The Nineteenth Conlang Relay

merɛ́chi by Amanda Babcock Furrow

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Text in merɛ́chi

dɛlút pón tacílno rúmuc tashdísopte. ícle sɛ́cshɛ dɛlú tetépn, "cápava, tolío tacílic apatdísopn?"
tópem temírtevn, "cíli kakitɛ́rɛnpfa."
tírde te súpas tenétirnte. pepátam, tetévte: "á dɛlút! tacílic áhlpatversapfa. kivérefa te kimirvérefa, te kɛpvó ɛláfiac kártdatevfa, te kitɛ́rɛnpfo." dɛlút telídatevte, te tírde te súpas tepadivérete.
clinípi lyínhla, tírde temirtárivn te tetévn:
"tacílic tápatariva, te liɛ́latic hári, te eacínɛtic láti, te latɛ́mɛtic póvi tɛ́lea."
sɛ́cshɛ dɛlú tetépn, "dármapa, kɛ kámlionic lɛ́lsapfa."
tópem temírtevn, "cíli kivafúlaisopfa."
clilíri selítyanhla, súpas temirgélavn te tetévn:
"tacílic tápatgelava, te tánac lápi te éshiretic lápi te íktɛlɛtic lápi tɛ́lea."
sɛ́cshɛ dɛlú tetépn, "kámlionno ɛláiac kadipáripfa."
tópem temírtevn, "cíli kivatýraisopfa."

Glossary of merɛ́chi

ávocative particle; interjection 'O'
-apronominal suffix, 1st person singular
-anominalizing suffix; makes noun from participle or adjective
-áfipassive participle suffix
-áianominalizing suffix; makes noun from verb: nominal of action
ápatvervt. to go beyond, to go past
ápatarivt. to fly beyond, to fly past
apatdísovt. to be located beyond or past
ápatgelavt. to walk beyond, to walk past
ártdatevt. to describe, to talk about
ashdísovt. to be located on
-caccusative case suffix
cápavi. to question, to wonder
cíliadv. forever
clilíriadv. long, for a long time
clinípiadv. briefly, shortly, soon
dármavi. to wish
dɛlún. a stone
dipárivt. to want
-eperfective aspect suffix (on verbs that don't take -v)
eacínn. a valley
ɛ́lvt. to see
éshiren. a seed
-ɛtspecific countable plural suffix
-fapronominal suffix, 1st person plural
-fopronominal suffix, 2nd person plural
fúlaisovi. to be unhappy
háriadj. wide
-hl-optative mode verb infix
-hlaadposition "after" (temporal)
-icaccusative case
ícleadv. once, a particular time, once upon a time
íktɛln. a crawling bug
k-future tense prefix
ka-negative verb prefix
kámliodemonstrative pronoun that one, that thing
subordinate conjunction, "that"
kɛp-adposition "to", dative prefix
ki-future tense prefix
l-subjunctive mood verb prefix
lápiadj. same
latɛ́mn. a tree
látiadj. green
lídatevi. to agree
liɛ́lan. a river
lyínn. a time, a while
mirgélavi. to come back (walking)
mirtárivi. to fly back
mírtevi. to reply
mirvérvi. to return
-npronominal suffix, 3rd person singular neuter
-nimperfective aspect suffix (on verbs that don't take -p)
nétirvi. to be nearby
-noadposition "of", genitive case
-pimperfective aspect suffix
padivérvi. to go away
pátavt. to hear
pe- -mgerundive circumfix
pónnumeral two
póviadj. tall
rúmun. slope
-sapotentiative verbal derivational suffix
sɛ́cshɛadj. first
selítya n. a day
súpasn. a mouse
-tspecific countable plural suffix
t-past tense prefix
tacíln. a hill
tánan. grass
teconj. and
-tepronominal suffix, 3rd person plural suffix
te-past tense prefix
v. to say
tɛ́rɛnv. to know
tírden. a bird
tolíodemonstrative pronoun what, which
tópempronoun meaning the other person
týraisovi. to be happy
-vperfective aspect suffix
va-adv. prefix meaning for a long time, persistently
vérv. to go (via means not specified)
pronoun 2nd person plural


vi.intransitive verb
vt.transitive verb

Grammar notes for merɛ́chi

Some of the grammar, like conjunctions and the relations between clauses, is very similar to English. Adjectives do not agree in case, number or postpositions with the noun. The major differences in word order are that merɛ́chi features postpositional phrases (just like prepositional only backwards), that adjectives (and all other modifiers except the article) follow the noun, and that word order is SOV in declarative sentences, and VSO in conditional sentences. The other major difference is the agglutinative verb complex, described further down.

The true case suffixes are the accusative (-c or -ic) and the possessive (-ge). The possessive usually attaches only to pronouns, names and nouns denoting persons; otherwise the genitive postposition -no will be used. There is one preposition, kɛp-, which denotes "to" in the dative sense (i.e. as in "say to" or "give to" rather than "go to").

There are two plural forms in merɛ́chi: the normal plural and the collective plural. The ordinary plural is -t or -ɛt; the collective plural, denoting all X or a complete set of X, is -n or án.

Subordinate clauses are headed by "kɛ": "I know that you understand" would be "tɛ́rɛnpa, kɛ símopda".

Verbs take an optional negative prefix, an optional tense or mood prefix, optional derivational prefixes and suffixes (such as the causative, passive, inceptive, potentiative, and equative), a mandatory aspect suffix, and a mandatory pronoun/agreement suffix. If no tense or mood prefix appears, the verb is in present tense.


        ka- ki- tínide   -p  -a
        NEG FT  remember IMP 1P.SG
        "I will not remember"
Perfective aspect is used for simple past actions; imperfective is used in the past tense to show that someone habitually used to do something, or was doing it for some time; the present tense usually uses the imperfective.

The optative mood is marked with the infix "-hl-", which follows the stressed vowel.

Tense prefixes:

	ki-, k-		future
	te-, t-		past

Mood affixes:

	-hl-		optative (may)
	l-		subjunctive (if, that we could...)

Aspect suffixes:

	-p, -ip, -n	imperfective
	-v, -e		perfective
Pronouns can appear as verb suffixes, in which case they agree with or are the subject of the verb, or they can appear elsewhere as independent words with a case or postpositional suffix. If the sentence appears to have no subject, the subject is the pronoun on the verb. Otherwise, the subject will be the noun without a case suffix or postposition, and will agree with the pronoun on the verb.

Derivational affixes are used heavily in verb formation. Affixes are accretive; they build upon those already attached to the word. Examples using the abilitative suffix -sa and the passive suffix -fá:

	Verb:			Translation:			As in:

	hála			to do				I do it
	hálasa			to be able to do		I can do it
	halafá			to be done			It is done
	halafása		to be able to be done		It can be done
Some suffixes move the stress in a word (the causative and passive suffixes steal the stress, for example; the passive participle -fi also moves the stress, but to the previous syllable), which causes different vowels to become accented.

merɛ́chi has a passive participle formed with the suffix -ífi, and an active participle formed with the suffix -ípi. Both suffixes steal the stress from the verb:

	gúri				to mix or combine
	gurípi				mixing (adj.)
	gurípia				the act of mixing
	gurífi				mixed (adj.)
	gurífia				a mixture
And there is a gerund form, which sometimes acts as a participle as well, consisting of a circumfix (a prefix p- or pe-, plus a suffix -m or -im):
	aníle				to sing
	panílem				singing
	shír				to grow
	peshírim			growing

English translation of merɛ́chi text

There were two stones on the slope of a mountain. One time the first stone said, "I wonder what lies beyond the mountain?"
The other replied, "We will never know."
A bird and a mouse were nearby. Hearing, they said: "O stones! We can go beyond the mountain. We will go and return, and tell you about what we saw, and you will know." The stones agreed, and the bird and the mouse left.
In a little while, the bird flew back and said:
"I flew beyond the mountain, and saw wide rivers, green valleys, and tall trees."
The first stone said, "I wish we could see those things."
The other replied, "We will always be sad."
After long days, the mouse walked back and said:
"I walked beyond the mountain, and saw the same grass and the same seeds and the same bugs."
The first stone said, "We don't want to see that."
The other replied, "We will always be happy."
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