CONLANG Translation Relay 16

Suraetua (Ring A)

Lars Finsen Thu, 20 Nov 2008 17:26:18 +0100

1. The text translated into Gaajan

Rain sos kesoninu ju kinis sureani akuen musi ala, ara ego kanjauko reniamni ili aijomi.
Tonnike kinis kedulnimike betien imisu ada, asunona araben anga ami.

2. Relevant grammar

In Suraetua, the unit of narration is the verb. A statement is made up of clauses of which each must contain one and only one verb. This verb though is most often composite, consisting of a main verb and an auxiliary following it. The main verb and the auxiliary always conclude the clause. However, if a string of clauses within a sentence all have the same auxiliary, the auxiliary will be dropped in all except the last clause. Auxiliaries are not used with direct imperative commands, nor in incomplete sentences without a defined agent or patient. Perfective werbs may also be found without an auxiliary, in which case they function as an adjectival or even adverbial attribute.

The main verb is marked only for mood and aspect, while the auxiliaries handle the tense and the main relationships between the verb and other constituents of the clause, as well as between the various clauses. All personal pronouns, including implied ones, are contained in the auxiliary.

There are two auxiliaries, the transitive a and the intransitive ju. Their translation is 'be', 'do', 'have' or 'yes' depending on the content of the clause and the choice of auxiliary. An auxiliary with no verb, noun or adjective functions as a confirmation (except that it may be modified with clause markers). The auxiliaries have a myriad forms depending on their functions. The vocabulary below contains the basic form of all the relevant ones for the current text.

In a sentence, attributes generally precede heads. Adjectives precede nouns and adverbs precede verbs. An adjective can follow a noun only when it plays an object role in a clause with an intransitive auxiliary and no main verb. Example: Keson il ju - the man is dead. Adverbs have some freedom of motion and if one is important to the whole clause it will often precede it.

Tenses are past, present and future. The present is not marked, while the past is marked with an initial i- on the auxiliary and the future with a- or ad-.

Aspect and mood is somewhat conflated in Suraetua, in that they don't follow any formation rules. Moods are always postfixed, though, while aspects may be pre- or postfixed. Formants may be found either on the main verb or the auxiliary, depending on category.

There are four moods, of which the indicative is unmarked, the imperative is marked with -k, or -ik after stops, and the antipassive, which is marked with -tu, or -itu after stops. These formants attach to the main verb if there is one; otherwise they attach to the auxiliary. The subjunctive marker -la always attaches to the auxiliary.

There are several aspects of wich the most relevant are as follows:

The perfective -sun, or -un after consonants, is used to mark the completeness of an action. There is no perfect tense, and perfective statements are made with a perfective verb plus an auxiliary in the present tense. If there is no main verb, the perfective is marked on the auxiliary.

The potential marker -jo, or -io after consonants, is used on an auxiliary to mark a dependent conditional clause, and on a main verb to denote the ability to perform an action.

The conditional marker, l-, or il- before consonants, is used on an auxiliary to formulate a question or imposing a condition on another clause.

The relative marker -su has three uses: (a) on an auxiliary to mark a relative clause, (b) on a noun to mark the noun that something is being compared to, and (c) on a main verb to function in place of a relative pronoun. The latter use also will give the agent of an active sentence or the patient of an antipassive sentence a certain definiteness.

The adverbial/temporal marker -en is affixed to the auxiliary to mark a dependent clause that's concurrent to the main clause. Example: Ejemi an ijut sowajua ijuen - I went inside as it started to rain.

The intentional marker -an is used to mark wish, intent or imminent actions.

The habitual marker an- is used for continuous, habitual actions.

The repetitive marker as- is used for repeated, reversed or returning actions.

Nouns are marked for plural with -u after 'a' or a consonant and -we otherwise, except if any next formant begins with a consonant. Singular is unmarked. The plural marker is always the first if the nouns has more than one marker. The genitive marker is -in, or -n after i or e. The locative is -am, or m after a or e. The illative is -ami, or -mi after a or e. And I could go on (and on). But you have all that's relevant here. There is no gender, and the only marking for definiteness is the relative one as mentioned above.

The personal pronouns are ma (1s), si (2s), ni (3s), anani (1p), ti (2p), and wi (3p). They are rarely used alone, but when attached to the ends of nouns they functions as possessives. Pronouns always are the last formants on nouns.

Attributes are unmarked if they function as adjectives, and marked with the adverbial marker -en if they function as adverbs. Any noun can be made attributive to a verb by adding -en. This is for example useful when referring to time.

3. Vocabulary

a (v) 3psg transitive auxiliary with 3psg object
ai (v) 3psg intransitive auxiliary with 3psg indirect object
aku (adj) good
-am (locative) at, in
ara (adv) no, not
araben (adv) never
betien (adv) always
ego (adj) big, much
gar (v) cross, pass (loses the r when prefixed)
ili (v) happen
imisu (v) save, rescue
ju (v) 3psg intransitive auxiliary
kanjauko (n) sorrow
-ke (ergative) subject of transitive action
kedul (n) strength, power
keson (n) man
kinis (adj) spiritual
-mi (comitative) with, by, and (with negation: or)
musi (v) listen
asunona (n) fence, border towards the unknown
rain (n) duty
reni (n) path, road
sos (adj) all
surea (n) knowledge
ton (n) faith, confidence

4. Abbreviations used

3psg - 3rd person singular
adj - adjective
adv - adverb
n - noun
v - verb

5. Smooth English translation

It is the duty of every man to listen to his spiritual knowledge, or much sorrow may befall him on his path.
His faith and spiritual strength then will always save him, and he will never go outside the border towards the unknown.

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page started: 2008.Dec.05 Fri
last modified: 2008.Dec.12 Fri
form originated by qiihoskeh;
content copyright Lars Finsen.