Linda Poboto Part 1

Text and Translation

Ŋasaras linda pobotoza zisirinohe. Ŋono poto liŋi, yatayatavadu lira. Poto liŋiye, muros dahidahi liŋi, morono.

Moronen muros dahidahi liŋiye, uri erenano. Liyeza naka, liyenen yiri buros nara. Koyo erenaya yiri erenanen yereme. Erenaya keruvelime. Naya ŋarunos ŋono pezes ebeno, naya ŋarunos yozos tileya ŋarahidu hape aŋaka.

You may have heard news of my sickness. I was very sick, almost to death. While I was sick, I lay on the mat, and a dream came.

With the dream, while I am lying on the mat, the wind spirits come. They grasp me and take me to the mouth of a dry wash. These spirits play with the dry wash spirits. The dry wash spirits create dust devils. They make a distant pool of water appear to you and then before you can reach it they make it fail to appear.

Interlinear and Explanation

Ŋasaras linda pobotoza zisirinohe.

ŋasaras
ŋa=sara=s
2PL=ear=LOC
linda
li=nda
1SG=SRC
pobotoza
poboto=za
sickness=PATH
zisirinohe
zisiri=no=hi
news=COME=POT
You may have heard news of my sickness.

Ŋono poto liŋi, yatayatavadu lira.

ŋono
ŋono
much
poto
poto
sick
liŋi
li=ŋi
1SG=MOVE
yatayatavadu
yatayatava=du
death=GOAL
lira
li=ra
1SG=GO
I was very sick, almost to death.

Note that poto is an adjective and poboto is a derived noun. A similar pair was encountered before: zeye ‘dark’ and zeseye ‘darkness’. Also, =du marks an unattained destination, so somewhere on the path to death. Speaking of death, yalata is the adjective ‘dying’ and yatayata is the adjective ‘dead’, and death is formed from the latter by adding the nominalizing suffix -va. The word yata no longer exists.

Poto liŋiye, muros dahidahi liŋi, morono.

poto
poto
sick
liŋiye
li=ŋi=yi
1SG=MOVE=CONT
muros
muru=s
mat=LOC
dahidahi
dahidahi
lying.down
liŋi
li=ŋi
1SG=MOVE
morono
moro=no
dream=COME
While I was sick, I lay on the mat, and a dream came.

Moronen muros dahidahi liŋiye, uri erenano.

moronen
moro=nen
dream=COM
muros
muru=s
mat=LOC
dahidahi
dahidahi
lying.down
liŋiye
li=ŋi=yi
1SG=MOVE=CONT
uri
uri
wind
erenano
erena=no
spirits=COME
With the dream, while I am lying on the mat, the wind spirits come.

I guess N N compound phrases are allowed. Usually N N is whole part, and I suppose this compound could be read that way, too—the wind’s spirits. Or maybe it is only whole part when the part is obviously a part.

Liyeza naka, liyenen yiri buros nara.

liyeza
liye=za
1SG=PATH
naka
na=ka
3PLra=TOUCH
liyenen
liye=nen
1SG=COM
yiri
yiri
dry.wash
buros
buru=s
mouth=LOC
nara
na=ra
3PLra=GO
They grasp me and take me to the mouth of a dry wash.

The motion particle =ka is used with =za to convey physical possession or ownership. This is an extension of its use here, as a way to convey grasping something.

Also note that =za, =nen, and =s glom onto full pronouns only, while =nda, =du, and =ya glom onto pronominal particles.

Koyo erenaya yiri erenanen yereme.

koyo
koyo
this
erenaya
erena=ya
spirits=CAUS
yiri
yiri
dry.wash
erenanen
erena=nen
spirits=COM
yereme
yere=me
game=IN
These spirits play with the dry wash spirits.

Erenaya keruvelime.

erenaya
erena=ya
spirits=CAUS
keruvelime
keruveli=me
dust.devil=IN
The dry wash spirits create dust devils.

Naya ŋarunos ŋono pezes ebeno, naya ŋarunos yozos tileya ŋarahidu hape aŋaka.

naya
na=ya
3PLra=CAUS
ŋarunos
ŋa=runu=s
2PL=eye=LOC
ŋono
ŋono
much
pezes
pezi=s
away=LOC
ebeno
ebe=no
pool=COME
naya
na=ya
3PLra=CAUS
ŋarunos
ŋa=runu=s
2PL=eyes=LOC
yozos
yozo=s
there=LOC
tileya
tileya
before
ŋarahidu
ŋa=ra=hi=du
2PL=GO=POT=GOAL
hape
ha=pe
3SGin=FAIL
aŋaka.
aŋaka
and.then
They make a distant pool of water appear to you and then before you can go there they make it fail to appear.

Can you think of a better way to explain mirages?

The South Wind and the Sun 2

The rest of the sentences from the South Wind and the Sun…

Lohoya kehimena, saselevena.

lohoya
loho=ya
sun=CAUS
kehimena
kehi=me=na
task=IN=START
saselevena
sa=sele=vi=na
3SGra=light=OUT=START
The sun started the task, they started to emit light.

Light is a body part of the sun, at least in this case.

Sama ŋono seleve, sama ŋono kalave, mede banas dahidahi keneŋiyi baŋibaŋi.

sama
sama
3SGra
ŋono
ŋono
more
seleve
sele=vi
light=OUT
sama
sama
3SGra
ŋono
ŋono
more
kalave
kala=vi
heat=OUT
mede
mede
tree
banas
bana=s
foot=LOC
dahidahi
dahidahi
lying.down
keneŋiyi
kene=ŋi=yi
woman=MOVE=CONT
baŋibaŋi
baŋibaŋi
unexpectedly
They emitted more light, they emitted more heat, and still the woman was lying down under the tree.

Light and heat are body parts of the sun here, and modified by an adjective. The adjective comes between the possessor and the body part. The final clause has =yi for a continuing situation and baŋibaŋi to express that this situation is contrary to expectation.

Lohoya kehimeto, elekenda ureya kehimena aŋaka, saderelevina.

lohoya
loho=ya
sun=CAUS
kehimeto
kehi=me=to
task=IN=STOP
elekenda
eleke=nda
south=SRC
ureya
uri=ya
wind=CAUS
kehimena
kehi=me=na
task=IN=START
aŋaka
aŋaka
and.then
saderelevina
sa=derele=vi=na
3SGra=breath=OUT=START
The sun stopped, and the south wind started, they started to emit breath (blow).

Breath is a partially reduplicated noun, but the unreduplicated noun is not in the current lexicon. It is cognate with Kēlen rēl ‘breath’.

Saya elekenda sakanda mede sonos oloŋira, pezes kalara.

saya
sa=ya
3SGra=CAUS
elekenda
eleke=nda
south=SRC
sakanda
saka=nda
mountain=SRC
mede
mede
tree
sonos
sono=s
head=LOC
oloŋira
oloŋi=ra
cloud=GO
pezes
pezi=s
away=LOC
kalara
kala=ra
heat=GO
He made clouds go from the southern mountains to over the tree, and made the heat go away.

Lamana layisena, lamana tene selese, zeseyelo.

lamana
lamana
hidden
layisena
layi=se=na
sky=STAY=START
lamana
lamana
hidden
tene
tene
all
selese
sele=se
light=STAY
zeseyelo
zeseye=lo
darkness=UP
The sky started to be hidden, all the light was hidden, and the darkness increased.

Earlier there was a conjunction aŋaka glossed as “and then”. It is generally only used for emphasis. Sequence of clauses is usually assumed. The motion particle=lo UP is used here to convey an increase in an entity made of water, air, light, or sound. =ta DOWN can be used to convey a decrease.

Ŋono zeye layisenahiza kenes delino.

ŋono
ŋono
more
zeye
zeye
dark
layisenahiza
layi=se=na=hi=za
sky=STAY=START=POT=PATH
kenes
kene=s
woman=LOC
delino
deli=no
idea=COME
The woman thought that the sky would start to become darker.

An idea came to the woman, and =za marks the idea: ŋono zeye layisenahi or more dark the sky potentially starts to be.

Mede bananda pezes kenera, maras sara.

mede
mede
tree
bananda
bana=nda
foot=SRC
pezes
pezi=s
away=LOC
kenera
kene=ra
woman=GO
maras
mara=s
home=LOC
sara
sa=ra
3SGra=GO
The woman went away from under the tree and went home.

Nenenda ŋono takaka elekenda uriŋe kodu.

nenenda
nene=nda
pair=SRC
ŋono
ŋono
more
takaka
takaka
strong
elekenda
eleke=nda
south=SRC
uriŋe
uri=ŋi
wind=MOVE
kodu
kodu
so
And so the south wind is the stronger of the pair.

Next week I start a longer story in four parts…

The South Wind and the Sun 1

Text: Elekenda Uri, Loho

Text and Translation

Elekenda ureya lohoya nenenda ŋono takaka ŋeŋeza keŋikeŋime. Narunos mede banas dahidahi ŋeŋi keneno. Ŋeya mede bananda pezes keneradu kehimehi, ŋono takaka saŋihe. Lohoya kehimena, saselevena. Sama ŋono seleve, sama ŋono kalave, mede banas dahidahi keneŋiyi baŋibaŋi. Lohoya kehimeto, elekenda ureya kehimena aŋaka, saderelevina. Saya elekenda sakanda mede sonos oloŋira, pezes kalara. Lamana layisena, tene lamana selese, zeseyelo. Ŋono zeye layisenahiza kenes delino. Mede bananda pezes kenera, maras sara. Nenenda ŋono takaka elekenda uriŋe kodu.

The south wind and the sun were discussing who of the pair was stronger. They saw a woman lying down under a tree. Whoever made the woman move away from under the tree, they would be the stronger. The sun started the task, they started to emit light. They emitted more light, they emitted more heat, and still the woman was lying down under the tree. The sun stopped, and the south wind started, they started to emit breath (blow). He made clouds go from the southern mountains to over the tree, and made the heat go away. The sky started to be hidden, all the light was hidden, and the darkness increased. The woman thought that the sky would start to become darker. The woman went away from under the tree and went home. And so the south wind is the stronger of the pair.

Interlinear and Explanation

Elekenda ureya lohoya nenenda ŋono takaka ŋeŋeza keŋikeŋime.

elekenda
eleke=nda
south=SRC
ureya
uri=ya
wind=CAUS
lohoya
loho=ya
sun=CAUS
nenenda
nene=nda
pair=SRC
ŋono
ŋono
more
takaka
takaka
strong
ŋeŋeza
ŋe=ŋi=za
ANsg=MOVE=PATH
keŋikeŋime
keŋikeŋi=me
inquiry=IN
The south wind and the sun were discussing who of the pair was stronger.

All the conjunctions I have mentioned so far have been clausal conjunctions. Here is an example of phrasal conjuction by simple juxtaposition and the repeating of the rational agent particle =ya. They are both agents creating (use of =me IN) an inquiry (or argument or discussion or any sort of talking with one another to come to a conclusion about a question or situation). The topic of the inquiry is marked with=za and includes all of nenenda ŋono takaka ŋeŋi or of the pair, more strong, who is.

Narunos mede banas dahidahi ŋeŋi keneno.

narunos
na=runu=s
3PLra=eye=LOC
mede
mede
tree
banas
bana=s
foot=LOC
dahidahi
dahidahi
lying.down
ŋeŋi
ŋe=ŋi
ANsg=MOVE
keneno
kene=no
woman=COME
They saw a woman lying down under a tree.

Here is an example of runu in the singular despite having a plural possessor. This is very common, especially when the plural possessors are sensing at the same time. What is sensed is the subject of the motion particle =no COME, a woman, along with the relative clause describing her, one who is lying down.

In mede bana is an example of a body part being used for a non-animate entity. Here bana is essentially the bottom of something. Likewise sono ‘head’ is the top of something.

Ŋeya mede bananda pezes keneradu kehimehi, ŋono takaka saŋihe.

ŋeya
ŋe=ya
ANsg=CAUS
mede
mede
tree
bananda
bana=nda
foot=SRC
pezes
pezi=s
away=LOC
keneradu
kene=ra=du
woman=GO=GOAL
kehimehi
kehi=me=hi
task=IN=POT
ŋono
ŋono
more
takaka
takaka
strong
saŋihe
sa=ŋi=hi
3SGra=MOVE=POT
Whoever made the woman move away from under the tree, they would be the stronger.

Here we have two clauses, both suffixed with the potential =hi. This is a common way to convey a hypothetical situation and consequence. The first clause also has an indefinite agent ŋe making the task.

More sentences coming!

Runulodu Yere 3

Continuing from previously, the last batch of sentences in Runulodu Yere.

Tabuninda indaya rinive, samas rinirinive.

Tabuninda
Tabuni=nda
Cottontail=SRC
indaya
inda=ya
children=CAUS
rinive
rini=vi
laughter=OUT
samas
sama=s
3SGra=LOC
rinirinive
rinirini=vi
mockery=OUT
Cottontail’s children laughed, they mocked him.

Here are two uses of =vi OUT. The first was seen before, an emitting of noise, in this case laughter. The second, with an attained destination is used to convey covering the destination with a substance (the subject). This usage is then applied metaphorically to mockery. It is also used for cursing and blessing.

Nurunen Peyaŋina, naŋakadu dimidimi sarana.

nurunen
nuru=nen
anger=COM
Peyaŋina
Peya=ŋi=na
Coyote=MOVE=START
naŋakadu
na=ŋaka=du
3PLra=back=PATH
dimidimi
dimidimi
with.force
sarana
sa=ra=na
3SGra=GO=START
Coyote started to move with anger, he started to chase after them.

A basic usage of =du: the goal or not yet attained destination.

Nadu sapenda pezes sara.

nadu
na=du
3PLra=GOAL
sapenda
sa=pe=nda
3SGra=FAIL=SRC
pezes
pezi=s
away=LOC
sara
sa=ra
3SGra=GO
Since he failed to get them, he left.

This is one clause, with an embedded clause marked with =nda. Here =pe is probably negating =ra GO or even =ka TOUCH.

Saya ŋuyanda sama talile duruno hame.

saya
sa=ya
3SGra=CAUS
ŋuyanda
ŋuya=nda
sap=SRC
sama
sama
3SGra
talile
talili
new
duruno
durunu
eye+DU
hame
ha=me
3SGin=IN
He made new eyes out of sap.

The main verb is =me IN, used to convey making the subject, or rather the coming into being of the subject. The subject is his two new eyes. Note that the adjective comes between the possessor and the body part. The thing the subject is made out of or made from is marked with =nda as the source.

The word ŋuya is borrowed from Dirk.

Alas ŋuyago Peya durunuseye kodu.

alas
ala=s
now=LOC
ŋuyago
ŋuyago
like.sap
Peya
Peya
Coyote
durunuseye
durunu=se=yi
eye.DU=STAY=CONT
kodu
kodu
so
And so Coyote’s eyes are like sap (yellowish) now.

And the end of the story continues into the present. The conjunction kodu is ko= (like in koyo, earlier) and =du: ‘for this’.

Next text is the South Wind and the Sun

Runulodu Yere 2

Continuing from previously, the next batch of sentences in Runulodu Yere.

Peyas koyo yeredo kuŋino.

Peyas
Peya=s
Coyote=LOC
koyo
koyo
this
yeredo
yere=du
game=GOAL
kuŋino
kuŋi=no
desire=COME
Coyote desired to play this game.

In addition to sensory experience, COME is also used for certain mental and emotional experiences as well, such as kuŋi ‘desire’. The intention of the desire is marked with =du.

Zeye luvunen sadurunuse.

zeye
zeye
dark
luvunen
luvu=nen
shine=COM
sadurunuse
sa=durunu=se
3SGra=eye.DU=STAY
His eyes were dark and shiny.

Shiny is composed of the noun luvu ‘reflected light’ and the comitative =nen. And, here is a dual of ‘eye’, for emphasis.

Sakemeya sataronda sadurunora, udures halo.

sakemeya
sa=keme=ya
3SGra=finger=CAUS
sataronda
sa=taru=nda
3SGra=face=SRC
sadurunora
sa=durunu=ra
3SGra=eye.DU=GO
udures
uduri=s
air=LOC
halo
ha=lo
3SGin=UP
He took his two eyes from his face with his fingers and tossed them up into the air.

This is the equivalent of the first two clauses of sentence #9, but with a singular rather than a plural possessor throughout. Also, dual items take singular reference on the verb, hence ha= to refer to the pair of eyes rather than e=.

Sekotas hatato.

sekotas
sekota=s
sekota=LOC
hatato
ha=ta=to
3SGin=DOWN=STOP
They stopped on a sekota tree.

Saya ranarana sekoteŋe, sadurunu atada hape baŋibaŋi.

saya
sa=ya
3SGra=CAUS
ranarana
ranarana
shaking
sekoteŋe
sekota=ŋi
sekota=MOVE
sadurunu
sa=durunu
3SGra=eye.DU
atada
atada
downwards
hape
ha=pe
3SGin=FAIL
baŋibaŋi
baŋibaŋi
unexpected
He shook the sekota tree, but his eyes did not come down.

An example of vowel decay in the verb of the first clause, a more literal translation of which is ‘he made the sekota tree be shaking’. And another example of =pe FAIL as the negative of =ta this time. Since that information is lost, the directional adverb atada is used. The equivalent for =lo is oloyo.

The word sekota is borrowed from Dirk.

Runulodu Yere 1

This next text is a translation of Dirk Elzinga’s version of the Eye-Juggler, with words borrowed from his language.

Text: Runulodu Yere

Text and Translation

Peya runus Tabuninda indanda yereno. Nakemeya nataronda nadurondara, udures elo, eta aŋaka, narunukavas rusurusu eka. Peyas koyo yeredo kuŋino. Zeye luvunen sadurunuse. Sakemeya sataronda sadurunora, udures halo. Sekotas hatato. Saya ranarana sekoteŋe, sadurunu atada hape baŋibaŋi. Tabuninda indaya rinive, samas rinirinive. Nurunen Peyaŋina, naŋakadu sama dimidimi sarana. Nadu sapenda pezes sara. Saya ŋuyanda sama talile duruno hame. Alas ŋuyago Peya durunuseye kodu.

Coyote saw Cottontail’s children’s game. They took their two eyes from their faces with their fingers and tossed them up into the air, and then they (the eyes) came down, and they caught them again and again in their eye sockets. Coyote desired to play this game. His eyes were dark and shiny. He took his two eyes from his face with his fingers and tossed them up into the air. They stopped on a sekota tree. He shook the sekota tree, but his eyes did not come down. Cottontail’s children laughed, they mocked him. Coyote started to move with anger, he started to chase after them. Since he failed to get them, he left. He made new eyes out of sap. And so Coyote’s eyes are like sap (yellowish) now.

Interlinear and Explanation

Peya runus Tabuninda indanda yereno.

Peya
Peya
Coyote
runus
runu=s
eye=LOC
Tabuninda
Tabuni=nda
Cottontail=SRC
indanda
inda=nda
children=SRC
yereno
yere=no
game=COME
Coyote saw Cottontail’s children’s game.

Here is the inalienable possession construction for the possessor::body part, and the alienable possession construction to convey kinship, and the standard way to convey experiencing by seeing using COME with an eye as the attained destination.

The names Peya and Tabuni are borrowed from Dirk.

Nakemeya nataronda nadurondara, udures elo, eta aŋaka, narunukavas rusurusu eka.

nakemeya
na=keme=ya
3PLra=finger=CAUS
nataronda
na=taru=nda
3PLra=face=SRC
nadurondara
na=duronda=ra
3PLra=eye.DU.PL=GO
udures
uduri=s
air=LOC
elo
e=lo
3PLin=UP
eta
e=ta
3PLin=DOWN
aŋaka
aŋaka
and.then
narunukavas
na=runukava=s
3PLra=eye.socket=LOC
rusurusu
rusurusu
repeatedly
eka
e=ka
3PLin=TOUCH
They took their two eyes from their faces with their fingers and tossed them up into the air, and then they (the eyes) came down, and they caught them again and again in their eye sockets.

I mentioned in the short grammar sketch that “number is obligatory only in pronouns and rational animate nouns. All other nouns are neutral in regards to number and can be read as either singular or plural.” There are four exceptions: inanimate nouns that can show number. They are all body parts. They are: runu ‘eye’, sara ‘ear’, kasa ‘hand’, and bana ‘foot’. They have dual forms: duruno (actually durunu with vowel decay), sazara, kagasa, bavana, formed by partial reduplication. They also have plural of the dual forms: duronda, sazanda, kaganda, bavanda. The dual is used when needing to reference the parts as pairs and the plural of the dual is used to reference multiple pairs. The singular is used as the attained destination of an experience, even when the possessor is plural. All three forms appear in this story.

Talking Rock in Kenda Soro 4

Continuing from previously, the final two sentences in Soronen Kidi.

Liya kidenda soronda likehes piŋiranda ebeves sama dimidimi ira.

liya
li=ya
1SG=CAUS
kidenda
kidi=nda
rock=SRC
soronda
soro=nda
word=SRC
likehes
li=kahi=s
1SG=belly=LOC
piŋiranda
piŋi=ra=nda
pain=GO=SRC
ebeves
ebeve=s
sea=LOC
sama
sama
3SGra
dimidimi
dimidimi
with.force
ira
i=ra
3SGan=GO
Because the rock’s words put pain in my belly, I threw it into the sea.

This sentence consists of a single clause starting with a rational animate agent, then an embedded clause with multiple uses of =nda. The embedded clause is kidenda soronda likehes piŋira ‘the rock’s words put pain in my belly’. The first=nda, on rock, marks alienable possession, so ‘the words of the rock’. The second=nda marks an inanimate cause or agent, ‘the words of the rock cause…’. My belly (likehe, actually li=kahi with vowel decay) is the attained destination of the subject, piŋi ‘pain’. And the verb is ra GO, so ‘the words of the rock cause pain to be put into my belly’. And all that is suffixed with another =nda to indicate the origin of the action of the main verb.

This is followed by the attained destination ‘into the sea’ and then the main subject and verb: sama dimidimi ira. Ignoring dimidimi for the moment, this is sama ira, indicating a third person singular rational animate (the rock) acting non-volitionally, in this case being acted upon by the =ya argument. Dimidimi is an adverb conveying the use of force. Adverbs come right before a verb, between the subject and the verb, and thus trigger the use of a pronoun for the verb to attach to. Without the adverb, this would still be sama ira due to the non-volitionality. The equivalent volitional phrase would be sara (sa=ra) and with the adverb sama dimidimi sara. I have no doubt that there are some speakers who would shorten that to sama dimidimera.

Zovalas lirunos kidi venala sapeye.

zovalas
zovala=s
sometime=LOC
lirunos
li=runu=s
1SG=eye=LOC
kidi
kidi
rock
venala
venala
never
sapeye
sa=pe=yi
3SGra=FAIL=CONT
I never saw the rock at any time again.

In the final sentence, we start with another time phrase, this time the indefinite ‘some time’. This is followed by another attained destination: ‘my eye’. Using an eye as an attained destination is the standard way to convey experiencing by seeing. The scene is usually the subject of =no COME. Here it is the subject of =pe FAIL, as the scene has failed to come to the eye. Furthermore, =pe is followed by continuative aspect marker =yi indicating an ongoing situation. This sentence also contains another adverb venala ‘never’ as indicated by its position between the subject kidi and the verb with repeated pronominal subject sapeye. Without the adverb, this would be kidipeyi.

Next text will be the Eye-Juggler, Dirk Elzinga’s version mostly.

Talking Rock in Kenda Soro 3

Continuing from previously, the next two sentences in Soronen Kidi.

Kidido keŋive, “Zodu diya lidu libanaraza seŋipe?”

kidido
kidi=du
rock=GOAL
keŋive
keŋi=vi
question=OUT
zodu
zo=du
indef=GOAL
diya
di=ya
2SG=CAUS
lidu
li=du
1SG=GOAL
libanaraza
li=bana=ra=za
1SG=foot=GO=PATH
seŋipe
seŋi=pe
warning=FAIL
I asked the rock, “Why did you fail to warn me about my foot’s going?”

In this sentence we have a question with a question word, zodu, a combination of the inanimate singular relative clause pronoun zo= wearing its other hat as a general indefinite pronoun and the goal marker =du. Indefinite zo= is the basis of a number of question words. The noun seŋi ‘warning’ is considered speech, and so we have a speech-emitter ‘you’, an audience ‘me’, and then =za to mark indirect speech, which can be anything from an indirect quotation to the bare subject or topic of the speech. Finally, rather than the usual =vi OUT for speech, we have =pe FAIL, as the speech presumably failed to be emitted.

Kideya rusuve, “Ŋeya piŋividu soronen kidi liŋi.”

kideya
kidi=ya
rock=CAUS
rusuve
rusu=vi
reply=OUT
ŋeya
ŋe=ya
SGan=CAUS
piŋividu
piŋi=vi=du
pain=OUT=GOAL
soronen
soro=nen
word=COM
kidi
kidi
rock
liŋi
li=ŋi
1SG=MOVE
The rock replied, “I am a talking rock who causes pain.”

For the reply, more direct speech. The first phrase is an embedded clause marked by =du. Here =du marks an intent, a metaphorical goal. The noun piŋi ‘pain’ is abstract enough to be emitted. Otherwise sensations, physical and mental, tend to use =me IN or =no COME as their main verb. Using =me or =no here would imply that the rock was feeling pain rather than causing pain.

Note also that the animate singular relative clause pronoun is used here in what is not an actual relative clause. These pronouns are also used for indefinite reference and questions. I go back and forth on whether this should be the first person pronoun instead.

Talking Rock in Kenda Soro 2

Continuing from previously, the next two sentences in Soronen Kidi.

Likasaya soronen ŋeŋihe kidilo, sadu sorove, “U! Soronen kidi diŋi?”

Likasaya
li=kasa=ya
1SG=hand=CAUS
soronen
soro=nen
word=COM
ŋeŋihe
ŋe=ŋi=hi
SGan=MOVE=POT
kidilo
kidi=lo
rock=UP
sadu
sa=du
3SGra=GOAL
sorove
soro=vi
word=OUT
u!
u!
hey!
soronen
soro=nen
word=COM
kidi
kidi
rock
diŋi
di=ŋi
2SG=MOVE
I with my hand picked up the rock that could talk, and said to it, “Hey, are you a talking rock?”

The first clause in the second sentence starts out with another example of body part metonomy and with =ya, which only ever attaches to a rational agent. The subject of the first clause is our rock, modified by a relative clause. This is the same relative clause as in the first sentence. It is still potentially a talking rock. It’s identity has not yet been confirmed.

The second clause is an example of speech, using the verb most often used with speech, namely =vi OUT. This is because speech is considered to be sound, and sound is generally emitted by something. The emitter, when indicated, is marked by =ya, because speech is a characteristic of rational animates. The audience is marked with =du, for a goal or not yet attained destination. One doesn’t assume that one’s words have reached a destination.

The third clause is the direct speech. Direct speech is indicated with intonation and a juxtaposition of clauses. The speech starts with the attention-getting interjection u! and continues with a question of identity. Here we lose the relative clause and ask directly if the rock is word-having.

Kideya evi, “La! Soronen kidi liŋi!”

kideya
kidi=ya
rock=CAUS
evi
e=vi
3PLin=OUT
la!
la!
yes!
soronen
soro=nen
word=COM
kidi
kidi
rock
liŋi
li=ŋi
1SG=MOVE
The rock said, “Yes! I am a talking rock!”

And the rock says yes! Identity confirmed. The inanimate plural pronoun refers to speech in general.

Talking Rock in Kenda Soro

Soronen Kidi

Here is the full text of the Talking Rock story, plus an interlinear of the first sentence and an explanation of all that is going on. More sentences will appear in upcoming posts.

Text and Translation

Tili lonos kini ŋamaza lireye, soronen ŋeŋihe kides libana ikanda liye irato baŋibaŋi. Likasaya soronen ŋeŋihe kidilo, sadu sorove, “U! Soronen kidi diŋi?” Kideya evi, “La! Soronen kidi liŋi!” Kidido keŋive, “Zodu diya lidu libanaraza seŋipe?” Kideya rusuve, “Ŋeya piŋividu soronen kidi liŋi.” Liya kidenda soronda likehes piŋiranda ebeves sama dimidimi ira. Zovalas lirunos kidi venala sapeye.

Yesterday, I was going along the shoulder of the land, when I had to stop from coming into contact with my foot against a rock that could talk. I with my hand picked up the rock that could talk, and said to it, “Hey, are you a talking rock?” The rock said, “Yes! I am a talking rock!” I asked the rock, “Why did you fail to warn me about my foot’s going?” The rock replied, “I am a talking rock who causes pain.” Because the rock’s words put pain in my belly, I threw it into the sea. I never saw the rock at any time again.

Interlinear and Explanation

Tili lonos kini ŋamaza lireye, soronen ŋeŋihe kides libana ikanda liye irato baŋibaŋi.

tili
tili
past
lonos
lono=s
day=LOC
kini
kini
land
ŋamaza
ŋama=za
shoulder=PATH
lireye
li=ra=yi
1SG=GO=CONT
soronen
soro=nen
word=COM
ŋeŋihe
ŋe=ŋi=hi
SGan=MOVE=POT
kides
kidi=s
rock=LOC
libana
li=bana
1SG=foot
ikanda
i=ka=nda
3SGan=TOUCH=SRC
liye
liye
1SG
irato
i=ra=to
3SGan=GO=STOP
baŋibaŋi
baŋibaŋi
unexpectedly
Yesterday, I was going along the shoulder of the land, when I had to stop from coming into contact with my foot against a rock that could talk.

Taken in order, the first clause starts with a time period marked with locative =s. The locative is used for attained destinations, locations, and time periods.

The next phrase in the clause uses =za to mark an area, the land’s shoulder, a whole::part noun phrase showing an inalienable possession construct. This is the standard construction for inalienable possession: the whole followed by the possessed part. Inalienable possession is only used for parts of wholes and metaphorical parts of wholes and not for kinship. The shoulder of the land would be the part of the land that gently slopes into not-land, i.e. sea, so the beach.

The final phrase is the subject pronoun, the verbal motion partical, and an aspectual continuative particle all glommed together to make one phonological word showing vowel decay li=ra=yi -> lireye. The continuative is used here to set the scene for the next clause.

The second clause starts with a locative phrase modified by a relative clause. This is the most common type of relative clause, one where the modified noun is the subject of the relative clause. The otherwise inanimate rock uses the animate relative pronoun because of the potentiality (marked on the verb with =hi) of talking. Talking makes a thing a rational animate. Talking here is indicated with soro=nen, word=COM or ‘word-having’. This is a use of =nen for turning a noun into an adjective indicating an attribute. Note the vowel decay.

The next part of the second clause is an embedded clause marked with =nda. The primary use of this particle is to mark a point of origin. The use in this case is to mark a cause or reason, an origin of the action in the main clause. The embedded clause libana ika is using body part metonomy, where a possessed body part stands in for the rational animate possessor. This causes the body part to act like a rational animate, taking rational animate agreement. But, the subject on the verb is the third person animate used for non-volitional action. So the embedded clause is conveying that the reason for the main clause is the non-volitional contact of my foot on a location: the rock that can potentially talk.

The main part of the second clause is the first person singular subject repeated as a third person animate subject, conveying additional non-volitionality. This is attached to the verb ra GO and the aspectual particle =to for stopping. The clause ends with the conjunction baŋibaŋi conveying an unexpected situation.