CONLANG Translation Relay 16

Old Albic (Ring A)

Jörg Rhiemeier

Old Albic Text

Cvesti i ahanaphesi craphanth trangasal glabesi, athreri desteli.
Achaldesa targorum gorum narosum.


craph- v. to force.
cvasta n. human being.
desteli adj. in vain.
glabas n. belief.
gor adj. strong.
hanaph- v. to try.
i plural relative.
nara n. soul.
targar n. fetter.
thrar- v. to struggle.
trangas n. virtue.

Grammar Notes


An important alternation in Old Albic is umlaut:
/a/ lowers the preceding vowel if it is high (u>o, y>ø, i>e).
/i/ fronts the preceding vowel if it is back (a>e, o>ø, u>y).
/u/ rounds the preceding vowel if it is unround (a>o, e>ø, i>y).

Some affixes agree with the vowel of the root syllable (marked by ° in the notes below).

Noun cases that occur in the text are:
Agentive: endingless for animate nouns; expresses the agent of the sentence.
Objective: endingless for inanimate nouns; expresses the patient of the sentence.
Genitive: ending -s; the one genitive in the text also has the suffix -um as it modifies a noun in the dual number (suffixaufnahme).
Locative: ending -°l; occurs in the text as argument of a verbal noun, in which case it expresses the patient of the nominalized verb.
Instrumental: ending -i; expresses the means of action.

Noun numbers: one plural (animate, ending -i) and one dual (inanimate, ending -um).

Adjectives and genitives agree with the head noun in case and number.


All finite verbs in the text are in the aorist, which in the text has gnomic value, i.e. it expresses general truth (such as "Birds fly"). Finite verbs agree with both agent and patient (if transitive) in person and number (in number only if the patient is animate).

The aorist is expressed by the prefix °- (agreeing with the root vowel).

Person/number endings occuring in the text:
-a 3rd person singular or inanimate patient
-si 3rd person plural agent

There is one verbal noun in the first sentence, which is formed from the verb stem with the suffix -°nth.


Word order is free, but VSO is the basic order. (In the first sentence, the subject is fronted.) The text contains a relative clause in the first sentence. This is introduced by a particle that agrees in case and number with the head noun.

Smooth English Translation

People who try to force virtue by belief, struggle in vain.
They hold on to strong fetters of the soul.


cvesti i ahanaphesi
human-PL(AGT) REL-PL(AGT) AOR-try-3SG:P-3PL:A
craphanth trangasal glabesi
force-VN(OBJ) virtue-LOC belief-INS
athreri desteli
AOR-struggle-3PL:A in.vain
Achaldesa targorum gorum narosum
AOR-hold-3SG:P-3PL:A fetter-DU(OBJ) strong-DU(OBJ) soul-GEN-DU(OBJ)

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page started: 2008.Nov.28 Fri
last modified: 2008.Dec.12 Fri
form originated by qiihoskeh;
content copyright Jörg Rhiemeier.