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Charter of the Guild of Anshen (long!)

From:Irina Rempt <ira@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 16, 1999, 8:04
This is the charter of the Guild of Anshen, an organization of people
with psychic gifts who use them for the cause of Good. The Guild is
organized like a craftsmen's guild, with apprentices, journeymen and
masters; progression to a higher grade is by means of trials which
can be both difficult and dangerous.

Warning: it's very long, over 400 lines of text and explanation. I'm
posting it here because I'm too impatient to do HTML; it's a
preliminary version of something that's going to be on my web page,
but I'd like people to look at it and catch obvious errors that I
overlooked when working on it into the small hours.

An unglossed parallel text in Valdyan and English is on my web page:

If you want to know more about the Guild of Anshen itself, try

and if you're interested in Valdyas as a whole, here's the table of

I haven't tried to be politically correct in the translation, though
the Valdyan is gender neutral: it has the common-gender pronoun _lea_
and its compounds throughout, because it refers to a collection of
people regardless of actual gender. Please read "him/her" (etcetera)
wherever appropriate.

All unmarked nouns and adjectives in the glosses (also possessive
adjectives) are nominative singular.


*** This is the preamble, establishing where the Guild of Anshen stands ***

Shen vestyn anin. Rheis buzin     The Light is our source. Trust is our
anin. Tain duyen Anshen           foundation. The great god Anshen is
nafalan anin.                     our protector.

shen  vestyn anin    rheis buzin      anin    tain duyen Anshen
light source Poss1p  trust foundation Poss1p  god  noble Anshen

na  fal    an  anin
NEG-danger-Ag  Poss1p

Ag: agentive suffix; not grammatical agent, but denotes a person who
    does something habitually or by profession.

_anin_ "our" is made up of:

* the plural prefix (or rather the "generalizing prefix", it has a strong
  connotation of "all") a-
* a connecting -n- to avoid hiatus
* the first-person pronoun stem i-
* the "nominalizing" suffix -n that makes it a declinable adjective
  (there's no real difference between nouns and adjectives in
  Valdyan). The form is identical to the first person plural pronoun
  in the subjective case: the subjective case marker for first and
  second person pronouns is also -n.


*** This section gives the code of honour for _semti_ ***

Semte rychinan alea duchat,       A gifted person honours all living
tainena hune lea sovinat.         beings, because they are an image of
                                  the gods.

semte          rychinan         alea duchat
gifted-person  breath-Ag-acc-p  3p-C honour-3s-PRS

_semte_ is a person with gifts of the mind, able to use the senses
and "virtual limbs" of the ethereal body (_anie_) to perceive,
communicate and manipulate. This is not thought of as "paranormal";
it's a perfectly normal gift of the gods that about one in fifteen
people is born with (though it isn't always discovered, let alone
trained and used).

_rychin_, literally "breathers"; people and animals (who have
_anie_), not plants. Plants are considered alive but non-sentient.

_alea_ consists of the prefix a- and the third person common-gender
pronoun _lea_; it has only one form (only first and second person
pronouns have separate subject and object forms) and can mean "they",
"them", "everybody", and also "all", "every". In that last sense,
it's often used attributively.

tainena    hune    lea sovinat
god-acc-p  because LEA image-3s-PRS

_hune_ is derived from _hun_ "cause, reason"; it's an old dative
form, lost when the dative and the illative were conflated. The
locative also exists as an adverb: _hunie_ "rightly, for good
reason". A conjunction that joins two clauses comes after the first

_tainena lea sovinat_ is an impersonal construction: _sovina_ "to
portray, to visualise" from _sovin_ "image, portrayal", _lea sovinat_
with both the logical subject and the logical object in the
accusative: "to be an image of, to symbolise". No subject is needed
in the subordinate clause, because it's clear that it refers to

Semte rastinan dilat alea cul     A gifted person treats all thinking
le dilayt puret.                  beings as he would like them to treat

semte          rastinan        dilat      alea cul le   dilayt
gifted-person  think-Ag-acc-p  do-3s-PRS  3p-C how refl do-3p-PRS


_rastin_ "thinkers": people, as a subset of _rychin_. _rasta_ "to
reason, to use one's brain" contrasts with _ansina_ "to contemplate,
to use one's mind"; both can be translated with "think".

_dila_ "to do"; with an animate object, it's usually "to do unto

_le_, the third-person reflexive pronoun, is used when the object is
identical with the subject of the same clause (_Rava le cylat_ "Rava
washes [herself]") or when the subject of the main clause is the
object of the subordinate clause. It has only the one form for common
and neuter gender in all object cases.

_puret_ is irrealis: "he/she would want". This is a wish, not a
command; a command would be _cul le dileyt purat_ "as he wants them
to treat him". In that case, _dileyt_ is irrealis because it's not
sure that the command would be obeyed.

Semte semsinan ryshat da          A gifted person uses his gifts to
shylat fere lea shylea            help those who need help and to teach
velinat so da farnat fere lea     those who want to learn.
orna purat.

semte         semsinan   ryshat      da         shylat      fere
gifted-person gift-acc-p use-3s-PRS  in order.. help-3s-PRS

_semsen_ is a gift of the mind, from the stem _semt_ and the suffix
-sen, from _sein_ "thing". It's usually used in the plural and has
the specific meaning of psychic gifts which have been trained and are
being used.

_da ... fere_ "in order to", "so that"; with the present tense the
action has immediate result ("use one's gifts to help", also in
recipes: _... da folay fere_ "in order to make ..."), with the future
tense it has a certain result in the future, with the irrealis the
result is uncertain but desired (_sorynuyt rhinlena da custyneyt
fere_ "they went hunting to catch ducks"). It's slightly formal,
mostly used in written language; one would *say* _sorynuyt rhinlena
custyna_, with the infinitive instead of the _da ... fere_

lea   shylea     velinat so  da         farnat       fere
rel-C help-acc-s need-3s and in order.. teach-3s-PRS

lea    orna       purat
rel-C  learn-INF  want-3s-PRS

_lea_ is the third person common-gender pronoun, here used as a
relative pronoun. Masculine and feminine subjects also take _lea_ as
the relative, neuter subjects take _li_.


*** The final section warns against transgressions ***

Salea hernea falen menet          Whoever endangers another without
navelien, nalunie dilat.          need, does an unjust deed.

salea     hernea      falen        menet        na.velien
ind-3s-C  other-acc-s danger-ill-s give-3s-IRR  NEG-need-instr

_salea_ "whoever", perhaps even "whosoever" in this context; the
prefix sa- "any" is the indeterminate pendant of a- "all".
Originally, it must have been _salea lea_ "anyone who..." but the
second _lea_ always disappears, even if the first one has a prefix.
The indeterminacy of _salea_ causes the irrealis in the verb. Once
it's established that the deed is done (by "whoever"), it's a fact
that it's unjust: no need for the irrealis.

_herne_ "other" is only used for people; "another thing" is _hyrn_.

_falen mena_, literally "to give into danger", has the connotation of
either abandoning someone to a dangerous situation, or knowingly
pushing them into it.

na.lunie       dilat
NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_lun_ "just", "justice"; not the law as written, but the rules laid
down by the gods; _nalun_ is its contradiction "injustice". The
instrumental case makes an adverb: _nalunie dilat_ "acts unjustly".

Salea ania rodet lea le rina      Whoever attacks someone who can't
naverat, nalunie dilat.           defend himself, does an unjust

salea    ania         rodet          lea    le   rina
ind-3s-C person-acc-s attack-3s-IRR  rel-C  refl defend-INF

na.verat        na.lunie       dilat
NEG-can-3s-PRS  NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_anie_ is a person's ethereal body, used here to mean the person as
a spiritual being, because members of the Guild of Anshen are mostly
concerned with danger to that part of a person.

Salea hania rodet, Nafurei        Whoever attacks an apprentice, even
fel, nalunie dilat.               one of the Nameless One, does an
                                  unjust deed.

salea    hania            rodet          Na.furei       fel
ind-3s-C apprentice-acc-s attack-3s-IRR  NEG-name-gen-s even

_hanie_ "adolescent" (about 11-15, no longer considered a child
but not fully adult yet) is also used for apprentices in a craft
guild, the Guild of Anshen or the competing Guild of the Nameless.
In the vocative (also _hanie_, the vocative case ending is -e like
the nominative of this noun class) it means "lad", "lass", "kid".

_Nafur_ "the Nameless": a god cast out of Heaven by Anshen because he
wanted to elevate himself above the One (the creator). For mythology,

His original name is Archan, but that's only used by his followers,
who are generally considered to be the bad guys.

Salea tarie arne razia rodet,     Whoever attacks a journeyman, being
nalunie dilat.                    a master himself, does an unjust

salea    tarie  arne razia            rodet
ind-3s-C master self journeyman-acc-s attack-3s-IRR

na.lunie       dilat
NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_tarie arne_ here modifies the missing _lea_ that's the subject of

Salea ania rodet lea ni           Whoever attacks someone not yet
razein sa tarsein namuy na        recovered from a journeyman's or a
lhynenat, nalunie dilat.          master's trial, does an unjust

salea    ania         rodet          lea    ni  razein        sa
ind-3s-C person-acc-s attack-3s-IRR  rel-C  NEG j.trial-abl-s or

tarsein       namuy   na   lhynenat        na.lunie       dilat
m.trial-abl.s not-yet NEGV recover-3s-PERF NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_ni_ is the negation for anything except the verb; _razein sa
tarsein_ is one constituent so it needs only one _ni_ (_ni razein ni
tarsein_ would mean "neither the journeyman's trial nor the master's
trial", which doesn't make sense here).

_na_ is the negation for the verb. It is mandatory when anything else
in the sentence is negated, even if there's something like _namuy_
"not yet" present.

Salea imustyen falean             Whoever treats his adversary in a
nacodinet, nalunie dilat.         duel unfairly, does an unjust

salea    i.mustyen   falean      na.codinet
ind-3s-C d-fight-loc enemy-acc-s NEG-be.fair-3s-IRR

na.lunie       dilat
NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_imustyn_ has the dual prefix i-, indicating a fight between two
people, i.e. a duel. I don't know whether there ever was a set of
dual inflections to match the singular or plural ones; nowadays duals
are only distinguished by the prefix and take singular inflections.
Anyway, the dual prefix in _imustyn_ doesn't mean that the word
itself is dual, it's not "a pair of fights" the way _ibest_ is "a
pair of tights".

Salea anea, semtea sa orea        Whoever uses psychic power, skill or
ryshet da le tiset fere,          force to serve his own ends, does an
nalunie dilat.                    unjust deed.

salea    anea         semtea      sa orea        ryshet
ind-3s-C energy-acc-s skill-acc-s or force-acc-s use-3s-IRR

_anea_ is living energy, the stuff the ethereal body is made of;
_semta_ is the fact of being gifted (and trained); _orea_ is mastery
that gives power.

da         le  tiset        fere na.lunie       dilat
in order.. rel serve-3s-IRR NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS

_le tisa_ "to serve oneself" is in the irrealis because the
self-serving is only the aim of "whoever", not a certain result of
the misuse of power in any form. The whole phrase _da le tiset fere_
could also have been between _orea_ and _ryshet_ (Valdyan is firmly
SOV, with the verb sentence-final almost without exception), but that
would have made the sentence so unwieldy that it's been pushed out.
This also gives it slight emphasis.

Salea anea, semtea sa orea        Whoever uses psychic power, skill or
ryshet hernen vur, nalunie        force against another, does an
dilat; dilynet liz mustyen        unjust deed; except when it is in
codien.                           a fair fight.

salea    anea         semtea      sa orea        ryshet
ind-3s-C energy-acc-s skill-acc-s or force-acc-s use-3s-IRR

hernen      vur     na.lunie       dilat      dilynet       liz
other-dat-s against NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS  happen-3s-IRR except

_vur_ "against" is a postposition with the dative. There's a shift
from prepositions to postpositions going on; a notable example is
_az_ "(together) with" that's still a preposition, except with
pronouns where it's even become a suffix _-ez_: _az taten_ "with
father", but _liez_ (from _lei-ez_) "with him", _aniez_ "with us".

_liz_ used with nouns is also a postposition: "except", "without";
with verbs it means "except when", "unless".

mustyen     codien
fight-loc-s fair-loc-s

_mustyn_: this time the fight is not necessarily between only two

Salea hernei anea ryshet          Whoever uses another's power without
naperie, donalunie dilat;         his permission does a very unjust
ayali soli nusen mena malat.      deed; he should give it back in
                                  double measure.

salea    hernei      anea          ryshet      na.perie
ind-3s-C other-gen-s energy-acc-s  use-3s-IRR  NEG-permit-instr

do.nalunie          dilat     ayali  soli  nusen mena     malat
very-NEG-just-instr do-3s-PRS p-3p-N twice back  give-INF must-3s-PRS

_do-_ augmentative prefix; there's also a diminutive prefix _ta-_ and
an "equalizing" prefix _a-_ (probably related to the "generalizing
plural"): _moy_ "large", _domoy_ "larger", _tamoy_ "smaller", _amoy_
"the same size".

_ayali_ "everything", the neuter plural third-person pronoun _ali_
with a generalizing a- and the anti-hiatus -y-.

_soli_ "twice" is composed of the neuter singular third-person
pronoun with the prefix _so-_ "... times". Numerals are not declined,
except _chan_ "one"; "two" is expressed by the dual third person
pronouns _ilea_ for animates and _ili_ for inanimates.

_nusen_ "back (where it came from)", "backwards" is originally the
dative of _nus_ "reverse side", "a person's back".

Salea shean tisenat nashean       Whoever has served the Light and
so tiseset purie, lodyinan        willingly goes to serve the Dark,
dynat aniez so le lea nysat       loses his rights and is banned from
nafarei datay nusenet.            among us until he returns from the
                                  error of his ways.

salea    shean       tisenat       na.shean        so  tiseset
ind-3s-C light-acc-s serve-3s-PERF NEG.light-acc-s and serve-3s-INC-IRR

_tisenat_ "has served": the perfective aspect, marked by -en-,
implies that one is no longer doing whatever the verb indicates.

_so_ is after the first constituent of the clause, _nashean_.

_tiseset_ has the inceptive aspect marker, -es-, indicating that
serving the Dark is about to begin; the sanction comes into effect as
soon as one defects.

purie      lodyinan    dynat       aniez   so  le   lea  nysat
will-instr right-acc-p lose-3s-PRS 1p-with and refl 3s-C send.away-3s-PRS

Note _aniez_ "with us". Older texts have _az ani_. The temptation to
read _lodyinan dynat aniez / so le lea nysat_ is great, but _aniez_
belongs with _nysat_: "is sent away from our midst".

The anaphoric _le_ refers back to "whoever", the grammatical object
of _lea nysat_. This is the closest to passive voice that Valdyan

na.farei     datay nusenet
NEG-goal-abl until return-3s-PERF-IRR

_nafar_ "error, wrong way" both literally and figuratively.

_datay_ "until" takes the future if the outcome is certain ("cook
until it's done"), the irrealis (as in this case) if it's uncertain.
The perfective marker makes it clear that one is not received back
until *after* repenting.