Ring B: 6/20: Yivrian
Jesse S. Banks
Niul eyi pelíra ela lastam kathona nasakavva osro a'ilo:
Loraon anarvessa osro'il pirsedam onyal osind keth noyaas el. Nyel
senyala dayarono so raun na lavus.Po tapílona kírith lassimil ta ikil
ta dakil dosavvala.Nokepyal em seyya nakírith na tapun da kénessonor
té kírith fal sotayyalatarsayéos osind fainen apirsan. Naosind ku
fainyaa tabohyol pirsedam. Kéhailakéhoyal ren, té
voethrayala. Pirsedam pudahyol ta kírith nayal no ditoilona
elagevi. Até nasaron afainyé osind apirsan, pirsedam daroyal da
badomon na kanda.
This is the story of how a youth casts off the winter of sadness.
In the middle of the month of winter the student saw that a sleigh
wascoming to him. The student was standing in the garden near the wall
ofsnow. On his shoulder sat a small, black, fat raven. He tried with
allof his might to take the raven off of his shoulder, but the
ravenclung there in order to see the the teacher's sleigh which was
coming.As the sleigh approached, the student became worried. His hand
touchedthe wall, but it was very cold. The student grew quiet and the
ravencrawled into his sack of books. However, when the teacher's
sleigh hadcome, the student became happy for the rest of the day.
There are five cases in Yivrian, of which four occur in the text. Theyare expressed with the following affixes:
NOMINATIVE -- (citation form): used for subject of verbs and object ofprepositions when the prepositional phrase modifies a noun
GENITIVE a-: used for direct possession and in some constructions
DATIVE -os: meaning "for, for the sake of, to"
ABLATIVE -on: meaning "by means of, with, at such a time, in that place", andused for the object of prepositions when the prepositional phrase modifies averb
The genitive affix is always prefixed and is invariable. The dative andablative affixes are infixed before a final vowel if there is any, e.g. NOMkenda "king" => ABL kendona "by the king". In other cases it is simply attachedto the end of the noun.
There is a large class of nouns that have a change in the stem vowel in everyform except the nominative. Rather than go into the details, I'll simply listthe alternate stems of all of the u-declension nouns in this text:
Primary stem/Secondary stem:ren/ran-gev/gav-top/tap-
U-declension nouns also take the dative ending -us and ablative ending -un.(The fact that these nouns have -u- instead of -o- in these endings is whatgives them their name.)
Possession in Yivrian is indicated by infixing -i- into the final syllable(after the nuclear vowel), then adding one of several suffixes. The only suffixthat occurs in this text is -la, the 3sg possessive suffix. E.g. kenda "king" =>kendaila "his king".
U-declension nouns form the possessive from the secondary stem given above,inserting the vowel -í- between the stem and the possessive suffix.
Plurals are formed by adding -r to the end of the word following a vowel, and-i following a consonant.
All verbs in their citation form end in -ya. This indicates the "base" form ofthe verb. Other aspects of the verb are formed by changing this base ending:
-ya -- base-hya -- causative-vva -- habitual
There are others (and there are subtleties even within these three), but theydon't concern the text so I've left them out.
The ending -ya is attached directly to the stem of the verb, while before -hyaand -vva an epenthetic -a- is added.
The first vowel of the verbal ending alternates to indicate voice.
-ya -- active-yo -- passive-yu -- reflexive (not used, I think)
TENSE AND PHASE
After the first vowel of the verbal ending follows a consonant which indicatestense:
- (null) -- present-l -- past-n -- future
Following this consonant, additional suffixes may occur to indicate "phase"(which is really another kind of aspect). In this text, only the suffix -aoccurs, indicating progressive aspect.
-ya -- present simple active-yaa -- present progressive active-yal -- past simple-yala -- past progressive
Adjectives can be derived from nouns by simple addition of the suffix -il.(Those words that only occur as adjectives in this text are simply listed intheir adjectival form as such.)
Sequences of -nVn- are often reduced to -Vn- (i.e. the first /n/ is dropped.This also happens with other consonants, though I believe only with /n/ in thisrelay).
WORD ORDER AND CASES
Yivrian syntax is SVO. Adjectives follow nouns, and prepositions precede theirobject. Generally both the subject and the object of a sentence are expressedin the "nominative" case above, as are objects of prepositions. However,following prepositions that are adverbal (i.e. modifying a sentence, not an NP)nouns must be in the ablative case.
Word order is somewhat flexible, so SOV and intransitive VS patterns also exist.
Within a relative clause, the relative pronoun is NOT necessarily fronted.Rather, it retains whatever position it would normally have in the clause.
Furthermore, Yivrian distinguishes between "adjectival relative clauses", whichmodify some other noun in the phrase, and "nominal relative clauses", whichoccupy by themselves the place of some noun in the clause. This is an Englishexample of an "adjectival relative": "The person *who sings* is here." And thisis an example of a nominal relative: "*Whosoever might sing* is welcome."Hopefully you know what I'm talking about.
The relative pronoun in adjectival relative clauses is *keth*, while therelative pronoun in nominal relative clauses is *katha*.
TENSE IN SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
Tense in subordinate clauses is relative to the tense of the main clause, i.e.,if the main clause is in the past tense and the subordinate clause issimultaneous with the main clause, the verb of the subordinate clause must beexpressed in the *present* tense. This applies to all subordinate clauses,included relative clauses.
a- (prefix) -- of, genitive
até -- despite, nonetheless, however
badom -- rest, remainder
da -- in
dakil -- fat
daroya -- to be happy, to make merry
dito -- sack, bag
dosya -- to stand, to sit
el -- he (3sg masc)
ela -- with; about, concerning; full of
em -- subordinating conjunction; introduces a subordinate clause expressing intent or desire
ethraya -- to be cold
eyi -- to be
fainya -- to come here, to approach, to draw near
fal -- there (adverb)
gev -- book (u-declension)
ikil -- black
ilo -- sadness
kanda -- day
katha -- which (see note)
keth -- which/that (relative; see note)
ku -- when, while
ké- (prefix) -- all, every
kéha -- handkéhoya -- to touch
kírith -- raven
lassimil -- small
lastam -- young person, youth
loran -- middle
na- (prefix) -- that one
na -- from; made of; out of, (part) of
narvessa -- month
nasakya -- to cast aside, to throw away, to discard
nasaron -- afterwards, following (nasaron a+infinitive)
naya -- to crawl, to slither
nesso -- power
niul -- this (thing)
no -- to, towards; into
nokepya -- to attempt, to try
noya -- to go to, to approach
nyel -- this one (3sg masc)
onya -- to see
osind -- sleigh, sledge; any unwheeled transport dragged after ahorse, esp. in winter
osro -- winter
pelíra -- story, tale
pirsan -- teacher
pirsedam -- student
po -- upon, on
pudya -- to be still, to be quiet
ren -- wall (u-declension)
senya -- to stand, to stay, to remain
seyya -- to put
so -- near, next to
sotayya -- to cling, to be attached
ta -- andtaboya -- to be worried
tarsaya -- to look in the face; to examine, to look at closely; to confront
top -- shoulder (u-declension)
té -- but
té -- raven
yaro -- garden