Next: ironing board
The last few have been very difficult for me, as even with more than 10000 words in Poswa I still have major gaps in certain semantic fields, mostly relating to modern technology but also some areas closer to nature, where, for example, my only word for almond was derived from "seed-shaped", even though an almond is just another type of seed, so that etymology makes no sense.
This is a little bit experimental, but I've created a few other words with this formula. Basically it's polysynthesis, but I'm not sure if any natlangs use polysynthesis in quite this way. For this word, I need two nouns and a verb. Both nouns are incorporated, and therefore undergo morphological alternation when combined together:
is a Poswa word for clothes in general. This argument is the patient of the verb rather than the agent, but for an inanimate object, the accusative suffix -p
is omitted whenever the noun is indefinite, which it always is in this type of compound.
indicates a flat surface, upon which things can be lain; it often corresponds to English "table" in the wider sense. The locative suffix -m
that would normally be required to create the meaning of "on a table" is usually omitted in this type of compound.
is a verb meaning to flatten out, usually relying on natural forces rather than crushing an object with one's hands or another object.
is a verbal affix indicating the nominal stem of a verb in the potential mood. I'm not sure what to call this; its basic meaning is "now, you can [VERB]". Combining the four morphemes in the order given and applying Poswa's aggressive sound rules produces the word
But this is where Poswa's grammar diverges wildly from English. This noun can be used in isolation, but it will commonly be used with the possessive affixes turned on, producing the triplet
My ironing board / I have an ironing board / The ironing board is mine.
Your ironing board / You have an ironing board / The ironing board is yours.
His/Her/Their ironing board / They have an ironing board / The ironing board is theirs.
There is no distinction in Poswa between the three interpretations of the sentences above. But these are also verbs
meaning "I can flatten clothes on a table", "You can flatten clothes on a table", "They can flatten clothes on a table". i.e. there's no distinction in Poswa between the concept of "ironing board" and those whole sentences. I'm not sure if other polysynthetic languages do this, or if they would all add an additional morpheme that distinguishes between the general concept and the specific.
Now, of course, you might notice that I still don't have a word for iron (the tool), and that my word for ironing board could equally well be a word for iron, and perhaps would be better as such since I could just use blappa
as the word for ironing board. I may decide to do this, but in general I don't consider words for modern technology to be set in stone, so I haven't decided yet.
cane, walking stick