a - sentence-type marker used for statements; see grammar notes
uti ka ha seru a: "esa ha isatu i" uti ha ka tamoka a
kata ekaiti se uti ha tu koku nari, uti ka ha tamoka kasio ro uti tu mitaki a ikosama ka heko roesi a
ta kea nome, rasio ro uti ha ari ma kata kasi ro uti ti eki ha takiku
uti romasaine a eki ha tenasaine sa rako ekaiti ara uomo ruhaka ha ari
ma ayoko a ruhaka ha rokiya rasio ro uti noku meuri a
kesita se roha ha isatu e uti moma kie seru roha a
I didn't say "Did this happen?" I did't believe.
In the time that I was a child, I didn't believe that my mother was necessary. Women can't think.
One day, my father came into my house and he wanted me to sing. He
played an instrument for a long time, but an evil spirit came to the
call. The spirit made my father weep a lot.
The thing that happened I will never say.
(Not sent to Irina)
uti ka ha seru a: "esa ha isatu i" 1SG not PAST say STATEMENT this PAST happen QUESTION uti ha ka tamoka a 1SG PAST not believe STATEMENT kata ekaiti se uti ha tu koku nari, in time that 1SG PAST be child then uti ka ha tamoka kasio ro uti tu mitaki a I not PAST believe mother of me be necessary STATEMENT ikosama ka heko roesi a women not can think STATEMENT ta kea nome, rasio ro uti ha ari ma kata kasi ro uti at one day, father of 1SG PAST come to in house of 1SG ti eki ha takiku uti romasaine a and 3SG.RATIONAL PAST want 1SG sing STATEMENT eki ha tenasaine sa rako ekaiti 3SG.RATIONAL PAST played-an-instrument for big time ara uomo ruhaka ha ari ma ayoko a but evil spirit PAST come to call STATEMENT ruhaka ha rokiya rasio ro uti noku meuri a spirit PAST make father of 1SG much weep STATEMENT kasio ro uti ha kirato oke ruhaka a mother of 1SG PAST compete against spirit STATEMENT uti ha kotoma a 1SG PAST flee STATEMENT uti ka ha heko rokiya ruhaka ana a 1sg not PAST can make spirit stop STATEMENT uti ka ha heko ori roesi a 1SG not PAST can well think STATEMENT uti ka ha tu okosa na roha 1SG not PAST be angry about 3SG.NONLIVING ara uti ha tu yimoku a but 1SG PAST be jealous STATEMENT kesita se roha ha isatu e thing that 3SG.NONLIVING PAST happen PARTICLE uti moma kie seru roha a 1SG FUTURE never say 3SG.NONLIVING STATEMENT
Ikanirae Seru has exactly one inflection: nouns and pronouns are pluralized by prefixing y- before a vowel and i- before a consonant. This is entirely regular.
There are no articles.
Third person pronouns distinguish 4 genders or animacy classes, broadly characterized as "personal/rational" eki, "animate non-personal" aku, "living inanimate" sera and "non-living" roha. It’s actually messier than that, but the messiness doesn’t show up in this text. There are no masculine/feminine distinctions, and animacy classes are not distinguished in first and second person pronouns.
Every Ikanirae Seru sentence ends with a sentence-type marker, which takes the place of sentence-final punctuation. Three of these are used in this text: a marks statements, and corresponds roughly to periods, colons and semicolons in English punctuation; i marks questions, which are otherwise identical to statements in form; e is referred to as an exclamation marker, but it is used to mark both exclamations and incomplete sentences (sentences that do not contain both a subject and a verb). As an extension of the latter function, e can also mark a topicalized phrase, which is then referred to by a pronoun in the following "sentence". This text does not contain the imperative marker o or the formal statement marker u.
Word order is strictly SVO. Adjectives precede nouns. Adverbs and auxiliaries precede verbs. Prepositions, not postpositions are used.
Ikanirae Seru has three tenses, past, present and future. Past and future are indicated by particles preceding the verb. Present is unmarked.
Relative clauses are introduced by se "that". Ikanirae Seru really doesn’t like leaving out subjects or objects, so the relativized element is represented by a pronoun in the relative clause. Here are a couple examples:
rao se uti koimu eki boy that I see him "(the) boy that I see" rao se eki koimu uti boy that he see me "(the) boy that sees me"
© Jan van Steenbergen, Estel Telcontar, 26 Aug. 2004