by Mau Rausser

The Text

1. Waherd, per payamau ya Perqualadun.
2. Nalíwad, wamondi qi díandi wabu ya Qayaqualanna qed, sehem e-qi djer taqe mbedul.
3. Qen, danandi qemau de amwenna, narqelián díahtesseyo.
4. Hemtenna yantarwendide:
"Dítendienye mbenna ntáwiyie Perqualang!
Sfie Perqualann' alandie won e-ngwa mambazou wedit enamone."
5. Mí ya ta hemte de: "Qar e-ntáwiyitendi e-mbenna."
6. Qi qen, nyámi enugrí qeangomémau de, mí liyibalí ta wab e-de qar kubedwo Perqualaryo.

English version

1. Once upon a time, an evil cat lived near the House of the Quala.
2. It was believed thet the priests hide and guard there the Qayaquala.
3. Thus, this cat disguised herself, mystifying them as a guard.
4. She said to the priest:
"Give me everything to know about the House of the Quala.
I want to examine the House of the Quala for criminals can hide themselves therein."
5. But the priest said: "You already know everything."
6. And then the unscrupulous cat has become very angry
but the priest already walked back to the deepness of the House of the Quala.


ala-  to examine
angomé  unscrupulous
dana-  to deny
dana- amwenna  lit. to deny oneself = to disguise oneself
di-  to give +ACC sg +ACC to sy
día-  to guard sg
díahte  guard
djer  sacred
enamon-  to hide (oneself)
enugrí-  to ecome angry
hemte  =wab
her   time
kube  valley, deepness, inside
liyibalí-  to walk back
mambazo  criminal
mau  cat
mí  but
nalíwa-  to believe
narqelí-  to hex sy, to mystify sy
ngwa-  can
ntáwiyí-  to know +ACC sg +ABL of sg/sy
nyámi  highly (an emphasis-word)
paya  evil
per-  to live somewhere
Perquala  House of the Quala
qar  already
Qayaquala  the only manuscript of the Quala, the sacred text of Cats
qen  thus, so, then
qi  and
sehem  mighty
*sfie-  to want, to wish
taqe  relative pronoun, "who, which" etc.  agglutinated as a noun.
wab  a sort of priest
wamon-  to hide sg
won  for, because
**ya-  to say
**yantar-  to declare; to say expressively

* sfie- is an irregular verb for its stem, infinitive and 1s form are all sfie, but
pronounced differently. (stem: ['sfi:]; infinitive and 1s forms: ['sfiE])

** the verbs of speaking use the ACC case to express the hearer and the nominative
for both the speaker and what is said. For example: ya ta mau mirenna hu.
"the cat said a word to somebody."


I. Phonology: attaching vowels and vowel harmony

Only a limited number of consonant clusters are allowed in LW and it tends to split all the unwanted clusters by vowels.
If the irregular cluster is between two words, then an ë sound [e] is inserted. I usually don't indicate the alophones e and ë ([E] vs. [e]) and the between-words attaching vowel is written with a hyphen connected to the second word.
Ex: "won e-ngwa"
If the irregular cluster is inside the word then the vowel harmony is applied to the word,  if in the stem-word there are more front than back vowels then the att. vowel is -e- and otherwise it is -a-.
There is however an exception: if the cluster is between two elements of a compund then the front att. vowel is -i- and the back one is -o-. But this does not appear in the text.

II. Nouns

LW has 3 numbers: singular (unmarked); dual (-i before the case ending) and plural (-u before the case ending).

LW nouns have eight cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, locative, sociative, dative, ablative and vocative.

The endings are the following:

nom.  [none]
acc. -nna; (in the text, the final a is eluded once)
gen. -ryo, alternative forms: -lyo, -r'; -l'
loc.  -d; -nd
soc. -ss + the stem-vowel (last vowel of the stem); -w
dat. -q; -nq
abl. -g; -ng
voc:  lengthening the stem-vowel and placing a final -e. If the final vowel is and -a or an -e then the final vowel is eluded and the penultimate vowel is lengthened. But this does not appear in the text.

The additional endings:

The locative and the sociative cases could have other endings as well. They purify the meaning and are placed right after the normal case ending. The ones appearing in the text:

-un   "near"
-ul    "beyond"
-it     "in"
-to    "to"

-yo   "like"

The prefix numbers:
The numerals can be prefixed to the nouns. Example: wa- or ua-  "one"

III. Pronouns

The prefix pronouns:
Some pronouns can be used either as a prefix or as a full-featured word.
The ones appearing here:

qe-  this
ge-  that
mbe-  all

The suffix prnouns:
If the object/other accusative government is a personal pronoun then you can use the suffix pronouns to express it. They come at the very end of the verb. Nothing can go after it.

-nye   me
-nte   thee
-nwe  him/her/it
-nyi    us two
-nti    you two
-nwi   them two
-nyu   us
-ntu    you
-nwu   them

There are also suffix pronouns for the other noun cases as well, but most of them are only for the 3rd person. I don't include them here.

IV. Verbs

Personal endings:
They come right after the verbal stem.

1s -i or for -í verbs: -e and the í is shortened. Eg. wala -> walai but ntáwiyí -> ntáwiyie
2s -t
3s. -w or if the actor is a female and no ending folllows the personal ending then it is -f.
              when the subject is a concrete noun and follows immediately the verb then the 3rd person does
              not show any personal ending.

LW verbs have a lt of tenses, here I only describe the most important ones. The tense marker always comes at the very end of the verb. Only a suffix pronoun can follow it.
If the subject is a concrete noun and follows the verb immediately then the tense marker is placed
after the subject as a separate verb. And then no suffix pronoun can be used to express the object.

Present:  nothing special. It has no endings at all.
Past: it denotes a longer action in the past or a progress. Ending: -ya
Past perfect: it expresses a flashy, quick, short action. Ending: -de

Transitiveness: If the verb has an object then the ending -ndi is inserted after the personal ending. Except when the object is a suffix pronoun.

The imperative:
Formed in the same way as the vocative of the nouns. The imperatival -e ending is placed at the end of the word, but of course before the suffix pronoun if there is any.

Passive participle: formed by the ending -ad. Or if the stem ends in a then just a -d.
Gerund: Its meaning is like the -ing form in the sentence "he went there pursuing the deer." While he was doing that thing. Formed by the ending -án (final a is eluded from the stem if there was any).

Infinitive: formed by the ending -e.

V. A lil' syntax

Word order: free VSO.

Praedicative sentences:
It is when you say "A is B" and you say that A have a quality described as B.
Eg.: It is beautiful. (In LW it is said as "Is it beautiful")
In Longwer you can skip the copula but then you should reverse the word order. ("Beautiful it")
But this is very rarely used to equate two things because it can be confused by the bound construction, yes, an unmarked genitive indicated as "A B" meaning "A of B".

Relative clauses:
"taqe" is the relative pronoun "who, which, what" etc. It is inserted NOT at the beginning of the sentence as in English but in most cases to the place the syntactic role predicts. (I.e if it is a subject then you should expect it to be after the verb or the object after the subject etc.)