A battle hymn in G'amah
|Date:||Sunday, February 27, 2000, 19:32|
These are the first verses of a battle hymn of
the Grey Trolls of Zulkadar, in G'amah. As you may
recall, these folks were commended to my guide as
a playing character in an RPG -- and I'm doing my
best to give them some personality.
The Grey soldiers come Tag hahaGahu mach
over earth and mud uk-oOku uk-oG'rol
On the green grass Uk-oslapa nhunh
we leave a black path blih n'oTit'ur dol
Invincible we are, Oj-son'ipohna zhij'ou,
the enemies tremble buluz llilliNh'ak
on seeing the standard omij j'a-ud oB'ako
of the great darkness hoKadar hoGron
We serve the Tree, M'ao sh-lliNhos,
to it we immolate: nu-ngud'u aCh'okok zhij'ou:
we drink its blood, d'oi jid'u-ahla,
we take it blood! izhoh nu-sh-miAhla!
Terrible our hands, ooChla jid'u-itu,
feared the swords hohoN'uzh dichak,
which open red ditches ooKi miBichu zhau
in the enemy host zu-llilliGahu allNh'ak
Fear, o poor rats, Oj-j'a-nuzh o hoh ng'a,
the Greys are coming: ar oj hahaMach j'a-tag:
swords of terror, miDichak miBin'uzh,
in merciless hands u-miItu asNim'a hoP'ak
... And it goes on and on for a while, but I'm still
getting the translation. Since the language is new,
I preferred to try it in Spanish first, and then
devise the new words as I go along. Good idea for
vocabulary, except now I have a lot of words in the
line of "blood, terror, enemy, wound, destroy, burn,
The metrics are simple, sometimes forced; no rhyme,
because trolls can't rhyme. Interlinearly speaking:
Article abbreviations are composed of two letters;
the first can be M (masc.), F (fem.), A (animate),
I (inanimate); the second can be D (definite) or
I (indefinite). Reduplication (DUP) means plural.
If there's a prefixed L, it's a linker.
Tag haha- Gahu mach
come MD.DUP soldier grey
uk- o- Oku uk- o- G'rol
over ID earth over ID mud
Uk- o- slapa nhunh
over ID grass green
blih n'o- Tit'ur dol
leave_behind II ditch black
Oj- son'ipohna zhij'ou,
be invincible 1p
Note the merge of the status verb _oj_
with the word for 'invincible' as a new
buluz llilli- Nh'ak
tremble AD.DUP enemy
omij j'a- ud o- B'ako
when with see ID standard
Of course, "when with see" = "on seeing".
ho- Kadar ho- Gron
LID darkness LID great
M'ao sh- lli- Nhos,
serve ACC AD tree
Note the first person forces the object
to take the ACC mark. The Tree is the
malign entity which drives these evil
soldiers; it literally thrives on evil.
It has no mind or intelligence, only a
desire for cruelty. It takes the animate
article, even if trees are inanimate.
nu- ngud'u a- Ch'okok zhij'ou:
DAT THING-DX3 AP immolate 1p
Did I mention this language has *five*
levels of deixis? Each one has some
idiomatic uses; in particular, the 3rd
level is used in place of 3rd persons
as a resumptive.
AP means 'antipassive'. This phrase is
not antipassive, since it lacks a certain
auxiliary dummy object; in these cases
it's taken to be (pseudo-)reflexive.
d'oi jid'u- ahla,
drink ADJ-DX3 blood
Same here, ADJ-DX3 functions as 'its'
(the Tree's, the thing we were talking
izhoh nu- sh- mi- Ahla!
take DAT ACC PRT blood
The DAT mark over an already ACC object
assumes an indirect object, already mentioned
(in this case, the Tree).
oo- Chla jid'u- itu,
ID.DUP terrible ADJ-DX3 hand
hoho- N'uzh dichak,
LID.DUP fear sword
oo- Ki mi- Bichu zhau
ID.DUP cause PRT wound red
The article on the verb signals a subordinate
clause, _ooKi miBichu_ 'which cause wounds'.
zu- llilli- Gahu all- Nh'ak
in AD.DUP soldier LAD enemy
Oj-j'a- nuzh o hoh ng'a,
be with fear IMP mouse poor
Mice and rats are the same for these folk.
Note the merge of verb, preposition and noun
as a new verb. The adjective _ng'a_ is a
general despise mark.
ar oj haha Mach j'a- tag:
since be MD.DUP grey with come
"with-come" = "coming".
mi- Dichak mi- Bin'uzh,
PRT sword PRT terror
u- mi- Itu as- Nim'a ho- P'ak
in PRT hand without frailty LID chest
_Nim'a hoP'ak_ 'frailty/weakness of the
chest/heart' = 'mercy, pity'. The concept
is so weird among these people that they've
made a (despising) idiom of it.