Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

inventing words (was Re: Three questions from a lurker)

From:Joshua Shinavier <jshinavi@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 4, 1998, 15:27
>I found this very interesting. What are some of the words that you've >come up with in this way? What does "ty=EBrn" mean, for example?
The majority of such words have to do with various conceptual structures, data processing, thinking in general; natural languages tend not to have many words for such things, whereby they are a major focal point of my language. To introduce a few other kinds (ty=EBrn is at the bottom): las, lasel (s is always pronounced "ss") : one of my favorite words for a person, this has a meaning similar in some ways to English "mature", bu= t obviously not equivalent to it, as even some children can be "las" while = the majority of adults are not. A lasel is free of prejudices, hypocrisy, fa= lse conceptions about him/herself, knows his/her powers and is appropriately self-confident in his/her actions (why is English so pathetic that it doe= sn't have a word for he/she? Pretty soon I'm going to start writing "del" ;). A lasel is free from psychological hindrances to his/her altering his/her environment at will, within the confines of moral behavior (e.g. someone who "alters" his neighbor's too-loud stereo by means of a rifle is not especially "las" :). The word also implies a certain degree of social agility (of a benevolent kind), open-mindedness, and resourcefulness. This "definition" probably sounds like quite a linguistic cocktail, but o= nly because all the closest English equivalents dance around it like a tribal bonfire; to me it is a very simple and natural concept. kec (pronounced "kesh") =3D (to use) a stereotyped pattern of behavior whic= h has become a psychological phenomenon disconnected from its original purpose,= or one which is performed "blindly" without any real understanding of the cause-and-effect behind the action. The speaking of ritual "magic words" is an example of a kec, so are many religious ceremonies (d=EBvakec); but= kec doesn't neccessarily involve supernatural/religious beliefs -- if I disco= ver that two solid slaps from the left followed by one from the right to my computer's case will get it to stop humming like a lawnmower, and I reall= y don't know just why this works (though I fully expect some simple physica= l explanation), then this pattern becomes a kec, at least until I understan= d it better. An action performed without even knowning the purpose, but assuming there is one, is also a kec (obsessive behavior, encouraged more by an emotional urge than a belief, is not kec). Habits are not neccessarily kec, though a kec can become habitual of course. klayn =3D "fractal", divisible into parts of the same description. A thing= is klayn with respect to some property if you can break it down into smaller parts which have that same property. For instance, you can pick apart a chestnut leaf (which is where the word first arose, before I had heard about fractions, much less fractals :) into five or so smaller units whic= h are also leaves. If you try to pick one of these apart you no longer get leaves, but objects which are only pieces of leaves. Human society is also "klayn"; the collective consciousness of the entire= ty of humankind can be thought of as one giant mind, "Vand" or "Elvand" (yes= , it comes from "van" -- I; when you pluralize "van" what you are doing is including other people with yourself in a collective "metamind" ("vayd"),= and claiming to be speaking on behalf of that collective mind and will. Plea= se don't associate Arov=EBn with the Borg; an Aro=EBl vayd is somewhat diffe= rent :), which can be broken down arbitrarily into any number of smaller generaliz= ed consciousness-es ("held=EF") -- the Europeans, the Mauritians, the Espera= ntists, the denizens of the local lunatic asylum -- these last are probably more characteristic than anyone of today's still very mentally-disturbed human consciousness :-) =20 ty=EBrn : this word has a very artistic character and is always applied to = people. A Ty=EBrnel is a person who lives their life as if it were in itself a wo= rk of abstract art, their masterpiece-in-the-making, always unfinished, always changing. That work is to them the highest aim in life, really the most important thing in it -- more important than money or comfort or social s= tatus or even personal happiness and well-being; such a person would sleep in a closet their life long if it were to allow them greater perfection in the= ir art. That's about the best I can do to describe the word in a few sentenc= es -- or maybe in any number of sentences; it's one of those subjective concept= s you would have to write a whole book about before you can have portrayed accurately. I very rarely meet someone who strikes me as ty=EBrn, but when I do it se= ems as obvious to me as if they were wearing a sign on their foreheads. There is of course no way to strictly define such a quality, but there is also no need; no one is ever going to have to fill out a form indicating whether they are classified as Ty=EBrnel or An'ty=EBrnel ;-) "Ty=EBr" is a color, a sort of pastel reddish-orange. =20
>I've only ever come up with one Tokana word in this way, namely "kemet". >When a bunch of pigeons suddenly all fly up into the air, circle around, >and then land in an altogether better place, that action is called >"kemet". Or when a bunch of fallen leaves are blown up into the air >by a gust of wind, fly around, and then fall back down to earth again, >that's "kemet". There are other examples of "kemet" as well, which in >my mind seemed to form a natural class. The best definition I could come >up with is "the sudden, spontaneous, collective movement of a large group >of small objects".
I like this word a lot, and I don't have such a word. The closest equivale= nts would be "ayvannend" (which has to do with a group of many objects settling down after chaotic activity) or "flens", to scatter in the wind. The synchronized group reaction of a flock of birds or a school of fish is "tv= =EBn", so you might call a sudden group take-off of birds "tv=EBfyors wilv=EFay", = but this isn't as elegant as "kemet". It gives no assurance at all that they're eve= r going to land again, either :-) Josh Shinavier