Honskhardn: Done!

Finally finished up the whole grammar.

Google doc here.

Progress lagged quite a big at the end, when I started needing to come up with text examples. This grammar won’t have a major text example as Pretistelen grammar did, largely because I just couldn’t think of anything to write for it.

Probably going to be a lot of updates to it later, since I’m still working on the Pretistelen lexical cognates in all the daughter languages. Indeed, I’ve already changed how two particular words in Pretistelen work (which means I’ll have to be changing the Pretistelen grammar), and that’s gonna create all sorts of chaos.

A lot of the text examples are probably a bit sloppy, since I last minute changed major elements of word order — in particular changing the prepositions back to postpositions (as the adpositions are in Pretistelen) and the order of the object and the verb from VO to OV.



Honskhardn 3: Verbs

So last time we did nouns, now we’re doing verbs.

So Pretistelen had verbs that agreed with the subject noun in person, number, and gender, in addition to having inflections for time, aspect, mood, and voice.

Cue Hónkhardn messing with everything cause it’s dropping the vowel of a word’s last syllable. (You may notice this has been a trend.)

Or rather, messing with the agreement markers.

Each of these elements are very specifically placed on the verb.

[Aspect] — VERB STEM — [time] — [mood] — [(gender/number agreement)] — [voice/person agreement]

EX: hokin-hokin-toll-j-ý-n “We will have to be cooking.”

Aspect, at least, has been totally unaffected. I may end up adding more aspects, perhaps, or deleting the two-way distinction that has existed so far, depending on if I see any verbs that could become satisfactory helping verbs or particles or inflections. Or any other words that could do those things. So far, though I just have the imperfective-perfective dichotomy, with imperfective marked by reduplicating the verb stem.

Time was similarly relatively unaffected, though I find the original past marker -u- / -ut- and future marker -at- to be needlessly similar. So I replaced the future marker with -toll-, from the word for “down” (the language having a vertical temporal axis, rather than horizontal as in English).

I have two voices, active and passive. For some reason unknown to my present self, I decided to mark person and voice with the same suffixes in Pretistelen (and, because language is messy and does all sorts of crazy things all the time, decided to just whatever keep it). However, as the passive voice markers all contain a full syllable, this means that the subject agreement marker is untouched, unelided, on passive verbs.

ot (second-person masculine singular active) > –ts
ondhe (second-person masculine singular passive) > –ondh

(Nouns and verbs share gender/number markers.)

Which means that passive verbs inflect for gender and number, whereas active verbs don’t.

Active markers:
1st: –n
2nd: -ts
3rd: -s

Passive markers:
1st: ng
2nd: -ndh
3rd: -z

And then the mood markers. Oh boy. This is where things got really interesting. I have three moods, in addition to the unmarked indicative mood: subjunctive, necessitive, and imperative (the imperative being the Pretistelen optative).

Although, if I think about it, I may have a better way to doing the mood than I had previously been doing it.

The mood markers in Pretistelen are as follows: -wé- (sub), –re- (opt), and -jy- (nec). These were generally placed right before the agreement markers, and because adjacent vowels contracted, this ought to result in horrible mutant inflections, which would only stick around because they’d be stressed and thus resist any elision (since, technically, the elision happens on any vowel after the stressed syllable).

However, I feel like it’d be simpler to just cut the vowel part of the mood markers out, to reduce them to -w-r-, and -j-, so that the conjugations turn out simpler, rather than dealing with four different agreement systems. (Which, I understand is a thing languages do, such as ancient Greek, but is not something I’d necessarily like to deal with.) But I guess this is one of the things I’d like some thoughts on.

Finally, I have two non-finite forms (well, four, but they split into active and passive).

First is the participle, which is formed with the suffix -is (active) or -az (passive).

Then is the gerund/infinitive. Because the Pretistelen infinitive was only marked with a diphthong on the stem, it basically has no right to exist in Hónskhardn. Instead, I have had its role taken up by the gerund, which is marked with just -s (active and passive). Which I understand is the same as the third-person active marker, but German is a thing.

Thoughts? Questions? Lay ’em on me. I’ll be here all week. And hopefully I can get the whole thing finished in four days. I haven’t even started on syntax yet.

Oh Yeah, That was a Thing

So I was originally planning on starting this sometime in the beginning of the month, but I guess since I’m only remembering it now, I’m getting around to it now.

So you’re all familiar with NaNoWriMo, if you at all follow this blog. There’s a lesser known writing month called Lexember, meant for conlangers to work on creating words for their constructed languages. Jumping off of that, I thought of another month that could use a clever pun.

So I’m starting Grammarary.

It’s like NaNo + Lexember combined into one: over the course of a month, I will write a full grammar for a constructed language.

I’m not actually gonna invent a new language for this, mostly because I have way too many that I need to properly flesh out, and creating a dedicated month to getting at least a draft of a grammar out is significant world-building help.

Dunno if I’ll actually share the language, though. Guess that depends on if the three of you that read this are interested?

NaNoWriMo 2017 Reflection

So, being a writer, of course I did NaNoWriMo.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it all the way to 50,000 words this month; rather, I only got just over 32,000 words. On the one hand, this is a little disappointing; on the other hand, this is a marked improvement over previous years — it’s more than I’ve ever written for any November since I started doing NaNoWriMo.

This year saw some interesting challenges, which I’m ascribing my lack of word count to (rather than my propensity to procrastinate, though I won’t pretend that was a factor as well). Rather than a standard piece, I wrote a fanfiction for an animated television series (okay, it was an anime); this meant having to watch the series in order to make sure I was getting scenes and dialogue right.

Which ended up being a problem when the fan in my room was roaring too loudly for me to properly hear what the characters were saying.

“But dude,” I hear you say, “why didn’t you just write somewhere else?”

A fair point. And sometimes I did, and got quite a bit of work done in other places. But doing that meant having to carve out specific time to write, which I’ve been finding really isn’t my style. I’ve been finding my style is more to write in the gaps, as it were, rather than at specific times.

Fabrication: Manifestations 1

So after a hiatus of like a month or more, I should probably get around to considering devices and creatures that would integrate biocrystal, or else be made more or less entirely of biocrystal.

So I suppose I’ll be giving a few literary sketches of what these constructs would look like. I’ve already considered some such constructs in previous posts, and I’ll probably bring those in as we continue.

The first construct I’d like to go over is a literal power plant. I’ve primarily envisoned this as a tree, though it needn’t necessarily be in that shape, rather than, say, a bush. The central trunk would probably have an exterior of stone or incolorite — really, whatever the plant could get its metaphorical hands on — in order to provide protection from predators and the elements. Further up, where the trunk splits into branches, however, this covering would become less frequent or even nonexistant, the inner strands of ianthite blooming out in fractal threads. At the end of these strands, then, would be small melanite flowers, like a fruit tree in the early spring — only if all the flowers were black, rather than some bright/warm color.

I suppose it would be a rather strange sight, black flowers blossoming from violet branches bursting out of a translucent or stoney trunk.

Within the trunk, then, would lay the heart of this creature, a knot of cerulite at the intersection of all the ianthite radiating through the tree.

I initially imagined this tree being built by people for people, but I don’t think I’d be surprised to see it in the wild. Honestly, for that it would only need a few modifications.

In the wild, then, the cerulite core would be wrapped in a coccoon of viridite — not entirely, at least not usually. On regular intervals, probably about once a year or so, or when the tree’s roots bring up more material than usual, rosete tendrils would close the coccoon and another adjacent coccoon (or, more likely, three or more adjacent coccoons), activating the viridite.

Actually, now that I think about it, the regular intervals would probably be however long it took to begin this reproductive process after the completion of the last one.

But anyway, using sand or stone collected in these extra coccoons, probably transformed by some aurantite further below the core into incolorite, the tree would construct fetal copies of its cerulite core. Rosete tendrils would then carry these out of the trunk onto the branches where, probably in a strong breeze, the natal cores would fall away into the wide world.

Of course, using that template, you could probably get a huge variety of biocrystal plants, all varying in their cerulite programming to form different flower shapes, different flower numbers, different heights and widths and volumes, different numbers of branches, different trunk compositions, and different methods of spreading their seeds.

On the one hand I don’t think they’d compete with plants much, since they wouldn’t benefit so much from soil, since they’d receive their “nutrients” from sand and stone, where normal plants wouldn’t grow. It would certainly make deserts and mountains more interesting on worlds with biocrystal, transforming these voids into crystal forests, to complement the biological forests in more welcoming environments. On the other hand, I’m not sure how these biocrystal plants would flourish underwater, though at least the biggest issue for any potential beings of this nature would be the lack of light at lower depths — places that would otherwise be perfect for them, wide plains teeming with silt and sand and stone. At the bare minimum, any biocrystal growing at the lowest depths would have to exchange their standard photosynthetic charge for some other force, or perhaps rely solely on heat charge.

Thoughts? Queries? Ideas?

Hopefully next week I’ll be writing about animals made of biocrystal or integrating biocrystal.

Fabrication: History #6

And we’re back! Finally not sick or over-busy.

Previously in the History sequence we’ve discussed albate, the biocrystal of appearance, rosete, about autokinesis and movement, rubrite, about allokinesis and moving other things, melanite, about sensation and perception, and aurantition, about modifying solids. This week I’d like to consider flavition, the biocrystal of hydromorphosis — that is, transforming liquids.

The primary usage I would consider, and probably one of the first applications, owing to the high practicality of it, would be water filtration. By placing clean water in an essence container input of a flavite machine, one would easily be able to create more clean water and filter out bad materials. Similarly, waste water could be transformed into clean water and detritus that could then be more efficiently be rid of, or which perhaps would itself be transformed into clean water.

Other uses would probably be the dissemination of liquid medicines, and perhaps also disseminating various drinks — though that at least would be more difficult, owing to the organic nature of many of the kinds of liquids people are wont to intake, such as alcohols and juices.

Are there any applications that you would try, were you to have a biocrystal machine that could transform one liquid into another?

Fabrication: Addendums and Additions

First off, a major change: I’ve decided to switch the names of two systems/biocrystals: albate and melanite. The primary reason for this is that I feel the magic of perception (or recception) should be black, rather than white, as black is the color of omni-absorbtion, the color of an object that absorbs all light; and the magic of the skin (being perceived) should be white, rather than black, as white is the color of omni-reflection, the color of an object that reflects all light.

Next is an idea for the use of melanite. I have discussed augmentations, particularly with rosete (and some with melanite). Theoretically, one could design melanite glasses or hearing aids. Then one could fit them to a mask or helmet, for good protection as well as good vision and perception.

I also have some considerations for color, particularly when it comes to melanite and albate. It’s certainly not uncommon for gems or crystals to be of two or more colors; in some similar manner biocrystal may vary in color. Albate certainly would widely vary in color, due to color change and camoflague and appearance being its primary purposes, but I think regardless of its color, it would always retain a white rim, a white edge, more or less. Melanite would work similarly, but with a black rim, and would perhaps also vary in color, likely depending on what the melanite senses.

Other thoughts? Don’t hesitate to comment, please.