Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

The Noli proverb.

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Friday, April 30, 1999, 11:45
        For those who are also on the Conculture list, you know that I've sent a
post about the Noli, the people who speak Notya, in which I gave an example
of Noli proverb, the most important for them BTW, which is:

Pon tjomu mem, yam Nomu wam. : Never use No if you can do it otherwise.

        As I saw people interested in Notya, I'm going to analyse this sentence,
to show you how Notya grammar works. I will use the same notations I used
in my previous post: "Notya: a "neither-noun-nor-verb" conlang?".

        First, pronunciation of this sentence (' shows the accented syllable. If
two words are under the same stress curve, they won't be seperated in the
phonetic transcription). So:

Pon tjomu mem, yam Nomu wam.
/'pon 'domumem, 'yam 'nomuwam/

        Now a small interlinearization of this sentence, with the followings
EX: existential form
PR: processive form
TE: terminal function
CO: conjunctive function

Pon tjomu mem, yam Nomu wam.
other-EX-TE way-PR-CO time-PR-TE, you-PR-TE No-PR-CO refuse-PR-TE.

        A nearly word-to-word translation would be:

When another way of action exists, refuse to use No.

'me' means "time", but is used in atonic form, preceeded by a word in CO
function to mean "when" (or "if", like German 'wenn'), a little like the
Japanese 'toki' is a noun meaning "time", and used as a conjunction to mean
"when". 'wa': "refusal" in atonic form is one way of rendering negation in
Notya. It is very much used in orders or proverbs.

        Why the processive form is used with 'me' and 'wa' instead of the
existential form is difficult enough to explain. The fact the preceeding
words in CO function are also in PR form plays a role, but it is also a
matter of style, and giving these words a processive form gives a dynamic
flavour in the sentence, that is very much liked, especially in those
little sentences used as proverbs. The processive form is also used with
the word 'tjo': "way, manner" because it is a way of doing something, not a
way of being something, but even if I translate it by a lexical difference,
don't forget that it is _not_ the case in Notya: the difference between the
existential form and the processive one is only grammatical. Of course, it
changes the way you understand the lexical items, but it doesn't change
their meaning at all.

        Well, now, I wait for your comments and questions, as usual :)

                                                        Christophe Grandsire
                                                |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G.

"Reality is just another point of view."

homepage :