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15. mërèchi by Amanda Furrow

Texts | Grammar Guide | Glossary
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íclë lielúc tënëtëpémëv'a. raplièl tëlalilitànsöv'n, të lièl àc tëmëapàsav'n. raplièlic katëküartëtëhév'a, të tëtyraisödàfav'a. tínyëv'a à nëdipasàpia'art ànëdi raplièlannö apatívba. lítac tëlalilitànsöp'n, sëlàpiac ùngë àcash tëshàpüp'a. raplièl tëtérasav'n të àc tàpatlicav'n.

Hear it!
  Smooth English

Once I sat near the ocean.
A wave broke, and water swept over me.
I did not try to fight against the wave, and I was made happy.
I dreamed about the coming near to me of the waves from far away.
When it broke, I felt its stroke on me the whole time.
The wave could travel, and it took me far away.


Grammar Guide


Mërèchi features postpositional phrases, and in noun phrases all modifiers except the article follow the noun. Word order is SOV in declarative sentences, but heavy multi-word phrases may sometimes come after the verb, especially if they are not core (nominative or accusative) arguments.

While mërèchi has a definite article, à, plural àn, it is used less frequently than in English. One use is to signal a noun in an unexpected place.

The true case suffixes are the accusative (-c or -ic) and the possessive (-gë). The possessive usually attaches only to pronouns, names and nouns denoting persons; otherwise the genitive postposition -nö will be used.

When a postposition beginning in a vowel follows a word ending in a vowel, it may appear offset by an apostrophe.

There are two plural forms in mërèchi: the normal plural and the collective plural. The ordinary plural is -t or -et; the collective plural, denoting all X, a mass of X, or a hypothetical amount of X, is -n or -an.

Verbs take an optional negative prefix, an optional tense or mood prefix, optional derivational prefixes and suffixes (such as the causative, passive, inceptive, abilitative, and equative), a mandatory aspect suffix, and a mandatory pronoun/agreement suffix. The pronoun/ agreement suffix is traditionally offset from the verb proper by an apostrophe. If no tense or mood prefix appears, the verb is in present tense.


       ka- ki- tínidë   -p  -a
       NEG FT  remember IMP 1P.SG
       "I will not remember"

Perfective aspect is used for simple past actions; imperfective is used in the past tense to show that someone habitually used to do something, or was doing it for some time; or when used in two clauses coordinated with litàc "when", it shows that both actions took place during the complete duration of the other.

Pronouns can appear as verb suffixes, in which case they agree with or are the subject of the verb, or they can appear elsewhere as independent words with a case or postpositional suffix. If the sentence appears to have no subject, the subject is the pronoun on the verb. Otherwise, the subject will be the noun without a case suffix or postposition, and will agree with the pronoun on the verb.

The equative suffix -sö creates a verb meaning "to be X", where X is the root to which it is affixed and is either a noun or adjective:

èchi                            hot
èchisö                          to be hot



 -a:   pron.   suff. 1st p. s. (I)
 à:    art.    the (sing.)
 à:    pron.   1st person singular
 -an:  part.   suff. collective plural for nouns ending in consonants
 apatív:       n.      far away, afar
 àpatlica:     v.      to carry far away
 -art: adp.    suff. about, concerning
 -ba:  adp.    suff. from
 -c:   part.   suff. accusative (after vowels)
 -cash:        adp.    suff. on
 -dà:  deriv.  suff. makes verb causative
 -fa:  deriv.  suff. makes verb passive
 -gë:  part.   suff. possessive
 -hé:  deriv.  suff. attemptive: to try to
 -ic:  part.   suff. accusative (after consonants)
 íclë: adv.    once, at a certain time, Once Upon A Time
 ínyë: v.      to dream
 ka-:  part.   pref. negation; not
 küartëtë:     v.      to oppose, fight
 lilitàn:      n.      foam, bubbles
   lalilitànsö: v. "become foam"; of a wave, to break
 lièl: n.      water
 lielú:        n.      ocean
 lítac:        adv.    when
 mëapàsa:      v.      to pass over, to move over the top of
 -n:   pron.   suff. 3rd p. s. (it)
 -nëdi:        adp.    suff. toward
 nëdipasà:     v.      to come toward
 nëtëpémë:     v.      to sit near
 -nö:  adp.    suff. of
 -p:   part.   suff. imperfective aspect (after vowels)
 -pia: part.   suff. active participle noun; action nominalization
 rap-  part.   pref. a force or pulse of something
   raplièl: n. wave
 -sa:  deriv.  suff. potential of verb; to be able to
 shàpü:        v.      to feel via touch
 sëlà: v.      to stroke
 t-:   part.   pref. past tense (before vowels)
 tyraisö:      v.      to be happy, to be joyful
 téra: v.      to travel
 të:   conj.   and
 të-:  part.   pref. past tense (before consonants)
 ùn:   pron.   3rd p. s. (it)
 -v:   part.   suff. perfective aspect (after vowels)



 1st p. s.     1st person singular
 3rd p. s.     3rd person singular
 adp.  adposition
 adv.  adverb
 art.  article
 conj. conjunction
 deriv.        derivational particle
 n.    noun
 part. particle
 pref. prefix
 pron. pronoun
 suff. suffix
 v.    verb

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