Ring A: 13/18: Thalassan

Rob Haden
[ Relay 13 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Thalassan | Smooth English | Grammar | Vocabulary ]

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San hausthasni, parthar kainatun kharjaqi vakas. Ak'arai aimasnisjas phanthasni kharjas hantha sacava mihka tampusphar phausas manasqin. Au pas vailava cavanqi tarsjuskava t'arun karpas. Ravi vicus! Tarsjathu kint'umasniqin parthar sjat'a apa manas, au sjas pitusun nikhamai pharjas. Maira tihva ravijai phaukha at'utun t'ahas. Pas aujaman vit'ava kharjai ajas. Au cunthu ravi nai talthu! Sju kuskuva thaljatun karpas parthar amunmapharsjan. Sami vasumpiqi pantumaphar ravit'a thaljatun hupas. Pasampi kharjaisjas nisava parthar khusun ajas. Au t'ajus haljatphar tarsjus vailava raviqi.

Smooth Translation

One morning, a deliveryman was delivering news with a wagon. On the way to the marketplace, he set his wagon down in the road to stop and wait for a little while. But then he became bothered by a wailing animal. A panther appeared! Upset and in danger, the deliveryman stayed away from the panther, but tried to earn its trust. He acted playfully and gave the panther a little food. Then, seeing an opening, he headed for the wagon. But the damn panther was not satisfied! It was starting to rain, so the deliveryman grabbed some branches to keep it away from him. He also used the branches to best protect himself from the panther. Finally, he returned to his wagon and went home. But for the rest of the day, he was bothered by the wailing panther.


Thalassan is a highly agglutinating, nominative-accusative language. As you can see, it has a large variety of case-endings and other suffixes (absolutely no prefixes). Although its word-order is often SOV, the case-endings are really what determine nouns' grammatical roles. If a word needs to be emphasized, it is placed closer to the beginning of the sentence than it otherwise would be. Nouns inflect for case, number (singular and plural), and can have an enclitic possessive suffix or linking conjunction (e.g. 'and'). While verbs do inflect for tense/aspect, mood, voice, subject, and object, the first two do not need to be considered in this text. As for the other categories, the same subject ending is used for all verbs in the text (third-person singular -s). A transitive verb can be changed into an intransitive verb by adding the reflexive/medio-passive ending -u. Finite verbs, deverbal nouns, and participles can all take an enclitic object suffix (the only one he re is again the third-person singular, -sjan: note that this *always* refers to something else, not back to the subject). Also, it is important to note that Thalassan typically contains only one finite verb per sentence. In connected sequences of verbs, all but the last are marked in participial form. Simultaneity is marked in verbs with a linking conjunction. Modifiers always immediately precede their heads. Adjectives also function as adverbs without changing form. However, adjectives do not agree with nouns in case or number.


Thalassan is a very phonologically regular language. However, due to its rather restrictive phonotactics, some words undergo changes based on what inflections they have attached to them. The assimilation rules are as follows:



san, sam- one
hausat, haus(a)th- dawn, daybreak, morning
parthar, parthar- carrier
kharja, kharja- wagon
kainat, kainat- news
ak'ar, ak'ar- market(place)
phantha, phantha- road, path
hantha, hantha- front, face
mihka, mihka- small, short
tampus, tampus- time
cavan, caun-/cavan- animal
t'aru stick, pole
ravi panther
kint'un, kint'um- danger
pitus, pitus- trust
at'ut, at'ut- food
sju, sju(v)- rain
thalja, thalja- branch
khus, khus- house, home
t'aju, t'aiv-/t'aju- day
halja, halja- other (part)

maira playful
phaukha a little (i.e. quantity)
vasu good


Listed as first-person singular present active indicative; i. = intransitive, t. = transitive.

vakan t. to bring
ajan i. to go (see note below)
sacan t. to seat (something)
phausan i. to stop
manan i. to wait, to stay
vailan i. to wail, to whine, to cry
tarsjan t. to bother
karpan t. to grab, to seize
vican t. to show
nikhan t. to win
pharjan i. to try
tikan t. to do, to act, perform
t'ahan t. to give
aujan t. to open
vit'an t. to see
cunan t. to curse
talan t. to satisfy, to fulfill
kuvan t. to pour (out)
amunan t. to keep away
pantan t. to protect
hupan t. to use
nisan i. to return

Conjunctions, Particles, and Pronouns

au conj. but, however
pas part. then (also think 'later', 'afterwards' in a sequence)
sja pron. (s)he/it
apa post. away, off
nai part. no(t)


-sni locative
-t plural
-(u)n accusative
-qi instrumental
-s third-person singular subject
-ai dative
-ma gerund/deverbal noun
-sjas third-person singular possessive (enclitic)
-s genitive
-va active participle
-phar prolative (i.e. 'through', 'for'; for deverbal nouns, equivalent to 'in order to [verb]')
-qin and (enclitic)
-u verbal reflexive/medio-passive voice (i.e. '[verbs] oneself'/'is [verbed]')
-ska verbal ingressive/inchoative (i.e. 'start(s)/come(s) to [verb]')
-thu passive participle
-t'a ablative
-sjan third-person singular object (enclitic)
-i locative
-(V)mpi superlative (i.e. 'most X')

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March 20th, 2006
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