Conlang Relay 18/Buruya Nzaysa
by Jan Strasser
Buruya Nzaysa text
Sə atsa o lu mɛslu u kara puysa mpɛ, dal taxena mɔysa tu’o. Steyə o tselu nzɔ yɔsa əlmɔ kwɛno. Na ɔ ɔgi xat ño u reyo meko xananɔ, rɔma o lu tere ah lu mɛslu mvoñu. Esə xə ño u katsu ntsa muda! Esə xə ño u nuve ntsa muda! Ntenamɛ, pɔwə lo yɔsa ño u ɛtsɛ o gasu idə. Dal nte’a, ɔdɔwexa owa ɔ ivrɛ rumɛ rɛ sa nzɔ ŋkə ɔ mɔtsa mañi mvunɛ, rɛ esa ñalta ah katsu o nuve ɔ reyo ñolu.
Steyə rabɛ lu kwɛno ah nzɔ yɔsa o lu mɛslu, nə u ru lire o lu tere məlu. Ɔdɔwə nzɔ əbɔwə kwɛno; steyə rapsə puh lo mlaña nzɛda witsu. Ñalta, na lu ɛne ah tsɔmva, o ta nzɔ ləmo.
Mist is still lingering on the meadow, but it is starting to recede somewhat. A beautiful maiden is walking around there. She has carved a wooden statue of a fox, which she has placed at the gate of the meadow. This one looks very strong! This one looks very proud! In comparison, the maiden might seem weak and timid. But in fact we know from word of mouth that the same maiden has a remarkable soul, that she indeed matches a fox in strength and confidence.
While the maiden was walking around on the meadow, a young man has arrived at the gate. She has stopped walking; she is now flirting with him instead. Actually, she has untied her hair, and she begins to smile.
Literal English translation of previous text
- (Feayran, by David Edwards)
Hey / it can be seen on the meadow / it has happened there / this:
A maiden / she is walking there // also / it is misty but beginning to clear up.
It is like a fox / she forms it from wood // at the meadow / she places it at the boundary.
Also / however / it seems to be strong // however / it seems to be proud.
Hey / however / she seems not to be strong / she seems not to be proud / this one.
But listen! / it is known by word of mouth / she is known to be energetic / like a fox / even as much as it.
Well / she is walking there // then / a boy / he has arrived at the boundary.
She has stopped walking // she is flirting towards him // indeed / she has untied it / her hair.
She begins to smile.
Smooth English translation of previous text
This is what happened at the meadow:
A maiden is walking on the meadow. It is misty, but the mist is beginning to clear up. She has carved a wooden fox, which she now places at the gate of the meadow. It looks very strong and proud. The maiden, however, seems not so strong and not so proud. But listen! It is known by word of mouth that she is in fact just as strong-willed as a fox.
While she is walking on the meadow, a boy arrives at the gate. She has stopped walking; she is now flirting with him. Indeed, she has untied her hair. She begins to smile.
|ah||pp.||of, belonging to, with regard to|
|ɛtsɛ||n.||weak, feeble, fragile|
|es-||aux.||(emphatic auxiliary: "do indeed")|
|əbɔ(w)-||aux.||(cessative auxiliary: "stop")|
|əlmɔ||n.||attractive, beautiful, handsome|
|gasu||n.||shy, timid, reticent, cautious|
|idə||v.||seem, be perceived as|
|ivrɛ||n.||tale, story, narration|
|katsu||n.||strong, powerful, vigorous|
|kwɛno||v.||walk around, stroll|
|lire||n.||young, fresh, naïve|
|lo||det.||(definite article, nominative)|
|lu||det.||(definite article, accusative)|
|mañi||n.||rare, remarkable, special|
|meko||n.||lookalike, replacement, substitute, stand-in|
|məlu||n.||arrive, achieve, accomplish|
|mɔtsa||n.||soul, mind, personality|
|mɔysa||v.||recede, retreat, go backward|
|muda||v.||look, appear, resemble|
|mvoñu||v.||put up, erect, place, establish|
|mvunɛ||v.||have, own, hold|
|n-||aux.||(perfective auxiliary: "have done")|
|nte’a||adv.||really, truly, indeed|
|nzɛda||v.||tease, be playful, flirt|
|nzɔ||det./pron.||(topic marker, nominative)|
|ñolu||v.||match, rival, be equivalent|
|ŋkə||n.||same, identical, -self|
|ɔ||det.||(indefinite article, accusative)|
|ɔdɔ(w)-||aux.||(resultative auxiliary: "have become")|
|pɔ(w)-||aux.||(conditional auxiliary: "might, would")|
|puysa-||aux.||(durative auxiliary: "keep, continue")|
|rabɛ||pp.||at the time of, during|
|rɔma-||aux.||(relative clause auxiliary; relativized noun is topic but not necessarily subject of subclause)|
|rumɛ||v.||know, be aware of|
|s-||aux.||(null auxiliary: "do")|
|ste(y)-||aux.||(progressive auxiliary: "be doing")|
|ta-||aux.||(inceptive auxiliary: "start")|
|tere||n.||door, gate, entrance|
|tselu||pron.||there, that place|
|tsɔmva||v.||drop, let go of, set free|
|tu’o||adv.||somewhat, a little|
|u||det.||(indefinite article, nominative)|
|xə||det./pron.||(proximal deictic, nominative: "this, these")|
|yɔsa||n.||lady (usually of noble blood)|
|-a||suffix||3rd person singular subject, 3rd person object|
|-exa||suffix||1st person plural subject, 3rd person object|
|-ə||suffix||3rd person singular intransitive|
|-xena||suffix||3rd person reflexive|
- Note: The suffixes -a and -ə are not distinct if the stem of the auxiliary ends in /a/.
- mostly isolating
- basic word order: AuxSOV with occasional topic fronting
- basic morphosyntactic alignment: NOM-ACC
- no distinction between nouns and adjectives
- nouns/adjectives do not inflect at all
- determiners are mandatory in all full (i.e. non-pronominal) noun phrases
- nouns without a determiner usually have adjectivial function, but may refer to an abstract quality when used as the object of a preposition
- most determiners are marked for case
- nominal number is unmarked
- prepositions inflect for the person of their object (all instances in the text are 3rd person)
- objects of prepositions can be omitted if clear from context
- content verbs do not inflect at all
- auxiliary verbs are mandatory in all clauses
- auxiliary verbs inflect for person and number of the subject and person of the object
- aspect and mood are indicated by the choice of the auxiliary
- no tense marking