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Relay: To Watakassi'

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, November 18, 1999, 23:47
Here's my translation:

Nlannani'nal nabibita'l paflabi'tai wassagga'ili walli'sili

Luslapa'lva wanafaki'l watu'fu
Lukaswila'silva wanala'u wani'pal
Patima'stasva-naka pikapaffa'n ku faiszukula'stas
Pla'ssi pli'ta saga'taiki "Nlannani'n, patima'sfinva ta'lmayi pibitta'n"

Luska'palva pisani' wabizi'l
Kita'lva sukkista'iz pigasyu'
Plassi'taski nlannani'n nabibita' pli gadi'taiki
Pla'ssi pli'ta saga'taiki "Nlannani'n, plassi'finva ta'lmayi pibitta'n"

Smooth translation first:
Our Great Father gave us these words about story-making

He makes the small wind strong
He is hearing it
The water grows the food
He hears it in the distance and is about to be slightly sad
He is hearing it
Therefore we say "Father, you are hearing us well"

The tree makes the house healthy
He is seeing it
Children are afraid of the night
He is seeing it
Our Great Father sees that we are mating
Therefore we say "Father, you are seeing us well"

Verbal agreement is with the absolutive
* Indicates gemination

N-lannani'-n-al  na-bibita'-l pa-f-labi'-tai
   wa*-li's-i-yi     pi-pati-sagga-gli-la'-du

G2S-father-our(pauc)-ERG G2-great-ERG DatObj-Past-give-us(pauc)
   G6Pl-this-Pl-INST G7-collective-word-make-abstr-ELL
wapatisagga', literally "collection of words" means "story", so
_pipatisaggaglila'_ is "story-making"
I don't know what "great father" means, I only translated it literally.
lis- is the plural stem of li, "this" (it belongs to a class of nouns
and adjectives with "hidden" letters, fricatives which appear only in
the plural.  In this case, instrumental is used because the dative has
been promoted to absolutive, so the old absolutive becomes
instrumental.  Ellative is here used for "about".  Pa- turns dative into
absolutive, and absolutive into instrumental.  It is required when the
dative is a sentient being.
Incidentally, the word "father" here is a scientific term, since fathers
don't figure in everyday life.  It literally means "co-mother"

Lu-s-lapa'-l-va           wa-nafaki'l wa-tu'fu
Cause-be-strong-3IrrS-Hab G6-wind     G6-small
Incidentally, _nafaki'l_ (wind) is formed by _na-_ (that which) +
_faki'l_ (go)

The 3rd Singular Irrational has two forms, -*a after a consonant, and -l
after a vowel.

Lu-kas-wila'si-l-va          wa-nala'u wa-ni'pa-l
Cause-become-adult-3IrrS-Hab G6-food   G6-water-ERG
Kaswila'si originally meant "grow up", as in from childhood to adult,
but was extended to any form of growing/maturing, including plants
growing larger.

Pa-tima's-tas-va=naka        pi-kapaffa'-n   ku  fai-s-zu-kula's-tas
DatObj-hear-3SRat-Hab=he.nom G7-distance-COM and ImFut-be-dim-sad-3SRat
s(a)zukula's means "be slightly sad".  Ordinarily, the verb _tima's_ (as
well as _lassi'_ later on) puts the one doing the seeing in dative, and
the object in absolutive.  Of course, if it's a sentient being doing the
seeing, dative-object is required.  The thing heard is "it" in this
case, BTW, altho there was no way of telling with this sentence.  Nouns
in the commitative case are used for adverbs


Pla'ssi    p-li'-ta    saga'-tai-ki      "N-lannani'-n,  tima's-fin-va
   ta'lma-yi    pi-bitta'-n"
Because.of G7-this-ABL say-we(pauc)-INCH "G2-father-our, hear-you-HAB
   us.pauc-INST G7-goodness-COM

Lu-s-ka'pa-l-va               pi-sani' wa-bizi'-l
Cause-be-healthy-3IrrSing-HAB G7-house G6-tree-ERG


Kita'-l-va     su*-kista'-i-z    pi-gasyu'
Fear-3SIrr-HAB G3Pl-child-Pl-DAT G7-night
I know what I said earlier about pa- being required with sentient
datives, but it feels right here, probably because the children are
being affected by the fear.


P-lassi'-tas-ki       n-lannani'-n-al   na-bibita'-l pli  gadi'-tai-ki
DatObj-see-3SRat-INCH G2-father-our-ERG G2-great-ERG that mate-we-INCH

Pla'ssi    p-li'-ta    saga'-tai-ki "N-lannani'-n, p-lassi'-fin-va
   ta'lma-yi pi-bitta'-n"
Because.of G7-this-ABL say-we-INCH  "G2-father-our DatObj-see-you-HAB
   us-INST   G7-goodness-COM

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