Posts Tagged ‘pronouns’


• Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ipe'.


  • (dem.) that
  • (art.) such, so
  • (pron.) that one, that thing
  • (art.) what a(n) x! (emphatic)

A kopuku ipe teli’ineyu ti’i!
“That cactus is waving at me!”

Notes: I figure I’ve been using the word ipe enough that I might as well make it a word of the day entry. Here’s the picture that phrase describes:

A cactus waving at me.

Check out that cactus! It’s waving at me! And it has polydactyly, just like me! :D

This another picture from the Huntington. We started at the succulent garden and moved on, so we’ll be seeing lots of cacti in the days to come.

Ipe is actually a compound of i and pe. In the TY exercises, he’s anthropomorphized as an absent-minded drunk. Such is the way of things.


• Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ia'.


  • (pron.) you (2nd person singular pronoun)
  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ia

A male neviki ei i ia ti iko ikavaka poke ilau’u ie nakanaka oi’i kipe. Ae ha’ale!
“I’ll lend you this book I read to my sister yesterday. It’s funny!”

Notes: Nothing much going on with the second person pronoun (the iku is like a mirrored image of ei), so I thought I’d include a complex sentence. What I wanted to do was include a sentence that required the use of the passive and the applicative in a relative clause, but I couldn’t think of a plausible way to make “book” an indirect object (talk about unimaginative!). This is pretty good, though.

Ia has a good-looking iku, in my opinion. It’d be a cool name for an iku necklace, but all it means is “you”. Oh well. That is what I end up calling my cat many times…


• Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'lea'.


  • (pron.) he (3rd person singular masculine pronoun)

Ka hekala ei i lea ae noala ke ine oku!
“I told him to sing but he wouldn’t!”

Notes: Another day, another pronoun.

I’ve decided to include a bit of grammar in today’s post. The example sentence above makes use of an object control verb. In these constructions, the direct object of the verb (in this case hekala, “to tell”) is coreferent with the subject of the following clause, but is still an argument of the matrix verb. In the case of Kamakawi, the use of the subject status marker ae carries the object pronoun over as the new subject, so it’s not quite the same mechanism as English object control verbs, but it achieves the same function.

You’ll also notice that that second clause lacks a k-. The deal is that that activity (the singing, in this case) isn’t completed, therefore it doesn’t take k-, no matter when it did (or didn’t) take place. Though Kamakawi lacks a subjunctive, this, at least, is marked in some way.

That’s how object control verbs work in Kamakawi. Hooray! :D

Quick comment on the iku. I got no idea what’s going on here. I think what I thought is that I had used this shape before, and so I added a little notch to differentiate it. But now that I’m looking back, I’m pretty sure I haven’t used this precise shape before… The closest is the iku for leya, but even that one’s slightly different. Oh well. The notch is cool. I likes it. :)


[Note: Several months in the future, I evidently forgot that I’d already done a word of the day post on lea, and so I wrote up another one. I realized my mistake and changed that post to something else, but I thought some of what I’d written originally was pretty good, so I’ve included it below.]

I felt it was time for another pronoun, so here he is. Welcome, “he”! For the longest time when I was writing Kamakawi, I’d mix up lea and nea. And, in all honesty, it seems like a poor choice to base a distinction on, as l and n are very similar, acoustically (cf. “level” in English and nivel in Spanish, both from the same root). Perhaps one day the two are destined to merge…

Anyway, the iku for lea is built off of the syllabic glyph for le. The “x” shape of a is kind of superimposed, but it doesn’t quite fit. The lower right-hand leg is already there, and I’m pretty sure that a le that also has the lower left-hand leg is already an iku. That’s what the little notch above the middle cross bar is for.

The unfortunate thing, though, is that I went looking for the iku that I’m sure exists (essentially the iku for lea without the notch), and I couldn’t find it. Due to the nature of Kamakawi “spelling”, there’s no simple way to find an iku whose shape you’re pretty sure of. I’m not sure how to handle this—or how Kamakawi computers, created some day far off in the future, would handle it, either. I imagine the answer will come to me from Chinese, but I’d have to look for—and I wouldn’t know how! :-P


• Monday, August 9th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'eya'.


  • (pron.) first person dual inclusive pronoun

Nai eya i ae o hu’u o eya…
“Inside we both know what’s been going on…”

Notes: Yet again, I ditched the original meaning of the line and substituted it with one of my own. This is something like, “We both know the inner workings of our hearts”. It’s kind of similar, but ditches the vague “goings on” El Señor Astley’s hinting at.

For a bit of Rick Roll trivia, check out the Wikipedia page for “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Notice anything funny? Here’s a hint: Rick Astley didn’t even write the song! How about that! It was written by a song-writing trio referred to collectively (and perhaps ominously) as SAW—the same fellows that produced the Dead or Alive hit “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)”.

Hey, speaking of which, that’s a good song. Click here to check it out!


• Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ei'.


  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ei
  • (pron.) first person singular pronoun

Ei i’i.
“I am I.”

Notes: That’s from a good Queensrÿche song. Oh, but you must pardon me: All Queensrÿche songs are good Queensrÿche songs!

I figured it was about time to do a spread on the pronoun ei, since I’ve used it so much. Ei means “I”, and I like it for being so. It fills me with an appropriate feeling.

I chose this example sentence to illustrate this strange that I came up with way at the beginning and that has stuck ever since. For some reason, the first person singular pronoun (and only the first person singular pronoun) reduces to ‘i after all prepositions ending in i. Why? It seemed to make sense to me at the time, and now I do it naturally. Go fig.

The iku is a depiction of a person with a line over its head which is saying something like, “This is the dude.” Thus, I call it an ikuiku.

Okay, now it’s time to get at the rest of the day!


• Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'uei'.


  • (pron.) we (1st person plural exclusive pronoun)

Au nemei uei; a mei ia.
We’re leaving; you’re staying.”

Notes: Kamakawi is one of those languages that distinguishes between an inclusive and exclusive first person plural pronoun. This one is the exclusive pronoun (the one that doesn’t include the addressee in the “we” part).

English’s pronouns don’t distinguish clusivity, but we have our ways (take the above, for example). I don’t think English is the poorer for it. It allows for some extra fun in romantic comedies. In fact, I think our lack of an inclusive/exclusive distinction is a direct result of our fascination with romantic comedies.

Take Notting Hill, for example. Say what you will about Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Richard Curtis, and everything else, for that matter, but I liked it. Fine movie.

And you know what else? Trevor Jones does some score work for it. Who is Trevor Jones, you might ask? I’ll forgive you for asking, but I hope you facepalm yourself when I tell you that it was Trevor Jones that scored the movie Labyrinth. Yes, David Bowie, the mortal god, did the songs, but Trevor Jones actually did the scored bits (the background music for the goblin battle, the music leading up to Sarah’s hallucination, etc.). Ahh…what a wonderful movie… Wish I were watching it right now, but it’s too late. :( Perhaps tomorrow…


• Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'nea'.


  • (pron.) she (3rd person singular feminine pronoun)

Aele eli nea i ia, ae fe’a oku noku ipe tou oku…
“Because she loves you, and you know that can’t be bad…”

Notes: Yes, she loves you, and you know you should be glad! Oooooooh!

I needed a sentence with “she” in it, and “She Loves You” was the first thing that came to mind. Think what you will of the Beatles and the impact they had on music, culture and the world, but there’s a whole lot that’s right with their music.

The iku for nea is built off of the syllabic glyph for ne. The “x” shape of a is superimposed, and I like the way it fits in. It’s a nice shape.

If you take a look at the pronoun page here, you’ll notice a rather large number of pronouns, comparatively speaking. Specifically, if you look at the third person pronouns, you have a masculine pronoun, a feminine pronoun, an inanimate pronoun, a gender-neutral pronoun (like singular “they” in English), and a generic pronoun (like “one” in English). These survive from the very oldest form of the language, when I thought creating a pronoun system like that was a good idea. If I had it to do over, Kamakawi would probably just have one third person pronoun, much like Hawaiian.


See, the pronouns have been in the language too long. I love lea and nea; I can’t bear to part with them. And I find pea useful. And amo! Kou I probably never use, but there are certain times where it would be called for.

Of course, their usefulness isn’t at issue: It’s the naturalness of such a system existing. I don’t want to say it’s impossible… It is unlikely, but in the big wide world, who knows?

The reason the pronouns exist to this day is due to my weakness: I simply can’t part with them. I recognize that the system is a bit odd, so I throw myself on the mercy of the concourt. Let me keep my pronouns, and the next time I see a bizarre pronoun system, I’ll say not a word. I swear!