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CHAT: Relays, Link 1

From:Shreyas Sampat <nsampat@...>
Date:Monday, August 20, 2001, 6:48
I hear and obey.  I'll post them with about a day in between, and webify as
I do, except for messy move-in period, unless I can somehow arrange to have
Web access during that time.
(I wasn't aware that this was a custom, or I'd have done it long ago.
Sorry, all.)
The first Texts:

Nur Saraxasûh

Ainu estanulv tuh lauasì venâssasni.
Estanults dava ainut oridde laharrâssak, zitarev va zulta esmardzasni.
Zitare lauarasûk sin, ainu dûnane haììlisni eta.
Ainu kalunvùn tuh siratte raztattni dzekkut jaminâlisni.
Kalunnùn ainul theturassasûkùn.
Kalunnùn ainul maskkna va varrâlisûkùn.

Nur Spoke

Long ago, I was alone with the Chaos.
The noise of the Chaos pained my heart, and so I took refuge in the Silence.
The Silence pained me too, and so I created the world.
Among the people of this world, I finally found my rightful place;
Where they worshipped me,
And named me their god.


nur speak-FL-P/E-3P

ainu chaos-OBL with/among laua-P/E-1P (be-alone)-FL-P/E-1P

chaos-GEN noise ainu-GEN heart-ACC pain-FL-3P

Silence-OBL in resultantly (seek-refuge)-FL-P/E-1P

Silence laua-FL-P/E-3P -and

ainu world-ACC make-FL-P/E-1P -(and so)

ainu person-OBL-PL with/among position-ACC rightful-ACC-1P finally

person-PL ainu-ACC worship-FL-P/E-3P-PL

person-PL ainu-ACC diety-ACC in name-FL-P/E-3P-PL

OBL: oblique
P/E: eternal or past tense - defaults to eternal
FL: in combination w/P/E, marks past as opposed to eternal tense
1p/3p: 1st/3rd person
GEN: genitive
ACC: accusative
PL: plural


Nur - prop. n. the mother/creator goddess
sarasta - to speak
ainu - pron.  indicates that the antecedent is divine.
estanul - n. chaos; the undifferentiated matter before existence began,
similar to the Egyptian darkness of the Nun.
laua- v. to do.  when combined with another verb form, indicates a compound
tense.  Example:  lauarasì saraxasni (laua-FL-P/E-1P speak-FL-P/E-1P) "I had
spoken."  Sometimes refers to the previous verb: "lauarasì sin", "I did
vena - v. to be-alone.
tuh - pp.(postposition)  with, among
dava - n. sound, noise, action
orid - n. heart, soul, seat of motion
laharra - v. to hurt, injure, cause pain to
zitare - n.  void, the lack of matter, potential, the Silence
zulta - adv.  as a result
esmarda - v.  seek refuge, sanctuary, shelter, safety, comfort
dûna - n.  the world, the universe
haì - to make, create, discover
eta - pj.(postjunction)  and so
kalun - n. person, human, thinking being
sirat - n.  location, place, position
raztat - adj.  rightful, true, proper
dzekkut - adv. finally
jamina - v. to find, discover, arrive upon
thetur - v. worship
mask - n.  god, diety, divine personage
varra - v.  to name, entitle
sin - pj. and

Laua is the 'empty verb': it has no meaning of its own; in laua sin
constructions it means "do too", and otherwise it's a way to compose complex
tenses like the eternally past 'storytelling tense'.

There were many children in the room;
Their noisy fun [can be heard] from the room;
[Causing] the woman to go into the room.
[She] said:
What is all this noise? Go [play] outside!
The woman's son replied:
All along, there had been no children with me;
Now, there are many children.
So they and I are having fun.
Why should we go outside?
The woman replied:
Their rowdy noise is [causing] me grief and a headache!
Go, go! (shoo! shoo!)

Note 1: words in [brackets] denote words not corresponding to anything in
text, added to more accurately convey the intended meaning in English.
Editor's notes are in (parentheses).

Note 2: although this translation is cast in the past tense, the original
text can also be interpreted in the present (tense is usually not marked


[The] from-woman son.
Children in-room firstly,
From-them from-room [proceeded] fun secondly,
And go into-room woman thirdly,
[She] declares thus: cacophony [is] what? go outside now! said-she.
[The] from-her boy answers thus:
From-beginning no-children with-me on-the-one-hand,
Now [many]-children on-the-other-hand.
And-so in-fun I [and] them. Unto-what-purpose we go outside? said-he.
She answer-declares thus: [from the] from-them noise grief headache to-me.
Be-caused-to-go, Be-caused-to-go! said-she.


ni biz3t30' d3 bii'l3ni.
3mir33'n3 jhi'li ke,
3k3'l0 jhi'l0 ki'g3 ce,
keve lyy's jhi'lu l0 b3z3t33' re,
Tww'ma t3, gii'j3li !ghi'? le's loo'ru !isi'. t3m3.
n0 jhit0' d3 bii'l3n0 taw'ma t3,
is0' mwwmir3'n3 ebi' Ke, isi' 3mir33'n3 ve.
keve ki'gi eb3' 3jum33'. ghu' 3jum33' le's loo'ru? t3m3.
jhit0' Taw'ma t3, n0 3jhidi0' d3 gii'j3l0 !f3K3' !vww3' `ybu'.
!ale's, !ale's. t3m3.

*IMPORTANT NOTE* Here are the letters used in the orthography. Because there
are more letters in the language than available in the roman alphabet, we
digraphs, a few numerical characters, and we differentiate between upper-
lowercase. It is important not to confuse upper- and lower- case.


Phonological Stuff:

u w y o 3 i 0 a e

gh kh ng g k K
dh th n d t T
jh ch j c C
z s l r
v f m b p P

The language is pitch-accented; apostrophes (') after a vowel indicate
syllables of high pitch. For your convenience, we indicate pitch accent on
words; in the actual written language, pitch accent is only marked on words
that are emphatic. In order not to lose the original emphases, we will mark
emphasized words by prefixing an exclamation mark (!).

A single opening quote (`) indicates smooth breathing: for example,
_`i_ = [ji] and _`y_ = [jy].

The actual written language only has word boundaries and sentence
however, for your benefit, the text given above uses periods (.) to indicate
the end of a statement, and question marks (?) to indicate the end of a
question, and commas (,) to indicate where a native speaker would pause
pauses are not indicated in the actual writing system).



First line: orthographic text
Second line: lexicon form for each word
Third line: word inflection
conseq = consequential focus
cvy = conveyant case
epi = epicene
fem = feminine
incep = inceptive aspect
incid = incidental focus
loc = locative case
masc = masculine
nul = nullar
org = originative case
perf = perfective aspect
plur = plural
rcp = receptive case

ni  biz3t30' d3  bii'l3ni.
ni  bis33'di di  mil33'ni
loc fem,org  loc masc,loc

3mir33'n3 jhi'li ke,
mil33'ni  jhi'li ke
plur,cvy  loc    -

3k3'l0       jhi'l0 ki'g3 ce,
ki'li        jhi'li ki'gi ce
plur,cvy/org org    cvy   -

keve lyy's      jhi'lu l0  b3z3t33' re,
keve le's       jhi'li li  bis33'di re
-    incid,perf rcp    org fem,cvy  -

Tww'ma     t3, gii'j3li ghi'? le's        loo'ru isi'. t3m3.
Ta'ma      ti  gii'j3li ghi'  le's        loo'ri isi'  timi
incid,perf cvy loc      loc   incid,incep rcp    loc   cvy

n0  jhit0'  d3  bii'l3n0 taw'ma      t3,
ni  jhidi'  di  mil33'ni ta'ma       ti
org fem,org cvy masc,org conseq,perf cvy

is0' mwwmir3'n3  ebi'      Ke, isi' 3mir33'n3    ve.
isi' mir33'ni    ebi'      Ke  isi' mir33'ni     ve
org  nul,epi,cvy masc,loc  -   loc  plur,epi,cvy -

keve ki'gi eb3'      3jum33'.     ghu' 3jum33'      le's        loo'ru?
keve ki'gi ebi'      jumi'        ghi' jumi'        le's        loo'ri  timi
-    loc   masc,cvy  plur,epi,cvy rcp  plur,epi,cvy incid,incep rcp     cvy

jhit0'  Taw'ma      t3, n0  3jhidi0'     d3  gii'j3l0 f3K3' vww3' `ybu'.
jhidi'  Ta'ma       ti  ni  jhidi'       di  gii'j3li fiKi' vyy'i `ybi
fem,org conseq,perf cvy org plur,epi,org cvy org      cvy   cvy   fem,rcp

ale's,       ale's.       t3m3.
le's         le's         timi
conseq,incep conseq,incep cvy



subordinating relative (particle). The subordinate clause ends at the
noun that is prefixed by _di_. For example,
ni k3' d0 juli'r "The red house"
The inflection of _ni_ must match the case of the terminating noun,
and is the function of the resulting noun clause in the main sentence.
The inflection of _di_ determines the function of the noun within the
subordinate clause.

A person.

di see _ni_.

A child.

A small hut, or a room inside a (larger) house.

1st correlative particle for trichotomies. A trichotomy is similar
to a dichotomy, like the English "On the one hand, ... on the other
hand ...", except that it is 3-way instead of merely 2-way.
Correlative particles are always placed at the end of the clause.

Back-referencing relative (particle? demonstrative?).
It is inflected for *two* cases; the second determines its function
in the current sentence/clause, the first matches the case of the
noun in the previous sentence/clause that it is referring to.

Fun, excitement, (superficial) happiness.

2nd correlative particle for trichotomies. See _ke_.

Conjunction meaning "and", or "and then". Unlike the English "and",
this word implies a tighter binding between the two sentences it
joins; usually indicating that one is the result of the other, or
that the two are complementary.

Verb, "to go", "to come", "to move".

Auxilliary inflection particle, modifies the following noun or noun
clause. This particle anticipates the function of the noun in the
subsequent sentence: the subsequent sentence will omit the noun.
A noun or noun-clause modified by _li_ *must* be at the end of the
sentence, except that non-semantic particles (such as correlative
particles) may follow it.

3rd correlative particle for trichotomies. See _ke_.

Verb, "to speak (strongly)", "to assert", "to declare". Emphatic form
of _ta'ma_. The thing spoken is placed in the conveyant case.

Subordinating particle introducing a discourse. The discourse is ended
by the discourse terminating particle _timi_. The language does not
differentiate between direct and indirect discourse; both are handled
by _ti ... timi_. The case of these particles must match, and must
be appropriate for the verb they are bound to.

Neuter noun, "all the happenings", "all that mess", "the whole
shbang", "the whole (messy) affair". A rather idiomatic word that
describes collectively a set of exciting, chaotic, or even traumatic
events. It may have either positive or negative overtones depending on
the context.

Interrogative particle. Depending on context and its function in the
sentence, it could mean "what", "why", "how", "when", etc.. Its
presence in a sentence signals the entire sentence to be a question.

Neuter noun. "Countryside", or "open lands". It is usually used by
city folk to refer to the rural lands; but it could also be used to
simply mean "outdoors" (as opposed to indoors) depending on context.

Temporal noun. The locative case means "now", "at this time"; the
originative case means "in the distant past", or "since the
beginning". The irregular derivative noun "is0'i" means "in the past",
indicating that the sentence is describing an event completely past;
"is0'" also has past meaning but also implies a continuation since
that past time.

See _ti_. Marks the end of a quoted discourse. You might think of it
as a concluding "and this is what he said" appended to the end of a

Distant pronoun. Refers to a person (or persons) the speaker regards
as distant, or belonging to the other side of a debate or argument. It
could be either 2nd or 3rd person in meaning; one must depend on
context to determine which it is. Often, narrators use it as a 3rd
person pronoun, since the narrator usually regards himself as separate
from the characters in the narration.

Physical verb, "to speak", "to say". The incidental forms may also
mean "chat", or "to converse casually". The consequential forms can
mean "to confess", "to be urged to speak", or simply, "to answer".

First person singular masculine pronoun, "I", "me".

1st correlative particle for dichotomies. Not to be confused with _ke_,
which is used only for trichotomies. A dichotomy is like the English
"on the one hand ... on the other hand ...", except that it could
indicate either contrast or complementation (like the English "both
... and ...").

2nd correlative particle for dichotomies. See _Ke_.

Intimate pronoun. Refers to a person (or persons) the speaker regards
as close to him, or on his side. As with the distant pronoun, it could
be either 2nd or 3rd person, depending on context. The plural often
acts as a 1st person plural as well.

Grief, pain, or suffering. Refers to psychological trauma, often
due to a physical source.

(1) "Whirlpool", "turmoil". Refers to a naturally-occurring
  destructive phenomenon in Ferochromon, used by the Ebisedi as a
  means of waste disposal. Due to this, vyy'i often carries a negative
(2) Metaphor for "garbage", "useless". Used as a vulgar, derogatory
  term of contempt.
(3) Adjectival noun describing headaches or feelings of ill-health.

Feminine first person singular pronoun.



The following is highly abridged for conciseness' sake; if more information
is desired, please consult the grammar lessons and lexicon at:
Or you can email me at

1) Case system

There are five noun cases in the language. Each case describes the function
the noun in the sentence.

The Originative case marks the noun as the source, starting point, cause, of

The Receptive case marks the noun as the recipient, the destination, the
of something.

The Instrumental case marks the noun as the cause, or the means, the dynamo,
of something, the thing that sustains the action of the verb.

The Conveyant case marks the noun as the object in motion, between the
and destination. It also indicates that the noun is in, or around, another
noun in the locative case.

The Locative case marks the noun as the locus, the place, where the event
sentence describes is happening. The locative case is also used as a topic

2) Gender and number

There are five genders in the language. For this present text, only four are
used: masculine, feminine, epicene, and neuter. Masculine and feminine refer
to biological gender, and epicene is used as a "wildcard" to mean either
masculine or feminine, or a mixture of both in plural nouns. Neuter is used
for genderless objects -- this is to be distinguished from the epicene,
merely does not fix a gendered object as specifically masculine or feminine.

Nouns also have three possible numbers: singular, plural, and nullar.
and plural nouns are as in English, referring to one of the noun or to many,
respectively. The nullar number is used to indicate the *absence* of the
for example, when asked how many houses one owned, one might answer in the
nullar number, _myyjui'r_ ("no house", nullar of _juli'r_).

3) Verb aspects and focuses

Verbs in the language have aspect, focus, and domain. For this present text,
it is not necessary to understand verb domains.

There are three verb aspects:
a) The inceptive indicates that the action of the verb has just begun, or
  not yet begun but is about to. It is often used an imperative, e.g.:
  doing this!" or "start looking there! (i.e., look at that)".
b) The progressive indicates the continual action of the verb. It usually
  carries an implication that the action is interrupted midway, or to
  emphatically indicate that the action was happening when something else
c) The perfective indicates a complete action. Note that the perfective is
  used by default, even for presently incomplete or future actions. The
  Ebisedi anticipate that all events will eventually complete, unless
  interrupted (in which case the progressive is used).

There are three verb focuses:
a) The incidental is the default focus, and simply indicates that an event
  occurred, with no further information on why it occurred.
b) The deliberative is used to indicate that the event occurred for a
  particular purpose, that it is a means to an end, that it was planned and
  not a random occurrence.
c) The consequential is used to indicate that the event is the result, the
  consequence, of another event.

4) Sentence types and sentence structures

There are several distinct types of sentences in the language, and each are
formed uniquely, although they all share the same idiom. For this present
text, we only have to worry about the following types:

a) The nominator (or topic) sentence. This consists solely of a single noun
  noun phrase, almost always in the locative case. This sentence indicates
  that the noun or noun phrase will be the topic of the subsequent

b) The stative sentence. This consists solely of two or more nouns or noun
  phrases, and describe a static situation (as opposed to an event). When
  all the nouns are in locative case, you may interpret it as having
  zero-copula between each noun. When there are a mixture of cases, it
  be interpreted according to what each noun case means. For example, if a
  sentence consists of an originative noun and a conveyant noun, it carries
  the implication that the conveyant noun is emanating, or moving away from,
  the originative noun. When there is a conveyant noun and a locative noun,
  it depicts the conveyant noun as being either in the locative noun, or
  around the locative noun. When there is a receptive noun, it is the
  destination of the conveyant noun.

c) The verbal sentence. This is like the stative sentence but a verb is
  present. The verb describes an event, a happening; and the nouns around it

  are placed in various cases to depict what role they play in this event.
  See the discussion on noun cases earlier for a detailed explanation of how
  each noun case works.



Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>