Relay 10/R

List of translations

Epiq (Epiq)

Next (Talarian)


akot  n. story (f)
alam  n. man (m)
astye  pron. 3p sing. acc.
aren  prep. to; with locative case, towards
bolge  n. demon (m)
delye  TAM particle: irrealis mood; would, could, might
dava  TAM particle: imperfect or continuous aspect
edra  adj. this
eff  pron. I (1p sing. nom.)
efim  pron. me (1p sing. acc.)
ehimtet  v. to tell (a story)
ekya  adv. also
ey  copula; dropped in presence of TAM particles
flalal  v. to burn
haya  n. mother (f)
hel  pron. we (1p plur. nom.)
hiya  adv. now
kalteli  adj. certain (about something or someone)
kekal  v. to bite
kelal  v. to gain, to win
kennal  v. to know
kereli  adj. strong
keret  v. to prove
kin  prep. during
krenet  v. to search
krepet  v. to fight
lek  adv. not
lel  pron. themselves (3p plur. refl.)
lini  n. child
lir  conj. and
liya  adv. well
lok  n. word
malal  v. to attract
manet  v. to live
min  relative particle; see grammar notes
myel  prep. at (with locative); with accusative, indicates possession like Russian "u menya"
parlal  v. to return
penatet  v. to kill
rae  prep. for (with dative, for the purpose of)
rhelye  n. tribe or people (m)
rinla  n. sense (as a sense of something)
salet  v. to run
sanya  adv. surely
sav  prep. far from (with locative, being far away; with accusative, going far away)
sayet  v. to be about, to concern
semav  n. teacher (m)
sem  pron. he (3p sing. male nom.)
semi  pron. his (3p sing. male gen.)
seta  TAM particle: past tense
sil  that (introduces clause)
silkal  v. to end
simelal  v. to give birth
sirem  n. year (f)
sodra  adj. that
sokret  v. to need
solmot  n. unease
son  prep. about (takes instrumental)
sotel  n. peace, calm, order
stanal  v. to perform a ritual
syin  definite article and nominalizer (also means "one", but not in this text)
tam  before a noun, plural particle; after a noun, adj. many
tamya  adv. much
tisanal  v. to see
tishye  pron. to them (3p plur. dat.)
tomet  v. to say
tremilet  v. to care for, take care of
yind  prep. through

I hope I didn't leave any words or affixes out! If I did they may be in the glossary linked from

Toma Heylm (*)

Amanda Babcock Furrow

Ring B

Syin semav seta ehimtyok minu akot sayil syin kelalu soteli.
Syin semav seta tomyok tam loku edra:
Kin yusirem syin simelali liniyi sodra, syin haya seta dava krenil minu alam delye tremilyok liniyu.
Syin haya seta dava sokril syin kennalu sanya sil syin alam delye kereli.
Yind yusirem syin alam kereli seta dava salyok tamya rae syin akeret syin kereliyi semi.
Syin alam kereli seta sokryok syin stanalu. Sem seta stanyik osolmot.
Rhelye syin hayayi seta kalteli lek son oyalam kereli. Yind yusirem tam rhelye seta dava kreprai lel.
Syin krepet seta malyik bolgeyu aren yurhelye.
Syin alam kereli osolmot seta tisanyik minu bolge seta kekyik astye. Syin bolge seta penatyok ekya hayayu semi lir seta salyok sav rhelyeyu.
Myel efim ey rinla sil syin bolge seta silkyik.
Tam rhelye seta dava manrai liya syin hisalet bolgeyi.
Eff seta ehimtyok tishye sil hel seta sokrrai syin flalalu alami kereli rae syin akalteli son syin oparlal lek syin bolgeyi.
Hiya yind yusirem tam hel tisandre lek syin bolgeyu.

The teacher told a story which concerns the winning of peace.
The teacher said these words:
During the year of the birth of that child, the mother was searching for a man who would take care of the child.
The mother needed to know for sure that the man would be strong.
For a year the strong man continued running to prove his strength.
The strong man needed to perform a ritual. He did the ritual with unease.
The tribe of the mother was not certain about the strong man. For a year the tribes fought themselves.
The fighting attracted a demon to the tribe.
The strong man with unease saw the demon that bit him. The demon also killed his mother and ran far away from the tribe.
I have a sense that the demon is finished.
The tribes lived well because of the demon's flight.
I told them that we needed to burn the strong man to be certain of the demon not returning.
Now through many years we do not see the demon.

Grammar notes

(longer version with charts at the above URL)

Word order is SOV.

Articles, number and prepositions precede nouns, and adjectives follow them. Nouns have gender, but it is not marked on the nouns; it is marked on the adjectives that modify them and the verbs for which they are the subject.

Nouns inflect for case, of which there are seven (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, locative, causative). Inflection is by a mix of prefixes and suffixes according to the following chart:

           Nominative     [none]     shadow - edior world - dampe
           Accusative     -u, -yu        edioru        dampeyu
            Genitive      -i, -yi        ediori        dampeyi
             Dative       a-, ay-       ayedior        adampe
          Instrumental    o-, oy-       oyedior        odampe
            Locative     uy-, yu-       uyedior        yudampe
           Causative     hi-, iy-       iyedior        hidampe

Pronouns inflect irregularly for case and are given in their inflected forms in the vocabulary.

Adjectives follow the noun and agree with it in gender (if singular) or number (if plural). In the singular, no suffix indicates a male noun, and -s indicates a female noun. -d indicates a plural noun.

Adjectives can modify a noun or be the object of the copula.

Modals precede verbs, and adverbs follow them. Verbs conjugate for gender or number of the subject (gender if singular, number if plural). Tense, mood, and aspect are indicated by the modals. Verbs in the infinitive can follow the conjugated verb to modify it.

The modal verb system is based on the three-part Creole system:

  • seta indicates past tense.
  • delye indicates irrealis mode, and has its own auxiliary particles to indicate certain moods; it is used for future events, probable, potential, wished-for, hypothetical, conditional, and "coulda/shoulda/woulda" constructions.
  • dava indicates imperfective aspect, including progressive, iterative, and habitual aspects.

The modals always appear in the order seta delye dava. No modals indicates non-past indicative, aka the simple present. All three modals would indicate "would have been doing", or "was about to be doing", or "intended to be doing"...

The copula, ey, disappears in the presence of modals. Therefore, modals without a verb after them should be considered a form of the copula. Since the copula is considered naturally imperfective, dava is not used with it.

Adverbs usually end in ya. Some adverbs have comparative and superlative forms, which are listed in the vocabulary where appropriate.

Verb phrases can be nominalized by putting the definite article syin before the verb, which then takes noun case marking. The former object of the verb takes genitive case.

The particle sil begins nominal clauses such as "that the flowers are red".

Relative clauses are a different matter. Toma Heylm has internally headed relative clauses. This is very different from the way which English does things. For example:

      I see the woman
      eff    tisanot syin anya-yu
      I(NOM) see(f)  the  woman-ACC

      The woman gives a book to the man
      syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam
      the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man

      I see the woman who gives a book to the man
      eff    tisanot [min-u   syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam]
      I(NOM) see(f)  [REL_ACC the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man]

      I see the man to whom the woman gives a book
      eff    tisanot [syin anya       datil   mind-u   min-u   syin ay-alam]
      I(NOM) see(f)  [the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC REL-ACC the  DAT-man]

      I see the book which the woman gives to the man
      eff    tisanot [syin anya       datil   min-u   mind-u   syin ay-alam]
      I(NOM) see(f)  [the  woman(NOM) give(f) REL_ACC book-ACC the  DAT-man]

      The woman who gives the book to the man sees me
      [min syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam] tisanot lifa
      [REL the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man] see(f)  me(ACC)

      The man to whom the woman gives a book sees me
      [syin anya       datil   mind-u   min syin ay-alam] tisanyik lifa
      [the  woman(ACC) give(f) book-ACC REL the  DAT-man] see(m)   me(ACC)

      The book which the woman gives to the man is about me
      [syin anya       datil   min mind-u   syin ay-alam] sayok       lifa
      [the  woman(NOM) give(f) REL book-ACC the  DAT-man] be.about(m) me(ACC)

      I give the book the woman saw to the man
      eff    datil   [syin anya       seta tisanot min-u   syin mind-u]   syin ay-alam
      I(NOM) give(f) [the  woman(NOM) did  see(f)  REL-ACC the  book-ACC] the  DAT-man

      I give the book to the man the woman saw
      eff    datil   syin mindu    [syin anya       seta tisanot a-min   syin alam-u]
      I(NOM) give(f) the  book-ACC [the  woman(NOM) did  see(f)  DAT-REL the  man-ACC]

The relativizer min comes directly before the internal head noun of the relative clause. It gets the case marking that the head noun would have had in the OUTER sentence; the head noun retains the case marking that it gets in the INNER sentence. (Backwards of the way Russian does it.)

Charts of verb conjugations, noun declensions, and the pronoun matrix can be seen at

Smooth translation of the text received

The shaman told this story which concerns winning balance.
This word did he say: "During the year of that child's birth, the mother sought a man who would take care of the child.
"The mother needed to be sure that the man would be strong. The strong man ran and ran for a year so that he could prove himself."
This word did he say: "The strong man needed also to do a ritual, so he did the ritual nervously. The mother's tribe was very ambivalent toward the strong man, so for a year the tribes fought amongst themselves.
"The fighting lured a demon to the tribe. The nervous strong man saw the demon, which bit him, and also killed his mother. Then the demon fled.
"I sense that the demon was finished."
This word did he say: "The demon's fleeing caused the people to thrive.
"I did say to them, the strong man would have to be burned, so that I could be sure that the demon would not return."
This word did he say: "And now, for many years the demon has not been seen."

© Jan van Steenbergen, Amanda Babcock Furrow, 15 Sept. 2004