Lexember 2020


My theme for Lexember this year will be ‘Jackalopes and Unicorns’  and the language I will be creating words for will be Nìmpyèshiu again. Both Jackalopes and Unicorns are important domesticated animals to the Nìmpyèràn, so this Lexember I will create some specialist vocabulary for them. 

However, I already created some vocabulary associated with jackalopes and unicorns that is worth mentioning. Since Lexember is about creating new words, I don’t want to put these pre-existing words in my main posts. So in this brief post I will quickly explain some pre-existing Nìmpyèshiu words that may be important to this year’s Lexember posts.

First I have the words for ‘jackalope’ and ‘unicorn’ themselves: 

  • Mìriaji̤ [ˈmɪ̂ːɹɪɐd͡ʑ̤ɪ̤́] is a formal word for jackalope, literally meaning ‘horned animal’ possibly a calque from a Mateshiyu word
  • Riiyagíi [ɹiːjɐˈgǐː] is a more informal word for jackalope borrowed from Mateshiyu
  • Na̤ [ˈn̤ɐ̤́] means unicorn, possibly an ideophone

Also, I already have a couple of words for ‘horn’: 

  • Mìria [ˈmɪ̂ːɹɪɐ] (literally ‘sharp animal-part’) is a generic word for horn, but pro-typically refers jackalope horns.
  • Ama̤ge̤ria [ɐˈm̤ɐ̤́gʱɛ̤́ɹɪɐ] (literally ‘tree-branch animal-part’) refers to antlers and antler-shaped horns. Apparently in English, ‘true’ antlers are seasonal while ‘true’ horns are permanent, but no such distinction is made in Nìmpyèshiu. It’s more about the appearance of the structure. 

To clarify: both Jackalope and unicorns have permanent horns. Jackalope horns can vary widely shape depending on the breed. Also, the unicorns in my world have horns that resemble rhinoceros horns rather than the traditional narwhal-tusk-styled horns. I would like do some more words about specific horn-shapes, and maybe a word to specifically refer to a unicorn’s horn.

Finally, some pre-existing unicorn-based vocabulary:

  • Bàna̤ [ˈbɐ̂ːn̤ɐ̤́] – verb. to trot [walk-unicorn]
  • Kwṳna̤ [ˈkw̤ṳ́n̤ɐ̤́] – noun. cavalry (in plural), horseman (formal) [calque from Ouchiwu] [sit-unicorn]
  • Kóná [ˈkǒːnɐ̌ː] – noun. cavalry (in plural), horseman (informal) [borrowed from Ouchiwu] [ride-unicorn]


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