Wenja Language: haya

Su shayar, salwa!  Harhika pa, apa dajri-dachaymanim Winja frashmanis hu-gwamamas.  Kwati tani-Winja gwash?  Ku su shuta dus?  

Good morning, everyone!  After a small break, we’re back to our daily lessons on Wenja grammar. How is your Wenja faring?  Good or bad?

Today’s word of the day is another extremely common word : haya ‘to go’.  You hear it yelled everywhere, such as in the command U hay, Gwarpati! “Go, Beastmaster!” or in the nickname of the Izila sushalhayn “sun-walker” (literally sun-goer).  

You may be wondering, if the word for “go” is haya, then why is it shortened in u hay? This problem is connected to how many of the Wenja words are presented in the collector’s edition lexicon, where a certain vowels are given in parentheses.  The parentheses indicate an optional vowel: hay(a) may be pronounced as haya or hay, depending on the context.  And what contexts must you pronounce the -a- vowel?  Essentially in contexts where the word would be unpronounceable if the vowel weren’t uttered. Let’s return to our verb’s paradigm:







The words haym and hayarsh are impossible here, and so Wenja speakers would always use the longer form of the root. (Keep in mind that the syllable haym isn’t an impossible one; rather, the word haym already exists — it means ‘this way’)

As with any real language, it’s not the case that everyone speak Wenja the same way. Some speakers, such as Karoosh, use more contractions, while others, such as Sayla, use the longer, more formal ways of speaking. Sayla in particular tends to speak in a more archaic and formal style, though when she gets angry she will shorten her forms (pay attention to the scene where she tells Takkar about the drowning of Dah). 

And where does haya come from?  PIE *h1ey- ‘go’, the source of numerous words for ‘go’ throughout PIE. Ancient Greek eĩmi, Sanskrit éti, Latin (īre), Hittite iyatta, and Old Church Slavonic iti.  It’s also hidden in English words like exit (ex-itus ‘going out’) and ion ‘a going thing‘.  

Tu sakwan prasti!