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CONLANG  April 1999, Week 1

CONLANG April 1999, Week 1

Subject:

Re: translation exercise

From:

Nik Taylor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 1 Apr 1999 16:03:04 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (146 lines)

I'll try this one.

Fabian wrote:
>
> Father, what are those lights?
>
> That is the city of the Goyanim. They are a strange people. They light their
> cities at night, as if the stars weren't sufficient for their needs. They
> fight and kill eachother, not realising the greater danger beyond their
> small world. And they do not hunt eachother with bows and arrows. No, they
> have strange devices that kill from far away without arrows. And take care
> near their strange iron horses they use to travel. They travel faster than
> any natural beast ought to, and ignore the strength of the bow and arrow.
> Best if you avoid their cities, my son.
>
> Father, whats a city?

Again, due to the lack of fathers in Native cultures, I'll change father
to mother.

So, here goes:

Nani', waqzika'i' waqyi'wi' kla piqba?

Pyi'u kla pitani' sugGuyani'mi'q. Suqi'su'nai na suqtaizyana'i'.
Lusaqa'i'ta'ndha' waqzika'i' piqtani'na' piqgasyu'wi'dh, pin qil
sadi'ndha' wiqila'i'. Klannanga'ta'ndha' ku kluyawi'nta'ndha', qil
lassi'kki' piblaa' pikizaami' qil-zupipatitani'su'ma'dh. Ku qil
kluyawi'nta'ndha' waqnima'i'li'. Qil, paslauni'ta'ndha' piqnasazyana'i'l
sluyawi'nna'dh pikappa'dh, qil wiquta'i'li'. Ku tilassi' piblaa'
kiqu'dyasisumadi kiqzyani' pinagi'ta' tazaba'ta'ndha'. Qaki'na'dh di'na'
watasa'u'n pinasadi'ta' kinakla'i'na', ku sudaka'na'dha' plappa'li'
wanima'qli'. Zasabita'dhdha' qil dhidhuli'qi'n piqtani'su'ma'di',
lika'nkwa'.

Nani',  waq-zika'-i'      waq-yi'-wi'      kla piq-ba?
Mother, G7Pl-light-plural G7Pl-that-plural be  G7Pl-Inter
In direct address, the gender prefix is usually dropped, since the
gender is clear to both participants.  G7 is used with -ba for what
regardless of the gender of the object.

P-yi'u  kla pi-tani'           sug-Guyani'm-i'-q .  Suq-i'su'na-i
G7-that be  G7-inhabited.place G3Pl-Guyanim-Pl-Gen. G3Pl-that.one-Pl.
I wasn't sure here wheter to you _kla_ or _na_.  Kla is "equative",
while _na_ is "token", that is, kla means the two are identical, _na_
means that the one is an example of the second.  Since "the", and not
"a" was used in the English, I'm assuming that this is the only city of
the Goyanim, so that _kla_ is appropriate

na suq-tai-zyana'-i'.          Lu-saqa'i'-ta'n-dha'
be G3Pl-one.who.is-strange-pl. Cause-come.into.existence-3PlRatAbs-Hab
This is an example of the use of _na_.  There are many strange peoples
in the world, and the Goyanim are one example.

waq-zika'-i'  piq-tani'-na'            piq-gasyu'-wi'-dh pin   qil
G6Pl-light-Pl G7Pl-inhabited.place-BEN G7Pl-night-pl-LOC as.if not
"Create lights" is the way I expressed the verb "to light".  "In nights"
= at night

sa-di'-n-dha'                wiq-ila'-i'.  K-lan-nanga'-ta'n-dha'
VERB-sufficient-3SIrrAbs-Hab G6Pl-star-PL. REF-Comm-fight-3PlRatAbs-Hab
"As if the stars were not sufficient", for their needs is assumed.
Reflexive with the commitative prefix is used for reciprocative.
Sometimes, the noun suqu'na'un (the other) is used

ku  k-lu-yawi'n-ta'n-dha',         qil lassi'-k-ki'       pi-blaa'
and REF-Cause-Die-3rdRatAbsPl-Hab, not see-3PlIrrAbs-INCH G7-danger
Because lu- and lan- are both in the same slot, only one can occur,
there is thus an ambiguity here between "they kill each other" and "they
kill themselves".  This could be resolved with the noun suqu'na'un, but
the context should be clear enough.

pi-ki-zaami' qil=zu-pati-tani'-suma'-dh.                 Ku  qil
G7-AUG-big   not=DIM-group.of-inhabited.place-their-LOC. And not
Augmentative plus adjective is one way of making comparisons in the
abstract.  When a concrete comparison is given, that is simply put in
the ablative case, with the adjective unmodified; "group of places" is
used for "world" here, "group of places" is used for world when it
doesn't mean the planet, when it means a local region.  "Not in" is
commonly used for "outside of"

k-lu-yawi'n-ta'n-dha'       waq-nima'-i'-li'.            Qil,
REF-Cause-die-3PlRatAbs-Hab G7Pl-bow.and.arrow-PL-Instr. No,

pa-s-launi'-ta'n-dha'              piq-nasa-zyana'-i'-l
DO-DatAppl-be.located-3rdPlRat-Hab G7Pl-that.which.is-strange-PL-Erg
launi' plus the dative is used for "to have", the DO (Dative-Object)
construction promotes the dative object to absolutive, and is required
of all rational pronouns.  When an intransitive verb does this, the
normally absolutive is promoted to ergative.  "Device" is rendered by
the prefix nasa-, thus it's "strange things"

s-lu-yawi'n-na'-dh      pi-kappa'-dh,    qil wiq-uta'-i'-li'.     Ku
AP-caust-die-3PlIrr-Hab G7-distance-LOC, not G6Pl-arrow-PL-Instr. And

ti-lassi' pi-blaa'  kiq-u'dyas-i-suma-di     kiq-zyani'   pi-nagi'-ta'
IMP-see   G7-danger G4Pl-horse-PL-their-CLOC G4Pl-strange G7-iron-ABL
<u'dyas> is a borrowing from English <horse>.  It is pronounce [ur\as],
[r\] = alv. approximate; CLOC = circumlocative, "near".  Ablative is
used for composition, thus "strange horses [made of] iron"

ta-zaba'-ta'n-dha'.    Qaki'-na'-dh   di'na' wa-tasa'-u'n
LocApl-go-3RatAbs-Hab. Go-3SIrrPl-Hab more   G6-speed-COM
I'm not sure of the gender of the pronoun here.  An train is an object,
which should go into gender 7, nevertheless, it is referred to as an
iron HORSE, which is gender 4.  I'm metaphorically putting in gender 4.
Note the use of subordination, simply going into the verb; this is
possible because (with a few exceptions) the verb is always first.  This
is thus "the strange metal horses that they 'ingo'".  Qaki is used of
inanimate objects, zaba' of go in a social setting (trains carry
groups), dhuli' is go, non-social setting, or neutral, and ka'ntu is to
go alone, but with social significance, that last isn't used in this
translation.

pi-nasa-di'-ta'                 ki-na-kla'i'-na'-ta',      ku
G7-that.which.is-sufficient-ABL G4-that.which-live-BEN-ABL and
Literally, something like "they go with more speed than is sufficient
for an animal".  _pinasadi'_ usually carries, however, the connotation
of "the limits of acceptability"; this also demonstrates agreement of
cases.

su-daka'-na'-dha'   p-lappa'-li'      wa-nima'-q-li'.
AP-ignore-3PlIrrAbs G7-strength-INSTR G6-bow.and.arrow-gen-INSTR.
When a verb is put into the antipassive, the old patient becomes
instrumental.

Za-sa-bita'-dh-dha'           qil dhi-dhuli'-qi'n
Belief-VERB-good-3SIrrAbs-HAB not IF-go-2SAbs
Za- ... dhi- is used for "it would ... if".  Thus, this says, "It would
be good if you don't go"

piq-tani'-su'ma'-di',            lika'n-kwa'.
G7Pl-inhabited.place-their-CLOC, offspring-my.

I left off that last sentence, since it wouldn't make sense in this
context.  The same word, tani' is used for any permanently inhabited
place, from the smallest village to the largest metropolis.

--
"It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father
was hanged." - Irish proverb
http://members.tripod.com/~Nik_Taylor/X-Files
http://members.tripod.com/~Nik_Taylor/Books.html
ICQ: 18656696
AIM Screen-name: NikTailor

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