CONLANG Translation Relay 16

Ājat he-Heloun (Ring C)

Alex Fink

-- Ājat he-Heloun Text --

Teziřkə ni-šilyřřa

Mái oř afmoř šijəisnijak at-vāi lāiju n-afkhin,
šū ōs ha-moř he-šoutesteziřkiko hou ni-šilyřřek ōs zy-moř thei.
Mái o šilyjtiko at-nōutə šijəisnak at-vāi lāiju n-afkhin,
apy šiřza jəmavic zy-šijū h-o.
Dal mái fa afmoř at-šoutezvatizijak u kəi šoulyřřa
o at-šouteziřkiko nə-hou.
Oupmētai ji.

(Diacritics include hachek, acute, and macron; ə is schwa.)

-- Grammar --

(I've made several simplifications in this presentation: see my online documentation at Ājat he-Heloun for the full story.)

The basic word order of Ājat he-Heloun in finite clauses is Aux S V O (adjuncts). In a noun phrase, quantifiers precede the head, all other modifiers follow. Actually, conjunctions can precede a noun phrase too, and in this position they often have special semantics.

Most ordinary finite clauses require an auxiliary. Leaving aside the last sentence, only one type of auxiliary is found here in the Aux position, and it's semantically null. The last sentence is a fossilised expression (with rhetorical force) and its main verb takes the form of an auxiliary.

In fact the auxiliary pattern is so prevalent that many clauses end up with multiple auxiliaries. In this event usually the excess ones after the first appear compounded to the beginning of the verb they modify.

The shape of the noun is
case -- number, definiteness -- stem -- possessor.

Lucky for you my usual orthography separates case prefixes other than the accusative from what follows by a hyphen, so you should be able to identify them.

Possessor suffixes aren't required when there is a modifying genitive. The one time they appear here, they're there to force particular "possessed" semantics of the head.

Adjectives are a subclass of noun, and when used with nominal force they behave like quality nominalisations (like 'darkness' from 'dark').

The shape of the verb is
"verbal case" -- number, definiteness -- stem -- progressive -- subject.

In fact the components of the verb and the noun can nearly be matched up one-to-one, with the same forms; only the progressive lacks a counterpart. Reflecting this I've folded together the tables of nominal and verbal morphology below. Mwa ha ha.

"Verbal case" has several functions:

The prefixal number marking on a verb agrees with the object if there is one, else the subject. Verbal definiteness is somewhere between modality and evidentiality: definite verbs describe real states or events that the speaker knows about, indefinite verbs hypothetical or non-evident ones.

All the verbs here have progressive marking. You may as well ignore it.

Verbs form zero-derived event nominalisations.

Aside from taking verbal case, many relative clauses can be recognised by using the demonstrative _ha, hou_ resumptively.

-- Morphological tables --

Note the phonological rule that in many sequences of two vowels, the first one disappears (esp. if it's non-high, or equals the second).

- Case markers -

Where I give two forms of a marker in this table, they're umlaut variants, except accusative _h_ which only appears before vowels.

0 nominative
0 h- accusative
at- instrumental; the positive case marker for static-marking and relative clauses
ha- he- genitive-partitive; 'because'
ni- nə- 'about, regarding' (abbreviated CCST in the lexicon)
zy- genitive

- Number and definiteness -

I give only the allomorphs that appear. "Oblique" means 'not nominative'.

0 indefinite singular
af- indefinite plural
š- replacing j- definite nominative singular
šou- definite oblique singular
ši(j)- definite oblique plural

- Progressive -

-i(j) progressive

- Possessor = subject -

Here there are two forms per row because AhH has two declensions of verbs.

-ek -ka 3rd singular
-ak -ko 3rd plural

- Bits I didn't explain -

oup- negative ~subjunctive mood for auxiliaries

-- Lexicon --

apy p because (of)
avic adj important
dal cnj but
fa qua few (nominative)
hou prn that (near us both) (oblique)
iřza n/v need
ji prn I
n liver, (metaphorically) seat of the emotions
jəm- very (derivational prefix)
kəi qua one
khin n fault; failing, weakness of character;
(as adj) responsible for; tempted to
lāiju adj kind, warm-hearted, compassionate
lyjtə v try, attempt
lyřřa adj righteous, moral, conscientous; virtuous, good
mái aux (null auxiliary, habitual plural)
mētai aux know (present singular)
moř n person
nōutə adj determined, set on doing s.t.
o prn (3rd plural pronoun)
qua all
ōs qua each (oblique)
ou prn (3rd singular oblique pronoun)
tez aux cause (note _z_ > _s_ before voiceless Cs)
teziřkə v empathise with, (with a CCST modifier) intuit, understand empathically
tezvatiza v doubt, have second thoughts about (topic CCST)
thei adj (an)other, else
u cnj and (for NPs); even
vāi n concern, care, caution (in the construction here with a CCST modifier, more like 'resposibility')
əisna v act, behave

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page started: 2008.Nov.30 Sun
last modified: 2008.Dec.09 Tue
form originated by qiihoskeh;
content copyright Alex Fink.