The Song of Leaving

A well-known work in classical mrchi, which has been extensively studied.

The text

nlt pdlamn

dlap'da mri,
lp'a pdlam'da.
dla, lr,
hr riba d's'fa,

hr riv sp'fa?

kmo pfram'fa,
ltemi ng
laten p'ssim'r,
kmo pfram.

In the reformed orthography:

nlte pedlamno

dlapda mri,
lpa pedlamda.
dla, elru,
rh rba dsofa,

rh rv espfa?

kmo peframfa,
ltEmi nge
latEn pssimr,
kmo pefram.

Interlinear text

nltp-dla-m-n
songACT. PTleaveACT. PT-of
songof leaving

dla-p-damri,
leavePRES.2ND PSagain
you leaveagain,

l-p-ap-dla-m-da.
watchPRES.1ST PSACT. PTleaveACT. PT2ND PS
I watchyou leaving.

dla,lr,
goodbye,farewell,

hrribad-s-fa,
whythusshouldCOP.1ST PP
whyshould we be thus,

hrrivs-p-fa?
whyalwaysCOP.PRES.1ST PP
whyalwaysare we?

kmp-fra-m-fa,
foreverACT. PTpartACT. PT1ST PP
foreverare we parting,

ltem-ing
tree-like3RD PS INAN.POSS.
like a treeits

lat-enp-ss-im-r,
leafPL.ACT. PTloseACT. PT3RD PS
leaveslosing,

kmp-fra-m.
foreverACT. PTpartACT. PT
foreverparting.

Conclusions

This text may well represent the first appearance in the corpus of the later form of the active participle (and sometimes gerund), the circumfix p...im (shortened to p...m in the presence of vowels). Experts are divided on whether this text or the chant of goddesses, n tylchn, which also uses this form, came first.

The p...im form exhibits remarkable flexibility, being used in some circumstances as a gerund (cf. nlt pdlamn, in which the gerund takes the genitive marker), in others as an active participle (km pfram), and in yet others as the imperfective of the verb, taking a pronomial suffix as if it were a verb form (pfram'fa).

Words which first appear in this text:

We also note that this text uses the obligative mood prefix -d, as first set forth in the early classical verb tense documents, but without the ending -p as demonstrated there.

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Last updated: 4/22/2002