Ring B: 14/22: gjâ-zym-byn

Jim Henry
[ Relay 14 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ gjâ-zym-byn | Smooth English | From Kēlen | Grammar | Vocabulary | Abbrevs. ]

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mâ-ŝy ke mâ-vĭ θĭ-o rě'ĵy-tôn-ĉu jâ-o kujm-o twâ-cu-lâ

!θě'ku ŋâw-o gjâ-θy kǒ syj-i twâ-zô mwe Ќ-ť:

{Ќ-ť-ɱ pen im prym-fwa-tǒj gân-ř sjum-van.
fu gân-ř, gâ-lǒ dâm-ř brĭ i jâln ĥy-i Ќ-ť o, sjum-van.
pî'râ-kô gân-ř, gâ-lǒ tu-i Ќ-ť ĥy-i ķuj sî'ðyr-i ŋul-zô, sjum-van.
mrâ-źa iŋ fwĭ mě'zâ-za gân-ř sjum-van.

lyn-tôn ĉu-ĉu-bô mĭ-i, gâ-lǒ tu-i nî'šĭm i Ќ-ť o fu-θô ĥy-i, twâ-ŝrun-zô Ќ-ť.
by-flu mĭ-i, gâ-lǒ tu-i Ќ-ť o by fĭm-fwa ĥy-i flu-fwa-zô, twâ-ŝrun-zô Ќ-ť.
hěm'lu mĭ-i, gâ-lǒ tu-i Ќ-ť ĥy-i vjâr-zô, twâ-ŝrun-zô Ќ-ť.
pwĭ mĭ-i, gâ-lǒ tu-i Ќ-ť o fĭm pe ĵyj ĥy-i bwĭl-zô, twâ-ŝrun-zô Ќ-ť.

nu kǒ i mâŋ ĥy-i šâ-ca θě'ku ĥwâ-o, mâ-lǒ tu-i Ќ-ť o fru ĥy-i bwĭl-zô.

fâ-gĭn kujm-o twâ-ŝrun-zô:
mâ-ŝy dâm-ř mâ-vĭ kâ-i fâ kujm-o,
mâ-vĭ dâm-ř mâ-ŝy kâ-i fâ kujm-o.

ƥ-ĉu θĭ-o nî'sâ huw-fwa kâ-i lâ-zô Ќ-ť.
!gě'dĭm kǒ i pe gě'dĭm ler pen i ₣urŋ-bô jâ-i mwe ƥ-ĉu.}

Smooth Translation

Prayer text for a woman and man becoming spouses

We say these words to God:

"We are thankful for the beauty in all of us.
We are thankful for the light, which gives us heat by day.
We are thankful for the fire-place, which shields us against danger.
We are thankful for the harvest of corn in storage-bins.

"Of the four moons, which give lesser light by night, we sing.
Of the wind, which blows us good air, we sing.
Of the magnolia which shades us, we sing.
Of delight, which gives us health and vigor, we sing.

"Now we raise our hands to the glory of God who gives us children.

"For the love beginning we sing:
for the love of the woman for the man,
for the love of the man for the woman.

"For them we ask good luck.
Today and for all days to come, may they be blessed."

Translation from Kēlen

Wedding prayer for woman and man

We pray, reciting these words:

Thanks for beauty resting in us all;
Thanks for light which gives us warmth by day;
Thanks for the hearth which defends us against evil;
Thanks for the harvest of grain in storage.

We sing to the moons which give us moonlight by night;
We sing to the wind which brings us good weather;
We sing to the ataren-tree which gives us shade;
We sing for joy which gives us health and strength.

Now we raise our hands to the gods who send us children;
We sing so we may begin to love.

Love of woman for man,
Love of man for woman,
We send them good fortune today and for all tomorrows.

May they be blessed.


gjâ-zym-byn (gzb) is an agglutinative language, fairly minimalistic lexically, which leads to some long and sometimes not perfectly perspicuous compounds. In the glossary I've listed mostly only the root words, particles and suffixes, but also listed a few compounds used in the text where they seemed especially hard to guess from the component morphemes. Feel free to email asking for help, or look at the online lexicon.

Root words are nominal, and are turned into verbs and modifiers -- also postpositions and conjunctions — with appropriate suffixes. Compound postpostions, used to mark case roles, are formed using one of the core spacetime postpositions {i, o, ř} as a suffix on a root word for the appropriate abstract concept. I've listed a few of the most abstract compound postpositions in the glossary; others should be clear enough from their component morphemes.

The only verb suffixes used in the text are {-zô}, {-van}, and {-ca}. {-zô} former marks an active (agentive) verb. {-van} marks a stative (but not necessarily non-agentive) verb. {-ca} marks a reflexive (agentive) verb.

The agentive postposition {tu-i} and the active verb suffix {-zô} are normally only used for animate agents, but can be used for inanimate subjects (sources, e.g.) in poetic personification.

The typical morpheme order in compounds is head-modifier, but some roots that should be heads act like suffixes; I think {cu} and {θy} are the only ones used in the text.

Number is not obligatorily marked on nouns; {mâ} by itself could mean either "person" or "people" for instance. Number words can be suffixed to a noun radical to mark the number, or can be stand-alone adjectives with the suffix {-bô}. The root number words denote primes; in compounds, number roots that are equal or arranged in lesser-to-greater order are multiplied, while those arranged in greater-to-lesser order are added. General quantifier particles like {pen} ("all") do not require the {-bô} suffix.

Typical word order is OVS, but varies since subjects and objects are marked fairly explicity for theta roles with postpositions. Postpositional phrases almost always precede what they modify. Most complements tend to precede the direct object and verb. If the subject is in final position, the subject postposition can be omitted. gjâ-zym-byn allows for omitting the subject when it is the same as in the previous sentence.

In a relative clause, the relativized element comes first, even if it's the subject.

Punctuation: all sentences end in a period. The exclamation point ! marks an imperative sentence. The apostrophe or single quote ' marks syllable boundaries in polysyllabic roots. {curly brackets} are used as quotation marks; a quotation can extend for multiple paragraphs with no repetition of the { } quotation marks.


suff. adjective suffix: adj. from quality or number root
brĭ n. daytime
bwĭl n. giving, gift
by n. air
ca suff. reflexive verb suffix
cu n. system of synergetic parts
ĉu n. two
dâm n. origin, source, parenthood, authorship
n. love (_eros_ or _philia_)
fĭm n. health, well-being
flu n. flowing, blowing, pouring
fru n. child (son or daughter)
fu n. light
fwa suff. causative suffix
fwĭ n. collection, accumulation, harvest
₣urŋ n. happiness, blessedness (quality of a whole life, not a momentary state)
n. thing, item
gân n. cause
gě'dĭm n. day (sleep-wake cycle)
gĭn n. beginning, start
gjâ n. language
hěm'lu n. magnolia
huw n. happiness, contentment, natural blessedness
ĥwâ n. glory, good reputation, honor
ĥy n. patient, target
ĥy-i postp. patient case postposition
i postp. in, at, during
im postp. in, inside (part/whole)
postp. inside
n. state, role, status
jâ-i postp. state (being) postposition
jâ-o postp. state transition (becoming) postposition
jâln n. warmth, heat
ĵyj n. vigor, energy, stamina, awakeness, un-tiredness
n. attention
kâ-i postp. attentive case postposition
ke conj. and (synergetic, multiplicative)
dem. this, these (1P)
suff. place where ~ happens, is done
kujm n. goal, purpose, end
Ќ pron. 1P - I, me
ķuj n. danger, risk of harm
n. request, petition, prayer
ler mod. future
suff. relativizer; forms relative pronoun from root
lyn n. Luna (Earth's moon)
lyn-tôn n. moon, satellite
n. person, human being
mâŋ n. hand
mě'zâ n. maize, corn
n. topic, theme
mĭ-i postp. about; topic case postposition
ɱ pron. 3P - he, she, it (not mentioned yet)
mrâ n. container, containment, enclosure
mwe mod. imperative, optative
nî'sâ n. fate, luck, doom, providence (good or bad)
nî'šĭm n. night
nu n. time, moment
ŋâw n. calling, addressing someone, getting someone's attention
ŋul n. defense, guarding
o postp. to, toward, until
pe conj. and (addititive, concatentative)
pen mod. all, every, each
pî'râ n. fire, flame
prym n. enjoyment of beauty
pwĭ n. enjoyment, joy, delight
ƥ pron. 3P - he, she, it (already mentioned)
rě'ĵy n. wife
rě'ĵy-tôn n. spouse; husband or wife
ř postp. from, out of, since
sî'ðyr n. fighting, battle, opposition
sjum n. thankfulness, thanks
šâ n. lifting, carrying
ŝrun n. music
ŝy n. feminity
syj n. use, usefulness
tǒj suff. nominalizer suffix
tôn suff. generalizer suffix; gives a radical a broader meaning
tu n. agent, actor
tu-i postp. agentive case postposition
twâ n. sentence, saying, strophe, proverb
twâ-zô v. to say
ť pron. 2P - you, y'all
θě'ku n. God
θĭ n. help, benefit
θô suff. diminutive suffix
θy n. element, part (suffixoid in compounds)
van suff. stative verb suffix
n. masculinity
vjâr n. shade, shadow
za suff. adjective suffix: pertaining or related to substantive root
suff. active verb suffix
źa suff. augmentive suffix


conj. conjunction
dem. demonstrative
mod. modifier (adjective/adverb)
n. noun
postp. postposition
pron. pronoun
suff. suffix
v. verb

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February 19th, 2007
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