Relay 10/R

List of translations

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Noun Roots

-āln- cheer, happiness
-ānn- beginning, start
-cīw- baby, infant, child
-īs- child
-jīln- meal, food
-jēr- game, play
-kēñ- question
-kerōñ- viewing, sight
-kethāw- part(s) that was/were once whole
-kēwīk- labor, work, effort
-lāc- girl, daughter
-lāmen- secret
-nārm- body
-nārpiññ- tragedy, misfortunate event
-pēntan- home, compound, house
-sēñ- danger, dangerous event
-sāl- song
-sīþþapie- someone or something characterized by too much energy or zeal
-taxēt- blow, strike, hit, attack
-tēsp- someone or something that is left over from something else
-þāw- piece, part
-wetēŋŋ- uncontrolled event, unexpected event
-xiēn- something understood, known, or expected; understanding, knowledge
-xōλ- someone or something pretty
-xōsanen- member of the Guild of Seekers (*)
(*) Seekers are sort of a cross between researchers and detectives.
-xūrūran- window, wall-opening


ñalna NI + 1st person exclusive paucal agent
ñamma NI + 3rd person singular agent
ñi ... rā NI + "to" vector, "go": NI [noun] RA = "[noun] goes"
pa PA
rehema SE + future + 3rd person singular
sele SE + present + 1st person singular
sema SE + present + 3rd person singular
telne SE + past + 1st person exclusive paucal


ā case: denotes an animate, voluntary agent of NI
alxien aspect: marks unexpectedness
ē ... ī coordinating conjunction: "and" ... "and also"
ē ... aþ coordinating conjunction: "and" ... "and then"
ēma locative modifier: "out", "outside"
hēja aspect: marks future and "should" or "ought"
denotes an involuntary recipient/beneficiary/experiencer
jakēñ "what" (question marker)
kēñ generic question marker
luhañen aspect: marks a continuing state
mo case: denotes a recipient, beneficiary, and/or experiencer
nīkamma "together with" + 3rd person object
-(n)le 1st person associative suffix
rēha aspect: marks future with connotations of expectedness
riēn pronoun: 2nd person singular
þō pronoun: "this", "here"
tielen aspect: denotes past action over a period of time
to case: denotes an inanimate agent, an involuntary animate agent, an abstract agent, a source, an instrument
tō ... tō tūaþ coordinating conjunction: ("because:") [reason/state] ... ("in order to:") [result]
tō tūaþ conjunction: "in order to"
aspect: marks negation
xien jē conjunction: "concerning"

Kēlen (*)

Sylvia Sotomayor

Ring A

xien jē macīwa masēña

pa riēn anxiēna telne janārpiññe kēñ; ñi malāca maxōλa rā mapēntanle tō tūaþ rehema ankerōña to macīwa; tielen ñamma ankēwīke tō tūaþ sema anālne mo mīsa; tielen ñamma ē jajēri nīkamma ī jasāli; alxien ñamma ē jattaxētien ā macīwa jē malāca aþ jakkeþāwien jē janārme aþ jajjīlnien jē jaþāwi aþ antēspi rā jaxūrūran ēma; hēja ñalna jakēñ; wā sele anxiēna; tō ñalna jalāmen to þō jawetēŋŋe luhañen tō tūaþ rēha ñamma jānne pa ankēñi ā maxōsanen masīþþapie wā;

Concerning a dangerous baby.

Do you know the tragedy that we experienced? A pretty girl came to our house to view the baby. She was making an effort to cheer the child. She was playing games with him and singing songs. Suddenly & unexpectedly, he hit her (many times) and then made parts of her body, and then ate the parts, and then threw the left-overs out the window. What shall we do? I don't know. We are continuing to make this unexpected event a secret so that a zealous Seeker will not begin to ask (a set of) questions.

Note: The Kēleñi don't have "police" or even "babysitters" (or baby-guarders). Also, I decided that "Concerning a dangerous baby" was a better fit than: hēja pa manahan ankewāla to macīwa masēña cī; ("Anyone ought to have care/worry for a dangerous baby.") if only because is so hard to explain.



Nouns are inflected with the following combinations of prefixes & suffixes:

j(a)- ... -a/-e/-(null) generic/singular inanimate noun
m(a)- ... -a/-e/-(null) singular animate noun
an- ... -a/-e/-(null) abstract noun
j(a)- ... -i generic plural inanimate noun
jaC- ... -ien distributive (series) inanimate noun {C stands for a duplicated consonant}
an- ... -i collective (set) inanimate noun

Nouns in apposition: two (or more) nouns of the same inflection next to each other refer to the same entity; serial nouns of differing inflection generally consist of [whole] [part] or [general instance] [specific instance].


Basic Syntax:	[required] (optional)

NI (do/make)	NI+(agent) [result/affected object] (agent) 
PA (have)		PA [whole] [part] (part); [whole] pa [part] 
SE		SE+(src/goal) [object] (source/agent) (goal/beneficiary)

Neither NI nor PA inflect for tense/aspect, but SE does. Also, NI is assumed to refer to something completed/past unless otherwise marked. PA and SE are assumed to refer to an existing state of affairs.

Subclauses can come anywhere and are treated syntactically as a whole noun.


Conjunctions can connect clauses, subclauses, or phrases. Generally coordinating conjunctions connect two or more of the same syntactic level of object. Aspect markers occur at the boundaries of syntactic units (clause/subclause/phrase) and modify the entire unit.

Text in conscript

x ie n jē macīwa masēña;

pa riēn anxiēna telne ja nārpiññe kēñ;ñi  malāca maxōλa  rā japēntanle  tō tūaþ rehem a ankerōña to macīwa;tielen ñ amma ankēwīke t ō tūaþ sema an ālne mo mīsa;t ielen ñamma ē ja jēri nīkamma ī jasāli;alxien ñ amma ē jattaxēt ien ā macīwa jē  malāca aþ jak keþāwien jē jan ārme aþ jajjīl nien jē jaþāwi aþ antēspi rā jaxūrūran ēma; hēja ñalna jak ēñ;wā sele anx iēna;tō ñalna j alāmen to þō j awetēŋŋe luhañe n tō tūaþ rēha  ñamma jānne pa ankēñi ā maxōs anen mas īþþapie wā;

© Jan van Steenbergen, Sylvia Sotomayor, 13 Aug. 2004