Relay 10/R

List of translations

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(see grammar guide for details)

aea [e.A] n. "land," "ground"
aer [er\] prsn. 3rd SG ep. see "Persons" in GG
-aerdhi ['er\Di] prns. hypothetical or unknown, empath. see "Persons" in GG
aet [et] prsn. 2nd SG, non-empath.
aghol [A'xol] adj. "evil"
alkéniv [Al'kEnIv] v. "search for", object is the thing searched for
anake [a'nAkE] n. "internal organ"
bíjiriv ['bidZir\Iv] v. "attack" (only when subj. is starting the attack)
blánashi ['blAnASi] n. "skin"
canen ['kAnEn] n. "woman"
chil'seirn [tSil'ser\n] n. "child"
choteir ['tSoter\] asp. OPT "should"
-da [dA] nmb. 2nd. see "Numbered Suffixes" in GG
dirshav [dIr\'SAv] v. "ask"
do- [do] adj. refers to embedded phrase
egik ['EgIk] see "Word Order" in GG
egikath ['EgIkAT] see "Word Order" in GG
-eith [eT] prsn. close friend, empath. see "Persons" in GG
éjhillev ['EZIlEv] v. "enjoy"
enesin [E'nEsIn] n. "home", "house"
esévesae [E'sEvEse] n. "the rest," "remainings," "left-overs"
gir [gir\] adj. AUG
gisholan [gi'SolAn] n. "tragedy"
goldav [gol'dAv] v. "want"
-im [Im] or [=m] PL
jha'sshav [ZAS@_X'SAv] v. "sing"
kénillev ['kEnIlEv] v. "see"
kep [kEp] see vep, "Adverbs" in GG
kesha ['kESA] see vesha, "Adverbs" in GG
ket [kEt] see vet, "Adverbs" in GG
kre [krE] adj. NEG
kret [kr\Et] conj. "but"
kyavaeni [kja'venI] n. "window"
-l- [l] ACC
llav [l@_X'lAv] v. "know"
majhev ['mAZEv] v. "play", object is that which is played with
mirv [mir\v] v. "come"
nagov [nA'gov] v. "eat"
ne [nE] precedes objects
nes [nEs] adj. "this"
neyane [nE'jAnE] see "Deixis" in GG
-ni [ni] prsn. self, empath. see "Persons" in GG
nicó [ni'ko] adj. "beautiful," "graceful," "stately"
no [no] pron. "it", "thing"
-p- [p] tns. PST
pas [pAs] tns. PST
rekrésh [r\E'kr\ES] n. "story," "tale"
rubalv [r\u'bAlv] v. "befall"
-sa [sA] nmb. 1st. see "Numbered Suffixes" in GG
shaev [Sev] v. "tear, as with claws". see "Culture" in GG
so- [so] POSS
-t- [t] CAUS
te [tE] conj. "and"
tugeiv [tu'gev] v. "hide," "secrete"
vedá [vE'dA] adv. "from" (also source of something in general)
vedagov [vEdA'gov] v. "spit out"
vel [vEl] adv. "to," "toward"
vep [vEp] adv. "because"
vépelai ['vEpElAi] adv. "in order to"
ves [vEs] adv. "simultaneously," "also"
vesha [vESA] adv. "concerning"
vesik ['vEsIk] adv. "then"
vet [vEt] adv. "thus," "therefore"
vo [vo] prov. "do," or the previous verb


(see grammar guide for details)

ACC accusative
adj adjective
adv adverb
asp aspect
AUG augmentative
CAUS  causative
ep epicene
GG Grammar Guide
masc masculine
n noun
NEG negation
nmb numbered suffix
PST past tense
PL plural
POSS possessive
pron pronoun
prov pro-verb
prsn person
Q question
SG singular
tns tense
v verb

Asha'ille (*)

Arthaey Angosii

Ring A

Ne Rekrésh alunsa Aghol Chil'seirn

Neyane ne aghol chil'seirn, t'ne nicó canen.

Llaveithim aet ne gisholan e'kath pas rubalvlenim. Pas mirv noda vel'enesin vépelai'kénillev n'osa. Éjhillevtaer, t'ves majhev n'osa, t'ves jha'sshav vel'nosa. Kret'bíjirivpaer nosa n'oda. Shaev ne blánashi so'noda, t'ves nagov ne anakem, t'vesik vedagov ne esévesae vedá'kyavaeni vel'aea. Choteir vato? Kr'llavnim. Vet'tugeiv n'osa vep'kre dirshavaerdhi vesha'nes gir'gisholan kesha kep, doyegik alkéniv goldav ne gir'nom, ket.

The story of the evil child

You know of the tragedy that befell us. A beautiful woman came to the house to see the evil child. She entertained the child, played with him*, and sang to him. But the evil child attacked her. He tore her skin and ate her organs and spat the rest through a window to the ground. What should we do? We don't know. Therefore, we hide the evil child so that someone doesn't ask about this great tragedy, someone who searches for and wants many things.

* In both Evíendadhail and Asha'ille, epicene pronouns are used for the child.


    {orthographic text}
    {form as in glossary}

Ne Rekrésh alunsa    Aghol Chil'seirn.
ne rekrésh alun- -sa aghol chil'seirn

Neyane ne aghol chil'seirn, t'ne  nicó canen.
neyane ne aghol chil'seirn  te ne nicó canen

Llaveithim     aet ne gisholan e'kath  pas rubalvlenim.
llav -eith -im aet ne gisholan egikath pas rubalv -l- -ni -im

Pas mirv noda   vel'enesin vépelai'kénillev n'osa,
pas mirv no -da vel enesin vépelai kénillev ne no -sa

Éjhillevtaer,     t'ves  majhev n'osa,    t'ves  jha'sshav vel'nosa.
éjhillev -t- -aer te ves majhev ne no -sa te ves jha'sshav vel no -sa

Kret'bíjirivpaer      nosa   n'oda.
kret bíjiriv -p- -aer no -sa ne no -da

Shaev ne blánashi so'noda,   t'ves  nagov ne anakem,
shaev ne blánashi so- no -da te ves nagov ne anake -im

t'vesik  vedagov ne esévesae vedá'kyavaeni vel'aea.
te vesik vedagov ne esévesae vedá kyavaeni vel aea

Choteir vato?    Kr'llavnim.
choteir vo.Q -t- kre llav -ni -im

Vet'tugeiv n'osa     vep'kre dirshavaerdhi
vet tugeiv ne no -sa vep kre dirshav -aerdhi

vesha'nes gir'gisholan kesha kep,
vesha nes gir gisholan kesha kep

doyegik  alkéniv goldav ne gir'nom,   ket.
do- egik alkéniv goldav ne gir no -im ket

Asha'illen Grammar: A Crash Course (updated for Relay 10)


Any speaker of Asha'ille is called an Asha'illen. The language was originally spoken by the Cresaeans, a sentient feline-like species. The Cresaeans are evolutionarily related to another sentient predator species, the Kegharn, who historically have hunted the Cresaeans.

In most translations, humanoid characters are "translated" into Cresaean ones wherever possible.


** Note ** Understanding the Asha'illen model of the personal network is essential to understanding Asha'ille.

Asha'ille has two separate categories of pronouns and their related conjugations. The Cresaeans use one set for empaths like themselves (and non-empathic individuals that they want to "elevate" to their status), and a second one for everything else.

For the non-empaths, Asha'ille uses the familiar (to Indo-Europeans) first/second/third-person system:

    1st      -i         -aym
    2nd      -et        -etim
    3rd      -ar, -a    -arim, -ahim
             -aer, -ec  -aerim, -ecim

In the third person singular, the conjugations listed represent male, female, unspecified, and none, respectively. These relate directly to biological gender, such that John the pet fish uses -ar, Jane the pet fish uses -a, that other fish uses -aer, and that table uses -ec.

In addition to the first/second/third-person system, Asha'ille bases its empathic-pronouns model on the idea of a network of personal contacts. Pronouns and personal conjugations measure how far from the center of this network a person is. Generally, the speaker is the center of the network and everyone else is relative to him.

    en'i      center; the self  -ni
    ajhel     beloveds          -ejh
    chishél*  closest friends   -ishe
    scadhel*  good friends      -adhe
    geithe    acquaintances     -eith
    nimordh   everyone else     -ordh

* Historically, chishél and scadhel were reversed.

There is also a sixth basic ring, the aerdhil, which is used for when the person's closeness doesn't matter or the person is unspecified or hypothetical. Its conjugation is -aerdhi.

By deliberately using *only* the non-empath pronouns and conjugations with a subject that would normally be expected to take the empath ones, the author (or speaker) is signalling that there is something wrong with the subject. Mental patients and sociopaths typically evoke such usage. Using *both* types of pronouns on the same verb, on the other hand, is used for clarification and implies nothing of the person's mental derangement.

For a more detailed, though slightly outdated, explanation of the Asha'illen persons system, see:


All the non-empath conjugations have corresponding pronouns:

    1st      ai         aym
    2nd      aet        aetim
    3rd      ar, a      arim, ahim
             aer, ec    aerim, ecim

For the empath rings, only the first two have normal pronouns: the self is en'i, and a beloved is ejh. For all other rings, "temporary" pronouns are derived by attaching numberef suffixes to the name of the ring in question. For example, aejhelsa refers to the first person you mention from your aejhel, and aejhelda the second, etc.

These outer-ring pronouns are considered temporary because the person they refer to changes between conversations. The numbered suffix chosen depends on the order in which people were introduced into the conversation.

See the "Numbered Suffixes" section.


"Deixis" is defined by the SIL linguistics glossary as a "reference by means of an expression whose interpretation is relative to the (usually) extralinguistic context of the utterance, such as who is speaking, the time or place of speaking, the gestures of the speaker, or the current location in the discourse." The default deixis of Asha'ille is not unusual. The speaker is the center, the one who uses en'i "self"; the time is the present.

However, when telling a story it is very common for the deixis to be shifted for convenience. Typically, the main character of a story becomes the center of the personal network and all others become relative to that character. To mark the change in deixis, any or all of the following may be employed:

    ayana    changes subjects used in the story
    neyane   changes objects used in the story
    keyanu   changes time of the story

The basic pattern for usage is:

    ayana ne {ring} jho {person} [, t'ne {ring} jho {person}...]
    neyane ne {object} [, t'ne {object}...]
    keyanu ne {time}

Ayana shifts who belongs to each ring relative to the self en'i, which can also be redefined via ayana. Keyanu shifts the time frame of the story, to which all others times are relative.

Neyane defines special, "temporary" pronouns that are much like outer-ring empath pronouns. For each object listed after neyane, the pronoun no, "it," plus a numbered suffix is defined to refer to that object. So, for example, if a story began with

    Neyane ne chi'san, t'ne fo feilán.

then nosa would refer to chi'san, "girl," and noda would refer to fo feilán, "red house." These temporary pronouns can be used anywhere one would use the full phrases the pronouns describe, excepting verbal conjugations. To be the subject of a verb, these pronouns fill the subject slot as normal, and no person conjugation is marked on the verb itself.

Deixis shift is "cancelled" by yanú, which means "end of story" or "the end."


Asha'ille is a VSO language. Adjectives of exactly one word come before the word they modify, otherwise they come after the core VSO and are marked for which word they modify. Note that the "adjective" category includes adverbs -- an adverbizer is simply prefixed to the adjective.

Subject and object(s) are separated by ne. The ne is required before all objects, even if the subject is only implicitly given.

Asha'ille doesn't often distinguish between direct and indirect objects. If only one or the other is used in a sentence, context determines its relation to the verb. Otherwise, both are listed as "ne {direct object} ne {indirect object}". If the direct object is a thing and the indirect is a person, the latter is often expressed on the verb.

For those who understand regular expressions from computer programming, here is the structure of an Asha'illen sentence:

    adverb? verb (adjective? subject)? (ne adjective? object){0,2} (phrases)*

As shown above, any number of modifiying phrases may be included after the core sentence structure. They must be marked for which word they modify.


Additional modifying phrases that describe the verb are headed by eg. Phrases that describe the subject are headed by ik. Phrases that describe the object are headed by ath. When there is both a direct and indirect object, the latter's modifying phrase is headed by un.

    WORD     MODIFIES...
    eg       the verb
    ik       the subject
    ath      the object
    ung      the indirect object

If any of the above particles are used in a sentence, *all* of the particle above that word in the table must also me include. This does not mean, however, that you must include extra phrases. Instead, the unused preceding particles join with the one you do want to use. For example:

    VSO eg <verb phrase> ik <subject phrase> ath <object phrase> un <IO phrase>
    VSO egik <subject phrase>
    VSO egikath <object phrase>
    VSO egikathun <indirect object phrase>

E'kath is the contraction of egikath, and e'thun is the contraction of egikathun. The contracted version are almost always used in place of the full versions of the words, even in very formal documents.


To modify any other word in a sentence (that is, something other than the verb, subject, direct object, or indirect object), the head's distance from the phrase is used as the marker.

    WORD     MODIFIES...
    alun#    the word # words before
    alunyu   the phrase before, but within the same sentence
    alunun   the entire sentence before

For example (see the "Numbered Suffixes" section if you don't already know about them):

    A B C alunsa D    D modifies C
    A B C alunda D    D modifies B
    A B C alunga D    D modifies A

It does not matter what part of speech A, B, or C are, nor what words precede or follow the phrase.


Several groups of words in Asha'ille can be "numbered" to reduce ambiguity. The first three numbered suffixes (and the most common ones) are:

    1  -sa
    2  -da
    3  -ga

For example, alunsa marks the beginning of a phrase modifying the word before it; alunda modifies the word that is two words before, etc. Members of personal rings are also marked by numbered suffixes. aejhelsa refers to the first person you mention from your aejhel, and aejhelda the second.


Asha'illen verbs can be marked for tense, aspect, person (including empathic ability, number, and gender), and negation. If any of this information is not explicitly marked on the verb, its value is assumed to be the same as the last verb that did explicitly give such information.

Information tends to be repeated even when to strictly necessary in two cases: when the speaker thinks that the listener may have forgotten, because it was a while ago; or when the speaker wishes to emphasize the information.

Verbs are not required to be marked for anything but "incomplete suffixes" (see section below); all other information can be given with free morphemes. Thus, the following sentences are completely equilavent, except in nuances of style:

    Pas shav en'i ne chishélsa.
    Pas shavni ne chishélsa.
    Pas shavlishe en'i.
    Pas shavnilishe.
    Shavpeni ne chishélsa.

Each sentences means "I spoke to my friend."


Unmarked verbs are assumed to have the same tense as the most recent tensed verb. If no tensing information is given, present tense is assumed.

Future tense is shown by either di'ay before the verb or the "incomplete suffix" -d- between the verb and any conjugations. Past tense uses pas or -p-.

Progressive aspect uses -s- or the auxilary verb esv, which is the only Asha'illen verb that drops its final v when taking a conjugation. esv is also unique in its requirement of a conjugational suffix (which can only be the subject). It comes directly before the main verb, which cannot take the subject's conjugation because it is already marked on esv.

Inchoative, or incipient, aspect has no word or particle of its own. Instead, the phrase vik'esv expresses an action just beginning, where vik' means "now".


Causatives are shown via -t-, where the conjugation bound to the verb refers to the causee, while the optional subject refers to the causer. The caused action is generally understood to be against the causee's will. However, context dictates whether the causee is really being forced to do something, or whether the causer is more of a catalyst for the action.

The subject (the causer) is carried on to the next verb as the implicit subject. Even if the same -t--plus-causee information belongs on the following verb, it must be explicitly repeated.


Asha'ille has a set of bound suffix morphemes -- termed "incomplete suffixes" by Asha'illen grammarians -- that cannot end a word but instead must be followed by at least one other suffix to form a grammatical word. The tense suffixes are two such examples. Others include: -j- and -k-, "able" and "unable", respectively; -t- "forced to happen against subject's will"; and -l- preceeding the object of the verb.


Nouns are only marked for number: singular or plural. A plain noun is singular, while one with -im suffixed is plural. Adjectives do not agree with nouns in number. Asha'illen nouns have no grammatical gender, though pronouns reflect biological sex.


Adverbial phrases always start with an adverb. If the phrase is more than one word long (not including the adverb itself), then a "closing adverb" is also required at the end of the phrase. (Don't be distracted by the fact that the English translation of these sentences uses a prepositional phrase for what is an adverbial phrase in Asha'ille.) For example,

    Vel'ejh shav en'i.
    "I speak to myself."

    Shav en'i vel'illem seni kel.
    "I speak to my friends."

Most adverbs beging with v. Their closing counterpart is usually the adverb with its initial v replaced by k, as above.

Note that in the first example above, the adverbial phrase "to myself" precedes the verb, whereas in the second it follows the verb. This is because, according to Asha'ille word order rules, only one-word modifiers may precede their heads. Free tense morphemes fill this one-word slot, so even one-word adverbial phrases must follow the verb when other words take the pre-verb modifier position:

   Pas shav en'i vel'ejh.
   "I spoke to myself."


Yes/no questions are formed with the tag particle ojo at the beginning of the sentence. If the speaker expects the answer to be yes, he can add alunun jhi to the end of the sentences; if he expects no, then he adds alunun kre. The speaker need not say whether he expects either answer.

For more complex questions, the question-words remain in situ, rather than being placed at the front of the sentence. When asking for new information, the generic pronoun no or the pro-verb vo is dropped into the word order position where it would belong in normal, indicative sentences. When asking for clarification or validation of one part of a sentence, word order is identical to indicative sentences. In both types of content questions, the question-word's stressed vowel lowers via the following rules:

    /i/  > /I/
    /I/  > /E/
    /e/  > /E/
    /E/  > /A/
    /A/  > /i/  * vowel raises, not lowers
    /u/  > /o/
    /o/  > /O/
    /O/  > /A/
    /ai/ > /O/

For a more detailed explanation of forming questions in Asha'ille, see:


Smooth translation of the text received

The story of the evil child

You know the tragedy that hit us. A beautiful woman came to the house to see the child. She played with him*, played with him, and sang to him. But the child attacked the woman. The child tore the woman's sikn and ate her organs and spit the rest through a window to the ground. What do we need to do? We don't know. Therefore, we hide the child because a person need not ask about much tragedy, the person who searches and wants to have many things.

* In both Evíendadhail and Asha'ille, epicene pronouns are used for the child.

© Jan van Steenbergen, Arthaey Angosii, 27 Aug. 2004