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Cultural Terminology
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Kinship, weights and measures, the calendar, and more.
This public article was written by EllaHansen, and last updated on 20 May 2018, 03:30.

[comments] Menu Kinship & Marriage Weights & Measures Calendar & Clock Prosody
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.

[top]Kinship & Marriage

Heláin kinship terms distinguish not only maternal and paternal sides of the family, but also the sex of the subject. Underlying part of the system is the idea of sidea 'kinswomanness', which is, roughly speaking, the presence of a woman in a vertical line of kinship. There is no sidea between relatives whose kinship can be traced purely from father to son; e.g., paternal parallel cousins can be traced through one cousin's father, their shared grandfather, and the other cousin's father (who is the one cousin's father's brother), to the other cousin, so they have no sidea; but maternal cousins must be traced through at least one mother, so they do have sidea. Relatives who share a grandparent are forbidden to marry each other if they have sidea.

denir, father
trulla, mother
denitha, child
musa, son
suda, daughter

taldenir, paternal grandparent
talbenna, maternal grandparent
taldenitha, grandchild
commusa, son's son
corsuda, son's daughter
sidimusa, daughter's son
twasuda, daughter's daughter

twa-taldenir, paternal great-grandparent
twa-talbenna, maternal great-grandparent
(higher numbers are used for more distant ancestors)

denéid, sibling
brenéid, man's/husband's brother
ivenir, woman's/wife's brother
sidrian, man's/husband's sister
serrian, woman's/wife's sister
sidréid, child of an ivenir, sidrian, or serrian (i.e., nephew/niece with sidea)

intrulla, mother's brother or wife's father
benna, mother's sister or wife's mother
talsidrian, parents' sidrian (father's sister or intrulla's wife) or husband's mother
talsidréid, parents' sidréid
mimbrenéid, brenéid's son, or father's brenéid or his son, or husband's father

talberir, husband (also called nor 'man')
talberitha, wife (also called rian 'woman')
tamminir, fiancé
tamminitha, fiancée
sidinor, son-in-law
missuda, daughter-in-law
mindenéid, sibling's spouse's sibling or spouse's sibling's spouse

Any other relatives, including relatives by marriage, are called astitha 'cousin'.

[top]Weights & Measures

The Sacred Laws mention four units, the ilit and sol (weight), the sarda (length), and the fila (area). Other units of weight and length were standardised around the same time

ilit, a very small weight (~2.5g)
peŋca 'disc' = 6 ilitora (~15g)
thoma 'block' = 12 peŋcora (~180g)
sol 'stone' = 24 thomora (~4.3kg)

The ilit and peŋca coins are named for their weight. The ilit is a small silver ring, used chiefly for spices, metals, gems, and other small, high-value items; its value is that of its metal. The peŋca is a largish holed coin, either silver (peŋca seid) or copper (leilana, named for its floral design). In Tersas's day, the leilana was often split into quarters. Later, a bank in Naven City began minting the twacréid, a quarter-leilana coin with its own hole; its convenience soon inflated its value to one-third that of the leilana.

caita, one ilit of olive oil (~2.7ml)
nulya 'handful'
breŋcaia 'cup'
sarda 'elbow'
fila 'sheet'

[top]Calendar & Clock

The Telian year is divided into four seasons, which are further divided into market-weeks of six days (fifteen weeks a season). Each season begins with a holiday, the first of which (the Feast of Rising) is always on the vernal equinox. The last day of the year, the Leading Day (rediallún), is doubled in leap years. The four seasonal holidays and leading days fall outside the market-week.

avanna, year
meleteléin, season
cureina, market-week

Seasons & holidays:
amuna, spring -- isteniarrena, Feast of Rising
ecetéin, summer -- eiarrena, Feast of Water
cwelleiŋga, autumn -- iŋceiviarrena, Feast of Gathering
celoéin, winter -- avaiarrena, Feast of Lights

Days of the week:
corcuri 'after-market'
turallún 'second-day'
annallún 'third-day'
filallún 'through-day'
talcuri 'before-market'
curiallún 'market-day'

Years are counted since the adoption of the Sacred Laws. The date is given as [weekday] [ordinal] [season-LOC] year-LOC [ordinal], e.g., annallún sethentha celoinis avannis 724nth 'sixth third-day in winter in the year 724'.

thenna 'watch; hour'
adhallis 'hymn-singing', c. 5 min.
estal 'meditation', c. 3 sec.


Heláin metre is quantitative, that is, based on the length/weight of syllables. An open syllable with a simple vowel is short; a closed syllable or one with a diphthong or semivowel-vowel pair (ai, ei, oi, wV, yV) is long.

sila 'light' or la = short syllable
esléid 'heavy' or lei = long syllable
canta = Ls or sL or sss (perhaps < cata 'boot')
lei canta = LLs or LsL or Lsss
teimbeteilfa* = LsLs ('dance-kind.of')

Note that the terms themselves have the metrical patterns to which they refer.

A common hymn-metre is flintatha 'limping': three lei canta, caesura (break), teimbeteilfa.


mur rit melien ever, u cweri avi teigladann i;
mur talama aistwín etir, finis ic, siurra
aián mun: an, far so tallis il indis, asta.
ŋun mu ecres f’ithis s’istanas, har fi detta.

▼ gloss & translation

Comments (1)
[link] [quote] 19-Mar-18 01:44
CWS Conlanger
WOW. You have an interesting system here. Fascinating. Good job! Keep up the good work! I like the days of the week. Very simple and your festivals and cool too.
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