WW #34: Speaking chilis

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Here’s a spicy Nitherian sentence:

Misanyathmo vovoslo sesecha.

[mi.san.yaˈðə.mo
m-i-san-yathm-o-Ø
PFV-speak-INS.APPL-chili-3s3s.A
voˈvo.ɬo
vo~voslo
HAB~sail
seˈse.tɕa]
se~secha
HAB~buy
The merchant berated the sailor.
Gloss provided by Gloss My Gloss

The interesting word here is the verb compound wisanyathmo “berate, be angry at”, which literally means “speak chili peppers” (from yathm “chili pepper”). This structure is used for other kinds of emotionally charged speech in Nitherian. Examples include wisanyoshasho “flatter, praise” (literally “speak flowers”) and wisntsovoso “reassure, comfort” (literally “speak honey”).

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