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Matt McLauchlin

Niriü aplimat

Gamenat niriüs,
kasamar narti nuitan zalikainuj
ju t'staran isus.
r'nartat gan, apliman rii kasamam
ju narti zalikan t'kraijas.
Aplimat riir t'moi t'kraijuj t'moctas.
T'dicecat iar glazkoar apliman.

The story about chaos

At the beginning of the story,
the Universe made the water and the rivers,
and made the light to exist.
Upon its creation, chaos entered the universe screaming
and made the river of danger.
In chaos there was the beauty and danger of greatness.
In loneliness I know chaos.

story chaos.LOC      niriü.s
beginning.LOC story.GEN     nart.i   zalik.ain.uj
universe.ERG make.3pSgPsSm water.ACC river.ACC-PL.and

ju  star.i         isu.n
and exist.3pSgPsSm light.ACC    ga.n  ri.i         
ACC.make.LOC 3SNPRO.ACC chaos.ACC in.3pSgPsSim 

NOM.scream.PsImPART universe.DAT

ju  nart.i
and make.3pSgPsSm river.ACC NOM.dangerous.GEN         
chaos.LOC in.3pSgPsIm NOM.beautiful 

NOM.dangerous.and NOM.great.GEN     ia.r
NOM.lonely.LOC 1SPRO.ERG know.1pSgPrIn chaos.ACC

Note on the interlinear

Morphemes are separated by periods or apostrophes.


NOM nominative (zero morpheme in noun declension, t'- in verb valency)
ERG ergative
ACC accusative
GEN genitive
LOC locative
DAT dative
PL plural
3pSgPsSm third-person-singular simple past
3pSgPsIm third-person-singular imperfect past
1pSgPrIn first-person-singular indefinite present (indefinite = a general truth)
Ps.Im.PART imperfect past participle
3SNPRO third-person-singular neuter pronoun
1SPRO first-person-singular pronoun

Grammatical notes

  1. The locative case includes the idea of being about something, and of happening via something (instrumentality).
  2. Lyanjen uses a very unusual trigeminate case system for its direct cases. ERG is only the subject of transitive verbs, and ACC only the object. NOM is used with intransitive verbs only.
  3. Due to the structure of adpositional verbs, things that move (intransitively) take the accusative case.
  4. The case morphemes that precede verbs make the verb infinitive and indicate the 'valency' of the verb. e.g. an infinitive verb for 'teach' with an ergative valency means 'to teach'; with an accusative valency means 'to be taught' (of a person); with a locative valency means 'to be taught' (of a subject); etc.
  5. Adjectives are verbs meaning 'to be such a way, to have such a quality'. The nominative infinitive of such a verb means 'the state of being such a way'.

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© Irina Rempt, Matt McLauchlin 2001