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6. Kēlen by Sylvia Sotomayor

Texts | Grammar | Vocabulary | Notes
Previous (Eugene Oh, Classical Arithide) | Next (Alex Fink, Sabasasaj)


la liēn sū anālhāri anālri jahāwa
ñi antāoni anhūwi rājapēxa;
la jāo pa anhē ja
ñi antāoni antāλi rājapēxa;
ñi nāra lemōra
ñi antāoni antāλi rājapēxa;
se jīxōsa cī ānen anwālte annāra
il anpēxeni ī ñi rājapēxa;
  Smooth English

I am at the edge of the stormy sea, and the breaking waves retreat away.
This is a good thing, the wild waves retreat away.
All my dreams become the wild waves retreat away.
Let's passionately look again a final time [they] retreat away.




Basic Clause Structure

[[conjunction] [[[relational] [substantive/object of relational]] [other phrases] [clausal modifier]] [mood marker]]


There are no verbs. Instead, there are 4 relationals: LA, PA, NI, and SE.

  • LA [object] states that something exists, generally in a state or location
  • LA [object1] PA [object2] states that object1 exists and contains object2 as a part or attribute
  • PA [object1] [object2] is the equivalent of above
  • NI [object] states that something has come into existence, or changed its state or location
  • SE [object] states that something exists with a source and/or a beneficiary/recipient/goal

LA and SE can inflect for tense and aspect. NI and PA do not. With NI it is assumed that the change of state is completed. PA is assumed to have a timeless aspect.

NI and SE can inflect for person. When NI inflects for person, that person is the agent of the change in existence, state, or location. When SE inflects for person, that person is either the source or beneficiary, or both.

LA is used for simple statements. NI is used for motion as well as what I said above. SE is used for transactions, such as giving/receiving, and for speech and experiences.

Sometimes two clauses with the same relational will be juxtaposed rather than joined with conjunctions or a relative pronoun. In this case the objects of each relational are assumed to be related to each other. Two clauses without conjunctions and with different relationals are also assumed to be talking about the same subject, though there the second clause is an elaboration of the first or introduces new information about the first.

Substantives Inflections

Substantives (nouns and adjectives, essentially) are animate or inanimate or stative (indicate states or abstractions). Substantives are singular, plural, or collective.

  animate inanimate stative
sg m-N-a/e/0 j-N-a/e/0 an-N-a/e/0
pl m-N-ien j-N-i 
coll m-N-i an-N-i 

-i becomes -e after a/ā

Some substantives are obligatorily possessed. These do not inflect for number.

These are also considered to be the equivalent of inanimate singular for agreement purposes.

  • l/le- possessed by 1p
  • r/ri- possessed by 2p
  • s/sa- possessed by 3p

Two substantives in apposition with the same inflection refer to the same entity. Two substantives in apposition with different inflections refer to a whole and its part.

Locative Phrases

Locative phrases consist of a locative preposition, a substantive, and an optional post-positional modifier. When the substantive is not named or is too abstract to be named and there is a post-pos modifier, the morpheme -j(a)- is used in place of the substantive and everything is joined together into a single word.

Adverbial Phrases

Clause-level modifiers modify the whole clause, making them the equivalent of adverbs. There are several single word clausal modifiers, as well as at least two productive ways of making new ones. One way is to use the preposition ānen with a stative. Another is to use the preposition il plus any substantive to make a time phrase.



  • -ālhār- [S] ocean, sea;
  • -ālr- [S] storm;
  • ānen [Prep] with; also governs adverbial phrases
  • cī [Mood] commissive/promissive, jussive, or cohortative mood marker
  • -hāw- [S] edge, end;
  • -hē- [S] good;
  • -hūw- [S] broken into pieces;
  • il [Prep] governs adverbial time phrases
  • ī [Cl.Mod] also, again; a clause-level modifier
  • -īxōs- [S] looked at again;
  • ja [PN] it, this, that; a relative pronoun
  • jāo [PN] it, this, that; an abstract definite pronoun
  • la [R] LA; see grammar
  • liēn [PN]
  • -mōr- [S] dream
  • -nār- [S] universe; whole; strong, powerful;
  • nāra [Post.Mod] all; a post-positional modifier
  • ñi [R] NI; see grammar
  • pa [R] PA; see grammar
  • pēxa [Post.Mod] away, far; a post-positional modifier
  • -pēxen- [S] last, final, ultimate;
  • rā [Prep] to; a locative preposition
  • sū [Prep] at, on; a locative preposition
  • se [R] SE; see grammar
  • -tāon- [S] wave;
  • -tāλ- [S] chaotic, wild; random, chancy;
  • -wālt- [S] emotion, feeling;



Being poetry, some of the syntactic rules mentioned above are broken.

This was rewritten somewhatly from the previous torch to correspond to a certain meter:

  • line A: short-long-long short-long-long short-short-long short-short-long short
  • line B: short-short-long short-short-long short-long short-long short
  • line C: short-long short-short-long short

The pattern in this verse is A-B C-B C-B A-B

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