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From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Sunday, September 30, 2001, 2:00
    Okay, here's a small text translated into my polysynthetic (I really
think it is) language Mbasa.  First will be the English, then the actual
text, then the interlinear [note: [G]=voiced, velar fricative].

1.) A man came upon a sleeping lion.  2.) He woke him up and said, 3.) "You
come to my home and eat my food and terrorize my family.  I demand that you
stop!"  4.) The lion replied, 5.) "You keep on waking me up while I sleep.  I
demand that you stop!"  6.) The man left, angry.  7.) Late that night the
lion came to his home and ate his food and terrorized his family.  8.) The
next day the man came upon the sleeping lion...

1.) vendzu amandza uhulupupezahulakapi alunohumbikasa
2.) ihuluvonozahumbikaha mmandza ihuluNezahunokahuhan
3.) "amaGambawu uxuGadZofozatsulanaSa aNgodZimbawu ixuGamazatsusanaSa
    ixuGaNxezatsuzanaSep ixufojafazatsuNganav!"
4.) ehuluNezahunokahudZehuhan
5.) "owuGavonozatsumbinalep ixufojafazatsuNganav!"
6.) elumopezahulakapi iluNxohusakahaj
7.) amaGambahu mandza ohuluheSadZopezahulakaha aNgodZimbahu ihulumazahusakaha
    amatSimbahu ihuluNxezahuzakahaj
8.) vendzu amandza ohulupupezahulakapa alunohumbikasa...

1.) vendzu (man, nominative) a- (acc.) -mandza (lion) u-(brand new subject)
-hu- ( -lu- (narrative marker) -pupe- (first part of verbal root
"to get near") -za- (agent) -hu- (3s.nom.) -la- (2nd part verb) -ka- (past)
-p- (inceptive) -i- (as/while/during) a-(new subject, was the direct object
of the previous phrase) -lu- (narr.) -no- (1.vrb "to sleep") -hu- (3snom)
-mbi- (2v "sleep") -ka- (past) -s- (progressive) -a (and then, and next)
[Note: Subjects are infixed into verbal roots, so the verb for "to get near"
is "pupela", and "to sleep" is "nombi"]

2.) i- (same sub.) -hu- (3s.acc.) -lu- (narr) -vono- (1.v."awaken") -za-
(agt) -hu- (3snom) -mbi- (2v "awaken") -ka- (past) -h- (indicative) -a (and
then) m- (indirect object) -mandza (lion) i- (s.s.) -hu- (3s.acc) -lu-
(narr.) -Ne- (1v "to say") -za- (agt) -hu- (3snom) -no- (2v "to say") -ka-
(past) -hu- (3s.dat)
-h- (ind.) -an (next phrase will be relative clause)  [Note: In Mbasa, all
quotations are treated as relative clauses.  To follow will be a different
sent of pronouns, usually only used for the target of relativization.  In
this case, the whole phrase is the target, so all the pronouns will be
relative pronouns.  Also, there's no distinction between "he", "she" and
"it"; one pronoun for all.  I'm thinking of changing this...]

3.) a- (acc) -maGa- (home) -mba- (gen) -wu (1s.rel) u-(n.s.) -xu-
(3s.acc.rel) -Ga- (accusatory) -dZofo- (1v "to come to") -za- (agt) -tsu-
(2s.nom.rel) -la- (2v "to come to") -na- (pres.) -S- (habitual) -a (and then)
a- (acc.) -NgodZi- (food) -mba- (gen) -wu (1s.rel) i- (s.s.) -xu-
(3s.acc.rel) -Ga- (accus.) -ma- (1v "to eat") -za- (agt) -tsu- (2s.nom.rel)
-sa- (2v "to eat") -na- (pres) -S- (hab.) -a (and then) a- (acc.)
-matSi- (family) -mba- (gen) -wu (1s.rel) i- (s.s.) -xu- (3s.acc.rel) -Ga-
(accus.) -Nxe- (1v "to terrorize")
-za- (agt) -tsu- (2s.nom.rel) -za- (2v "to terrorize") -na- (pres) -S- (hab.)
-ep (and so) i- (s.s.) -xu- (3s.acc.rel) -fo- (definitive) -ja- (obligative)
-fa- (1v. pro-verb, "to do") -za- (agt) -tsu- (2s.nom.rel)
-Nga- (2v. "to do") -na- (pres) -v (terminative)  [Note: The definitive
indicates that the speaker has the attitude that what s/he puts forth is
fact, not opinion; the obligative indicates "must" rather than "should"; the
terminative indicates the stopping of an action.  The accusatory indicates
that the speaker is accusing whomever he speaks to/of of whatever he's
talking about.]

4.) e- (n.s., indirect object of previous phrase) -hu- (3s.acc.) -lu- (narr)
-Ne- (1v "to say") -za- (agt) -hu- (3s.nom) -no- (2v "to say") -ka- (past)
-hu- (3s.dat) -dZe- (because of) -hu- (3s) -h- (indic) -an (the next phrase
will be a relative clause)  [Note: The reason "e" is used rather than a
different new subject marker is that it travels back to the non-relative
clause to find its subject, and, indeed, the lion was the indirect object of
the last part of sentence 2.  Also, the paradigm "to say...because of it"
renders the idea of replying or responding.]

5.) o- (n.s., something other than completely new, same subject, previous
d.o. or i.o.) -wu- (1s.acc.rel) -Ga- (accus.) -vono- (1v "to awaken") -za-
(agt) -tsu- (2s.nom.rel) -mbi- (2v "to awaken") -na- (pres) -l- (repetitive)
-ep (and so) i- (s.s.) -xu- (3s.acc.rel) -fo- (definitive) -ja- (obligative)
-fa- (1v. pro-verb, "to do") -za- (agt) -tsu- (2s.nom.rel) -Nga- (2v. "to
do") -na- (pres) -v (terminative)  [Note: Now, since it's still in the same
conversation, the subject marker goes back to the previous quote, in which
the man was talked about (specifically, in the genitive), and so the "other"
new subject marker is used, since the subject isn't entirely new.]

6.) e- (n.s., i.o.) -lu- (narr) -mope- (1v "to leave") -za- (agt) -hu-
(3s.nom) -la- (2v "to leave") -ka- (past)   -p- (incept.) -i (while) i-
(s.s.) -lu- (narr.) -Nxo- (1v "to be angry") -hu- (3s.nom) -sa- (2v "to be
angry")   -ka- (past) -h- (ind.) -aj (and then much later on)

7.) a- (acc) -maGa- (home) -mba- (gen) -hu (3s) mandza (lion, nom) o- (n.s.,
other) -hu- (3s.acc) -lu- (narr) -heSa- (night, adverb spot) -dZope- (1v "to
go to") -za- (agt) -hu- (3s.nom) -la- (2v "to go to")      -ka- (past) -h-
(ind) -a (and then) a- (acc) -NgodZi- (food) -mba- (gen) -hu (3s) i- (s.s.)
-hu- (3s.acc) -lu- (narr) -ma- (1v "to eat") -za- (agt) -hu- (3s.nom) -sa-
(2v "to eat') -ka- (past) -h- (ind.) -a (and then) a- (acc) -matSi- (family)
-mba- (gen) -hu (3s) i- (s.s.) -hu- (3s) -lu- (narr) -Nxe- (1v "to
terrorize") -za- (agt) -hu- (3s.nom) -za- (2v "to terrorize") -ka- (past) -h-
(ind) -aj (and then much later on)  [Note: Since it's already known that it
was night, the "aj" marker indicates that when next the story picks up it
will be the next day.]

8.) vendzu (man, nom) a- (acc) -mandza (lion) o-(n.s., other) -hu- (3s.acc)
-lu- (narr) -pupe- (1v "to get near") -za- (agt) -hu- (3snom) -la- (2v "to
get near to") -ka- (past) -p- (incept) -i- (as/while/during) a-(n.s., d.o)
-lu- (narr.) -no- (1v "to sleep") -hu- (3snom) -mbi- (2v "sleep") -ka- (past)
-s- (prog) -a (and then, and next)

    Now, I say it's polysynthetic because (a) all the classes are very, very
open, and (b) even though there are no examples in this particular passage,
all the morphemes can change in certain phonological environments (one of
which results in a voiceless nasal, which I'm rather fond of.  :)  So, that's
that.  I completely forget what else I was planning to say, so I'll leave it
at this; what do you think?