Wenja Language: Winja waychasu “In the Wenja village”, Part 1

Today we begin a five-part series about life in the Wenja village, examining words that would be used in a Wenja’s daily life.  This first post focuses on words related to buildings & construction and will be followed by discussions of (2) social relationships; (3) religion & health; (4) daily life; (5) animals around the village. Enjoy!

Buildings & Construction

  1. damsha “build”, “hut; house”, from PIE *demh₂- ‘to build’, seen in English dom-esticate and dom-icile; cf. Latin domus ‘house’, Sanskrit dama, Greek dómos, etc.
  2. nasa “return home”, from PIE *nes- “return home”, as in English nos-talgia, literally “the pains of coming home”; cf. Greek néomai “return home”, German genesen “recover”
  3. rahi “possessions; stash; stuff”, from PIE *reh₁i-, seen in Latin rēs “affair, matter, thing”, Sanskrit rayiH
  4. damsharahi “building supplies”, compound of damsha + rahi
  5. fapi “wealth; riches; resources, materials”, from PIE *h₃op-, as in English op-ulence, from Latin ops “wealth, power, resources”
  6. damshi “hut”, i-stem noun to the root damsha “build”
  7. sajadamshi “storage hut”, compouns of saja “hold” (PIE *seǵʰ- “hold” > Greek ékʰō “have, hold”, German Sieg “victory”)
  8. kawha “shelter”, from PIE *skeuhᵪ- ‘cover’, source of English shadow, hide, Latin ob-scUrus “covered”, and Greek skũtos “hide, leather”
  9. kata “tent”, from PIE *kóto-, source of Old English heaðor ‘prison, enclosure’, Russian kotéc “fishweir”, Avestan kata “chamber”
  10. tagas “roof; ceiling”, from PIE tégos, source of English thatch, and stego-saurus “roof-lizard” (< Greek stégos), toga (< Latin “a covering”)
  11. shanshta “threshold; doorframe”, from PIE *h₂anhᵪtah₂, continued by Armenian dr-and “door-posts”, Latin antae “pillars framing a door”, Old Norse ǫnd “foreroom”
  12. shazda “branch, stick”, from PIE *h2ózdos, seen in German Ast, Greek ózdos, etc. Etymologically the one that “sits next to” the tree (*-zd- = reduced form of *sed- “sit” [Wenja sada])
  13. warba “twig”, from PIE *wr̥b- “branch, spring, twig’. Continued by Latin verbēna “leaves & saplings for sacrificial use”, Lithuanian vir̃bas “twig, switch”, Greek. rhábdos “twig, rod”
  14. shash “rock”, from PIE *h₂aḱmon- “stone, rock”, seen in Lithuanian akmuō, Old Church Slavonic kamy, Hittite aku-, Avestan asman-, Sanskrit áśman-, all “stone”.  Avestan asman- can also mean “heaven” — believe it or not, English heaven is from this word as well, originally “the stony vault of heaven”. Following normal sound laws, Wenja shash should be shashman, but was shortened due to high frequency of usage. 
  15. hashman “flint”, PIE *h₂aḱmon- “stone, rock”, this is a borrowing from Izila.
  16. parku “hardwood; oak”, from PIE *perk(ʷ)u- “hardwood, oak”, source of English fir, Latin quercus, Gaulish érkos “oak forest”, and Punjabi pargāī “holly oak”
  17. nada “reed”, from PIE *nedós “reed”, seen in Lithuanian néndrė, Armenian net, Sanskrit nadá-, and Luvian nātatta-, all “reed”
  18. piki “tar; pitch”, from PIE *pik- “pitch”, continued by Latin pix “pitch” (> English pitch), Old Church Slavonic picŭlŭ “pitch”, and Greek píssa “tar, resin”.
  19. taticha “craft, create, fashion, forge, build”, from PIE *tetḱ- “fashion”; Greek tiktō “fashion”, Sanskrit tā́ṣṭi “fashions”. Likely a reduplicated formation to *teḱ- “to birth, produce” (Greek étekon, etc.)
  20. tashtan “craftsman, crafter”, from PIE *teḱton- “builder”, found in Greek téktōn ‘id.’ (as in English tecton-ic “of or relating to building or construction”)
  21. warja “work”, from PIE *werǵ- “work”, continued by English work, Greek ergo- (ergo-nomics), etc.
  22. warjan “worker”, agentive noun to warja
  23. kwarwi “tool”, from PIE *k(ʷ)r̥wi- “tool”, found in Lithuanian kir̃vis “axe”, Russian cervĭ “sickle”, Sanskrit kr̥vi- “weaving instrument”. (ʷ) in parentheses since only continued by “satem” languages.
  24. dwaray “door; gate”, from PIE *dʰwer- “door”, source of English door, Latin forum “the place outside”, Sanskrit dhvar-, etc. Note the suffix -ay was originally the plural suffix in Wenja, but was lost to shorten the language. -ay also seen in pronouns: sa “he, she, it” vs. say “they”
  25. sula “pillar”, from PIE *ḱsúlom “shaped wood; post, stake”, continued by Greek ksúlon “plank, bench”, Old English sȳl “pillar”, Lithuanian šùlas “stave”
  26. tashta “stand; pedestal”, from PIE *stəh₂tó- “propped up”, with connections to English status (< Latin), Greek statós, and Sanskrit sthitá- “stood”.
  27. kwayman “pile; heap; lump”, -man noun formed to PIE *kʷey- “pile up”; Vedic cinóti “gathers”, Greek poiéō “make, do”.
  28. waycha “village”, from PIE *woiḱo- “village; household”, found throughout Indo-European — Old Church Slavonic vĭsĭ “village”, Avestan vīs- “court, village”, Sanskrit viś- “dwelling, tribe, clan”, Greek oiko- “household” (> English eco-nomics), Latin vīcus “village” (> English vic-inity)
  29. chawha “cave, cavern; tunnel”, from PIE *ḱewhᵪ- “hollow”, source of Latin cavea “a hollow place” (> English cave), built to cavus “hollow”, Middle Irish cúa “hollow”; related to Greek kúar “eye of the needle”, Armenian sor “hole”, Avestan sūra- “hole, gap”
  30. jarta “camp”, from PIE *ǵʰorto- “enclosure”, related to English gard-en, yard (both Germanic) and horti-culture (from Latin hortus “garden”)
  31. dushna “garrison, fort”, from PIE *dʰuhᵪno- “fort”, continued by Old Irish dún “fort”, Old English dūn “down, moor, height, hill, mountain”. Seen today in English in both down and town.
  32. praspaka “outpost” (borrowed from Izila prospokom), from PIE *pro-spoḱo- “a place to look forth”. Preposition pro- seen in Wenja pra “earlier; forth; in the morning” (= English [to and] fro, pro [< Latin]). Root is PIE  *speḱ- “look at; spy”, continued by English spy, Latin speciō (> English spec-tacle), and Greek sképtō (> English scep-tic)
  33. shashka “campfire, bonfire; hearth”, from PIE *h₂əhᵪsko- “ash”, source of Old Norse aska, English ash, Armenian ačiwn; related to Hittite ḫās “ashes”, from PIE *h₂ahᵪ- “to burn” (= Wenja shaha)
  34. kanhi “dust; ash”, from PIE *kénhᵪi- “ash”, seen in Greek kónis and Tocharian B kentse
  35. pur “fire”, reduced form of PIE *pah₂wr̥ “fire”, source of English fire, pyro- (< Greek pũr), Armenian hur, Hittite paḫḫur, etc.
  36. dushma “smoke; steam”, from PIE *dʰuh₂mo-, continued by Sanskrit dhuma-, Old Church Slavonic dymu, Greek thymos, Latin fūmus (> English fume)
  37. hajma “hole, trench, ditch”, borrowed from Izila hogmom, from PIE *h₂oǵmo-, Greek ogmos “furrow”.  Derived from root *h₂aǵ- “drive” (Latin agō, etc.)

3 thoughts on “Wenja Language: Winja waychasu “In the Wenja village”, Part 1

  1. Peter Cruise says:

    So "shazdarsh waydam, shaya shanshta taticham" would mean "I'm going to gather some branches, tomorrow I'll build the doorframe," right?

  2. Andrew Byrd says:

    Hi Peter, thanks for the comment. You're close on the second part "tomorrow I'll build the doorframe" (replace "shaya" with "shayar"), but "I'm going to gather some branches" would be better as either "Shazda lajam" or "Sama shazda lajam". "Sama" means "any, some".

Comments are closed.

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