Let’s make a language, part 24b: The mind (Isian)

There’s not too much to say about the collection of words this time around, and I’m not going to bother with the whole “here’s what they can do” deal again. You should have a pretty good idea of that by now. Instead, we’ll look at some of the connotations that are different in Isian.

First off, mac “mind” refers more to the abstract notion of a thinking organ, as opposed to sayban “brain”. The latter only talks about that physical bit inside your skull, while the former can’t refer to it at all. It’s a more defined distinction than in English, where the two terms can be almost interchangeable.

Second, itey “funny” indicates humor, but not most of the other senses of its English counterpart. An Isian joke would be itey, but not something oddly shaped. (That’s not to say you can’t use it in a metaphorical sense, but it’s not the dictionary definition.)

Similarly, erda “act” isn’t used for a movie star. It’s more of a general term, probably better translated as “to take action”. It can also function in the sense of “to make oneself become”, as in erda yali “cheer up” or erdacan halu “I’ve calmed down”.

The word cobet, translated below as “intelligent”, also means “sentient” or “sapient”, in a technical context. But almerat “wise” can mean both of those, too. In this sense, almerat is more “philosophical”, while cobet is more “scientific”.

Finally, essentially all of the terms in the list below have regular derivations. Isian speakers can talk about happiness by saying yaliros, and they can be unhappy (but not necessarily sad) with ayalin. Agreement is awconas, hatred uldinas, and so on. True wisdom, or almeratos, is something few speakers believe exists, but that doesn’t mean they don’t strive for it.

Word list

  • angry: hayka
  • brave: abor
  • calm: halu
  • funny: itey
  • happy: yali
  • intelligent: cobet
  • mind: mac
  • nice: nim
  • sad: nulsa
  • thankful: nichodo
  • to act: erda
  • to agree: awco
  • to decide: sade
  • to fear: poyo
  • to feel: ilsi
  • to hate: uldi
  • to know: altema
  • to learn: nate
  • to love: hame
  • to remember: noga
  • to teach: reshone
  • to thank: nicho
  • to think: tico
  • to want: doche
  • wise: almerat

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