Archive for April, 2014

Test Sentences, 54

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. Among the wheat grew tall red poppies.

This uses the same structure as yesterday’s sentence.

76. dappɛbɨdi hɛnɨdi sɨŋyɨdi alanduso gamaɬi olaya dɛstɛ.

dappɛbɨdi
poppy.MTpl
hɛnɨdi
red.MTpl
sɨŋyɨdi
tall.MTpl
alan-
across
duso
duso.IMP
gamaɬi
wheat.SSpl
olaya
upwards
dɛstɛ
I’m told

In Kēlen:

76. la jamāli japēwi janēli jasīñi sū anhamāji āñ;

la
LA
jamāli
flowers
japēwi
milky
janēli
red
jasīñi
tall
at
anhamāji
wheat
āñ
among

Questions?

Test Sentences, 53

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. Between the two lofty mountains lay a fertile valley.

Between! That means a new verb: duso. And that means I have now used all 11 verbs. Yay, me!

duso means to go back and forth from one point to another. To make a path between two points, we prefix duso with alamya making alanduso. And even though the valley is not actually moving, we still use alanduso.

75. gyɨdɨdɛn gegyelɨdɛn alanduso laɬi laddɨŋyi ɛni dɛstɛ.

gyɨdɨdɛn
valley.MTsg
gegyelɨdɛn
fertile.MTsg
alan-
across
duso
duso.IMP
laɬi
mountain.SSpl
laddɨŋyi
lofty.SSpl
ɛni
two.SSpl
dɛstɛ
I’m told

In Kēlen:

75. la jajīra sū jalāji jasīñi ēnne āñ;

la
LA
jajīra
valley
at
jalāji
mountains
jasīñi
tall
ēnne
two
āñ
between

Questions?

Test Sentences, 52

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. Near the mouth of the river, its course turns sharply towards the East.

Hmm. This is a description of the river’s path. Which means we get to use some neato path words, one of which we’ve already seen: edatta “entrance, beginning of a path”. For this sentence we will use mɛddatta “end of a path” and hɨddatta “turn in a path”.

74. tanan dantɨŋi daka nokiɬi mɛddatta tɨŋi hɨddatta aŋana notɨŋi sandɨŋi dɛstɛ.

tanan
river.MTsg
dan-
along
tɨŋi
tɨŋi.IMP
daka
path
no-
towards
kiɬi
kiɬi.IMP
mɛddatta
end of path
tɨŋi
tɨŋi.IMP
hɨddatta
turn
aŋana
sharp
no-
towards
tɨŋi
tɨŋi.IMP
sandɨŋi
east
dɛstɛ
I’m told

The river goes along its path and goes towards its end and goes to a sharp turn and goes towards the east. We could probably omit dantɨŋi daka.

In Kēlen:

74. ñi jatāna rā jatōrren nō rānnie ānen anāŋŋena;

ñi
NI
jatāna
river
to
jatōrren
end
towards
rānnie
to east
ānen
with
anāŋŋena
sharpness

Questions?

Test Sentences, 51

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. When will your guests from the city arrive?

OK a question with an actual question word. This took a little thinking, and I think I am satisfied by how I did this, but I reserve the right to change it later.

First, for guests, we use madɛlɛ. Arriving is susi N ono where N is arriving. Guests from the city requires a relative clause, and I am going to use “other village” rather than “city”: madɛlɛ ma dɛspɛ hɨde tɨŋi.

Now for the question word “when”. For this we are going to use the phrase baŋi ɨlɨŋi which means “which time” or “some time”. We will also use the dubitive dɛmɛ as we did in other questions.

73. susi madɛlɛna ma dɛspɛ hɨde tɨŋi ono baŋi ɨlɨŋi dɛmɛ.

susi
here
madɛlɛna
guest.MTpl
ma
REL
dɛspɛ
village.SSsg
hɨde
other.SSsg
tɨŋi
tɨŋi.IMP
ono
ono.IMP
baŋi
which
ɨlɨŋi
time.SSsg
dɛmɛ
DUB

In Kēlen:

73. ñi malāsēli rū jamāonre rā þō ilkēñ;

ñi
NI
malāsēli
guests
from
jamāonre
city
to
þō
here
il-
when
kēñ
Q

Questions?

loud is ozänes

Sunday, April 27th, 2014
ozänes = loud (adjective) (some things Google found for "ozanes": an uncommon term; Ozanes is the name of a place in Asturias, Spain; a very rare last name; user names; a gaming character name; similar Ozane is an unusual last name; similar Ozane is a rare first name)

Word derivation for "loud (of sound)":
Basque = ozen, Finnish = äänekäs
Miresua = ozänes

There are other words that can mean loud in Basque.

The word loud occurs in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This quote comes from the chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill.
"We must burn the house down!" said the Rabbit's voice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, "If you do. I'll set Dinah at you!"

Test Sentences, 50

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. During our residence in the country we often walked in the pastures.

Let’s deal with the second half first. We often walked in the pastures or fields uses eyaŋi “move about in”. leni eyaŋi mɨŋyi ɨnavi.

Now for the first part. Country here is “countryside” as opposed to “city”. I am not sure this conceptual distinction exists in my language. So, we are going to use da sota “this place”. And “during our residence” is “while we dwelled” because I don’t want to create an abstract noun “residence”. leni kohɨdɛn eyɛmɛ da sota.

To join the two pieces, we use na which would be the equivalent of “while, during”.

72. leni kohɨdɛn eyɛmɛ da sota na leni eyaŋi mɨŋyi ɨnavi.

leni
1P.MTco
kohɨdɛn
home.MTsg
ey-
in
ɛmɛmɛ
ɛmɛmɛ.IMP
da
that.SSsg
sota
place.SSsg
na
when
leni
1P.MTco
ey-
in
aŋi
aŋi.IMP
mɨŋyi
fields
ɨnavi
often

In Kēlen:

72. il ñalna jamāra sū xō il ñi lēim rā jamāesi āñ ilnāja;

il
when
ñ-
NI
alna
1PC.excl.A
jamāra
home
at
there
il
then
ñi
NI
lēim
1PC.excl
to
jamāesi
fields
āñ
among
ilnāja
often

Questions?

Test Sentences, 49

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. On the top of the hill in a little hut lived a wise old woman.

Way back in episode 8 I discussed the pattern SRC LOC mɛhaŋi ko as “SRC makes a home in|dwells in|lives in LOC”. But that gets a bit unwieldy with a complex location like “on the top of the hill in a little hut”. So, an alternative construction involves the verb ɛmɛmɛ, which we haven’t used yet. Specifically, it involves ey-ɛmɛmɛ in the construction SRC ko-hɨdɛn ey-ɛmɛ LOC, which leaves room for a complex LOC.

71. kyɛnɛ tɛta syena kohɨdɛn eyɛmɛ laka ɨsa da tɛndɛ lɛnɛ da olat dɛstɛ.

kyɛnɛ
woman.MTsg
tɛta
old.MTsg
syena
wise.MTsg
kohɨdɛn
home.MTsg
ey-
in
ɛmɛmɛ
ɛmɛmɛ.IMP
laka
hut.SSsg
ɨsa
little.SSsg
da
REL
tɛndɛ
tɛndɛ.IMP
lɛnɛ
hill
da
PS
olat
top
dɛstɛ
I’m told

In Kēlen:

71. ñamma jamāra ā macēna mahēna masōnen sū jakō jīña sū jalāīñ ōl;

ñ-
NI
amma
3SG.A
jamāra
home
ā
A
macēna
woman
mahēna
old
masōnen
wise
at
jakō
hut
jīña
little
at
jalāīñ
hill
ōl
on top

Questions?

Translation Challenge: The Scientific Method

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The other day, when I was reading io9, I came across an article about One of the World’s First Statements About the Scientific Method. The article is about a quote by Alhazen – Ibn al-Haytham, an Arab polymath of the 10th/11th cenutry –, the quotation from his book Doubts Concerning Ptolemy (Al-Shukūk ‛alā Baṭlamyūs). I don’t know how accurate the translation is, but I thought that it would still be nice as a Translation Challenge, so I’m basing the following translation off of this English translation, since I don’t know any Arabic. Unfortunately, there is no indication of the edition the translated passage is quoted from. According to one of the comments on the article, the source of this quotation is the closing passage of Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist by Bradley Steffens. Contrary to what it says in the comment, however, there is a critical translation of Alhazen’s book into English by Don L. Voss, published in 1985 as a Ph.D. thesis at the University of Chicago, but it doesn’t seem to be easily available outside of UChicago. Since I don’t have access to either book, I’m quoting this from the io9 article:

The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration and not the sayings of human beings whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of of its content, attack it from every side. [H]e should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.

What struck me as challenging here is that this rather lengthy quotation consists of just three sentences with both a complex structure and interesting vocabulary that exceeds that of daily language, e.g. seeker after truth, the ancients, natural disposition, deficiency, investigate, … However, since I don’t like too complex sentences in Ayeri, I split the three sentences in the quote up into multiple sentences, which makes translation a bit easier. The first sentence especially also lends itself well to using anaphora and parallelism as a stylistic device. The English text also does that, but obscures it a little by using a lot of coordinated clauses in a single sentence.

Balang
Seek
kalam
truth
-maya
-AGTZ
-ang
-A
voy
NEG
nyān
person
-as
-P
si
REL
le
PT.INAN
sobisa
study
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
tahang
writing
-ye
-PL
-T
timbay
ancient
-an
-NMLZ
-ena
-GEN
nay
and
parona
trust
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
suhing
nature
-ya
-LOC
yana
3SG.M.GEN
nasyam.
according.to.

‘The truth-seeker is not a person who studies the writings of the ancient and trusts in them according to his nature.’

Adanya
That.one
-ang
-A
nāreng
rather
nyān
person
-as
-P
si
REL
sa
PT
birenya
doubt
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
paronān
trust
-T
yana
3SG.M.GEN
nay
and
sa
PT
nikang
question
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
adanya
that.one
-T
si
REL
sob
learn
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
ray.
3PL.INAN.INS.

‘He is rather a person who doubts his trust and questions what he learns from them.’

Adanya
That.one
-ang
-A
māy
AFF
nyān
person
-as
-P
si
REL
ya
LOCT
sitang=
self=
avan
subject
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
mandan
argumentation
-T
nay
and
pukatan
proof
-Ø,
-T,
nāroy
but.not
narān
word
-ya
-LOC
keynam
people
-ena
-GEN
=nama
=mere
si
REL
-GEN
-nā
-GEN
suhing
nature
-ang
-A
tan
3PL.M.GEN
deng
full
miran
kind
-ye
-PL
-ri
-INS
=hen
=all
sempay
perfect
-arya
-NEG
-na
-GEN
nay
and
sinka
flaw
-ye
-PL
-na.
-GEN.

‘He is a person who subjects himself to argumentation and proof, but not to the word of mere humans the nature of which is full of all kinds of imperfections and flaws.’

Dila
find.out
-yam
-PTCP
-an
-NMLZ
-ang
-A
kalam
truth
-ena
-GEN
bahalan
goal
-as
-P
ayon
man
-ena
-GEN
si
REL
le
PT.INAN
nivisa
investigate
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
tahang
writing
-ye
-GEN
-T
sobisaya
scholar
-ye
-PL
-na,
-GEN,
ruān
duty
-as
-P
yana
3SG.M.GEN
kada,
thus,
sa
PT
tav
become
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
kehin
enemy
-T
enya
everything
-na
-GEN
si
REL
laya
read
-yāng.
-3SG.M.A.

‘If finding out the truth is the goal of the man who investigates the writings of the scholars, his duty is thus for him to become the enemy of everything he reads.’

Na
GENT
pakua
apply
-yāng
-3SG.M.A
tenuban
reason
-as
-P
yana
3SG.M.GEN
terpeng
center
-yam
-DAT
nay
and
lito
margin
-yam
-DAT
erar
content
-T
nay
and
ang
AT
kongr
attack
-ya
-3SG.M.A
ray
side
-ena
-GEN
=hen.
=every.

‘He applies his reason to the center and the margin of the content and attacks it from every side.’

Ang
AT
mya
be.supposed.to
birenya
doubt
-ya
-3SG
-T
sitang=
self=
yās
3SG.M.P
naynay
as.well
ling
during
nivisān
investigation
-j
-PL
-ya
-LOC
yana,
3SG.M.GEN,
kadāre
so.that
ang
AT
mya
may
manang
avoid
-ya
-3SG
-T
tav
become
-yam
-PTCP
kimbisan
prey
-as
-P
adun
prejudice
-ena
-GEN
soyang
or
tataman
leniency
-ena.
-GEN.

‘He is to doubt himself as well during his investigations so that he may avoid becoming the prey of prejudice or leniency.’

The whole text:

4092-alhazenquote
Balangkalamayāng voy nyānas si le sobisayāng tahangye timbayanyena nay paronayāng suhingya yana nasyam. Adanyāng nāreng nyānas si sa birenyayāng paronān yana nay sa nikangyāng adanya si sobyāng ray. Adanyāng māy nyānas si ya sitang-avanyāng mandan nay pukatan, nāroy narānya keynamena-nama sinā suhingang tan deng miranyeri-hen sempāryana nay sinkayena. Dilayamanang kalamena bahalanas ayonena si le nivisayāng tahangye sobisayayena, ruānas yana kada, sa tavyāng kehin enyana si layayāng. Na pakuayāng tenubanas yana terpengyam nay litoyam erar nay ang kongrya rayena-hen. Ang mya birenyaya sitang-yās naynay ling nivisānjya yana, kadāre ang mya manangya tavyam kimbisanas adunena soyang tatamanena.

[Added pretty scriptie and recording; fixed some errors and redundancies both in translation and in wording. —CB, 2014-05-09]

Revisiting Bryatesle: Phonology and nouns

Friday, April 25th, 2014
I have now postponed updating Bryatesle for almost a decade. Since it was (and still is) a language with some potential greatness, I will now go on developing it on this blog. But first, an overview.

Phonology

Bryatesle basically has these vowels, all showcasing length distinction:
i  ɨ   u
ɛ   
     ɑ

The following consonant phonemes are present:
p b ɸ ʋ m t̪ d̪ s̪ z̪ l̪ n̪ t̙ʲ d̙ʲ rʲ̙ ɕ lʲ̙ n̙ʲ k g x 
Orthographically, these are represented as p b f w m t d s z l n ţ ḑ ŗ ş ļ ņ k g h. Some morphophonological alterations happen between some of them - especially, short words tend to avoid having two dental or two postalveolar consonants of the same kind of articulation close together.

For the moment, allophony will not be presented in any greater detail, nor will phonotax.

Grammar


The Noun

The noun, like in Indo-European languages come in three genders - masculine, feminine and neuter. This is fairly boring, but opens some fairly intriguing possibilities. Bryatesle's case system consists of two partially parallel systems. For lack of a better terminology, I have decided to call these primary and secondary cases.

Primary Cases

The six primary cases line up in a kind of two-by-three system: nominative vs. accusative, dative vs. ablative, vocative vs. exclamative. 

The nominative and accusative distinguish subjects from objects. Nominal complements of verbs also agree with the subject or object noun that they pertain too. Neuter nouns do not distinguish nominative from accusative; however, neuter subjects of transitive verbs take a masculine nominative determiner, essentially forming a kind of periphrastic ergative.

The dative and ablative both figure in ways quite typical of Indo-European languages; 

The vocative and exclamative form a pair of opposites. The vocative is used to attract the attention of someone - usually a person - to the listener, the exclamative on the other hand draws the attention of the listeners to a person or a thing. These are not all the uses of them - they also have uses that verge onto information structure, pragmatics and social interaction.

Secondary Cases

The secondary cases come in a much more haphazard bunch. Some agglutinate, some are more fusional. The full list consists of possessed, definite, partitive, the reciprocal object, the secondary subject, negativity agreement and suggestion marking. The possessed secondary case marks nouns that are the property of, or otherwise in some significant relation to another noun, usually some salient argument in the phrase or a nearby noun in the dative. The exact uses of the partitive will require a post of its own, as will the reciprocal objects and secondary subjects. Suggestion marking is often used with the exclamative, but also with some other nouns. Its main role is to communicate that the statement is a suggestion. The definite case is fairly similar to English 'the', but with more syntactic restrictions.


Number

Bryatesle has singular and plural numbers, and to a small extent an undefined number. This final number is highly restricted in usage - mainly appearing in compounds. The undefined number distinguishes two cases, nominative and non-nominative.

Morphological tables will appear at some point.



Test Sentences, 48

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Continuing with Gary’s list:

  1. The first boy in the line stopped at the entrance.

The first boy in line is the subject of the sentence, and it is rendered as the line’s first boy galanɨd da koda andana and he goes to the entrance edatta and then he stands there, all stopped or unmoving vodakya.

70. galanɨd da koda andana otni edatta ladi mava sɛttɛ vodakya dɛstɛ.

galanɨd
queue.SSsg
da
PS
koda
boy.MTsg
andana
first.MTsg
otni
tɨŋi.PRF
edatta
entrance.SSsg
ladi
and then
mava
3P.MTsg
sɛttɛ
sɛdɛ.PRF
vodakya
unmovingly
dɛstɛ
I’m told

In Kēlen:

70. ñi mamōīñ sū jañūna jānne mōrre sū anxūri;

ñi
NI
mamōīñ
boy
at
jañūna
line
jānne
beginning
mōrre
stopped
at
anxūri
gates

Questions?