WW #3: For All Seasons

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Last week, we saw that the Muipidan calendar divided the year into five “seasons”. But what did they call these seasons?

For much of the population of Muipido and Kharul, the most important regular events to keep track of were the stages of wheat and barley farming. Each season was named after the main farm activity going on at that time:

  • Planting season (sindide ma-hakho [ˈsɪ.ⁿdɪ.də maˈha.kʰo]), from the fall equinox to late fall, was when fields were being ploughed and planted.
  • Weeding season (sindide mï-khi [ˈsɪ.ⁿdɪ.də mɨˈkʰi], from khis “to remove”), from late fall to mid-winter, was when farmers cleared weeds out of their fields to allow the sprouting seeds to flourish.
  • Growing season (sindide m-ofloyto [ˈsɪ.ⁿdɪ.də ˈmo.flɔj.to], from flo “green, verdant”), from mid-winter to mid-spring, was when the fields were left to grow to their full height.
  • Harvest season (sindide ma-thetha [ˈsɪ.ⁿdɪ.də maˈtʰe.tʰa]), from mid-spring to early summer, was when the harvest was in full swing.
  • Resting season (sindide ma-koy [ˈsɪ.ⁿdɪ.də maˈkɔj]), from early summer to the fall equinox, was when the land was too dry to support crops, and so fields (and farmers) rested.

Months weren’t named individually. Instead, they were numbered within each season: first planting (ke ne-hakho), second planting (to ne-hakho), all the way to fourth resting (nao nï-koy).

Kharul, as usual, borrowed the names of the seasons, but Kharulian grammar used subordinate clauses to name time periods and prolonged events, rather than noun phrases:

  • Elnyíaal alnyelyíara [ɛlʲˈɲi.aːɫ alʲ.ɲeˈlʲi.a.ra], “when the planters are planting” (verb root lyía “to plant”).
  • Ánkaghyool alnagghyora [ˈan.ka.ʝɔːɫ aɫ.naɡʷˈʝo.ra], “when the cleaners are cleaning” (verb root khaghyó “to clean”).
  • Kwiilwee sússurza [ˈkʷiː.ɫeː ˈsus.sur.za], “when the crop is growing” (verb root ússur “to grow”).
  • Anzúchaal alnarúchara [anˈzu.tʃaːɫ aɫ.naˈru.tʃa.ra], “when the harvesters are harvesting” (verb root sucha “to harvest”).
  • Úa sagúira [ˈu.a saˈɡu.i.ra], “when the earth is resting” (verb root kúi “to be inactive”, borrowed from the Muipidan verb koy seen in the Muipidan name for the season).

I affectionately refer to this way of building names for time periods as the “days of Christmas” construction, reminiscent as it is of “pipers piping” and “drummers drumming”.

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