Posts Tagged ‘time’


• Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'latiu'i'.


Ka ale latiu’í ko!
“March has arrived!”

Notes: Seems like February was just 28 days ago. How tempus fugits…

Today’s word comes from the Zhyler word Rašwÿğü (orthographically, ra,wh©X). The Zhyler word comes from the word for “wind”. On the Kamakawi islands, though, the winds come and go, and hurricanes come in seasons, not months, so tying a month to the wind doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Not that it matters, as the etymology is completely opaque in Kamakawi. It’s just a chunk of sound. Looking forward to a windy a March on my end. May it blow something good our way.


• Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'enetu'i'.


Awei! Amo i enetu’í.
“Alas! It’s February.”

Notes: I tried to drag January out as long as possible by delaying this post, but, like it or not, February’s here. Ugh.

I feel punchdrunk after that month. I don’t need another one like that for awhile.

The Zhyler word for February is enduğü (orthographically, endu©x).

Oh, you know what? These things are capitalized in Zhyler. Should’ve been doing that all along. So actually it’s endu©X (and Enduğü). There we go.

Hungry. Food, though, sounds like a scam to me. A scam. They give you some, and you just end up wanting more. We all (human beings) are addicted to food. It’s no good, man. We should be pursuing (with weapons of science) a permanent end to the problem of sustenance. We gotta kick this food stuff…


• Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'teteyu'í'.


Ka ale teteyu’í ko!
“January has arrived!”

Notes: …and is almost gone. I forgot to do the word for January this month (and I’m really busy with the torch right now), so here it is!

This is a really strange sounding word in Kamakawi. In Zhyler, it’s ðezyuğÿ—or, in the orthography, fezyu©h). Almost none of those sounds can occur in Kamakawi in the positions in which they occur in Zhyler, so the end result bears little resemblance to the original word.


• Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kiokuku'.


  • (n.) a make up day to help the Kamakawi calendar get back in sync

Kiko i kiokuku!
“It’s nothing day!”


The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite doesn’t always line up exactly with fourteen days. So it may happen that neki has come, but the moon isn’t full (or new, depending on where one started from). When that happens, the village chief declares a kiokuku.

A kiokuku is a kind of holiday, where anything goes. And since its declaration is dependent entirely on the discretion of those keeping track of the calendar, you can sometimes get several kiokuku in a row. And it will frequently happen that different islands which don’t communicate with each other regularly enough will end up being on different days. When that happens, one or the other of them will declare however many kiokuku are necessary to get the two calendars in sync again.

That (referring to all the calendar posts) is the Kamakawi calendar in a nutshell (at least, before the coming of the Zhyler speakers).


• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'iteiwomo'.


  • (n.) the full change of the moon (i.e. going from, for example, one new moon to another new moon)

Inivieke uomoko i iteiwomo.
“It’s a marvelous night for a full change of the moon.”

Notes: Heh, heh… Little multilingual pun there.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone but me will get it, because I just realized I haven’t done the word tei yet! Argh! 8O

Anyway, if you break it down, iteiwomo means “moon dance”. Now hopefully fans of Van Morrison will get it. :)

Hey, today is a special day! Today marks the 365th post to the Kamakawi Word of the Day Blog! :D Despite adversity, I made it through a full year, with only one unfortunate break. Not a bad word for the anniversary, either.

See, the movement of the celestial bodies is conceptualized as a dance (at least for the calendrical system). The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite is conceptualized as a turn, and then the return to its original position is a dance.

In some ways, the iteiwomo is like a month in our calendar. However, an iteiwomo is not necessarily twenty eight days: an iteiwomo is an iteiwomo, no matter how long it takes. As such, it’s not a reliable enough metric to make reference to. Furthermore, it’s not thought of as comprising any number of days in a particular order. So from one new moon to the next is an iteiwomo, but so is the change from one waning crescent to another waning crescent.

This system, of course, does not hang together perfectly. To see the kluge that keeps it together, tune in tomorrow! :mrgreen:


• Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'umewomo'.


  • (n.) a Kamakawi two week cycle (perhaps equivalent to a fortnight)

Eteke mowoito ki ti umewomo.
“Fourteen days make a fortnight.”

Notes: We haven’t yet finished up discussion of the ill-defined Kamakawi calendar. We’re getting close, though! :D

As has been mentioned previously, the Kamakawi “week” consists of fourteen days. This “week” is referred to as an umewomo. It refers to a changing of the moon: The time it takes for the moon to go from a new moon to a full moon, or vice versa. This is often considered the basic unit (beyond the day) of the Kamakawi calendar. In usage, then, it’s like a month, even though it’s closer to a week. That said, there are no special names for the umewomo: Just one after another after another after another.

More terms shall follow!


• Monday, December 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'uomo'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'uo'.


  • (n.) moon
  • (v.) to be night
  • (adj.) bright white

A teve uomo.
“The moon is bloody.”

Notes: Here’s a nice picture of what the Dothraki would call a jalan qoyi, or “blood moon”:

A blood moon over New Zealand.

Photo Credit: photo by Jurvetson (flickr)

The glyph for uomo has a bit of a tangled history. Originally, the glyph for uo up there was the glyph for “moon”. It was just a moon character, and so a line was added below it to give it height. Pretty soon, the curvature of the moon part of the glyph changed, and came to look kind of like a hacek. Finally, the semantic concept “moon” became completely dissociated from the glyph, and it became just a syllabic glyph for uo (and we’ve seen it before in words like uola). It became such that a line determinative was needed to convey that the glyph meant “moon”.

Now, though, that usage has pretty much been phased out by the new glyph for “moon”. You can tell that it’s newer because the curvature of the moon part of the glyph has remained, and wasn’t angularized (spell check tells me that isn’t a word. I say fie on spell check!) the way other earlier curved glyphs were. Again, though, the curve of the moon was not felt to be large enough, and so the “ground” determinative was added beneath it, and that gives us the modern iku for “moon”.


• Friday, December 24th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kimoko'.


  • (n.) day five: the fifth day of the first week of a two week cycle (also known by some as Friday and/or Caturday)

Kiko i kimoko!
“Today is Friday!”

Notes: Today is a sombre Caturday, since I can’t be with my darling cat Keli. :( I miss her terribly. I hope she’s doing well. Here’s a picture taken (mid-lick!) on my new iPhone, whose camera is much better than the old one:

Keli investigating Sylvia Sotomayor's laptop.


• Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kito'.


  • (n.) day four: the fourth day of the first week of a two week cycle (equivalent to Thursday)

Kiko i kito!
“Today is Thursday!”

Notes: Thursday, December 23rd. I’m up in Chico, which is a beautiful city. The best part about it, though (well, aside from my family, whom I love dearly), is Shubert’s Ice Cream Parlor. It’s an ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream, candy and root beer, and it’s some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Shubert’s is routinely ranked at the top of the list of the best ice cream shops in America, and it came in second in a Good Morning America competition.

So, whenever I’m up in Chico, I make sure to eat as much Shubert’s as possible. It’s kind of like eating at In-N-Out in Southern California: If you don’t live there, you make the best of every opportunity.


• Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kino'.


  • (n.) day three: the third day of the first week of a two week cycle (a bit like Wednesday)

Kiko i kino!
“Today is Wednesday!”

Notes: Today I’m headed up to my in laws’ in Chico, CA. This will be our first trip away from Keli, which makes me very sad. :( Luckily we have multiple people stopping by the house every day that we’ll be gone to check on her. She’s still frightened by a lot of things, which makes me worry. We’ll only be gone a week, though.

But, really, nothing’s going to make me feel better about this. We just need to go, come back, and hope she’s all right. We can’t stay home forever; we have relatives that live too far away to let us come home every single night…