Posts Tagged ‘abstract’

Meuto

• Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'meuto'.

meuto

  • (adj.) difficult
  • (v.) to be difficult
  • (n.) difficulty

A meuto mawa i’i oku.
“Swimming isn’t difficult for me.”

Notes: This iku is a bit of a mystery. It’s clearly built off of me, so there’s a phonological component, but the little knot at the end mystifies me. I think the little knot is supposed to be the complication (and since there’s a complication, the iku is “difficult”). As for the little lines, I believe they’re there to fill out the rest of the space (otherwise there’d be blank space on either side of the line down). I guess then it’s best to call this an iku’ume. Works for me. :)


Puo

• Friday, March 9th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'puo'.

puo

  • (expr.) an answer to an unfair yes or no question (whether neither “yes” nor “no” is technically correct)
  • (n.) refusal

Puo.
“I refuse to answer the question.”

Notes: That, of course, is Keli’s answer to the question, “Are you still in our recycling box?” And she answers thus because it’s not a recycling box: It is a Kitty Fortress!

Keli in her new fortress.

She loves that box!

A word like puo is a useful word, because it allows one to answer questions like, “Are you still guilty?” Presuming you’ve never been guilty, an answer of “no” could mean, “No, I’m no longer guilty (but I once was)”, and answer of “yes” would, of course, be an admission of guilt. There’s not much you can do with that question in English. In Kamakawi, you can say puo.

The word was inspired by the Japanese word mu, which is used in the same way. I decided to go big tent with responses to questions in ol’ Kamakawi. Thus we have puo.


Kakulu

• Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kakulu'.

kakulu

  • (num.) zero
  • (pron.) nothing

Ei i kakulu tou!
“I am the mighty zero!”

Notes: Zero is, indeed, the mightiest of numbers—the archnemesis of one. Multiple anything by zero, and all you get is more zero. Compare that to pushover one, who gives you back just what you gave it. Pathetic! In fact, the same thing happens if you divide anything by one. Divide something by zero? Just try it. The very act causes lesser calculators to explode. All hail the mighty zero! :!:

In Kamakawi, you can now use kakulu to mean “nothing”, but it’s a bit slangy. The standard and more general way to say “nothing” is still okuku.


Fate

• Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fate'.

fate

  • (n.) hole, gap
  • (v.) to put a hole in (something), to punch a hole
  • (adj.) full of holes
  • (n.) window

Ka lalau nea i amo poiu fate.
“She threw it out the window.”

Notes: Today’s iku featured in a word from a while back. If you go back and take a look at that entry, the etymology of the word should now be clear.

Fate’s glyph is a pretty simple ikunoala built off of te with a little fa on the inside.


Loi

• Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'loi'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'to'.

loi

  • (n.) square
  • (adj.) square
  • (v.) to be square

Loi lipo.
“The box is square.”

Notes: Ha, ha! You can say a box is “square” as opposed to “rectangular”; you don’t need to say “cubical”. ;) (Referring to an old debate.)

Loi is one of those words that can be spelled in different ways depending on who’s doing it. The first iku is a combination of lo and oi. The second is simply a square with the “identity” determinative beneath it. The iku does enjoy use elsewhere, but it’s pretty clear when it means “square” and when it means “to quadruple”, I think.


Fape

• Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fape'.

fape

  • (adj.) smooth
  • (n.) smoothness
  • (v.) to be smooth

Ale fape ia ima!
“Because you’re so smooth!”

Notes: Heh, heh. From that Santana song that came out a few years back. Of course, the Kamakawi word implies “smooth to the touch”, not “smooth” as in “smooth operator”.

To me it’s clear that there should be different words for this and for gentle (yesterday’s word). There’s also a third idea that I think also deserves its own word, and it’s something like “sleek”. What it means is both smooth and wet. My ideal for this concept is a dolphin’s skin (in the water). Provided it doesn’t make that awful rubbery sound like a balloon, a dolphin’s skin (while wet) is the ideal surface, and it’d be nice if everything in the world was like that. As it is, we have to deal with all these horrible rough surfaces. Just…awful…


Una

• Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'una'.

una

  • (adj.) gentle
  • (n.) gentleness
  • (v.) to be gentle

Una ia!
“Be gentle!”

Notes: This iku is a bit of a mystery. It contains neither u nor na, and almost kind of looks like fupu. I’m pretty sure the two words aren’t related (why would they be?), but I’m not sure just what I was thinking here… Of course, the “good” circle determinative is used, so it’s clear that this means something positive, but how the rest of it is supposed to relate to una I have no idea.

The thing is, looking at this, I know I had some specific idea in mind. But what was it?!

OH!

Oh, duh. And, yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Okay, never mind. This iku is built off the iku for kopu. It means “hand” and also “to feel” or “to touch”. By adding the “good” circle determinative, then, it means “good to touch” or “soft to the touch”—hence “gentle”. Makes perfect sense.

(By the way, if you go back and check out that post on kopu, I have since purchased my wife an Oven Squirrel.)

:D


Fene

• Monday, February 27th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fene'.

fene

  • (adj.) brief
  • (n.) brevity
  • (v.) to be brief

A fene hala’i.
“Life is short.”

Notes: Brevity seems like a concept central to human experience, as it defines just about everything we can experience. For that reason I decided to make it a basic term in Kamakawi. It might seem a little bizarre to have it be a central concept (specifically brevity as it relates to time), but that’s why this is an artlang.


Utaka

• Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'utaka'.

utaka

  • (adj.) ordinary, common, commonplace, usual
  • (n.) a plant or animal that is common to a particular region (not necessarily native/indigenous)
  • (v.) to be common, to be ordinary, to be usual
  • (v.) to cover, to be all over (something)

Au utaka katava i Kalivónia Eiliki.
“Palm trees are ubiquitous to Southern California.”

Notes: Though you wouldn’t know it by looking outside today (which is, actually, two days in the future from the date it says on this post). Raining like a rain parade outside! It’ll happen in the winter, of course, but this one came out of nowhere. It’s been hot here! Like a mini summer!

This is one of those iku that I’m not particularly proud of. The “W” shape of the u is truncated, and the whole thing looks a bit haphazard. Clearly this iku was built because I wanted more with ta in them (because that one’s one of my favorites), but it didn’t come off so naturally. Oh well. It’s here to stay!


Lu’a

• Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'lu'a'.

lu’a

  • (v.) to chant
  • (n.) chanting
  • (adj.) chanted

He lu’a ue ie eili kau.
“Let us chant the sun down.”

Notes: Today’s iku is a bit odd. Using the Kamakawi “head” glyph base, the syllabic glyph for ha is used as the mouth. This both gives a clue as to the pronunciation of the glyph, and also serves as a kind of evocative reminder of what the word means (the chant being a river that comes from the mouth).

On the Kamakawi islands, there’s an old tradition of going to the western edge of the island and chanting as the sun goes down. It’s not done every day—or even once a month—but on special occasions (weddings, births, funerals)—but even then, not all of them. Just certain ones. Someone will lead, but others can join in, with the chant leader setting the phrasal chanting patterns, and others joining in. I have a very specific idea for how this works, and could probably write about it, but that’ll have to wait for another day.


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