KSK

First Flight (Chapter 103 - Coming Home)

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:blush:

Thanks everyone! And now you've inspired me to think about this a bit more.

About the only other Old Kerba we've come across in the story so far is Balcabar - explained by Hading as a contraction of Bal-cabara or 'homes on the sand'. Whoever told Hading that was correct but there's a bit more to it than that and kerbal linguists are still debating the precise etymology.

bal in Old Kerba is a case marker (Old Kerba is a pretty case-heavy language as you may have noticed :) ) denoting the 'means by which I accomplish an action'. In that sense it's somewhat similar to the instrumental case in certain Terran languages. A great many nouns in Old Kerba are compound words of the form bal+infinitive. This is less common in Modern Kerba, but even so, bal is a common starting syllable for nouns, especially historically important ones, and usually indicates that the word is derived from Old Kerba. So for example:

balskirn - spade. Contraction of bal-skirn, literally 'thing which I use to dig'.

balskila - knife. Contraction of bal-skila, literally 'thing which I use to cut'.

Cutting and digging of course are basic to Kerm husbandry, amongst other things.

Bal-cabara is a rather poetic word. Depending on how you parse it, it has two possible meanings. Writing them out longhand with all the (normally omitted by convention) hyphens:

1. bal-cabara  -   bal = thing which I use;  cabara is a verb meaning to shelter,  so balcabara translates to 'thing which I use to shelter.' Now some scholars of Old Kerba believe that cabara is a very old compound word of ca-bar-a. Here ca = fear; bar is a case marker for possession but in it's suffix form so here it signifies dispossession; and finally a which simply denotes a plural. Put all that together and cabara translates to 'dispossession of fears' or 'freedom from fears'. 

2. Contraction of bal-calab-bar-a. Calab is the word for sand, so bal-calabbara translates literally to 'thing which gives me freedom from sands'.

Put both of those together and 'homes on the sand' isn't a bad translation. :) 

 

 

Edited by KSK

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Class is now in session! Please direct your attention to the board. Grengous, look this way, and not at your paper. Okay. Today we'll learn the language "Old Kerba."

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2 hours ago, KSK said:

bal in Old Kerba is a case marker (Old Kerba is a pretty case-heavy language as you may have noticed :) ) denoting the 'means by which I accomplish an action'. In that sense it's somewhat similar to the instrumental case in certain Terran languages. A great many nouns in Old Kerba are compound words of the form bal+infinitive. This is less common in Modern Kerba, but even so, bal is a common starting syllable for nouns, especially historically important ones, and usually indicates that the word is derived from Old Kerba.

Oh wow. I see what you did there.

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1 hour ago, Ten Key said:

Oh wow. I see what you did there.

Expound, please.... in case someone else didn't entirely get what he did there. Not me, of course, I totally got it. No, that guy... like, over there. ---> <_<

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32 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Expound, please.... in case someone else didn't entirely get what he did there. Not me, of course, I totally got it. No, that guy... like, over there. ---> <_<

And this is the part where I embarrass myself. :blush:

It is entirely possible that I'm way off in the weeds here. It is also possible that this is something KSK has already spelled out directly somewhere previously, but. . . 

14 hours ago, KSK said:

In Old Kerba, an is a case marker indicating belonging or inclusion and, when used as a prefix, roughly translates to 'of the' or 'within the'. When used as a suffix (and this is quite a general feature of Old Kerba), it translates to the opposite, so. 'not of the' or 'outside of'. So a Kerm-an (or kerman for short) is somebody outside of, or apart from, the Kerm whereas an an-Kerm is somebody within or a part of, the Kerm.

Similarly olia is a general term for fighting or disputing. When used as a prefix it translates to 'attacker of something', when used as a suffix it becomes 'defender of something'. That 'something' doesn't have to be a physical object in the same way that you can attack somebody's opinion in English. So an olia-Kerm is an attacker of the Kerm, conversely a Kerm-olia (or kermol for short) is a defender or protector of the Kerm.

4 hours ago, KSK said:

bal in Old Kerba is a case marker (Old Kerba is a pretty case-heavy language as you may have noticed :) ) denoting the 'means by which I accomplish an action'. In that sense it's somewhat similar to the instrumental case in certain Terran languages. A great many nouns in Old Kerba are compound words of the form bal+infinitive. This is less common in Modern Kerba, but even so, bal is a common starting syllable for nouns, especially historically important ones, and usually indicates that the word is derived from Old Kerba. 

I will be the first to admit that the structure of language is not my strong suit, and I much prefer to "play by ear" than read through sheet music, but. . .dumping all of that into my brain and spinning it around a bit. . .

What do you suppose the etymology of ker-bal is?

 

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19 minutes ago, Ten Key said:

What do you suppose the etymology of ker-bal is?

:blink:

...and here I've just got guys spazzing out to the multi-language version of "Let it Go."

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That just rung alarm bells and made me search through the thread for something I thought I saw mentioned earlier.  And I think I found it.

Could be a grasp at straws, but I'm fairly well known for chasing shadows when it comes to references in stories.

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S'cuse me. Anyone seen a jaw around here? Ahh, yes, that's the one. Thanks.

Kerbal:  n.  contraction of Kerm-bal.  Translates to 'thing by which the Kerm does not carry out an action.'

Or in other words, a (very) ancient name given to themselves by a species who have declared that they will no longer be slaves to the Kerm. They haven't quite got a sense of identity yet either, since they are not declaring themselves 'persons by which the Kerm does not carry out an action', but that works too. After all, to all intents and purposes they don't have an identity at that point in history.

Oh man - that fits. That fits! THAT FITS! I honestly wish I could claim it was premeditated but as @CatastrophicFailure would say - that moment when you realise your readers are making connections within your story that you never even realised. And that is one heck of a connection. Wow.

You folks are the best! Thank you!

Edited by KSK

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You know what this is like?

This is like when you're playing with dimensional analysis, and suddenly you realise that those two unrelated things there -- they're the same. You would have never thought of it that way if you hadn't thrown those units around, but you did. And it was worth it. Because now you understand something deep. Something that, perhaps, few others understand. Something with implications.

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21 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

This is awesome. I fully expect to see an entire sequence all in Old Kerba in the next chapter now. :D

Oh... Ohhhh!  Now that gives me a great idea for a chunk of dialogue, if not for the next chapter then one further down the line. Provided that it fits of course.

In the meantime, whilst we're on a roll with this, it occurs to me that we need some case inflections. So far we have bal as a case marker in its first person singular form, signifying 'the means by which I accomplish an action. So, keeping all digits firmly crossed that I'm not overreaching here, lets expand that:

bal -  1st person singular - the means by which I accomplish an action.
bala - 2nd person singular - the means by which you* accomplish an action.
balr -  3rd person singular - the means by which he/she/it accomplishes an action.
balad - 1st person plural - the means by which we accomplish an action.
balda - 3rd person plural - the means by which they accomplish an action.

* Kerbals are a relatively informal bunch so lets not have formal and informal versions of you as found in French (tu/vous) or German (du/Sie).

Next, taking inspiration from the etymology of kerbal, lets have another case marker bel denoting a person by which an action is accomplished. Bel can also be inflected as shown above.

21 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

Class is now in session! Please direct your attention to the board. Grengous, look this way, and not at your paper. Okay. Today we'll learn the language "Old Kerba."

:D In that case, your homework - should you choose to accept it - is to parse the following Old Kerba word into English and in doing so, identify the noun.

balda-sathana

If I've got this right, the exercise ought to be possible from the above discussion of Old Kerba grammar. :) Don't worry about the noun yet - the translation for that ties into that chunk of dialogue I mentioned before...
 

Edit. Apologies - not directed just at @DarkOwl57 - if anyone else fancies taking a crack at this, please feel free. It's not at all important but I would be curious to see if anyone comes up with the same translation that I have. :) 

Edited by KSK

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26 minutes ago, KSK said:

:D In that case, your homework - should you choose to accept it - is to parse the following Old Kerba word into English and in doing so, identify the noun.

balda-sathana

If I've got this right, the exercise ought to be possible from the above discussion of Old Kerba grammar. :) Don't worry about the noun yet - the translation for that ties into that chunk of dialogue I mentioned before...
 

nopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenope

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1 hour ago, KSK said:

bal -  1st person singular - the means by which I accomplish an action.
bala - 2nd person singular - the means by which you* accomplish an action.
balr -  3rd person singular - the means by which he/she/it accomplishes an action.
balda - plural - the means by which they accomplish an action.

balda-sathana

So..... They.... they something. I don't think this part of the lesson is in the notes... :/

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8 minutes ago, 0111narwhalz said:

balda-sath-ana

"Thing by which they [something] without you?"

Revolution? As in, freeing oneself from the previous state of affairs.

"thing by which the Kerm does not carry out an action": I like the ambiguity between 'because the kerbals don't obey' and 'because the kerbals don't succeed'.

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5 hours ago, KSK said:

balda-sathana

This prompted me to make a document with al known Old Kerba, anyone interested look and comment here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit?usp=sharing

It also ended with me searching for 'sath' which doesn't seem to exist yet, and with my knowledge of the fact that I'm not enough of a linguist to sort these words well:D

I also noted that there are no We and You(plural) possibilities, bala would be perfect for we, but it's claimed already. The logic person in me is crying;.;

Edited by superstrijder15

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36 minutes ago, superstrijder15 said:

This prompted me to make a document with al known Old Kerba, anyone interested look and comment here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit?usp=sharing

It also ended with me searching for 'sath' which doesn't seem to exist yet, and with my knowledge of the fact that I'm not enough of a linguist to sort these words well:D

I also noted that there are no We and You(plural) possibilities, bala would be perfect for we, but it's claimed already. The logic person in me is crying;.;

You're absolutely right - original post edited to include 1st and 3rd person plural inflections. Also - apologies for the incorrect 'homework'. The word should have been balda-sathona which puts a rather different slant on the translation. @0111narwhalz's translation of balda-sathana was pretty much spot on though and I very much liked @CSE's interpretation!

All I can say in response is:  KSK eb belda-minsathona. :( 

Spoiler

Literal translation:  KSK is a person whom they do not rely on to perform the smallest deeds
Or in Modern Kerba - KSK is an incompetent fool.

Notes for the interested. Sath is the word for deeds or tasks and the prefix min (as in Minmus) signifies smallest. This is quite a general insult and can be modified in various ways. Bel-minsathona (person I do not rely on to perform the smallest deeds) is less severe for example and bel-sathona would be even less severe.

 

Edited by KSK

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24 minutes ago, KSK said:

You're absolutely right - original post edited to include 1st and 3rd person plural inflections. Also - apologies for the incorrect 'homework'. The word should have been balda-sathona which puts a rather different slant on the translation. @0111narwhalz's translation of balda-sathana was pretty much spot on though and I very much liked @CSE's interpretation!

All I can say in response is:  KSK eb belda-minsathona. :( 

I take that eb is the 3rd singular for to be, and an irregular verb?

also, would minsatha-belda be an acceptable spelling, 'not accomplisher of the small deeds for them', and this language also allows the interpretation of 'accomplisher of big deeds for them'

3 hours ago, CSE said:

I like the ambiguity between 'because the kerbals don't obey' and 'because the kerbals don't succeed'.

Or even because the preferred course of action was waiting/inaction

4 minutes ago, Garrett Kerman said:

I need a list of all Kerbal words. I am confused. Looking forward to the story's conclusion!

Look at the link I sent, this is improving realtime(as I add stuff):https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit

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52 minutes ago, superstrijder15 said:

I take that eb is the 3rd singular for to be, and an irregular verb?

also, would minsatha-belda be an acceptable spelling, 'not accomplisher of the small deeds for them', and this language also allows the interpretation of 'accomplisher of big deeds for them'

Or even because the preferred course of action was waiting/inaction

Look at the link I sent, this is improving realtime(as I add stuff):https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit

Yep - spot on with eb!  I haven't given much thought to verbs yet but eb is short enough that it probably is irregular.

And yes, minsatha-belda would be grammatically correct and that's a great translation! Probably used to express disappointment rather than anger or scorn, since the on (indicating dependence) marker isn't present. So minsatha-belda would imply a failure but with possibility for making amends (didn't do this small thing once) whereas belda-minsathona implies that the person can't be depended on at all.

'accomplisher of big deeds' (i.e. some kind of hero or respected person) is easily done. Either belda-sathmina (accomplisher of the not small deeds) or, if you wanted to be more emphatic belda-mansatha (accomplisher of the biggest deeds)

Edit, so in Old Kerba:  Jebediah eb belda-mansatha.

:D Really enjoying this!

Edited by KSK

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On 11/15/2015 at 2:32 PM, KSK said:

"Long enough, Mr President. Their Kerm is young - too young to have Knitted. Given another month however..."

"And we are certain it can be moved?"

"As certain as our botanists can be, sir but the longer we leave it, the higher the risk of permanent damage."

Another voice spoke up. "And we're certain that we need the blighted archipelago?"

"Regrettably, yes. The recent heatwave has pushed both Spierka and Forseti to the brink of Kerm saturation. With some sacrifices we can absorb the latest burst of Seeds but after that we have no choice but to look further afield. The archipelago is a stop-gap at best but a necessary one."

"And the cold storage option?" someone said quietly.

The President's voice chopped through the sudden buzz of conversation. "No. Our Kerm have the same rights to life as any other. We do not bury them alive."

"In which case, Mr President, it behooves us to move quickly before we endanger their Kerm as well."

 

uh........ help. What's this all mean?

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