Friday, February 8, 2008

loliya lavu lesson 03 - modifiers

Note: Th version of loliya lavu that you see here I have decided not to continue past a very early stage. But, I have every intention of starting a new language based on it, hopefully soon! Check back at this blog in a few months, perhaps. Much love. updated: 2008-7-23

You learned in th last lesson about mode words, verbs, & pseudo-nouns. In this lesson, I'd like to tell you about modifiers, which work rather like adverbs & adjectives.


Let's take a simple sentence:

a xalevu - I cook.

To give a little more information about how I cook, I might add another word. When we stick a few words together, th words after th first one act to modify it. So, for example:

a xalevu lavu - I energetically/divinely cook.
a xalevu baxiNa - I continuously/continue to cook.

a biNo wahimimi - I catly climb. / I climb in th manner of a cat.
a loliya cocu - I sharingly speak. / I speak in a sharing way.
a wahimimi coma - I happily cat. / I happily do as a cat does.

Thus do we modify our verbs. Th modifiers act like pseudo-adverbs in th above examples.

Similarly, we can modify our pseudo-nouns, making our modifiers act like adjectives. Let's take a simple sentence:

a biNo ki lolu - I climb a tree.

To modify our pseudo-noun, lolu, tree, we simply add modifiers immediately after it:

a biNo ki lolu maceka - I climb a fruit tree.
a biNo ki lolu xova - I climb a green tree.

a va ki wahimimi mali - I see/perceive a female cat.
a kawa ki beco vaxi - I go to an eating-house (restaurant).
aca we ki loca beku - I like this human-being.

You can use this to specify number:

maceka mu - one fruit
beco hi - some buildings

& you can use this to specify ownership/association:

wahimimi bu - your cat
beco ba - my house

This last method can cause confusion:

lolu wahimimi - cat tree or cat's tree?

I haven't decided whether or not I like this ambiguity. I certainly want ambiguity in loliya lavu, but maybe I will change th way ownership/association works. Thoughts?

Note: In English, we put our modifiers before th word they modify: "energetically cook", "happy cat", etc. In loliya lavu, we do th opposite; we put our modifiers after th word they modify. Don't let that throw you.

spelling numbers & letters

I came up with a dual system for numbers & letters. Basically, you have unique names for th numbers 0-15 which correspond perfectly with th sixteen letters in th alphabet. So we have:

yo - number 0 - letter y
mu - number 1 - letter m
xaki - number 2 - letter x
belima - number 3 - letter b
voNa - number 4 - letter v
ho - number 5 - letter h
kemiku - number 6 - letter k
li - number 7 - letter l
Naca - number 8 - letter N
cuxuve - number 9 - letter c
wi - number 10 - letter w
ama - number 11 - letter a
olo - number 12 - letter o
uNu - number 13 - letter u
ibi - number 14 - letter i
exe - number 15 - letter e

To spell numbers past 15, you speak each digit:

li Naca belima - 783
cuxuve mu yo ho kemiku xaki 910,562

You can also speak each digit to spell th numbers 10-15. They all have alternate names (mu yo or wi for 10; mu mu or ama for 11, etc); either name fits.

To spell words, you speak each letter:

li olo li ibi yo ama - loliya
kemiku exe mu ibi kemiku uNu - kemiku

I decided that some loliya lavu words other than mode words can begin with vowels. Proper Names will probably do that rather often. That area has yet to get developed.


One last thing before I go take a nap. It seems to me quite reasonable to allow speakers of loliya lavu to knowingly clip longer words to speak them quickly. For example, we can take th word maceka & clip in a few different ways:


Th apostrophe represents a glottal stop, a quick closing of th throat (think of John Lennon saying th "tt" in "bottle". Th cut words will thus sound cut. In theory, a listener shouldn't have any trouble distinguishing ma from a clipped ma'.

Clipping creates ambiguity. Does macek' stand for maceka or something else, like maceki or maceku? Ma' could stand in for many, many words. I like this kind of ambiguity. A loliya lavu poet can use it for puns & riddles. Hooray!

But exercise caution when clipping, because it assumes that th listener can read your mind & guess what letters you cut out. In context, it should usually make sense, but watch out.

Let's clip th phrase loliya lavu. First, loliya

loliy' (I don't think this one sounds different from loli', so I'd avoid it.)

Now, lavu


& let's combine them:

loli' lav'
lol' lav'
lo' lav'
loli' la'
lol' la'
lo' la'

Th phrase on th top would confuse th least. After that, it gets more ambiguous. Just using th very few words I've already got, I can see that lo' la' can mean:

loliya lavu - energy language
loca lavu - energy person
lolu lavu - energy tree

When & if a more workable vocabulary of some thousand words gets created, lo' la' would become nearly indecipherable.

I like that.

By th way, clippings help greatly with counting. To count quickly, you could clip all th words of two or more syllables:

mu xak' bel' voN' ho kem' li Nac' cux' wi. . . .

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