Glẽžigu: Lexember 15, 2015: Rain and other compound nouns

There are two words for rain.

ˈžemšež (žem water + šež sky). “Sky-water.” This is the older of the two words. It’s more prosaic, and is used in weather forecasts, scientific discourse, etc.

ˈpleθšež (pleθ gift + sky). “Sky-gift”; “a gift from the sky”: an apt metaphor in the San-Diego-like climate where Glẽžigu is spoken. This word is newer than the other; it’s more “poetic” but also used much more frequently in colloquial speech — in fact, in all but the most “dry” register of speech and writing. The /θ/ is often elided so that it’s usually pronounced /ˈpleθšež/ — just as in English nobody actually pronounces every consonant in “twelfth” — except perhaps for humorous or ironic effect (like ostentatiously extending your pinky when picking up a teacup).

pleθ gift. Bonus word.

So these words led to the discovery that compound nouns in Glẽžigu are head-initial. This means, among other things, that because pluralization will happen on the head, it’ll occur in the middle of the word if it’s a suffix, as in Eng. “mothers-in-law” and “attorneys general,” or Spanish hombres rana (frogmen).

The words for “rain” are mass nouns, so they can’t be pluralized, but soon we’ll have some compound count nouns, like the word for “lake,” which will be inflected in the middle.

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