Relay 10/R

List of translations

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Word list

@nS@qe (n.i) a people (as in, "the people of Mexico")
anist@kwa (n.wa) order, balance (by extension, peace, serenity, etc.)
anMlipan (n.c) birth
anoww@Nwa (n.wa) story, oration, tale
anoww@pan (n.c) speech, talk, word (see grammar note G above)
apanas (adv.) then, at that time, and then
f@lka (v.3) to prove oneself, to prove one's (own) worth
f@lki (v.2) to fight
fanta (n.a) shaman, story teller (translate freely if "shaman" is too loaded)
fi- -pu (circ.) turns a verb (x) into a noun meaning the action of x/x-ing
fin- -t@k@ (v.1) to flee (in between comes sbj./obj. agr. and TMAS)
fulalsani (v.2) to thrive (usually takes no object)
ipj@k (n.c) year
ipj@kakis (n.c) many years
ja- -Sifuf@ (v.1) to return (TMAS goes in between the hyphens)
kalo- (TMAS.pref.) past tense, active, irrealis aspect
kanja- (TMAS.pref.) past tense, active, perfective/completive aspect
kano- (TMAS.pref.) past tense, active, perfective/completive aspect
kaq (dem.) this
kaSa- (TMAS.pref.) past tense, active, imperfective aspect
kaSi (n.) mother
kumasaw (v.4) to sense; to know without physical proof
kuqas (adv.) now, and now
kuSa- (TMAS.pref.) past tense, *causative*, imperfective
leki (v.2) to lure (someone, with gen.; to somewhere, use dat.)
limasa (v.3) to be seen (sbj. takes dative)
listunaSi (v.2) to have to be burned
masa (v) to see
m@ (post.) during (assigns the dative case to its object)
m@ni (v.2) to gain, to win, to achieve (something)
mistSi (v.2) to seek, to search for (note: /t/ > [tS] / _[i/y]) (see L)
my- (v.pref.) marks a 1st person subject (class 4 verbs)
nampu (n.u) man (human male)
nampwaxontu (n.u) a strong man
nampwaxontwanimasq@ (n.@) nervous strong man
nkin@sk@mpu (v) can be sure
nolu (v.4) to say (something; see grammar note G above)
noly (v.2) to tell, to recite (something)
nunqe (v.2) to finish (something); to be finished/done (with no object)
-os (v.suf.) variant of /-us/ after [q] (see entry for /-us/)
pan (dem.) that
pas (post.) for (in a temporal sense; assigns dative case)
piski (n.i) child
qaSanja (v.3) to take care of (someone) [note: not to kill them]
qaspy (v.2) to concern (as in, "this play *concerns* the events of Jan. 16")
-qos (v.suf.) so that, in order to; and so, consequentially
qosl@ (n.@) village (or clan/tribe, if you want)
sapimasqe (v.2) to nervously perform something (note: /i/ > [e] / [q]_)
sasalax@ (v.1) to also kill (someone, with dative)
stun@sk@mpu (v.4) to need to be sure (that/of), to need to be certain
stusapaxi (v.2) to need to also do, to need to also perform (see L)
simma (n) demon
t@fantaT (n.c) ritual, rite, ceremony (note: /t/ > [T] / _#)
t@ni (v) to bite
t@t@kis@ (v.1) to run for a long, long time
tanja- (TMAS.pref.) present, active, perfective/completive aspect (see P)
u- (1) (v.pref.) indicates that there's a third person subject (class 1 verbs)
u- (2) (v.pref.) indicates that there's a third person subject (class 3 verbs)
u- (3) (v.pref.) marks a reflexive third person subject (class2 verbs)
-us (v.suf.) affirmative marker (see grammar note D)
-xa (v.suf.) indicates next subject is direct object from previous phrase
xenaspufa (v.3) to be extremely ambivalent towards someone
xontw@ (v) be strong

Epiq (*)

David Peterson

Ring B

(1) fanta anoww@Nwa kanjanoluSyxa, fim@nipul anist@kwa kanjaqaspuSy.
(2) kaq anoww@panu kanjanolusu, "pan piskil anMlipan@l ipj@ki m@, kaSi nampul kaSamistuSixa, piski kaloqaSanja.
(3) "kaSi kaSastun@sk@mpu nampu ukaloxontw@. nampwaxontu ipj@ki pas ukaSat@t@kisus@qos ukalof@lka."
(4) fanta kaq anoww@panu kanjanolusu, "nampwaxontu t@fantat@l kaSastusapaxoSiqos, t@fantata kanjasapimasqoSi. kaSil qosle nampwaxontu kaSaxenaspufusaqos, qosle ipj@ki pas ukaSaf@lkuSi.
(5) "fif@lkipu qosle Simmal kanjalekuSi. nampwaxontwanimasqe Simma kanjamasusaxa, nampwaxontwa kanjat@nuSi, kaSi kanjasasalaxos@. apanas Simma finukanjat@kus@.
(6) "mykumasusaw Simma kanonunqoSi."
(7) fanta kaq anoww@panu kanjanolusu, "Simmal fifit@k@pu @nS@qe kuSafulalsanuSi.
(8) "mawkanjanolusu nampwaxontu kalolistunaSiqos, mykalonkin@sk@mpu, Simma jakaloSifufola."
(9) fanta kaq anoww@panu kanjanolusu, "kuqas, Simmaj ipj@kakiSi pas tanjalimasola."

This text is represented in X-SAMPA. It can also be viewed in conscript and in the official romanisation.

(1) A shaman (once) told the story of the achievement of order.
(2) The shaman said, "In the year of the birth of that child, the mother sought a man to take care of it.
(3) "The mother needed to be sure that the man (i.e., the one to take care of the child) would be strong. So, in order to prove himself, a very strong man ran for an entire year."
(4) Said the shaman, "The very strong man still needed to peform a (supposedly required) ritual, and so, nervously, he peformed it. The mother's village were extremely ambivalent about this very strong man, though, so they fought amongst themselves for an entire year.
(5) The fighting lured a demon to the village. The nervous strong man saw the demon, who bit the strong man, and killed the mother. Then the demon fled.
(6) "I sensed that the demon was finished."
(7) Said the shaman, "The demon's departure allowed the people to thrive."
(8) "I said that the strong man should be burned, so that we could be sure that the demon wouldn't return."
(9) And the shaman said, "And now, the demon hasn't been seen for many years."

Orthographical notes

First, the website is in a romanization system I devised, and this e-mail (for the most part--I'll get to that in a second) is in X-SAMPA. I apologize for that. If it'll help, I've put a version of the text online in the romanization (this might help for looking up cases). Also, though I used X-SAMPA, I fudged a little. In the text below, /f/ is a voiceless, bilabial fricative, and /x/ is a voiceless, uvular (not velar) fricative. Writing it this way makes the text easier on the eyes.

Grammar notes

(A) The word order is strictly SOV. Where demonstratives like "this" or "that" occur, they occur in front of the noun phrase they modify. In genitive constructions, the possessor precedes the possessed, e.g., "the king's crown", *not* "the crown of the king". Also, Epiq is a postpositional language, so words like "in" and "during" will follow the noun phrases they modify, and will assign a particular case to the heads of those noun phrases (this will be listed in the word list section). Also, Epiq is a pronoun-less prodrop language, so if the subject of the sentence is not stated overtly, then that means it's inherited from the previous sentence. (Unless some other mechanism tells you what the subject is--see grammar note E.)

(B) The forms of nouns in the dictionary is the nominative form. Each noun will be accompanied by a class. The class will be listed directly after the "n", as in (n.wa). This noun class designation is important, as it will tell you where to look in the case paradigms to see what case the noun in question is in in the sentence in the text. Unfortunately, X-SAMPA doesn't match up with the romanization system I set up on my website, and I apologize for that. I hope it won't be too much trouble. Also, verbs will be listed in their infinitival forms. Each verb will be in one of four classes, and the class of the verb will tell you how cases are assigned to the verbs complements. Verb classes are 1 through 4, and will look like this in the word list: (v.2). An important note: If a verb has an inflectional *suffix* attached to it, it will most often be inserted after the final consonant of the stem. So, if the verb is "mata", and there's a suffix "-ol", it will be "matola", and *not* *mataol.

(C) Verbs agree with their subject, object, and (occasionally) their indirect object. The marker of verbal agreement depends on the class of verb. In most cases, no marking at all indicates a third person subject and third person object. After the person marking will come a series of tense prefixes. To simplify matters, I'll just lump these together as one TMAS prefix and list them in the lexicon. However, info about them can be found on the website.

(D) Now for some text-specific notes. One verb suffix you'll see a lot is /-us/, which is an affirmative suffix. It'll be on just about every verb in this story, and can safely be ignored. It's more of a narrative device, than anything, used to emphasize the fact that what's being said is true, should the listener doubt it. One thing, though: As a phonological rule, /s/ palatalizes to [S] before the vowels [i] and [y]. This causes the /-us/ suffix to appear as /-uS/ in many contexts.

(E) Something that's confusing but completely unavoidable is the use of conjunctive suffixes. A conjunctive suffix is something that's added to the *very* end of the verb (not in between the last consonant and last vowel). What conjunctive suffixes are are a kind of focus particle. What they do is tell you what the subject of the next sentence is going to be. These suffixes are only used in places where you'd see relative clauses in English. So, imagine the sentence "The man whose dog the woman saw walked to the store". In Epiq, this might be reworded as "The woman saw the man's dog--it walked to the store". Where the dash is, that's where a conjunctive suffix would appear. The particular conjunctive suffix would be a direct object conjunctive suffix, because the dog, the subject of the new sentence, serves as the direct object in the old sentence. So if you see a sentence with a conjunctive suffix at the end of it, and it occurs right before a comma, you'll know what's up.

(F) Genitive phrases work like this. Let's say you wanted to say "the man's dog", or "the dog of the man". This is exactly how you'd do it in Epiq: /man-GENITIVE dog-?/. "The dog" is the head of the phrase, so its case is determined by its role in the sentence: If it's the subject, nominative; if it's the object, accusative, etc. In other words, you can think of the genitive case almost as identical to apostrophe ess /'s/ in English.

(G) An idiom is at work in this text, so it's best to explain it. In English, when you have phrases like "said the man", or "the man said", they serve only a quotative function (which is probably why they can disobey English word order). Similarly, an entire phrase serves a quotative function in Epiq. This phrase would be something like (if you translated it into English), "And he said with this word/speech...", and what would follow would be the actual quote. As it so happens, the word "to say" is a class 4 verb, and its direct object takes the instrumental case. Anyway, when you see this phrase, it's not that the speaker is saying two different things at once--it's just a convention.

(H) There is no definite or indefinite marking in Epiq. This makes the role of transitive nouns very important. So, if you say, "Father son saw", in Epiq, the assumed interpretation will be "The father saw his own son", and not "The father saw someone else's son". If the second interpretation is the one aimed for, it will need to be explicitly stated.

(I) This whole story takes place in the past, so you should use the aspectual markers to get a sense of the tense. The "perfect" tense is used to pick out a specific point in time that's finished. The "imperfect" tense is used for something that takes time in the past, even if the ongoing part of the event is focused. The "irrealis" tense can *almost* always be translated as "would". In the past tense, the irrealis is used to refer to any even that takes place out of time, or further in the future than the point in time being discussed.

(J) I've come to a conclusion that solves a lot of the lingering problems I've been having with Epiq. That conclusion is: All class 4 verbs will work the same. So remember what I said about the verb "to say"? The same applies for all other class 4 verbs. Specifically, if the verb takes a complement (e.g., "I believe *that he's a teacher*"), it will come *after* the verb, just like the quote comes after the verb. It won't be marked in any way; it'll just look like a sentence.

(K) Another feature of Epiq is the lack of conjunctions in favor of what I call conjunctive suffixes. You've seen one kind already (the appositive), but there's another kind in here, as well. This is the purposive conjunctive suffix. It works like the words "in order to" or "to" or "so that" in English. So, if you wanted to say "He drank milk (in order) to be strong", in Epiq you'd say "He milk drank-qos he would be strong". Similarly, if you want to express that the second event is dependent on the first, you use the same suffix. So, "I needed to eat so I ate", would be "I needed to eat-qos I ate".

(L) A summary of the cases: The nominative marks the subject of class 1, class 2, and class 4 verbs. The accusative marks the *definite* direct object of a class 2 verb. The genitive marks the *indefinite* direct object of a class 2 verb. The dative marks the subject of a class 3 verb (the object of a class 3 verb is marked with the nominative case). The instru- mental case marks the direct object of a class 4 verb. For other uses, see the other notes or the dictionary entries.

(M) Epiq is an SOV language, but the internal composition of objects is fairly free. Often, the indirect object will precede the direct object (both of which will be sandwiched between the subject and verb).

(N) Remember: The narrator of this story is the shaman.

(O) A note on quotations marks. Here's an example of two different ways I'd do quotations marks. (1) "I said, 'I want you to eat my green beans'." (2) "I said I didn't want you to eat my green beans." I went with the second option in a particular situation so I could keep the past tense throughout the text.

(P) Okay, I had to use the present tense once, in the last sentence. In this case, it works just like English. That is, the present plus the perfective aspect equals "have", as in, "I have eaten" vs. "I ate".

(Q) Epiq verbs are divided into four classes. Here's a summary of them:

  • Class 1: Verbs of Class 1 are intransitive but active in nature. They assign the nominative case to their subjects and the dative case to their indirect objects or beneficiaries. The class vowel for Class 1 verbs is a. Each verb will end in either -@ ,-j@ or -w@ .
  • Class 2: Verbs of Class 2 are transitive active verbs. They assign the nominative case to their subjects, the accusative case to their definite direct objects, the genitive case to their indefinite direct objects, and the dative case to their indirect objects or beneficiaries. The class vowel for Class 2 verbs is i. Each verb will end in either -i or -y (though note: a preceding uvular will lower these to -e and -2 , respectively).
  • Class 3: Verbs of Class 3 are verbs of experience. They can be either intransitive or transitive. They assign the dative case to their subjects, the nominative case to their direct objects, and the accusative case to their beneficiaries. The class vowel for Class 3 verbs is a. Each verb will end in either -a ,-ja or -wa.
  • Class 4: Verbs of Class 4 are performative verbs. They assign the nominative case to their subjects, the instrumental case to their direct objects, the dative case to their indirect objects or beneficiaries, and the adverbial case to their thematic complements (e.g., "I pronounce him dead "). The class vowel for Class 4 verbs is u. Each verb will end in either -u or -M (though note: a preceding uvular will lower these to -o and -7, respectively).
  • Class information is vitally important, since each verb is conjugated differently depending on its class. Luckily the class vowels are a dead giveaway, for their never irregular. A verb's semantics may not match up with the usual semantics of the verb class, but a verb that ends in an -@ will always be a Class 1 verb, no matter what its semantics are.

Text in conscript


Text in romanisation

  1. Fântâ ânowwanwâ kânyânolušüxâ, fimanipuł ânistakwâ kânyâqâspušü.

  2. Kâq ânowwapânu kânyânolusu, "Pân piskił ânÿlipânał ipyaki ma, kâši nâmpuł kâšâmistušixâ, piski kâloqâšânya.

  3. "Kâši kâšâstunaskampu nâmpu ukâloxontwa. Nâmpwâxontu ipyaki pâs ukâšâtatakisusaqos ukâlofalkâ."

  4. Fântâ kâq ânowwapânu kânyânolusu, "Nâmpwâxontu tafântâtał kâšâstusâpâxošiqos, tafântâtâ kânyâsâpimâsqoši. Kâšił qosłé nâmpwâxontu kâšâxenâspufusâqos, qosłé ipyaki pâs ukâšâfałkuši.

  5. "Fifałkipu qosłé šimmał kânyâlekuši. Nâmpwâxontwânimâsqe šimma kânyâmâsusâxâ, nâmpwâxontwâ kânyâtanuši, kâši kânyâsâsâlâxosa. Âpânâs šimma finukânyâtakusa.

  6. "Mükumâsusâw šimmâ kânonunqoši."

  7. Fântâ kâq ânowwapânu kânyânolusu, "Šimmâł fifitakapu anšaqe kušâfulâłsânuši.

  8. "Mâwkânyânolusu nâmpwâxontu kâlolistunâšiqos, mükâlonkinaskampu, šimma yâkâlošifufolâ."

  9. Fântâ kâq ânowwapânu kânyânolusu, "Kuqâs, šimmây ipyakâkiši pâs tânyâlimâsolâ."

A description of the romanization system can be found here in the phonology section.

Smooth translation of the text received

(1) "It worked", said the shaman. Take a look at the shaman.
[Note: The word that was translated as "hairy good" (no part of speech was given), I translated as "shaman", because the word kept popping up and looked like a human. Further, shamans are traditionally seen as kind of sometimes good/sometimes bad figures. It seemed like an appropriate choice.]
(2) It was the child's year. The woman needed an uncle now, said the shaman.
[Note: I got "uncle" from a word that was translated as "a male relative other than a father".]
(3) The uncle tries to perceive the strong woman. The uncle ran a long ways for a year.
(4) The shaman recounts that he had a goal. Nervously he performed the ritual, the nervous clas now fights for a year.
(5) Now the strong demon is finished. The nervous uncle now manages to perceive the demon, who bites him, and fights the woman. Now he runs away.
(6) The shaman perceives (by force) that the demon is finished.
(7) The shaman says how the finishing of the demon has allowed the people to thrive for years.
(8) The shaman needs for the uncle to burn.
(9) Now the shaman says the demon hasn't been seen for many years.

© Jan van Steenbergen, David Peterson, 10 Sept. 2004