Conlang Relay 23/Xunumi Wudu

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Xunumi Wudu


Xinedele yeleda sedeseda Idalata xosu lasa genedu laca yeleda. Lohote kele geli kullo kuje dulloseda gama gelipe. Kuno kutta nosekemo Xammada xope Seneto lasa geneke. Gacagaca casa lakasu tene deyesekemo. Cammo telloboloda. Sesekemo, "Kullo kuje noye tellodi lohote geli cewadu." Sesedayo, "Cammo tellole." Paca godu dunno nomesekemo. Sesekemo, "Cammo dullodi, wusupe kullo kujedi." Wedewana lasa yelesa Madawala xosu cana cannosesamo Xinedelemo. Xammada xodu dasesa. Kenni kenni noyesesayo Seneto geneyo. Sesesayo, "Sedele kage yisi Xinedeledu." Kennewa yittupe goli cannoseda sodo wududu. Lono wusudasu Wedewana yelesa kuno dasesamo lakape.


Xinedele was the daughter to the chief of Idalotu. She could weave fine gold from grass. Seneto, chief of Xammada, seized her. He put her inside a locked hut. She must eat. He said to her, "You must start to weave gold for me." She said to him, "I must eat." He said to her, "You can eat, after you weave."

Wedewana, chief of Madawala, loved Xinedele. He went to Xammada. He came to fight with chief Seneto. He said to him, "I am Xinedele's younger brother." She waited a long time for word from the fight. This day, Wedewana went to get her from the hut.


Orthography: mostly like Latin, except:

 x = English sh 
 c = English ch 
 y = English consonant y 
 j = English j, dg

Stress is on the initial syllables, and intonation is by trochees going left to right. Final syllables are never stressed, so if there is an extra syllable after the final trochee, that forms a dactyl. XW speakers like to end sentences in a dactyl. Some forms can be extended to make a dactyl. Single syllable words are disallowed, so those single syllable grammatical morphemes become clitics that attach to the end of the previous word.

Verb phrases and noun phrases can occur in any order (free order), but the words within the noun or verb phrase generally occur in a fixed order.

Verb phrases consist of one or more conjugatable verb (there are 38 total in the language), sometimes preceded by other words, including other verbs, and suffixed with a tense + evidentiality marker, and then a subject clitic, and if needed, an object clitic. so [X V-t/e=S=O].

The tense/evidentiality markers are:

 non-past     zero marking, no evidentiality.
 recent past  -la (direct evidential), -bo, -bolo (inferred), -se, -sese (reported)
 distant past -te (direct), -tote (inferred), -to, -tose (reported)

Inferred evidentiality can be used for surprise or sarcasm. There are other complexities, none of which happen in the text.

Subject and Object clitics:

 Person     1sg 1pl.excl 1+2dual 1pl.incl 2sg 2pl  3sg/pl
 Subject    le  mi       ñe      te       di  ja   -
 Object     ce  cena     ño      ñona     ŋa  ŋena -

Note that 3rd person is zero marked as subject and as object, regardless of number. This has led to the use of deictic clitics to tag 3rd person (generally animate) arguments that appear in the discourse. These are:

            this/here  that/there  that/yonder
 Subject    da         sa          ke
 Object     mo         be          yo

Subject clitics are used to reference the subject of the verb (whether of not the subject is actually stated in the sentence), and Object clitics are used for the object of a transitive verb and for any peripheral arguments. The subject deictic clitics can also be used to modify time and place classifiers to create adverbs of place and time.

A verb phrase can be a complete sentence. Since there are only 38 conjugatable verbs, some verb combinations have a regular meaning.

Noun phrase can consist of any number of nouns and or adjectives followed by a classifier and then an optional deictic tag or a location/direction clitic, so [N|A CLAS DT CL]. Technically all of these words are optional, though the classifier comes closest to being required. However, proper names don't actually require classifiers, though they can have them anyway. Single syllable classifiers can attach to the preceding word OR form a word with a following tag or location/direction clitic. Many classifiers are also generic nouns. Some locational adjectives (as opposed to a location clitic) are derived from body parts.

n = noun, v = verb, a = adjective, adverb, cl = classifier, c = clitic.

cammo [v] eat

cana [n] love

cana canno [v] love, feel love

canno [v] feel

casa [n] belly, stomach

casa [a] inside

cewa [n] 1st person singular full pronoun

da [v] go, go and V

deye [v] leave, make V

du [cl] direction to, beneficiary for, relative of, thing shown

dullo [v] think, can V

dunno [v] see

dunno nome [v] show

gacagaca [a] locked, guarded

gama [n] a grass

geli [cl] curvilinear thing, path, line

gene [cl] respected elder

go [cl] food

goli [a] long time

goli canno [v] wait

Idalotu [n] a place name

kage [n] brother

kele [a] fine, finely made

kennewa [a][n] hitting, a fight

kenni [v] hit

kenni kenni [v] fight

kuje [v] twist

kullo [v] pull

kullo kuje [v] pull & twist, braid, weave

kuno [v] get, catch, have

kutta [v] push, V strongly

laca [n] daughter

laka [cl] house, shelter

lasa [n] chief, boss, local important person

lohote [n] gold

lono [n] day

Madawala [n] a place name

no [v] come, come and V

nome [v] come out, appear, let V

noye [v] emerge, emit, start to V

pe [cl] direction from, source, cause

paca [cl][n] animal

se [v] say, speak

sede [v] be, stand

Seneto [n] a proper name

sodo [n] word, speech, message

su [c] location clitic: at, on, in

tello [v] must V

tene [v] be, sit

Wedewana [n] a proper name

wudu [cl][n] wind, air, breath, speech

wusu [cl][n] time

Xammada [n] a place name

Xinedele [n] a proper name

xo [cl] place

yele [cl][n] person

yisi [a] young, small

yittu [cl] event