Make your own free website on


Kamakawi Main

Other Info
About Me

Links, Anyone?

TY Kamakawi
TY Home
Part 0
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Smile Today!

Fly Away Home

Scattered Tongues HQ

This conlang site belongs to David J. Peterson.
List All | Random | HQ
Prev | Next | Next 5

Scattered Tongues HQ

Part 6: Fiale ei! I have returned!

6.1: It's Been Ages...

Indeed, it has been: Ages and ages. I wonder how long...? At least a year. And what a year it's been: I went to game 5 of 2002 World Series (the Angels lost big, but they won the series!); I learned me some hieroglyphs; I decided to apply to, and now am going to graduate school for linguistics; I've been to Hawai'i ala; I live in San Diego, with my beautiful girlfriend, Erin; I made a website... Indeed, I've eaten many an Otter Pop since the early days of this TY dealie. But now, it's time to continue, so I shall.

So, since it's been awhile, I don't feel like straining my brain, so let's play with some numbers and colors! YAY!!! ~:D

6.2: Any Colour You Like...!

Just like every language, Kamakawi has words for the various colors. And, just like every language, most of these colors come from words for other words. For instance, did you know that (and this is a fact) the English word for "orange" actually comes from the fruit of the same name? It's true! Ask your local gymnast! (For a greater puzzle: Where did English get its word for the fruit orange? Well, actually, it was French. BUT, where did they get their word for orange? Huh? See if you can trace it all the way back to Sanskrit.)

Anyway, I'd like to hand over the floor to Iko right now, who will introduce the colors of Kamakawi.

Ipe: <cutting in> Hey! I haven't said anything in awhile. Why don't you let me do it?

David: Because you only know three colors, and two of them are gray.

Ipe: What're you talkin' about? What about that one, that...the one that's kind of black, but looks like a light black...?

David: That would be gray.

Ipe: Consarnit!

Iko: Is that a word?

Ipe: Oh, hush up, you!

David: Hey, you be nice.

Ipe: <ashamedly> I apologize. I didn't mean to be rude. I tell ya', I swear I saw a color just th'other day, though! Looked like one of those... Dang, you know those things that are on the ground and heavy?

David: Those would be rocks, and they're also gray.

Ipe: Dagnabbit!

David: All right, Iko, you take over. I'm'a go play me some guitar. I've got that itch only Zeppelin can scratch...

Iko: No problem.

So! Let's talk about color. The human eye can distinguish eleven basic colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, pink, brown and gray. Every human on Earth can distinguish between these colors, but not all languages have a specific word for each color. As it turns out, Kamakawi did not, until recently, when the new color terms were introduced. And so, I'll give you the color terms from oldest to newest:

The Old Timers:

a'i = "white", or the verb "to be white". It comes from the older word for "mist", which is still in use today.
lake = "black", or the verb "to be black". It comes from another old word for "obsidian", which is pretty rare today, but only about as rare as the usage of the word "obsidian".
eilili = "yellow", or "to be yellow". It's a reduplication of the word for "sun", eili, which, of course, is a word as old as the sun. It can also mean "warmth".
falele = "green", or "to be green". It's a reduplication of the word fale, which means "grass", another old word. Falele can also mean "forest".

Ipe: Hey, Smarty! What's a ree doop vacation?

Iko: Oh, Ipe, you silly drunk! I love you all the same. A reduplication is when part of a word, or all of a word is duplicated to form a word with a different meaning, or different sense. In the above cases, the last syllable of "eili" and "fale" was reduplicated to render a word meaning, "the color of", or "the sense of", or "something associated with". So, warmth is something associated with the sun, and green is the color of grass. Get it?

Ipe: I gets it. <guitar playing is heard in the background> Hey, what's that?

David: <from the distance> "I don't want no tutti frutti, no lollipop; c'mon baby, just rock, rock, rock!"

Iko: Sounds like he's playing "Boogie with Stu"...

Ipe: Boogie with who do?

Iko: You do!

Ipe: Do what?

Iko: Boogie with Stu. <from somewhere off in the distance, a man named David Ortiz sighs and shakes his head, saying, "I clocked you at fifty-three seconds there, Peterson.">

Getting back to business, Kamakawi speakers got along pretty well with those words in the early going. And, in fact, for other colors that were more specific, many reduplications were used--so many that it got confusing and became rather inefficient. And so that's when some new words were taken on:

The New Batch:

ele = "blue", or "to be blue". This was an old word for sky, but was only used for "sky" in the early going. It's still used for "sky", but now it also means "blue".
pata = "brown", or "to be brown". Way back when, you could just use eilili to refer to the color of the ground, and such things. Every so often, they'd used the word patalake which meant something like "dark yellow", or "dirty yellow" to refer to things that were very dark brown. Eventually they just borrowed the word for "soil" and "dirt" to use as the official Kamakawi word for brown. So, here it is.
tiki = "red', or "to be red". This was adopted from the word for flowing lava, which looks pretty red, if you've ever seen it. It's also still used to mean "lava". And the adoption of this word led to the adoption of another word...
tikili = "orange", or "to be orange". If you look at this word, it actually looks a lot like falele and eilili. That's because it was derived in the same way, and was, in fact, the old word for "red". Over the years, though, it came to be associated with things that were more orange than red--specifically, it became the name of a legendary fish. This fish, if caught, would grant his captor the gift of song and dance in exchange for his freedom. The fish was rumored to be a large nakanawa fish, which is bright orange. Hence, the expression, Ka nawawa lea ie tikili, which looks like, "He fished (out) the orange", but really refers to the legend of Tikili, and is an expression which means that the person was born with the talent of music and dance. Neat, huh? Anyway, because of that, the word for "orange" is now tikili, as is the word for "happiness", since music and dancing is the greatest form of happiness there is.

David: <from the background> "But I still love you so-o; I can't let you go..."

Ipe: What's that one?

Iko: "D'yer Mak'er", play on the British pronunciation of "Jamaica". Love that song...

Ipe: Reminds me of spilled soda.

Iko: Isn't that something...

So, the last three words came very late, and only came about because they came into greater use in the later years:

The Youngsters:

kuiki = "pink", or "to be pink". It comes from the word for "seashell", since the inside of a seashell is rather pink.
ku'uni = "purple", or "to be purple". This started off as only meaning "light purple", since the squid to which it referred wasn't really all that purple. Later, though, its meaning was extended to cover all shades of purple.
And the last one...
heva = "gray", or "to be gray". This one came from the word for "fog". It was the very last addition--and rightfully so. So drab...

Ipe: Hey! You're makin' fun of my color!

Iko: Oops! Sorry. I'm sure I meant nothing by it.

Ipe: How sure? <interupted by guitar>

David: Oooooooooooooooooooooooooo-hoooooooooooooooo... I can't quit you babe...

Ipe: I think I'm going to go cut off my ears...

Iko: You don't have any.

Ipe: Since when?!

David: <returns> How'd it go?

Iko: Well, I think. But only time will tell...

Excellent. So now you know all there is to know about the colors. Color, color, color! So fantabulous. Can't beat that stuff. But we're gonna try, 'cause now it's time for numbers!

6.3: Numbers, Numbers Everywhere, But Not a One to Tract!

As in subtract, know what I'm sayin'? Good ol' Coleridge. Any guy who can write a poem that inspires an Iron Maiden song is AOK in my book. Oh, but wait, that would mean that Tennyson would be AOK in my book, and thatcertainly ainęt so, lemme tell yaę... Stupid eagles and crags...

So! Let's talk about numbers. Even better, let's just number them and let loose:

Zero: kokulu
One: ape
Two: ka
Three: no
Four: to
Five: moko
Six: fe
Seven: upe
Eight: tala
Nine: paka
Ten: mou

How's that? That's not too bad, is it? Nah! It's aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall right, just like Supergrass. ;) Before we get onto the bigger numbers, let me just say that you can put numbers either before or after the nouns they modify. Generally, though, you don't want more than one thing in front of the noun, so if you want to say "these three fish", you say, iko nawa no, and never iko no nawa.

Now, for numbers in excess of ten, there's a simple pattern you can learn, and it goes like this:

For the Teens...

Take the word for ten, mou, add the word for and, oi, then add the number in excess of ten. So, the word for "eleven" is mou + oi + ape, or mouoiape. However, according to the vowel rules I gave you in part 1, this comes out as mowoyape (four syllables). Got it? So, "fourteen" is mowoito, "sixteen" is mowoive, and "seventeen" is mowoyupe. Pretty keen, huh?

Now, for the numbers in excess of 19, you have a new system...

Take the number for ten, mou, then find out how many times you need to multiply it to get your base number, and get that number. So, for twenty, the multiple is two. Then you take that word and add it to the front. So, twenty is ka + mou, or kamou, "thirty" is nomou, and "fifty" is mokomou. You can do the rest.

To do the numbers in between the tens, you add numbers the same way you did with the teens. So, "seventy-three", is upemowoino (upe + mou + oi + no). See? Easy as an egg on Thursday.

Now, the word for "one hundred" is kapa. So, you do the same thing: "eight hundred" is talakapa, "nine hundred" is pakakapa... And to do, let's say, 547, you add the word for five hundred, mokukapa, then "and", oi, then "forty", tomou, then "and", oi, then "seven", upe, to get mokukapaoitomowoyupe. It looks big when you just look at it, but once you know how it's made up, it's not so scary--he's actually rather nice. :)

Other number words...

One thousand: mele
One million: hoka

And that should keep you busy for awhile.

6.4: Days of the Week: Monday, Back from the Dead...

Good ol' STP. They're still going strong, if you ask me.

In Kamakawi, each week is not composed of seven days, but of fourteen. This is rather handy, as it goes right in tune with the moon cycles. Ahh, precious moon... The water in our bodies is all drawn towards it. There's some truth to what they say about people and full moons.

So, there's a very simple trick to figuring out the days of the week. In languages like English, French, German, Spanish, etc., the days of the week are often named after gods, with some oddballs jumping in every so often (English "Sunday", German "Mittwoch"...), but for the most part, they're all named after religious-type things. In Japanese, they're named after various elements ("wood day", "gold day", "water day", "fire day", etc.). In a language like Arabic, though, they're named just by number: Day One, Day Two, Day Three... The same is true of Kamakawi. So, all you need to know is the word for "day", which is ki, and then get a number to add after it. Oh, you also need to know that the week cycle starts on Monday. So, take ki, then add ka, and you get kika, the name of the first Tuesday in the two week cycle. Add the word for "eight", and you get the second Monday in the two week cycle, kitala. See how easy that is? Highly efficient. Efficiency isn't always a great thing, but it can be handy, every so often. In this case, it is. It's all right! Everything's all right!

Oh, just one thing. The word for the very first day is kiki, and the word for the very last day is neki--so, Monday, day 1, and Sunday, day 14, respectively.

6.5: Say, Why's It Called Kamakawi...?

A very good question, and since we've dealt with colors, why not throw this in? So, there's this word kama. It was the original word for a specific type of dye, but has been extended to cover all kinds of dyes and paints, and it's now used just to mean paint. The verb means to paint something or to color it, to give it color. The word kawi means cloud. So, kamakawi is a painted cloud, of sorts, or to paint the clouds. And, what paints the clouds better than a rainbow? So, kamakawi is the word for "rainbow", and the name of the language comes from the word for "rainbow". Why? Because lanugage is what you use to paint the clouds, man, make your world a little better, a little brighter. So, there you go.

6.6: Exercises (Just Like a Dream!)

Translate from Kamakawi to English:
1.) A heva keva.
2.) U ku'uni teli.
3.) Ka mata ei i maka tikili oilea.
4.) Oku pata no ikavaka oiei.
5.) Ipe nawa ioku nawanaka.
6.) Pale ue i palivi eilili.
7.) Mata ei i upe iki a'i.
8.) Ke ipe ioku moku!
9.) Ele ele; pata pata.
10.) Eli nea iu hopoko ka.

Translate from English to Kamakawi:
1.) I don't see those four doctors.
2.) She ate three orange oranges and seven red apples.
3.) His dictionary is gray.
4.) I don't love her older sister; I love her.
5.) Roses are red; violets are blue.
6.) Those two teachers are wearing green shirts.
7.) My older brother, my three younger sisters, and my parents live at my pink house.
8.) They're fishing in the blue ocean.
9.) That lava is hot.
10.) My daughter's not wearing a black shirt.

6.7: Makilotumu (It's Everything You've Always Wanted!)

ape (n./adj.) one
a'i (adj.) white; ( v.) to be white; (n.) mist

pata (adj.) brown; (v.) to be brown; (n.) soil, dirt
patalake (adj.) dark brown, dirty yellow; (v.) to be dark brown or dirty yellow
paka (n./adj.) nine
palivi (n.) submarine
pe'a (n.) shirt

take (v.) to wear (something)
tala (n./adj.) eight
teli (n.) flower
tiki (adj.) red; (v.) to be red; (n.) (flowing) lava
tikili (adj.) orange; (v.) to be orange; (n.) happiness
to (n./adj.) four

ka (n./adj.) two
kapa (n./adj.) (one) hundred
kakulu (n./adj.) zero
kama (n.) paint, ink, dye; (v.) to paint, to color
kamakawi (n.) rainbow
kawi (n.) cloud; (adj.) cloudy; (v.) to get cloudy
ki (n.) day (also sunrise)
kipaka (n.) Tuesday (day nine of the two week cycle)
kitala (n.) Monday (day eight of the two week cycle)
kito (n.) Thursday (day four of the two week cycle)
kika (n.) Tuesday (day two of the two week cycle)
kiki (n.) Monday (day one of the two week cycle)
kimoko (n.) Friday (day five of the two week cycle)
kimou (n.) Wednesday (day ten of the two week cycle)
kimowoyape (n.) Thursday (day eleven of the two week cycle)
kimowoika (n.) Friday (day twelve of the two week cycle)
kimowoino (n.) Saturday (day thirteen of the two week cycle)
kino (n.) Wednesday (day three of the two week cycle)
kive (n.) Saturday (day six of the two week cycle)
kiupe (n.) Sunday (day seven of the two week cycle)
kuiki (adj.) pink; (v.) to be pink; (n.) seashell
ku'uni (adj.) purple; (v.) to be purple; (n.) squid

eili (n.) sun
eilili (adj.) yellow; (v.) to be yellow; (n.) warmth
ele (adj.) blue; (v.) to be blue; (n.) sky

mele (n./adj.) one thousand
moko (n./adj.) five
mou (n./adj.) ten
mowoyape (n./adj.) eleven
mowoipaka (n./adj.) nineteen
mowoitala (n./adj.) eighteen
mowoito (n./adj.) fourteen
mowoika (n./adj.) twelve
mowoimoko (n./adj.) fifteen
mowoino (n./adj.) thirteen
mowoive (n./adj.) sixteen
mowoyupe (n./adj.) seventeen

nawawa (v.) to fish
neki (n.) Sunday (day fourteen of the two week cycle)
no (n./adj.) three

ikiki (n.) morning

lake (adj.) black; (v.) to be black; (n.) obsidian

-oi (suf.) add it to a number to make a larger number (kind of)
o'opo (n.) coconut (mmmmm!)

fale (n.) grass
falele (adj.) green; (v.) to be green; (n.) forest (archaic)
fe (n./adj.) six

upe (n./adj.) seven

heva (adj.) gray; (v.) to be gray; (n.) fog
hoka (n./adj.) one million

No More for Now; Try Again Later!