din wrote:Tormiott (Rockall):
iadan ˈjɛðɪn (v) to seize, to take something from someone
- ia- (pref) by force or inevitably; powered by a machine or engine
- dan (v) to take (changing possession); take in one's hands
next: light bulb
What's a bulb? An onion upside down.
I'm not being particularly imaginative here, since the English word followed exactly the same sense evolution, but I don't see any alternative that would make sense to a culture that often describes things by shape and does not have electricity natively.
Right now the Poswa word listed for onion is luvumpwup
, which means roughly "makes (me) cry when (i) peel it". That's cute but lately I've thought about replacing words like this with inherited ones from the protolanguage, even when they are highly polysemic. In this case there is an inherited word ny
which also means onion and nothing else. This could mix with the inherited word uva
"thumb, finger" to form a new word specifically for the bulb of an onion, and which could possibly supplant luvumpwup
as the word for onion itself.
If I decide to go with this method, the word would likely have been formed at an early stage in the language, not in modern Poswa, since this is just the word for bulb, not the word for light bulb. Therefore instead of ny + uva
I'd be looking at nə + ūa
, which would yield nəura
in the proto-language and thus nuva
in modern Poswa. I will add an -s
, I think, which in this context means "shaped like", even though I suspect most languages would simply use context to distinguish between a literal onion and something shaped like one.
Then I have to come up with a word for "light-giving". This will be much simpler, since there already is a word for lantern, in fact quite a few of them. I dont think of illumination as a recent innovation in my world, but perhaps the words for lantern ultimately derive long ago from words for fire or the sun. I have a choice between any of the following words, which for this purpose would be suited equally well: bwiš
"lantern, lamp"; pfwupfwup
"handheld light source"; puvwas
"lamp, lantern"; and tša
"light source, heat source".
I think I will choose puvwas
, as I've always thought of it as being for floor lamps more so than the other words, and it is used as a symbolic word to describe blonde people, since blonde people also "shine" at about the same height as a floor lamp. So a light bulb is a blonde onion. Note, though, that the order of words is reversed, since this word is for a bulb, and not for something that has a bulb. Thus the word for light bulb is
Showing loss of -s
before a nasal.
In Pabappa the short word for onion would have died out early enough that it would not be likely for it to survive even compounded with a word for thumb. Their word for onion is wapup
, which literally means "makes (me) rain" and is derived from the same word as Poswa's luvumpwup
, and was once used as the verb for crying. I think that I will add the -s
here as well, particularly since this word is more strongly tied to the meaning "onion" rather than the shape.
For "lamp" I have a choice between wunipa
, both of which are cognates to Poswa words above. Peppi
is mostly found in the compound form peppiplum
"lantern, handheld lamp", which might make it inappropriate for this context. But on the other hand, it has the advantage of seeing greater use in the lexicon, and therefore being a more productive word. I think therefore that I will choose peppi
, and the resulting word for lightbulb will be
Which looks like it means "lamp of bulb" because the "shape of" morpheme collides with the genitive. But as in Poswa, people are familiar with both morphemes and will know from context which is intended.
camp, resting place