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From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, November 23, 1998, 7:58
        As I studied (read: designed) the culture of the Ancient People, I
finally discovered (read: created) how they named themselves, and how they
named their language. They refer to themselves as:

new-k'a-se-m-sjem(')-mi-~gi-ni ga-so-roj /new-ka-se-m-Sem(@)-mi-Ngi-ni

(Q: back rounded a)

which could be translated as the Sky People. Their language is:

new-k'a-se-m-sjem(')-mi-~gi-ni ja-ga-so-roj-dor tj'a-ts'a~n
/new-ka-se-m-Sem(@)-mi-Ngi-ni jQ-gQ-Zo-roj-dor tja-tsaN/

"the language of the Sky People"

Those names seems very long, compared to the translation, but:
- In PL, compound nouns don't exist (in fact, they do exist but they have a
special use I'll explain later)
- the translation lost most information the name had.

So I'm going to expain those two noun phrases to show how the grammar system
of PL works:

        First, the word ga-so-roj. The root is 'roj' which has a broad
meaning of 'human'. It is used with the gender prefix k'a-se (don't forget
the vowel and consonnantal harmonies) which shows a group of humans.
Translating it as 'people' is quite good I think.

        Then, the big word new-k'a-se-m-sjem-mi-~gi-ni. 'ni' is the
attributive affix (here at the end of the word because the completed word
ga-so-roj is placed after this one). So this word is an attributive. We
recognize k'a-se which is the gender of the completed noun, m which is the
gender of the noun, sjem ("sky", more exactly "day sky") which is the root,
and mi-ki which is a case ending (meaning 'coming from'). new is part of the
pronominal complex and is the affix of past. So this attributive form could
be translated as 'who came from the sky'. But we forgot to talk about the
gender used with the root sjem. It's m, which means 'material'. Don't forget
also that case endings have more a meaning than a function, so they are very
much used metaphorically. So, here, the 'sky' is seen as a material, and an
exact translation of the name of the AP would be something like:

the people that was made of the matter of the day sky.

        It reflects very well the legend of their origin. The Sky People
(I'll refer to them with this phrase from now) do have something like a
religion, but without anything seeming like a God or gods. They do believe
in supernatural beings, but those beings didn't create the world, and they
don't worship them. They believe in some things like giant-like creatures,
and above all in things that we would call 'elementals'. Those elementals
are very important as they can influence the everyday life of anyone. They
are also the creators of the Sky People. The legend is:

        " Millenia ago, the day sky was a totally pure blue sphere that
surrounded their planet (they have always believed, with truth, that their
planet was spherical). But it was fragile, and after millenia it broke under
its own weight. Pieces of sky fell in form of a blue powder into the oceans.
The holes had to be filled, as the darkness behind the sky menaced to come
in. As pieces of sky had fallen into the oceans, the water elementals gave
to the air elementals some water of the oceans to fill the holes in the sky.
The air elementals changed it a little in order for it not to fall again on
earth. So were created the clouds (in fact, the air elementals couldn't make
water as light as air, so sometimes some water falls -rain!-). But back to
the blue powder.
        With the contact of water in the oceans, the blue powder melted into
a kind of blue liquid that didn't mix with water. Pieces of that liquid
began to derive independently in the oceans, sometimes on the surface,
sometimes deeper into the water. Deriving, some pieces arrived at the border
of a continent and were rejected from oceans by breaking waves. As they were
liquid, they couldn't go back by themselves in the water and they began to
dry. But they had gained a kind of life, and drying randomly killed them. As
they were pieces of the pure sky, earth elementals decided to save them.
They created moulds with stones, and versed those blue liquids in the
moulds. They dried, but taking a special form, and became humans. But those
humans were even less than animals and knew nothing. So, in order for them
to survive, elementals gave and taught them various things. The water
elementals taught them how to fish, and gave them the gift of feelings. The
earth elementals taught them arts, how to use the resources of the earth
(metals, for instance), and gave them intelligence. The air elementals gave
them spirits and souls, and taught them wisdom. The plants' spirits taught
them agriculture, and how to recognize edible plants from poisonous ones.
The wood elementals learned them how to construct houses and tools. The
animals' spirits taught them to be respectful of nature and of other animals
and plants. When that was finished, humans still continued to die, and the
elementals and spirits didn't understand why. There arrived the fire
elementals that said:
" You gave many gifts, and you taught them many things, but you forgot also
many things. You can't live if you don't want to, so let's give them the
instinct of survival. You can't live with others if you can't communicate
with them. So let's give them the gift of language. And you can't live
without a goal in your life, so let's give them the fire of curiousity and
they will be able to live and live. "
" But if we give them so many things, they're going to become equal to us! "
said the air elementals.
" They come from the pure sky that is upon us all. Let them at least be
equal. " replied the fire elementals.
        And all elementals accepted, because it was real wisdom, and the
humans really came into existence. And as they dued their survival to the
fire, they decided that it would be the keeper of the real wisdom, the
keeper of knowledge and of the laws of the Sky People. "

        Now, back to conlanging and to the meaning of the second expression.
You can recognize the first word that is the same attributive. But now the
word it completes is a genitive: ja-ga-so-roj-dor. You can see (in addition
to the root and the gender that are the same than in the first expression)
the gender of the completed noun j'a and the genitive affix ter that behaves
like the attributive affix ni.

        And finally we've got tj'a-ts'a~n, where the root ts'a~n means
"language" (with a very broad meaning, it can also mean "information", "to
speak", "a language", and every sound or movement that is meaningful -for
people or animals-) and j'a (with consonnantal harmony) is the gender of
abstract objects.

        Wow, so many things to say from only two little expressions! Now I
will refer to the AP as the Sky People and to their language as Tj'a-ts'a~n.

                                                Christophe Grandsire
                                                |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G.

"R=E9sister ou servir"