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Re: Hildegard's List

From:Irina Rempt <ira@...>
Date:Friday, March 26, 1999, 12:00
On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Nik Taylor wrote:

> Irina Rempt wrote: > > _Nane_ "mother", _inane_ "parents" (dual of the preceding) > > Interesting, so does you conlang have a female default?
Only for this word. Descent is matrilineal (probably with the underlying thought that you can be sure who your mother is, but not who your father is). Valdyan doesn't mark gender except for third-person pronouns. If you want to say explicitly that the smith is a man or a woman, you have to use _tylan ense_ "smith man" or _tylan lyase_ "smith woman", but usually it's just _tylan_ because nobody minds about the smith's gender as long as (s)he does a good job. All professions are open to both men and women, except midwifery and the Temple of Naigha (women only).
> > _idach_ "guts" (dual of_dach_ "stomach") > > Interesting use of the dual. > > > _nove_ "woman's breast", _inove_ "bosom" (there's also the poetic > > _isam_, meaning "two fruits") > > Interesting. "Two fruits" for "bosom"? I like that. Is i- the prefix > for dual in all nouns?
Yes; for pronouns as well. The dual of nouns is obsolete, and the prefix is no longer productive. Dual nouns usually have a fixed meaning that can be *very* different from "two somethings": _dayen_ "the element water", _idain_ "water in nature", and the dual is so divorced from its original dual meaning that it's acquired a plural of its own: _idaini_ "sea". (This is a collective plural, that declines a little differently and usually refers to a group of things, rather than a number of individual things: _rhin_ "ship", _rhini_ "ships" as a normal plural and "fleet" as a collective plural - the nominative form happens to be the same).
> > _nus_ "back" (an animal's back is _pol_ "top") > > Very logical!
In fact I had _pol_ first when writing about someone riding a dragon, when I realized that the *human* back is hardly ever on top :-) Then I derived _nus_ from a family of words meaning things like "behind".
> > sickness: _mudh_ "healthy", _mudha_ "to heal", "to get better", > > _mudhan_ "doctor", _muzhen_ "medicine" > > Are these all related?
Of course. The stem is /muD/ "health", -a is a verbal (infinitive) suffix, -an is a suffix indicating agent (cf. _tyl_ "iron", _tylan_ "smith"), -sen comes from _sein_ "thing" and derives nouns (muD-sen -> muZen). (I don't speak ASCII-IPA yet, but D is meant as the th in "this" and Z as the z in "azure") Irina (mailing list address) (myself) (English) (Nederlands)