One of the most striking things about Nitherian culture to outsiders is their fondness for colourful decorations and clothing. Here’s an example sentence on this topic:
Mosechashichi yo ithnnini mwiayawa.
All the roots in this sentence are new:
- Sechaso “sell” is from an old derivation swek-yawo. The first part means “shout, call out”, and the second is a directional suffix meaning “here and there, back and forth”; together, they came to mean “haggle” and then were reanalyzed as a single root meaning “sell”.
- Ithn “skirt” originally just meant “piece of cloth”, and this survives in the reduplicated form ithn-ithn “clothing”.
- -nini is a suffix meaning “colourful, decorative”, originally a reduplication of hnyo “dye” (source also of nyoshi “colour, dye”). Its vowel echoes the last vowel of the root (e.g. shenyenye “decorative stone”) , a sound-symbolic process found in a few other Nitherian suffixes.
- Iayawa “make by patchwork” is from iaso “sew” with the same “here and there, back and forth” suffix from above. It can also mean “make shoddily”; without the approving -nini suffix and with an appropriate tone of voice, the sentence could be a complaint: “They sold me a badly-made skirt!”
This sentence is inspired by this great two-player board game.