Conlang Relay 12/Kēlen

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Details for the Kēlen text of Conlang Relay 12.


tema jāo ē mo sarōña ē mo sasāra;

temme ke mārja ien ñereñ makēspen cī;

temme ke māltanen ien lāmacēna ñarra jacētti kā; hēja ñarra jacētti kā; cēja anele mīsa sōlle mo lerōña; ñi antamōl antōrren anniþen;

temme ke mārja ien ñereñ makēspen cī;

temirne ke mīsa ien cēja anele jasōþa þō mo lerōña;

temme ke mārja ien kēñ?

temirne ke macēna ien an jāo ja-kēñ?

temme ke māltanen ien pa riēn anmīra wē; hēja ñarra jacētti kā; lāmacēna ñarra jacētti kā;

temme ke mārja ien ñereñ makēspen cī;

temirne ke mīsa ien sele ankīña pa jīλīke; ē lā, luhañen pa liēn jīλīke jawālen;

temirne ke macēna ien cēja ñamma ansōri lā!

temme ke mīsa ien lā-mālmara. la liēn mīs-ēri; cēxeja rehirnele jawēra kōnux wā tō la jawēra jaŋŋīra nāpie;

temirne ke macēna ien an jāo to anhēŋŋi nāpie; tamma ke mīsa ja-kēñ?

temirne ke māltanen ien cēja analla anpēra mo sasērja japūsa;

temirne antēli ke mīsa ien il anniþen ñi liēn janōña il la liēn macōnōn matōntanen; ē pa liēn jawēra ancāla nā ē tele jawēra pīter; ī sele ankīña pa jahēña lā-mapīññennon ew wā sele ankīña pa ankāλi honahan.

temme ke mārja ien lā-pīter wa riēn mañiwēλa ñe japīla;

temirne ke mīsa ien wā sele anhamāri il jasēllūi ānor;

temme ke mārja ien ñereñ makēspen cī;

il jalōna antielen il tamma jīlke ke manahan ien pa mīsa ansōri lā; la jalīla jakēra lā;


ā should be a-macron
ē should be e-macron
ī should be i-macron
ō should be o-macron
ū should be u-macron
ñ should be n-tilde
þ should be thorn
λ should be lj or lambda
ŋŋ should be nng or double-eng


-alla (PN);
-amma (PN);
an (REL) the present progressive form of LA;
an- (REL) the present progressive form of SE;
anniþen (POST.MOD) before in time; (MOD) soon;
antielen (POST.MOD) after in time;
-aŋŋīr- (N.BASE) common, plain, ordinary;
-arra (PN);
-ālmar- (N.BASE) my mother;
-āltanen- (N.BASE) healer, doctor, midwife;
ānor (POST.MOD) 10 base 8, eight;
-ārj- (N.BASE) grandmother, female ancestor, female in charge, older woman;
-cāl- (N.BASE) value;
cēja (MOD) can, be able;
-cēn- (N.BASE) woman;
-cētt- (N.BASE) push;
cēxeja (MOD) hopefully;
cī (MOOD) commissive mood marker, polite imperative mood marker;
-cōnōn- (N.BASE) soldier;
-ele (PN);
-ema (PN);
-emirne (PN) experiencer/goal/patient;
-emme (PN);
-ereñ (PN);
ē...ē (CONJ) and;
ē lā (INTERJECTION) hey!;
-ēri (PN);
-hamār- (N.BASE) whiskey/aquavit;
hēja (MOD) obligatory, should, ought;
-hēñ- (N.BASE) drink;
-hēŋŋ- (N.BASE) beer/mead;
honahan (PN) any manner, any quantity;
ien (CASE) quotative; (CONJ) then, when...then, when, during;
ī...ew (CONJ) and...but;
-īlk- (N.BASE) writing;
-īλīk- (N.BASE) clothing;
-irnele (PN) 2p.paucal agent/;
-īs- (N.BASE) baby;
ja (PN) 3p.inanimate;
ja-kēñ (MOOD) inflected interrogative mood marker: what;
jāo (PN) 3p abstract, generic demonstrative pronoun;
kā (MOOD) imperative mood marker;
-kāλ- (N.BASE) milk;
ke (CASE) marks an agent or animate source;
kēñ (MOOD) interrogative mood marker;
-kēr- (N.BASE) holy;
-kēspen- (N.BASE) keeping on, steadfast, persistent;
-kīñ- (N.BASE) wish, want;
-kōnux- (N.BASE) not a Kēlen word;
la (REL) generic tense of LA;
lā (MOOD) emphatic or exclamatory mood marker;
lā- (CASE) vocative;
liēn (PN);
-līl- (N.BASE) gift;
-lōn- (N.BASE) day, as defined from sunrise to sunrise;
luhañen (MOD) habitually;
manahan (PN) anyone, anybody;
-mīr- (N.BASE) fear;
mo (CASE) marks a beneficiary or experiencer or goal;
nā (POST.MOD) many, much, more;
nāpie (POST.MOD) too many, too much, excessive;
-nōñ- (N.BASE) dead;
ñe (CONJ) like, as, same as;
ñ(i)- (REL) NI;
-ñiwēλ- (N.BASE) turning, wiggling, wagging;
-ōll- (N.BASE) head;
pa (REL) PA;
-pēr- (N.BASE) cut;
-pīl- (N.BASE) worm;
-pīññennon- (N.BASE) monster
-pīter- (N.BASE) not a Kēlen word;
-pūs- (N.BASE) cord, string;
reh- (REL) obligatory (future) of SE;
riēn (PN);
-rōñ- (N.BASE) eye(s);
-sār- (N.BASE) ear(s);
s(e)- (REL) generic tense of SE;
-sēllū- (N.BASE) period of 32 days;
-sērj- (N.BASE) navel, bellybutton;
-sōr- (N.BASE) word;
-sōþ- (N.BASE) place;
-tamōl- (N.BASE) birth;
t(e)- (REL) past tense of SE;
-tēl- (N.BASE) fact;
to (CASE) marks a source or an inanimate or non-volitional agent;
tō (CONJ) because, for;
-tōntanen- (N.BASE) master (rank);
-tōrren- (N.BASE) finished;
þō (PN) this, this here, here;
wa (REL) negative of LA;
wā (MOD) negative, no, not, none;
-wālen- (N.BASE) fine, excellent, high quality;
wē (MOOD) prohibitive mood marker;
-wēr- (N.BASE) name;


Nouns (N.BASE)

Nouns are cited as noun bases. They come in three classes: inanimate, animate, and obligatorily possessed. Inanimate nouns inflect as follows (the N stands for the base):

      j(a)-N-a/e/0 inanimate singular
      j(a)-N-i inanimate plural
      an-N-i inanimate collective, set of X
      an-N-a/e/0 state of being X, act/event of X

animate nouns:

      m(a)-N-a/e/0 animate singular
      m(a)-N-i animate collective or plural

obligatorily possessed nouns (like body parts):

      l(e)-N-a/e/0 possessed by 1p entity
      r(i)-N-a/e/0 possessed by 2p entity
      s(a)-N-a/e/0 possessed by 3p entity

Uninflected noun bases are interpreted as proper names.

Pronouns (PN)

Pronouns can stand alone or be suffixed to nouns and relationals.

Modifiers (MOD & POST.MOD)

Modifiers can either modify a clause, in which case they can come anywhere in the sentence, but are usually positioned on either end of the clause of phrase. Postpostional modifiers modify the noun or pronoun that they follow.

Conjunctions (CONJ)

Conjunctions generally precede the phrases or clauses that they connect. Some conjunctions are coordinating conjunctions, meaning that they precede all of the phrases or clauses that they connect.

Relationals (REL)

These are the Kēlen equivalent of verbs. There are only 4 of them, though 2 of them inflect for tense. The 4 relationals are LA, SE, NI, and PA.

  LA takes a single object: something that exists in a state or a location.
  NI takes a single object: something that has undergone a change of state or
  SE takes a single object: something that has a source and/or a goal.
  PA takes two objects: a whole and its part.

Case (CASE)

Case markers precede their objects.

Mood (MOOD)

Mood markers come at the end of the sentence. One of them, kēñ, can be inflected. The commissive marker, cī, can act like an imperative when used with a second person reference. When used with a first person reference, it commits the speaker to whatever was said.

Word Order

A Kēlen sentence consists minimally of a relational and its core argument, or REL NP. To this can be added case phrases, modifiers, and mood:


Nouns in apposition, if inflected identically, refer to the same entity. If inflected differently, they refer to different entities, with usually the whole or the more important noun coming first, followed by the part or the less important noun.

Smooth Translation

This was seen (by someone) and heard.

Said the grandmother (to the woman): make yourself steadfast.

Said the healer (to the woman): Woman, make pushes. You must make pushes. I can see the baby's head. The birth becomes over soon.

Said the grandmother (to the woman): make yourself steadfast.

Said the baby (to all present): I can see this place.

Said the grandmother (to the baby): Huh?

Said the woman (to all present): What is it?

Said the healer (to the woman): Don't have fear. You must make pushes. Woman, you must push.

Said the grandmother (to the woman): make yourself steadfast.

Said the baby (to all present): I wish for clothes. Hey, usually I have expensive clothes.

Said the woman (to all present): He can make words!

Said the baby (to the woman): My mother. I am your baby. Hopefully you (the clan) will not give me the name Konush because it is a too common name.

Said the woman (to all present): This is from too much beer. What did the baby (say)?

Said the healer (to all present): I can cut the navel cord (now).

Said the baby (to all present) the facts: Before I became dead, I was a high-ranking soldier. I had a valuable name and the name was Piter. And, I want a drink, you monster, but I don't want any milk.

Said the grandmother (to the baby): Piter, don't be a wiggler like a worm.

Said the baby (to all present): I haven't had whiskey in 8 'months'.

Said the grandmother (to the baby): make yourself steadfast.

The next day, someone wrote: The baby has words! It's a holy gift!

Back to Conlang Relay 12

Back to Conlang Relay 12