by Alex Fink

The Text

ketšaire tauγantai

sadi baidi rai.  er mu znaga an ketšaire tauγantai paγeste. 

znaga jan faŋaranu, as i tauγantu bedu.  man selkwi an miŋkwi ra jere ketšaire tauγantai paŋanu. znaga jere naktanu. 

kaš mera ara ketšaire znagau mu tauγanta jawu.  ketšaire ju pradu: "au le raista miŋkwe rai?  werje swire ar, we ŋjari ra jeri mju ajar."

znaga ju kwempradu: "ar gawe.  er kak ketse naktanu."

"mi tauγanta ljau feneste mawi an njawelke."  miru ar ketši ra ju ketšaire swireke seku. 

kar znaga mira sadu, kir ma i dwiru an stawau latseu naγu. 

English Version

The seer of the temple

Listen to my words.  I will tell a story of a thief and a seer of a temple. 

Once upon a time, the thief was wandering, when he found a temple.  There were silver and crystals which the seer of the temple was guarding.  The thief wanted them. 

One day later, the seer spoke to the thief about the temple.  The seer told him: "Are you looking for my crystals?  If so, know that they aren't here." 

The thief replied: "I am not.  I only wanted a prediction." 

"This temple will give you pain and tears."  This is the prediction that the seer indeed saw. 

Then, because the thief heard this, he fled and hid in a remote place.  

Grammatical information

There are four declensions of the noun and adjective.  Nouns inflect for case and number, and adjectives agree with nouns they modify. 
Those whose final vowel in the citation form is a, e, i, u
inflect in the singular according to column     1, 2, 3, 5
and in the plural according to column           2, 3, 4, 3 respectively
of this table. 
           1    2    3    4    5
nominative -a   -e   -i*  -wi  -u
accusative -u   -i   -e   -we  -a
genitive   -ai  -ei  -a*  -wa  -ui
locative   -au  -eu  -u*  -u   -u

The starred entries in column 3 palatalise the preceding consonant:
t > š, k > kj, d > gj, g > gj, s > š, x > š, γ > j, n > nj, ŋ > ŋj, l > lj.
If the consonant is not one of the above, the endings appear as -i, -ja, -ju. 

Prepositions govern the locative if they have a spatial sense, else the nominative.

With certain verbs (such as verbs of giving or speech), the locative has a dative meaning. 

The forms of the first person pronoun are
    sg.  pl. 
nom er   res
acc ri   ren
gen rai  rei
loc rau  reu
those of the second person pronoun are
    sg.  pl. 
nom le   les
acc li   len
gen ljai ljei
loc ljau ljeu
and those of the third person pronoun are
    sg.  pl. 
nom i    jeri
acc ju   jere
gen ja   jerja
loc ju   jerju

There is one conjugation of the verb.  Verbs inflect for tense/aspect but not person or number.  The forms of verbs appearing in this text are
present -a
past imperfective       -anu
past perfective -u
future  -este
imperative      -0 (zero) or -i

The above forms for 'to be' are
pres ar
psim man
pspe ur
fut  ertse
imp  mei

Both SOV and SVO are frequent structures; the differences between them are not relevant to this relay.  In a relative clause, the relativized thing is fronted. 
Adjectives and genitives follow their nouns (but <mi> precedes them). 
Prepositions precede nouns. 


Nouns are cited here in the nominative singular, and verbs in the present. 

an      and
ar      be, exist
ara     day
as      when (used when one event interrupts another)
at-     (negative marker) (takes the form <aj-> with the verb <ar>)
au      (yes/no question particle)
baida   word
beda    find
dwira   flee
er      (first person pronoun)
faŋara wander
fena    give
gawe    false
i       (third person pronoun)
jan     once, long ago
jawa    speak
kak     only
kar [1] kir [2] because [1], [2]
kaš    forward, in front of, after
ketsi   prediction, prophecy
ketšaire       seer, fortune-teller, prophet
kwemprada       reply
latse   far
le      (second person pronoun)
ma      and then
mawa    pain
mera    one
mi      this (both adjectival and nominal)
miŋkwe crystal
miru    this (refers to a sentence or part of the current text)
mju     here (locative of <mi>)
mu      about, concerning
naγa   hide (verb)
nakta   want
njawelku        tear (liquid secreted by the eye)
ŋjara  know (a fact)
paγa   tell a story
paŋa   protect, watch over, herd, guard
prada   talk, say
ra      (introduces relative clause), (introduces complement clause)
raista  seek, look for
sada    hear, listen to
seka    see
selki   (piece of) silver
stawa   place
swire   true, real
swireke truly
tauγanta       temple
werje [1] we [2]        if [1] then [2]
znaga   thief