Hressa-Hlab (was: Re: Martian conlangs?)
|From:||Muke Tever <mktvr@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 7, 2003, 18:14|
From: "Joseph Fatula" <fatula3@...>
> It's certainly not in the same style as many other Martian concultures, but
> C. S. Lewis wrote a book set on Mars, entitled "Out of the Silent Planet".
> There were three different races living there, each with its own language,
> as we are told. The main character is a philologist, so we get to hear a
> few of his thoughts on the common tongue of the region, as well as a few of
> the words. It looks like he put some real thought into this. The
> alternation between (for example) "sorn" and "séroni" really interested me
> upon reading it. He throws in a little more in the next two books,
> "Perelandra" (whose title is in Hressa-Hlab) and "That Hideous Strength",
> but he never really gets into the linguistic details. My guess is that he,
> like most of us, assumed everyone wouldn't be interested.
Ah, I loved this book :x)
The alternation appears to occur in several plurals:
hnakra ~ hnéraki "dangerous fish"
Oyarsa ~ Oyéresu "planetary ruler"
sorn ~ séroni (a certain sapient species)
The weak plural appears to be in -a (they borrow the English word "man" as
<hma:n>, pl. <hma:na>),
with other examples <eldil>/<eldila> "immaterial creature" and <hross>/<hrossa>
(the creatures whose language this is, in the first book). (Incidentally the
feminine plural of <hross> is <hressni>.)
The suffix <-punt> "-slayer" pluralizes in <-punti>, like <pfifltrigg> (a
different sapient species).
The word <hnau> "sapient creature" has a zero plural.
In any case the whole thing looks nicely maggelitous, especially the
intercalation. (I'm betting that <honodraskrud> is a compound related to
<handra> somehow.) I suspect there is a schwa phoneme that isnt represented in
the spelling (hence variations like Perelandra/Parelandra, which incidentally
might make some of those alternations less mystifying).
I noded up all the vocabulary I could find awhile back:
Incidentally, "hnau" is the most useful word ever.
> On a side note, we've remarked on similar traits shared by many members of
> this list before. I'd bet that C. S. Lewis would have fit in quite nicely
> here, not only was he interested in conlanging and conculturing, I think he
> was also a synaesthete. In one of his books he refers to a "purple sort of
> smell", and from what people tell me, most people would never associate a
> color and a smell. Anyway, just something I found interesting.
Hmm, people often look at me funny when I associate colors with tastes.