ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith

This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer about her character Aidan.  It also fills the "Wild Card: Daily Rituals" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.  It has been selected in an audience poll for the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

The following is a morning/evening prayer that Aidan uses, from his childhood, which is thousands of years ago.  It's bilingual in a version of Proto-Indo-European and English.  The cool thing about PIE is that it's primarily a set of word bones with a few grammatical guesses.  So if you want to extrapolate what a historic tribe might have been speaking, you can pick and choose among the variables until you get something you like.  Several linguists have done this for our world; listen to an example here.  (I can actually parse words out of that.)  Here's one for Terramagne.

"Pætair Sowel, Mater Mehin"

Pætair Sowel,
Tu dieuel sho dein apos mem.
Heg dehet guret ro tuer aios kue weiden.
Uel kue kæpan ro mem hen tuer mæner.

Mater Mehin,
Tu werig sheh nokus meheb mem.
Heg dehet guret ro tuer skeith kue kuweien.
Uel kue kæpan ro mem hen tuer kerter

* * *

"Father Sun, Mother Moon"

Father Sun,
You shine this day before me.
I give thanks for your light and guidance.
Bless and keep me in your hand.

Mother Moon,
You close this night around me.
I give thanks for your shade and comfort.
Bless and keep me in your heart.

* * *


Proto-Indo-European spread throughout much of Eurasia thousands of years ago.  Here is a partial Swadesh List for it.  You can play with it yourself.

Here are some of the bits that I used above ...

father -- *átta, *ph₂tḗr

sun -- *sóh₂wl̥

you (singular) -- *túh₂

to light; shining -- dhel- IE  dhā̆l-
to shine -- dyew

this -- *kos, *koh₂, *kod

day -- *h₂eǵh-, *dei-n-

about, around; by, beside; in front of -- pos IE  apo-

I -- *éǵh₂(om)  ; *me- ; *h₁eǵ,*h₁eǵ(oH/Hom)

to give -- *deh₃

to praise, congratulate, raise one's voice -- gu̯er(ə)- IE  g̑ā̆r-

for (enclitic), for the purpose of -- *r̥ / *rō / *rō-dʰi 
Ved. r̥[citation needed] OCS ради

your -- eower

day(light), morning -- ā̆ier-, ā̆ien- IE  ai̯os-

and -- *-kʷe, *de, *nu

to see -- *derḱ-, *weyd-
to know -- *ǵneh₃-, *weyd-

Bless -- From Middle English blessen,  from Old English blētsian, blēdsian  (“to consecrate(with blood)”), from Proto-Germanic *blōþisōną  (“to sprinkle, mark or hallow with blood”), from *blōþą  (“blood”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhlo-to-  (“to gush, spurt”).

to will, want, wish, choose -- u̯el-, u̯lei-, u̯lē(i)- IE  5. u̯el-
Proto-Indo-European *wel- (“wish, desire”), *wol-.

Keep -- *kap-

in -- *(h₁?)en, *(h₁?)en-ter

hand -- *ǵʰés-ro-, *mar-, *man-
hand -- mə-r, genitive mə-n-és, mn̥tós IE  

* * *

mother -- *méh₂tēr
Some variant of this, by the way, is probably the oldest word in the world by sheer statistical probability.  When babies babble, they start with the easiest sounds, most often something like "mamama," and that's why most human languages have a word for "female parent" that sounds something like that.

moon -- *mḗh₁n̥s

to shut, close, cover; guard, warn, save -- u̯er- IE  1. u̯erg̑-

night -- *nókʷts

around, at both sides -- ambhi, m̥bhi IE  ebhi?

to shine/shimmer dully; shadow -- sk̑āi-, sk̑əi- : sk̑ī- IE  4. kāi-d-
shade, shadow, darkness -- skot- IE   

to rest comfortably; quiet, peaceful, tranquil -- ku̯ei̯ə-, ku̯ii̯ē- IE   

heart -- *ḱḗr (genitive *ḱr̥dés)


Date: 2014-09-23 05:41 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
But I /must/ to sleep, rather than play with the PIE websites in particular, so I'll leave you with only one comment.

I hear these as singing, but the cadences... I'll have to figure out how to /describe/ them. For one thing, the tempo shifts in the same a-b-c-b pattern as the meter.


Date: 2014-09-23 02:03 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
It /sings/ like (and this is a bad example because they're all Western,but I'm TRYING)

Are you sleeping?
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
Are you sleeping?
Row, row, row your boat.

It's not just the meter, it's like each line is the bridge between /other/ pieces of music, incredibly /different/ pieces.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-23 11:44 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-24 02:33 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Oh, very chewy indeed. *chew chew chew*

I'm pleased to have parsed out a big chunk of the meaning without looking at the English version.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-24 04:11 pm (UTC)
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sashajwolf
Lovely! ADF has some PIE reconstructionists to whom this would be very relevant. May I share a link to this post?

Re: Yes, please!

Date: 2014-09-25 10:16 am (UTC)
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sashajwolf
Done, and thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-05 01:17 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Oh, that is lovely. <3 *applauds*


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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