© 2022 by Mark Rosenfelder
Notes: The map is labeled in Sarroc. It shows the boundaries after the Second Dhekhnami War.
Sarroc Sarroc is the native term, also used in Verdurian. The native name of the country is Sarnawe Sarnawe. Sarnáe is Verdurian; both derive from Caď. SARNAURE ‘Eastland’.
This grammatical sketch is written from the perspective of Z.E. 3650.
Caďinor terms are written in CAPITALS.
Sarnáe, like Eretald, was hard hit by nomadic invasions: the Coruo and Sainor occupied the southern mountainous zone. When the Bešbalicu conquered Žésifo in 2435, imperial authority in Sarnáe collapsed, and the local nobles and burghers organized their own kingdom, Sarnawe. However, the coast organized the republic of Mitigaoma.
Sarnáe pushed back the Coruo, but it was entirely conquered, along with Mitigaoma, by the Gelyet (2536–2600). The word glieta ‘despoil’, from Gelyet, hints at the destruction wrought by these nomads.
The arts of civilization were hit hard by the Dark Years. The economy reverted to local subsistence farming and herding; trade dried up to a trickle; towns were abandoned, devastated by barbarians and civil wars. There was little learning; what little there was took place in Caďinor, mostly in the Caďinorian seminaries. Courts ceased to function; the only authorities were the barons (aefari). The king (daolo) was elective and could only rule the country in wartime— naturally this inclined him to keep wars going.
Dhekhnam (Ďieȟnam) was organized in 2537, consisting of Tyellakh (Tyelag) plus the western ktuvoks; they conquered Visecra in 2550. The new ktuvok empire became more formidable when it merged with Demóshimor (Demóťimor) in 2712.
By the 2800s Dhekhnami incursions were becoming more frequent, and there were calls to shore up the country’s defenses. At the same time, there was ill feeling in the south (Iosoandor, the upper Shkónoro), which resented the northern control of trade and its monopoly on the kingship— a southern king had not been elected since 2650. King Zoul promised that the next king would come from the south; but on his death another northerner, Caolonawe, was elected. Worse yet, his first act was to impose a feudal levy creating a standing army. The southern aefari rebelled, electing their own king, Giesfaondo.
However, when they finally conquered that sliver in 3044, Estdorot (Iesdouroť) of Verduria (Vreduirya) counter-invaded, at the age of 76, pushing the Dhekhnami back to the Dagêsh mountains. What he could not do was re-establish unity; he left the country divided in three: Mitigaoma, Sarnáe, and Iosoandor.
The Dhekhnami conquered the first two in 3160-72, and Iosoandor in 3280. Their policies were the mirror image of Ervëa’s, though implemented with greater brutality: they persecuted Caďinorian paganism and outlawed Eleďát, brought in many Eynleyni settlers, outlawed the Caďinorian alphabet, and attempted to conduct all official business only in Dhekhnami. However, these oppressive practices eased up in the 3400s.
The new country was effectively a client state of Kebri, which maintained troops there to defend against Dhekhnam. Its government was modeled on that of Kebri, which was an oligarchy where nobles, town burghers, admirals, and the clergy were the key holders of power. The problem in imitating the Kebreni system was that Sarnáe had no elite— no nobles or urban notables.
On the other hand, the countryside was divided into ladieȟai (villages), each with a laťouryo (chief); the Kebreni simply treated these as the leaders and rulers, and only these could vote. In the cities, votes were tied to property ownership. The country had a legislature (neisina) and prime minister (mitano piero) on the Kebreni model.
Mitigaoma developed quickly, though it lagged far behind Kebri and Verduria, or even Svetla, in prosperity. A railroad linked the new capital, Sarvenceo (Sarvensieyo), to Eretald. Gelalhát was discouraged though not prohibited, and Eretaldan religions favored.
Due to quarrels with Verduria, Kebri removed its troops in 3578. There seemed to be no immediate reaction from Dhekhnam; indeed, its top human envoy to the west, Khuvna, was friendly with the Mitigaoman prime minister Gieso Veťuirad, and assured him that there was “no reason for war.” But then the Verdurian prime minister Freďal Lureš took over Kebri’s position in Mitigaoma— sending in far more troops than Kebri ever had.
The Second Dhekhnami War (3588–96) was devastating for Mitigaoma, whose territory was the site of most of the fighting, and carved up for miles on end into trenches, which the two sides traded back and forth in bloody attacks.
The war was ended when half the western ktuvoks defected— accepting Verdurian rule and helping to massacre the half that was loyal to Dhekhnam. Mitigaoma was now administered by Érenat, and northern Visecra by Kebri; the remaining territory was directly ruled by Verduria. The ktuvoks remained in control of their swamp— and ruled the adjoining humans in southern Visecra.
Sarnáe participated in the general prosperity of the postwar decades. Life improved for everyone, the cities grew dense, and modern technology proliferated. The region did not catch up with Eretald; but it was always possible to move there, or to the Eretaldan colonies in the rest of the world.
Very little was written during the Dark Years, and for this classical Caďinor was used. During the time of independent Sarnáe (2600–3000) the language of government, religion, and culture was Caďinor. The language of the people was Old Sarroc, which is directly attested only in a few folk songs and citations from the uneducated. However, when people spoke Caďinor out loud, they used Sarroc pronunciations— e.g. DALU ‘king’ was pronounced daolo, GRILU ‘wheat’ was gyiolo. Thus both people and elite considered that they were speaking Caďionor.
There were already three dialects, corresponding to the nations of Mitigaoma (the coast), Sarnáe, and Visecra.
Naturally, Sarroc is heavily influenced by Dhekhnami. Terms for government, religion, metallurgy, and even clothing are generally borrowed from Dhekhnami. Even the verbal system has been remodelled to mark rank, like Dhekhnami, rather than person and number. (This change actually began far earlier, when Munkhâshi-speaking Eynleyni were learning to speak Caďinor, and reinterpreted the plural as an honorific.)
Very often Sarroc and Dhekhnami have the same grammar, word for word, just different lexemes:
Souwa goural, dyon au cadieyo a tai voulon.Not every sentence will work like this, but this is fairly typical.
As for the ktuvok, he wanted to give us an order.
Souwa goutal, dyon au cadieyo a tai voulon. Kshêç godat, nadhewaç at gnêmwo çir khuba khyith. mention ktuvok give-past.sub one order to us want-sub
Such syntactic merging, with separate lexicons, is fairly common in bilingual communities. As ever, I recommend Thomason & Kaufman’s Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics for the wide range of behaviors in language contact. The case of Kupwar in India is widely cited: Urdu, Marathi, and Kannada are all spoken there with identical syntax. The advantages for speakers should be obvious: there is less to remember.
In Sarnáe, this situation developed over millennia of close contact: first Caďinor and Munkhâshi, then Sarroc and Dhekhnami. Not everyone knew the imperial language— mostly this would be the tyem (ktuvok estate) leaders and the people in the major towns; but these were precisely the people whose language became the standard. And there was no alternative source of prestige. By the 3400s, even remote rural areas where Dhekhnami was unknown spoke Sarroc the same way. At the same time, there was trade with Kebri and Érenat, and trade goods were often given names borrowed from Kebreni or Verdurian.
The change in regimes has given Sarroc a number of doublets:
As a corollary, if you’re looking up a word in the lexicon— especially one relating to government, religion, or technology— keep looking in case there are doublets.
Dh/Mun Verd etc. gloss Deneťno Ilyaoza the moon Iliažë bwitwo vanao government goutal ȟuvuoc ktuvok Gelat Aondor Gelálh tlubuvno kolberda railroad omieȟa culseo commander sudzos cuirya court sudzosno amaremno lawyer somaovno savakno spy Tliegas Mitigaoma Mišicama ocean lindieȟno aiglioťo priest tsenat aiďnawe temple tlepwo megua division of an hour tiesir zenuira alphabet giega bacoa fuck sobuila pero flaid
The standard language is that of the capital, Iďanieȟa, the largest city outside Govanro. This is the variety described in this grammar.
Upper Sarroc was not conquered till 3280, so it retained more Caďinor vocabulary. This in turn was raided by lexicographers when Mitigaoma became independent (3512). (Thus, the actual vocabulary in lower Sarnáe under the occupation contained even more Dhekhnami, but reliable sources are scanty.)
The language of the coast, including Govanro, was once at least as divergent as Upper Sarroc, and is sometimes called Mitigaomad. The disruptions of two major wars, as well as the movement of populations, largely eliminated Mitigaomad. However, Govanro has a distinct way of speaking, and its size and economic importance allow it to resist and even influence the standard language. Naturally the speech of Govanro (Gopaondoȟ) has even more Kebreni and Verdurian influence. It is by no means a continuation of Mitigaomad.
Visecran has gone its own way since the 2200s, and is best considered as a separate language, though it does share some features with Sarroc as contrasted with the Eretaldan descendants of Caďinor.
During the occupation, s z were dental, as in Dhekhnami; their place of articulation is now alveolar, as in Verdurian.
labial dental alveolar palatal velar uvular stops p t c k b d g fricatives f ť s ȟ v ď z nasals m n liquids w l r y
A characteristic of Govanro dialect is to move the c/k distinction forward— palatal vs. velar, as in Kebreni, rather than velar vs. uvular. Uvular k was lost in many words, but restored from Upper Sarroc in modern times.
The sounds ts dz tl are sometimes considered phonemic. Note that ts dz are alveolar, like s z. (This was true even under the occupation.)
ȟ may be palato-alveolar [ç] after a front vowel, as in Ďieȟnam. In Govanro, all ȟ becomes [ç].
Dhekhami sh zh and Verdurian š ž are normally borrowed as s z or ts dz, but some speakers use the original pronunciation.
Morphology can produce doubled vowels— e.g. niiobro ‘doesn’t read’. These are not pronounced long; this word is pronounced as if it were niobro. The same is true for consonants: Sarroc is [sa rok].
E.g. CASOS > caoso, KEDA > kieda, KRITOS > cyoto, DOTIS > doiti, LURES > luira. Unstressed vowels are not affected (except sometimes by morphophonemic analogy).
Caď. Sarroc A ao, au E ie I io O oi, ou U ui
(The au/ou variants are due to conditional sound changes.)
In morphology, the stress may change, and the original vowel may reappear; following Sarroc grammarians I will call this demotion. E.g. the present tense inferior form rioȟa ‘looks at’ becomes dynamic riȟievo, irrealis riȟiema. We also see this in derivational morphology: glioni ‘long’ > glinuira‘length’.
If the root has any other vowel combination (e.g. caisa, fuoco), or uses y/w (e.g. tyawir, bwoga), it is not regularly demoted.
Most words are stressed on the penult: SARroc, sarNAwe, FYUwa, goPAONdo, IOlo, LIEsa, etc.
If the word is stressed on the antepenult, this syllable will usually contain a digraph. Thus GUOmina, aRAWnicro, SŤIEsifo, AOlasar, MIEwonda. This rule even applies to Munkhâshi/Dhekhnami borrowings. e.g. LIOCťani ‘barbarian’, TSAInapa ‘capital’. Not infrequently a syllable has been lost, so the penult rule works anyway: PROSIMA > PWOIsim, SCONORO > SOANdor.
A few words are stressed on the last syllable. The same digraph trick applies: tuRIEL, ESPUEL > esWIEL.
A very few words have unexpected stress. I’ve indicated this with an acute accent: ralinaré ‘theater’, Demóťimor. But the orthography does not mark stress: ralinare, Demo†imor.
Verdurian and Dhekhnami borrowings are approximated to Sarroc phonology. However, Verdurian, Ismaîn, and Kebreni proper names (except for those that have traditional Sarroc equivalents, mostly countries and rivers) are cited in their original orthography— e.g. Žoscöra Čuneya and Ḣazum Kyźureu are referred to as ¸oscöra Çuneya and Úazum Ky#ureu.
labial dental alveolar palatal velar uvular stops p p t t c c k k b b d d g g fricatives f f † ť s s h ȟ v v ∂ ď z z nasals m m n n liquids w w l l r r y y front mid back vowels i i u u e e o o a a
During the occupation, writing in Sarroc was highly discouraged. All official communication was in Dhekhnami, and very rarely was permission granted to publish anything in Sarroc. But Sarroc could be quoted in a Dhekhnami text, and grammars of the language were published, with examples. These used the Demoshi alphabet (tiesir). The adaptation was straightforward, with these modifications:
Early on, sound change merged the dative and accusative; the resulting form was more often than not identical to the nominative, and the exceptions were soon lost. Later on the ablative took over the functions of the genitive, leaving just two cases in the modern language.
The plural is formed by adding -i, with these exceptions:
m ‘life’ ‘honor’ ‘summer’ s nom ielir loundo aisťa s abl ielirȟ loundoȟ aisťaȟ pl nom ieliri loindi aisťai pl abl ieliriȟ loindiȟ aisťaiȟ n ‘heat’ ‘darkness’ ‘night’ ‘hand’ s nom caolo swouro noisťi mauno s abl caoloȟ swouroȟ noisťiȟ maunoȟ pl nom caoloi swouroi noucťoi maunoi pl abl caoloiȟ swouroiȟ noucťoiȟ maunoiȟ f ‘wife’ ‘place’ ‘field’ ‘twin’ s nom siora nawe miesťi ziemin s abl siorad nawed miesťid ziemind pl nom siorai nawei miesťya ziemini pl abl sioreid naweid miesťyad zieminid
(Verdurians often assume that the Dhekhnami occupation is to blame— but the same lack of agreement is found in Ismaîn.)
Adjectives can be used as noun phrases, but then they are inflected like nouns. Use the m or f declensions, whichever fits the form of the word. Thus au miri ‘a rich one’, au mirya ‘rich ones’, au lieret ‘a devious one’, au liereti ‘devious ones’, piero ‘the first one’, pieri ‘the first ones’, etc.
Adverbs are formed with the particle mieli, thus mieli ruiȟi ‘quickly’, mieli taile ‘bravely’. These can be combined: mieli ruiȟi ir taile ‘quickly and bravely’.
Caď. TU ‘he/she’ has been replaced by gender-specific forms from the Caď. deictics. Gender is always semantic, not lexical: use touta for a single female referent. Inanimates use tout. Indefinite references (like we do, you know?) generally use muiȟ ‘you’.
I you s. he she s refl s nom sio liet tout touta s acc ieť iek zieť s abl ied lieť toutoť toutad ziewoȟ poss ieri lieri tuiri tuiri zieri we you pl. they pl refl pl nom tai muiȟ cai pl acc taim muim caim zaowa pl abl tad muioȟ caiť zaowaȟ poss taonda muinda cairi
Possession is always expressed using the possessive adjectives, not the ablative: doumo lieri ‘your house’. As the dative has disappeared, the ‘polite possessive’ of Caďinor has as well: miedro ieri ‘my lord’.
Among the interrogatives, only kai ‘who’ retains an accusative:
The deictic adjectives are ailo ‘this’ and iolo ‘that’. Like ordinary adjectives, they are invariable.
who what where when s nom kai kieto kedyoi kieda s acc kaiť s abl kaiť kietoȟ kedyoiȟ
The deictics act like neuter nouns:
The indefinite pronouns have ablative forms, with some irregularities.
this one that one these ones those ones nom aito touto aitoi toutoi abl aitoȟ toutoȟ aitoiȟ toutoiȟ
person thing place time every sioat sioi suida suikieda abl sioad sioiȟ suidad some nioi ťiosyo ťikuida ťikieda abl nioiȟ ťiosyaȟ ťikuidad no nioȟto niosyo nikuida nikieda abl nioȟtaȟ niosyaȟ nikuidad
In the present tense,
Present inf liora rioȟa mioďa biesťi claoza resp lioro rioȟo mioďo biecťo claogo sub lioron rioȟon mioďon biesťin claogon Past inf liorai rioȟai mioďai biecťai claozai resp lioroi rioȟoi mioďoi biesťa claozoi sub lioryon rioȟyon mioďyon biesťyen claozyen
The vowel in the root is demoted.
present past inf riȟievo riȟievai resp riȟievi riȟievoi sub riȟievin riȟievyon
The inherited forms were easily confused with the simple past/present (e.g. RIȞUS and RIȞUT both > rioȟo), so in Old Sarroc only the past forms were used. To distinguish the past again, the normal past tense endings were applied.
These are formed with a suffix, which is different for verbs in -a(c) (the Caď. -C and -N conjugations) and in -r (< -R), and for past vs. present.
Note the vowel demotion in the root.
rioȟa ’look at’ claozar ‘whip’ present past present past inf riȟiema riȟiona clazieti claziori resp riȟiemo riȟiono clazieto clazioro sub riȟiemon riȟionon clazieton clazioron
present liriola rioȟac mioďac biesťic claozac past liorol rioȟol mioďol biesťil claozal
biesa ‘not be’ present past inf bie — resp bieso — sub bieson — caoďir ‘order’ inf caodi resp caoďo sub caodin cťauna ‘come’ inf sťiet resp cťauno sub cťaunon fawsir ‘leave’ inf feot resp fawco sub fawsin iesa ‘be’ present past inf ie fwai resp ieso fuio sub ieson fuin kieťa ‘bear’ inf kieťa kiwai resp kieťo kieťoi sub kien kieťyon ne ‘be born’ inf niot nai resp niesa nieso sub nien nion oyir ‘hear’ inf wit resp ouwo sub ouwon piesa ‘can’ inf iepa iepai resp iepo iepoi sub iepon iepyon swofac ‘know’ inf swot resp swofo sub swofon voilir ‘want’ inf vuit resp voulo sub voulon
biesa not be biesť- bwoga fight bwouz- cuirac hold cours- diesya stop dies- feri carry fiers- iesa be iesť- kieťa bear kouť- lawda go loud- liega lie louz- liela see liels- lieswa sell lies- mierir measure miers- mieta put mies- nouar rain nous- nuirir nurture nours- puiwa push pouw- saotlar jump siels- sťierar tend sťiers- suibra follow soubr- vaotlar claim viels- yuisir provide yous-
Names for multiples of 8 consist of the Sarroc digit plus baz < Dh. bazh.
x 8x xth 1 au yoisi piero 2 ďu ďubaz twoura 3 di dibaz miera 4 pawor paorbaz tyetna 5 panť pambaz paonda 6 sieȟ sieȟbaz siesťa 7 ȟaip ȟaibaz ȟaipe 8 yoisi tleȟ yoicli
Names for two-digit numbers are calqued on Dhekhnami:
The octal system is still used informally; many things are sold or arranged in packs of eight. After liberation, under Kebreni influence, a decimal system was adopted.
Names for 20—40, 100, 1000 (miol) had persisted dialectally, and were made standard. Pieron ‘million’ and twouron ‘blllion’ were modeled on Verdurian.
x 10x xth 1/x 1 au deť piero au 2 ďu twedeť twoura mietoi 3 di miedeť miera genoȟ 4 pawor tyedeť tyetna tsoȟya 5 panť pandeť paonda ospanť 6 sieȟ sieȟdeť siesťa osieȟ 7 ȟaip ȟaindeť ȟaipe osȟaip 8 yoisi yoideť yoicli osyoisi 9 niebri niedeť nieri osniebri 10 deť siecaȟ diesťi osdeť
Two-digit numbers are formed with ir, e.g. miedeť ir yoisi 48. Higher numbers are formed like this:
ȟaindeť panť miol niebri siecaȟ sieȟdeť ir ďuThe fraction ½ is from Caďinor; 1/3 and ¼ are from Dhekhnami; others are formed with os- from Dhekhnami osh-. Negative numbers are formed with buisa ‘without’: buisa panť = -5.
seven-ten four thousand nine hundred seven-ten and two
Mathematical notation follows Kebreni and Verdurian. Simple expressions are read as follows; note that the argument order follows the notation, not ordinary sentences.
2 + 2 = 4 2 + 2 = 4 ďu ir ďu ie pawor two and two be.inf four 5 – 2 = 3 5 – 2 = 3 panť buisa ďu ie di five without two be.inf three 2 ° 4 = 8 2 x 4 = 8 twoura pawor ie yoisi second four be.inf eight 10 ‡ 5 = 2 10 / 5 = 2 diesťi ospanť ie ďu tenth 1/5 be.inf two
Null derivation is fairly common: apiela/apielo name; cuilpa/cuilpir guilt, miebra, miebro act(ion).
There is some tendency to modify Caďinor words with Caďinor affixes, and Dhekhnami with Dhekhnami, but only because the related words were borrowed together; there are mixtures, e.g. gainwo ‘oppression’, gozieca ‘wimpiness’.
affix gender source meaning example eȟa f EIA general sieȟa being eyo n EIO general cizieyo eating wo n Dh. wo general liťdecwo sacrifice ieca f ECA action, process lelieca vision aondo m ANTOS art, state raulando cooking iola f ILE object miďiola celebration al m EL result liezal lie uira f URA action, object nasituira cargo ya f IA regions lourya kingdom no m Dh. no person, male liesno vendor sa f Dh. so female liesa female vendor o, a m, f O, A m/f kin kounso, kounsa cousin wi- — Dh. wi- diminutive wizio little boy so- — Dh. she- augmentative sozio big boy
affix source meaning example ni- NIS not niďaowa wrong iosa ISES from noun ďomiosa stony ra RES from noun zounra yearly na NES quality ťuourna partial iezma ESMES somewhat gariezma sensible
affix source meaning example nda NDEN act with miewonda plow bra BREN make, do sletaobra light up aotir ATIR use body; become pilaotir blink ni- NIS not nilyuba doesn’t love wi- Dh. wi- diminutive witsasa cry a little so- Dh. she- augmentative sotsasa cry a lot me- Dh. me- inceptive metsasa start crying
Dioso tahno liebno.You can topicalize an argument with souwa ‘mention’, a calque on Dhekhnami kshêç.
Dioso taȟno liebno.
hate-resp boss new-m
The boss hates the newbie.
Souwa liebno, dioso tahno.There is no explicit marking of whether the topic is subject or object, though in the example this is made clear by the respect inflection.
Souwa liebno, dioso taȟno.
mention new-m / hate-resp boss
As for the newbie, the boss hates him.
Souwa tahno, dioso liebno.
Souwa taȟno, dioso liebno.
mention boss / hate-resp new-m
As for the boss, he hates the newbie.
Lyubo sio swerieva.But it’s required if you’re going to keep talking about the referent:
Lyubo sio swerieva.
love-resp 1s beer
I like beer.
Tielnoi sio au tiopal. Ie tiopal rihoindi.In English, when we pluralize ‘a horse’ we leave out the article. But au should also be used for indefinite plurals: au tiopali ‘horses’.
au tiopal. Ie tiopal riȟoindi.
find-past.resp 1s one horse / be-inf horse marvelous
I found a horse. The horse is amazing.
During the occupation, you used the inferior form when the subject was an inferior, the respect form when the subject was a superior. For far superiors— gods, ktuvoks, humans in charge of an institution— you used the submission form. This precisely matched the Dhekhnami rank forms (E, D, B respectively).
Thus The man is building a machine is said differently depending on who the man is, in relation to the speaker:
Bie†o sio iek, ir bie†i liet ie†.And he could respond
Bieťo sio iek, ir bieťi liet ieť.
watch-sup 1s.nom 2s.acc / and watch-inf 2s-nom 1s-acc
I’m watching you, and you’re watching me.
Bie†i sio iek, ir bie†o liet ie†.In a ktuvok empire there are no true equals. Even among children, or among fellow workers (or villagers or students), there is a hierarchy and use of the wrong forms is punished.
Bieťi sio iek, ir bieťo liet ieť.
watch-inf 1s.nom 2s.acc / and watch-sup 2s-nom 1s-acc
I’m watching you, and you’re watching me.
There are two situations where two people might use the same form:
The rules have changed, or been reinterpreted, in liberated Sarnáe. In rank situations (child/parent, student/teacher, worker/boss, or in the army or temples), the inferior and respect forms are used as above.
But they can also be used mutually:
The submission form is used for gods, monarchs, and the highest person in a hierarchy (e.g. a general, prime minister, or chief priest). It is strongly discouraged to use it for ktuvoks. (Ktuvoks are not supposed to enter Sarnáe proper, so the situation doesn’t come up much.)
In the old or new system, animals and inanimate objects rank below all humans, so as subjects they take the inferior forms. Body parts and things held in the hand (like swords) have the same rank as their owner, but no other possessions do.
Rural areas are likely to be more hierarchical and resist these egalitarian innnovations.
In (say) a novel or a newspaper article, the rules are these:
Imbriema virah in nawe is†iosa.Or that the speaker would like it to; this can be reinforced with sier ‘good’:
Imbriemaviraȟ in nawe isťiosa.
enter-irr-inf enemy in city yesterday
The enemy might have entered the city yesterday.
Pugiema (sier) ailo dieno.As noted above, the irrealis forms an imperative, but only for inferiors:
Pugiema (sier)ailo dieno!
end-irr-inf (good) this day
If only this day would end!
Miyoriema ailo touno.A simple statement about the future occurs in the irrealis:
clean-irr-inf this room
Clean this room!
C†anionon miedro a doumo lieri zietwer.It’s also used in conditionals, and sometimes in relative clauses; see below.
Cťaniononmiedro a doumo lieri zietwer.
come-irr-sup noble to house your tomorrow
The noble will come to your house tomorrow.
Nilyubo sio swerieva.This is still required when negative pronouns are present:
Nilyubo sio swerieva.
not-love-resp 1s beer
I don’t like beer.
Nilyubo sio swerieva.Denying that an event occurred, you use the realis. If you use the irrealis, you are suggesting that it didn’t happen, but you aren’t sure:
Nilyubo sio swerieva nikieda.
not-love-resp 1s beer never
I never liked beer.
Nilebatiori caolen tuiri.To put it another way, if you have both negative and irrealis, the doubtfulness applies to both. Because of this, if you want to make a definite statement that something won’t happen in the future, you should use an auxiliary (see below).
not-renew-irr-inf castle 3s-adj
I don’t think his castle has been renovated.
An argument is negated using the pronoun sui. You negate the verb unless ‘not X’ is contrasted with ‘some Y’.
Niiobroi uclietla sui iobro.
Niiobroi uclietla suiiobroi.
not-read-past.resp chief none book-pl
The village chief has read no books.
Lyubo uclietla plaondi ir sui iobroi.
Lyubo uclietla plaondi ir
love-resp chief coin-pl and none book-pl
The village chief likes coins and not books.
The auxiliary appears at the end of the sentence. Examples:
voilir want nyuimi afraid to swofac know (how to) piesa can diebrir must sumpoula must not laotoa should suima should not namaira intend to lapra keep doing maolda do badly piotsa is allowed to
Laubroso sio swofo!You must be careful when applying negative ni-; when applied to the auxiliary, it negates only the auxiliary. There isn’t a big logical gap between “I (don’t want) to go” (Lawso sio
dance-resp 1s know-resp
I can dance!
Laubrosa liet maolda.
dance-inf 2s do.badly-inf
You dance badly.
Vouco sio vyouc†a namairo.
Vouco sio au vyoucťa
invoke-resp 1s one spirit intend-resp
I intend to invoke a Power.
Suibroi demo†i bieglo dienoi.
Suibroi demoťi bieglo
support-past.resp Demoshi-pl war continue-past.resp
The Demoshi kept supporting the war.
The semantic gap is more important with verbs of obligation and permission— especially in a society where these concepts are taken very seriously. That may be why there are doublets with positive and negative meanings: diebrir/sumpoula ‘must (not)’, laotoa/suima ‘should (not)’.
Note that nidiebrir denies that something is an obligation; sumpoula means that it’s an obligation not to do something. Compare:
Iemo liet lindiehno sumpoulo.Many of the auxiliaries refer to hypothetical events, but the auxiliary itself conveys this— you don’t also put the verbs in the irrealis. However, you can place the auxiliary (not the main verb) in the irrealis to express doubt or futurity:
Iemo liet lindieȟno sumpoulo.
talk-resp 2s priest mustn’t-resp
You mustn’t talk to the priest.
Iemo liet lindiehno nidiebro.
Iemo liet lindieȟno nidiebro.
talk-resp 2s priest not-must-resp
It’s not mandatory to talk to the priest.
Nouto sio swofiemo.
swim-resp 1s know-irr-resp
I don’t know if I can swim.
First, the prefix me- (borrowed from Dhekhnami) is used as an inceptive:
Merawla rai∂o.As in Dhekhnami, negating the inceptive produces a terminative or completive:
The servant has begun cooking.
Nimerawla rai∂o.That is, “not-begin-cook” is interpreted as “began to not cook”, i.e. “finish cooking”. If you really want a negative inceptive, use ni yat ‘not already’:
The servant has finished cooking.
Merawla rai∂o.The auxiliary lapra is used to emphasize that an action is ongoing; it’s similar to the English progressive (“he was talking”) or the French imperfect (il parlait).
Merawla raiďo ni yat.
incep-cook-inf servant not already
The servant has not yet begun cooking.
Bemo†a davano evede lapro.Lapra is never mandatory— the same sentence without it (Bemoťa davano evede) does not imply that the engineer is done.
Bemoťa davano evede
fix-resp engineer train keep.going-resp
The engineer is still fixing the train.
Nilaovo au uclietla zie†!This includes objects of prepositions:
Nilaovo au uclietla
not-wash-resp one chief refl-acc
A chief doesn’t wash himself!
Doi uclietla au tiopal a zie†.A direct object can make the object of a preposition reflexive:
Doi uclietla au tiopal
give-past.resp chief one horse to refl-acc
The chief gave himself a horse.
Telniemo tai melyuirsa in touno zieri.If the subject was third person, touno zieri ‘their room’ would be ambiguous; normally the subject takes precedence.
Telniemo tai melyuirsa
in touno zieri.
find-past.resp 1p visitor-f in room refl-poss
We found the visitor in her room.
In the plural, the reflexive is ambiguous between each person acting on himself or herself, and persons acting on each other. E.g. lyubo dzaȟni zieť = ‘the soldiers each love themselves’ or ‘the soldiers love one another.’ The latter meaning can be forced by using a zieť instead. The only way to force the direct reflexive meaning is to recast the sentence in the singular:
Lyubo tiol dzahno zie†.The reflexive can be used as a passive; see below.
Lyubo tiol dzaȟno nzieť.
love-resp each soldier refl-acc
Each soldier loves himself.
Po-c†auna ie†.This can be used with transitive verbs too— the benefactive follows the direct object:
Come here (for me).
Riohoi culseo iolo daini iek.If the commander did it for himself, use the reflexive:
Rioȟoi culseo iolo daini
look-past.resp commander that document-pl 2s-acc
The commander looked over those documents for you.
Riohoi culseo iolo dainoi zie†.The same construction can be used as an antibenefactive— perhaps more frequently, in fact. The circumstances of the utterance, and tone of voice, should make the meaning clear.
Rioȟoi culseo iolo daini
look-past.resp commander that document-pl 2s-acc
The commander looked over those documents for himself.
Noua taim!This usage is still colloquial; the grammars tell you to use e.g. a sio ‘for me’, though only for animate subjects (so, not the rain). Under the occupation things were more direct— you were told to do things siev X— ‘on X’s orders.’
It’s raining (on. us)!
Merawla rai∂o?This suggests that the speaker expects the answer is yes, but wants confirmation. If you’re genuinely uncertain, you can use the irrealis—
The servant has begun cooking?
Merawla rai∂o?or the question particle fait:
Has the servant begun cooking?
Fait merawla rai∂o?Fait derives from FAET ‘does’, and is a calque on Munkhâshi pol. However, it has lost its verb— it is only a question particle in Sarroc, not a form of ‘do’.
Q incep-cook-inf servant
Has the servant begun cooking?
You answer with oura ‘yes’ or nios ‘no’, or of course something more informative (saocťa ‘soon’, ni yat ‘not yet’, etc.).
The statement can be negative, which implies that the speaker expects the event has not happened. It would be rare to use the irrealis in that case.
Fait nimerawla rai∂o?Answering a negative question, both oura and nios agree with the questioner that the event didn’t happen. To assert that it indeed did, you respond yat, lit. ‘even (so)’.
Q not-incep-cook-inf servant
The servant hasn’t begun cooking, have they?
nounnumeral ablative adjectives PPs relative-clauses
Au follows the noun as a number, but as an article precedes it.
aito diri this company aito muiswa dirya many of these companies diryaďu two companies diriau one company au diri a company aito diryaďu these two companies iolo diryaďu bougla those two big companies au diridemoťiȟ a Demoshi company ťios diryademoťiȟ encaile some horrible Demoshi companies au dirigiesra ir miri a rich and powerful company au diribuisa kouna a company without money diribougla iesac moaȟai the big company that failed
A complication: under Verdurian influence, it’s becoming more common to place numbers and single adjectives before the noun (ďu dirya ‘two companies’; au bougla diri ‘a big company’).
In general two nouns can’t be combined— the second should be in the ablative (plaondo ďaoraťiȟ ‘coin of silver’) or replaced by an adjective (plaondo ďaoraťna). But see Titles, below.
Pronouns alone have an accusative, which is used for direct objects: Lielo sio iek ‘I see you’. The ablative is used for possession: doumo laťouryoȟ ‘the elder’s house’. For pronouns, use the pronominal adjectives instead: doumo lieri ‘your (s.) house’.
It’s used with geographical names to label things that come from there, e.g. mlousyo Loadroȟ ‘honey from Loadro’. This is sometimes lexicalized— e.g. Mitigaomad is the dialect of Mitigaoma. If there is a geographical adjective, use that rather than the ablative: mlousyo vreduiri ‘Verdurian honey’.
It’s also used for the source of a movement or transfer:
Lawdoi mieȟa Gopaondoh.The ablative can be used for position in time: oinderiȟ ‘in the morning’, ibrierid ‘during winter’.
go-past.resp division Govanro-abl
The division walked from Govanro.
Ouwoi tai cadieyoi uiolnoh.
Ouwoi tai cadieyoi
hear-past-resp 1p order-pl old-m-abl
We received the orders from the old man.
The ablative is also used in conditionals; see below.
There is no dative; instead you use the preposition a (before vowels, ad).
Loudo dzahni ad Ierendo.With pronouns, the accusative can substitute for a dative expression if no explicit object is present:
go-irr-resp soldier-pl to Erenat
The soldiers will march to Erenat.
Dyon mivuno tiopal a sio.
Dyon mivuno tiopal
give-past.sub governor horse to 1s
The governor gave me a horse.
Dyon mivuno ie†!
give-past.sub governor 1s.acc
The governor gave (it) to me!
Aito sahute ie rihoindi.However, if the predicate is a noun phrase, the sentence is VSO as with other verbs:
this movie be-inf marvelous
This film is marvelous.
Bie†ni ie erdiotlol.
watcher-pl be-past.inf enchant-past.part
The audience was entranced.
Ie raline au irhuipa.The negative uses the verb biesa, which derives from Caď. BU fused to iesa.
Ieraline au irȟuipa.
be-inf plot one absurdity
The plot is an absurdity.
Pieroso bieso iliura.However, biesa has no past tense forms— you use ni- plus the past tense of iesa.
star-f not-be-resp pretty
The main actress is not pretty.
Ralinare nifwai miyora.Existential ‘be’ uses the verb tyouwa.
theater not-be.past-inf clean
The theater wasn’t clean.
Tyouwa tioron in siolva.There is no clefting transformation in Sarroc (“It’s the monster that I don’t like”).
Tyouwaau tioron in siolva.
exist-inf one monster in forest
There is a monster in the forest.
Topicalization can be used as an equivalent.
Souwa tioron, nilyubo sio.
Souwa tioron, nilyubo sio.
mention monster / not-love-resp 1s
The monster, I don’t like.
Sentences can also be conjoined with these:
dioa so, then duiwa therefore pioȟo but, however
These take the unmarked (nominative) form of the noun or pronoun: in paoreni ‘in the mountains’, ȟuipa medet ‘under the table’, po kouna ‘for money’, pwoisi au aorso ‘next to a bear’, siev cai ‘according to them’, aȟ sio ‘against me’. The most general locative is in, thus in Gopaondo ‘in/at Govanro’, in Lamieȟa ‘in/on Almea’, in swoftanawe ‘at college’.
a(d) to, for aȟ against; after, since air south of buisa without cail between ȟuipa below,under ieta about in in, inside, into ior above, over iosťa before, until nau north of nies like, as oyo away from, off of penať using, via, by, with po in return for; because, in order to pwed in front of pwoisi next to sa through saor east of siev by order of, according to suiar on, onto tiel west of tya across, behind
The geographical prepositions imitate Dhekhnami: saor nawe ‘south of the city’. Compare nawe saor ‘the southern city’.
Future events use iosťa, which has no spatial meaning: iosťa pwaondo ‘before dinner, until dinner’. Past events use aȟ: aȟ aisťa ‘after summer, since summer’. Placement in a time period can be expressed with in (in noisťi ‘at night’) or with the ablative (noisťiȟ).
A preposition can be used with infinitive, e.g. buita laova ‘without washing’, po doirmir ‘in order to rest’, penať inswaoȟa ‘by thinking’. Don’t use a participle or gerund as in English; but of course a nominalization is fine: aȟ cizieyo ‘after eating’.
It can also govern an entire sentence, which should be fully conjugated:
Ah iobroi dainopiero, secooi huvuoc amaremno zieri.
Aȟ iobroi dainopiero, secooi ȟuvuoc amaremno zieri.
after read-past.resp manuscript / call-past.resp ktuvok lawyer refl-poss
After he read the manuscript, the ktuvok called his lawyer.
Kai ie tioron?The interrogative pronouns are not used for relative clauses.
who be.inf monster
Who is the monster?
Kieto swaohai tioron.
what say-past.inf monster
What did the monster say?
Kedyoi tyouwa siora tioronih.
Kedyoityouwa siora tioroniȟ?
where exist-inf wife monster-abl
Where is the monster’s wife?
<report of thinking> dya, <the thought>Like Dhekhnami nikla, it can occur either before or after the main clause. Note that the main/subordinate relationship is opposite that in English— the structure is not e.g. I think that S, it’s more like S, (that’s) what I think.
Cyiedo sio dya, ai∂ivaozai kiebrino taim.If the main clause is doubtful, in the future, or merely desired, it should appear in the irrealis.
Cyiedo sio dya, aiďivaozai kiebrino taim.
believe-resp 1s sub / betray-past.inf Kebreni 1p.acc
Ai∂ivaozai kiebrino taim cyiedo sio dya.
Aiďivaozai kiebrino taim,
cyiedo sio dya.
betray-past.inf Kebreni 1p.acc / believe-resp 1s sub
I believe the Kebreni has betrayed us.
Telniema liet culseo in Gopaondo, voulo sio dya.You can also subordinate an adjective with dya, which makes a comment on the sentence. Don’t add a dummy subject and copula as we do in English with it’s.
Telniema liet culseo in Gopaondo,
voulo sio dya.
find-irr-inf 2s commander in Govanro / want-resp 1s sub
I want you to find the commander in Govanro.
Bwesiosa dya, bies†in tliesa goutalh.
Bwesiosa dya, biesťin tliesa goutalȟ.
eerie sub / move-sub head.frill ktuvok-abl
It’s eerie how the ktuvok’s tendrils move.
Lyubo huvuoci iolo badare.The other method is to subordinate a clause with iesac ‘being’.
Lyubo ȟuvuoci iolo badaré.
love-resp ktuvok-pl that restaurant
The ktuvoks love that restaurant.
> huvuoci lubiola iolo badare
ktuvok-pl loving that restaurant
the ktuvoks that love that restaurant.
> iolo badare lyubol huvuoci
> iolo badaré
that restaurant loved ktuvok-pl
the restaurant that the ktuvoks love
Tyoimai ries†o siora.In the second example, note the resumptive pronoun touta ‘she/her’ which clarifies that the woman was the one cheated on, not the one cheating.
Tyoimai riesťo siora zieri.
trick-past.inf man wife refl.poss
The man cheated on his wife.
> Dioson ai∂i au ries†o iesac tyoimai siora zieri.
> Dioson aiďi
au riesťo iesac tyoimai siora zieri.
hate-sub god-pl one man being trick-past.inf wife refl.poss
The gods despise a man who cheated on his wife.
> Diero amaremno siora iesac tyoimai au ries†o touta.
> Diero amaremno
siora iesac tyoimai au riesťo touta.
help-sub lawyer wife being trick-past.inf one man 3sf
The lawyer is helping the wife who was cheated on by the man.
If the description is hypothetical, use the irrealis. E.g. below, changing to the irrealis implies that the man doesn’t exist (or isn’t known to be a spy):
Ioswo tai au ries†o iesac ie somaovno ďiehnamna.
Ioswo tai au riesťo iesac
ieau somaovno ďieȟnamna.
seek-resp 1p on man being be.inf one spy Dhekhnami
We’re looking for a man who is a Dhekhnami spy.
Ioswo tai au ries†o iesac ies†a somaovno ďiehnamna.
Ioswo tai au riesťo iesac
iesťaau somaovno ďieȟnamna.
seek-resp 1p on man being be.irr-inf one spy Dhekhnami
We’re looking for a man who may be a Dhekhnami spy.
Siebracih liet tout, c†auniemo cai.The ablative of course has no way of marking tense, so this must be done with the main verb:
Siebraciȟ liet tout, cťauniemo cai.
building-abl 2s 3sm / come-irr-resp they
If you build it [lit. you building it], they will come.
Siebracih liet tout, c†auniono cai.If the condition is in the future, dubious, hypothetical, or absurd— as it usually is— you use the irrealis. With the realis, the construction’s meaning is “X being the case, Y must be so”:
Siebraciȟ liet tout,
building-abl 2s 3sm / come-irr-past.resp they
If you had built it, they would have come.
Siebracih liet tout, c†auniemo cai.
leading-abl Kebreni-m / be.inf document-pl correct
With a Kebreni in charge, the documents will be in order.
Lyuba demo†i ai∂i sieh.Baoťir must be inflected, and its rank reflects the promoted subject (here, the gods), while the previous verb (here ‘love’) is left as is.
Lyuba demoťi aiďi sieȟ.
love-inf Demoshi-pl god-pl six
The Demoshi love the Six Gods.
> Lyuba ai∂i sieh demo†i.
Baoťin aiďi sieȟlyuba demoťi.
hit-sub god-pl six love-inf Demoshi-pl
The Six Gods are loved by the Demoshi.
This can be viewed as a form of topicalization, but unlike the topicalizer souwa, the fronted argument is always a direct object.
The baoťir construction requires the original subject to be stated. If you want to omit it, use the participle instead; in this case the original subject must be omitted.
Lyubol ieson ai∂i sieh.Under the influence of Verdurian, it’s now common to use the reflexive with a passive meaning:
Lyubolieson aiďi sieȟ.
love-past.part be-sub god-pl six
The Six Gods are loved.
Iobra ailo aladah zie† suida.
Iobra ailo aladaȟ
read-inf this grammar refl-acc everywhere
This grammar is read all over.
Nicunziesna tyaobra ismaino bauriolo.If the second argument is a pronoun, it appears in the accusative: luira tyaobro touta ieť ‘She is more beautiful than me.’
not-trustworthy exceed-inf Ismahi-person coyote
An Ismaîn is more untrustworthy than a coyote.
Osposna ieswi swaoha baiso.
convincing less-inf speaking gold.coin
A speech is less persuasive than a gold coin.
With no comparison object, the sentence can be interpreted as a superlative:
Nicunziesna tyaobra izmaini.
not-trustworthy exceed-inf Ismahi-m-pl
The Ismaîn are the most untrustworthy.
Caorpoi vreduirni mac†auna (ludienoh / zounoh isťiosa / ah ciefo).These terms can be fronted as well, with a somewhat emphatic meaning:
Caorpoi vreduirni macťauna
(ludienoȟ / zounoȟ isťiosa / aȟ ciefo).
seize-past.resp Verdurian-pl city (today / year-abl last / after sunset)
The Verdurians seized the city (today / last year / after sunset).
Mio∂o aiglio†oi (ais†a / in ai∂nawe).
Mioďo aiglioťoi (aisťa / in aiďnawe).
celebrate-resp Caď.priest-pl (here / in temple).
The Caďinorian priests are celebrating (here / in the temple).
Ludienoh, caorpoi vreduirni mac†auna.Don’t use the interrogatives to introduce a time or place clause. Instead, use an appropriate preposition:
Ludienoȟcaorpoi vreduirni macťauna.
today seize-past.resp Verdurian-pl city
The Verdurians seized the city today.
Ah bie†a sahute, loucoi sio suirna.
Aȟ bieťa saȟute, loucoi sio suirna.
after watch-past.resp movie / become-past.resp 1s hungry
While watching the movie, I got hungry.
Beni†o dzahso au tiopal.With intransitive verbs, the
buy-past.resp soldier-f one horse
The soldier (f.) bought a horse.
> Beni†ievoi culseo au tiopal a dzahso.
Beniťievoiculseo au tiopal a dzaȟsa.
buy-dyn-past.resp commander one horse to soldier-f
The commander made the soldier buy a horse.
Laubroso ziona.For verbs that record a state (e.g. know, sit, be, need, trust, must, doubt, bloom, rain, boil), the dynamic forms report a change of state. Compare:
The girl is dancing.
> Laubrosievi dzahsa ziona.
> Laubrosievi dzaȟsa
dance-dyn-resp soldier-f maiden
The soldier is making the maiden dance.
Noua. / Nouievo.Sometimes these categories overlap; in that case the argument structure should make the meaning clear. E.g. this sentence must contain a causative, since ‘rain’ normally has no argument:
rain-inf / rain-dyn-inf.
It’s raining. / It’s just begun to rain.
Swofo tai dya, liet ie savakno.
Swofo tai dya, liet ie savakno.
know-resp 1p sub / 2s be.inf spy
We know you are a spy.
Swofievi tai dya, liet ie savakno.
Swofievitai dya, liet ie savakno.
know-dyn-resp 1p sub / 2s be.inf spy
We have learned you are a spy.
Nouievyon ai∂i.There are no dynamic irrealis forms. For sentences that would require the irrealis, just use the appropriate dynamic form. If you want to emphasize the uncertainty, use an auxiliary like laotoa ‘should’ or namaira ‘intend’:
The gods made it rain.
Lawdievi liet lioc†ani laotoo.
Lawdieviliet liocťani laotoo.
go-dyn-resp 2s barbarian should-resp
You should make the barbarian leave.
Dioso tahno liebno. > dios tahnoh a liebo Dioso taȟno liebno. > dios taȟnoȟ a liebo hate-resp boss new-m hatred boss-abl to new-m The boss hates the newbie. the boss’s hatred of the newbie
Tyouwa ais†a liet.Piodor ‘father’ (or miodra ‘mother’) could be used with anyone of the appropriate age, but of course you used the most accurate title you could.
Tyouwa aisťa liet.
exist-inf here 2s
Superior: You are here.
Oura piodor, tyouwa sio.
Oura piodor, tyouwa sio.
yes father / exist-inf 1s
Inferior: yes, I am.
All this is a direct calque on Dhekhnami, and if you knew how to, you’d say these two lines in Dhekhnami, albeit in a Sarroc accent: Dzaw bigosio tside. / Setsu dzaw bigo.
On leaving, the final exchange would look like this:
Lawdo sio. Mieli sier po-mouna.This too is calqued on Dhekhnami, and may be stated in that language. The superior’s admonition or blessing varies according to the situation.
Lawdo sio. Mieli sier po-mouna.
go-resp 1s / way good imper-work
Superior: I’m going. Work well.
Sier liet. Lawda sio.
Sier liet. Lawda sio.
good 2s / go-inf 1s
Inferior: You are kind. I’m going.
Sier liet is the general equivalent of ‘thank you’.
With very close friends or family, you could get by with Aodando
After liberation, neither pattern seemed acceptable, and several alternatives were tried. Some liked the Verdurian-style Oinder sier ‘good morning’, etc. Some tried to revive the Caďinor Loundo iek iemo ‘I speak honor to you’.
What won out, curiously, was Meldelét, a version of Flaidish Mell dellaten ‘good afternoon’. This was borrowed from flaidish troops in the First Dhekhnami War— they were only a minority of the allied troops in the country, but they were by far the friendliest to the natives. The informal Opo (ʔopo) was also borrowed.
You could also use meldelét as a farewell, but here dieno sier ‘good day’ or vyietlo sier ‘good evening’ were more popular. The ancient bieneti ‘blessings’ has also returned. Gelalhists often retain the old greetings as a marker of difference. For everyone else, lawdo can be used as an insulting dismissal— “I’m out of here.”
The elements can be combined in any order: Aiďozoul ‘strong god’, Zoulaiďo; Saorsaia ‘east girl’, Saiasaor. You can add an epenthetic o to break up a consonant cluster: Ďuikosieťa ‘smooth silk’. Sarnáeans pay more attention than Verdurians to the meaning— no Ruizyanieisťe ‘red snow’ here. A name like Zoulblaoca ‘strong sword’ is more likely for a boy, and Mieluira ‘water-beautiful’ for a girl, but this is not an absolute, as children may be named for an ancestor of either sex.
In standard Sarroc there is secondary stress on the first name. In Govanro there isn’t, so you say (but don’t write) Aďozoul, Zolaiďo, Sarsaia, Saisaor.
You can also raid the lexicon for single-morpheme names: Cuinga ‘swan’, Ďaorať ‘silver’, Eruoda ‘cinnabar’, Guirya ‘lion’, Iluira ‘lovely’, Ilyaoza ‘moon Iliažë’, Kaoriosa ‘lucky’, Meriezma ‘even-tempered’, Miedro ‘noble’, Oinder ‘morning’, Riȟoindi ‘amazing’, Taoro ‘spark’, Yaondar ‘amber’, etc.
aiďo god fyeȟa faith sanso beautiful aifar baron glaobro sword saor east ailoť modesty glioni long sier pure air south gieso power sierto luck aisťa summer ȟiotlo dexterity sieťa silk aola earthly ȟousťo bone sioco willow aondor mighty ielil lively sioďri snake aunor elder ielir life siolva forest baiso hero ionza kind siosťa box bauno way kaoryo luck suila young bieglo war kliola steel swen fresh bier mist koulpo fruit swoul robust bierac glory lierpa petal taile brave blaoca sword loundo honor tiel west boaro puzzle luira beautiful tiomo friend caolo heat mie water tun oak cliel sky mieli way ťioȟi quiet cuidro heart myera fire ťuili breeze cuima hearth nau north uita star cuirya court naoi moon wieron eagle cyensi holy nawe place vieyen deer cyiena flint nieisťe snow viezi plant dieno day nieca daughter viorni loyal doimer sturdy nieso birth ye eye doumo house nouira rain yourta flower douroť sign ouȟ gold yuiba crest duil given ounto purity yuili way duir hard piero first zieno clan ďuik smooth pouta deep ziero flatbread ďomiola stone pwora real ziona maiden faondo ghost rioso seed ziova merry fioli fern ruiȟi fast zoul strong faolil white ruizya red zouno year foiri fertile saia woman zuila joy fuili leaf saonca pine zye sea
The Dhekhnami discouraged names of Caďinorian gods, and these are still avoided. But not a few Verdurians and Kebreni who were notable in the wars have been turned into names: Abend, Tilye, Zauvum, Erditsi, Lures, Miri, Ȟeznan.
Eleďát was strongly persecuted during the occupation, and giving children Eleďe names was inadvisable. The church grew after the occupation; ironically, the monotheistic Gelalhists found it more comfortable than Caďinorian polytheism. Eleďe names were adopted in Kebreni or Verdurian forms— e.g Miel, Iano, Tomao; Elena, Prisa, Vyenica. As these are all modern borrowings, they do not have the typical Sarroc diphthongs.
Dhekhnami names were common during the occupation. These are now avoided, but a few are not perceived as borrowing, and are still used. A sampling:
Sarnáeans, like Caďinorians and Dhekhnami, generally had just one name. You were not supposed to have the same name as someone else in your tyem. If you went elsewhere, you would be identified by the name of your tyem or that of your ktuvok, in the ablative.
Blicra dream Genir gold Seȟi fighter Clioso quiet Geďa raven Siovi singer Denacra sunset Iereť river Tadzi deer Ďaras silver Maoďe oak Tlieso sea girl Duinwo luck Saobla jewel Tsama night
In the cities, Dhekhnami were given two names, and urban Sarnáeans did the same— often a Sarroc first name and a Dhekhnami second one.
After liberation, the government of Mitigaoma required citizens to have family names (cumuirad), which could not be the tyem or clan (zieno) name. People usually chose something natural or auspicious, and put it in the ablative: Aiderad ‘ivy’, Bielad ‘cloudy’, Cairȟ ‘port’, Taileȟ ‘bold’, Kauriosad ‘lucky’, Mirid ‘rich’, Veťuirad ‘travel’, etc.
uclietla ‘village chief’ > uswoca ‘shout’A more sophisticated amusement, because it required knowledge of Dhekhnami, was to make the joke in that language:
Kiebri ‘Kebri’ > kuiebi ‘cruel’
Cuinga ‘swan’ > cuilda ‘elbow’
Aiďozoul ‘strong god’ > Aiďoguos ‘weak god’
uclietla ‘village chief’ > uççigêghno ‘ass-fucker’ > UȟigeȟnoYou can form an innocuous nickname with the diminutive wi- or augmentative so-: Saor > Wisaor, Sosaor. For more punch, you use the Dhekhnami perjoratives -gen and wom-: Aiďo > Aiďogen, Womaiďo; Saor > Saorgen, Womsaor.
Kiebri ‘Kebri’ > kimbe ‘ear’
Cuinga ‘swan’ > wisibla ‘birdie’
Aiďozoul ‘strong god’ > Dhôkso ‘pair of women’ > Ďoksa
The major expletives are tuiza ‘shit’, geȟi ‘fucker’, and kaoko ‘ass’; blaoť ‘shit’ and cťim ‘piss’ are fairly strong borrowings from Dhekhnami. The word giega ‘fuck’ is so overused that it doesn’t pack much of a punch; Kebreni bacoa is more pungent. An essential word is sioma ‘to be shitty’, with its participle siomac ‘shitty’.
In Verdurian territory it’s common to refer to kings in Verdurian order: Ȟeznan daolo ‘king Řeznan’. But in Mitigaoma you’d still say Daolo Ȟeznan.
Geographical names also place the generic name first: cliera Soandor ‘the Shkónoro river’; paoreni Paďe ‘the Ctelm mountains’. Modern brand names work this way too: diri Konaci ‘the Konaci company’.
Attributes of a place are expressed in the ablative: scriola Sarnawed ‘the people of Sarnáe’; louc Vreduiryad ‘the language of Verduria’.
The day is divided into four overall periods:
The Dhekhnami hour was divided into 64 tlepwoi, and each tleopwo into 64 ostleȟi. The Verdurian hour is divided into 12 meguai, each megua into 100 piyai.
Dh. hours Ver. hours beginning gloss name gloss 0–8 0—6 medieno sunrise oinder morning 8—16 6—12 yoisi noon surieda afternoon 16—24 12—18 ciefo sunset vyietlo evening 24—32 18—24 ielnoisťi midnight noisťi night
Dhekhnam grouped days into eightdays (neletsoi), which were simply numbered: (dieno) piero ‘first (day)’, (dieno) twoura, etc.
With liberation, the Kebreni week was borrowed, still called a neletso though it’s just seven days.
Sarroc Kebreni Verdurian amare hamare scúreden tsimure cymure širden sovudre sovundre fidren ozure ozurre calten boȟture boḣture zëden ťiron ťiron néronden seȟepre seḣepre ceďnare
After liberation, the Kebreni months (naoya) were used, calqued rather than transliterated.Under the occupation years were reckoned from the incorporation of Demóshimor into Dhekhnam in 2712. After liberation Eretald’s reckoning (zonî Erei, zouni airȟ) was adopted.
Sarroc Kebreni Verdurian gloss naoilieba muccymu olašu new month rieslya śonsi reli sowing miďiola seḣtapna cuéndimar celebration veȟaorya aḣimba Vlerëi planet Vlerëi caolo geḣgu calo heat reswulya ede recoltë harvest yaogo forzynau yag hunt glieȟa ḣela želea calm iswora zavec išire planet Išire swouro sylgo šoru darkness fyouwa rikas froďac cold puzieyo varu bešana endingIn Sarvensieyo, dienoh 12 caolo, ZA 3583.
In Sarvensieyo, dienoȟ 12 caolo, Z.A. 3583.
in Sarvensieyo / day-abl 12 caolo, Z.E. 3583
Sarvenceo, 12 calo Z.E. 3583.
Souwa mitano piero Mitigaomad Gieso Ve†uirad ir mitano piero vreduiri Fre∂al Lureß, ludienoh huipacyovyon avon po yuisin c†ourya caoroh Mitigaomad.
Souwa mitano piero Mitigaomad Gieso Veťuirad ir mitano piero vreduiri Freďal Lureš, ludienoȟ ȟuipacyovyon avon po yuisin cťourya caoroȟ Mitigaomad.
mention minister first Mitigaoma-abl Gieso Veťuirad and minister first Verdurian Freďal Lureš / today sign-past.sub agreement for maintain-sub security territory-abl Mitigaoma-abl
Today the Prime Minister of Mitigaoma, Gieso Veťuirad, signed an agreement in principle with the prime minister of Verduria, Freďal Lureš, to maintain the security of Mitigaoman territory.
s= Swofo ibriolai taonda poilez sicuirih ah puigoi Kiebri yuica flaona ah zouni pan†.
Swofo ibriolai taonda poilez sicuiriȟ aȟ puigoi Kiebri yuica flaona aȟ zouni panť.
know-resp reader-pl 1p-poss position country-abl against end-past.resp Kebri role military against year-pl five
Our readers know the situation of the country since Kebri ended its military mission five years ago.
Zoul tyaobro paihno saorh taim, ir yuisin tai hyiuira taonda niiepon buisa deriolai.
Zoul tyaobro paiȟno saorȟ taim, ir yuisin tai ȟyiuira taonda niiepon buisa deriolai.
strong be.more-resp neighbor east-abl 1p-acc / and maintain-resp 1p freedom 1p-poss not-can-resp without ally-pl
Our neighbor in the east is far stronger than we are, and we cannot maintain our freedom without allies.
Siev avon, hiezyieto Vreduirya c†ourya ir pieho gyaondoh, in yuili Kiebrid in zouni siehdeť ir sieeh.
Siev avon, ȟezyieto Vreduirya cťourya ir pieȟo gyaondoȟ, in yuili Kiebrid in zouni sieȟdeť ir sieȟ.
according agreement / protect-irr-resp Verduria safety and peace border-abl / in way Kebri-abl in year-pl sixty six
Under the agreement, Verduria will guarantee the safety and peace of the border, as Kebri did for 66 years.
Tyouwiemo dzahni vreduiri pwoisi gyaondo, pioho niiombriemo Sarvensieyo iol nawei atle.
Tyouwiemo dzaȟni vreduiri pwoisi gyaondo, pioȟo niiombriemo Sarvensieyo iol nawei atle.
exist-irr-resp soldier-pl Verdurian near border / but not-enter-irr-resp Sarvenceo or town-pl other
Verdurian soldiers will be present at the border, but will not occupy Sarvenceo or other cities.
Pienieto Mitigaoma hyiuira zieri ir pesuira miebra in cou†i swiei.
Penieto Mitigaoma ȟyiuira zieri ir pesuira miebra in couťi swiei.
keep-irr-resp Mitigaoma freedom refl-poss and ability act in side-pl every
Mitigaoma retains its independence and its freedom of action in all respects.
Niuiriemo sui sani iol dzahni Mitigaomad a sui vreduirno, ir bao†ieto avon puigiemo piesiemo pena† au dibro neisinad Mitigaomad iol vreduiri.
Niuriemo sui sani iol dzaȟni Mitigaomad a sui vreduirno, ir baťieto avon pugiemo pesiemo penať au dibro neisinad Mitigaomad iol vreduiri.
not-serve-irr-resp none official-pl or soldier-pl Mitigaoma-abl to none Verdurian / and hit-irr-resp agreement end-irr-resp can-irr-resp with one vote legislature-abl Mitigaoma-abl or Verdurian
No Mitigaoman officials or troops will report to Verdurians, and the agreement can be ended at any time by a vote of the Mitigaoman or Verdurian legislature.
Niioswiemo ir nipouwo avon bieglo, pioho hiezyiemo pieho pena† demieto luikad.
Niioswiemo ir nipouwo avon bieglo, pioȟo ȟezyiemo pieȟo penať demieto luikad.
not-seek-irr-resp and not-promote-irr-resp agreement war / but protect-irr-resp peace via subtraction inclination-abl
The agreement does not seek or promote war, but protects peace by removing temptation.
Nityouwa sui clie†woi dya, tiondoi vanao ∂iexnamna a bieglo.
Nityouwa sui clieťwoi dya, tiondoi vanao ďieȟnamna a bieglo.
not-exist-inf none report-pl sub / move-past-irr-resp government Dhekhnami to war
There are no reports that the government of Dhekhnam has taken steps toward war.
Wivoulo vanao Mitigaomad po tiomaondo pwoisi Vreduirya ir pwoisi ƒiehnam ios†a zounde†i muiswa.
Wivoulo vanao Mitigaomad po tiomaondo pwoisi Vreduirya ir pwoisi Ďieȟnam iosťa zoundeťi muiswa.
hope-irr-resp government Mitigaoma-abl for friendship near Verduria and with Dhekhnam before decade-pl many
The government of Mitigaoma hopes for friendship with both Verduria and Dhekhnam for decades to come.
Sarnéans loved Pwoura, laughing at his foolishness but admiring his scrappiness and his rants against anything new or foreign. (Oarso’s nickname for him was Bwiona ‘grouchy’.) It helped that the actor, Nauȟi Zuilad, was an accomplished actor, known for physical comedy and a mastery of facial expression.
This extract is from an episode (#214, 14 reswulya 3642) where Pwoura, having heard that barbers make more money than handymen, convinces Oarso that they should get into the business. Pwoura grandly offers to let Oarso start with him.
For clarity I’ve colored Oarso’s lines in blue, Naoi’s in green.Pwoura: Po-debuita, wioarso. Po-da au tyaonsa ir raodya a sio.Oarso turns out not to have a natural talent for cutting hair. Naoi gives it a try, but Pwoura says it looks too feminine. Finally he tries it himself. In the end there’s nothing to do to save his haircut but to shave his head bald. Now there’s just the shave to do. But this time Pwoura decides it’s his turn to practice, on Oarso….
Pwoura: Po-debuita, wioarso. Po-da au tyaonsa ir raodya a sio.
Pwoura: imper-begin dim-bear / imper-give one haircut and shave to 1s
Pwoura: Go ahead, little bear. Give me a haircut and shave.
Oarso: Tyaonso sio sweviei niswofp.
Oarso: Tyaonso sio sweviei niswofo.
Oarso: cut-resp 1s hair not-know-resp
Oarso: I don’t know how to cut hair.
Swofo, †iot! Pokieto siolo tai, inswaoho dya?
P: Swofo, ťiot! Pokieto siolo tai, inswaoȟo dya?
know-resp / idiot / why practice-resp 1p / think-resp 2s sub
A characteristic of colloquial speech is leaving out pronouns when they’re obvious.
P: I know, you idiot, why do you think we’re practicing?
O: Ciensa debuito?
O: What do I do?
Fait buruiho liet hinkai∂u mieli is†ie∂a, oura?
P: Fait buruiȟo liet ȟinkaiďu mieli isťieďa, oura?
Q use-resp 2s scissors way previous yes
P: You’ve used a scissors before, right?
Tyaonso Naoi sweviei bweveid.
O: Tyaonso Naoi sweviei bweveid.
cut-resp Naoi hair short-pl-abl
O: Naoi cuts the kids’ hair.
Mieli tuiri, mieli lieri.
P: Mieli tuiri, mieli lieri.
way 3s-poss / way 2s-pos
P: Do it the same way. (Lit., her way, your way.)
Lawdo po cyoto namairo.
O: Lawdo po cyoto namairo.
go-resp 1s for bowl intend-resp
O: Let me get a bowl.
Ni nios, tyouwa touto po bwevai. Biburuiho tai cyoto po haotlai. Swaonzo sio au cyouha nivoulo
P: Ni nios, tyouwa touto po bwevai. Biburuiȟo tai cyoto po ȟaotlai. Swaonzo sio au cyouȟa nivoulo.
not no / exist-inf that.one for kid-pl / not-use-resp 1p bowl for adult-pl / seem-resp 1s one clown not-want-resp
P: No no, that’s for kids. You don’t use a bowl for grownups. I don’t want to look like a clown.
Ciensa dioa tyaonso sio swofiemo?
O: Ciensa dioa tyaonso sio swofiemo?
how therefore cut-resp 1s know-irr-resp
O: How do I know how to cut it then?
(sao†a in mauno): Rihiemo, ie glinuira wimeyni pan†. Po-tyaonsa wimeyn au
P (saoťa in mauno): Riȟiemo, ie glinuira wimeyni panť. Po-tyaonsa wimeyn au.
(strand in hand): look-irr-resp / be-inf length meynis-pl five / imper-cut meynis one
Sarnáe now uses the Xurnese measurement system. One meynis is 7.6 mm, about a quarter inch.
P (a strand of hair in his hand): Look, it’s about 5 meynis. Cut off one meynis.
Oyo bourdo kieri?
O: Oyo bourdo kieri?
O: from edge which
O: From which end?
Oyo ireha! Suida souwa causel swiei swevieih, po-tyaonso ospan†.
P: Oyo ireȟa! Suida souwa causel swiei swevieiȟ, po-tyaonso ospanť.
from top / everywhere / mention bit every hair-abl / imper-cut one-fifth
P: From the top! All over, each bit of hair, cut off one fifth.
(Mecuiro sau†a): Ospan†. (Tyaonso.) Mna.
O (Mecuiro sauťa): Ospanť. (Tyaonso.) Mna.
O (begin-hold-resp strand): one-fifth / (cut-resp) / (intj)
O (takes a strand of hair): One fifth. (Cuts.) Uh oh.
P: Kieto iombrai?
P: what enter-past.inf
P: What happened?
O: Tyaonsoi nitouswa.
O: cut-past-resp not-enough
O: I didn’t cut enough.
Ao †iotno, ie kaoryo! Tyaobra touswa iorna, oura? Po-renlawda
P: Ao ťiotno, ie kaoryo! Tyaobra touswa iorna, oura? Po-renlawda.
oh idiot / be.inf luck / exceed-inf much little yes / imper-return
P: Well, idiot, that’s fine! Better than too little, right? Try again.
Pioho swaoȟoi liet ospan†. Niswofo dya, kieri diomo tyaonsa.
O: Pioȟo swaoȟoi liet ospanť. Niswofo dya, kieri diomo tyaonsa.
but say-past.resp 2s one-fifth / not-know-resp 1s sub / which amount cut
O: But you said a fifth. Now I don’t know how much more to cut.
(swaoho mieli taorda): Pan† buisa au ie pawor. Twaosiemo liet ios†a tieka wimeyni pawor
P (swaoȟo mieli taorda): Panť buisa au ie pawor. Twaosiemo liet iosťa tieka wimeyni pawor.
(speak-resp way slow): five without one be.inf four / cut-irr-resp 2s before remain-inf meynis four
P (speaking slowly): Five minus one is four. You cut till four meynis are left.
Oi rieis†a. (Tyaonso.) Mna.
Oi rieisťa. (Tyaonso.) Mna.
oh truth / cut-inf / aoh
O: Oh right. (Cuts.). Uh oh.
P: Kieto siotla?
P: Now what?
O: Tyaonsoi iorna.
cut-past-resp 1s too
I cut too much.
(swalieho): Po-mecuirac sau†a atle ir ailo dio†ad po-mouna mieli ∂aowa
P (swalieȟo): Po-mecuirac sauťa atle ir ailo dioťad po-mouna mieli ďaowa.
(sigh-resp): imper-incep-hold strand another and this time-abl imper-work way right
P (sighs): Take another strand and do it right this time.
Po-ninyuima. (Laozo manuira swevieeh.)
Po-ninyuima. (Laozo manuira swevieiȟ.)
imper-not-fear / grab-resp hand big hair-abl
O: No worries. (Grabs a handful of hair.)
Naoi (insaotlac): Opo suilni!
Naoi (insaotlac): Opo suilni!
Naoi (in-jumping): hi boy-pl
Naoi (bursting in): Hello boys!
(Hyui, tyaonso mieli hyi; ryoutobra zie†) Ia!
O (ȟyui, tyaonso mieli ȟyi; ryoutobra zieť) Ia!
(confused / cut-resp way wild / freeze-resp refl-acc) ay
O (startled, cuts wildly, freezes) Ay!
Kieto ∂iowa, wicuidro?Tyaonso tout sweviei ieri, Naoi.
N: Kieto ďiowa, wicuidro?
What be.inf this.one / little-heart
N: What are you doing, dearest?
P: Tyaonso tout sweviei ieri, Naoi.
cut-resp 3sm hair 1s-poss / Naoi
P: He’s cutting my hair, Naoi.
Diomo iolo?(Rioho in liew) Tyuima catsugi! Ciensa ∂aomai?
N: Diomo iolo?
N: That much?
(Rioȟo in liew) Tyuima catsugi! Ciensa ďaomai?
P: (look-resp in glass) plague mammal / how mess-past.inf
You couldn’t say tuiza ‘shit’ on television.
P (looks in mirror): Dammit beast! What did you do?
Stiet tai ais†a po tsoťa tai ai∂i sieh dya.Over here!
Sťiet tai aisťa po tsoťa tai aiďi sieȟ dya.
come-inf 1p here for worship-inf 1p god-pl six sub
We come here to worship the Six Gods.
Dekaoswa aunori taonda noumi cairi ir clio†o a tai suikieda.
Dekaoswa aunori taonda noumi cairi ir clioťo a tai suikieda.
teach-past.resp elder-pl 1p-poss name-pl 3p-poss and pray-resp to 1p always
Our elders taught us their names and constantly intercede for us.
Souwa Aondor, ieson ai∂o taonda ah dio†a uilah lapro
Souwa Aondor, ieson aiďo taonda aȟ dioťa uilaȟ lapro.
mention Aondor / be.sub god 1p-poss against time ancient keep.going-resp
The Mighty One has been our god since ancient times.
Tyouwon Gelat Aondor ior sioi; lielacih ries†o tout, nilioriema.
Tyouwon Gelat Aondor ior sioi; lielaciȟ riesťo tout, niliriema.
exist-sub Gelálh Aondor above everything / seeing-abl man 3sm / not-live-irr.inf
Above all is Gelálh the mighty; a human who sees him will not live.
Tyouwon Soigat pwoisi tout, iesac kietyon ai∂i atle huipa zye.
Tyouwon Soigat pwoisi tout, iesac kieťyon aiďi atle ȟuipa zye.
exist-sub Tsôkálh next.to 3sm / being bear-past.sub god-pl other under sea
At his side is Tsôkálh who bore the other gods under the sea.
Oigas ieson swoho taokenih ir tsoumwoh, Coicas ieson caidelno swofiola.
Oigas ieson swoȟo taokeniȟ ir tsoumwoȟ, Coicas ieson caidelno swofiola.
Ulgâsh be.sub lord war-abl and destruction-abl / Korkâsh be.sub craftsman clever
Ulgâsh is the lord of war and destruction, Korkâsh the crafty creator.
Tienon Cuinah sounso foiri; tienon Tsahwasi Tliegas uilah
Tienon Cuinaȟ sounso foiri; tienon Tsaȟwasi Tliegas uilaȟ.
own-sub Kumnatnâk soil fertile / own-sub Chakprashi Tliegas ancient
The fertile soil belongs to Kumnatnâk, the primeval Mišicama to Chakprashi.
Plierwat li†decwoi taonda muim; plierwat clc†iolai aunorih taonda muim.
Plierwát liťdecwoi taonda muim; plierwát cliťiolai aunoriȟ taonda muim.
please-imper sacrifice-pl 1p-poss 2p-acc / please-imper prayer-pl elder-pl-abl 1p-poss 2p-acc
May our sacrifices please you; may the prayers of our elders please you.
Hiezwat taim ir nitsoumwat; ieswa cťoudo muinda
Ȟiezwát taim ir nitsoumwát; ieswá cťoudo muinda.
protect-imper 1p-acc and not-destroy-imper / lessen-imper anger 2p-poss
May you protect us and not destroy us; may your anger abate.
Luika tai a bwo†wo suikieda, iesac tai ie catsugoi guos
Luika tai a bwoťwo suikieda, iesac tai ie catsugoi guos.
bend-inf 1p to sin always / being 1p be-inf animal-pl weak
We are prone to sin, being weak animals.
Uira tai aunori taonda laotoa po rihiemon ai∂i taim pena† ionzaondo dya
Uira tai aunori taonda laotoa po riȟiemon aiďi taim penať ionzaondo dya.
serve-inf 1p elder-pl 1p-poss should-inf / for look.at-irr-sub god-pl 1p-acc using kindness sub
May we be fitting servants of our elders so the gods look kindly on us.