Ring A: 10/20: Kamakawi

David J. Peterson
[ Relay 14 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Kamakawi | Smooth English | Grammar | Vocabulary | Abbrevs. ]

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Ka Itiva: Ilu'a.

A noala uei!

Au oala emi ti kalaka.
A li féneka ie imawawa ti'ia. A li féneka o Képepe ie imawawa tiu emi uila.
Oku kakava féneka ie féneka o kalele. E pote i amo oku.
A ove féneka o Tyétene ie kolu.
E li i féneka e nevi ie iolu.
A hevaka féneka o hevaka iu neki.
A notole féneka o kapolo ie féneka ti opeku.
A li féneka o eyana i eyana e nevi i uamo.
A li féneka o eli i eleumi e nevi iu emi uila.
E emiale ie mali ulu ti kopu una.
E elile i upea.
A hala'i eyana ima!

Smooth Translation

Second Part: A Chant.

Let us sing!

Humans speak language.
The spirit obtains your twilight. Kepepe's spirit obtains the twilight of all humans.
The spirit does not set the plant's spirit on fire. It doesn't fight it.
Tyetene's spirit dissipates the darkness.
S/he gives a spirit to the lake.
The wind's spirit blows through one's hair.
The tree's spirit protects the spirit from danger.
The spirit of goodness gives goodness to them.
The spirit of love gives everything to all humans.
It guides the weak child with a gentle hand.
It causes them to love.
Virtue lives on!


-Typological facts: word order = VSO; prepositional; NG; NA; NR.

-A PP can be moved to the front of a clause, but otherwise word order is maintained.

-Kamakawi is a pro-drop language. If the subject marker /e/ or /ae/ is used, the subject may be omitted, as it can be retained from the previous clause.

-Subject status markers let the hearer know if the subject of the new sentence (embedded or otherwise) is the same as the subject of the previous sentence. There are three possibilities: (1) It's identical; (2) it's from the previous clause, but isn't the previous clause's subject; (3) it's brand new (or more than a clause old). To mark these statuses, a particle is used which preposes the verb. The markers are as follows:

(k)e = (1)
(k)ae = (2)
(k)a = (3)

Certain discourse particles (words like "because" and "so that") are suffixed directly to these subject status markers. So if you had a sentence like Kale X Y, it'd mean "Because Y did X".

-Adverbs occur sentence-finally, generally. Adverbs are sometimes used like modals in English. For example, if you say Ka mama eine i nawa (PAST hug woman PREP fish), it'd mean "The woman hugged a fish". If you say Ka mama eine i nawa tou (PAST hug woman PREP fish can), it'd mean "The woman could hug a fish".

-Where a verb has 2 arguments, the preposition /i/ marks the less agent-like of the two. For this reason, it's used to cover a whole range of prepositional functions, including spatial and temporal.

-Certain verbs take adverbial complements. They're listed in the lexicon as X...Y. For these verbs, any objects and subjects come in between the members X and Y. Otherwise, the two function as a single verb with a single meaning.

-When two vowels of the same quality occur next to one another, they're separated by a glottal stop.

-Saying "to give" requires two verbs in Kamakawi: one of getting, and one of giving. A typical sentence will work like this:

A li ei i nawa e nevi i eine.
/new.subj. get I D.O. fish same.subj. give D.O. woman/
"I give a fish to a woman."  or
"I get a fish and give (it) to a woman."


The lexicon is arranged in English alphabetical order. Each entry begins with an asterisk. Where applicable, additional grammatical information will appear in parentheses, and additional etymological information will appear in brackets. Though many Kamakawi words have many different meanings and can appear in many different categories, I've only included the relevant translations and categories.

*a (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is new or different
*amo (pron.) 3sg. neuter pronoun
*au (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is new or different and plural
*e (part.) the (definite article, sg.; attaches to prepositions); (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is identical to the subject of the previous sentence
*eleumi (pron.) everything
*eli (n.) love
*elile (vt.) to cause to love
*emi (n.) human (being), person
*emiale (vt.) to lead, to guide
*eyana (n.) goodness, virtue
*féneka (n.) spirit [< Zhyler]
*hala'i (vi.) to live, to live on
*hevaka (vi.) to blow (through something, use /iu/); (n.) wind
*i (prep.) marks direct objects; marks general locations and/or times
*ia (pron.) you
*ie (contr.) contraction of /i/ and /e/
*ilu'a (n.) chant
*ima (part.) emphatic particle
*imawawa (n.) twilight, evening
*iolu (n.) lake
*itiva (n.) part
*iu [1] (prep.) through
*iu [2] (contr.) contraction of /i/ and /u/
*ka (adj.) second
*kakava (vt.) to set on fire
*kalaka (n.) language
*kalele (n.) plant
*kapolo (n.) tree
*Képepe (nm.) a proper name
*kolu (n.) darkness
*kopu (vt.) to touch, to feel; (n.) hand
*li (v.) to get, to obtain (see note above)
*mali (n.) child
*neki (n.) hair
*nevi (vt.) to give (see above)
*noala (vi.) to sing
*notole (vt.) to shade something (from something else, use /ti/)
*o (prep.) marks the genitive (X o Y = "X of Y")
*oala (v.) to speak (a language, use /ti/)
*oku (part.) negates a sentence (used initially or finally)
*opeku (n.) danger
*ovele (vt.) to dissipate
*pote (vt.) to fight
*ti- (pref.) marks the genetive (X tiY = "X of Y")
*ti (prep.) with (instrumental); marks oblique phrases
*Tyétene (nm.) a proper name
*u (part.) the (definite article, plu.; attaches to prepositions); (part.) marks present tense, and that the subject of the sentence is identical to the subject of the previous sentence and plural
*uamo (pron.) 3plu. neuter pronoun
*uei (pron.) 1st pers. plural pronoun (exclusive), we
*uila (adj.) all
*ulu (adj.) weak
*una (adj.) gentle
*upea (pron.) 3plu. pronoun that indicates no gender


3 third person
A adjective
adj. adjective
adv. adverb
conj. conjunction
contr. contraction
G genitival phrase
N noun
n. noun
nm. name
O object
P preposition
part. particle (generally freestanding)
PP prepositional phrase
pref. prefix
prep. preposition
pron. pronoun
R relative clause
S subject
sg. singular
suf. suffix
V verb
vi. intransitive verb
vt. transitive verb

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February 19th, 2007
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