Tena ni aɬudan ni loho tɛŋɛteya dusena ŋɛha—da daɬo ɛnnavi baŋi tɛndɛ kɨtlɛ na dɛmɛ—na dona nɛn lude kyala dantɨŋe.
An argument is being had by the north wind and the sun with each other—it is which of the two is stronger—when a traveler with a warm cloak came along.
The first third of this sentence (the part before the first —) is a full clause by itself. It starts with the adverbial conjunction [adv.conj] tena to signal that what follows is a story. Furthermore, the verb is inflected with reported evidentiality indicating that this story was once told to the teller.
The verb in question is duso. The form dusena indicates both reported evidentiality and iterative aspect. Duso is glossed as S A ←→ D, as it indicates motion back and forth between a source and a destination. The subject [A] is whatever is moving back and forth, in this case tɛŋɛteya argument. The source [S] is the compound noun phrase ni aɬudan ni loho and the destination [D] is the reciprocal pronoun ŋɛha.
Verbs [v] inflect for evidentiality and aspect, but not for person or number. There are twelve forms for each verb, reflecting four possible types of evidentiality and three types of aspect. The full paradigm for duso is below.
|imperfect [imp]||perfect [prf]||iterative [itr]|
|visual [vis] / Ø||duso||dustɛ||dusna|
Nouns inflect for motility and number. Furthermore, there are four classes of nouns: human or rational animates, non-human animates, inanimate objects and plants, and ideas and abstractions. The nouns in the source are both class 2 nouns. Class 2 nouns are assumed to be animate and therefore motile [mt] as subjects. The subject, though, is a class 4 noun, assumed to be sessile [ss].
|motile sg||motile pl||sessile sg||sessile pl|
Subjects must be motile, as they are the thing that is moving. Sources can be either motile or sessile. Agentive sources are motile. Destinations are always sessile.
Regarding the pronoun [pn] ŋɛha, it does not inflect for noun class or number and it can be either reflexive or reciprocal. The fact that the verb is in the iterative aspect and the source is plural indicate that this should be interpreted as reciprocal. We could force a reflexive interpretation by adding the adverb [adv] liya, so ni aɬudan ni loho tɛŋɛteya dusena ŋɛha liya the north wind argues with himself over and over and the sun argues with herself over and over.
Adjectives [adj] agree in motility and number with the nouns that they modify.
Finally, ni…ni is a phrasal conjunction [conj] both…and.
- each other