Friday, 18 May 2012


IPA: [kʰep]
vb. to speak, to talk, to say.

In people so fond of talking as are the Tulvans this word has a lot of uses, derivations and combinations. The word in itself is quite regular, but can undergo several changes and affixations.  So for instance we have ikkep 'to converse' (ik, between), which means to maintain a dialogue. You also have cikep 'to speak on behalf of' (ci, for, by), cumkep 'to speak for someone, on his defense or to speak well of someone' (cum, for), sivkep 'to speak thoroughly, to speak from beginning to end, to give a dissertation' (siv, through), and also migkep 'to speak at a party' (mig, around). This last one is the most interesting to my mind, it means that at social gatherings it is expected that you speak to all guests around you and partake in their conversations. One of many Tulvan codes of etiquette.

Another derivation is cnarakep (cnara, black) which means 'to curse', it is akin to the idea of a 'foulmouth' or, in this case, a 'blackmouth'. So for example a common warning to children is cnarakepi vu! 'Don't curse!'.

Example: Caur kep tote utimu, mas ikkep utimen usim vithi.
He wanted to talk to a tree, and trees only speak with each other.

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