2s2p (v.) to spit
"veda SMNkMf n2nl2rj2"
(1) majreS vollara vedDelev2 tSusalvet?
The Tale of the Harmful Child
Do you know of the tragedy that befell us?
Noun Case Suffixes Used in This Text (Simplified):
(1) Nominative: (no ending)
-Note on the Possessive: In a language like Latin, the genitive is used to conjoin two noun phrases, like "corpus christi", [body-NOM. Christ-GEN.], "the body of Christ" (or a city in Texas). In a language like Turkish, though, you need two suffixes to do the job, and they're in the opposite order. The same is true of Zhyler (with some extra shades of meaning that don't bear on this text). So, in order to say "the house of the man", or "the man's house", you do this: man-GEN. house-POS. One way of thinking of this (and, indeed, how I make sense of Turkish) is to think of it as, "of the man, his house". [Note: Though Zhyler lacks overt definite/indefinite marking, this construction forces both the possessor and the possessed to be definite.]
-Something that will be important exactly twice in this text is the fact that in Zhyler you can attach multiple case markers to a single noun. When the two cases are different, the more important of the two will be the outward. So let's say you wanted to say, "I saw the man's dog". The dog is in the accusative case (because it's being seen), but it's also in a possessive construction. So what that sentence would look like is this: I-NOM. man-GEN. dog-POS.-ACC. see-PAST.
-For verbs, the present tense is unmarked, as is a third person subject. First and second person subjects are marked with suffixes (listed below in the word list). The order of the affixes is, generally speaking: modal suffixes (like /-godZ/ and /-dok/), tense suffixes (the irrealis is included as a tense), subject suffixes, negative suffix, question suffix. To form a question, you add the suffix /-vet/ (after low vowels) or /-vit/ (after high vowels). If there's a WH-word in the sentence, then the question is a WH-question; otherwise, it's just a yes/no question.
-Adjectives precede the nouns they modify. They agree with the nouns in case to a certain degree. Adjectives have special adjectival cases (detailed in the adjectives section of the website), two of which appear in this text. The first is the nominative adjectival case. Any adjective that modifies a noun in the nominative is in the nominative adjectival case. There is no ending for this case. The other case is the nonnominative case. Any time an adjective modifes a noun that's in any other case than the nominative it's put into the nonnominative case. The nonnominative case is marked with a final /-a/ for adjectives that end in a consonant, and by nothing for adjectives that end in a vowel.
-One of the most difficult things about strict SOV languages (like Japanese and Turkish) is relative clauses. I was hoping there would be no need for relative clauses in this text, but there was (there are two). Relative clauses work very differently in strict SOV languages. So take a sentence like, "The man whose dog I saw is on the lawn." In a strict SOV language (and Zhyler is one such language), those words would be reworded as follows: The I saw his dog man is on the lawn. In Zhyler, the whole relative clause becomes an adjective. Adjectives are marked by a shift in stress. Rather than mark stress in the text, I hope you can pick out where they are (if not, I'll just tell you where they are: let me know). You'll be able to spot the two relative clauses by an odd-looking bunching of words. It'll look like a normal sentence until you get to the verb, after which (suddenly and inexplicably) there's another noun. If you plug in this other noun into the previous sentence as the *subject*, you'll see that it's a relative clause modifying that noun. The noun itself has another function in the overall sentence which will continue from that point on. [Hint: The first one should be easy to spot, as it occurs right away, and because the verb ends in an adjectival case suffix.]
-The plural marker is essentially just /-j/. This marker, however, conspires with an underspecified vowel to make sure the resulting word has an even number of syllables. So, if the plural marker is attached to a two syllable word that ends in a vowel, you just add /-j/. If it ends in a consonant, though, you add /-aja/ or /-eje/ to get four syllables. If you're adding multiple suffixes, it can get hairy. So let's say you have a disyllabic word that ends in a vowel. Ordinarily, you just add /-j/. But if you're also adding the accusative suffix /-r/, you'll end up with /-jar/, which will be three syllables. Thus, you need to add another syllable, and you get /-jajar/ (or /-jejer/, depending on the vowels in the world. Zhyler's a vowel harmony language).
-The word /tSese/ is an adverb, but think of it as a direct object in the sentences it's used in.
-The conjunctive case suffix /-nam/ works like "and". It conjoins two like phrases. It conjoins them, however, just like Latin /-qve/, which means that if you want to say "the dog and the cat", you, in Zhyler, say, "dog-NOM., cat-NOM.-CONJ."
In addition, I offer my website (which wasn't up during Relay 8), which I'll also be updating, which should (could?) also help out. At the very bottom of this e-mail will be the wordlist. Anyway, here's the website: http://dedalvs.free.fr/zhyler/.
Text in conscript
Text in romanisation
Veda Šÿnkÿf Nönlöryö
Mayreš vollara vedðelevö čusalvet?
© Jan van Steenbergen, David Peterson, 20 Aug. 2004