Tag Archives: Language

Redundant English

I’m not feeling in a scifi mood today, so let’s play with languages! I was thinking about redundancy. There’s a certain amount of information in a given clause in English. What if we made sure that every word in the … Continue reading

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The Fire Nation Verb

The Fire Nation Verb-Tense-Aspect system: “wood” (irrealis) “burning” (incomplete) “ash” (complete) Ka-o ægni = The fire would burn/will burn/burns in principle Ka-i ægni = The fire is burning/burns often Ka-a ægni = The fire burned out/has burned out (combine them … Continue reading

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The Kingdom of Phoneme

This week, I’m playing with awkwords! The Kingdom of Phoneme is in turmoil, torn apart by the factions around the brothers Hluatat and Derifum and meanced by the great general S’LãGs̩ of Abjad, as they fend of the piratical attacks of Captain KuLaEn’ZuLe … Continue reading

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Two good books

I don’t want you guys to think I hate every book I read. I just finished (and enjoyed) End This Depression Now ( https://www.goodreads.com/…/13517594-end-this-depression-now ) and Talking Back Talking Black ( https://www.goodreads.com/…/33376054-talking-back-talking-b… ) End This Depression Now paints a more … Continue reading

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Bulgarian has words for:

to wake up completely: разсънвам се (razsanvam se) Raz-san-vam se glosses as “apart-dream-verb reflexive” something like “I break up my dreams.” You can add the same suffixes and prefix to buzh- (the root for “wake,” cognate to Sanskrit “Buddha”) to get разбуждам се … Continue reading

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Japanese Junction

(scroll down for the English translation) 私が書いているSFの小説の日本語の会話を手伝ってくれるませえんか。 このJunctionという小説の主人公は、日本人のテレビスター、松森大輔です。 この初めのシーンでは、松森さんと吉田監督にプロデューサーの竹田さんから電話が掛かります。 (吉田の携帯が鳴る) 吉田:もしもし? 誰 – ? お、かしこまりました! もちろん。 (松森に携帯を上げる)竹田さんです。 松森:はい? 竹田:君はね、英語話せるよね? 松森:必要ほどできます。 あの、ご存知じないかもしれませんが、撮影の途中でございますし。 竹田:締め切ろ! 荷造りして出発の準備しよ。 松森:出発ですか? 吉田:え? (携帯をつかむ)どうも、松森くん。 (松森は、吉田が携帯をつかんだことに苛立つ。キャリアが低下していることと吉田が尊敬しないことを心配する。) 松森:何が起こっている? どうしたの? 吉田:(松森を追い払う)残念ですけど不可能でございます。 お金はもう。。。キャンセルされた?(顔が赤く変わる)でわ、お帰りになるとおっしゃるんですか。 竹田:(くすくす笑う)まったく帰るつもりはないよ。 松森:どういう意味? (携帯をつかむ)竹田さんは別の場所で撮影させようしますか? この撮影は最後にすると通知いらっしゃいました。 私は健康ではないですし。 そして、東京で、あの、重要な会議がありますし。 竹田:松森くんの奥さんの弁護士たちは待てる。ヘリコプターのほうは待たせないぞ。 松森:(怒りを見せる)いったいなんでヘリコプター? (ドアが叩かれる。背景で声が聞こえる。竹田は他の人と話している。) … Continue reading

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Bulgarian root: Mah “wave”

In Bulgarian class yesterday, we were reading about eagles (like you do) and came across the phrase: Размах на крилете –  Raz-mah na kril-e-te – “Wingspan” (lit. apart-wave of wing-s-the). But while English span comes from a root meaning “to stretch” (other … Continue reading

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The Bulgarian of Moana

Yesterday my wife and I took our older daughter to see Moana ( Смелата Вайяна – Smelata Vayyana – Vaiyana the Brave). It was a great movie, my favorite since The Princess and the Frog, and I really enjoyed the translation. … Continue reading

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Five Star Reviews: “Black English as the New Lingua Franca”

Oh my God I have a new linguist hero. His name is John McWhorter, the author of The Language Hoax, the Story of Human Language, and I guess a whole bunch of other stuff I have to track down and … Continue reading

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We who Peddle: a Mountainbike conlang

The following are excerpts from We who Peddle: the Wewupshkwis language of the Habubshan of Weswufenland. From the Alps to the Balkans, the fierce Habubshan people (Wepshun habub-shan, literally “we who turn the pedals”) have long held Europe’s high terrains against … Continue reading

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