Archive for the ‘Kavaka i Oala’ Category


• Friday, April 9th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'hu'. and Glyph of the word 'hu'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable hu in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) brow (as in the area above the eyes)

A kavi hu o nea.
“His brow is large.”

Notes: Hooray! :D

That does it for the syllabary. This should make it a lot easier to show which iku are built off of which.

Well…almost. So in addition to the basic CV syllables, there are all these glyphs for VV…sequences. They’re not syllables, and so they shouldn’t be a part of the syllabary, but they exist. I haven’t decided if I should go through those systematically the way I have for the syllabary, or how I should categorize them. Some of the VV glyphs have no meaning at all. They’re used to build a lot of other iku, though, so knowing them could prove useful. They’re also used in spelling, where applicable (especially those beginning and ending with either i or u). I’m just not sure what to do… I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I decide. :)


• Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ho'. and Glyph of the word 'hopoko'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable ho in the Kamakawi syllabary


  • (n.) man
  • (n.) husband
  • (adj.) male, masculine
  • (v.) to bo ostentatious, to be showy


  • (suf.) masculine suffix

Ei ie hopoko oye eine oi’i.
“I am my wife’s husband.”

Notes: There’s a nice tautology to get the day started.

Hey! Guess what? This is my 100th post! :D Hooray!

And in honor of my 100th post, I have a fun one. The iku above derives from a drawing of a man, and has always been used for the word for “man”, hopoko. Later, that glyph was used for the syllable ho, since it’s a nice simple glyph and the first syllable of hopoko is ho. Once that came into vogue, though, the old glyph acquired a determinative when it was used to mean hopoko as opposed to the syllable ho. Thus, the iku switched places, so to speak.

Just one more syllabic glyph left! :!: What will it be?! It shall remain a mystery until tomorrow! :o

(Note: The audio seems to be working weird… For some reason, it takes the last syllable and puts it at the beginning. Is anyone else getting this? I tried to fix it, but it didn’t work.)


• Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'hi'. and Glyph of the word 'hi'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable hi in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) coral

A meliki hi.
“The coral is beautiful.”

Notes: Kind of a straightforward entry. The iku is pretty coral-y.

Just two more entries to go before the syllabary is finished. So close! 8O


• Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'he'. and Glyph of the word 'he'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable he in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (part.) vocative marker (like “hey” or Latin “O” or Arabic “yaa”)
  • (part.) exhortative marker (used as a subject status marker to create commands such as “Let’s go eat” or “Let me think”)
  • (v.) to begin, to start
  • (n.) birth, awakening, realization

He hava uei i heli!
“Let’s eat strawberries!”

Notes: So this iku undoubtedly needs some explanation. Notice that I have it marked as an ikuiku. That’s no accident. Here’s what the original glyph looked like:

Old glyph of the word 'he'.

Ha! Check that out! It’s so gloriously explicit. I don’t think there’s any confusing that image of a woman giving birth.

So that’s where it all came from. Notice the right angle in ma is now turned 90° to the right, as if that glyph is laying down. The only thing that’s missing is the head (lost over time) and the line (never got added). Then that little funky curved line is descended from the being-born child.

And that’s how an abstract looking glyph is actually an ikuiku. Hee, hee…


• Monday, April 5th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ha'. and Glyph of the word 'ha'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable ha in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (let.) name of the Zhyler alphabet letter h
  • (n.) river
  • (v.) to pass through something, to go through the middle of something, to bisect

Ea, fe’a ha.
“Yes, the river knows.”

Notes: That’s from the chorus of a Doors’ song which bears the same name. The Doors were an incredible band. I feel they’re often overlooked because Jim Morrison kind of has a mystique about him. There are people out there that are way into Jim Morrison in a way that people aren’t into Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, and I think that’s tarnished Jim’s image, somewhat—and, consequently, that of the Doors. Musically, though, those guys were off the charts. They brought a lot of disparate elements together and melded them into something that to this day sounds new and exciting. Plus, their influence on bands that have come since can’t be overestimated.

Anyway, this iku really looked like a river in the old form of the orthography, and I think it’s transformation into what it is today was quite natural. I love the way the current glyph looks. I used it as a base for some of my favorite iku which I’ll post in the future.

One down, four to go! :D


• Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fu'. and Glyph of the word 'fu'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable fu in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (let.) name of the Zhyler alphabet letter f
  • (n.) the face one makes when blowing out air
  • (v.) to make such a face (the face listed above)

A ha’ale fu o ia i’i.
“Your blowing-out face makes me laugh.”

Notes: The earliest form of fu had a circle for the mouth, but that’s been angularized in the modern form of the glyph. Obviously, this isn’t a word that gets used much, but the glyph does pop up here and there.

Wow, tomorrow I start the letter h. The end is in sight! :D After that, I just have to do the diphthongal glyphs, and I’ll be back to doing regular old words! :mrgreen:


• Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fo'. and Glyph of the word 'fo'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable fo in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) conch shell

A ane fo ima.
“A conch shell is really loud.”

Notes: I mean, if you blow into it is. This one used to look like a conch shell, though I guess it doesn’t much anymore. Not much to say about it. This is one of the ones that doesn’t seem to get used very much. I think it’s because I may not like the syllable very much. The voiced one isn’t bad, though (vo). Eh.


• Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fi'. and Glyph of the word 'fi'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable fi in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) lightning
  • (v.) for there to be lightning (weather verb)
  • (suf.) if (attaches directly to the status subject marker)

A fi kiko.
“There’s lightning today.”

Notes: Another way to translate the above example sentence would be, “It’s lightninging out”, but that doesn’t really make a lot of sense in English. It’s about the equivalent of saying “It’s raining out”, but with lightning instead of rain. All weather verbs work in this way, and take no subject. Lightning, of course, is associated with the determined form of the verb, since the iku here is of a lightning bolt (or was, originally. Kind of doesn’t look like lightning anymore, I guess).

The undetermined form is used with the “if” suffix there. It attaches right to the subject status marker to create “if” clauses, and does a pretty decent job of it.

Oh, I wanted to use one of my new smilies today. Oh well; it looks like I won’t get to. :cry:


• Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fe'. and Glyph of the word 'fe'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable fe in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (num.) six
  • (adj.) sixth
  • (v.) to sextuple
  • (suf.) turns any noun, verb, adjective, preposition or adverb into a noun meaning “chicken cover”

A fi’ea ia ie fi’onumeve li ia!
“Don’t forget your chicken cover!”

Notes: In the sentence above, fi’onumeve means “chicken cover” because of the -fe suffix (which becomes -ve, via regular phonological sound change [for more information on that sound change, see the Kamakawi phonology page]). It’s cognate with nawanakave, which means “chicken cover”, and takekenipive which means “chicken cover”, as well as mowoimokove which also means “chicken cover”. It’s also similar to the word aeve, which means “chicken cover”.

The “chicken cover” suffix is written with the undetermined form of the iku, of course. The determined version is reserved for “sextuple”. The other meanings also use the undetermined form of the iku (i.e. “six” and “sixth”).

Regarding its form, remember that these number iku derived from earlier forms comprising dots. The early form of “six” was three dots on top and three dots on the bottom. Each set of three dots became a line, giving us the iku we have today. This iku is used to build the iku for seven, eight and nine, as well, making it look like Kamakawi has a base…six system? Seven? I could never get that right…

Oh, and by the way: APRIL FOOLS! :D


• Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fa'. and Glyph of the word 'fa'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable fa in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) seed, seedling
  • (v.) to plant seeds, to seed
  • (n.) dad

Ape owa ei i fa ipuke…
“Every time I plant a seed…”

Notes: He say, “Kill it before it grow!” He say, “Kill them before they grow!” And so!

The world was given a gift in Bob Marley, the old Iron Lion himself. And while it’s too bad he fell under the sway of Rastafarianism, it didn’t strip him of his soul.

So I just now realized how suggestive it is that the word for “seed” (the determined version of fa) is cognate with the word for “dad” (just the name a kid calls his father; the proper word for “father” is different). I swear that it wasn’t intended! The shortening of fala is fa, which just happens to be the same word for sowing seeds. I’m not taking the blame for this one!