Friday, September 29, 2000

Malt§egj Project


Well, we already have e for and cleg for that.
and e
but reb*
or releb
that cleg
who/whom mleð/að
which/that mlaac/að
where mlaga
how mlycþid
how much mlaih

In the case of certain subordinate conjunctions which also function as question words/demonstrative/interrogative adjectives when they are modified by a preposition, the preposition, as always, becomes its suffix. These interrogative pronouns can actually be seen as contractions here, and it may make more sense to extend them to their full meaning to better understand the grammar, using the word “which.” (who = which person, what = which thing, where = in which place, why = for which reason, how = in which manner, how much = which amount, and so on) I will not make a distinction between the interrogative forms and the demostrative forms, simply for lack of imagination.

* By the way, for the sake of giving full credit where it is due, i should include the following conversation that went on as i was typing this section.

mioethdrauci: okay, i need a good word for "but" any suggestions?
domotran: in what lang?
mioethdrauci: malt§egj
domotran: hmmm......reb?
mioethdrauci: hmmm, that's not bad. i like that...thanks :O)

Malt§egj Project

Well, finally i get a chance to work on this a bit more. The lack of actively working on the language, however, has given me a lot of time to theorize about it and think about it. There are definitely some things i would like to change about it already. The first of which goes right back to the very beginning with the prepositional suffixes. I want to revamp them completely, because they’re a bit clumsey and i just plain don’t like the way they sound.

New word: yacni means black. (Ah, finally i get a chance to use that second value of y!)

New suffix: -ila is a diminutive.

As far as word order is concerned, it’s really not that important since we have all our nifty little suffixes, but i see no reason to make nouns precede adjectives. I may make a firmer rule about this later, but for now, stylistically, let us say that adjectives should precede nouns.

I've updated the runes a little bit, but i have yet to update the font.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Malt§egj Project

I haven’t been around to add much to malt§egj lately, but i did add a word. The word for sister is “adina” because that’s my sister’s name, and it seemed only fair. However, the word for brother will not be “eduardo” or “matthew” or “valentin” or “vladimir,” for reasons i think should be self-explanatory.

Thursday, September 21, 2000

Malt§egj Project

Well, that little tangent got me off track for a day which i spent creating an IPA font only to find a better one for free download from the IPA website. But in any case it should allow me to spruce things up a bit.

I’m still mad that i wasn’t able to convert this into a PDF file—one of my fonts had a licencing restriction, and once i had taken care of that i noticed that any unicode characters i used showed up as garbled text

Malt§egj Project

I've created some preliminary runes and the font face looks pretty good, but i have yet to develop a good system for the vowels. This seems the sort of language where vowels should be written separately as individual runes, but the runic system i had created uses diacritics to denote vowels, so i may have to create some. But here is a sample of some of the consonants:

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Malt§egj Project

I think i have the rune riddle solved. I created a set of runes about six months ago which were very æsthetically pleasing to the eye, and seem to fit the mood of this language quite nicely, although they are a little bit complex. They look a little like hangul and cuneiform had an orgy in a blender with heiroglyphics. They are very regal-looking, in my humble opinion, and easy to read, but a bitch to write. We’ll see—maybe i’ll simplify them as time goes on. Now i have to figure out how to make a font out of them; something which will not be as easy a feat.

Malt§egj Project

Times of Day.

nahadberi§ dawn
temet morning
nahadtemet noon
bara afternoon

Monday, September 18, 2000

Malt§egj Project

Okay, i hate runes. I’m going to have to rethink this part of the malt§egj language. In the meantime, i think just to pass the time i’m going to start coming up with some significant words so i can incorporate some of its use into my already overly polyglottal BOS.

Seasons and Holidays.

blewcþ winter
blewcþulsom winter solstice (yule)
nahadblewcþ imbolc
gðrantþ spring
gðrantþulsom vernal equinox (ostara)
nahadgðranþ beltane
gjobj summer
gjobjulsom summer solstice (litha)
nahadgjboj lughnasadh
cfidj autumn
cfidjulsom autumnal equinox (mabon)
nahadcfidj samhain

Malt§egj Project

Okay, i’ve had the weekend to pore over this, and i’ve got a couple of changes i would like to make. Firstly, to some of the prepositions.

to, at (-at) is now –a
in (-um) is now –e
for (-ic) is now –i
from (-o) is still –o
of (-ul) is now –u

I have created a bunch of runes, but i have yet to assign values to any of them. This is where i let the virgo side out for a while and systematically and mathematically went through all possible variants thereof, deleted the ones i didn’t like, and ended up with approximately 112 runes, many of which still need to be weeded out. My project for today will not be quite as intellectual, but will mostly consist of drawing up the runes and creating a font out of them, which i will then be able to incorporate into this document.

Friday, September 15, 2000

Malt§egj Project,

Okay, i've reached that annoying point in a language when i must find something worthy of translating and try to translate it, making up new words as necessary, to see what new grammar kinks i've got to work out.  The biggest problem with this is always finding something to translate.
I thought briefly about using the vǫluspá, but i'm not sure that really has the right "mood" to it.  But since i'm not sure anything really has the right mood, i'm willing to try a few verses...

Here is the registry of dwarves from the vǫluspá.  It's a bit long, but mostly because of names, and the translation shouldn't be too complex.

Þá gengo regin ǫll    á rǫcstóla,

Oh my various gods, first line and i realize an enormous oversight already that i hadn't thought of before.  I suppose it would be good if things could be plural.  Okay, this is going to be a pre-prepositional suffix, i suppose.  Or should it be a prefix?  Hmm, that would be interesting.  Or a vowel shift?  Nah, that's what i've got tsœxisca for.  Prefix it is.  For now, let's say "ac-." 

e cului acdje§tinul dyd t§oc    acdje§tbvlacatul,

I think i may be using too many syllables with this bloody language!  Anyway, one tiny line and we're at a whole new level now.

New words:

dje§trule, government
bvlacachair, stool

ginnheilog goð,    oc um þat gættuz,
craaga bjolet acblot,    e uleloi parþ dyd sembliv.

I had to fudge this one a bit.  "ginnheilog" i translated as "all-holy" which i then turned into "very holy."  "Sembliv" i kinda fudged as well.  "Sem" i just decided means "together" and "bliv," as stated earlier, means "think," so "think together" i thought worked nicely for "gættuz" (took council).

New words:

craaga very
bjolet holy, good
blot god
sem together

hverr scyldi dverga    dróttin scepia,

Uh-oh, interrogative pronouns!  Now, do i want to have a nice theme to them, like english and its wh's or french and its qu's or icelandic and its hv's, or do i just pull letters out of a hat for this one too?  I am quite fond of that gj sound—perhaps i'll use that as a basis.  Or how about the combination "ml"? 

mleð who
mloc what
mlaac which
mlumwe when
mlaga where
mlimiem why
mlycþid how
mlaih how much/many

mleð djogo§ acmalkiul    ga§agað mahat

New words:

djogo§ to ought, should
malki dwarf
ga§ag people, race
mahat to make, to create

ór Brimis blóði    oc ór Blains leggiom.
Brimiul svarðoc§ul    e Blainul acsturðoc§ul

New words:

-oc§ out of, from, made of
svarð blood
sturð bone

Notice that i've decided to add the definite article in here as well.  It is easier to see why if you read it as "from the blood of Brimi" than "from Brimi's blood." (Lit: "Brimi's blood-from-the and Blain's plural-bone-from-the."

Well, just that one verse caused quite a lot of rearranging and thinking to be done.   It's been two hours, and i really should start doing some work.  Unfortunately they don't pay me to sit around and make up strange languages all day.  Actually, they do, but they don't know that, and i don't want them to find out.

New Language Project,

I need a good negative sounding word for "not" and "no."  I'm tempted to follow most of the rest of western civilization and make it something with "n-," but this is going to require some thought.  Then again, of course, the greek "δέν and δέ-" play a large role as well in many latin-based english words (defragment, detract, decentralization, &c.).  The word "nag" sprang to mind immediately for some strange reason, but since nag is already the auxiliary indicator of the future tense, and since it means snake in hindi, and since it isn't far from "gam" backwards, i will have to think further.  Something negative-sounding but not necessarily related to anything in particular.  "blec"?  No, that doesn't sound right.  Because then "isn't" would be "blec ec" or "ec blec" (i haven't decided on word order yet).  How about "bleg"?  Yes, i do think i like that better.

no, notbleg

I don't know where vi§ivi§i came from; it just popped into my mind, and i liked it.  "And on the first day he said ‘Let there be vi§ivi§i!' And lo! he saw that it was good."  No, i'm not on crack.  Shut up.

"Oh, i didn't know that.  Maybe you could tell me about it."
"O, jaag dyd bleg apþan uloað.  Vi§ivi§i melem vlaad ðag jaagað paraceloi."

Okay, a couple new words there.

apþanto know
vlaadto be willing to

Something just occurred to me about those durned suffixes again.  Technically, the accusative form of "that" should be "ulað," but if i did that, there would be no distinction between ulo and uli in the accusative, or indeed with any suffixes added to them.

Official decision for the moment:  The french get by very nicely without that distinction, so should this language.  Ulo and uli will remain separate when they stand alone, but when they take an accusative form, they will be "ulað."  When they modify a noun, however, they will behave in the same way as the definite article, hence they will follow the suffix.

Jaag dyd culm ulað. I saw that.
Jaag dyd culm klagaðulo.  I saw that book

Totally new subject.  The preposition "from" is now "-o."

"I am from Minneapolis."
"Jaag ec Myniapolyso."

New idea here.  I'm having a hard time coming up with suitable words for certain things, so i'm going to try a little experiment.  It's time to create the runes, and when they're done, i'll do this the old-fashioned nordic way:  I'll throw the runes in a bag and pull them out, and create a word from the letters i've drawn.  Better still, i'll just draw out consonants, and fill in the vowels as i see fit.  Heck, maybe i'll do that anyway and pull out some vowels too.  It could keep things interesting.

Okay, i have 36 runes, which seems to be a nice number.  A, AA, B, C, CS, C§, D, DJ, DZ, Ð, E, F, G, GJ, GZ, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, §, T, TS, T§, Þ, U, V, W, Y, Y, Z.  Or, rather, those are the letters that will eventually become runes.  That will be a project for another day, or at least another hour.  Now for the drawing...

By the way, i've decided that "aa" will be pronounced as the IPA symbol ɔ.  Much like the o in dog, or the aw in awful.  The word jaag rhymes exactly with standard american pronunciation of the word dog.

I need a new name for this language, because calling it "New Language Project" is getting really obnoxious.  That will be the first word to come out of the hat.

And here it is folks... Aw, jeez, that's not impressive-sounding.  Fodzat§egj.  How about backwards, then?  Gjet§adzof.  That's not even fun to say.  Get rid of the fodza. Malt§egj.  Hmmm, now that sounds better.  By official decree of the High and Most Holy Ruler of the Kingdom of  Malt§egjaran, this language is called Malt§egj.

Maybe i should add a few duplicate runes of ones that i particularly like, or ones that sound good in this language.  I have a particular predeliction for Ð, GJ, R, L, M, J, and Þ.  Perhaps i should have runes for all plosive-fricative combinations.  Adding the labials and the dentals would then give us the following rune combinations:  BV, BÐ, BZ, BJ, DV, DÐ, DZ, DJ, GV, GÐ, GZ, and GJ; and their unvoiced counterparts: PF, PÞ, PS, P§, TF, TÞ, TS, T§, CF, CÞ, CS, and C§.  Not sure if adding 24 separate runes to an alphabet just to save space is really a good idea, but since i have not yet created the runes, i'll just wait a bit and work that out later.

A, AA, B, BÐ, BJ, BV, BZ, C, CF, CS, C§, CÞ, D, DÐ, DJ, DV, DZ, Ð, E, F, G, GÐ, GJ, GV, GZ, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, PF, PS, P§, PÞ, R, S, §, T, TF, TS, T§, TÞ, Þ, U, V, W, Y¹, Y², Z.  That is my alphabet thus far, although in the end it will not be an alphabet or futharc but its own order of things, which i have yet to determine.

I'm getting obsessive about this.  This whole project is to try and suppress my anal virgo side, so, moving on....

New words:

gjotto want (Don't look at me—that's how they came out of the hat!)
t§octo go
badjto have
t§aa§to come
tamecto need
guþehto like
t§ecmadðto bring

This is tiresome, and these words are far from æsthetic.  I think i'm going to take a break for a while.

New Language Project,

I've decided that klag is just going to have to be clag, and i'm getting rid of k altogether. I toyed with the idea of keeping k as an initial consonant and c a final or middle consonant, but it's too early in the game to be thinking about æsthetic and silly stylistic approaches to orthography, especially since they're all going to end up runes anyway.

Two new suffixes:


When used as a subject, they stand alone.

"Is this the book you were telling me about?"
"Uli ec §ylþ clagul calceloi melem dyd ðac jaagað?"

"Yes, it's my favourite. I stole it from that library."
"Gam, parec jaagul bocuram. Jaag dyd fram paracað clagaranutulo.

A couple new things here. Gam is now yes, and i think it has a very affirmative air about it, despite the fact that it means vulture in swedish. Numbers, i have decided, are also going to be suffixive in nature. Here i say "bocuram" for favourite, while it should actually be "favourite one." the suffix -aran will signify a place for something, much like -ary in english.

Thursday, September 14, 2000

New Language Project,

I suppose i should start thinking about exactly what sorts of letters i am going to be using for this language. I will type up the preliminary structure of course in latin letters, but the language itself will almost certainly be runic, and i need to figure out what sounds i will be using.

B Boy b
C Cold k
D Dog d
Ð THen ð
E Elf, dAY ɛ, e
F Frog f
G Gourd g
H εύΧαριστώ χ
I machIne i
J viSion ʒ
K Kite k
L Love, littLe l (no distinction between narrow and broad)
M Man m
N Need n
O Open o
P Pig p
R thRough r (slightly trilled)
S See s
§ SHe ʃ
T Ten t
Þ THing θ
U dOOm u
V Very v
W We w
Y If, Yet ɪ, j
Z Zoo z

I'll probably also have a couple of runes for combination sounds like ts, t§, ks, dz, dj, gz, and perhaps more.

I was planning to use y as a glide as in english, but i needed something to represent a short i (like in pig), so i'm going to have to find something else. I've already used j too, so that's ruled out. What's left? Q? X? No, that would just be wrong. I guess i'll also use y, and i suppose it should be obvious. After all, i don't think the short i sound would very often be found preceding another vowel. In fact, i can't even make that sound except maybe "Iu" which i guess would be roughly equivalent to the ever-disgusting "eew." I'll risk it for now, and if it shows up later i'll find another way around it. There will be two separate runes, in any case. I think, however, i will use only one rune for e, even though it can be short or long.

I like the word ðac. I think it will mean "to say" or "to tell."

Question words. Already feeling my feet slip on dangerous ground. I want an interrogative particle that will signify that a sentence is a question, like 嗎 in chinese or "ĉu" in esperanto. Chinese puts it at the end. Esperanto puts it at the beginning. I'm not going to have anyone say i'm just mimicking either of them, so i'm going to put it in the middle. How do you feel about the word "§ylþ"? I like it myself. It sounds almost dirty!

"Did you tell her about the book he saw on my table?"
"Melem dyd §ylþ ðac pulað klageloiul..."

Grammar alert! Okay, do i want a subordinate conjunction there or not? I think i do. Henceforth shall the word "which" or "that" be "calc." Thank you.

"...calcað pul dyd culm jaagul teflðapul?"

Speaking of subordinate conjunctions, i propose to make the other "that" "cleg." E.g. "I had thought (that) you told her about the book (which) he saw on my table." "Jaag dyd cwarþ bliv cleg melem dyd ðac pulað klageloiul calcað pul dyd clum jagul teflðapul."

New Language Project,

"Jalc dyd gelc melemat teflðaðam, mal melemul garm dyd nahad paracað."
"We gave you a table, but your ferocious hell-hound broke it."

A couple new interesting things came up with that sentence. melemul apparently works well for a possessive pronoun, in this case "your." Having prepositional suffixes makes sentence structure less important. Garm isn't really a word in this language, it's the name of the dog that guards the gates of Gnipahell in Norse mythology ("Geyr nu Garmr miǫc fyr Gnipahelli..."), and i thought "ferocious hell-hound" a suitable translation.

New Language Project,

By the way, j is equivalent to it's counterpart in french (ʒ, if you will). I'm not sure why the aa in jaag, but i'd like it to have a nice long drawn out sound, and i also don't want it to get confused with scandanavian languages (this would be pronounced "ʒɑ:g" rather than "ya[g].")

Okay, objective pronouns. I don't think i want them. Here's an idea—pronouns act in the same manner as nouns, and all objective nouns just get a bit of a prepositional suffix to show that something is being done to them. Since it seems to work for quite a few other languages, i think we'll use "at" as the accusative preposition. Hence, "he" is pul; "him" is pulat. If, however, the verb implies a different preposition, that preposition shall be used instead.

"I see him."
"Jaag culm pulat."


"I think about him."
"Jaag bliv puleloi."

Ding ding ding! First major change of mind. I think i will invent a brand new accusative preposition, having no direct relation to anything else. "-að" will do for now. "Jaag culm pulað." That way i can get away with saying things like "I give the book to him" and not be too confusing. "Jaag gelc klagað pulat."

You know, some would argue that every new prepositional suffix i invent could be considered it's own case. Please just think of them as prepositions, though, because i don't want to admit that in the last two hours i've invented a language that already has 20 cases and counting. If you do choose to think of it like that, take comfort in the thought that they're at least all regular. So far.

I've decided there will be no conjugation beyond adding e to the end of plural verbs. All tenses will have to fend for themselves with auxiliary verbs. Wow, this is sounding more like english all the time, isn't it? But i'm going to go extreme about this one. Not even a past tense. I suppose i shall need a past participle eventually though. Maybe not...

dydpast auxiliary verb
cwarþperfect auxiliary verb (followed by infinitive)
nagfuture auxiliary verb

Melem dyd gelc paracað parþat. You gave it to them.
Melem cwarþ gelc paracað parþat. You have given it to them.
Melem dyd cwarþ gelc paracað parþat. You had given it to them.
Melem nag gelc paracað parþat. You will give it to them.

New Language Project,

Okay, the lexicon so far is completed:

-alhon, on the side of
-apon, on top of
-atto, toward, at
-eðaround, about
-eloiabout, of
-emover, above
-iðbefore, in front of
-ilinext to, beside
-iþunder, beneath
-utout, out of

I suppose since i have a definite article, i should consider having an indefinite article that follows the same ules. How about –am?

"The house is without a book on the table"
"Margul ec klagalmam teflðapul"

Where on earth do i dream up these sentences? Okay, time to expand our vocabulary a bit.

I'm using the letter c in place of k, because as everyone who has read about any of my languages knows, i have some strange aversion to the letter, except in dlaci, where i use the letter c occasionally in place of t§, and k must therefore fend for itself.

I take that back. I used k in the word klag, but clag just doesn't look right. I will resolve that one later on, then, i suppose.

This seems to be turning into an explorarory journal of sorts, which is cool i suppose. Maybe i can sell it and make a huge fortune and retire to that little house in upstate New York and live happily ever after on the proceeds. Yeah right. Okay, okay, vocabulary.

How about verbs? I didn't really want to think about them yet, but i need some. Let's conjugate "ec."

I suppose that would be silly without pronouns. I think i don't want to conjugate too much in this language. I overdid it in dlaci with a couple hundred conjugations of each verb, but no pronouns, so here i think i'll overdo it on the pronouns instead and not conjugate anything very much. Maybe a simple differentiation between singular and plural.

pulhe/she (no differentiation)
melemyou (no differentiation between singular and plural)
melmineyou (very formal)

I am trying to keep this language very simple and beautiful and basic. I think it may be a subconscious effort to conquer the obsessive-compulsive virgo in me and see if i can deal with the fact that there is only one form of "they" and that all the words i've chosen so far have been completely at random with no relation to anything whatsoever, except for the word melmine, which i tried to relate to melem. The chaos is smothering me! But i like it!

Okay, the conjugation of the verb "to be."

to beec
I amjaag ec
you aremelem ec
you aremelmine ec
he ispul ec
she ispul ec
it isparac ec (or parec in vernacular)
we arejalc ece
yall aremelem ece
you all aremelmine ece
they areparþ ece

I'm tempted to delve into the past tense now, but i'll control myself for the moment.

New Language Project,

Malt§egj Project

An Exploratory Journal into the Creation of a Neo-Ancient Runic Tongue.

I've decided to start a new project from scratch here. This will be a bit like dlaci, but more free-form, with room for creativity over mathematics, but not bound to a language subgroup as are tsœxisca and latinova.

Prepositional suffixes. I got this idea indirectly from Tolkein, not because of something he created but rather because i misread a little runic dwarf tablet, and thought "wow, that's cool," before i realized that i was reading it wrong. I'll present a list of the endings i've created here with a cross-reference in german, french, and esperanto for more specific accuracy.

about über de pri/koncerne -eloi
after nach après post -av
around um à l'entour de ĉircaû -eð
before bevor avant antaû -om
before vor devant antaû -ið
behind hinter derrière post, malantaû -it
for für pour pro, por -ic
in in dans, en en -um
next to neben près de apud -ili
of von de de -ul
on auf sur sur -ap
on an sur al, apud -alh
out of aus au dehors el -ut
over über au dessus super -em
to zu à al -at
under unter au dessous sub -iþ
until bis jusqu'à ĝis -eci
with mit avec kun -oc
without ohne sans sen -alm

This list is of course merely preliminary, and may and most likely will be changed many times, but this is just an idea for now. Prepositions will be added to the end of the word they modify, as in chinese or case endings in latin.

E.g., "The book is on the table"
"Klagul ec teflðapul"

Just in translating that last sentence, numerous chapters have been added to this log. Foremost is the definite article, which is the suffix –ul, and suffixed prepositions precede it. Why? Because i just said so. –apul sounds infinitely better than –ulap, don't you think? In the case of the phrase "of the," –ul will be used twice, only because i happen rather to like it. It has a lovely rolling sound, i think. (E.g. "of the table" "teflðulul")

New Words so far:

ecis (I don't want to start thinking about verbs yet. I like it for now.)

I just decided that the word for table is teflðu, rather than just teflð, which would be monstrously difficult to pronounce, so henceforth, when a vowel ends in a noun, the noun will be supplanted by the adjoining suffix. (It's already hard enough to pronounce if you don't know that the l is broad.)

I'm going to be keeping a lexicon as i write this, because as i've already found with every other language i've ever worked on, if you don't keep up with it from the start it will quickly become a near-impossible task.