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6. gjâ-zym-byn by Jim Henry

Texts | Grammar | Lexicon | Abbreviations
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gâ-mruň-ŋô gâ-lǒ tu-i gju-zô

vĭj kwǒ ðij, ƴâ-Ḱ-zô pjylm-pwĭm-daj-ja. gâ-mruň-ŋô ĥy-i trâw-zô Ḱ im plâŋ syj-i, nu-šar ku-Ḱ-van hǒŋ twâ-zô gâ kwǒ Φǒ: {*hwǒ-ħa, jyn-cô-van.}. gâ-mruň-ŋô ĥy-i šâ-zô kiň frâ-zô Φǒ {?gâ-mruň-ŋô ðu-gju-bô ŋĭn-i heŋ zǒn ťmĭ-i.}.

frâ-θaj-ƥ-zô Φǒ: {*vǒm, gâ-mruň-ŋô ðu-gju-bô ŋĭn-i Ḱ hyw-pôm.}.

nu-šar ƥ ŋâw-o frâ-Ḱ-zô Φǒ: {?sru-?-van zǒn Ḱ ŋâw-o ťŝu-i gě'dĭm-zla hǒl mĭ-i twâ-θuň-zô.}

frâ-θaj-ƥ-zô Φǒ: {?brâl-?-van zǒn, hǒŋ sru-van te mĭ-i kâ-ku-van. vǒm ĉǒ, wǒn ťŋâw-o twâ-θuň-Ḱ-zô.}

frâ-θaj pǒ gân-ř ĥul jâ-o Ḱ ʝâr-i, nu-šar gâ-mruň-ŋô ĥy-i pwĭm-daj oŋ bly-fwa-Ḱ-zô. vĭj reŋ i te kâ-i rĭm-van jǒj heŋ.
  Smooth English

"The Stone Which Speaks"

Some time ago, I walked along a beach. I struck a stone with my foot, and then heard something say "Ah, that hurts!" I picked up the stone and asked "You aren't a talking stone, are you?"

It replied, "Yes, I know from experience that I'm a talking stone."

Then I asked it, "Do you want to tell me about your whole life?"

It replied, "Are you sure you want to hear about it? If so, I'll tell you the story."

That reply made me angry, and I threw the stone into the sea. I won't see it again for a long time.
Smooth English Translation of the Tlharithad Text

"The Stone Which Spoke"

Some months ago I walked along a beach. Then my foot struck a stone on the path, and then I heard something say "Ow!" I picked up the stone and asked, "You aren't a talking stone, are you?"

It replied, "Yes! I know first-hand that I'm a talking stone."

Then I replied, "Do you want to tell me your life story?"

It replied, "If you want to hear the story, I will tell [it]."

That reply made me angry, and I threw the stone into the ocean. I won't see it again for a long time.




gjâ-zym-byn is an agglutinative language, fairly minimalistic lexically, which leads to some long and sometimes not perfectly perspicuous compounds. In the glossary I've listed mostly only the root words, particles and suffixes, but also listed a few compounds used in the text where they seemed especially hard to guess from the component morphemes. Feel free to email asking for help, or look at the online lexicon.

Root words are nominal, and are turned into verbs and modifiers–also postpositions and conjunctions–with appropriate suffixes. Compound postpostions, used to mark case roles, are formed using one of the core spacetime postpositions {i, o, ř} as a suffix on a root word for the appropriate abstract concept. I've listed a few of the most abstract compound postpositions in the glossary; others should be clear enough from their component morphemes.

The only verb suffixes used in the text are {-zô} and {-van}. {-zô} former marks an active (agentive) verb. {-van} marks a stative (but not necessarily non-agentive) verb.

The typical morpheme order in compounds is head-modifier, and modifiers follow their heads within phrasese as well.

Typical word order is OVS, but varies since subjects and objects are marked fairly explicity for theta roles with postpositions. Postpositional phrases almost always precede what they modify. Most complements tend to precede the direct object and verb. If the subject is in final position, the subject' case postposition can be omitted. gjâ-zym-byn allows for omitting the subject when it is the same as in the previous sentence, and in the first sentence of a narrative (or an utterance) the default subject, if unexpressed, is first-person singular.

Subject pronouns can be incorporated into verbs; they embed after the stem and just before the verb suffix.

Punctuation: all sentences end in a period. The question mark ? is placed at the beginning of a question, and the importance mark or asterisk * is placed at the beginning of an emphasized or excited sentence. The apostrophe or single quote ' marks syllable boundaries in polysyllabic roots. {curly brackets} are used as quotation marks.



bly n. flying, falling, orbit
suff. quality noun -> adjective
brâl n. certain, sure, confident
suff. reverse, contradictory quality (similar to E-o "mal-")
ĉǒ mod. if (counterfactual or unlikely condition)
daj suff. group or mass of things/stuff at the same place
ðij postp. before (time)
ðu n. ability, capacity, power
frâ n. question, inquiry
fwa suff. inducing a state of [root]; causative
n. thing, item, discrete object
gân n. cause; determining condition
gě'dĭm n. day (a being's sleep-wake cycle, from one waking to next)
gě'dĭm-zla n. life (period of time a creature lives, set of experiences)
gju n. speech; talking
heŋ mod. negative, not; no (response)
hǒl mod. whole, entire; wholly, entirely, fully, completely
hǒŋ conj. that (introduces subordinate clauses)
ħa suff. disapproval, dislike attitudinal suffix
hwǒ intj. exclamation of surprise
ĥul n. anger, fury, wrath
ĥy n. patient, thing acted on
ĥy-i postp. patient case postposition
hyw n. direct, interior knowledge; memory, experience
i postp. at, with, near
im postp. in (part of); of, belonging to (body parts)
ja suff. in accord with ~, suitable to ~; along, fitting ~
n. role, state, form
jâ-o postp. becoming case postposition
jǒj mod. more, again, additional, spare, extra
ʝâr n. experiencer
ʝâr-i postp. experiencer case postposition
jyn n. pleasure
n. noticing, focusing one's attention upon
kâ-i postp. attentive case postposition
kiň conj. and
Ќ pron. I, me
ku n. hearing
kwǒ mod. any, some of, some amount of
mod. who, which (relativizer)
n. topic, subject, theme
mĭ-i postp. topic case postposition
mruň n. mountain
mruň-ŋô n. stone, rock (substance)
nu n. time, moment, occasion
ŋâw n. calling, invoking, trying to get someone's attention
ŋĭn n. comment, explanation, description
ŋĭn-i postp. comment case postposition
ŋô suff. substance that's the primary incredient of ~
o postp. to, towards
postp. into
pjylm n. boundary, edge, surface (sharp)
plâŋ n. foot, feet
dem. that yonder
pôm suff. derive evidentiality adverb from root
ƥ pron. he, she, they (spirits, people, animals already mentioned)
pwĭm n. liquid water
Φǒ conj. quote conjunction
reŋ mod. many, much
rĭm n. seeing
ř postp. out of
šar suff. form conjunction from content root
šâ n. tote, carry, hold, lift, pick up
sru n. wanting, desiring
syj n use, means, instrument
ŝu n. possessing, having (qualities and attributes)
te pron. it (plants, inanimate things, abstractions already mentioned)
ť pron. you, y'all
trâw n. hitting, whacking, striking
tu n. actor, agent
tu-i postp. agent case postposition
twâ n. sentence; strophe of a poem; proverb, prophecy, quotation, aphorism
θaj suff. other member of asymmetrical relationship; complement of pair
θuň n. story, history, narrative
van suff. stative verb suffix
vĭj n. time, duration, while
vǒm mod. truly, certainly; yes
ƴâ n. motion with continuous adjustment, esp. walking
wǒn conj. therefore; thus (effective causation)
zla suff. the whole set of similar things
zǒn mod. whether...? interrogative adverb
suff. active verb suffix



conj. conjunction
dem. demonstrative
intj. interjection
mod. modifier (adjective or adverb)
n. noun
postp. postposition
pron. pronoun
suff. suffix

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