Ring C: 5/11: Kardii

Michael S. Repton
[ Relay 13 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Kardii | Smooth English | Grammar | Vocabulary ]

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Vin pri pilistanase sathas vin awi

Chayke! Biakyky ches ensiiksia vin sildi a, kin kathiiru lemana a naas vin pri pikse ranista a. Petarim ponche vin iru pri kolse rekawi ri. Okra reku irasta kin dide mepitaanche ayt'hali iru i. Pro a, westra baykevache edeska, kathiiru d'tase pri ayt'halise sy ral a.

Chayke! Chara aysa a, maalina sivii'iasche iru meri ri. Tashche petarim shaavchii vres. Westra shachii ksoi biaee ky. Okra paache dava lanuma ithki i shy vin lemana, lii ches ii, kin okra werache sh'men vin kathiiru meri ri, pri niishase kin anenase. Petarim katache.

Chayke! Svu sdifa i'ioni vin okra.

Smooth Translation

For expelling the pain of winter

Look! In the coldest month of the year, and a boy is in a garden directly opposite a place for stopping. A carriage waits for him to carry him to university. A big and orange male cat sits down on his shoulder. There, the animal balances itself skilfully, as the boy tries to shoulder it from him.

Look! After a time, worry creeps into him. He knows the carriage will come soon. The animal will maybe cause trouble. The cat now touches the wall of the garden with its front paw, but it is too cold, and the cat crawls into the boy's bag to hide and make itself comfortable. The carriage arrives.

Look! An interesting day is imminent for the cat.


Kardii is almost entirely isolating. The only inflections are tense and mood markings on verbs, which are as follows:

Indicative: -cha -che -chii

Subjunctive / clausal: -sa -se -sii

Imperative: -ke -kii

(Past, present, future in that order in each row. There is no past imperative!)

If the -ch- suffixes come after a verb ending in "ch", one is dropped.

Word order is SVO, with indirect objects, auxiliaries and other modifications of the verb coming *before* the direct object. Adjectives follow nouns; postpositions come at the end of their phrases.

Word classes are fluid. A non-verb can be turned into a verb just by adding one of the tense suffixes. (A verb formed from a noun in this way often means to use that noun. A verb formed from an adjective can mean to become that adjective, or to make something else that adjective.) To make the noun form of a verb, use "pri" with the -se form: pri shase, "causing".

The most important grammatical function-words are "vin", "a" and "i". A brief explanation:

"vin" is a genitive marker: vin kathii, "of the child". Genitives come after other nouns: rendi vin kathii, "a friend of the child". "Vin" can also mean "for". When followed by the noun form of a verb, it makes "to do" or "for the sake of doing".

"a" is a general postposition. On its own it means "in" or "at". Other postpositions usually have "a" put after them. After a clause, "a" turns it into a "when" clause, saying that the verb of the main clause was done when or while another event happened.

"i" marks (comes after) the indirect object of a verb. It's never used together with "a"; if a postpositional phrase is the indirect object, "a" is dropped in favour of "i". "i" can be used for any sort of indirect object, so it can stand for "to", "with", "on", etc.

Pronouns, in both subject and object positions, are often dropped if clear from context. Also, there's no distinction between normal and possessive pronouns; for instance, iru "he" placed after a noun means "his". Pronouns never use the "vin" genitive.

Gender is marked on some nouns by the endings -u or -ru (male) and -ee or -ree (female).

Kardii has no articles or copula.


a in, at
anena comfortable
awi winter
aysa after
ayt'hali shoulder
baykeva balanced
biaee moon
(biaee ky trouble, difficult times)
biakyky month
chara time
chay eye; to see
ches cold
dava now
dide orange
d'ta to try
edeska skilful
ensiiksia the most
i (indirect object marker)
ii too much, overly
i'ioni imminent
irasta big, large
iru/ee he/she
ithki forward, in front
kata to arrive
kathii child
kin and
kol to carry
ksoi maybe
ky wild, untamed
lanuma paw
lemana field, garden
lii but
maalina worry
mepitaan to sit down
meri inside
meri ri into
naas place
niisha to hide
okra big cat, lion
paach skin, to touch
petarim carriage, vehicle
pik to stop at a place
pilistana to expel, drive out
pon to wait
pri do, doing
pro there
ral from, away from
ranista directly opposite
rekawi university
reku/ee male/female
ri to, towards
sathas pain
sdifa interesting
sha to cause
shaav to come
sh'men bag
shy wall
sildi year
sivii'ias to creep
svu day
sy it
tash to know
vin of, for
vres soon
wera to crawl
westra animal

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March 20th, 2006
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