Posts Tagged ‘humans’

Pe’a

• Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'pe'a'.

pe’a

  • (v.) to clothe
  • (adj.) clothed
  • (n.) top, shirt

Ea. A pe’a ei ie palaki oi’i.
“Yes. I clothe my dog.”

Notes: And why not? Dog clothes are adorable!

I had a really hard time keeping up with the blog this week, as I was filming for a program on CNN called The Next List. Was super, hyper, global, mega busy. Just trying my best to catch up now; not doing too well. (Also very busy with other stuff.)

Today’s word is used for the shirt tops introduced by Zhyler speakers. It was the old word for “clothing”, but pe’aka is the preferred term now. It does show the torso, as it was used in the olden days to refer to any kind of covering (usually worn to keep from getting wet, if one wanted to keep dry for some reason).


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.


Fewa

• Monday, March 5th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fewa'.

fewa

  • (n.) the non-white part of the eye (pupil and iris)

Au ele fewa o lea takeke leveya.
“His eyes are blue like the sea.”

Notes: In Kamakawi, you refer to the fewa’s color specifically, not just the eye (which is mata).

Today’s iku is, of course, the iku for i. As it looks like an eye from the side, the “identity” determinative is put beneath it for the word fewa.


Fome

• Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fome'.

fome

  • (adj.) short
  • (v.) to be short
  • (n.) short person

Fome ei lona!
“I’m too short!”

Notes: But, in truth, I’ve come to accept the height I am. After all, it’s not that bad.

Today’s iku is a combination of fo and me. That’s why the fo shape has that little line above it: it’s the line from me.


Nuku

• Friday, February 24th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'nuku'.

nuku

  • (n.) a go-between for married couples

E kaneko ie nuku oieika
“The cat is our nuku.”

Notes: HAPPY CATURDAY!!! :D

Keli has a new chair, and she found herself a new little blanket to go with it:

Keli sleeping under a little pillow.

Today’s word is a unique one, I think. The word describes a person integral to Kamakawi marriage. See, when two Kamakawi get married, they have a nuku. This nuku is usually an older woman (though not always) who’s either a widow or has been married many years, and who usually is not directly related to either the bride or the groom. The job of the nuku (who doesn’t live with the couple, but drops by from time to time) is to not only help married people settle in to married life, but to covertly pass messages back and forth between couples—usually things that one doesn’t want to say to the other directly.

For example, let’s say the wife discovers that her husband snores loudly in his sleep, but doesn’t want to say anything. She tells the nuku privately, and then some time later (not the next day, but maybe a couple days later), the nuku comes by when just the husband is there and gives him several bits of advice. She might say, “Always rinse your hands after you’ve been cleaning fish”, and, “Don’t stomp around so loudly in the morning”, and, “Don’t eat opeope right before bed”, and, in addition to all that, “Don’t sleep flat on your back; you snore too loudly!” The husband won’t know which of those things is true, but he’ll know one of them probably came from his wife. Then it’s his job to try to take what advice he can and change things as he sees fit.

Now, due to the nature of their profession, the nuku has a lot of power, and must exercise caution and skill. So as not to be too obvious, the skilled nuku will often drop by with advice that wasn’t given by one or the other spouse. The best nuku will know both spouses well, and so will be able to figure out what advice makes sense for each one—and will also be able to dole it out efficiently over time so as to be able to couch all the real complaints in with the other advice. And, provided everything works out well, the nuku will eventually stop coming around often, and, finally, will simply be a friend of the family.

Of course, on account of the delicacy of their position, it’s pretty easy to be a bad nuku. The bad nuku won’t be able to disguise the true advice very well, which can lead to arguments or hurt feelings. But worse than that is the nuku who comes around too often (and at highly inconvenient times), and doesn’t know when to stop coming around (usually somewhere around year two, or after the first child has lived a full year). Then the nuku becomes a nuisance that the couple wishes to be rid of. Such a nuku is sometimes referred to (behind closed doors) as a paopu (“worm”), on account of the similarities between its iku and the iku for nuku.

Of course, the similarity between the two iku is entirely accidental. The iku for paopu is actually a combination of the iku for pa, o and pu (though it’s hard to tell at this stage). The iku for nuku is quite different.

In examining today’s iku, first take a look at the iku for ho, which is used to mean “man”. Keep that image in mind. That shape is the general shape used for a person (seen also in the iku for ei, “I”, and kupi, “sit”, among others). The iku for nuku actually has those shapes mirrored, facing each other. So rather than being built off pa, the triangle shape is an accident of the combination. The line in between the two essentially represents the nuku: the thing that’s in between the married couple.

And, of course, Keli has always served well in her role. We’re looking to keep her around for quite a while. :)


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).


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.


Feta

• Monday, February 13th, 2012

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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.


Iana

• Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'iana'.

iana

  • (v.) to recognize someone (for something they’ve done)
  • (n.) recognition

Iana’u iko tou!
“This could win an award!”

Notes: Next week I’m going to be giving a talk at SWTX PCA/ACA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one of the professors volunteering her time to the conference created this video for my talk, which I thought was great. Heh, heh. Fire and blood! (Oh, and hey, Kenakoliku peeps: Check out the modified Halfsies font on there!)

Today’s word was created for a specific reason way back when, but the iku, I thought, really came out well. First it uses the li glyph as an ikuiku (symbolic of giving), and it uses the “good” circle determinative to represent the gift or award. Below it are some lines, which I thought were quite fetching. I thought it came out awesome. Unfortunately, I rarely ever have a reason to use this word—it’s a bit too specific. Oh well. I shall use it today, to say: Nice job, Tamy Burnett! :D Your video made my day.


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.


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