CONLANG Translation Relay 16

Kamakawi (Ring B)

David J. Peterson

1. Introductory Remarks
2. Kamakawi Text
3. Lexicon
4. Grammar Overview
5. Glossary
6. Smooth English

1. Introductory Remarks

The romanization system matches up fairly well with CXS, except for the following: [j] (palatal glide) = "y"; [?] (glottal stop) = "'" (an apostrophe). Additionally, capital letters are used at the beginning of sentences, and general English punctuation is used.

I don't think I was ever able to successfully get the content of the text into just the right English words, let alone Kamakawi. The concept makes sense, but I just couldn't find the right words. It should be fairly comprehensible, though. You'll be able to find more grammatical information, should you need it, at my website: Kamakawi

If anything's still missing, or if something's unclear, feel free to send me an e-mail.

2. Kamakawi Text

Au akou ukou pou nepile take'emi o ukou tie mawava uoi.
Oku tape kou ie emiemiki aeiu tou oku, le'e fule oye o po'upo'u amo.

3. Lexicon

The lexicon is arranged in English alphabetical order. Each entry begins with an asterisk. Where applicable, additional grammatical information will appear in parentheses, and additional etymological information will appear in brackets. Though many Kamakawi words have many different meanings and can appear in many different categories, I've only included the relevant translations and categories.

*a (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is new or different
*aeiu (prep.) into
*akou (v.) to fail
*amo (pron.) 3sg. neuter pronoun
*au (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is new or different and plural
*e (part.) the (definite article, sg.; attaches to prepositions);
(part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is identical to the subject of the previous sentence
*emiemiki (n.) human nature
*fule (n.) need (abstract noun)
*i (prep.) marks direct objects; marks general locations and/or times
*ie (contr.) contraction of /i/ and /e/
*kou (pron.) 3sg. pronoun that has no reference (a generic pronoun like "one")
*le (prep.) because of
*le'e (contr.) contraction of /le/ and /e/
*mawava (n.) religion
*nepile (v.) to constrain, to delimit
*o (prep.) marks the genitive (X o Y = "X of Y")
*oi (conj.) and
*oye (contr.) contraction of /oi/ and /e/
*oku (part.) negates a sentence (used initially or finally);
(adv.) not
*po- (pref.) marks the beginning of relative clause (see below)
*po'upo'u (n.) vitality, vigor
*take'emi (n.) personal conduct
*tape...aeiu (v.) to reel in (as in fishing)
*ti (prep.) with (instrumental); marks oblique phrases; by, because of
*tie (contr.) contraction of /ti/ and /e/
*tou (adv.) can, be able to
*u (part.) the (definite article, plu.; attaches to prepositions);
(part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is identical to the subject of the previous sentence and plural
*u- (pref.) plural marker
*ukou (pron.) 3plu. pronoun that has no reference (a generic pronoun like "one")
*uoi (adv.) to try to, to attempt

4. Grammar Overview

-Typological facts: word order = VSO; prepositional; NG; NA; NR.

-A PP can be moved to the front of a clause, but otherwise word order is maintained.

-Kamakawi is a pro-drop language. If the subject marker /e/ or /ae/ is used, the subject may be omitted, as it can be retained from the previous clause.

-Subject status markers let the hearer know if the subject of the new sentence (embedded or otherwise) is the same as the subject of the previous sentence. There are three possibilities:
(1) It's identical;
(2) it's from the previous clause, but isn't the previous clause's subject;
(3) it's brand new (or more than a clause old). To mark these statuses, a particle is used which preposes the verb. The markers are as follows:

(k)e = (1)
(k)ae = (2)
(k)a = (3)

Certain discourse particles (words like "because" and "so that") are suffixed directly to these subject status markers. So if you had a sentence like Kale X Y, it'd mean "Because Y did X".

-Adverbs occur sentence-finally, generally. Adverbs are sometimes used like modals in English. For example, if you say Ka mama eine i nawa (PAST hug woman PREP fish), it'd mean "The woman hugged a fish". If you say Ka mama eine i nawa tou (PAST hug woman PREP fish can), it'd mean "The woman could hug a fish".

-Where a verb has 2 arguments, the preposition /i/ marks the less agent-like of the two. For this reason, it's used to cover a whole range of prepositional functions, including spatial and temporal.

-Certain verbs take adverbial complements. They're listed in the lexicon as X...Y. For these verbs, any objects and subjects come in between the members X and Y. Otherwise, the two function as a single verb with a single meaning.

-When two vowels of the same quality occur next to one another, they're separated by a glottal stop.

-Kamakawi allows--and even encourages--double negation.

-Now relative clauses. These are marked by adding the /po-/ prefix to the subject status marker of the embedded clause. This construct follows the noun you're talking about. Then comes the sentence, as modified via the steps above, so that the empty spot in the sentence is the subject, which corresponds to the noun before the /po-/ part. So, to say "The grass a woman joined a fish on", you do the above steps, then add the following: e fale poke uiki'u ti eine ti nawa. There you have the relative clause.

5. Glossary

3 = third person
A = adjective
adj. = adjective
adv. = adverb
conj. = conjunction
contr. = contraction
dem. = demonstrative
G = genitival phrase
N = noun
n. = noun
nm. = name
O = object
P = preposition
part. = particle (generally freestanding)
PP = prepositional phrase
pref. = prefix
prep. = preposition
pron. = pronoun
R = relative clause
S = subject
sg. = singular
suf. = suffix
V = verb
v. = verb that can be transitive or intransitive
vi. = intransitive verb
vt. = transitive verb

6. Smooth English

Smooth Translation of the Ithkuil Text

Those who attempt to constrain personal conduct via religious doctrines inevitably fail.
Due to its need and vitality, one can't rein in human nature.

Smooth Translation of the Kamakawi Text

Those who attempt to constrain their conduct with religion fail to do so.
One can't reel in human nature, on account of its need and vitality.

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page started: 2008.Nov.28 Fri
last modified: 2008.Dec.07 Sun
form originated by qiihoskeh;
content copyright David J. Peterson.