Conlang Relay 15/Kélen
by Sylvia Sotomayor
se jatākken mo majjārien cī; la sāeþ ānen jaxūnīke honahan wā; la sāeþ ānen jexīma wā ānen sawūrri āñ ēmma; wā sexe jatawāla ien jajāra jaxūnīke wā; ñaxxa honahan jarāka jarāeλa ja sexe jakīña; ewaþ ñaxxa jajāra jaxālāja jatēnnen nā ñe janaren; wa majjārien pa anākexa nā; ñi sāeþ sarāoλa ñi sāeþ sarāeλa; se jawāña ien pa sāeþ sasōnne jāniþa; se jawāña ien la jawāra nā; ñaxxa jāŋŋeren nā ā majjārien ānen jakēwīke pē hōkēñ; wā ñaxxa jarāka jāniþa jē nā;
Give attention to the dancers. They are without any kind of plan. The are without music except for their own voices. They have not studied a pattern of the dance. They each make any kind of weaving step they wish. And yet they make the most harmonious and graceful dance of all. None of the dancers have more agility. They make turns, they make weavings. It seems they have one mind. It seems very easy. How do the dancers each make so much beauty with so little effort? They do not make each merely one step.
- [Preposition] agent marker
- [N] agility, dexterity
- [Preposition] with
- ānen ... ēmma
- [Modifier] except ...
- ānen ... wā
- [Modifier] without ...
- [N] singleness, oneness, unity
- [Postposition] reflexive marker and emphasis marker
- [N] beauty
- [Mood] commissive, polite imperative
- [Conjunction] and yet, but
- [N] music
- [Pronoun] any kind of, some kind of
- [Interrogative Pronoun] how?
- [Preposition] renames the object of SE
- [Inanimate Relative Pronoun] that, which
- [Pronoun] everything, all
- [N] dance
- jē nā
- [Clause-Level Modifier] merely, only, just
- [N] work, labor, effort
- [N] wish, want, desire
- [Preposition] goal or beneficiary marker
- [Postposition] more, much, many, very
- nā ñe
- [Preposition] more than, greater than
- [Postposition] few, little, some
- [N] erratic or weaving motion, motion without an intended direction
- [N] a step
- [N] a turn, motion in a direction different from a previous direction
- [Pronoun] 3rd Person Plural, they, them
- [N] mind
- [N] attention
- [N] close study, learning
- [N] grace, controlled motion
- [Postposition] no, not, none
- [Clause-Level Modifier] not, no, none (emphatic)
- [N] easiness
- [N] seeming, appearance
- [N] contradiction, paradox, riddle
- [N] voice
- [N] harmony
- [N] pattern, plan
Grammar & Syntax
OK. Here is the fun stuff.... First, there are no verbs. Instead, there are 4 relationals, each of which appear in the text. The four relationals are 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 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.
It's really not that complicated.
Forms of relationals that appear in the text:
- LA + non-past
- NI + non-past + 3rd person plural
- NI + non-past + unidentified or reflexive agent
- SE + non-past + unidentified source + unidentified beneficiary/recipient
- SE + non-past + unidentified source + 3rd person plural ben/rec
- LA + negative
Now on to the Nouns.
There are (in this text) 4 prefixes:
- for abstract nouns (ideas, qualities)
- for inanimate nouns (things, places, instances of an abstraction)
- for animate nouns (people, people with a given quality)
- for obligatorily possessed in the 3rd person nouns
Then there are the suffixes:
- for non-plural
- for plural inanimates and collective animates
- -ien with some initial root consonant reduplication (if applicable)
- for plural animates
Note: animates are collective when considered as a single group and plural when considered as a bunch of individuals. Pronouns follow this pattern by using a paucal inflection for the collective group of any size, and plural for a bunch of individuals of any size.
Nouns in juxtaposition with the same inflection refer to the same entity. Otherwise, they follow a whole-part pattern or a general-specific or a animate-inanimate pattern.
Obligatorily possessed nouns mess with the system a bit. They can be considered the equivalent of inanimate nouns.
See also http://www.terjemar.net