aba "not" (negation)
Oime Harui Magel
Story of the Evil Child
Some notes on grammar
Well, if my first relay text was strange and my second poetic, this one is disturbing. It's quite coherent, except the end, which is quite insane.
I'm doing this from a mainly written perspective - if you want to know how the stuff actually sounds, check out my webpage at http://andjo.free.fr/conlang/meghean.html. The webpage might also be helpful by providing more examples of how stuff actually work than this somewhat condensed grammatical sketch does.
Oh, well, the language here is, then, Meghean, an accusative language with SVO, NG, NA syntax. What you really need to translate it is the wordlist at the end of this mail, but let's summarize grammar first:
NounsThe trickiest thing about Meghean nouns is the definite form; when a noun begins in a vowel, it is simply indicated by a prefix h-, eg uran "sun", huran "the sun", but when it begins with a consonant, the h is placed after the first consonant, eg can "lord", chan "the lord" (corresponding to consonant mutation in speech [kan] vs [xan]). You'll notice that no uninflected nouns begin in h- or Ch-, so spotting a definite noun should be fairly easy.
The plural is formed by -an after consonants and -n after vowels. It gets trickier when the final conant is a spirant, but there doesn't seem to be any such plural nouns in this text. The accusative is formed with the ending -o. Nouns governed by prepositions are always in the accusative.
The possessive is formed by infixing -i- in the stressed syllable; chan "the lord", chain "the lord's". In polysyllabic noun stems, it's not predictible which syllable is stressed, nor is stress indicated orthographically, but I don't think that should be causing any problems. To a first approximation, any word containing a diphthong in -i is a possessive, the only exception in this text being nei. A possessive governing an accusative noun will echo the accusative ending (Suffixaufnahme).
AdjectivesAbout the only thing to note about adjectives is that they follow their noun, and that they echo any accusative ending on their noun. They don't agree in number, definiteness or possessiveness.
VerbsThe chief distinction in the Meghean verbal system is (unmarked) imperfect vs perfect, marked by an infix -u- in the stressed syllable. There being no real tense marking, imperfects have to be translated as English present or past depending on context. The unmarked form also serves as infinitive, and as imperative (no imperatives in this text, however).
Auxiliaries are important in Meghean. They essentially usurp the main verb's syntactic slot, incl any pronominal affixes (see below), while the main verb is left as an uninflected infinitive following the finite auxiliary. Multiple auxiliaries can be used with the same verb, creating Germanic-style verbal complexes of one finite verb followed by a row of infinitives.
PronounsMeghean personal pronouns take the form of verbal affixes; subject ones are prefixes, and object ones are suffixes. The forms are:
Attaching a subject pronoun turns initial p, b, t, d, c, g into ph, bh, th, dh, ch, gh in the verb stem. Similarly, if the verb stem begins in a, o, or u, an -h- is inserted between the pronoun and the stem.
Note that the object pronouns are also used with prepositions.
Possessive pronouns are formally identical to subject ones, except only that they, of course, attach to nouns rather than verbs.
Other stuff to knowEus da nachao is an idiomatic expression signifying "for this reason, because of this".
© Jan van Steenbergen, Andreas Johansson, 20 Aug. 2004