Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bol and Bebol

Somebody just asked me what the Ceqli word for 'language' is, and I said 'bol'.  It also means 'to speak,' as in 'Go bol Ceqlizo.'  And it hit me that it doesn't make sense that way.  The principle is that when a root is a verb, like 'dorm,' it means 'to sleep,' but as a noun, 'to dorm' means 'the one who sleeps.'  So bol can't work that way.  Now, if bol means 'is a language' as a verb, what's the direct object?  One or more individuals, of course, or a group, or a book.

Da bol Japanzo.  It is a language of Japan.

Now, you know what 'be' does.  It switches the subject and object.

To xyen kom to felin.   The dog eats the cat.

To xyen bekom to felin.  The dog is-eaten-by the cat.

So, back to bol:

Ceqlizo bol go.  Ceqli is a language of me.

Go bebol Ceqlizo.  I know/speak/understand Ceqli.

Now to say, I speak Ceqli, in the sense that from time to time I actually make the sounds, you need a literal word for 'speak,' let's say 'xwo' from Chinese.

Go xwo Ceqlizo.  I speak Ceqli.  In English, when we say "I speak English," we usually mean that I have command of, or know, English, and 'speak' covers all that.  But as in "I speak English when I'm in England," it means 'speak' literally.

Doke go sta Heqlazohaym, go xwo Heqlazobol.

Or, if you've learned to read English but can't speak it, you can say.

Go bebol Heqlazo, jiqkay go bu fey xwo da.

All this make sense?


  1. If I understand right, you're saying you need a word for speaking sounds aloud, and another for knowing how to use or do? I concur. In Qakwan (currently under massive revision) I use the word for "use (properly)": "I use Qakwan".

  2. Yes. It seems like a reversal of "Ceqli is a language of mine." Ceqlizo bol go. to Go bebol Ceqlizo is what you usually actually mean when you say you speak something.

  3. I suppose "Go fey Ceqlizo" would also mean the same thing, pretty much.