Monday, 12 December 2016

12th Lexember Word

patíse [päˈd͡ʑiˑʑə̆], inalienably possessed noun: “person, animal, location (or other) of special significance for the possessor; ‘soulmate'“


Today is a special day, so today’s Lexember entry is special. Exactly two months ago today, I had to make the most difficult decision in my entire life and say farewell to Buddy, my most special companion in life. Although it wasn’t unexpected (Buddy was, after all, nearly 15 years old, and his health was declining), it still breaks my heart that he not around anymore.

Anyway, while I had already honoured Buddy with a word in Moten (badi means “dog” in that language), I hadn’t yet done so in Haotyétpi (and it already has a word for dog: nupár). So I thought today was the perfect occasion to remedy this, and to give him a word that fits who he was, and what his relationship with me was like. And given Haotyétpi’s restricted phonology, the closest I could get to a word that sounds like “Buddy” is patí, hence today’s word (the -se is only the indefinite possessor ending all inalienably possessed nouns must have in the citation form).

During Lexember last year, I already gave some information about the culture of the Mountain Folk, the speakers of Haotyétpi. With the word ortáse for instance, I talked about the basics of the traditional Mountain Folk animistic beliefs. And with turá, I described one of the central pillars of their religion, the importance of skills and the goal of human life to learn new skills and hone them. Patíse, then, is another central pillar of traditional Mountain Folk religion. It refers to the fact that these ortáse, i.e. souls, spirits or gods, are not isolated islands, but are linked with each other, some far more strongly than others. And if something (or someone) has an ortáse that has such a strong link with yours, then they can be described as a patíse of yours. A patíse, then, is a person, animal, location, object, or even specific time of the year whose ortá has a special link with your own, hence my translation as “soulmate”. “Soulmate”, however, is rather constrained compared to patíse. “Soulmate” usually refers only to fellow humans, and the link is normally always considered to be romantic love. Also, it is usually accepted that a person has a single soulmate. That’s not the case with patíse. The special link that someone has with their patí is not necessarily romantic (a special friendship, a deep mutual understanding with a wild animal, a location that gives one a feeling of belonging and peace are all things that Mountain Folk usually attribute to those being patíse), a patíse can be anything, as I mentioned already. And most importantly, it would be highly unusual for someone to have a only one patíse.

Patíse is another central pillar of Mountain Folk beliefs, because they think that besides learning new skills, the goal of human life is to find one’s patíse, and keep them close to you as much as possible. This means finding the place where one belongs (which is not necessarily where one is born), finding the people one is meant to relate to, possibly finding the animal or animals that are one’s patíse (Mountain Folk usually don’t keep pets, unless those pets are patíse).

As you can expect, I consider Buddy to be one of my patí, which is why I decided to give his name to that concept.

No example for today, this entry has been hard enough on me as it is…

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