling and full of notes to myself (in square brackets). To remind you all, the Nyjichun are the ‘race’ Wilykit and Wilykat and my oc, Felino, belong to. There are two major divisions of Nyjichun – the Taijin who are more of warriors and Wanrin who aren’t. Felino is Taijin. Wilykit and Wilykat are Wanrin. The Nyjichun grow slower than other Thunderians and are always shorter.

This is also in the Nyjichun tiddlywiki.

CN: funeral practices, extreme body modifications, racism of fantasy culture, specifically, mention of child theft,

Continue reading “Nyjichun Culture Notes”

My goals for Nyjichun

In no particular order:

  • To get to 500 words / lexicon entries, not counting affixes (I currently have 371 lexicon entries, but that’s including affixes)
  • Write up a working grammar
  • Sketch out the culture beyond ‘they live in the forest’
  • Make a map of the area
  • Fix all the words I’ve marked as needing change
  • Redo the family words
  • Translate the Babel Text and at least two other long passages (I’m not sure what).
  • Write up enough lessons that I can pick it back up when I want to

After that, I’ll probably be burnt out on conlanging for a while, but if not, I want to fix up one of my other languages (something simpler, sheesh – probably Ylis, which is basically the English of Thundera) and then working on splitting Ŋyjichɯn into two dialects, which will mostly just be vocabulary changes.

I know probably no one cares, but I’ve uploaded a new version of the tiddlywiki. As always, and more visibly now, it’s a work in progress.

How I write a lexicon

Yeah, another conlanging post. I’ll move on to other things sooner or later.

So, I have the sprawling mess of a grammar for Ŋyjichɯn (which I need to upload again), but that’s not where I story my lexicon (or dictionary, or whatever you personally want to call it). The way I do it is culled from experience and things I’ve learned, mostly from the CBB board (aka, the conlang forum – there are others out there though) and Zompist (linking to the online Language Construction Kit, but looking through his other stuff is helpful as well).

I do it in Excel, because I tend to work on several computers and I haven’t found a portable lexicon program. It always starts with three columns: (conlang), English, and notes. Then columns get added in as I need them. The Ŋyjichɯn lexicon has the following columns, in order:

  • Alpha – the Ŋyjichɯn alphabetical order. It looks like gibberish because I use find and replace in another sheet or text document (or Zompist’s Sound Change Applier 2, aka SCA2) to change every letter to something else.
  • Group – a temporary column, to pull things out that I want to work on. Right now there are three groups: 1) 75 words I pulled out to completely fill in, 2) words that need I want to fix right now, and blank, aka everything else.
  • Lexeme – a lexeme is the basic form of the word before inflection. This is so I can sort it in English alphabetical order, because of the next column.
  • Modern – Ŋyjichɯn is going to get split into two dialects with the same grammar (mostly), but differect vocabulary. Modern Ŋyjichɯn is what I’m working on right now. This column has the words, with some inflections. It also screws up the sorting, because somethings (mostly pronouns) start with notes like ‘subject singular’ or something in parenthesis because the singular form isn’t used (eg, “(sing: rɯs)”). It could have been done in a better way. In the same cell, on a different cell is the paucal (small group) and plural of each noun, and the full inflection of the pronouns.
  • Stress – using no Unicode, I spell out the stress pattern of each word. This then gets run through SCA2 to give me the next column
  • Phonetic – like most languages, spoken Ŋyjichɯn doesn’t exactly fit the written version. It’s not as bad as some, but stress, phonemes interacting, and other factors leads to things like ‘nyma’ being pronounced ‘mima’ or ‘miftyk’ becoming ‘mistych’.
  • Combo – an abbreviated form of the words is used in certain situations.
  • Part of speech – normal stuff, except in Ŋyjichɯn most words can be used as verbs, so I’ve split the parts of speech into things like ‘descriptive (verb)’, ‘noun/static verb’, and then the normal stuff.
  • English – self explanatory, but it’s important not to have one-to-one relations as much as possible
  • Irr? – notes of whether and how a word is irregular
  • Etymology – Mostly empty (or actually marked ‘same’), but has things like ‘onomatopoeic’ and what words compounded to make another word.
  • Category – this is so I can find similarly themed words when I want to. I’ve got things like color, language, directions, anmials, etc, in a drop-down list (which I keep breaking when I add new columns) (I got the code for how to do it here.)
  • Notes – basically, anything else, including usage notes, historical notes, and what words it’s related to.
  • Wanrin & Tajin – these two columns are empty right now.

This is what it ends up looking like:

nyji-lexicon-example.gif

(you’ll probably have to click on it to actually be able to read it)

I also keep adding worksheets. Besides the lexicon, I’ve got the notes for alphabetizing, the category list, and a list of parts of speech. And I have most of the numbers in a seperate file altogether. There’s also an Excel file of words I need to translate, along with notes about etymology and stuff.

So, does every lexicon need all this junk?

Nope. It depends on the language and what you’re doing with it. If you’re just making a naming language that will end up with a couple handfuls of words, you’ll probably need less detail. You have to customize it to what you need. Some people end up programming things for themselves (I can’t do that). If I wasn’t using multiple computers, I’d love to use Lexique Pro, which is designed for linguists. But Excel works well for sorting and finding things.

Conlanging – Nyjichun

Okay, I’ve finally uploaded the Ŋyjichɯn tiddlywiki*. I’ve also updated lesson one there, with more stuff and assignments (working with the idea that it’s meant to be a textbook). As any conlanger would tell you, it’s very much a work in progress and pretty much everything is subject to change at any time. But now I can go to the conlang forum and ask for input without having to rewrite things. Which is what I’m going to do next.

Notes for using the tiddlywiki: You can navigate from the Table of Contents or tagCloud. Links open below in the same window. I’ve got it set up so the last 20 or whatever links you follow show up on top. And no, you can’t edit it.

*  I should do a blog post about tiddlywikis. They’re very awesome.

Conlanging – Ŋyjichɯn – Lesson 1

As I said last time, this is one of my languages that I made for Thundercats fandom. Specifically, this one is the one that Wilykit and Wilykat speak, along with one of my original characters, Felino. First of all, I haven’t seen all of the 2011 revival, so all of this is from the original series and the 80s comics. Second, my personal theory is that Wilykit and Kat are adults, but that their clan don’t get as tall as other Thunderians and grow up slower.

None of that is incredibly relevant to the language itself, to be honest. This post will cover phonology (the sounds of the language) and colors. Here we go.

Phonology

IPA / Trans labiodental alveolar post-alveolar velar
nasal ɱ m n n ŋ ŋ
plosive t t k k
affricative tʃ dʒ ch j
fricative f v f v s z s z
approximant ɰ w
tap β ɽ r
lateral approximant l l

The International Phonetic Alphabet notation is given in red. The standard transcription is given in black. Honestly, the only reason I use β is because the IPA symbol doesn’t show up in my browser. It looks better than β, but what are you gonna do?

My accent is Standard American English. Since this is a conlang, it honestly doesn’t matter that much if you pronounce things incorrectly, but I’ll be giving approximate sounds based on my accent, with heavy help from Wikipedia.

The majority of consonants should not give students trouble, although Ŋyjichɯn speakers may detect an accent on the ‘m’ and ‘w’. If you wish to prevent that, pronounce ‘m’ against your top teeth and ‘w’ in the back of your throat.

  • ‘ŋ’ is equivalent to ‘ng’ in ‘sing.’
  • ‘r’ should be pronounced cleanly and shortly, a tap at the top of the mouth, like the ‘d’ in ‘rider’.
  • ‘β’ is similar, a short tap against the upper teeth.
IPA / Trans front near-front central near-back back
close i y ɯ ɯ
near-close ʏ i ʊ u
mid ɜ o
open a a ɒ ɒ

The pairs ‘i’ & ‘y’ and ‘ɯ’ and ‘u’ are primarily distinguished by how rounded the lips are. Vowels are most likely to give students trouble, but the approximations below will generally be sufficient.

  • y as in free
  • i as in bit, but with the lips rounded
  • a approximately as in cat
  • o approximately as in strut
  • ɯ as in boot but with the lips very rounded
  • u as in hook
  • ɒ as in hot but with lips very rounded

(If I don’t have IPA available or it’s too much hassle, I cheat and use ‘h’ for ‘ŋ’, ‘B’ for ‘β’, ‘x’ for ‘ɯ’, and ‘p’ for ‘ɒ’.)

Doubled vowels are pronounced twice as long. Any vowel may combine with another to form a diphthong, and are pronounced long. On the occasion that a vowel is meant as a syllable it is written with apostrophes separating it. For example ro’ɒ’ryi, za’yr’ta, ny’i’an, kyo’yt.

And now for some fun stuff.

Colors

Color words in Ŋyjichɯn are heavily associated with nature and the exact color meant is heavily context specific. The pictures below give a sampling of the hues associated. If you’ve checked out the link dumps, there was a long article about how different cultures see color. Wikipedia also has a fair overview here.

jpxw

hafnxh jasakyijio     kixklyasim kouch

To reference the color itself (or to create new color terms), the color is incorporated into chanyki, thus chajɒɯwnyki, white; chawaovonyki, fire colored (waovo, fire), etc. Native speakers would say that metal terms would fall under lyasim, even if the shade itself might fall under ŋafnɯŋ or kiɯk.

You’ll note that most of the words have meaning beyond colors. Words will be given in Ŋyjichɯn alphabetical order.

Modern Ŋyjichɯn English Notes
chanyki skin, surface, color
jɒɯw day, to be daytime, white, light
jio water, to be wet, to be liquid, juicy, black, brown, blue, green, blue For colors it describes deep cool colors like black, brown, green, and blue. The base color is black/brown. May also be used how we would use ‘tomato red’ to evoke the flavor
jasa fruit, flower, pink, red, magenta, purple References flowers and describes anything from pale pink to vibrant purple
ŋafnɯŋ child, unripe, green, raw, yellow, pale When used as a color it’s the color of unripe fruit, early morning sky, young shoots and grass, and can cover white, yellow, and light greens
kyi ripe, adult, mature, full-size, green, blue When used for colors it means the green of ripe vegetables, or noon-sky (vibrant greens and blues)
kiɯkjio red-brown Given as an example of combining colors. From kiɯk and jio
kiɯk blood, red, orange Describes the color of blood.
kouch night, dark, black Describes the dark, usually blue and unsaturated colors, you would observe at night.
lyasim stone, grey, beige, pale, yellow, tan, off-white Primarily inorganic colors (the color of stones), but also pale bark, the yellow of wheat, etc

I’m creating all this using a combination of Excel, Tiddlywiki (basically a wiki in a single file. It’s awesome), and various text files. At some point I’m going to write up an in-character description of Ŋyjichɯn, but I have to figure out how I want to approach it. And probably the next post will be simply ‘I’ve changed this in the tiddlywiki, here’s a link!’ rather than making it work in WordPress, which is somewhat of a pain. I have to get the tiddlywiki uploaded.

(Editted 2-18-13, because I screwed up when I derived kiɯkjio.)