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Dritok: The Voiceless Conlang Takes Shape

From:Donald Boozer <donaldboozer@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 8, 2007, 1:34
Some of you may remember my voiceless/gestural
language from postings here on CONLANG or at LCC2. I
have finally come up with the first draft of a
translation of The North Wind and the Sun in Dritok
(the name of the conlang). I have provided the text, a
(clumsy) interlinear, a smooth translation, and then
the glossary (first, vocalizations; second, gestures).

The North Wind and the Sun (part I) in Dritok
V2&=sx:w.q't. s'.s''. D5^Q5=V2&=zn.t'.z*
sx:w.q't. s’.t*.ql. Q1=zn.t'.z*. D4/Q5=D2' s'.t*ql. Q1=zn.t'z*. D4/Q5=D2
tr'w.cq. V2&=xws.ql. I2>>lt'.q'.
sx:w.q't. s'.t*.ql. I4=pln.t'. tr'w.cq. D5((f.t'.q'.
Q1=I4=D5((zp.p'tl. f.t'q'. Q1=D1((t'.qsx:n. D4/Q5=

Literal Interlinear:
V2&=sx:w.q't.  s'.s''.  D5^Q5=V2&=zn.t'.z*
Those two, the Great Wind and the sun, with respect to
'their' strength were arguing.

sx:w.q't.  s’.t*.ql.  Q1=zn.t'.z*.  D4/Q5=D2
The Great Wind says: "My strength is superior to
yours."'  s'.t*ql.  Q1=zn.t'z*.  D4/Q5=D2
The Sun says: "My strength is superior to yours."

tr'w.cq.  V2&=xws.ql.  I2>>lt'.q'.
A Drushek, the two of them see, (he is) leaping along
the path.

sx:w.q't.  s'.t*.ql.  P4=pln.t'.  tr'w.cq.
The Great Wind says: His cloak, the Drushek will

Q1=P4=D5((zp.p'tl. f.t'q'.  Q1=D1((t'.qsx:n.  D4/Q5=
I him will compel the removing. I will be the winner
with respect to strength.

Smooth Translation:
The Great Wind and the Sun were arguing about their
relative strength. The Great Wind said to the Sun: My
strength is greater than yours. The Sun said: My
strength is greater than yours. They saw a Drushek
leaping along the path. The Great Wind said: I will
make the Drushek remove his cloak. I will be the

Vocalizations (given in both proper Drushek
orthography, an attempt at X-SAMPA pronunciation, and
sx:w.q't. = "Great Wind" /sx_Oq_>E_0t/ "suukyt"
s'.s'. = conjunction /ts_>ts_>/ "chy-chy"'. = sun (lit. "day light") /prm_0_>p_>/ "prenpy"
zn.t'.z*. = strength, strong, be strong /Cm_0_>t_>!\/
tf.p*.o. = argue, argument, arguing (tf.p*. = discuss,
discussing, discussion) /tp\O\f\_O/ "tefpokno"
s’.t*.ql. = speak, say (lit. "to give form to a
thought with the mouth") /ts_>|\qE_0K/ chysik-keth"
tr'w.cq = (a) Drushek /tr_0_>s`q/ "drushek"
xws.ql. = see, observe (lit. "to give form to with the
eye") /X_OsqE_0K/ "khus-keth" = leap, leaping, to leap (hr:. "move"; "foot"; Drushek move most efficiently by
leaping) /hE_0r:CE_0ptX\/ "herrzhepta"
lt'.q' = path, road, way /Kt_>q_>/ "thedygy"
pln.t'. = cloak, wrap /pE_0Km_0_>t_>/ "pethendy"
t'.qsx:n. = winner, champion /t_>qE_0sX:m_0_>/
f.t'.q'. = remove, take off, put aside (for later use)
/p\t_>q_>/ "fedyky"
zp.p' = compel, make (someone do something)
/CE_0p_>tK/ "zhebyteth"

(Note: an equal sign (=) joins a set of gestures to
either other gestures or vocalizations. Items joined
with a = should be considered a phrase)
1. V2 = dual number (forefinger and middle finger
raised in V-shape, palm toward person spoken to)
2. & = plural motion; circling in the plane of the
3. V2& = those two, they (dual)
4. X^Y = Gesture X changes to Gesture Y
5. D5^Q5 = "in," used idiomatically to mean "with
respect to" (open hand, palm held perpendicular to the
speaker and the ground changes into a fist)
6. Q1 = first person gesture, or, topic of phrase
(fist held against chest)
7. A D4/Q5=B = A is above B; A is superior to B (also:
B is below A; B is inferior to A) (open hand, palm
downward held directly over a fist, held perpendicular
to the body of speaker)
8. D2 = second person gesture ("you, your, yours,
etc.") (open palm held toward person being spoken to,
fingers pointing up)
9. D1>> = past tense marker (open palm, facing speaker
moving away from speaker)
10. >> = indicates gesture moves away from speaker
11. P4 = a third person gesture ("he, her, it, his,
him, hers, etc.") (little finger held out, other
fingers and thumb held in, hand held palm downward)
12. I2>> = along, with, down, etc. (forefinger held
out, other fingers curled in, palm facing person being
spoken to)
13. (( = indicates gesture moves in direction of back
of hand
14. D5(( = future tense marker (open hand, palm held
perpendicular to the speaker and the ground; hand
moves from across speaker's body in front of them from
left to right)

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