Archive for the ‘Dictionary’ Category

Kau

• Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kau'.

kau

  • (adv.) down, downwards
  • (adj.) down, lower
  • (v.) to go down, to go downwards, to descend

Lalau ia i amo kau!
“Throw it down!”

Notes: Following up on yesterday’s word, here is a very high-frequency Kamakawi word: kau. It kind of shows up everywhere. It can serve as the adverbial part of a number of compound verbs, as well as the elements listed above.

I was a bit surprised when typing up this iku to see that it resides in the ikunoala section of my font. Then I looked at it and said, “Oh.” And I do see what I was thinking; might not have made the same choice were I doing it now, but kau is so much a part of the script that there’s no changing it.

If you take a look at the iku for u, you’ll see that the “W”-looking glyph has three peaks, and that the peaks are connected. That’s basically what this is, except that the connecting line is on the bottom, and the three peaks are all ka. So the shape is purely phonological, and you can look at it and see how it’s pronounced, but its construction is not as straightforward as some of the other ikunoala.


Fili

• Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fili'.

fili

  • (v.) to put down, to let go of, to release, to let drop, to drop
  • (adj.) dropped
  • (adj.) dropping

Fili ia i ipe!
“Put that down!”

Notes: Today’s iku may look familiar. In fact, it’s a smallified (totally dig that word I just coinified) version of…wow. WOW. I seriously haven’t done kau yet?! And here I thought I was running out of iku

Well, take my word for it: The top part is a miniature version of kau, which means “down” or “downwards”. It has the familiar “ground” determinative beneath it to give the sense that something is moving towards the ground. And there you have the iku for fili. :) Up next some time: the iku for kau


Ulo

• Monday, February 20th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ulo'.

ulo

  • (v.) to be tan
  • (adj.) tan
  • (n.) tan person
  • (n.) islander

Oku lea i ulo.
“He’s not tan.”

Notes: So today’s word doesn’t quite mean “tan” is it’s used in English. Basically this is the word that means “skin color”, as the default Kamakawi skin color is what someone living in the mountains would consider tan. So perhaps a better translation of this would be “flesh-colored”. I’m not sure that would give the right impression, though.

Looking at today’s iku, you might think it was an ikunoala, and that the word is actually pronounced hulo. That’s not, in fact, the case (though ulo is sometimes pronounced hulo on account of the spelling). Actually, here the iku for hu is used for two reasons. First, it’s used because the vowel is the same as the first syllable of the word (so does give some clue as to how the word is pronounced), but most importantly, it’s being used as a face. Then the iku for lo is dropped in there for phonological reasons, and to kind of look like coloring on the face. The idea is to show that this is the color that one’s face is (since one’s face is usually the tannest part on one’s body).

In modern times (in the fictional world where Kamakawi is spoken), ulo is used to refer to someone who lives on the islands. It kind of means “native” or “local” (in the colloquial sense).


Holi

• Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'holi'.

holi

  • (n.) sugar cane

A katava ia takeke holi!
“You’re as tall as a sugar cane!”

Notes: Today’s word is also a fairly simple ikunoala composed of ho with the leg forming the little hand of li. It doesn’t look anything like a sugar cane, though. Kind of looks like a dude with a hand growing out of his foot. Heh, heh…


Noka

• Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'noka'.

noka

  • (v.) to sigh
  • (n.) despair
  • (adj.) despairing

A kupi lea pe e noka kupae!
“He just sits there sighing!”

Notes: Today’s word is a simple ikunoala composed of no and ka. Of course, the ka could be doing double duty as the “bad” line determinative. I’ll neither confirm nor deny.


Noto

• Friday, February 17th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'noto'.

noto

  • (v.) to be shady
  • (adj.) shady, shade-giving
  • (n.) shade
  • (v.) to be cool (coll.)
  • (adj.) cool, awesome

Au noto kaneko!
“Cats are cool!”

Notes: HAPPY CATURDAY!!! :D

Here’s a picture of Keli greeting Erin’s fingertip:

Keli getting touched on the nose.

Today’s word means “shady”, but is used to mean “cool” by Kamakawi youth. I thought it was a pretty cool word for cool. I’d try to start using it in English, but I think it would give the wrong impression.


Eta

• Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'eta'.

eta

  • (n.) fat (of an animal)
  • (v.) to have lots of fat
  • (adj.) having lots of fat, fatty (in the corporeal sense)

Oku meimei nukoa oku: eta kupae.
“There’s no meat left: only fat.”

Notes: Today’s word refers only to the substance “fat”; it’s not a descriptive adjective.

Describing this iku as an ikuleyaka is a bit convenient… It’s clear that the iku is based on the iku for nukoa, “meat”; what isn’t clear is what’s going on underneath. What it looks like to me is that the meat is roasting on a spit, and the fat is dripping off (hence the three lines, instead of the one). I’m not sure if this is what I intended, though, so calling it an ikuleyaka seems like a safe way to characterize the difference between it and nukoa.

Also, if you’d like to go back in time, now you can see how feta was built off of this iku. :D


Hu’e

• Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hu'e'.

hu’e

  • (n.) geranium

Au nina hu’e li’i.
“My geraniums smell lovely.”

Notes: Kind of a…bizarre sentence…

I do like geraniums. The problem is I don’t like the word “geranium” in English (sounds ugly to me). I actually don’t much care for the word in Kamakawi, either. Huh. Really, though, the flowers aren’t all that bad. I mean, they’re all right. They’re flowery; have a pleasant smell. I’d like to have geraniums, I think. I just wouldn’t refer to them by name. I’d call them “those flowers out front”, or something similar.


Kaiwea

• Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kaiwea'.

kaiwea

  • (n.) stork

Lea i kaiwea! Ua hale ei…
“He’s a stork! I think…”

Notes: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!! :D

Today I got quite a surprise. Erin said she had a present for me, and I descended the stairs to see this fabulous gentleman:

My new bird statue.

Isn’t he outstanding?! I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a stork or a flamingo or some other type of bird, but I decided his name should be Kaiwea—and that has given birth to a new Kamakawi word. Storks, you see, are ubiquitous, and I’m rather surprised I didn’t have a word for it yet. Well, now I do! And it also allowed me to use the iku for le’o as a determinative, which is something I haven’t yet done.

Today is a good day! :D


Feta

• Monday, February 13th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'feta'.

feta

  • (v.) to be quiet
  • (adj.) quiet
  • (n.) quietness

Feta ia! A olo ei a.
“Quiet! I am sleeping.”

Notes: This is a translation of the first lines of a favorite Smashing Pumpkins’ song of mine.

And now for a real treat. I’d eschewed interlinears on this blog (and others) because they simply don’t format correctly. Well, thanks to Carsten Becker (creator of Ayeri), we now have a WordPress plugin that does it for us! :D I found this extremely exciting. Here it is in action:

Feta
[ˈfɛ.ɾə
/be quiet
ia!
ˈi.ə
2SG
A
a
NS
olo
ˈɔ.lɔ
sleep
ei
ˈe.i
1SG
a.
a]
PRG/

“Quiet! I am sleeping.”

How about that?! Not bad! :D Basically what it does is it lines up the first word of each line; the second word of each line; the third, etc. This way you can see how each one is glossed. I totally love it! I’m still messing around with the settings, so this may look different if you look at it a few hours from now, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the way this works!

As for today’s word, the iku may look a bit familiar…or would if I’d done that word yet. Dang! Could’ve sworn I’d done that word. Well. When I do do that word, you’ll see why this iku gets classified as both an iku’ume and an ikunoala.