Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Local wildlife

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 3:39
On the way home from work today, I saw a small group of deer crossing the
driveway out of the parking garage, right in front of me. I slowed down =
let them cross, started thinking about local wildlife, and thought it =
make a good topic for a conlang post.

Many of the Tirelat words for animals and plants are only one syllable
long, since they were some of the first words created, and also since =
of them are from Jarrda, and Jarrda roots are typically only one =
More recently, two-syllable words have become more common in Tirelat, and
I've been adding syllables to some of the shorter words.

So for instance, "deer" is "gar" [Gar], but I'll probably add a syllable
and change it to something like "gaz=E1r" [Ga'zar] or "nag=E1r" [na'Gar].

Specifically, a white-tailed deer is "loxefali gar" ['lOx@fali Gar].
"Loxefali" literally means "tail-white"; the word for "tail" (lox) =
"white" (fali) to make the compound "white-tailed", unlike the English

Another common local mammal, the Brazilian free-tailed bat, has already
been mentioned. Its one-syllable name, "parz", probably will be =
to "parza".

How many conlangers can claim the armadillo as a local mammal? The =
word, "pinti", is a borrowing of the earlier Jarrda "binti".

Squirrels have got to be some of the most frequently seen wild mammals in
the area. The Tirelat word "zirik", earlier "zik" (changed to avoid
similarity with the word for "pocket mouse"), is unrelated to the Jarrda
"rilka", since this word is needed for the Mizarian squirrel-people.

Moving on to birds, one of the most common birds around here is the Texas
state bird, the mockingbird ("miramira"). The unusually long Tirelat word
is reminiscent of the bird's song, which consists of three or more
repetitions of the same phrase (often imitations of other local birds).

Other common birds include the blue jay ("gel"), cardinal ("rhuja"), =
finch ("cir"), mourning dove ("qur") and the great-tailed grackle
("xikriz"). Parking lots seem to be the natural habitat of grackles, =
noisy songs are reminiscent of squeaky door hinges.

Chickadees and titmice are both called "tyurik" in Tirelat. (Related =
in England are called "tits", but in the U.S. the word "tits" means
"breasts" and is considered somewhat vulgar. "Chickadee", an imitation of
the bird's call, is probably the only English word that I've borrowed in
any of my Mizarian languages.)

Two species of wren ("tir") are also common, though these little birds =
more frequently heard than seen. In fact, the word for "wren" is the =
of the name "Tirelat".

Of course, introduced house sparrows ("cyelit") and starlings ("marga") =
also common, as in many places in the US.

An uncommon sight around here is the great blue heron ("jana"). One day I
was just driving along, and there was a heron flying above!

I don't have a word yet for one of the most unusual local birds, the
roadrunner. Since it is a member of the cuckoo family, the word for =
("vuk") will have to do for now.

I'll save the lizards, frogs, insects, and wildflowers for another day.

languages of Kolagia---> =
      Thryomanes        /"If all Printers were determin'd not to print =
   (Herman Miller)     / thing till they were sure it would offend no =
   moc.oi @ rellimh <-/  there would be very little printed." -Ben =