Tynsa irebä :: Channeling the Green Girl

{March 29, 2010}   grammar, what grammar

My Miresua conlang is alive, although you might not know it, seeing my lack of updates!

This blog, Tynsa irebä, was set up as my place to discuss grammar for my conlang language, Miresua, which is a mix of Basque and Finnish. But I haven’t done much grammar development lately. I’ve been busy with other things, and I didn’t write any miscellaneous stuff or mention my lack of progress. Sorry, green girl, I neglected things here.

Yet I’ve been regularly updating my Miresua conlang blog. I’ve created some new words, and revised many existing words. Most of these changes were small. Sometimes when looking at words again, by category, I could see ways to better use the available letters. I’ve been trying to make my Miresua words take parts from their Basque word and their Finnish word, and be less scrambled.

So, there are more Miresua conlang words, but not yet more ways to put those words together into sentences. To do Miresua grammar, I need to study, and somewhat figure out, Basque grammar and Finnish grammar. Unfortunately that’s a difficult task that’s easier said than done.

{August 2, 2008}   and the word is?

The Miresua word for “and” is TA.  I made that word up since the last posting (see my blog posting).  The Basque word for “and” is ETA; The Finnish word for “and” is JA.  I think TA is a good alphabetic compromise for Miresua.

When I make Miresua words I’m limited to the letters in the Basque and Finnish words.  For example, when making the word for “and” my available letters were A, A, E, J, and T.  I couldn’t use another letter, such as perhaps an “S”, if I wanted to.  There are rules to this, even if they are self-imposed.

{June 13, 2008}   the cat is black

In my house, there is a black cat. An entirely black cat.

How would one say in Miresua — “the cat is black”? “Black cat” translates to KITSA MELZA, literally cat black. MELZA is the word for black. There is no definite article in Miresua, so there’s no word for “the”. In this example, “is” translates to ODA. ODA is the third person singular conjugation of the verb OLNA which means “to be, to exist”. Miresua is be a Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) language, which is like Basque, but unlike Finnish (and English). Hence “the cat is black” becomes KITSA MELZA ODA.

There are two verbs “to be” in Miresua, as in Basque, and as in Spanish (ser and estar). If the cat being black was a temporary thing, such as a grey cat that rolled in coal dust, then one might instead say in Miresua KITSA MELZA ANGO, using the third person singular conjugation of the other verb “to be” which is ALGO.

By the way, my black cat is named Felix, and he’s a very good cat.

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud —
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.

—from Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

The Miresua word for star is AIHÄ. But what are stars, more than one star, the plural of star?

In English we usually make nouns plural by adding “-s” to the end of the word. In Spanish plurals are formed with a suffix of “-s” or “-es”. But in my conlang Miresua I won’t be following this convention.

Miresua takes its grammatical rules from Basque or Finnish, or both if these very different languages agree on something. Simple plurals in Basque are formed by adding a suffix of “-k” or “-ak”. In Finnish simple plurals are formed by adding a suffix of “-t” or “-et”. For Miresua, I’ve decided to add a suffix of “-k” or “-ek” for plurals. I chose to go with a “-k” ending, similar to Basque, because there are several Miresua verb conjugation endings that include a “t”.

Star is AIHÄ in Miresua; so stars, the plural, becomes — AIHÄK.

{April 13, 2008}   using adjectives

I added to the title of this blog TYNSA IREBÄ which means “green girl” in Miresua. Translated literally it’s really “girl green”. In Miresua, as far as word order, I’m going to place adjectives after the noun. (For those grammatically impaired, green is an adjective, and girl is a noun.) This word ordering is like Basque, but unlike Finnish. In this case, I chose to go with how it’s done in Basque.

This word ordering is unlike English, but hey, I can handle it. This is how French and Spanish do adjectives – for example, in French black cat is CHAT NOIR, and in Spanish big house is CASA GRANDE.

{April 12, 2008}   the definite article

The most common word in the English language is the word the. I can believe that. Most every sentence in English has the word the at least once in it. Here’s an example – The cat is on the blue chair. In English grammar, the is the definite article. 

In Miresua, my fantasy language, I’ve done away with the definite article. In other words, there is no word for the in Miresua. This wasn’t a random decision. Since Miresua words are a mixture of the Basque and the Finnish words, I decided that Miresua grammar would be a combination of Basque grammar and Finnish grammar. In hindsight, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The Basque and Finnish languages are both very different from English and very different from each other. 

Looking up in my Basque and Finnish dictionaries the word for the was a confounding, mind-opening experience. The definite article in Basque is a noun suffix of -a or -ak or -ek. In Finnish there is no definite article. I chose that Miresua would follow Finnish and have no definite article, no word for the.

There are a number of other languages that don’t have a definite article, including Latin and Russian. It’s not just Miresua and Finnish.

et cetera