Relay 10/R

List of translations

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a (art.) the (common gender agentive singular).
a (conj.) and.
acvalara (aorist 3rd sg. > 3rd sg. of cval-).
adamatara (aorist 3rd sg. > 3rd sg. of damat-).
adarana (prep.) out of.
ahaira (aorist 3rd person singular of hai-).
aheri (aorist 3rd person plural of has-).
am (art.) the (common or inanimate, objective singular).
am (pron.) relative.
amarana allative of locative of a.
anterim (n.) innards.
aphatara (aorist 3rd sg. > 3rd sg. of phat-).
ara (prep.) about.
ban (adj.) beautiful.
cval- (vt.) to attack.
cventhi (adv.) fully.
char (pl. cheri) (adj.) dear, beloved.
chast (n.) skin.
chvar- (va.) to do.
chvor (adj.) bad.
damat- (vt.) to devour.
danta (imperfect of dat-).
dat- (vi.) to fall.
e (art.) the (feminine gender agentive singular).
egvelsa (aorist 3rd person singular of gvel-).
garar- (vt.) to ask.
gararas (n.) question.
gararonuara (conditional 3rd pl. > 3rd sg. of garar-).
gvath- (vt.) to watch.
gvathas verbal noun of gvath-).
gvel- (va.) to play.
gvilir- (vt.) to delight.
hai- (va.) to go.
hantar (n.) window.
has- (vi.) to be.
hena (n.) child.
ilensa (aorist 3rd person singular of lin-).
irecara (aorist 3rd sg. > 3rd sg. of ric-).
lin- (va.) to sing.
man (pron.) what.
mar (conj.) but.
marth (n.) luck.
mbar (n.) house.
na not.
ndisse (n.) woman.
ñgoh- (vt.) to know.
ñgohátha (2nd person plural of ñgoh-).
pelara (pl. peleri) (n.) villager.
phai (adj.) evil.
phat- (vt.) to spew.
ric- (vt.) to rip apart.
sainara (n.) stranger.
sam (pron.) 3rd person common gender objective.
san (pron.) this (objective singular).
sana (pron.) this (agentive singular).
sana (pron.) 3rd person common gender dative.
sem (pron.) 3rd person feminine objective.
semas (pron.) 3rd person feminine locative.
siph (n.) rest, remainder.
talal (n.) story.
tera (imperative of tir-).
tir- (vt.) to see, to behold.
thal- (vt.) to hide.
thalátha (present 2nd sg. > 3rd sg. of thal-).
thar (conj.) thus.
thas (adv.) there.
va (prep.) with.
vemana (allative of vi).
vi (pron.) 1st plural inclusive.


adj. adjective.
adv. adverb.
art. article.
n. noun.
prep. preposition.
pron. pronoun.
va. active intransitive verb.
vi. inactive intransitive verb.
vt. transitive verb.

Abbreviations (interlinear)

1 1st person
2 2nd person
3 3rd person
A agent
AOR aorist
ABL ablative
ALL allative
C common gender
F feminine
I inanimate
IMP imperative
IMPF imperfect
IN inclusive
INST instrumental
LOC locative
OBJ objective
P patient
PL plural
PRES present
REL relative
SG singular
VN verbal noun
VOC vocative

Old Albic (*)

Jörg Rhiemeier

Ring A

Am talal am ñgohama ara am henam

Tera, peleri cheri!
Ñgohémi vi marth chvor
am danta vemana cventhi.
Thas aheri henam phai a ndissem ban.
E ndisse sana ahaira amana mbarana
gvatharana amarana henamarana
gvilerasana amarana henamarama egvelsa va sam
a ilemsa sana.
Mar acvalara a hena sem,
irecara chast semas,
adamatara anterim semas,
a aphatara siphim adarana hantararana.
Man chvarethi?
Na ñgohátha chvaras.
Thar thalátha am,
am na gararonuara saineri gararerim
ara am adaras san.

The story I know about the child

Behold, dear villagers!
We know bad luck
that fell upon us in full.
There was an evil child and a beautiful woman.
This woman went to the house
to watch over the child.
To delight him, she played with him,
and sang to him.
But the child attacked her,
ripped her skin apart,
devoured her innards,
and spewed her remains out of the window.
What do you do?
You do not know.
Thus you hide it,
lest strangers ask questions
about this mess.


Am        talal am      ñgohama         ara   am        henam
the:I-OBJ story REL-OBJ know-PRES-1SG:A about the:C-OBJ child-OBJ

Tera,            peleri          cheri!
behold-3SG:P-IMP villager-PL-VOC dear-PL-VOC

Ñgohémi               vi         marth    chvor
know-PRES-3SG:P-1PL:A 1PL.IN-AGT luck-OBJ bad-OBJ

am      danta           vemana     cventhi.

Thas  aheri        henam     phai     a   ndissem   ban.
there AOR-be-3PL:P child-OBJ evil-OBJ and woman-OBJ beautiful-OBJ

E         ndisse    sana     ahaira       amana     mbarana
the:F-AGT woman-AGT this-AGT AOR-go-3SG:A the:I-ALL house-ALL

gvatharana   amarana       henamarana
watch-VN-ALL the:C-LOC-ALL child-LOC-ALL

gvilerasana    amarana       henamarana    egvelsa        va   sam
delight-VN-ALL the:C-LOC-ALL child-LOC-ALL AOR-play-3SG:A with 3SG:C-OBJ

a   ilensa         sana.
and AOR-sing-3SG:A 3SG:C-DAT

Mar acvalara               a         hena      sem,
but AOR-attack-3SG:P-3SG:A the:C-AGT child-AGT 3SG:F-OBJ

irecara             chast    semas,
AOR-rip-3SG:P-3SG:A skin-OBJ 3SG:F-LOC-OBJ

adamatara              anterim     semas,
AOR-devour-3SG:P-3SG:A innards-OBJ 3SG:F-LOC-OBJ

a   aphatara             siphim      adarana hantararana.
and AOR-spew-3SG:P-3SG:A rest-PL-OBJ out-ABL window-LOC-ABL

Man      chvarethi?
what-OBJ do-PRES-2PL:A

Na  ñgohátha              chvaras.
not know-PRES-3SG:P-2PL:A do-VN-OBJ

Thar thalátha              am,
thus hide-PRES-3SG:P-2PL:A 3SG:I-OBJ

am   na  gararonuara          saineri         gararerim
that not ask-COND-3SG:P-3PL:A stranger-PL-AGT question-PL-OBJ

ara   am        adaras   san.
about the:I-OBJ mess-OBJ this-OBJ


1. Typology

Old Albic is a richly inflecting (part agglutinating, part fusional) active-stative language of the fluid-S subtype, in which intranstitive subjects are marked like transitive subjects if they are agents, and like transitive objects otherwise. The unmarked word order is VSO.

2. Phonological alternations

An intervocalic /s/ becomes /r/.
The vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/ cause umlaut (changes of preceding vowels):
/a/ lowers (i -> e, y -> ø, u -> o),
/i/ fronts (a -> e, o -> ø, u -> y),
/u/ rounds (a -> o, e -> ø, i -> y).
Some affixes undergo vowel harmony, i.e. the vowel in them assimilates to the nearest stem vowel.

3. Nouns

The Old Albic noun has eight cases:

Agentive AS
Genitive AS-as
Dative AS-ana
Objective OS
Instrumental OS-i
Allative OS-ana
Locative OS-as
Ablative OS-ada

Most are what you expect, but the locative also marks inalienable possessors and objects of verbal nouns. The agentive is also used as vocative. The instrumental is also used to derive adverbs from adjectives.

The symbols `AS' and `OS' represent the agentive and objective stems, respectively. The AS of an animate noun ends in a vowel indicating gender and number:

masc. sing. -o
fem. sing. -e
common sing. -a
dual -u
plural -i

The OS is formed by adding -m to the AS. Inanimate nouns have only an unmarked OS (dual -um, plural -im) and no AS.

Nouns modifying other nouns (including arguments of verbal nouns) undergo suffixaufnahme, i.e. they agree with the head noun in number and case in addition to their own number and case.

4. Verbs

The Old Albic verb takes person/number suffixes for agent and patient if transitive, for agent if active intransitive, and for patient if inactive intransitive:

1sg. -ma -ha
2sg. -tha -cha
3sg. -sa -a
1pl. -mi -hi
2pl. -thi -chi
3pl. -si -i

There are eight tense/aspect/mood forms:

present -a
imperfect -n- /-@n
future -u
conditional -n-u / -@nu
aorist @- (subject to vowel harmony)
subjunctive -i
aorist subjunctive   @-...-i

An important nonfinite form of the verb is the verbal noun, formed with the suffix -as. It declines like a regular inanimate noun. The arguments of the verbal noun are coded as possessors: the agent in genitive, the patient in locative case.

© Jan van Steenbergen, Jörg Rhiemeier, 31 Aug. 2004