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Sylvia Sotomayor

ñarra jatáén nen matáLa;
iélte ñi jaxéTikáNNi nen matáLa ho jamúñi nen análhári; ñamma ja á matáLa tó-túaT ew luhañen wa análhári ankecílri áe luhañen an anratáni ánén jatáonti wá; é ñamma anratáni á makélanen mapíñón to ñi anratáni anwélreni aT ñi matáLa;
lamatáLa; lamaNéren; lamawetél matamára sú ñiéT áñ;
luhañen la rién anekíTa;

Tell the tale of Chaos.
Once long ago, the weapons of chaos were made from the bones of the sea. Chaos made them so that there would continue not to be frozen seas instead there would continue to be flowings without obstacles.
And an evil artificer acted upon the flowings so that the there became boiling flowings and then there became Chaos.
O Chaos! O Beautiful One! O living mystery around us!
You continue to be reality.


Instead of having verbs, Kélen has relationals. These are usually found at the beginning of the sentence or clause. There are two relationals in this sample, LA and NI. LA is the relational of existence and can be inflected for tense. The noun(s) immediately after LA are the things whose existence is being proclaimed. Some forms of LA are:

la LA.present-habitual
ñi LA.perfective
wa LA.negative

NI is the relational of action, and can be inflected for agent, provided the agent is animate. The noun(s) immediately after NI are the things acted upon. The uninflected form of NI is ñi. To inflect, drop the -i and add -amma for 3rd person singular or -arra for 2nd person singular. At times, the agent is renamed later in the sentence or clause with the particle á.


Noun roots inflect for animacy and number with a series of prefixes and suffixes. The prefix ja-/j- is used with inanimate nouns, and ma-/m- with animate nouns. The suffix -a/-e/-(null) is a singular or generic suffix, and the suffix -i is a plural suffix. The prefix an- with a plural suffix denotes a collective noun. Otherwise, the prefix an- is the stative prefix, denoting such nouns that are abstract, boundless, and otherwise un-pin-down-able. Finally, the prefix la-/lan- is a vocative prefix.

Noun roots in this sample are:

-aNéren- beautiful/awe-inspiring
-álhár- seas/ocean
-ekíT- sure/certain/real
-kecílr- frost/ice
-kélanen- artificer/craftsman
-múñ- bone
-píñón- evil-doer
-ratáni- flowing
-tamár- living-thing
-táL- Chaos
-táont- hindrance/prevention/obstacle
-táén- story/tale
-wetél- unknown-thing/mystery
-wélren- boiling
-xéTikáNN- weapon

Two (or more) nouns of the same inflection next to each other rename each other. Nouns connected with the marker nen are associated with each other.


There are various conjunctions

aT and-then/then
áe exclusive-or/instead
ánén with
ew and-not/but
é and
tó-túaT so-that/in-order-that


Two case markers, two aspect words, three pronouns, a locative, and two modifiers:

ho instrumental marker
to purpose marker
iélte an aspect word, narrative past
luhañen an aspect word, still/continuing into the future...
ja a pronoun, 3p inanimate
rién a pronoun, 2p singular
ñiéT a pronoun, 1p inclusive plural
a locative, at/on/in
a modifier, no/none/not
áñ a modifier, around/surrounding

Case markers come before the noun, phrase, or clause they mark. Aspect markers can show up anywhere, and modifiers follow the noun(s) they modify.

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© Irina Rempt, Sylvia Sotomayor 2001