Ring A: 16/18: Toma Heylm
Amanda Babcock Furrow
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.
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.
V(f) ART N -ACC PREP ART INST- N
Hiya syin trid seta soryik lir seta
ADV ART N MOD V(m) CONJ MOD
holyik minya lin yu- min syin peltem
V(m) ADV CONJ LOC- REL ART N
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
PREP PRON MOD V(f) V.inf PREP N -ACC PRON
kardyik moret liyen ise dim lorak -u
V(m) V.inf ADV PRON PREP N -ACC
sin tam o- difhi.
PREP ART INST- N
Syin meram seta parlot tenya sin syin
ART N MOD V(f) ADV PREP ART
o- trid. Rel kin yu- min mola delye
INST- N CONJ PREP LOC- REL N MOD
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.
ART DAT- N ADJ
Abbreviations used in the interlinear:
REL relative particle
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
(f), f. female
(m), m. male