Monday, August 16, 2010

The Jamin & Karen Supper Club: Midori's Floating World Café

Actually, the title is a little misleading: I went to Midori the other night with The Sweeties, not with Karen.  They treated me to what is possibly the only sushi place in the Twin Cities that i haven't been to yet in exchange for some laptop fixin'.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Midori's Floating World Café, but what i definitely did not expect was how overwhelmingly cute it was!  It's just adorable.

We got some tasty beef pot stickers as appetizers with our drinks, and i was very pleasantly surprised by the delicious peach sake cooler - pretty much a sake spritzer with peach syrup in it.  Very refreshing. Then came little octopus dumplings and some sort of tofu salad.  As cute as they were, i need to accept the fact that i just don't like octopus. 

For an entrée, i got the sashimi and tempura bento dinner, and it was nice enough, pretty; nothing special.  The tempura was particularly good - especially the sweet potato; the sashimi was fine but nothing to blog about... and, having just relearned my lesson for the nth time, i gave the tako to Ms. Fledermaus.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I just killed syllabics :Þ

So I take some of that back.  I've just killed off syllabics altogether, so you can ignore the bit about them being their own letter à la icelandic and all that.

C[+sonorant,+syllabic] → C[-syllabic]a

Syllabic sonorant consonants become non-syllabic and are followed by -a.

swistr → swistra (sister)
rign → rigna (rain)

It also has some interesting implications for verbs:

dūn, stēn, gīn - no syllabics here.  But:

wisan > wisn > wisna
waírþan > werðn > werðna

Here's also a nifty twist for Class 1 weak verbs:

wiljan > wilin

Some new words and rules

I've been playing around with some new words, and by extension, new rules.  I added a rule to "Mora Loss" (which is really just a sort of catch-all bucket for about 30 other rules) to include long vowels:

V [+long]→[-long]/_______## (i.e. a long vowel becomes short at the end of a word or word segment.)

I also added an early rule which may be somewhat superfluous, as I think this already happened in Gothic, but not in the orthography:

b,d→v,ð/V_______V (i.e. intervocalic stops, not including g, become continutant.) 

I think g did this in Gothic as well, but I'm imagining something a little more interesting for g as time goes on...

I also added a bunch of new words, which are in the lexicon, mostly for the purpose of examples in the rules:

dōr door.
dūn v.t. to do.
fūts foot.
gangan v.i. to go. Also gīn.
gēts goat.
gīn v.i. to go. Short form of gangan.
gum n.w.m. man.  
haus house.
hōhs adj. high.
ja itj. yes, yea(h). 
kwīns woman.
lōmyna lightning.
man n.w.m. man, person (not gender-specific).
nī itj.  no, not.
standan v.i. to stand.  Also stēn.
stēn v.i. to stand.  Short form of standan.
þȳþs person.
werðan v.i. to become, to turn into.
wilen v.t. to want.
wisan v.i. to be.

I've also decided that syllabic sonorants can just sit there and be syllabic sonorants, icelandic style (e.g. sivn - "seven", unsr - "our").

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Maltšέgj Project Reloaded... (only better than the Matrix)

I suppose this could be considered the first official revival of the Maltšέgj Project.  While codifying these entries into blog format, i've also undertaken to transcribe the lexicon on my linguistics site, and in doing so i've already made some changes, which in the sake of fairness, ought to be recorded here.

In part four of the project, i changed [ʃ] from § to ж, which is just hard to type and weird to look at.  For now, i've transcribed it as š (though i flirted briefly with the idea of ƨ, now that Times New Roman is a little more robust).  I've also replaced λ with ʌ, because it just looks a little neater, and all the various iterations of y and γ into plain old y.  I'd like to change ђ to something else, too, but that can wait... probably ǧ.

Transcribing these entries has reawakened Maltšέgj for me, and this might just be the beginning of a resurgence of the project.  Part Five, anyone?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Some More Thoughts on Rhotacism

I think i've been getting tripped up by other germanic languages when thinking about rhotacism.  In particular, I've been wondering how it would apply to the masculine singular nominative ending, and the fact is that by the time of gothic this ending has already become -s, and as such, rhotacism just can't apply to it.

I would still like to see some sort of rhotacism take place in gytc, but i don't want to see z and r turn into a single letter.  I think what i would like is a sort of runic-style "ʀ" with an indefinite pronunciation until i can come up with something more concrete, so for now i think it's safe to just use the ʒ character, and just wait to decide whether it should be pronounced [r], [ʒ], or, heck, maybe even [ɮ].  (I like ɮ.  It's fun to say.)

So we can put down as a solid rule that z > ʒ, but that this has no effect on s from a former z, and we'll decide what it sounds like later on.  I would also put this in a chronology where this change occurs after the rule in which voiced consonant clusters become unvoiced (e.g. razda > rasta > rast, not razda > raʒda > ract or rart).

I'm going to start a lexicon and rule page for gytc at to keep track of these sorts of changes as they occur.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Exciting New Merchandise, Gothy and Otherwise, for your Home Shopping Pleasure!

Hi Folks,

I just wanted to post a quick note to let you know about two new merchandising opportunities for you!

First and foremost, i've just about got all the kinks worked out in the Gothic for Goths T-shirt store.  The last kink remaining is that i need to sell ten designs before i can upload anymore.  Brilliant from their perspective; really annoying for me.  I've sold eight so far: I just need two more!  Won't you buy a gothy T-shirt?

There are eight items (two designs) available in all:
  • "Sa feina niuja swarta undarhams meins gneidiþ mik" ("My fancy new black underwear is chafing") - T-shirts in black with red or parchment lettering, or boxers in black with red or parchment lettering on the back or on the front left leg.
  • "Ōkai, sō dulþs waírþiþ unhráinja. Ik gawasja mik, gagguh háimō." ("Okay, this party's getting dirty.  I'm putting on my clothes and going home.") - T-shirts in black with red or parchment lettering.  "Ōkai, sō dulþs waírþiþ unhráinja" is on the front, "Ik gawasja mik, gagguh háimō," on the back.
So here's the deal.  I need to sell two more of these puppies before i can upload more designs, and i want to have a good, broad selection available before i launch the shop publicly.  Er, ya know, more publicly.  So if you happen to be reading this, go to the shop and buy a t-shirt or some boxers.  I will personally Paypal my commission (negligible though it may be) to the next two people to buy something (or the next two designs sold) - just email me and let me know that you bought it.  This deal is only available until i've reached my minimum to be able to upload more designs and launch the shop publicly, so order yours today!  Heck, i'll pay for your (domestic ground) shipping too

(Oh.  And for those of you who are going to tell me, "Just go buy two t-shirts yourself!  Use a different name or something." I already got called out on that.  Different name and address and payment information and everything.  And all I got was a delightfully passive-aggressive note: "Congratulations on your first sale! Did you perhaps order a t-shirt for yourself? For testing purposes of course ;-)"  So, meh.)

In other merchy news, i'm in the process of opening a sort of local shop called Cottage Industries where locals can buy homemade yoghurt, maple syrup, and home-roasted coffee.  It's still in the startup stages, so don't buy anything there just yet (because your order will evaporate into the adminisphere!) but i'll post when it's ready to go.  Yoghurt delivery is local only, of course.  Everything else so far will have some sort of shipping cost associated with it unless you live or work in our delivery area.

Ideally, once i get the hang of the shopping cart systems and shipping and whatnot, i'd like to consolidate the two shops, but for now i'll leave the t-shirt business in the capable hands of the experts at SpreadShirt.  Maybe i could have other neat little shops in there too, like links to Ms. Maus's fabulous gothy yarn and yarnstuffs, or other delightful local products.

So that's all my excitement currently.  Go buy a t-shirt!  I wanna launch my shop!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Articles, Numerals, Pronouns

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)

Definite Article

sa → sə
sō → sə
þata → þat(ə)
þana → þan/þən
þō → þə
þamma → þam
þizai → (do we have rhotacism or not?) → þizə, þiʒə, þerə?


áins → ēns
twái → twē
þreis → þrīs(/z/r/ʒ?)
fidwōr → fidər? fidur? fidrə
fimf → fim
saíhs → sēs (seks?)
sibun → sivən
ahtáu → ahtō, ahtə
niun → nȳn
taíhun → tēn
áinlif → ēnlif
twalif → twalif
þrijataíhun → þrītēn, fidratēn, fimtēn, sēstēn, sivəntēn, ahtətēn, nȳntēn

þrīxtigə [x = s, z, ʒ, r, or whatever it turns out to be when we decide what we want to do about rhotacism]


ik - mīns - mik - mis
þu - þīns - þik* - þis* (*not þus, &c.)
īx - īns - īm - īn
sī - īxas - īxa - sī
it - its - īm - it

wīt - unks - unks - unk
jūt - junks - junks - junk

wīx - uns - unsə - unsər
jūx - ixwī - ixwə - ixwər

Thoughts on Rules

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)


intervocalic obstruents split. (that means g too, Mr. Voyles!)

mora loss, mora loss, mora loss... unstressed short vowels, etc.

u/w umlaut à la north germanic? front vowels round?

ddj → ʤ
ggw → ngw? ngv?

(sk → ʃ/[V,+front, +high (i.e. i(:),e(:))]____)
(e.g. gutiska → gytiʃə → gyʧa rast)

voiced consonant clusters → unvoiced (e.g. razda → rast)

rhotacism? z → r
partial rhotacism? z → ʒ - have to figure out this rule before much progress can be made.

vowel lengthening/h-assimilation
Vh → V̄Ø, e.g. sehs (6) → sēs, taíhun (10) → tēn
[does it make sense to have some sort of "unless followed by s" rule like in other gmc languages, e.g. 6 → sehs or seks? Or possibly an earlier hs→ks rule?]

Phonemic Inventory (Gothic → Gytc)

(from handwritten notes, transcribed)

Long Vowels

ei (ī) → ai/ī
e (ē) → ī (?)
ai (ɛ̄) → ē
a (ā) → ā (→ ǣ) [i/j umlaut?]
au (ɔ̄) → ō (→œ̄)
o (ō) → ū (?) (→ ȳ)
u (ū) → au/ū (→æy?) [a little old norsey]


iu → ȳ
ái → ē
áu → ō

Short Vowels

i → i
aí (ɛ) → e
a → a (→ æ)
aú (ɔ) → o (→ œ)
u → u (→ y)

ə (from mora loss)


b → b
ƀ → v (intervocalic)
f → f
p → p

d → d
đ → ð (intervocalic)
þ → þ
t → t

g → g
ɡ → γ (intervocalic)
h → h (initial), x (otherwise)
k → k

s → s
z → z? r? ʒ? [rhotacism? do we even want to go there?]

l → l (syllabic=əl) [separate letters for syllabics à la Northeadish?]
m → m (syllabic=əm)
n → n (syllabic=ən)
r → r (syllabic=ər)

gg (ŋg) → ng (gg for nostalgia’s sake?)
gk (ŋk) → nk (gk?)
gq (ŋkw) → nq (gq?)

q → kw? q? [keep the labiovelar letters and add a new letter for gw?  or break them down to C+w?]
ƕ → hw? ƕ?
gw → new letter?

w → w, v [do we want any sort of w → v changes?  what environment?]
j → j

ʒ, c (=ʃ) (from palatalism or affrication)
(I'd love to be able to convincingly work in ɮ somewhere, but i dunno if that's possible...)

The Experiment Begins

I'm going to try a bit of an experiment here. 

I've been working on coming up with a sort of "Modern Gothic" constructed language, which at the moment I'm calling Gytc [gyʧ] (gutisk > i/j umlaut > gytisk > palatalization > gytic [c=ʃ] > mora loss [unstressed short vowel deletion] > gytc)

So far, all I have about Gytc is a set of random handwritten notes.  I'm going to plug them in here and then add to the blog as more rules or developments take place, so we will be able to see the entire "history" of the birth of a constructed language.  I did something similar about ten years ago with the creation of Malt§έgj, a lovely little a priori language i haven't worked on in far too many years. [Note to self: get Malt§έgj on the website at some point, too.]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gothic for Goths Lesson Six Online Now!

I just put the finishing touches on and uploaded Gothic for Goths Lesson Six: Raþjan.

Check it out on YouTube at:

Or check out the companion site with script and new vocab at:

Not the most exciting work i've ever posted, but necessary when we start reading recipes in the next lesson.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gothic for Goths: Lesson 6, coming soon!

A new Gothic for Goths lesson is percolating. It's a few weeks from completion, but at least it's moved into the conceptual phase. The next lesson will be "Matjan miþ þaim Gutam: Cooking with the Goths" and will include an instructional video on making the perfect yoghurt.

I've been having a great deal of fun all day coming up with gothic words for things like twisƕair (double-boiler), jōgaúrtareis (yogo-therm), and faítlaúss þaúrsus milukastubjus (non-fat dried milk powder), though that last one is a little bit of a stretch. Not to mention matlapin (tablespoon), drigklapin (teaspoon), and gamitastikls (measuring cup).

I have a floating holiday coming up, so i might have time next weekend to get it done; i hope my subscribers will forgive that the video portion will be taken courtesy of my phone and/or laptop.  I might have to invite some neighbors along to help with the preparations.

Gawizneigai sijum!