Guide to the Lemizh / English dictionary
But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder aloud how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of the words.
To view a dictionary entry,
The words are given with inner factive case and sorted by their order in the Lemizh alphabet.
As elsewhere on this website, hovering the mouse over a Lemizh word will display its transcription, and hovering over an abbreviation (marked with a dotted underline) will display its meaning – unfortunately, not on smartphones. As transcription conventions are often misleading for words in the Troyan language, the pronunciation is given explicitly after these words; as is pronunciation for Ghean.
This dictionary is inherently incomplete and will never be quite consistent.
Translated words are given in ordinary black print, while any explanatory or otherwise additional material is printed in grey (provided you have a graphical browser and don’t override web pages’ styles).
Words are usually translated as inner factives, and in different ways depending on the most natural translation:
- as verbs in the infinitive, starting with the Lemizh plot usage or case corresponding to the English subject; Lemizh nominatives corresponding to subjects are not explicitly given. Lemizh cases corresponding to English objects, as well as receptive and agentive translations, as well as the perfect (with inner cons), are given where necessary:
àv. to feed someone-dat with something-acc; self-receiving: to eat something-acc
dà. to give something-acc to someone-dat; dat: to get (agentive: take) something-acc from someone-nom
zdàs. self-transporting: to sit down, perfect: to sit [perfect form zdìls. not explicitly given]
- as nouns in the format ‘to make X’, which implies ‘to turn something into X’ and the receptive forms ‘to become X, to turn into X’. The dative describing the ‘building material’ is usually not given:
àkh. to make ships [not mentioned: from something-dat; to turn something-dat into a ship or ships; dat: to become / turn into a ship or ships]
- as adjectives, also in the format ‘to make X’:
ràjd. to make [something-dat] red [to turn something-dat red; dat: to become/turn red]
Adjectival translations are often supplemented with an English verb of the same, or nearly the same meaning. This verb is implied to be dative in its transitive usage and receptive in its intransitive usage:
ràjd. to make red, to redden [something-dat; dat: to redden]
- as numerals in the format ‘to make X individuals’:
swàh. to make six individuals
Translations of other inner cases, compounds (listed under the head word; often supplemented with the uncompounded form for clarity) and common phrases may be given below:
kràt. to hunt, to chase someone/something-acc
krèt. also the constellation Orion
krÙlt. to catch (up with) someone/something-dat
kratylàs. to hunt in vain; a vain hunt, a wild-goose chase (often used with inner ten: to intend / be about to go on a wild-goose chase; ⇐ ⇔ kràt ylÌsa.)
kràt spàzy. the pursuit of happiness
This is really just showcasing. If I’ve done everything right, notes on the words’ grammar aren’t necessary at all.
Pronouns, which are treated in the tutorial, are linked to the appropriate chapters.
Ad-hoc-translations, such as of proper names not known in Lemizh, are not included.
A number of entries contain notes on the words’ usage, such as their connotations (what ideas are commonly associated with them). This is an attempt to address C. S. Lewis’s remark (in ‘Studies in Words’) that we don’t really understand dead languages, even well-studied ones such as Latin or Greek, as many shades of meaning are lost in history.
The etymology sections contain short notes on the origin of words, mostly in this form:
< NLem rundr‑a
< LMLem, MLem rundr‑yr
< OLem hrundr‑
< PLem *hrundr‑, r-stem adjective of
< PIE *h₁reu̯dʰ‑
meaning that the word comes from Early New Lemizh rundr‑a, which in turn is from Late Middle Lemizh and (Standard) Middle Lemizh rundr‑yr, etc. Hyphens separate morphemes (mostly stem and ending) for clarity. If a word has a different meaning than its reflex (descendant), the meaning is given in quotes. The languages mentioned in etymology sections are treated on the History pages.
The etymology is often followed by one or two cognates (words with a common etymological origin) in – more or less – well-known languages for context.
All non-English words are marked with HTML language tags. This doesn’t make any difference for ordinary visual browsers, but should keep voice browsers from pronouncing them as English. (I’m afraid they will still mispronounce them in some way.) As the IETF hasn’t defined tags for most of the languages we need here, we are often using private tags, which are defined on the History pages.
- < means ‘comes from’, ‘is derived from’.
- > means ‘turns into’, ‘becomes’.
- * in front of a word means that it is not attested in written form, but has been reconstructed from other sources, mostly its reflexes or loanwords in other languages.