• Language: Kamakawi
  • Created: 2001
  • Alternate names:
  • Language code:
  • Language family: personal language
  • Script:

A constructed language by David J. Peterson.

First off, it's got its main roots in Polynesian, which isn't something I've encountered before (though I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I probably could). The use of markers to state the status of the subject (whether it's the same as the previous sentence, brand new, or from somewhere other than the subject position in the previous sentence) is also pretty rare, though I've done it before, and I've seen it in a natural language. It also uses idiomatic, mandatory adverbs for many intransitive verbs, such as the sentence "I picked him up" where you can't say the verb is "to pick" but rather "to pick up". Other than that, the language was designed specifically to be fun. :)

Language sources: Hawai'ian, mainly, but also features from Hittite (well, a feature from it). Also, a lot of ideas I first dabbled in with another language I created (Mbasa) have worked themselves into Kamakawi.

Having not created a conculture or fictional group of speakers or nation of any kind, I'm treading a very fine line in still trying to create a vocabulary that is likely to have arisen in a pre-industrial, island-type situation, like in Hawaii. Yet, just like Hawaiian borrowed so many words from English, I'm using another one of my languages, Zhyler, to borrow non-native words into Kamakawi. I've also developed different, competing levels of derivational morphology, such that there is nonproductive morphology, semi-productive, and fully productive. In this way, I sort of date the creation of the words, and simulate a progression, without actually working from a proto-language and fleshing out a daughter. Kamakawi also now has a script. It's a hieroglyph system, influenced by Middle Egyptian.

Various people have looked at my Teach Yourself Kamakawi webpage and have been entertained by it (which is its purpose). The TY is a work in progress, though, and is nowhere near completion. [Note: There is no longer a single dictionary, but a wordlist comes with each section.]