Posts Tagged ‘pronouns’


• Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kakulu'.


  • (num.) zero
  • (pron.) nothing

Ei i kakulu tou!
“I am the mighty zero!”

Notes: Zero is, indeed, the mightiest of numbers—the archnemesis of one. Multiple anything by zero, and all you get is more zero. Compare that to pushover one, who gives you back just what you gave it. Pathetic! In fact, the same thing happens if you divide anything by one. Divide something by zero? Just try it. The very act causes lesser calculators to explode. All hail the mighty zero! :!:

In Kamakawi, you can now use kakulu to mean “nothing”, but it’s a bit slangy. The standard and more general way to say “nothing” is still okuku.


• Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'pea'.


  • (pron.) third person singular gender-neutral animate pronoun

Ai pea i hopoko oi eine ai?
“Are they a man or a woman?”

Notes: Kamakawi has a bunch of pronouns, and one of them is an animate gender-neutral third person pronoun. Basically, it’s used in the place where we would use singular “they” in English. You use it for a human whose gender you don’t know, or can’t identify right away—or for when gender isn’t important or isn’t stated. It’s better than using amo, because it’s animate (it refers to humans). I end up using it quite a bit, though I’m not sure how it would survive in a natural language.

The iku is a standard combination of pe and a, but it looks pretty cool (kind of edgy!). In fact, a number of the pronouns end up looking pretty good. I’m pleased enough with them.


• Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ue'.


  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ue
  • (pron.) first person plural inclusive pronoun

Ue ie inotu.
“We are the world.”

Notes: Today’s iku completely mystifies me. It kind of looks like ua, but it shouldn’t be related to the word for “hill”. And yet, I think that’s what I was doing. I think by adding the line below, that kind of made it an e sound…somehow. Perplexing.

Anyway, Kamakawi, like many languages, distinguishes between a “we” that includes the addressee and a “we” that excludes the addressee. This is the one that includes the addressee—and today, that means you! :D So jump on in and enjoy the inclusivity!



• 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. ;)


• Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'amo'.


  • (pron.) it (3rd person singular inanimate pronoun)

Mata ei i amo tou!
“I can see it!”

Notes: Indeed, there it is, on the horizon: The vast kingdom of Sleep! I’m headed into port, and I can’t wait! :D

Who would’ve thought I could be so glad that I hadn’t yet blogged a simple personal pronoun…? Yet, here we are.

I actually really like the iku for amo, even though it’s a basic ikunoala. I like all the iku built off of mo. He’s a nice bird, that fellow.

And now, off to sleep! :D

Well, maybe a drink of water first. But then…!


• Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eika'.


  • (pron.) first person dual exclusive pronoun

Kau oinemu eika.
“We two are married.”

Notes: Erin and I, that is. :)

And now I’ve done about…25% of the pronouns in Kamakawi. Hooray! :D

Though this may look like a foma, it’s technically two iku. Here, the ka is just written very close to the ei customarily. Perhaps it’s on its way to becoming a foma! One can always dream…


• Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uku'.


  • (n.) substance
  • (n.) stuff
  • (n.) thing
  • (v.) to be strange
  • (adj.) inexplicable, strange
  • (pron.) what (free relatives only)

E uku poe po’u’u ti’i le elea…
“The things I do for love…”

Notes: The premiere of Game of Thrones is tomorrow, so I thought I’d translate something appropriate.

For those who can parse the sentence, you might be wondering why it translates literally to “The stuff that’s done by me for love”. Aside from the purely lexical matter of the first noun, Kamakawi can only relativize a subject. Certain languages do this (though none come to mind at the moment), and it just so happens that English (and a lot of Indo-European languages, in fact) is rather permissive with its relative clauses.

What this means is that to say anything like “The things I do for love” or “The house I walked out of” or “The fish whose portrait I drew”, Kamakawi requires one to use some combination of the passive and applicative to target an argument other than the subject of the relative clause.

The word uku is a fairly standard combination of the syllabic glyphs for u and ku. Basically, if you look at ku, all you do is draw two connecting lines on the top to make a w-like character that serves as the u sound.


• Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'eino'.


  • (pron.) first person trial exclusive pronoun

Kau mata eino ie Leya Molo’o.
“We three saw the Dragon Rock.”

Notes: And here’s a nice shot of the Dragon Rock:

The Dragon Rock!

They have a bunch of these rocks at the Huntington that have been weathered by the elements, and by people over many years. One of them looks like a dragon’s head. It’s pretty cool! And smooth.

Kamakawi has singular, dual, trial and plural pronouns. But really, the pronouns are more like ASL: You can have any number you want added to the end of the pronoun, unless it’s too unwieldy (or nonsensical). As it happens, though, there are unanalyzable pronouns for singular, dual, trial and plural, so there’s some evidence for a special trial number (just a vestige of the past).


• Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'emi'.Glyph of the word 'emi'.


  • (n./pron.) everybody, everyone

Feyo emiemi!
“Everybody plays!”

Notes: I figured out, quite by accident, that I seem to have set up the playoffs in our fantasy football league so that everyone advances. Oops.

And since anything can happen on any given week in fantasy football, that means the regular season is pretty much for naught. Ha. I’m still going to try to go in as the top seed, though. I got a couple tricks up my sleeve yet.

Here are my predictions from last week:

Week 8

  • Washington 37 Detroit 35
  • St. Louis 28 Carolina 17
  • Oakland 35 Seattle 25
  • New Orleans 42 Pittsburgh 39
  • Indianapolis 29 Houston 24

I went 4-1 again. I’m on a roll now! This takes me up to 26-14. (Oh, and, of course, Washington’s loss to Detroit is now infamous, so I can live with mispredicting that one.)

Today’s word is a full reduplication of the word emi, which means “human”. It’s one of those non-pronouns pronouns that are so common in…I guess “language” is the word I’m looking for.

Prediction time! I think I’m cooking with steam now:

Week 9

  • Atlanta 25 Tampa Bay 22
  • New York Jets 27 Detroit 24
  • Baltimore 24 Miami 19
  • Green Bay 48 Dallas 21
  • Pittsburgh 22 Cincinnati 18


• Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'iko'.


  • (dem.) this
  • (pron.) this one, this thing

A eli ei i iko kaneko!
“I love this cat!”

Notes: Keli is being really cute right now. I wonder what she’d look like in a football helmet…

Last week I said I needed a 5-0 week to get back on track, and, wouldn’t you know it, that’s just what I got. Here’s a summary:

Week 2

  • Green Bay 48 Buffalo 12
  • Denver 24 Seattle 21
  • New York Jets 28 New England 27
  • Indianapolis 37 New York Giants 23
  • New Orleans 31 San Francisco 22

That brings me up to 7-3 overall. That’s more like it! Here are my predictions for this week (should be a tough one):

Week 3

  • New England 35 Buffalo 16
  • New Orleans 29 Atlanta 19
  • Houston 37 Dallas 33
  • New York Jets 21 Miami 17
  • Green Bay 27 Chicago 24

As for today’s word, I couldn’t post about Ipe without including his good friend Iko! She’s more level-headed and practical, but she’s got a wild and violent temper, if angered. Don’t rouse her!

Oh, and a stray note: After more than a hundred posts with iku with a white background, I’ve switched to a transparent background. I know why I didn’t do it before (the program I used was terrible at doing transparency), but I’ve got a new one (Photoshop Elements) that’s much, much better. So…hooray! :D