Posted by & filed under Podcast.

Apologies for posting this so late.  Technical difficulties.

In this episode we explore the curious Himmaswa and its Chinese-inspired writing system.

Top of Show Greeting: Swiss German (Zurich dialect)

Links for Himmaswa:


Hi dudes…


   I’m still loving the podcast 🙂 I’ve got a question for you guys this time. I was trying to use obviation in my language, Nashtuku, so I ended up going down a rabbit hole of papers trying to grok the entirety of the effects it has on a language. I was reading a paper about how it can be used with word order for focus ( Focus, obvation, and word order in East Cree and I realized that I now have three options:

pameni re‘agwidi ‘akireseseli’

pameni re-‘agwi-di ‘aki-re- seseli -’

child obv-dog-acc prog-3(obv)-see- 3


re’agwidi pameni ‘akireseseli’

re-’agwi-di pameni ‘aki- re- seseli-’

obv-dog-acc child prog-3(obv)-see- 3


pameni ‘akiagwisechali’

pameni ‘aki-agwi-sechali-’   ** the change in the verb is because of transitivity madness, I can explain                                                     more if you’re interested  🙂

child prog-dog- see- 3


I was thinking of making the leftmost position the focus position, so the first sentence would be ‘it is the child that sees the dog’ the second would be ‘It is a dog that the child sees” and the third is where I got stuck… I think it would be the most basic so “the child sees the dog”. I’m wondering if this is too subtle of a distinction to make with just word order trickery, or do other languages do this? I know from what I’ve been reading that at least the first two are distinctions made in natural languages, I was just wondering about the third. Could perhaps you do a show about obvation? I’ve been reading about the algonquin languages, but apparantly there are other languages in Africa and Asia that use it as well…

    Also, I have a suggestion (since my last suggestion caused what sounded like a lively debate 🙂 ) It would be neat to put out a sound chart and ask people to make a language using those sounds, then you guys either create one as a show, or separatly create one, so you can compare all the madness and wonderful crazyness that can be done with just a simple phonology. If you wanted to go completely nuts, leave that and when you do a practum, ask people to restrict themselves to those sounds to make a language that wields whatever topic you’re talking about. It could be a lot of fun 🙂

            Joe Schelin /’ʃəlin/ (you got it exactly right last time, and I squee every time I listen to that episode :D)


One Response to “Conlangery #86: Himmaswa”

  1. Vítor De Araújo

    “The suffixes -tachi (達) and -ra (等) are by far the most common collectivizing suffixes. These are, again, not pluralizing suffixes: tarō-tachi does not mean “some number of people named Taro”, but instead indicates the group including Taro. Depending on context, tarō-tachi might be translated into “Taro and his friends”, “Taro and his siblings”, “Taro and his family”, or any other logical grouping that has Taro as the representative.” (


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.