Archive for July, 2011


• Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mate'.


  • (v.) to pour (liquid)
  • (adj.) pouring
  • (n.) deluge (not as common as reduplicated form)

Mate ia i tolu lilelea fiviti i’i.
“Pour me a cold glass of water.”

Notes: This is kind of a strange sentence. Ordinarily it’d be prevented by an applicative, so it would read Matemu ia i’i ti tolu lilelea. That, though, would be a different word, so I stuck with this clunky one.

You may recognize this iku from the glyph for “soup”, novu. This one’s rather upside-down. This is another case of one iku following another, even though the word for “pour” is probably older than the word for “soup”. Languages and writing systems are different things, though. They’re rather like dancing partners.

Or maybe not. I’m watching Roberta right now; it’s likely influencing me.


• Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eka'i'.


  • (n.) abalone

Nievu eika iu eka’i kau.
“We dive for abalone.”

Notes: When I was very young, my stepfather brought me an abalone shell, and I kept it as decoration in my room until I left for college. Since then, it’s been lost to the winds (or, more likely, the trash heap. Happened to a lot of my stuff without my knowledge).

You’ll recognize the iku for eu in this glyph. It’s kind of used as a leyaka to stand for a shellfish, and then ka is added as a phonological clue. Of course, it rather looks like the “bad” line determinative, so there are some superstitious folks that think it’s bad luck to disturb or harvest abalone for their meat or shells. It’s kind of a motif in Kamakawi lore (perhaps like black cats or broken mirrors in Western culture).


• Friday, July 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lana'.


  • (v.) to push, to shove
  • (n.) pushing
  • (n.) (a/the) push or shove
  • (adj.) pushing

Oku lana ia i ipe: a olo ei ko a.
“Don’t push that: I’m sleeping here.”

Notes: …iiiiiiiiiiiiit’s CATURDAY!!! :D

We pulled out the box of wrapping paper to wrap a wedding gift the other day, and when we went to push it back in, Keli let us know that she had taken up residence in the hollow it had left behind:

Keli lounging about.

And the hollow is still there. She goes there every day now for a portion of the day to rest. I’ll never do a pull-up again…


• Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'u'.


  • (part.) cooccurs with a plural subject that is identical to the previous subject in the discourse
  • (art.) the plural definite article
  • (art.) many

Ku hemata uei iu kuaki ae iolui kau.
“We spotted the ducks in the pond.”

Notes: I thought I’d do a short grammatical post today. We’ve already seen the singular counterpart to this (p)article. Basically it marks plurals. It’s used in several ways, though, including as a stand-alone subject status marker, and in conjunction with other subject status markers.

Though it’s quite simple in the romanization (or schematically), writing it is a different story. This iku is used in conjunction with the plural new status marker au, as well as with the same-subject status marker u. The iku for e is also used, but you don’t pronounce it—it’s just there in the orthography. The ordering, though, can sometimes be a little tricky, since it’s purely a formal element. Some writers put the e one first; some the u one; some leave the e out entirely. I’d imagine that eventually it’d disappear entirely (or the whole thing would morph into some other iku or series of iku).

As for the iku itself, it’s kind of a combination of the glyph for ka, no and to (without the top). The idea is that the plurality marker is used with duals, trials and plurals. That marking is only realized on pronouns (and optionally on nouns); the non-singular status is what’s important to the verbal system (and the definite marking of non-subject nouns).

At some point, this system will have to break down, and it will likely mean the end of the dual and trial. That will happen some day down the line, though; not now. :)


• Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kavu'.


  • (n.) garlic

Havava ei i kavu.
“I like garlic.”

Notes: And this is true. I have nothing more contentful to say, because it’s hot. It’s after midnight! How’s it got to be this hot in the middle of the night?! Man…


• Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uame'.


  • (n.) sand bar, shoal

Eneta ia heva e uame oku!
“Don’t go over the sand bar!”

Notes: This is a compound whose composition should be rather obvious. You’ve got ua, which is “hill”, and you’ve got me, which is “wet sand” modifying it. Ta da!

Sandbars are trouble if you’re in a boat and don’t notice them or know where the local ones are (or if you’re just plain inattentive). They’re quite fun when you’re just swimming around, though—especially the ones that are a way’s out. Kind of like you’re own little island (that’s connected to the land, but you know…).

Yawn! Tired bear is tired. Time to ankle this day and get on with the next one.


• Monday, July 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'leleya'.


  • (n.) lake or some body of fresh, drinkable water

Ai i leleya ko ai?.
“Is there fresh water here?”

Notes: This isn’t the only word for “lake”, and also isn’t the only word leleya, but it’s a word leleya. It derives from lelea, the Kamakawi word for “water” (specifically drinkable water). Notice that it crucially has the identity determinative below its iku. That distinguishes it from lelea.

To help illustrate the unique quadrangle of terms, I’ve created this unhelpful graphic:

Weird quadrangle of words.

In each case, the word for body of water derives from the word for the type of water, but the basic iku are for the fresh substance (lelea) and the salty body (leveya).

And, since I haven’t yet linked to it, here’s a link to levea. Hooray-a! :D


• Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tokapaoito'.


  • (num.) four hundred and four
  • (adj.) four hundred and fourth

A mata tokapaoito kuaki.
“I see four hundred and four ducks.”

Notes: Not a very inspired sentence, but I needed something. If you’re wondering why there’s such a bizarre word of the day today, it’s because I needed to have my new 404 error page point to a real entry. :) If you’d like to see my new 404 error page, just try to go directly to some random and obviously fake entry, like…oh, I don’t know, and see what happens.

I realize this may not be very exciting, but if you saw my previous 404, you will have noticed some grossly misaligned and overlapping divs that are now aligned appropriately. Hooray for fixitude! :D


• Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iaka'.


  • (pron.) you two (2nd person dual pronoun)

He hala’i iaka uiui elea ipuke ima!
“May you live happily together forever!”

Notes: Haven’t had many adverbs in these example sentences, so why not have one sentence with four? That’s right: I just knocked it up a notch. Bam!

Today my very good friend Laura is getting married. I’ve known her my entire life (she was born seven months before me, and our mothers have been best friends since they were little), and I wish her and her new husband Steve the very best. I’ve known her forever, of course, but I also know Steve pretty well now, and he’s a good guy. They’re happy together, and I could wish for nothing for anyone.

Congratulations, Laura and Steve! I fully intend to eat all of the candy at your candy bar. I was a poor choice for candy bar guard. You will know this well in a few hours. ;)


• Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ova'.


  • (n.) hammock

A male fumi iko ti ova.
“This will make a good hammock.”


This is a good one! We’ve recently seen a picture of Keli resting on the laptop—and even a video of Keli fighting the laptop’s screen—but they weren’t nothing compared to this!

Heh, heh! She was just enamored of the laptop this day. Now, if it were cold out, my guess would be that she wanted it as a warm little seat. But it was summer! It was hot out! Honestly, sometimes I just can’t figure her out.