CONLANG Translation Relay 25

Ring B Emihtazuu

Ring B next: Buruya Nzaysa
Ring B previous: Valaklwuuxa

Smooth English

A large housecat killed my innocence.
I think it was a large housecat.
It lied, and opened a bottle because we needed Thomas.
'Is Thomas a bottle?' I ask.
'Thomas isn't a big bottle, he's that guy.'
The cat, which eats fish, was unaware that what Thomas was carrying was a fish.

Emihtazuu Text

Nida iradá, azi páninewɛɛ uudáhná.
Azi newaíza nei tagá.
Ehɕéí súada, Tomase naimóhsi seenímo téémo.
'Tomase seenímoízǎra?' nei suu.
'Azi seenímo lɛdá, lidʑí Tomaseíza.'
Óníní nîhnází newɛɛ edʑenirɛíjada, Tomaseni asóɕí mâ ónííza.


Emihtazuu is an erg-abs topic-focus-verb language with a good deal of tone complexity and converb affixes. I'll try and summarise the relevant grammar etc points here.

Tone: Acute accent indicates high tone, no accent indicates low tone, haček indicates rising tone and circumflex is falling tone. Tone melodies that aren't clear from surface forms are listed as eg [LH] in the lexicon, for a low-high melody. Three tonological processes pop up here:
- Tone melody expansion: If a monomoraic morpheme has assigned to it melody with more than one tone, the first tone gets moved onto the preceding mora or syllable. If there's nothing to the left, the last tone gets moved to the right instead.
- Tone melody compression: If the above happens to move a tone onto a syllable that already has a tone, that syllable just gets both tones together as a contour. If a tone can't be expanded, the syllable it's attached to gets its own full melody as a contour.
- Tone spreading: If a high tone precedes one or more underlying unmarked (low) tones, that high tone spreads rightwards over all the unmarked syllables until it hits another marked tone or a word boundary.

The maximum syllable structure is (C)V(V/h/n), so an affix beginning with a coda consonant shortens a previous long vowel: 'rɛɛ' 'be visible' plus '-hná' 'PERF' becomes 'rɛhná'. Similarly, affixes beginning with vowels will make a two-mora diphthong, even if the preceding vowel was long.

Coda consonants only allow tones to move across them leftwards, not rightwards.

Emihtazuu is very happily pro-drop, and often lacks one or more overt core arguments to its verbs.

There is no plurality marking outside of first and second person pronouns - any noun is any plurality. The lexicon just lists everything as singular.

Relativisation: Relative clauses are created by adnominaliser suffixes on verbs. '-zi' indicates that the ergative argument of the verb has been gapped and the modified noun is the agent of the embedded clause; '-ɕí' indicates that the absolutive argument has been gapped and the modified noun is the patient of the embedded clause. Whatever core argument is left inside the relative clause takes the genitive marker '-ni' regardless of its role.

Passives reintroduce the agent with ablative '-zi [HL]'.

Complement clauses of thought or speech verbs have no overt marking or linking to the main clause, and appear to be full sentences themselves.

Emihtazuu mostly does clause connection through converbs.


ni: 1sg (abs) pronoun
-da (1): benefactive/genitive case. Marks possessors in this text.
iradá: childlikeness, innocence (abs)
páninewɛɛ: housecat, 'yurt-cat' (erg)
uudá, uudaɕi-: to kill
-hná: perfect aspect
azi: large (already adnominal)
newa: cat. Ergative form is newɛɛ.
=íza: copula clitic
nei: 1sg ergative pronoun
tagá: to think, to believe
ehɕéí: 'this/that animal' (erg)
súa: to lie, to tell an untruth
-da (2): converb indicating simultaneous action or manner
Tomase: rendering of English 'Thomas' (abs)
naimo: to need
-hsi [HL]: converb indicating cause or reason ('because')
seenímo: bottle (abs)
téémo: to open
-ra {HL]: interrogative marker
suu: to say a specific word or phrase, or convey a specific idea.
lɛ [LH]: negative copula (not a clitic, unlike the positive one)
lidʑí: 'this/that person' (abs)
óní: fish
ni [HL]: to eat
édʑi, edʑeni-: to know, to understand
-rɛɛ: causative. The agent of the underlying verb remains ergative.
-íja: negative. Causative plus negative can mean either 'doesn't make do' or 'makes not do'.
asó: to carry, to pick up
mâ: object, item

page started: 2018.Feb.01 Thu
current date: 2018.Feb.15 Thu
content originated by Aidan Aannestad
form originated by qiihoskeh

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