Conlang Relay 23/merɛ́chi

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The text in merɛ́chi

clilíriɬa pírnedi, cánjdi, pedísom, améa lámakɛsɛtic cíara lómne te néc lafamgoldávn. lírya dipárive, kɛ viɛlúc kiyitáshipe.

á améahart necáleki

cía na-lomfávn térɛnac na-kataksadápn améace távavn. tách dipárifiac yinúrave te lómive, te pólitim né néc docádive.

Smooth English translation of the merɛ́chi

At last being upstream in the north, the king is eating plants as medicine and they make him become hungry for power. He wants very much to rule the country.

About the Bloody King

The medicine that was eaten gives knowledge to the king that enables one to make war. Therefore he finds the desired thing, eats it, and then he punishes himself.

Non-ASCII characters used above, in X-SAMPA

 á         'A (stressed A)
 é         'e (stressed e)
 ɛ         E (lax E)
 ɛ́        'E (stressed lax E)
 í         'i (stressed i)
 ɬ         K (lateral fricative)
 ó         'o (stressed o)
 ú         'u (stressed u)

Glossary of the words and morphemes used in the text

 á            art. the (singular)
 améa         n. leader, ruler; king or queen; presider
 -ɛt          suff. plural after consonants
 -c           suff. accusative case ending after vowels
 cánj         n. north
 -ce          adp. dative
 cía          n. substances, particularly foods, with medicinal or vital powers
 clilíri      adv. long (time)
 -dá          deriv. suff. makes verb causative; to cause to
 -di          adp. at (locative)
 dipári       v. to want, to desire
   dipárifia  n. desired thing
 díso         v. be located at
 docád        v. to punish
 -e           pron. suff. 3rd p. s. m. (he)
 -fá          deriv. suff. makes verb passive
 fámgol       v. be hungry for power
 -hart        adp. about, concerning
 -ɬa          adp. after (temporal)
 -ic          suff. accusative case ending after consonants
 -iv          suff. perfective aspect after consonants
 katak        v. attack, make war
 kɛ           adv. "that" (head of sub. clause)
 ki-          pref. future tense
 -ki          suff. adjectivizer
 la-          pref. inceptive; to begin to
 lámakɛs      n. plant, growing thing, types of plants
 lírya        adv. very
 lóm, lom     v. eat
 -n           suff. imperfective aspect after consonants
 -n           pron. suff. 3rd p. s. (it)
 na-          pref. relativizer ("which")
 né           pron. 3rd p. s. m. (he)
 necále       n. blood
 -nedi        adp. toward
 -p           suff. imperfective aspect after vowels
 pe- -m       gerundive circumfix ("-ing")
 pír          n. source, spring, headwaters
 pólitim      gerundive form of ólit used adverbially to mean "then, next"
 -ra          adp. "as a, acting as, for a"
 -sa          deriv. suff. makes verb possibilitative; to be able
 te           conj. and
 tách         adv. so, therefore
 táva         v. give, give something to someone
 térɛna       n. knowledge
 -v           suff. perfective aspect after vowels
 viɛlú        n. country, kingdom, nation
 yinúra       v. find
 yitáshi      v. command, control

The interlinear morphemic breakdown of the text

(view in a fixed-width font)
 clilíri -ɬa  pír -nedi cánj -di  pe- díso -m
 N       -ADP N   -ADP  N    -ADP GER V    GER
 améa lámakɛs -ɛt -ic  cía -ra  lóm -n   -e
 N    N       -PL -ACC N   -ADP V   -IMP -3sg.m
 te   né    -c   la-    fámgol -dá   -v    -n
 CONJ 3sg.m -ACC INCEP- V      -CAUS -PERF -3.n
 lírya dipári -v    -e     kɛ   viɛlú -c   ki-  yitáshi -p   -e
 ADV   V      -PERF -3sg.m CONJ N     -ACC FUT- V       -IMP -3sg.m
 á   améa -hart necále -ki
 DEF N    -ADP  N      -ADJ
 cía na-  lom -fá   -v    -n
 N   REL- V   -PASS -PERF -3.n
 térɛna -c   na-  katak -sa   -dá   -p   -n
 N      -ACC REL- V     -POSS -CAUS -IMP -3.n
 améa -ce  táva -v    -n
 N    -ADP V    -PERF -3.n
 tách dipárifia -c   yinúra -v    -e     te   lóm -iv   -e
 ADV  N         -ACC V      -PERF -3sg.m CONJ V   -PERF -3sg.m
 te   pólitim né    né    -c   docád -iv   -e
 CONJ ADV     3sg.m 3sg.m -ACC V     -PERF -3sg.m

Key to terms used in the interlinear

 3sg.m   third person singular, male
 3.n     third person inanimate, singular or plural
 ACC     accusative case
 ADJ     adjective
 ADP     adposition
 ADV     adverb
 CAUS    causative derivational affix
 CONJ    conjunction
 DEF     definite article
 FUT     future tense
 GER     gerundive circumfix particle
 IMP     imperfective aspect
 INCEP   inceptive derivational affix
 N       noun
 PASS    passive voice derivational affix
 PERF    perfective aspect
 PL      plural
 POSS    possibilitative derivational affix
 REL     relative clause prefix
 V       verb

Grammar notes for merɛ́chi

Some of the grammar is very similar to English. Adjectives do not agree in case, number or postpositions with the noun. The major differences in word order are that merɛ́chi features postpositional phrases (with cliticized postpositions), that adjectives (and all other modifiers except the article) follow the noun, and that word order is SOV in declarative sentences, except when the object is itself a clause (as in complement clauses beginning with kɛ), in which case it comes after the verb.

The true case suffixes are the accusative (-c or -ic) and the possessive (-ge), the latter not found in this text.

The definite article is used more sparingly than in English; do not let the lack of a definite article prevent you from using one in English.

There are two plural forms in merɛ́chi: the normal plural and the collective plural. The ordinary plural is -t or -ɛt; the collective plural, denoting all X or a complete set of X, is -n or án.

Relative clauses follow the noun that they modify. Simple relative clauses are one word, a fully conjugated verb which agrees in person and number with the noun it modifies, prefixed by the relativizing clitic na-. For historical reasons, the relativizing clitic is hyphenated to the verb.

Verbs take an optional negative prefix, an optional tense or mood prefix, optional derivational prefixes and suffixes (such as the causative, passive, inceptive, potentiative, and equative), a mandatory aspect suffix, and a mandatory pronoun/agreement suffix. If no tense or mood prefix appears, the verb is in present tense.


       ka- ki- tínide   -p  -a
       NEG FT  remember IMP 1P.SG
       "I will not remember"

Perfective aspect is used for simple past actions; imperfective is used in the past tense to show that someone habitually used to do something, or was doing it for some time; in present tense narratives which combine the perfective and imperfective, the imperfective may denote actions that were ongoing at the time a perfective action occurs, while multiple perfective verbs in conjunction may denote sequential actions. This text is a present tense narrative.

Aspect suffixes:

      -p, -ip, -n      imperfective
      -v, -e           perfective

Pronouns can appear as verb suffixes, in which case they agree with or are the subject of the verb, and they can appear elsewhere as independent words with a case or postpositional suffix or, rarely, in the nominative (unmarked) for emphasis. If the sentence appears to have no subject, the subject is the pronoun on the verb. Otherwise, the subject will be the noun without a case suffix or postposition, and will agree with the pronoun on the verb. If a free standalone pronoun in the nominative appears as a subject it will also be marked on the verb; this is used, for example, to emphasize reflexive actions.

Derivational affixes are used heavily in verb formation. Affixes are accretive; they build upon those already attached to the word. Examples using the abilitative suffix -sa and the passive suffix -fá:

       hála - to do - eg. I do it
       hálasa - to be able to do - eg. I can do it
       halafá - to be done - eg. It is done
       halafása - to be able to be done - eg. It can be done

merɛ́chi has a passive participle formed with the suffix -(e)fi, and an active participle formed with the suffix -(í)pi. There is also a gerund form, which often acts adverbially, consisting of a circumfix (a prefix p- or pe-, plus a suffix -m or -im):

       aníle - to sing
        panílem - singing
       shír - to grow
        peshírim - growing