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11. gjâ-zym-byn by Jim Henry

Texts | Grammar | Lexicon
Previous (Kaleissin, Taruven) | Next (Tam Blaxter, Proto-Coastal-Western)


kîr'vy mĭ-i θuň

sĭ ro te si pě'hĭ ol ruŋ-zô mâ-ŝy prym-fwa tu-i. nu-šar ƥ ŋâw-o vy-zô gju-zô kîr'vy-vĭ ƴum-sô tu-i.

twâ-zô Φǒ: {!ku-ť-van mwe. flĭŋ ₣um-i ť prym-fwa mĭ-i; lyn-ny-ĉu ₣um-i ť im rĭm-ŋĭw mĭ-i. rě'ĵy kujm-o ť kâ-i gu-Ќ-zô.}

ce kâ-i ku-van ƥ-ŝy kiň pym-vuj-źa-van. {?lyn-ny-ĉu ₣um-i zǒn Ќ im rĭm-ŋĭw mĭ-i. ?gu-ť-zô zǒn Ќ kâ-i rě'ĵy kujm-o šelm. hwǒ vǒm, Ќ ŝu-i nĭm im twâ-θy dâ-bô zen ĉul-i ðu-ť-van heŋ twâ-zô. ĉǒ ðu-van, wǒn ť ŋâw-o vy-Ќ-van šelm twâ-zô.}

nu-šar twâ-zô kîr'vy Φǒ: {!ť ŝu-i nĭm im twâ-θy dâ-bô ĉul-i twâ-Ќ-zô.}

twâ-zô mâ-ŝy Φǒ: {ť kâ-i ku-van heŋ.}

nu-šar twâ-zô kîr'vy Φǒ: {bǒ rě'ĵy-tôn jâ-o Ќ-ť mĭ-i, ʝǒn twâ-Ќ-zô vǒm. ?ru nǒ i frâ-θaj-ť-zô.}

nu-šar twâ-zô mâ-ŝy Φǒ: {frâ-θaj-zô gǒ.} nu-šar kîr'vy im šâl ĥy-i ĥâ-ĉa syj-i ĥâ-zô hǒl. ĥâ-zô ĵwy-bô, nu-šar pwĭm-sĭ oŋ tě'θru-van ƥ-vuj mĭ-i.

twâ-zô kîr'vy tu-i (gâ lǒ mĭ-i ðu-van ver gju-zô) Φǒ: {?ť ðĭ-i pwĭ-fwa ŋĭn-i zǒn ce mĭ-i.}
  Smooth English

A beautiful woman went across a river by the road over it. Then the tricksy buck decided to speak to her.

He said: "Hear! You are like a dance; your eyes are like two little moons. I choose you for [my] wife."

She heard this and laughed. "Are my eyes like two little moons? Would you choose me for [your] wife? Wow, you couldn't say even three words of my name."

Then the deer said: "I'll say three words of your name."

The woman said: "I don't hear you."

Then the deer said: "If we get married, I will indeed say. How do you answer?"

Then the woman said: "Behold, I answer." She slashed the deer's belly with a knife. She cut quickly, and a moment later his body tumbled into the water of the river.

Then the deer (who could still speak) said: "Was that delightful for you?"
Smooth English of Taruven

A story about the deer

A pretty woman crossed a river by a bridge. Then the buck must speak to her.

He said: "Hear, you are like a dance, your eyes are like two little moons. I choose you as my lifemate."

She heard this and laughed. "Are my eyes like two little moons? Would you choose me as your lifemate? Indeed you cannot say three words of my name. If you could do this, I would be willing to tell you."

Then the deer said: "[I will] say three words of your name."

The woman said: "[I] don't hear you."

Then the deer said: "If we are lifemates, [I will] certainly say. What is your answer?"

Then the woman said: "I answer." Then she cut the deer's body open with a knife. She quickly cut, then his body fell into the water.

The deer (who could [still] speak) said: "Does [this] give you joy?"




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 hard to figure out 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.

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 discoure, the default subject is first-person.



In suffix glosses, ~ refers to the referent of the stem the suffix is applied to.

bǒ mod. if (events within the speaker's control)
bô suff. forms adjectives from number and quality nouns
ce pron. this, that (event or situation)
ĉa suff. tool with which one does ~
ĉǒ mod. if (events outside the speaker's control)
ĉu n. two; a pair
ĉul-i postp. performative case
dâ n. three; a trio
ðĭ-i postp. in some relationship with (generic abstract postp.)
ðu-van v.aŭ. is able
flĭŋ n. dance; moving about for fun
frâ n. question, inquiry
frâ-θaj-zô v. to answer, to reply
fwa suff. causative suffix: inducing a state of ~, causing to be ~, to do or experience ~
₣um n. similarity
₣um-i postp. similar to; like, as
gju n. speech; talking
gju-zô v. speak, talk
gǒ mod. here is; there is; behold! jen! voici! presentative adverb/postposition/thingy; also interjection
gu n. choose, select, elect, vote
heŋ mod. negative, not; no
hǒl mod. whole, entire, total; wholly, entirely, fully, completely, totally
hwǒ mod. interjection of surprise, wonder, dismay
ĥâ n. cut, break, tear, divide, separate
ĥy-i postp. patient case
i postp. at, with, in, near
im postp. part of; of, belonging to (body parts)
jâ n. role, state, form
jâ-o postp. becoming
ʝǒn conj. therefore; thus (evidence, inference)
ĵwy n. speed, being fast
kâ-i post. object-of-attention case marker
kiň conj. and
kîr'vy n. deer, elk, caribou, etc.
Ќ pron. I, me
ku n. hearing
kujm-o postp. because (motive); so that, for the sake of, toward goal
lǒ mod. which (relativizer; interrogative "which?" is {nǒ})
lyn n. Luna; Earth's moon
mâ n. person, human
mĭ-i postp. about; topic case marker; topic or focus adjunct for thinking/saying and experiential verbs
mwe mod. must; imperative, hortative, optative adverb
nĭm n. name, title
nǒ mod. what, which? (interrogative clitic postposed to questioned element)
nu n. time, moment, occasion
nu-šar conj. then, at the next moment
ŋâw n. calling, invoking, trying to get someone's attention
ŋâw-o postp. target/listener/recipient of communication verb
ŋĭn-i postp. comment marker
ny n. small, short, narrow, compact
o postp. to, towards
ol postp. through (movement; go through the door); by way of, passing into and out of
oŋ postp. into
pě'hĭ n. street, road, way
ƥ pron. he, she, they (spirits, people, animals already mentioned)
prym n. aesthetic pleasure, appreciation of beauty
pwĭ n. joy, delight, enjoyment, (nonphysical) pleasure
pwĭm n. water, esp. in liquid form
Φǒ conj. quote conjunction
pym n. amusement, hilarity
rě'ĵy n. wife
rě'ĵy-tôn n. spouse
rĭm n. seeing, having within view, vision
ro postp. beyond; to the other side of
ru n. method, way, manner, style
ruŋ n. going, coming, moving
si postp. above
sĭ n. river, creek, stream, brook, branch, freshet
sô suff. tending to be or do ~ often; (with entity roots) partial to, seeking, desiring ~
šar suff. forms conjunction from content root
šâl n. belly (skin area from below ribs to above genitals)
šelm mod. hypothetical, subjunctive, counterfactual particle
ŝu-i postp. of, belonging to (qualities, attributes)
ŝy n. femaleness, femininity
syj-i postp. with, by means of, using
te pron. it (plants, inanimate things, abstractions already mentioned)
tě'θru n. falling; uncontrolled collapse; landslide, cave-in, avalanche
tôn suff. generalized superclass of ~
ť pron. you, y'all
tu-i postp. agent case marker
twâ n. sentence; utterance; strophe of a poem; proverb, saying
twâ-θy n. word
twâ-zô v. to say, tell, recite
θaj suff. other member of asymmetrical relationship; complement of pair; complement action; opposite
θuň n. story, history, narrative
θy n. one of heterogeneous component parts; simple unit, element; detail
van suff. stative verb suffix
ver mod. still, yet
vĭ n. maleness, masculinity
vǒm mod. yes (response); indeed, verily, truly, certainly, of course
vuj n. physicality, concreteness; the physical aspects of a thing
ƴum n. trick, deception, deceit
vy n. will, intention, firm decision
vy-zô v.aŭ. to intend, decide upon, will
vy-van v.aŭ. to be willing to
wǒn conj. therefore; thus (effective causation)
zen mod. only, just
zǒn mod. interrogative adverb (yes/no questions)
zô suff. active verb suffix
źa suff. augmentation of root meaning

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