Glyph of the word 'luku'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'luku'.


  • (n.) circle
  • (adj.) round, circular
  • (v.) to be round or circular

A kavi ipe luku.
“That circle is big.”

Notes: Importantly, this word doesn’t necessarily mean to be spherical. The reason has to do with the nature of iku in Kamakawi.

Basically, luku can be spelled either way shown above. The sign on the left is a circle with the old “ground” or “earth” determinative which had a number of functions (including filling up space). The second is the sign for kola, which means “wheel”, with the line determinative beneath it. That line determinative tells the reader that the sign is what it looks like. In this case, the representation of a wheel in kola is actually a circle, so kola with a line determinative beneath it is luku.

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5 Responses to “Luku”

  1. Ka kavaka Sylvia Sotomayor ti:

    My first reaction was, of course circular and spherical are not the same thing. Are there any natlangs that use the same word for both?

  2. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    Indeed: My broken variety of English. ;)

    Oh, wait… No, maybe I’m more likely to say “round” when describing a ball… Yeah, “circular” wouldn’t be appropriate for a ball, would it?

    Where is my head today…

    Oh, but to the point, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a language that treated “circular” and “spherical” the same (the latter being an extension of the former), but I certainly know of none. Hmm…

  3. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    Oh, wait a minute! Can “round” be used to mean “circular” as well as “spherical”…? After all, we do have “roundabouts”… Or is that more about “around”? Dang. Now I’m confused… Okay, does this work in English: “Circles are round.” Is that a licit, normal, logical sentence of English?

  4. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    I’ve had confirmation: “round” is that mysterious word I was talking about that can be applied equally to circles and balls. How ’bout that!

  5. Ka kavaka Sylvia Sotomayor ti:

    OK. I concede ’round’. Round is general enough to apply to far more than circles and balls.

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