weehki-kaloosioni: aayaacimwaakani ‘New Word: Phone’

If you look up ‘phone’ in the dictionary, you will find the Myaamia word aayaacimwaakani. If you have been around the Myaamia language for a while you may have heard other variations of this word to mean phone, but for the sake of this post we will stick to the word on the dictionary. So, what does this word actually mean? If you remember from a previous post, “Why are Myaamia words so long?”, Myaamia words are made up of different pieces that combine for a more specific meaning. With that in mind, what are the different pieces of this word and what do they describe about the phone?

In this instance, aayaacimwaakani has three pieces as shown below:

aay ‘reduplication’ + aacimw ‘to talk’ + aakani ‘thing’

Let’s skip the first piece, labeled ‘reduplication’, and start with the middle part as that is the root, the core piece of the word. The aacimw is the piece that means ‘to talk’. This piece can be found in many other places; for instance, one of our two types of stories is known as aacimooni ‘historical narrative’. We also see this piece showing up as a full word in the dictionary, as aacim– ‘talk about him, say things about him’. That piece is the beginning of LOTS of words for talking about people.

The final piece, aakani ‘thing’, goes at the end of the word to mean an object that helps or does whatever action is at the beginning of the word. This piece is very common and pops up in a lot of other examples such as awikaakani ‘pen, pencil’ (awik ‘to write’ + aakani ‘thing’ = thing you write with), but in this case, for a telephone, that action is aacim ‘to talk’.

Now let’s come back to that first piece: aay ‘reduplication’. Reduplication is too complicated to cover today – for instance, it looks different in different words! But its meaning here is simple: all it does is imply that the action (in this case aacim ‘to talk’) is done regularly. The stem aayaacim- would literally translate (although it’s not a complete word) as ‘regularly/always talking’.

Combining these three pieces together you get aayaacimwaakani ‘phone’, which might literally translate as ‘the thing used to always/regularly talk with’.

What other words do you want to learn about? Let us know in the comments!

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