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9. gjâ-zym-byn by Jim Henry

Texts | Grammar Guide | Glossary | Abbreviations
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čârm ol ƴâ-zô

pwĭm-daj-źa ij θâŋ-twâl-van, tyn lŏ i klâl-vĭj-van te. čârm ol ƴâ-Ḱ-zô, gâ-lŏ mĭ-i ĝyl-van ĝân-bô. te ŝu-i ĝyl mĭ-i dy-cô-faj heŋ ŋĭn-i; te kâ-i pwĭ-Ḱ-van. čârm mĭ-i źy-Ḱ-van, hŏŋ čârm ĝân-bô ol ƴâ-zô. vĭj lŏ i ruŋ-ra-van Ḱŏ vo-ho te, te ŝu-i ĝân kâ-i žâw-Ḱ-van. ŋe kâ-i sru-van rĭm-van, tyn kŏ ir, kiň čârm ol ƴâ-zô.
  Smooth English

I went through the waves

I sat near the sea, where it goes on crashing. I went through the waves, which break violently. Their breaking is irresistable; I enjoy it. I dream about the waves, that I went through them. When they go forward and backward, I feel their intensity. I want to see it, far from here, and go through the waves.
Smooth English of Asha'ille Text

I went through the waves

I sat near the ocean where it crashes continually. I went into the fiercely breaking waves. Their crashing is uncontrollable, and I enjoy it. I dream thus about them: I went through the uncontrollable waves. When the waves repeatedly advance and recede, I feel their strength. I want to see it afar, and go through the waves.


Grammar Overview


gjâ-zym-byn (gzb) 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, ?} 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 (and agentive) verb. {-van} marks a stative (but not necessarily non-agentive) verb. Subject pronouns can be incorporated into the verb. Sequences of verbs work as in English, with the auxiliary verb first.

Number is not obligatorily marked on nouns.

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 at the end of a clause or sentence, the subject postposition can be omitted. gjâ-zym-byn allows for omitting the subject when it is the same as in the previous sentence; at the beginning of a discourse, the default subject is first-person.



  • bô suff. form adjectives from quality nouns
  • cô suff. opposite, reverse, contradictory quality
  • čârm n. wave, waveform (esp. in water, other liquids)
  • daj suff. a set or mass of ~ of the same kind in the same place, a mass or collection of ~
  • dy n. endurance, tolerance
  • dy-cô n. resistance, counteraction
  • faj suff. able to have ~ done to it
  • gâ n. thing, item, discrete object
  • ĝân n. ardor, intensity, extremity, passion
  • ĝyl n. interruption, breaking off, miscarriage, crash; unexpected ending
  • heŋ mod. not; no
  • ho postp. toward the back of
  • hŏŋ conj. that (introduces subordinate clauses)
  • i postp. at, with
  • ij postp. near
  • ir postp. far from
  • kâ n. noticing, focusing one's attention upon
  • kâ-i postp. attentive case postposition; marks objects of thought and perception verbs
  • kiň conj. and
  • klâl n. crashing, clashing, clattering (sound)
  • kŏ mod. this here (first-person demonstrative)
  • Ḱ pron. I, me
  • ķŏ mod. append spatial postposition(s) to this particle to get direction adverbs
  • lŏ mod. which (relativizer)
  • mĭ n. topic, subject, theme
  • mĭ-i postp. topic case postposition
  • ŋe pron. it (plants, inanimate things, abstractions not yet mentioned)
  • ŋĭn n. comment, explanation, description; gloss, definition (of words)
  • ŋĭn-i postp. comment case postposition
  • ol postp. through (of movement)
  • pwĭ n. joy, delight, enjoyment
  • pwĭm n. liquid water
  • ra suff. repeatedly; intermittently
  • rĭm n. seeing, vision
  • ruŋ n. going, coming, moving
  • sru n. wanting, desiring
  • ŝu n. possessing, having (quality, part, faculty)
  • te pron. it (plants, inanimate things, abstractions already mentioned)
  • twâl n. interior angle; inner corner
  • twâl-van v. bending, flexing
  • θâŋ n. waist; lap; hips
  • tyn n. location, situation, place
  • van suff. stative verb suffix
  • vĭj n. time, duration, while; continuous/progressive aspect marker
  • vo postp. toward the front of
  • ƴâ n. motion with continuous adjustment, e.g. walking, swimming, running etc.
  • zô suff. active verb suffix
  • žâw n. to feel, sense, perceive
  • źa suff. augmentation of root meaning; (with units of measure) kilo-
  • źy n. dreaming (unreal experiences during REM sleep)



  • conj. conjunction
  • dem. demonstrative
  • mod. modifier (adjective/adverb)
  • n. noun
  • postp. postposition
  • pron. pronoun
  • suff. suffix

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