Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson

Further Pre-Nara Japanese Poem Discoveries

SpecGram Wire Services
Tom Stinnett reporting

Archaeologists from the Basil Randolph Anderson Center for Lexico-Archeological Sartorial Poetry Studies (BRA-CLASPS), at the site of the pre-Nara dig in Japan have made further announcements. First, Translator Karōshi Sararīman at BRA-CLASPS has provided a likely title and possible translation of the first fragment, reported on earlier. Margo Edi and her fellow researchers have also provided another fragments of the exquisite poem about the woman wearing yellow garments. It is now clear that her name was Si (pronounced “Shee” in modern Japanese) and that the poem describes a ritual public humiliation intended, probably, to deter other members of the community Si lived in from emulating her sartorial indiscretions.

The Public Humiliation of SiFragment I

[object-marking particle]
[plural noun-marker]
にてぃびてぃ てぃにゐにTwo [nonsense chant-syllable] Days [nonsense chant-syllable] Niwi [locative particle]
いぇろぽるかだっとびきに   No! [unknown verb]1 [question particle] The stade which is a day Cut! [instrumental particle]

Or, more colloquially:

Thus to Si and all her ilk!
Two! (Ugh!) Days! (Ugh!) At Niwi2 (Ugh!)
No! Sacrifice her ritually? A one-day’s journey. By cutting!!!!

The Public Humiliation of SiFragment IIpossibly to be interpreted as a chant of castigation by the angry chorus, holding up the disgrace of those, like Si, who dare to display themselves in revealing yellow garments.

ふぉpass-through (?)
てらぴぽは   Many hands striking [topic-marking particle]
しをSi [object-marking particle] !

More news as it develops.

1 possibly “to slay in ritual fashion”?

2 an ancient, formerly unknown place name?

Letters to the Editor
Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson
SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents