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Subordinate clauses in Xinkutlan

From:Geoff Horswood <geoffhorswood@...>
Date:Sunday, January 23, 2005, 8:28
nùzax senàzub![1]

I've finally got around to organising and expanding my rather garbled and
disparate notes on subordinate clauses in Xinkùtlan.  In my text
translations, I had them working in about 4 different ways, as I'd just
about re-invented the wheel every time I translated a text.

Here's what I've got so far, now that I've reorganised a little.  I've
tried not to write myself into a corner and make it impossibly unwieldy to
say something that should be simple, but we can always put it down to a
peculiarity of the language! ;)

In the sentences below,
a) is the sentence in English,
b) is the sentence in Xinkùtlan,
c) is the morphemic breakdown of b), and
d) is the gloss.

G:   Gerundive         /se-/
PF:  Perfective        /-pu(r)-/
C:   Continuous        /-il-/
H:   Habitual          /-am-/
IPT: Immediate Past    /el-/
RPT: Recent Past       /ur-/
IF:  Immediate Future  /ro(s)-/
NF:  Near Future       /nei-/
P:   Patientive case   /-il/
I:   Instrumental case /-uìm/

Subordinate clauses of time:

1a) When the dawn came, a red man on a red horse stood before the city.
1b) unàzu kuat, al uruàsen xatùn setsètl tàpanilaxa neisuìm setsètluìmab.
1c) ur.nàzu kuat, al ur.uàsen xatùn se.tsètl tà neis.uìm
1d) RPT.arrive dawn, also RPT.stand horse citadel.P.before man.I

(For comparison)
2a) When did the red horse stand before the city?
2b) pai uruàsen xatùn setsètl tàpanilaxa?
2c) pai ur.uàsen xatùn se.tsètl tà
2d) when RPT.stand horse citadel.P.before

Note that words like "when" (and "which", "who", etc.) are exclusively
question-words in Xinkùtlan, and are not used to form subordinate clauses.
The normal way of forming a subordinate clause of time is: "Happened X, and

3a) When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at
his teaching.
(Matthew 7:28)
3b) upurùtl Ìsus kàla, a urilìmihir itl limùtiluz.
3c) ur.pur.utl Ìsus kala, aìr itl limù
3d) RPT.PF.speak Isus this_one, also RPT.C.marvel person teaching.P.from

Note: in this example, "_his_ teaching" is implied; a more literal
rendering would be "the people marvelled at the teaching".

4a) Whenever you hear the sound of the horn (...), you must fall down and
worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
(Daniel 3:5)
4b) rosamòqum àizulil buàrikilek (...), a sebemìc tlàium utùriluan setlìn
sunàpur Nàbu-Kàndasar petètluz.
4c)ò à buà (...), a se.bemìc
utù se.tlin se.ur.nàpur Nàbu-Kàndasar petè
4d) IF.H.hear.2pl(inf) voice.P horn.P.of (...), also G.bow_down worship.2pl
(inf) G.RPT.establish Nàbu-Kàndasar king.from

Note: "Whenever" constructions follow the pattern of "When" clauses, except
that the habitual form is used: "Habitually happened X, and ..."  As shown
here, even with an imperative in the main clause, the "and" construction
must be used.

5a) The king will meet the dukes when they are all assembled.
5b) neicèllen timùn nai, a neidèir petètl ikùluan.
5c) nei.cèllen timùn nai, a nei.deir petètl ì
5d) NF.assembe duke all, also king 3pl(hon)

Relative clauses:

6a) I saw the woman who was speaking to me.
6b) elkènir llànal kiruanuìm selilutluìm.
6c) llà kir.uan.uìmìm
6d) IPT.see.1sgl woman.P G.IPT.C.speak.I

7a) The duke who ruled Utapàn came to Tàpan Ìtla.
7b) elmìr timùn Utapanuìm sepetenuìm Tàpan-Ìtlauanil.
7c) el.mir timùn Utapàn.uìm se.pèten.uìm Tàpan-Ì
7d) IPT.come duke Utapàn.I G.rule.I Tàpan-Ì

Note:  the relative clause is in the Instrumental (? name) case: a new
feature I've created for this and other similar purposes.  Indirect Objects
usually take this case form, too.

Subordinate clauses with "because":

8a) The crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who
had authority, and not as the teachers of the law.
(Matthew 7:28-29)
8b) urilìmihir itl limùtiluz, nemùl uramxuànimuc mùsail serìsil cer
malqamuìm sudziluìm.
8c)ìr itl limù, nemùl mù cer màlqam.uìm se.ur.dzìl.uìm
8d) RPT.C.marvel person teaching.P.from, because RPT.H.teach.3sgl(hon) law.
(y)er.P G.alike.P not authority.I G.RPT.possess.I

Note:  similarly to the clauses of time, the construction is "Happened X,
because Y_thus_and_so", with "because" replacing the time clause's "and".

(I'm not sure the cases make sense in this sentence the way I have arranged
the Patientive and Instrumental cases; if someone could help I'd be

cùlan suìtli,[2]


[1]:  "A blessed landfall!"  (traditional greeting of the seafaring
[2]:  "Good winds!"  (traditional farewell blessing)