Ring A: 16/18: Toma Heylm

Amanda Babcock Furrow
[ Relay 13 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Toma Heylm | Smooth English | Interlinear | Grammar | Vocabulary | Abbrevs. ]

<< Calénnawn Θywǵø >>

Toma Heylm

Tinid seta damrat. Meram seta dava domil tam metoyu sin tam otrid. Hiya syin trid seta soryik lir seta holyik minya lin yumin syin peltem tisyok syin yukorel. Rel syim seta miril trya minu tarin dava fulot. Syin meram seta trelot difhiyu. Syim seta tisanot loraku!

Syin meram seta sirot solmotu son katelu, lir seta dava sofril sav loraku, lir hilot kelal imanu semi. Syim seta datil rilitu forati aren amin lorak seta dava tantyik. Syim seta dimitil aren yutrid lir seta tisanot donatu. Rel lorak kilteli seta dava diryok foratu tamvie! Salil seta karepil lir syin meram seta tremil tam difhiyu, tal syim seta diril sofret sav loraku. Doras kardyik moret liyen ise dim loraku sin tam odifhi.

Syin meram seta parlot tenya sin syin otrid. Rel kin yumin mola delye dolyok, syin fulal syin loraki delye tandyik solmotu aren tam ayalam lir tam ayanya tamvie.

Smooth Translation

The time was morning. A messenger used to bring messages using carts. Now the cart had moved and had waited briefly near the road which went up to the market. But then he* annoyed a howling animal. The messenger picked up a stick. He saw a tiger!**

The messenger felt unease about the danger, and was staying away from the tiger, and tried to gain its trust. He gave a little food to the tiger, which was playing. He went to the cart and saw a chance. But the damned tiger was wanting more food! Rain began to fall and the messenger held some sticks, for he wanted to stay away from the tiger. One may best protect oneself from a tiger by using sticks.

Finally the messenger returned using the cart. But some day yet to come, the howling of the tiger will make more people nervous.

*The sex of the messenger is unknown. He is referred to as "she" in the Toma Heylm text only because "messenger" is in the feminine gender.

**The text actually refers to a feline predator which howls, but in my mind it was a tiger.


Tinid seta damrat.  Meram seta dava
N     MOD  N        N     MOD  MOD

domil tam meto -yu  sin  tam o-    trid.

Hiya syin trid seta soryik lir  seta

holyik minya lin  yu-  min syin peltem

tisyok syin yu-  korel.  Rel  syim seta 
V(m)   ART  LOC- N       CONJ PRON MOD

miril trya min -u   tarin dava fulot.  
V(f)  ADV  REL -ACC N     MOD  V(f)

Syin meram seta trelot difhi -yu.  Syim 
ART  N     MOD  V(f)   N     -ACC  PRON

seta tisanot lorak -u! 
MOD  V(f)    N     -ACC

Syin meram seta sirot solmot -u   son 
ART  N     MOD  V(f)  N      -ACC PREP

katel -u,  lir  seta dava sofril sav  lorak -u, 
N     -ACC CONJ MOD  MOD  V(f)   PREP N     -ACC

lir  hilot kelal iman -u   semi.  Syim seta 
CONJ V(f)  V.inf N    -ACC PRON   PRON MOD

datil rilit -u   forat -i   aren a-   min lorak 
V(f)  N     -ACC N     -GEN PREP DAT- REL N

seta dava tantyik.  Syim seta dimitil 
MOD  MOD  V(m)      PRON MOD  V(f)

aren yu-  trid lir  seta tisanot donat -u. 
PREP LOC- N    CONJ MOD  V(f)    N     -ACC

Rel  lorak kilteli seta dava diryok 
CONJ N     ADJ     MOD  MOD  V(m)

forat -u   tamvie! Salil seta karepil lir 
N     -ACC ADJ     N     MOD  V(f)    CONJ

syin meram seta tremil tam difhi -yu, 
ART  N     MOD  V(f)   ART N     -ACC

tal  syim seta diril sofret sav  lorak -u.   Doras 

kardyik moret liyen ise  dim  lorak -u 
V(m)    V.inf ADV   PRON PREP N     -ACC

sin  tam o-    difhi.

Syin meram seta parlot tenya sin  syin 
ART  N     MOD  V(f)   ADV   PREP ART

o-    trid. Rel  kin  yu-  min mola delye 

dolyok, syin fulal syin lorak -i   delye 
V(m)    ART  V.inf ART  N     -GEN MOD

tandyik solmot -u   aren tam ay-  alam lir
V(m)    N      -ACC PREP ART DAT- N    CONJ

tam ay-  anya tamvie.

Abbreviations used in the interlinear:

   ACC      accusative
   ADJ      adjective
   ADV      adverb
   ART      article
   CONJ     conjunction
   DAT      dative
   GEN      genitive
   INST     instrumental
   LOC      locative
   MOD      modal
   N        noun
   PREP     preposition
   PRON     pronoun
   REL      relative particle
   V        verb
   V.inf    verb, infinitive
   V(f)     verb, feminine inflection
   V(m)     verb, masculine inflection


I hope I didn't leave any words or affixes out!  If I did they may be in
the glossary at http://www.quandary.org/~langs/toma/toma.classified.html

Grammar notes (longer version with charts available at

Word order is SVO.

Articles, number and prepositions precede nouns, and adjectives follow them.
Nouns have gender, but it is not marked on the nouns; it is marked on the
adjectives that modify them and the verbs for which they are the subject.
Pronouns referring back to nouns will agree with their grammatical gender,
which may not be the gender of the person the noun refers to.

Nouns inflect for case, of which there are seven (nominative, accusative,
genitive, dative, instrumental, locative, causative).  This text uses
all but the causative case.  Inflection is by a mix of prefixes and
suffixes according to the following chart (prefixes and suffixes also
found in the vocabulary):

       Nominative     [none]     shadow - edior world - dampe
       Accusative     -u, -yu        edioru        dampeyu
        Genitive      -i, -yi        ediori        dampeyi
         Dative       a-, ay-       ayedior        adampe
      Instrumental    o-, oy-       oyedior        odampe
        Locative     uy-, yu-       uyedior        yudampe
       Causative     hi-, iy-       iyedior        hidampe

Pronouns inflect irregularly for case and are given in their inflected
forms in the vocabulary. 

Adjectives follow the noun and agree with it in gender or number, but
there are no inflected adjectives in this text.

Verbs come in two flavors, -et and -al.  Verbs decline for gender and/or 
number as follows (chart best viewed in non-proportional font):

                         Verbs in -al     Verbs in -et

  infinitive           to see - tisanal  to go - dimitet
  male                 tisanyik          dimityok
  female               tisanot           dimitil

The verb endings have also been listed in the vocabulary.

Modals precede verbs, and adverbs follow them.  Verbs conjugate for gender
or number of the subject (gender if singular, number if plural; there are
no plurals in this text).  Tense, mood, and aspect are indicated by the 
modals.  Verbs in the infinitive can follow the conjugated verb to modify 

The modal verb system is based on the three-part Creole system:

 * seta indicates past tense.

 * delye indicates irrealis mode; specifically, in this text, the

 * dava indicates imperfective aspect, including progressive,
   iterative, and habitual aspects.

The modals always appear in the order "seta delye dava".  No modals
indicates non-past indicative, aka the simple present.  All three 
modals would indicate "would have been doing", or "was about to be
doing", or "intended to be doing"...

The copula, ey, disappears in the presence of modals.  Therefore, 
modals without a verb after them should be considered a form of the

Adverbs usually end in "ya".  Some adverbs have comparative and 
superlative forms, which are listed in the vocabulary where appropriate.

Verb phrases can be nominalized by putting the definite article 
"syin" before the infinitive of the verb, which then takes noun case 

Toma Heylm has internally headed relative clauses.  This is very 
different from the way in which English does things.  I can only
describe it by example:

  I see the woman
  eff    tisanot syin anya-yu
  I(NOM) see(f)  the  woman-ACC

  The woman gives a book to the man
  syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam
  the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man

  I see the woman who gives a book to the man
  eff    tisanot [min-u   syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam]
  I(NOM) see(f)  [REL_ACC the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man]

  I see the man to whom the woman gives a book
  eff    tisanot [syin anya       datil   mind-u   min-u   syin ay-alam]
  I(NOM) see(f)  [the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC REL-ACC the  DAT-man]

  I see the book which the woman gives to the man
  eff    tisanot [syin anya       datil   min-u   mind-u   syin ay-alam]
  I(NOM) see(f)  [the  woman(NOM) give(f) REL_ACC book-ACC the  DAT-man]

  The woman who gives the book to the man sees me
  [min syin anya       datil   mind-u   syin ay-alam] tisanot lifa
  [REL the  woman(NOM) give(f) book-ACC the  DAT-man] see(f)  me(ACC)

  The man to whom the woman gives a book sees me
  [syin anya       datil   mind-u   min syin ay-alam] tisanyik lifa
  [the  woman(ACC) give(f) book-ACC REL the  DAT-man] see(m)   me(ACC)

  The book which the woman gives to the man is about me
  [syin anya       datil   min mind-u   syin ay-alam] sayok       lifa
  [the  woman(NOM) give(f) REL book-ACC the  DAT-man] be.about(m) me(ACC)

  I give the book the woman saw to the man
  eff    datil   [syin anya       seta tisanot min-u   syin mind-u]   syin ay-alam
  I(NOM) give(f) [the  woman(NOM) did  see(f)  REL-ACC the  book-ACC] the  DAT-man

  I give the book to the man the woman saw
  eff    datil   syin mindu    [syin anya       seta tisanot a-min   syin alam-u]
  I(NOM) give(f) the  book-ACC [the  woman(NOM) did  see(f)  DAT-REL the  man-ACC]

The relativizer min comes directly before the internal head noun of the 
relative clause.  It gets the case marking that the head noun would have
had in the OUTER sentence; the head noun retains the case marking that it 
gets in the INNER sentence.  (Backwards of the way Russian does it.)

Charts of verb conjugations, noun declensions, and the pronoun matrix can
be seen at http://www.quandary.org/~langs/toma/grammar/ .


a- pref. dative case
alam (m) n. man
anya    (f) n. woman
aren prep. to
ay- pref. dative case
damrat (m) n. morning
datet v. to give
dava    imperfective modal
delye irrealis/future modal
difhi (f) n. a branch, a stick
dim prep. against
dimitet v. to go
diret v. to want
domet v. to bring
dolet v. to come
donat (f) n. a chance
doras pron. someone
forat (m) n. food
fulal v. to howl
hilal v. to try
hiya adv. now
holal v. to wait
-i suff. genitive case
-il feminine ending for verbs in -et
iman (f) n. trust
ise pron. third p. sing. m. refl.
kardal v. to be able
karepet v. to start
katel (m) n. danger
kelal v. to gain, to win
kilteli adj. cursed, damned
kin prep. during
korel (f) n. marketplace
lin prep. near, takes locative
lir conj. and
liyen adv. best
lorak (m) n. a kind of feline predator
meram (f) n. messenger, deliveryman
meto (m) n. message
min relative particle; see grammar notes
minya adv. briefly
miret v. to bother, annoy
mola (m) n. day
moret v. to protect
o- pref. instrumental case
-ot feminine ending for verbs in -al
parlal v. to return
peltem m n. road
rel conj. but
rilit (m) n. a piece, a little bit
salil (f) n. rain
sav prep. far from, takes accusative
semi pron. third p. sing. m. poss.
seta past-tense modal
sin prep. using, takes instrumental
siral v. to feel (an emotion)
sofret v. to stay
solmot n. unease
son prep. about, takes accusative
soral v. to move
syim pron. 3rd person sing. nom. f.
syin definite article, sing.
tal conj. for, because
tam plural article
tamvie adj. more
tandal v. to cause
tantal v. to play
tarin (f) n. animal
tenya adv. finally, last
tinid n. time
tisanal v. to see
tiset v. come up to
trelal v. to pick up
tremet v. to hold
trid (m) n. a cart
trya adv. then
-u suff. accusative case
-yik masculine ending for verbs in -al
-yok masculine ending for verbs in -et
yu- pref. locative case
-yu suff. accusative case


adj.    adjective
adv.    adverb
conj.   conjugation
(f), f. female
(m), m. male
n.      noun
nom.    nominative
p.      person
poss.   possessive
pref.   prefix
prep.   preposition
pron.   pronoun
refl.   reflexive
sing.   singular
suff.   suffix
v.      verb

<< Calénnawn Θywǵø >>



March 20th, 2006
Comments? Suggestions? Corrections? You can drop me a line.