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ReConLangMo 8: Storytelling

In the last episode of ReConLangMo, we covered conversational discourse as well as formality and other grammatical moods. I also covered my goals for the gender system of L’ewa. Here I will cover the closest thing L’ewa has to culture, the storytelling and poetry norms. L’ewa is also a language designed for spellcraft and sigil magick, so those norms will be covered too. This is a response to this prompt.

Stories

Stories are told as statements that happened in the past. Stories are structured in the same way that you would structure them in English. There is a scenario, a call to action, a refusal of the call, then the story goes on in the standard way. Casual retelling of events is done without a narrative, and the events are just relayed using casual sentences.

The particle qu can be repeated at the beginning of a story to enable the “story time” flag. Story time sentences can be figurative. Each sentence in the story progressively builds up the narrative to explain the themes and lessons that are trying to be conveyed.

Stories are told using the narrative present tense. Speakers also relay secondhand information directly.

Poetry

One of the morphological side effect of L’ewa root words is that only the first four letters of each word are unique. As a side effect of this, you can make any word rhyme with any other word if you want it to. L’ewa can become l’ewi, l’ewo, le’we or l’ewu if the poetry demands it. Poetry can be done in any meter or rhythm depending on the mood of the speaker. Poetry can also be formatted using fixed-width text. Here are a few examples:

le l'ewa de kirta
xi firga to renma

The language of Creators
is beneficial to all people
a'o ro zimpu ti
e'o so vorto

I hope you understand this
How many words?

I don’t think I have enough vocabulary to make any more yet.

Spellcraft

These poems are worked into sigils by interlocking the words together into a larger figure. Here is an example based on the first poem:

Ideally this would would include the letters spiraling around things, but my current tools are limited in what they can do. Sigils don’t need to follow normal grammar rules. They can bend and break them as much as they want or need in order to flow nicer. If they need to, they can also make up words that don’t normally exist in the dictionary. These words should be documented in the dictionary at some point, but there is no big rush.

Gender and Third Person Pronouns

Previously, I haven’t gone into details about the third person pronouns in L’ewa. This was done very, very intentionally. One of the goals of L’ewa’s handling of gender is to abolish the gender binary as much as possible. This means that any content word can end up being used as a pronoun. In order to avoid ambiguity, only part of the content word is used to form something matching the particle rules I was vaguely gesturing about in the post that had details about colors. To recap:

Compound words still need to be fleshed out, but generally all CVCCV words will have wordparts made out of the first, second and fifth letter, unless the vowel pair is illegal and all CCVCV words are the first, third and fifth letter unless this otherwise violates the morphology rules.

Let’s say that your gender is the word for “is meat”, or dextu. This would mean the third person pronoun form would be de'u (eu isn’t a valid vowel pair so the glottal stop is used to break it).

de'u qu tulpa lo l'ewa
They (de'u) built a language.

mao qu madsa lo spalo
They (mao) ate an apple.

If you want to declare your gender, you can declare it with the word zedra:

lo spalo xi zedra
An apple is (my) gender.

This would then make their pronoun sao.

You can ask someone what their gender is with the gender question particle zei:

<Mai> xoi
<Cadey> xoi ro zei
<Mai> lo mlato xi zedra
<Mai> zei
<Cadey> lo 'orka xi zedra

From then Mai would be referred to using the pronoun mao and Cadey would be referred to using the pronoun 'ka.

If you need a generic third person pronoun, use ke'o.


This seems to be the end of the ReConLangMo series in /r/conlangs, but I will definitely continue to develop this on my own and post about it as I make larger accomplishments. This has been a fun series and I hope it gave people a high level overview of what is needed to make a speakable language from nothing.

Be well.


This article was posted on 2020 M5 29. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

Series: reconlangmo

Tags: #conlang #lewa