Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

A small discovery...

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Monday, December 18, 2000, 2:18
I've found out what the linguistic dead-end of Talarian prothetic
vowels is all about. By way of introduction, some time in the distant
past, nouns that started with r or n (and more rarely m, l, w, y,
etc.) + a or o (v. rarely e or i) attracted a prefixed syllable, ha or
xo (v. rarely he & hi). These words never supplanted the plain
variety, but rather formed a kind of word pair that eventually
developped a certain semantic relationship. By Old Talarian times, the
plain words tended towards common names, while the prefixed words were
"inner names", names of a more magical or at least sacred bent. Not
necessarily secrte (though some things _do_ seem to have had secret
names, the meaning of which is now not known). For example: nomun
meant "commonly used name for something"  while xonomun meant "secret
name of a thing"; or malcar, which meant "milk" and hamalcar, which
meant "milk still in the breast".

Apparently, this pairing was quite common and the word pairs were
always closely linked. Since those bygone days, most of the pairs have
been supplanted by one or the other (*nomar doesn't exist, but xonomar
does). Or else both survived, but semantic drift worked its magick:
malcmar means "animal milk", while xamalcmar means "treasure", by way
of the adjectival meaning "bounteous", which I suspect is how "milk in
the breast" was viewed in the old days.