Archive for January, 2012

Tako

• Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'tako'.

tako

  • (n.) vein

Mata ei iu tako e’i epelu o ia tou.
“I can see the veins under your skin.”

Notes: This is only for the types of veins that are in your body, not something like a vein of ore in a rock. The main body of the iku is ko, and there’s a ta inside of it (kind of like the vein is inside the body).

I have always been very, very uncomfortable imagining, talking about, or thinking about veins. Internal organs? No problem. Veins? Very troubling. Troubling in the same way as discussing a vasectomy is troubling. (Guys will know what I’m talking about.) Just an icky, icky feeling pulses its way through the entire fiber of my being. Makes me shudder. :(

So. Let us drop this topic and never speak of it again.


Tawe

• Monday, January 30th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'tawe'.

tawe

  • (v.) to open (something)

Ka tawe ei ie puka.
“I opened the door.”

Notes: This is one of those rare words that exists kind of in a vacuum. It means “to open”, but is only said of things like doors and windows. Its iku features the syllabic glyph ta inside of a house (where the door would be). It has a very limited, very specific use.


Ile

• Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ile'.

ile

  • (v.) to hate, to despise, to revile
  • (n.) hate, hatred
  • (adj.) hateful

Ile ei iu Patilioto!
“I hate the Patriots!”

Notes: The old Super Bowl is one week from today, and I’m not looking forward to it. Four years ago, the upstart, massively-underdog Giants beat the up to then undefeated Patriots in one of the most memorable Super Bowls of all time—some even call it the best ever. It was one of the best moments in American sports history.

And now they’re playing again.

If the Patriots win, it’ll be pretty much the worst thing ever. Though you can’t actually take away a previous championship, a New England win would make it feel like the first one was somehow a fluke. If the Giants win, that’s fine, but the finish to Super Bowl XLII was so incredible that we don’t need another one. It’s too bad, all around.

The iku for ile is a turned version of the iku for eli, “love”. Call me sentimental.


Upo

• Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'upo'.

upo

  • (v.) to feel queasy
  • (adj.) queasy
  • (n.) queasiness

Ae upo i’i…
“The queasiness is inside me…”

Notes: That’s a bit of a different way of saying what, essentially, the verb by itself expresses.

Today’s iku is a simple ikunoala (u inside of po), but it rather neatly expresses how I feel when I feel nauseous. Basically, I feel like I have a great big W in my stomach. I don’t know if I can describe the feeling any better than that.


Payu

• Friday, January 27th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'payu'.

payu

  • (v.) to show, to display to
  • (n.) displaying, showing

Ai fulele ia ae mata ie palei li’i ai? Ale ko! He male payu ei i ia!
“You want to see my home? Come on in! I’ll show it to you!”

Notes: For a present, we got something in a brown paper bag. We set it on the ground, and Keli had found a new little home:

Keli hunkering down in a bag.

I suspected she would exit the bag if I approached her, so I took out my camera and started taking pictures from a distance, and continued to do so as I edged closer. This was the best of the bunch (since, indeed, she did exit the bag when I got closer).

Today’s word is built off the iku for moko (“eight”), but in this case, it’s actually serving the function of an ikunoala. See, the glyph for pa is an upside-down triangle, and the glyph for iu is a right-side-up triangle. By setting one above the other, you get payu. Of course, it couldn’t be identical to moko, so to disambiguate the pair, a notch was added to the top.


Pela

• Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pela'.

pela

  • (n.) sibling

Ipe ioku pela oi’i!
“That is not my sibling!”

Notes: Today’s word means “sibling” in the technical sense. It’s just a basic word, but it feels much more formal, nowadays. As a result it’s generally only used when one sibling is mad at the other (e.g. “He may be my sibling, but he is not my brother!”). The iku is built off of pe, and it has the little la spearhead coming off of the little stick down at the top.


Pa’a

• Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pa'a'.

pa’a

  • (n.) mallet, hammer, club
  • (n.) drumstick, mallet for a large drum or gong

Li ia i ipe pa’a ko.
“Bring that hammer here.”

Notes: I gots a little smashing to do.

After designing this iku, I thought, “Naaah! Too simple!” But I went with it, and it’s stuck. And it is a good design, in principle; it’s not inconceivable that another culture would come up with it. Seems useful for those great big drums—and also for cracking open crabs and mussels and other shellfish.


Ite

• Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ite'.

ite

  • (n.) shortness of breath
  • (v.) to pant, to wheeze
  • (adj.) panting, wheezing

Ka ite ei neika kepe kupe.
“I wheezed when I was young.”

Notes: Because I had asthma when I was young. I was lucky enough to grow out of it, so I came to understand that running, for example, could actually be fun. Indeed, I came to love it! Feels so nice to be able to run from one place to another.

I could say more about this iku or this word, but I’ve got a hungry cat! I need to go brush my teeth so we can go downstairs and I can give her her dry food. She loves her dry food.


Mola

• Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mola'.

mola

  • (n.) rosemary

Havava ei i mola!
“I like rosemary!”

Notes: Got a couple of stray thoughts that I want to tack down here before I forget them.

First, this iku is built off mo, which is one of my favorites. Today my wife told me that a day or two ago she informed me that Portlandia is streaming on Netflix. I’d been wanting to watch it, since I’d heard good things, and was quite pleased with the first two episodes (we’ll have to wait to see the rest). Today’s iku reminded me of the “Put a Bird On It” sketch.

Anyway, then thinking about this post, I thought about how this iku is a part of the mo series. What this means is that it’s one of the iku that’s built off of mo. That’s really how I think of Kamakawi iku (or at least those that are built off other iku), but I have no way of searching them (e.g. if I think of an iku, and know it’s basic shape, I can’t go to my computer and type in, “Search for the one that kind of looks like novu, but upside-down”).

That’s when a thought occurred to me. Once I finish putting up all the foma and retire this blog, I can go back through all the entries and just add tags. I’ll probably want to come up with a native Kamakawi word for “series”, but then I can tag, for example, every foma that’s built off of mo, and, since every iku will be here on the blog, I can search them! Hooray! :D

This is also what’s stood in the way of encoding Kamakawi’s script in the Conlang Unicode Registry. I’d reserved a block, but then I had to come up with official names for each glyph and decide where it would be assigned. It was only afterwards I realized what a monumental task that would be, given the size of the Kamakawi orthography, and the design.

But! Maybe if I actually get everything up here and get it all tagged, it’ll be easier to do.

Oh, and I also plan to go and do the audio for every example sentence (might as well). Some day…


Oka

• Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'oka'.

oka

  • (v.) to be dull
  • (adj.) dull

A oka tiva.
“The knife is dull.”

Notes: As with the example sentence, this is only “dull” as in “not sharp”, not “dull” as in “boring”.

I wanted to do something different with this iku. I had no ideas for it (couldn’t be an ikunoala), so I thought I’d play it by ear. Then I came up with this. And then I decided to stick with it. I still don’t get it…


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