Archive for October, 2011

Baranxe’i – Inari and Andala: An Introduction

A quick video in Baranxe’i for your delight:

Try and guess what’s going on before reading on!

Click here for a transcription and translation.


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Conreligion: Ēmandē – Basic Overview

Ēmandē, rarely also Ēmindē, (SB [ˈɛːmɑndɛ] / [ˈɛːmindɛ], TS [ɛːˈmɑndɛ]) is a Baranxe’i term for the religious beliefs and practices native to the Baranxtumi people, and by extension those of other Marchers and Meleiyans, as well. Its literal translation is ‘the worship’, connected to the verb ēmanða/ēminðaworship, revere, show respect’; a term to denote other religions is ēmanðīr . The PA root is *ēmń̩.

The actual religious beliefs and practices of the Baranxtumi people show high regional and sectarian variation, although they remain connected in their basic deities, myths and morality.

The first subgroup is the Ēmandē Sauba (organized worship, shortened also the Saubu) formerly a kind of state religion and in modern Baranxtu still the most publically prominent form. It is a highly hierarchic structure and owns and runs most temples and shrines in urban Baranxtu; it is led by a triad formed by the High Priest of Baranxi (always a man), the High Priestess of Maña (always a woman) and the High Priest of Mēlēija (varies), who are elected for life. Other countries with Emandean religions have similar institutions, although the primary deities can and do differ.
The Saubu has always been closely tied to the state, and less directly to its people; its function was to ensure the well-being of the state by paying hommage to the gods and carrying out their rituals. Especially in the cities, however, it has also been adopted as the primary religion practiced by the wealthy and the nobility.
The Saubu also had a hand in establishing and maintaining schools of higher learning, although secular universities have existed side-by-side with these. Furthermore, the Saubu also maintains the Temple Speech (Źutarġauz), the highly and artifically archaic Baranxe’i lect used to recite hymns, prayers and to read the myths in ceremonies.
These myths are recording in the Ēmandēja, the scriptures, and represent a standardised collection of the rather more divergent local myths.

In most religious Baranxtumis’ daily life, the Ēmandē Rauvēntu (farmer’s worship, or shortened the Rauvu, the soil) is much more important. It is the folk religion of the common people, and although it shares its gods and myths and concepts with the Saubu, it also differs significantly from it.
Unlike the Saubu, the Rauvu is not formally organised, and doesn’t truly recognise priests and priestesses, although villages usually had a family taking over religious leadership duties. Some of these families also keep contact with each otherThe Rauvu is closely entwined with Baranxtumi folk medicine, costumary law and mysticism.
It relies heavily on oral transmission, although some subtraditions keep their own sacred writings. Others, especially in mid-sized towns, have adopted the Saubu’s scriptures, but added their own myths.
The Rauvu keeps some rituals alive that have long been abandoned by the Saubu; the most prominent examples of these is the Sacred Dance (referred to in SB as Āraþ Śāŋu and in TS as Ś-Āraþ, but its local names are manifold).
The full name Ēmandē Rauvēntu is used primarily by members of the Saubu, particularly the clergy, and is negatively connotated. Rauvu, on the other hand, emerged as a self-designation among Rauvunīja, who use it to emphasise that their religion is natural and egalitarian, and not as artificial and hierarchic as the Saubu.

Finally, there are the Ān-Śanixa Ēmandētu (new branches of Ēmandē, shortened also to Śanixa, splittings), which could be called sects. They are splinter groups and religious movements that sprang up after Baranxtu became an independent country and usually have an identifiable founder and even a definitive founding date.
Most of them were short lived and usually dissipated after the death of their founder (or one or two generations later), with few having a lingering effect.

These subdivisions follow Saubu terminology, and as such are not always accepted by some Rauvu practitioners or Śanixa followers.
In particular, Śanixa movements which see themselves as the sole legitimate religion would classify Saubu as heretics. Less extreme Śanixa  may still prefer to see themselves as part of the Rauvu, and indeed, some traditions within the Rauvu would be classified as Śanixa if it weren’t for their age, predating the formal establishment of the Saubu.
In general, relations between the Saubu and the Rauvu have been neutral to antagonistic, but rarely hostile. There have been periods where the Saubu was heavily promoted over the Rauvu in an attempt to combat regionalism, or to enforce spiritual purity (the former attempts were usually spearheaded by Baranxtuan monarchs, the latter by particularly powerful Saubu triads), but overall, the two have largely existed side-by-side. Nevertheless, urban Saubu followers often see the Rauvu as a rural, backwards collection of superstitions and tainted, bastardised myths, and many Rauvu followers see the Saubu as the religion of arrogant elitists.
The relation between the Saubu and the Śanixa have usually been much more hostile, with the Saubu spending a lot of money and manpower on eradicated Śanixa movements. This sometimes included violent actions, either through incitation of the common people against Śanixa followers, through the hiring of mercenaries to eradicate the groups, or at times even state-backed military actions.
The relations between the Rauvu and the Śanixa have been much more mixed, and generally depended highly on the nature of a particular Śanixa movement. Those that claimed supremacy were met with hostility, whereas others which arose as a form of organised Rauvu, for example, faced much less Rauvu resistance, and sometimes were and are practiced syncretically.

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Proto-Aketamsei: Numerals

And because today marks my 50 clicks, a celebratory second post 😀 !

So, last time, we took a look at the numerals of Baranxe’i. I meant to include some diachronics, too, but I completely forgot, so here we go, the number 1 – 10 in Proto-Aketamsei (PA), Standard Baranxe’i (SB) and Standard Asuāneica (SA):







one m̩ ɑːm mɒː ˈuːwu mɛː
two ɑt̪ʰr̩ ɑːθɐɾ ˈɑːθɾɒ ˈɑʂɻ̍ ˈɑʂɻ̍
three keˈiːk eɪ̯k ˈeɪkɒ ciːk ciːcɛː
four tiː ʃiː ʃɒː ciː sɛː
five ɑˈiːɾ ɑɪ̯ɾ ˈɑɪ̯rɒ ˈɑːɻʔi ˈɑːʔirɛː
six qʰɑd hɑːz ˈhɑːzɒ xɑɟ xɑɟɛː
seven dʱuː ʒuː ʒβɒː zuː zʷɛː
eight qʰɑwɢʱ hɒː ˈhɒːjɒ xɑʊʁ xɑʊʁɛː
nine tleɪːdʱ leɪ̯ð ˈleɪ̯ðɒ ʈʂɛɪːʐ ʈʂɛɪːʐɛː
ten t̯ɑɪnm̩ ˈtɑɪ̯nən ˈtɑɪ̯nən ˈt̯ɑɪɳu ˈt̯ɑɪɳːeː

For ease of comparison, all entries are in IPA instead of their respective transcriptions.

To see the full development, click here.

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Baranxe’i: Numerals

Originally, I wanted to write a post on Baranxe’i sandhi, but I seem unable to write the rules down in a way that makes sense outside of my head (and it’s difficult to disentangle diachronic rules that are important to analyse inherited compounds and derived forms from synchronic rules which govern suffixes and clitics), so I thought I’d make a post about numerals in Baranxe’i instead.

Because who loves numerals? This guy does.

Numerals – Aŋurana

Baranxe’i employs a decimal counting system.

Cardinal Numerals

Among cardinals, Baranxe’i makes a distinction between numerals as used for counting (which are also the number names), and numerals as used to indicate the quantity of a noun.

one am [ɑːm]
two aþar [ˈɑːθɐɾ]
three eik [eɪ̯k]
four śi [ʃiː]
five air [ɑɪ̯ɾ]
six haz [hɑːz]
seven źu [ʒuː]
eight [hɒː]
nine leið [leɪ̯ð]
ten tainen [tɑɪ̯nən]

To indicate the quantitiy of a noun, the adjective forms of the numbers have to be used (pronunciation only given for the stem).

one [m-]
two aþrā [ˈɑːθɾ-]
three eikā [ˈeɪk-]
four śā [ʃ-]
five airā [ˈɑɪr-]
six hazā [ˈhɑːz-]
seven źvā [ʒβ-]
eight hājā [hɒːj-]
nine leiðā [ˈleɪð-]
ten tainen [ˈtɑɪnən]

So, if one counts ewes in Baranxe’i, one poins their finger at them and goes “am, aþar, eik, śi…”, but if one talks about them, it’s “ma koða / aþrava koðava / eikaja koðaja / śaja koðaja /…”

Click for higher numbers, ordinal, and more!

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Baranxe’i: Phonology – Vowels

Baranxe’i has eight fully phonemic vowels, which in Standard Baranxe’i have three main realisations: that in a stressed syllable (lengthened, iśñajatkanu, I), in an unstressed, non-final syllable (unchanged, mēźu, M), and in a final syllable (reduced, vimujatkanu, V).

These gives the following main vowels for SB:
/ / – I – M – V
/a/ – [ɑː] – [ɑ] – [ɐ]
/ɒ/ – [ɒː] – [ɒ] – [ɒ̆]
/e/ – [eː] – [e] – [ə]
/ɛ/ – [ɛː] – [ɛ] – [ɛ̆]
/i/ – [iː] – [i] – [ɪ]
/y/ – [yː] – [y] – [ʏ]
/o/ – [oː] – [o] – [ɤ]
/u/ – [uː] – [u] – [ɯ]

In addition, there is a marginal phonemic distinction between [u] and [ɯ], but due to its extremely limited appearance it is generally not counted.

The SB diphthongs are /aʊ̯ aɪ̯ eɪ̯ ɛɪ̯ oɪ̯/, of which /oɪ̯/ is extremely rare.

Detailed overview of Baranxe’i vowels


Baranxe’i: Phonology – Consonants

Baranxe’i has a consonant inventory of medium size, with four main series plus a marginal series, four  ‘other’ consonants, and a few other marginal phones.

The four series are generally referred to as the labial, dental, alveolar and velar series. Each contains a voiced and a voiceless stop, a voiced and voiceless fricative, and a voiced nasal (with the exception of the alveolar series, which contains two voiced and two voiceless fricatives, or affricates):
Labial /p b ɸ β m/
Dental /t d θ ð n/
Alveolar /s z ʃ ʒ ɲ/ + /ts dz tʃ dʒ/
Velar /k g x ɣ ŋ/
The other consonants are the two liquids /r/ and /l/, /h/ and the glide /j/.
The marginal phonemes are the preaspirated stops /ʰp ʰt ʰs ʰk/ and the dental stop with nasal release /tⁿ/.

Detailed overview of Baranxe’i consonants!

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Baranxe’i – The Sugar Fairies

First of all, I want to post a Baranxe’i drabble I wrote recently. It’s a quick summary of the second half of the origin story of the Sugar Fairies, a class of mythical beings who lurk in the night and try to first sex up, then devour unsuspecting travellers.

The drabble doesn’t contain the first part of the story (fairies complain about the creation of humans, the gods make concessions, but one group demands to receive honey, the most sacred of all substances) and doesn’t detail the results of the curse (the fairies eat human flesh to capture the taste of sugar), but here it is, nevertheless:


Baranxi, the cunning god, took bamboo and pushed it into honey. He gave it to the fairies and said to them: “Well, honoured sisters, this is the honey plant. Till the soil, plant it, and you shall harvest an abundance of honey!”
The fairies went away, planted the honey-bamboo in the soil, and it grew and grew and flourished and flourished.

After the harvest of the plants, the fairies ground them into a paste, and tried to sell it. But the first man they tried to sell it to laughed and said to them: “Oh, sisters, someone tricked you! This isn’t honey!”
The fairies became furious, chopped the man into pieces, dipped him into the paste, and ate him.

Baranxi, the god of justice, came and said to them: “Oh, sinners! Had you been angry with me, you would have been in the right. But you sinned. The plant I gave you is sugar, and you shall always crave it, but you shall never get it.”
He went away, and the cursed fairies wept.


Baranxi anar leimīrśi jaśãn sahnānis ā xõ mēlēf hirdānisun. Þokrandaŋ juŋānisun ā kunānīseŋ: “Ŋē, ðeitaja ēmanðkanaja, viśu ha lunlu mēlē. Sadźaja rauvun, vīlsajaunus, ā mēlēnhaŋen nalñisaþa!”
Þokrandaja āmursānaśa, mēlēnjaśãn xõ rauvuf vīlsānaśa, ā mandu lolunāno ā luslosāno!

Aś nalnimē lunaltvu, þokrandaja okśāsar śvāðataśauŋ ā kśauġaun maulānaśa. Rausa āŋi alē’i þini ha’inir kśauġaun maulānaśa xaxanānis ā kunānīsēŋ: “Ŋo, ðeitaja, leimī̃r daŋānestra! Viśu ha a’i mēlē mē!”
Þokrandaja raxsānaśa ā alē’in śanihānaśa ā okśaur jāŋānaśans ā vaurānaśans.

Baranxi anar farantu xaśtānis ā kunānīseŋ: “Ajā, zurŋana! Raxśēþamat, zantú raþāþa. Rausa zurŋāneþa. Lunlun juŋāŋanunans ha lēifēś, fīzau ŋaliśāþaun, mēsau irnēziśāþaun!”
Āmursānis, þokrandaja rañulaukāŋanaja rokantānaśa.


Baranxi anar leimīrśi jaśãn sahnānis ā xõ mēlēf hirdānisun.
Baranx•i anar leimīr-ś•i jaśa[n]n sahn-ān-i-s ā xõ mēl•ē-f hird-ān-i-s=u-n
Baranxi•M deity trick-ADJ•M bamboo[ACC] take-PST-M-ABS and in honey•F-ADPOS push-PST-M-ABS=3.INAN-ACC
Baranxi, the tricky deity, took bamboo and pushed it into honey.

Þokrandaŋ juŋānisun ā kunānīseŋ:
þokrand-a-ŋ juŋ-ān-i-s=un ā kun-ān-i-s=se-ŋ
He gave it to the fairies and said to them:

“Ŋē, ðeitaja ēmanðkanaja, viśu ha lunlu mēlē.
ŋē, ðeit•a-ja ēmanð-k-an•a-ja, viś•u ha lunl•u mēl•ē”
well, sibling.OTHER•F-PL revere-PASS-PTCP•F-PL, MED•INAN be.3.INAN plant•INAN honey•F
“Well, revered sisters, this is the honey plant.

Sadźaja rauvun, vīlsajaunus, ā mēlēnhaŋen nalñisaþa!”
sadź-a-ja rauv•u-n, v-īl-s-a-ja=u-n=u-s, ā mēl•ē-n-haŋen nalñ-is-a-t-ja
cut-F-PL soil•INAN-ACC, CAU-below-VBLZ-F-PL=3.INAN-ACC=3.INAN-ADPOS, and honey•F-ACC-too_much harvest-FUT-F-2-PL
Cut open the soil, lower it into it, and you will harvest too much honey!”

Þokrandaja āmursānaśa, mēlēnjaśãn xõ rauvuf vīlsānaśa, ā mandu lolunāno ā luslosāno!
þokrand-a-ja āmur-s-ān-a-s-ja, mēlē-jaśa[n]n xõ rauvu-f v-īl-s-ān-a-s-ja, ā mand•u lo~lun-ān-o ā lus~los-ān-o
fairy-F-PL away-VBLZ-PST-F-ABS-PL, honey-bamboo[ACC] in soil-ADPOS CAU-below-VBLZ-PST-F-ABS-PL, and DIST•INAN INT~grow-PST-INAN and INT~spread-PST-INAN
The fairies went away, lowered the honey-bamboo into the soil, and it grew a lot and spread a lot.

Aś nalnimē lunaltvu, þokrandaja okśāsar śvāðataśauŋ ā kśauġaun maulānaśa.
aś naln•i-mē lunl-tu-u, þokrand•a-ja okśā[s]r śvād-jat-a-s-ja=u-ŋ ā kśauġ-a=u-n maul-ān-a-s-ja
after harvest•M-TEMP fruit-GEN.PL-INAN, fairy•F-PL mush[INSTR] become-CAU-F-ABS-PL=3.INAN-ACC.PL and sell-INF=3.INAN-ACC try-PST-F-ABS-PL
After the harvest of the fruit, the fairies turned them into a mush and tried to sell it.

Rausa āŋi alē’i þini ha’inir kśauġaun maulānaśa xaxanānis ā kunānīsēŋ:
rausa m-k•i alē•i þin•i ha’in•i-r kśauġ-a=u-n maul-ān-a-s-ja xaxan-ān-i-s ā kun-ān-i-s=sē-ŋ
but one-ORD•M man•M PROX•M REL•M-DAT sell-INF=3.INAN-ACC try-PST-F-ABS-PL laugh-PST-M-ABS and say-PST-M-ABS=3.ANIM.PRES-ACC.PL
But the first man whom they tried to sell it to laughed and said to them:

“Ŋo, ðeitaja, leimī̃r daŋānestra! Viśu ha a’i mēlē mē!”
ŋo, ðeit•a-ja, leimīr daŋ-ān-e-s=tra! viś•u ha a’i mēl•ē mē
oh, sibling.OTHER•F-PL, trick exhibit-PST-ANIM-ABS=2.DAT.PL! MED•INAN be.3.INAN NEG1 honey•F NEG2
“Oh, sisters, s/he played you a trick! This isn’t honey!”

Þokrandaja raxsānaśa ā alē’in śanihānaśa ā okśa[u]r jāŋānaśans ā vaurānaśans.
þokrand-a-ja rax-s-ān-a-s-ja ā alē•i-n śanih-ān-a-s-ja ā okśā[u]r jāŋ-ān-a-s-ja=ns ā vaur-ān-a-s-ja-ns
fairy-F-PL furious-VBLZ-PST-F-ABS-PL and man•M-ACC chop_up-PST-F-ABS-PL and mush[ADPOS] CAU\give-PST-F-ABS-PL=3.SG.ANIM.ABS.ACC and eat-PST-F-ABS-PL=3.SG.ANIM.ABS.ACC
The fairies became furious and chopped the man up and put him into the mush and ate him.

Baranxi anar farantu xaśtānis ā kunānīseŋ:
Baranx•i anar faran-tu xaśt-ān-i-s ā kun-ān-i-s=se-ŋ
Baranxi•M god law-GEN come-PST-M-ABS and say-PST-M-ABS=3.ANIM.PRES-ACC.PL
Baranxi, the god of law, came and said to them:

“Ajā, zurŋana! Raxśāþamat, zantú raþāþa. Rausa zurŋānaþa.
ajā, zurŋ-a•n-a! rax-s-j-a- ̄-t-ja=mat, zant-ú rat-j-a- ̄-t-ja. rausa zurŋ-ān-a-t-ja
oh, sin-F•AGT-PL! furious-VBLZ-SJV-F-SJV-2-PL=1.SG.OBL, righteous-ADV stand-SJV-F-SJV-2-PL. but sin-PST-F-2-PL
“Oh, sinners! Had you become angry at me, you would have stood righteously. But you sinned.

Lunlun juŋāŋanunans ha lēifēś, fīzau ŋaliśāþaun, mēsau irnēziśāþaun!”
lunl•u-n juŋ-ān-k-an•u-n=ans ha lēi-fēś, fiz-sau ŋal-is-j-a- ̄-t-ja=u-n, mē-sau irnēz-is-j-a- ̄-t-ja=u-n
plant•INAN-ACC give-PST-PASS-PTCP•INAN-ACC=1.SG.INST be.3.INAN sweet-salt, all-time.ADV want-FUT-SJV-F-SJV-2-PL=3.INAN-ACC, NEG-time.ADV get-FUT-SJV-F-SJV-2-PL=3.INAN-ACC
The plant given by me is sweet salt, you shall want it all the time, you shall get it none of the time!”

Āmursānis, þokrandaja rañulaukāŋanaja rokantānaśa.
āmur-s-ān-i-s, þokrand-a-ja rañu-lauk-ān-k-an•a-ja rokant-ān-a-s-ja
away-VBLZ-PST-M-ABS, fairy-F-PL bad-bind-PST-PASS-PTCP•F-PL cry-PST-F-ABS-PL
He went away, the cursed fairies cried.

Note: Infixes are marked with [] because I can’t use angular brackets here.

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