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Doraya

Adam Parrish



elé avai ana yasa sae aidor
elé avai ae lisora umai sae uninfuis ke lityrsa
elé avai ae aidor dio-ku-buna sae indor ae likidor
ui líaidor ui inda radya iníta'eresar sae


A great bird, when it sings a song,
A bird of the river, when it ruffles its feathers in the mist,
A bird of song, when it praises the stars of the night,
Then this song, may all rulers listen to it.


elé  avai ana   yasa sae aidor
when bird great sing it song

elé  avai ae lisora    umai  sae uninfuis       ke lityrsa
when bird of DEF-river scare it  its-PL-feather in DEF-river

elé  avai ae aidor dio-ku-buna sae indor   ae likidor
when bird of song  praise      it  PL-star of DEF-night

ui   líaidor  ui  inda radya     iníta'eresar  sae
then DEF-song FOC may  listen-to PL-all-ruler  it

Notes

  1. As you can tell, Doraya is really, really isolating. Word order is usually VSO, but lately I've been experimenting with making focus-fronting mandatory, making many sentences SVO. Focus fronting usually goes something like this:

    If the focus is the subject of the sentence, it comes before the verb and gets replaced in the main VSO clause by a corresponding pronoun, e.g.:

            yasa avai ana   líaidor
            sing bird great DEF-song
            The great bird sings the song.
            (nothing is focused)
    
            avai ana   yasa sae líaidor
            bird great sing it  DEF-song
            The great bird, it sings the song.
            (subject is focused)
    

    If the focus is a non-subject clause or phrase, it comes before the sentence followed by ui, replaced in the main VSO clause by a corresponding pronoun, e.g.:

            líaidor  ui  yasa avai ana   sae
            DEF-song FOC sing bird great it
            The song is sung by the great bird.
            (object is focused)
    
  2. umai infuis 'scare feathers' is Doraya's idiom for "to ruffle feathers." umai 'scare' is associated with all sorts of little, jittering movements like that.

  3. My translation of the last phrase ("the song, may all rulers listen to it") is sort of a cop-out; I don't yet have a structure for a third-person imperative, so I just used the adverbial word inda 'may', which can have a permissive or optative meaning.


Abbreviations

DEF: definite article prefix
PL: plural
FOC: focus marker


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© Irina Rempt, Adam Parrish 24-06-1999