> From: Virginia Keys <virginiakeys@...>
> Mentolatian likes to take the nom. pl. of a noun and use that as a root
> for a semantically extended series of nouns. For example, we have the
> word dazg (house, roof, covering) whose plural is jí (from old dəzgí).
> This plural becomes a new root, j- and can form a new word with a
> common nominal stem, -un. Hence, jun, cloth. The plural of cloth, jní,
> plus a different nominal stem, -aru, gives us sinaru, clothing. The plural
> of clothing, snáer, yields a common word for a suit or wardrobe of
> clothing, sneres. Finally, the plural of suits, zrəzí, plus a curious little
> combining root, -sd (place where), gives us erzed, an armoir or dresser.
> Haha, nice! I find your post particularly interesting, as I had been trying to
> think of ways to grow families of words from roots. Food for thought!
For some odd reason, it just made sense for the language to go this route.
Some transformations are pretty obvious: enem (pl. nmí), spirit yields
manzed, chapel or temple. Some are not so: cwanu (pl. nwí), noblewoman
yields wanzed, inner court or newaru, debt servant. On the other hand,
another word for woman, mannu (pl. mní), yields nemaru, midwife. Other
transformational morphemes could extend these: nemaruta, health or
nemaruwan, to heal; newaruta, servitude.
Some of these require an understanding of the culture before they become
clear. The inner court of a Mentolatian greathouse is roughly what we might
consider a formal garden with the addition of ancillary rooms on either side:
library / reading room, a room for refreshment, etc. These are the women's
rooms and this is where Things Get Done --- quite literally the "seat of
On the other hand, and I suppose in a curiously odd twist of fate, if
a family finds itself in debt, it has been traditional to sell the eldest daughter
into servitude for a prescribed length of time until the debt is considered paid.
This actually nearly brought about the destruction of the whole culture. Twas
nearly two centuries ago that Mentolatum found itself in a scuffle with Auntimoany.
Scuffle ended, in typicaly Germanic fashion, the victorious Emperor at the time
sought to "seal the deal" with a royal marriage and quite naturally demanded
the daughter of the arquan in marriage. Consternation ensued -- after all, how
could the arquan condescend to sell off his daughter into slavery!? -- but there
being no real choice in the matter, the poor girl got sent away. Although she
apparently succumbed to some wasting illness within two years, every Mentolatian
knew it was really an act of honorable suicide. Anyway, Auntimoany went on its
merry way, while Mentolatum fell into a nasty civil war and economic depression.
The arquan was deposed and much that was fair in the country fell to ruin. Twas
only about fifty years ago that the arquanate was restored, but its reputation was
still very much tarnished. Much of the old esteem was refurbished five years ago
when the present arquan, on the anniversary of that ill-fated wedding, decreed
an end to the practice of newaruta.