In frame 2668 (btw, I am using Geekwagons numbering system), one of the Beanies has examined Megan’s leg and asks or orders something to a second Beanie, which promptly leaves: ᓭᘈ ᘊᒣᓭᐧᖊᔕ ᖆᘊᓭᒣᖊᐣᖗᐨ (“tesa paʧataðama dapateʧaðeʃa”).

It seems everyone agrees on the meaning of this sentence: either “Get/Bring (me/us) cream for-healing” or “Cream for-healing is-needed”. The “cream for-healing” is one the most clear keys Randall has given us: Megan will soon ask what they are putting in her leg, and the answer will be ᘊᒣᓭᐧᖊᔕ ᖆᘊᓭᒣᖊᐣᖗᐨ. We have established that ᘊ- (“pa”) is almost certainly a prefix (or, more appropriately in terms of Beanish morphology, a semantic particle usually found in initial position when applied to names), probably meaning “big, large, superior”; and in fact the base form ᒣᓭᐧᖊᔕ (“ʧataðama”) will return in frame 2797 referring to what they are eating. Not delving into the possible morphology of ᒣᓭᐧᖊᔕ (“ʧataðama”) — but the word is probably at least inflected, if not a compound –, “cream” is indeed the best translation for something that can be both eaten and applied to injuries (“unguent”), assuming it is not a proper noun (who knows, maybe aloe vera or nettle are sacred plants among the Beanies, used as aliments) and that Beanish food is not so different from ours.

ᖆᘊᓭᒣᖊᐣᖗ (“dapataʧaðeʃa”) is a bit more interesting. First of all, we can safely assume that it is qualifying the word if follows, which is probably the less disputable feature of Beanish syntax (see, for example, the map, where the word probably meaning sea, ᘊᖊᑦᓄ [“paðova”] is followed by the proper name): modifiers are postponed. The “for-healing” part is a good guess, and allows us to think once more of -ᘊ- as “big”, implying a prefix ᖆ- [“da”] (on OTT, azule suggested it is “home”, but I think it is more likely a general physical descriptor/connector, if indeed all glyphs have a semantic load) and much more manageable base word ᓭᒣᖊᐣᖗ (“teʧaðeʃa”), which looks a bit like a “verb” (maybe the ᖆ- turns a verb, possibly a nominal one, into an agent, thus “healer (cream)”).

None of this is new, and has been extensively discussed in the OTT. I want to focus in the word ᓭᘈ (“tesa”). Now, without considering its meaning (be it an imperative “get” or a “is-needed”), the word is likely a verb; our tendency as SVO-language speakers is to take it as an imperative. We unfortunately don’t have words clearly related to it — considering the ᘈ element it is completely opaque, while considering ᓭ we have some candidates: in the difficult sentence from frame 2671 we have the bizarre word ᓭᑦᐧ (“toj”); in frame 2697 we have the debated ᓭᐧᖚ (“tako”), the word-without-punctuation (but as many people suggested, it’s probably a lapsus calami, just a miskate) which seems more related to ᓭᐧᘖ (“taba”) in frame 2866; in frame 2728, one that desperately needs more translation effort, we have ᓭᘖᑦ (“tebo”), the likeliest candidate in my opinion.

The conclusion is that I need to study in much finer detail the dubious translations, particularly for frames 2671 and 2728. Please keep posting your suggestions (if you study the corpus I put on Github, all I have there are elipsis…)

Now, for something different. Maybe it’s the literary critic in me, but I have been wondering if the game we are playing is the same for, say, identify time and place. We could do more for “deciphering” Beanish, but unless someone finds an algorithm to derive it from whatever language there is, the data we have is simply not enough (I had many crazy, crazy ideas I know wouldn’t work well, going as far as a Naïve Bayes to classify words in their parts of speech using people guesses of translations). Maybe we are not supposed to find the rules but actually find the signal in the noise, i.e., develop a grammar that fits the language we have so far? Really, has it been discussed? I look back and seem to have always worked under the assumption that the grammar was there to decrypt.

But I will try to go on with my mumblings, even though life knocks at the door asking me to stop playing that much and focus on work…

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