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The Legend of the Kutakaranim (Was: Re: On writing grammars (Re: Conlangery podcast))

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  • H. S. Teoh
    It seems that interest in analysing Tatari Faran grammar has waned. :-( Well, my TF informant, ever the enthusiast, decided that, in lieu of feedback from the
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 18 11:27 AM
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      It seems that interest in analysing Tatari Faran grammar has waned. :-(

      Well, my TF informant, ever the enthusiast, decided that, in lieu of
      feedback from the field linguists, he should pique interest in his
      mother tongue by volunteering a story from his people's oral tradition.

      (He is at least somewhat successful in this, as during the process of
      transcription I learned that Tatari Faran adjectives are intensified via
      reduplication: _baasa_ (big) -> _basa-baasa_ (very big).)

      So here's the Legend of the Kutakaranim, or at least, my informant's
      version thereof. The Kutakaranim is a legendary monster associated with
      erupting volcanic vents, and features in a number of stories in the oral
      tradition of the san faran. Of course, everybody has their own
      interpretation of the beast and their own versions of the stories, so
      the following is but one of the many tales (and many variants thereof)
      surrounding this mythical entity.

      This particular version of the tale contains the obligatory reference to
      the Epic of Tekekuhakirakisan ["tE"kE%kuha%ki4a"kisan] (also known as
      the Volcano-Quests of Tekekuhakirakisan), a cycle of stories revolving
      around the eponymous legendary ancestor of the san faran.

      It also features the _buneis_ mushroom, a distant relative of the
      portabello mushroom that grows to immense sizes (reportly as wide as a
      few feet in diameter), and is an integral part of the san faran's diet.
      It features in many of their stories and many remarkable properties are
      attributed to it, such as giving the strength to run across the extent
      of the Fara, as the end of this story alludes to.

      Well, without further ado, here's the Legend of the Kutakaranim, as told
      by Aneho, my Tatari Faran informant. Since the text is somewhat lengthy,
      I decided to give an English translation first, then the juicy
      interlinear.

      //

      The Legend of the Kutaranim
      ===========================

      During the time of the ancestors, there lived a girl; her name was
      Kumbi. She was young and graceful. Her younger brother went to the
      geyser fields to pick mushrooms, but did not return for many nights.
      Then Mother said to Kumbi, "I am worried about Younger Brother; maybe he
      perished in some calamity. Go quickly to look for him!"

      And Kumbi started making her way towards the geyser fields, and came to
      a forest. Black flies swarmed around and stung her. She defended
      herself with her hands and ran through the forest, and arrived at the
      flanks of a mountain. She was now tired and paused a little. She looked
      up along the slope and saw the geyser fields a long way off, and said to
      herself, "I don't have the strength to walk to the geyser fields. What
      should I do?"

      At that moment suddenly there was a violent earthquake, and she fell
      sitting down. Craters appeared in the ground and erupted lava. Kumbi was
      frightened, and rose up and fled along the base of the slope. Moments
      later, she heard a shout. Someone shouted, "Older Sister! I'm over
      here!". She turned to the person, and saw Younger Brother outside a
      cave. And she answered him, "Younger Brother! What are you doing in
      this dangerous place? Come home right now!".

      He said, "Older Sister! Come over here quickly; the Kutakaranim is
      coming!" Then she rebuked him, and said "The Kutakaranim doesn't exist!
      Don't talk nonsense!" He shouted again, "Older Sister! Come quickly!
      It's right behind you!"

      She turned around, and then screamed loudly -- for she saw a deformed,
      warped monster. It was emerging from an erupting crater. It appeared as
      a giant spider, and it was taller than three adult men. It had four
      mottled legs, and its teeth were like the spears of the champions. Hot
      embers kept dripping from its lower body.

      Kumbi screamed, "Calamity! Save me!", and ran to Younger Brother, to the
      cave. She and Younger Brother hugged each other in the cave in fear,
      while the Kutakaranim stomped around the cave entrance. Volcanic ash
      fell on them. Kumbi said, "Younger brother! We're going to die here!"
      But Younger Brother said, "No! It will go away, if we keep quiet!" And
      she could say nothing more, and only wept.

      They waited tensely for a long time, and night fell. They could see
      outside the cave the lava and the erupting craters. Kumbi sobbed to
      Younger Brother, "I'm scared and hungry. We're going to die here!"
      Younger Brother said, "Don't worry; look! The Kutakaranim leaves! Eat
      this mushroom, and then we will leave!" And he gave her a very large
      mushroom. She was surprised, and said, "Where did you find a mushroom
      as big as this?" Younger Brother said, "See, according to the Legends of
      Tekekuhakirakisan, huge mushrooms are found near where the Kutakaranim
      is." And they ate the mushrooms and were strengthened, and ran from the
      cave across the Fara through the night back home.


      //

      Interlinear
      ===========

      (List of abbreviations given at the end.)

      maharan kutakaraniman.
      [ma"ha4an ku"taka4animan]
      maharan kutakaranim-an
      story Kutakaranim-GEN
      The Legend of the Kutakaranim.

      fipe'an ma'asanan iti kibas diru jiras sei ham,
      ["fipE?an ma"?asanan ?iti (.) kibas "di4u dz)i4asej ham]
      fipe'an ma'asan-an iti kibas diru jiras sei ham
      season ancestors-GEN at breathe(V) girl one CVY:FEM exhale(FIN)
      During the time of the ancestors(*), there lived(**) a girl,

      (*) Idiom for "once upon a time".

      (**) The verb _kibas_ "breathe" is used in the idiomatic sense here to
      indicate existence.

      minein sei kumbi ai.
      [mi"nejn sej "kumbi ?aj]
      minein sei kumbi ai
      name CVY:FEM Kumbi it_is_so(FIN)
      her(*) name was Kumbi.

      (*) Conventionally, pronouns are omitted from _minein_ "name"; whose
      name is being referred to is inferred from context.

      tara' sei airis nueri, sijini dam.
      ["ta4a? sEj aj"4is nM4i (.) si"dz)ini dam]
      tara' sei airis nueri, si-jini dam.
      3SG CVY:FEM young_and_fresh small(FIN) CONJ.CVY:FEM-thin_and_tall graceful(FIN)
      She was young and fresh, and thin and tall.(*)

      (*) The closest cultural equivalent in English would be "she was young
      and graceful".

      asuen tara'an sa tapa nara keisa fifin nei
      [asMn "ta4a?an sa ta"pa na4a kejsa "fi"finej
      asuen tara'-an sa tapa nara keisa fifi-n nei
      younger_brother 3SG-GEN CVY:MASC walk PAST field geyser-GEN RCP:FEM
      [Her] younger brother went to the geyser fields

      ibuneis arapan bata,
      ibu"nejs "a4apan bata]
      i-buneis arap-an bata,
      AUX.CVY-mushroom pick-SUBORD.RCP walk(FIN)
      to pick mushrooms,

      paka sa tapa be umai mubun titiran eke beibata.
      [paka sa ta"pa bE ?umaj mubun ti"ti4an EkE "bejbata]
      paka sa tapa be umai mubun titiran eke bei-bata.
      but CVY:MASC walk not returning(ADV) night many for NEG-walk(FIN)
      but did not return for many nights(*).

      (*) "for many nights" has the sense of "for the length of many long days".

      amaa kei hena tsana kumbi nei e,
      ["a"ma: kej hEna ts)ana "kumbi nej ?E]
      amaa kei hena tsana kumbi nei e,
      mother ORG:FEM and said Kumbi RCP:FEM QUOTE
      And Mother said to Kumbi:

      asuen na mahinai huu kei kiki,
      [a"sMna ma"hinaj hu: kej kiki]
      asuen na mahinai huu kei kiki,
      younger_brother worry 1SG ORG:FEM agitated(FIN)
      I'm worried about younger brother;

      simatsite' era dunan.
      [sima"tsitE? E4a dunan]
      si-matsite' era dunan.
      CONJ.CVY:FEM-perish maybe expire(FIN)
      he may have perished in some calamity.

      tapa tsat nitara' tsunikan, e'aniin.
      [ta"pa ts)at ni"ta4a? ts)u"nikan (.) ?E?ani:n]
      tapa tsat ni-tara' tsuni-kan, e-'aniin.
      walk quick AUX.RCP-3SG seek-SUBORD.ORG END_QUOTE
      Go quickly to search for him.

      kumbi sei hena tapa ha keisa fifin nei,
      ["kumbi sej hEna ta"pa ha "kejsa fi"finej]
      kumbi sei hena tapa ha keisa fifi-n nei,
      Kumbi CVY:FEM then walk begin field geyser-GEN RCP:FEM
      Then Kumbi started her way towards the geyser fields

      hena sei upitai marai nei dakat.
      [hEna sej ?u"pitaj ma"4aj nEj dakat]
      hena sei upitai marai nei dakat.
      and CVY:FEM come forest RCP:FEM come(FIN)
      and came to a forest.

      kikia' titiran sei fafa upa' upau heinei,
      [ki"kja? ti"ti4an sej "fafa ?u"pa? upao hejnej]
      kikia' titiran sei fafa upa' upau heinei,
      black_fly many CVY:FEM fly hither thither airborne(FIN)
      Many black flies swarmed around

      kikitsit tara' nei tsam.
      [kiki"tsit ta4a? nej ts)am]
      ki-kitsit tara' nei tsam.
      CONJ.ORG:FEM-bite 3SG RCP:FEM bite(FIN)
      and bit her.

      tara' kei antai sahu nei pika ara,
      ["ta4a? kej "?antaj sahu nej "pika ?a4a]
      tara' kei antai sahu nei pika ara,
      3SG ORG:FEM defend REFL RCP:FEM hand with
      She defended herself with her hands

      saipam marai erui itan,
      ["sajpam ma"4aj ?E4uj ?itan]
      s-aipam marai erui itan,
      CONJ.CVY-run forest through stumbling(FIN)
      and ran through the forest

      hena sei upitai tun hiranas do dakat.
      [hEna sej ?u"pitaj tun "hi4anas dO dakat]
      hena sei upitai tun hirana-s do dakat.
      and CVY:FEM come flanks volcano_mountain-PTV RCP:NEUT come(FIN)
      and came to the flanks of a mountain.

      tara' sei ues kana ihia,
      ["ta4a? sej "Ms kana ?ihja]
      tara' sei ues kana ihia,
      3SG CVY:FEM tired now out_of_breath(FIN)
      She was now exhausted,

      hena sei berana diti ham.
      [hEna sej "be4ana diti ham]
      hena sei berana diti ham.
      and CVY:FEM pause little_while exhale(FIN)
      and she paused for a little while.

      tara' kei juerat anui tun dusa,
      ["ta4a? kej jM"4at ?anuj "tun dusa]
      tara' kei juerat anui tun dusa,
      3SG ORG:FEM look upwards slope along
      She looked up along the slope,

      henan dei hamra keisa fifin kei pata' titiran akun,
      ["hEnandej "ham4a "kejsa fifin kej pa"ta? ti?ti4an ?akun]
      hena- n dei hamra keisa fifi-n kei pata' titiran akun,
      and RCP:FEM see field geyser-GEN ORG:FEM step many behind
      and saw the geyser fields a long way off,

      hena kei tsana sahu nei e,
      ["hEna kej "ts)ana sahu nej ?E]
      hena kei tsana sahu nei e,
      and ORG:FEM say self RCP:FEM QUOTE
      and said to herself:

      huu kei kibas beman kibeiri nikeisa itapa anui sei beiham.
      ["hu: kej "kibas bEman ki"bej4i ni"kejsa ?ita"pa ?anuj sej "bejham]
      huu kei kibas beman kibeiri ni-keisa i-tapa anui sei bei-ham.
      1SG ORG:FEM breathe unable breathe AUX.RCP-field SUBORD.CVY-walk up CVY:FEM NEG-breathe(FIN)
      I'm unable to breathe the breath(*) to walk to the geyser fields.

      (*) This is an idiom for "I don't have the strength to ...".

      sii so habat ta? aniin.
      ["si: sO "habat ta (.) ?ani:n]
      sii so habat ta? aniin.
      what CVY:NEUT suitable(FIN) Q END_QUOTE
      What should I do?

      kibeiri iti parama ahi kara,
      [ki"bej4j ?iti "pa4ama ?ahi ka4a]
      kibeiri iti parama ahi kara,
      breath at earthquake suddenly shatter(FIN)
      At that moment (in that breath), suddenly there was an earthquake,(*)

      (*) _parama kara_ is an idiomatic expression meaning "(there is) an
      earthquake".

      tara' sei hena paritam utu'.
      ["ta4a? sej hEna pa"4itam ?utu?]
      tara' sei hena paritam utu'.
      3SG CVY:FEM and fall sitting(FIN)
      and she fell sitting down very hard.

      heparat so turai kurat ko anan,
      [hEpa"4at sO "tu4aj ku"4at kO ?anan]
      he-parat so turai kurat ko anan,
      PL-crater CVY:NEUT sprout ground ORG:NEUT upwards(FIN)
      Craters appeared in the ground,

      kokaro'a atsam.
      [kOka"4O?a ?ats)am]
      ko-karo'a atsam.
      CONJ.ORG:NEUT-erupt_lava belch(FIN)
      and erupted lava.

      kumbi nei kukai aha', hena sei saba anan,
      ["kumbi nej kukaj ?aha? (.) hEna sEj "saba ?anan]
      kumbi nei kukai aha', hena sei saba anan,
      Kumbi RCP:FEM scare shock(FIN) and CVY:FEM rise up(FIN)
      Kumbi was frightened, and arose,

      sipamra buja tunis ipi itan.
      [si"pam4a budz)a "tunis ?ipi ?itan]
      si-pamra buja tun-is ipi itan.
      CONJ.CVY:FEM-run lower flank-PTV beside stumbling(FIN)
      and she ran along the foot of the slope.

      diti akun dutan tara' nei apai sa inin.
      ["diti ?akun "dutan ta4a? nej ?a"paj sa ?inin]
      diti akun dutan tara' nei apai sa inin.
      little_while afterwards hear 3SG RCP:FEM shout(N) CVY:MASC hear(FIN)
      Soon, she heard a shout.

      san ka bafa tara' nei e, sita' tse!
      ["san ka bafa "ta4a? nej ?E "sita? ts)E]
      san ka bafa tara' nei e, sita' tse!
      person ORG:MASC shout 3SG RCP:FEM QUOTE older_sister VOC
      The person shouted to her: "Older Sister!

      huu sa upi ipai, eraa.
      ["hu: sa ?u"pi ?ipaj (.) ?E4a:]
      huu sa upi ipai, e-daa.
      1SG CVY:MASC here at END_QUOTE-shout
      I am over here!"

      tara' sei uine san na,
      ["ta4a? sej ?ujnE san:a]
      tara' sei uine san na,
      3SG CVY:FEM turn person RCP:MASC
      She turned to the person,

      henan dei hamra asuen ka hora ifi aram.
      [hEnandej "ham4a ?a"sMn ka "hO4a ?ifi ?a4am]
      hena- n dei hamra asuen ka hora ifi aram.
      and RCP:FEM see younger_brother ORG:MASC cave outside seen(FIN)
      and saw [her] younger brother outside a cave.

      hena kei dana e, asuen tse!
      [hEna kej "dana ?E (.) a"?sMn ts)E]
      hena kei dana e, asuen tse!
      and ORG:FEM answer QUOTE younger_brother VOC
      And [she] answered: "Younger Brother!

      sii so tse ka pai kukas mei ipai kakai?
      ["si: sO ts)E ka "paj ku"kas mej ?ipaj ka"kaj]
      sii so tse ka pai kukas mei ipai kakai?
      what CVY:NEUT 2SG ORG:MASC place fearful this at do
      What are you doing in this awful place?

      tapa kana buta' nei bata! aniin.
      [ta"pa kana bu"ta? nej bata (.) ?ani:n]
      tapa kana buta' nei bata! aniin.
      walk now hut RCP:FEM walk(FIN) END_QUOTE
      Come home right now!"

      tara' ka tsana e, sita' tse!
      ["ta4a? ka ts)ana ?E (.) "sita? ts)E]
      tara' ka tsana e, sita' tse!
      3SG ORG:MASC say QUOTE older_sister VOC
      He said: "Older Sister!

      tapa tsat upau kana,
      [ta"pa ts)at ?upao kana]
      tapa tsat upau kana,
      walk quick to_here now
      Come over here quickly, now!

      kutakaranim so upitai dakat! aniin.
      [ku"taka4anim sO ?u"pitaj dakat (.) ?ani:n]
      kutakaranim so upitai dakat! aniin.
      Kutakaranim CVY:NEUT come(V) come(FIN) END_QUOTE
      The Kutakaranim is coming!

      hena kei tsuta tara' na aibai,
      [hEna kej "ts)uta ?ta4a? na ?ajbaj]
      hena kei tsuta tara' na aibai,
      and ORG:FEM rebuke 3SG RCP:MASC yes_no(FIN)
      And she rebuked him,

      sitsana e, kutakaranim so kibas be!
      [si"ts)ana ?E (.) ku"taka4anim sO "kibas bE]
      si-tsana e, kutakaranim so kibas be!
      CONJ.CVY:FEM-say QUOTE Kutakaranim CVY:NEUT breathe not
      and said: "The Kutakaranim doesn't exist!

      tsana be kakari so! aniin.
      ["ts)ana bE ka"ka4i sO (.) ?ani:n]
      tsana be kakari so! aniin.
      say not nonsense CVY:NEUT END_QUOTE
      Don't talk nonsense!"

      asuen ka araf umai e, sita' tse!
      [a"sMn ka ?a"4af ?umaj ?E (.) "sita? ts)E]
      asuen ka araf umai e, sita' tse!
      younger_brother ORG:MASC shout again QUOTE older_sister VOC
      Younger Brother shouted again: "Older sister!

      tapa tsat! fei so tse akun ai! eraa.
      [ta"pa ts)at (.) "fej sO ts)E a"kun ?aj (.) ?e4a:]
      tapa tsat! fei so tse akun ai! e-daa.
      walk quick DIST CVY:NEUT 2SG behind it_is_so.FIN END_QUOTE
      Come quickly! It is behind you!"

      tara' sei uine akun,
      ["ta4a? sej "ujnE ?akun]
      tara' sei uine akun,
      3SG CVY:FEM turn behind
      She turned around,

      hena kei isi bafa ihai sei daa,
      [hEna kej ?isi "bafa ?ihaj sej da:]
      hena kei isi bafa ihai sei daa,
      and ORG:FEM CNSQ scream(V) scream(N) CVY:FEM scream(FIN)
      and screamed loudly,

      isi nei hamra da'ue kuta' kero' ka.
      [isi nej "ham4a da?M ku"ta? "kE4O? ka]
      isi nei hamra da'ue kuta' kero' ka.
      because RCP:FEM see terrible_being deformed warped ORG:MASC
      because(*) she saw a deformed, warped monster.

      (*) Note that _isi_ is present in both the antecedent and the
      consequent; its meaning is determined, respectively, by the
      omission or presence of the clause terminator (FIN).

      fei sa ekas parat karo'akan ko akan.
      ["fej sa ?Ekas pa"4at ka"rO?akan kO akan]
      fei sa ekas parat karo'a-kan ko akan.
      DIST CVY:MASC emerge crater erupt-SUBORD.ORG ORG:NEUT come_out(FIN)
      It was emerging from an erupting crater.

      fei ka hamra pikutsa' baasa sa aram,
      ["fej ka ham4a piku"ts)a? "ba:sa sa ?a4am]
      fei ka hamra pikutsa' baasa sa aram,
      DIST ORG:MASC see spider huge CVY:MASC appear(FIN)
      It appeared as a huge spider,

      fei sa himas ei puru samat di'as na tutu.
      ["fej sa "himas ej pu4u samat "di?as na tutu]
      DIST CVY:MASC tall and more man three RCP:MASC high_reaching(FIN)
      and it was taller than three men.

      fei kisi tsuni kutsi mamaan ni'as sa ira,
      ["fej kisi ts)uni "ku"ts)i mama:n "ni?asa i4a]
      fei kisi tsuni kutsi mamaan ni'as sa ira,
      DIST attached_to find leg mottled four CVY:MASC found(FIN)
      It had(*) four mottled legs,

      (*) This is the usual idiom for description of body parts: "attached to it
      was found (four mottled legs)".

      jam feis ka hamra ei saipia' daharan sa aram.
      ["dz)am fejs ka "ham4a ?ej sajpja? da"ha4an sa ?a4am]
      jam fei-s ka hamra ei saipia' dahara-n sa aram.
      teeth DIST-PTV ORG:MASC see and spear champion-GEN CVY:MASC seen(FIN)
      and its teeth were like the spears of the champions.

      tanta sa tafa irei buja feis ko hiu.
      ["tanta sa "tafa ?i4ej "budz)a fejs kO hju]
      tanta sa tafa irei buja fei-s ko hiu.
      embers CVY:MASC drop continually lower_part DIST-PTV ORG:NEUT falling(FIN)
      Embers were dropping from its lower half.

      kumbi kei bafa e, matsai! kamat huu sei!,
      ["kumbi kej "bafa ?E (.) ma"ts)aj (.) "kamat hu: sej]
      kumbi kei bafa e, matsai! kamat huu sei
      Kumbi ORG:FEM scream QUOTE calamity rescue 1SG CVY:FEM
      Kumbi screamed: Calamity! Save me!

      hena sei pamra asuen na hora na itan.
      [hEna sej "pam4a ?a"sMna "hO4a na ?itan]
      hena sei pamra asuen na hora na itan.
      and CVY:FEM run younger_brother RCP:MASC cave RCP:MASC stumbling(FIN)
      and ran to Younger Brother, to the cave.

      tara' sei asuen sa ei bama hora imi juju',
      ["ta4a? sej ?a"sMn sa ej bama "hO4a ?imi dz)udz)u?]
      tara' sei asuen sa ei bama hora imi juju',
      3SG CVY:FEM younger_brother CVY:MASC and hug cave in shivering(FIN)
      She and Younger Brother hugged each other in the cave.

      kutakaranim so ati kuritas parat horan iri pini.
      [ku"taka4anim sO ?ati ku4itas "pa4at hO4an ?4i pini]
      kutakaranim so ati kuritas parat hora-n iri pini.
      Kutakaranim CVY:NEUT meanwhile stomp entrance cave-GEN near flatten(FIN)
      Meanwhile, the Kutakaranim stomped around the cave entrance.

      paraf so tafa diin no dafan.
      ["pa4af sO tafa "di:n nO dafan]
      paraf so tafa diin no dafan.
      volcanic_ash CVY:NEUT drop 3PL RCP:NEUT dusty(FIN)
      Volcanic ash fell on them.

      kumbi kei tsana e, asuen tse!
      ["kumbi kej "ts)ana ?E (.) a"sMn ts)E]
      kumbi kei tsana e, asuen tse!
      Kumbi ORG:FEM say QUOTE younger_brother VOC
      Kumbi said: "Younger Brother!

      faan so matsite' upi ipai dunan! e'aniin.
      ["fa:n sO ma"tsitE? u"pi ?ipaj dunan (.) ?e?ani:n]
      faan so matsite' upi ipai dunan! e-'aniin.
      1PL.INCL CVY:NEUT perish here at expire(FIN) END_QUOTE-say(FIN)
      We will perish in this place!"

      asuen ka paka tsana e, bai!
      [?a"sMn ka paka "ts)na ?E (.) "baj]
      asuen ka paka tsana e, bai!
      younger_brother ORG:MASC however say QUOTE no
      However, Younger Brother said: "No!

      fei so akitai anui, kinap era faan so. aniin.
      ["fej sO ?a"kitaj ?anuj (.) "kinap ?e4a fa:n sO (.) ?ani:n]
      fei so akitai anui, kinap era faan so. aniin.
      DIST CVY:NEUT depart away(FIN) quieten if 1PL.INCL CVY:NEUT END_QUOTE
      It will go away, if we keep quiet."

      tara' kei hena tsana beman bahai so bei'aniin,
      ["ta4a? kej hEna "ts)ana bEman "bahaj sO "bej?ani:n
      tara' kei hena tsana beman bahai so bei-'aniin,
      3SG ORG:FEM and_then say unable nothing CVY:NEUT NEG-say(FIN)
      Then she could say nothing,

      kisuran jihe atan.
      [ki"su4an dz)ihE ?atan]
      ki-suran jihe atan.
      CONJ.ORG:FEM-weep only sad(FIN)
      and only wept.

      diin so berana pein duru eke nisue,
      ["di:n sO be4ana "pejn du4u ?eke nisM]
      diin so berana pein duru eke nisue,
      3PL CVY:NEUT wait time long for anxious(FIN)
      They waited anxiously for a long time,

      mubun hena murimuun.
      [mu"bun hEna mu4imu:n]
      mubun hena murimuun.
      night and enveloping(FIN)
      and night fell(*).

      (*) _mubun murimuun_ is an idiom for "it is night".

      diin no hamra epan hora ifi sinasu kei
      ["di:n:O "ham4a ?Epan hO4a i"fi "sinasu kej]
      diin no hamra epan hora ifi sinasu kei
      3PL RCP:NEUT see able cave outside lava ORG:FEM
      They could see outside the cave lava ...

      parat karo'akan ko ei aram.
      [pa4at ka"rO?akan kO ?ej ?a4am]
      parat karo'a-kan ko ei aram.
      crater erupt-SUBORD.ORG ORG:NEUT and seen(FIN)
      ... and the erupting craters.

      kumbi kei buaha asuen na e,
      ["kumbi kej "bwaha ?a"sMn:a ?E]
      kumbi kei buaha asuen na e,
      Kumbi ORG:FEM sob younger_brother RCP:MASC QUOTE
      Kumbi sobbed to Younger Brother:

      huu nei kukas aha', kura ei kuru.
      ["hu: nej ku"kas ?aha? (.) "ku4a ?ej ku4u]
      huu nei kukas aha', kura ei kuru.
      1SG RCP:FEM scare shock(FIN) hunger and hungry(FIN)
      "I'm scared and hungry.(*)

      (*) _kura kuru_ is an idiom meaning "(I'm) hungry".

      faan so matsite' dunan! e'atan.
      ["fa:n sO ma"tsitE? dunan (.) ?E?atan]
      faan so matsite' dunan! e-'atan.
      1PL.INCL CVY:NEUT perish expire(FIN) END_QUOTE-sob(FIN)
      We are perishing!"

      asuen ka tsana e, mahinai be,
      [?a"sMn ka "ts)ana ?E ma"hinaj bE]
      asuen ka tsana e, mahinai be,
      younger_brother ORG:MASC say QUOTE worry not
      Younger Brother said, "Don't worry;

      jat kutakaranim so akitai anui.
      ["dz)at ku"taka4anim sO ?a"kitaj ?anuj]
      jat kutakaranim so akitai anui.
      behold Kutakaranim CVY:NEUT leave away(FIN)
      behold, the Kutakaranim leaves.

      ka'am buneis misei,
      ["ka?am bu"nejs misej]
      ka'am buneis mei-sei,
      eat mushroom PROX-CVY:FEM
      Eat this mushroom,

      tapa hena faan so upa', e'aniin.
      [ta"pa hEna "fa:n sO ?upa? (.) ?E?ani:n]
      tapa hena faan so upa', e-'aniin.
      walk and_then 1PL.INCL CVY:NEUT away_from_here END_QUOTE-talk(FIN)
      then we will leave!"

      hena ka kira sita' nei buneis basa-baasa sei esan.
      [hEna ka ki4a "sita? nej bu"nejs basa"ba:sa sej ?Esan]
      hena ka kira sita' nei buneis basa~baasa sei esan.
      and ORG:MASC give older_sister RCP:FEM mushroom very~huge CVY:FEM hand_over(FIN)
      and he gave [his] older sister a very huge mushroom.

      tara' nei aha'ai beitata, kitsana e,
      ["ta4a? nej ?a"ha?aj bejtata (.) ki"ts)ana ?E]
      tara' nei aha'ai beitata, ki-tsana e,
      3SG RCP:FEM surprise speechless(FIN) CONJ.ORG:FEM-say QUOTE
      She was [very] surprised, and said:

      sii ipai buneis baasa mei atai sei tsuni? aniin.
      ["si: ?ipaj bu"nejs "ba:sa mej ataj sej "tsuni (.) ?ani:n]
      sii ipai buneis baasa mei atai sei tsuni? aniin.
      what place mushroom huge PROX similar_to CVY:FEM find END_QUOTE
      "Where did [you] find a mushroom as huge as this?"

      asuen ka tsana e,
      [?a"sMn ka ts)ana ?E]
      asuen ka tsana e,
      younger_brother ORG:MASC say QUOTE
      Younger brother said,

      jat kairatuhan tekekuhakirakisanan i'i tsuni
      ["dzat kaj4a"tuhan tEKEkuhaki4a"kisanan ?i?i] ts)uni
      jat kairatuhan tekekuhakirakisana-n i'i tsuni
      DM epic Tekekuhakirakisan-GEN according_to find
      "See, according to the Epic of Tekekuhakirakisan,

      buneis basa-baasa sei pai kutakaraniman iri ira. aniin.
      bu"nejs basa"ba:sa sej "paj ku"taka4animan ?i4i ?i4a (.) ?ani:n]
      buneis basa~baasa sei pai kutakaranima-n iri ira. aniin.
      mushroom very~huge CVY:FEM place Kutakaranim-GEN near found(FIN) END_QUOTE
      very huge mushrooms are found near the place of the Kutakaranim."

      diin no hena ka'am buneis sei tsa,
      ["di:n:O hEna ka?am bu"nejs:ej ts)a]
      diin no hena ka'am buneis sei tsa,
      3PL RCP:NEUT and eat mushroom CVY:FEM eaten(FIN)
      And they ate the mushroom(s),

      hena so suhitai airan,
      [hEna sO su"hitaj ?aj4an]
      hena so suhitai airan,
      and CVY:NEUT strengthen refresh(FIN)
      and were refreshed,

      hena so pamra hora ko fara erui mubun eke buta' nei asu.
      [hEna sO pam4a "hO4a kO "fa4a ?E4uj mu"bun ?EkE bu"ta? nej ?asu]
      hena so pamra hora ko fara erui mubun eke buta' nei asu.
      and CVY:NEUT run cave ORG:NEUT plains across night through hut RCP:FEM swiftly(FIN)
      and ran from the cave across the plains through the night to [their] home.


      Abbreviations:
      1 first person
      2 second person
      3 third person
      ADV adverb
      AUX alternative NP case marking reserved for embedded clauses
      CNSQ consequential (indicates effect clause of cause/effect
      construction)
      CONJ conjunction; shows temporal sequence w.r.t. previous clause
      CVY noun case #2
      DIST distal demonstrative ("that", "that thing")
      DM discourse marker ("you know", "as you know", "well", "see")
      END_QUOTE ends quoted discourse (not always present)
      FEM feminine gender
      FIN finalizer (a clause-final marker whose glossed meaning
      supplements the main verb, but should not be taken
      literally)
      GEN genitive
      INCL inclusive
      MASC masculine gender
      N noun
      NEG negation particle/affix
      NEUT neuter/epicene gender
      ORG noun case #1
      PAST past tense marker
      PL plural
      PROX proximal demonstrative ("this")
      PTV partitive / inalienable possession
      Q question word (interrogative particle)
      QUOTE begins quoted discourse
      RCP noun case #3
      REFL reflexive; refers reflexively to first NP in clause
      SG singular
      SUBORD subordinative verb form indicating an embedded clause
      V verb
      VOC vocative marker


      T

      --
      Живёшь только однажды.
    • Padraic Brown
      ... Ah, yes. The sort orders. The story there is a long one indeed. It makes more sense when we realise that human history in the World is a damn sight longer
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 21 5:04 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        --- On Tue, 4/16/13, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

        > From: Alex Fink <000024@...>
        > Subject: Re: [CONLANG] On writing grammars (Re: Conlangery podcast)
        > To: CONLANG@...
        > Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 5:33 PM
        > On Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:33:41 -0700,
        > Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>
        > wrote:
        > > >--- On Fri, 4/12/13, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
        > wrote:
        > > > The alphabet, in spite of
        > > > being a Romanization, is sorted in native order,
        > rather than
        > > > in Latin
        > > > order, which might be another stumbling block for
        > those
        > > > expecting a more
        > > > .. Romanized ... Romanization.
        > >
        > > Of course -- but it ìs an in-world treatment, after
        > all, and one really
        > > can't expect it to be done a la Roma just because. In
        > my (non-native)
        > > grammar for Talarian, I recall starting out with the
        > words sorted in
        > > native order: I E A O U P T K Q H HH X M N FF F S SH H
        > L R W Y. But after
        > > a while of not being able to find anything quickly,
        > gave up and resorted
        > > in Roman order. :S
        >
        > I suspect you might have a good story up your sleeve behind
        > how that alphabetical order was able to exist.  *Here*,
        > the Vedic culture is as far as I know unique in history for
        > having developed a theory of phonology before they were
        > literate.  Accordingly, when they did first gain a
        > writing system, they were able to sort it into
        > phonologically sensible order from the get-go, as opposed to
        > just retaining and letting calcify the alphabetical order it
        > came with as everyone else did. 

        Ah, yes. The sort orders. The story there is a long one indeed. It makes
        more sense when we realise that human history in the World is a damn sight
        longer than the paltry 5000 years it seems to be on the surface of things.
        The modern age with all its wonders and troubles is but the most recent
        episode in the long tapestry of human history. Men easily forget what came
        before, and would probably be entirely ignorant of much ancient history
        if it weren't for folks with longer memories indeed.

        It is curious, for example, that it is at Auntimoany that the
        half-mythologised history of how humans came to learn the art of writing
        should be recalled in its fullest by the Guild of Lamplighters.
        Lamplighters? Yep, it seems that the same people that go about at dusk
        touching the Spark of Life to all the various gas lamps, thaumic arcs or
        even those new fangled lights that dance with the spirits of Elektra City
        have their long held mysteries. In this case, they recall in their rites
        the kernel of truth about writing: "And yet we stand in these Younger Days
        upon the shoulders of our great fathers of old and fear not ... indeed
        fear not the hidden terrors of Lady Night. By what bold incursion and by
        what cunning tan do we now inhabit a world of splendor and light? List ye
        all my merry gentles, phosphors in a benighted world, and harken ye to the
        elucidated mystery, the riddled rune, that our ancient fathers recorded in
        their books of history."

        It is in these "books of history", that we find the well known myth of
        Prometheus and Epimetheus: "In those days of ancientry, there lived two
        brothers who were not like Men, nor yet were they like the Mighty Ones who
        dwelt in those days upon the holy mountain top. They were the winged sons
        of one of those Titans who had fought against Father Jupiter and been sent
        in chains to the strong prison-house of the Lower World..." And that it
        through the spite of these "Mighty Ones", selfish and powerful beings that
        had no thought for the misery of Men. “Not a spark or coal will I give to
        miserable Man, Atan's brood,” said mighty Jupiter. “No, indeed! Why, if
        Men had fire in hand, they might become strong and wise like ourselves,
        and after a while they would drive us out of our kingdom. Let them shiver
        with the cold, and let them live like the beasts they truly are! It is
        best for them to be poor and ignorant; in that way, we Mighty Ones may
        thrive and be happy.”

        So Prometheus, angered at the stubborn and willful immorality of Father
        Jupiter, goes off on his quest to enlighten the world of Man. He travels
        far into the East, where the Lady Sun arises in the morning, and gets some
        of her blazing flame and carries the torches so lit back to the rude caves
        where Men are eking out a bestial existence. "He went then to the land of
        Men and called out some of the shivering wretches from their caves and
        built a fire for them. At first, they feared Prometheus, for in their eyes
        he was as were the gods: tall and radiant and mighty in lore and wisdom.
        Yet a few stumbled forth and fell on their faces, muttering. He understood
        not their speech, but lifted them up, and a few remained nigh, while
        others fled away. It is those of the kindred of Frith-Atan who remained
        that became the greater kindred of Men, who became wise in lore and mighty
        in the earth; and it is those of the kindred of Frith-Atan who fled that
        became ever after the lesser kindred of Men, beastly and unintelligent,
        the cousins of apes and troglodytes. To those that remained nigh,
        Prometheus showed them how to make a fire and warm themselves by it and
        how to conserve coals and build other fires from the coals."

        Here we see the Second Sundering of Man -- into those who rise above the
        self-aware but still largely bestial life and become fully realised beings
        capable of higher intellectual, spiritual and moral activity. They've eaten
        the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and have become, much to Father
        Jupiter's chagrin, like the Mighty Ones themselves. Or rather, they've
        taken the first hesitant steps along that path. "After that, Prometheus
        taught them, little by little, a thousand things more, for his wisdom was
        wide as the world itself. He showed them how to work with wood and stone
        and how to make houses for themselves, and how to tame sheep and cattle
        and make them useful, and how to plow and sow and reap, and how to protect
        themselves from the storms of winter and the beasts of the woods. Then he
        showed them how to dig in the earth for copper and iron, and how to melt
        the ore, and how to hammer it into shape and fashion from it the tools and
        weapons which they needed in peace and war; he taught them how to write
        their words and how to shape their thoughts with language and when he saw
        how happy the world was becoming he cried out: “The new Golden Age is
        dawning, and brighter by far than the old!” "

        By now, you're probably asking me: "okay, so much for ancient myth, but
        you still haven't explained why the letters go I E A O U! And what that
        might have to do with Pannini." Of course, the answer lies in understanding
        the nature of Prometheus himself. The Lamplighters don't come right out
        and say as much, but it should come as no surprise that the "winged sons
        of one of those Titans who had fought against Father Jupiter" are the
        Daine, those people who were fashioned or wrought by the Elsewheremen, the
        Star People who become known in later times as the Mighty Ones and then
        finally as mere gods of thunder and sea. And it was as Father Jupiter
        feared, in rebelling against these Elsewheremen, they did eventually
        "drive [them] out of [their] kingdom". And history became legend, and
        legend passed into myth, and that is all pretty deep Sawyery.

        And it is these same people who hold that there are two kinds of art: on
        the one hand, there are the arts of hand and heart (music, crafting,
        image-making) and arts of tongue and mind (speaking, story telling,
        singing and so forth). These artists came to notice a number of things
        about their arts. Like tropes and motifs in story telling, declaimers and
        language artists noticed the shapes of sounds as they roll through throat,
        nose and mouth, how they feel washing over the tongue and around the teeth.
        They noticed that the air of some makes the throat dance with vibrations
        while others do not; some engage the lips, others the teeth, still others
        the palate or glottis. They never came up with clinical names like
        "voiceless bilabial trill", but they came to understand the principle.

        It was not until one of the image-makers decided that she would draw
        pictures of the sounds the language artists were making that the idea
        arose that pictures and sounds could be combined into a new art: writing.
        By this time, their aesthetic sensibilities had already gone to work on
        devising an order for all the speech and song sounds -- much like how
        musicians had devised modes and scales and notes -- and so when it came
        time to write down the speech sounds, there was already an aesthetically
        pleasing order in place: the singing sounds first (vowels), from throat
        to lips; then the sounds that make the throat dance (voiced consonants);
        them the sounds that tickle the nose (nasals); then the sounds that rest
        quietly after the dance (voiceless consonants).

        That ancient order was something like I E A O U W  B  L  D  LL  DD  J  Y  G  R  ʔ  M  MB  N  ND  NG  NGG  V  Z  ZH  ZD  HW  P  Þ  T  TT  CH  HY  K  HR  Q  H  F  S. Ancient history indeed, and predates Panini by rather a
        few myriades. Jump up to about 40000 years ago, the Second Age of
        Man, and we find that Men have wandered up from the woodlands of eastern
        Phazzanea and into the southern districts of Hespera where they meet with
        Daine already living in the region. It is here where the "first flowering"
        of Men occurs. The first precivilisations arise along the Nile and Indus
        rivers, which are guided by Daine. Daine teach Men how to write, and quite
        naturally pass along their own order. This age flows into the Third Age
        and its mighty empires (known to moderns as "archaic empires", on account
        of their remote age). It is during this time that a language not at all
        unlike the ancestor of Proto-Indo-Aryan is spoken in the Empire of Punt.
        But the history of Men is one of highs and lows, of building up mighty
        kingdoms and throwing them down again, of learning, forgetting and
        subsequent reinvention. By the time of the World's Panini-analog, the
        memories of the archaic empires of Punt and Harrap have long been washed
        away from the facile minds of Man, and so, largely ignorant of all the
        previous invention and loss of the same, he and like-minded philosophers
        happily reinvent the wheel. He comes up with a similar scheme of points
        of articulation -- after all, the mouths of Men and Daine are
        physiologically very similar -- and sorts the letters of the Sandhian
        languages accordingly.

        Shortly after the fall of Punt, the proto-Aryans are forced to scatter
        away from their ancestral home, some towards the north and west, others
        towards the eastwards, and still others towards the south-east. It is these
        last that are of particular interest, as they are kissing cousins of the
        proto-Aryans and will give rise to the various neo-Anatolians (Hittites,
        Luwians, Talarians). Around the first century of the present era or so is
        the time of the Great Migration. The first of the migrants are the
        Talarians themselves, and by this time are already wandering along to the
        north of Ehrran and Sandhia, and it is from the now established
        civilisations in those lands that they pick up many aspects of their
        future culture and religious practice. By the time the Rumans, the Gyptians
        and the Teutons arrive in the Eastlands, the Talarians are already
        established.

        So, the Talarian sort order is ultimately derived from the Puntish sort
        order, which itself derives from the first scribbles of Man some forty
        thousand years ago who learnt the art of scribbling from the Daine who'd
        had a good deal of time practicing. The main difference is almost
        entirely in the loss of voiced consonants in Middle Talarian (O.T. had
        voiced consonants). This, modern philologers (rather ignorantly) call the
        "Aryan Alphabet".

        Other descendants of the Punt -- the Shemans -- took a different tack
        entirely. They kept the idea of writing, but devised their own letters
        and their own sort order, the familiar A  B  G  D... It is this modified
        writing system that becomes exported around the Middle Sea, becoming the
        basic alphabet for the Hellades, the Etruscans and the Remans. Along with
        the growth of Reme and its own influence throughout Atelante and
        Phazzanea and the spread of Loucarian, their own alphabet comes to be
        used by many non-Puntish peoples, especially down along the coasts of
        Nubia. And who knows where else beyond those distant and little known
        lands!

        From the confluence of Etruscan, Ruman and Helladic influence, the
        ancient Tutones, who had been inhabiting the lands to the north and east
        of the Inhospitable Sea, (re)learned to write some time around the first
        century of the present ere and shortly before the Great Migration. The
        Tutones take that basic Hellado-Italic alphabet and reshape it for their
        own ends, coming up ultimately with runes. They dispense entirely with the
        ancient Daine sense of aesthetics and opt for a magical ordering of the
        letters. Their alphabet is divided into four houses of eight runes each:

        1. W Ê M B L Ô NG UH
        2. G Â S P R Î T Z
        3. F O Þ Q U N D WR
        4. H A K E Y AE X SH

        And that's that story!

        > Alex

        Padraic
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