Humeyo

Glyph of the word 'humeyo'.

humeyo

  • (n.) frigatebird

A o’emu hoya o ei takeke humeyo.
“My throat is swollen like a frigatebird.”

Notes: Thankfully it’s not, but check out the picture on the Wikipedia entry for frigatebird! That’s a male bird who’s ready for a mate. :)

Humeyo is one of the digraphic words that works in a very particular fashion. In these words, the first iku is a syllabic glyph for the first syllable of the word (in this case, hu). The second iku is a glyph that serves kind of like a determiner in ikuleyaka. In this case, the iku used is that of fuila. This second iku gives the reader a clue as to which word is intended. So the spelling here kind of tells the reader, “It’s the bird word that starts with hu.”

Obviously, only one spelling like this is possible for each syllabic glyph and “determiner” pairing (so if there was another bird whose name began with hu, it’d need to be spelled out with the kavaka i oala if it didn’t already have its own glyph), but that leaves a large number of possible spellings—and helps to shorten up a lot of words that would otherwise need to be spelled out syllabically.

[Note: Oh, actually, I’ve done a word like this before: neyu, “sea urchin”. Hurrah!]

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