I'm confident enough in this revision of Siye grammar to revise the Babel
Text. The perennial problem, however, is the distinction between 'speech'
and 'language'. In Siye 1.2, Genesis 9:1 would read
"Samni menekem ika siye tumni am simaki yokononiki isikama."
"siye tumni am simaki yokoniki" breaks down thusly:
siye tum-ni am simaki yokono-ni-ki
speech one-COM and tongue common-COM-INS
"isikama" is an intransitive verb - "ika" is in the Absolutive case, and
therefore lacks overt case marking, while "siye ... -ki" is in the
instrumental case. Adjectives follow nouns. "simaki" is etymologically "the
thing by which one habitually speaks", but the -ki has become a nominalizing
suffix for Patients and Inanimate Instrumental nouns. -ni- is the Comitative
case marker. "siye tumni" and "simaki yokoni" are noun phrases marked with
the Comitative case, while "siye tumni am simaki yokononiki" is a complex
noun phrase marked with the Instrumental case. So the grammar is clear enough.
"simaki" means "tongue" in the literal sense, and I am not sure that I want
to have a second word for "speech" in Siye, given my limited source material
(no, I'm not saying what it is). If I do not, however, have a second word
for "speech/language", how do I translate Genesis 9:1?