The Nineteenth Conlang Relay

UNLWS by Alex Fink and Sai

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Grammar notes for UNLWS

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English translation of Ŧuàn text

(parens): insertions in the semi-smooth rendering
[brackets]: certain stuff in the Ttuan which is probably grammaticalized and irrelevant
braces: transposition; the words this part glosses fall on a different line.

<involving> <symbolizing> small_stone_NM
Some linguistic material about a stone

scroll_ perspective_NM *one_

first scroll

<perfect> <object†> side_ , <main_clause> <allative> location_ mountains_ line_VN -est_M ,
[We are in the past with continuing relevance.] At the side ?of the most line-like mountains

<semi-voluntary> location_ small_stone_NM *two_ a_ .

were two small stones [quasi-volitionally].

<semi-gnomic> repeat_ speak_VN , <for> so_ , <named> small_stone_NM perspective_NM *one_ . <delimit_quote> <question> <involving>

The first stone [we identify it that way] repeated (throughout, "repeat" seems actually to be semantically null) thus: "

<ablative> landscape_N inclusion_ , <relative> <obviative> <accidental> mountains_ number/pl_ the_ .

About from all this landscape, which are yonder ?with respect to the mountains [through no volition]?

<counterfactual> cogitate_ , <object†> so_ anterior_ , <delimit_quote> so_ .

What if ?one pondered (?= one wonders) in front of that."

<semelfactive> speak_VN repeat_ , <for> so_ , <named> small_stone_NM different_ .

The other stone [we identify it that way] repeated thus:

<delimit_quote> <past+pres> <pres+fut> savoir_ , <for> so_ , <accidental> <negative> I_VN bwoo . **<delimit_quote> so_ .

"We two [through no volition] eternally don't know that."

<perfect> posterior_ measured_time_ environment_NM nearby_ , <subject†> <and> pterodactyl_ sky_NM a_ snake_N two_hands_VNM a_ .

Behind a time (i.e. before? after?), a skyish pterodactyl and a two-handed snake (not 'ten snakes'; witness the next 'two') were nearby.

<semelfactive> speak_VN *repeat_ , <relative> so_ , <main_clause> <for> small_stone_NM *two_ , <voluntary> it_N *two_ .

The two of them repeated thus to the two stones:

<delimit_quote> <2subj> , <subject†> small_stone_NM two_ . <semi-gnomic> potential_to_act_ visually_ , <for> <obviative> <inanimate> mountains_

"Hey you, two stones. We two [animate beings] can see

one_ the_ , <animate> I_VN two_ . <counterfactual> <certain_fut> <ablative> move_V , <and> <allative> move_V repeat_

yonder mountains. If we two [right now] repeatedly left and returned,

, <and> <symbolizing> understand_V environment_NM *speak_VN , <for> I_VN two_ . <maybe.fut> <fut> savoir_ posterior_

and helpfully understood [?some linguistic material] speech— then maybe we two would know
measured_time_ , <involving> so_ , <semi-voluntary> I_VN two_ . <delimit_quote> so_ .
that, behind a time."
judge_V favourable_ , <involving> anterior_ measured_time_ so_ , <voluntary> small_stone_NM two_ . <allative> posterior_ measured_time_ move_V ,

The two stones [voluntarily] judged that favourable in front of a time. Behind a time,

<ablative> home_N anterior_ horizon_ , <voluntary> pterodactyl_ *sky_NM <and> snake_N two_hands_VNM the_ .

the skyish pterodactyl and the two-handed snake [voluntarily] went to the home in front of the horizon.

move_V repeat_ <posterior> diminutive_ measured_time_ . <ablative> home_N anterior_ horizon_ , <named> <animate> pterodactyl_ sky_NM

Behind a little time, the skyish pterodactyl [we identify it that way] repeatedly returned from the home in front of the horizon.

the_ . <semelfactive> speak_VN , <for> small_stone_NM two_ , <voluntary> it_N human_ .

That human [so the pterodactyl is a human?] said to the two stones:

<delimit_quote> <perfect> attend_to_V visually_ , <obviative> remote_ core_ number_two_M , <relative> <proximal> list_N ,

"I have watched the ?core ??distantness #2, which [?when it is] nearby is a list.

<voluntary> I_VN . first_ 0oon , <main_clause> river_ , <relative> <inalienable_genitive> horizontal_ flat_?NM deep/broad_ <and>
Firstly, a river, which has a broad surface and

illuminated_ convey_unintentionally_VN . second_ 0oon , <main_clause> valley_N dig_VNM , <relative> <inalienable_genitive> green_ vegetation_ .

facial sparkling [throughout: the word used for 'face' is in its aspect as window on the emotions]. Secondly, a trench-like valley, with vegetative greenness.

third_ 0oon , <main_clause> tree_ extraordinary_ , <relative> pillar_N in_fours_ -er_M . <1subj> <symbolizing> speak_VN ,

Thirdly, an extraordinary tree, whose pillar is moreso in fours.

<main_clause> <involving> *home_N anterior_ horizon_ , <for> you_N two_ . <delimit_quote> so_ .

I have spoken to you two [some linguistic material] about the home in front of the horizon."

<semelfactive> speak_VN repeat_ , <for> so_ , <voluntary> small_stone_NM perspective_NM one_ . <delimit_quote> <counterfactual> <symbolizing> ,

The first stone [voluntarily] repeated thus: "

feel_an_emotion_ <and> judge_V visually_ potential_to_act_ , <involving> <symbolizing> whole_ the_ ,

I feel and / that I ?can judge by sight [some linguistic material] about the whole of this.

<human_relation_genitive> I_VN . <delimit_quote> so_ . ->-> <semelfactive> speak_VN repeat_ , <for> so_ , <voluntary> small_stone_NM

"The other stone [voluntarily] repeated thus:

different_ . <delimit_quote> <counterfactual> <semi-voluntary> seamless_blend_VNM , <involving> so_ , <1subj> two_ .

"Unless we two [voluntarily] seamlessly blend this,

*** <unless.fut> <semi-voluntary> sorrow_ deep/broad_ , <subject†> <past+pres> <pres+fut> <1subj> bwoo . *<delimit_quote> so_ .

we two will be eternally deeply sorrowful."

<perfect> unmeasured_time_ , <and> posterior_ augmented_?M measured_time_ move_V repeat_ , <ablative>

Time [not some interval thereof] and behind a great time

home_N anterior_ horizon_ , <voluntary> snake_N two_hands_VNM a_ . carry_VN two_hands_VNM ,

a two-handed snake repeatedly came from the home in front of the horizon.

<alienable_genitive> two_hands_VNM , <inalienable_genitive> it_N human_ . <delimit_quote> <2subj> understand_V ,

That human will carry with their two hands. "

<involving> list_N the_ , <main_clause> <involving> home_N ttoo horizon_ , <must> ghyoon

Hey you two ***, you must understand the list about the home in front of the horizon.

two_ . first_ 0oon , <perfect> <1subj> attend_to_V visually_ , <object†> grass_N

Firstly, I have watched the bamboo / soft wood-ish grass.

bamboo_ so_ the_ . second_ 0oon , <1subj> attend_to_V visually_ ,

Secondly, I have watched

<object†> <vegetative> be_quintessentially_VN vegetation_ blue_ so_ the_ . third_ 0oon ,

?(something which is quintessentially) / ?seeds of blue vegetation. Thirdly,

<1subj> attend_to_V visually_ , <object†> yellow_ <and> blue_ the_ ,

I have watched the yellow and blue,

<relative> <inalienable_genitive> convey_unintentionally_VN metallic_lustre_N nourishment_ . <must> attend_to_V visually_
with a nourished / healthful lustrous face. We two must have watched

<and> invariable_result_ connaître_ , <subject†> I_VN two_ . *<delimit_quote> so_ .

and thereby inevitably become familiar with ?that."

<semelfactive> speak_VN repeat_ , <for> so_ , <voluntary> small_stone_NM perspective_NM one_ .

The first stone [voluntarily] repeated thus:

<delimit_quote> <1subj> judge_V <negative> *want_V <and> attend_to_V visually_ , <involving> the_ .

"I judge that I don't want to watch that.

*<delimit_quote> so_ .
<semelfactive> speak_VN repeat_ , <for> so_ , <voluntary> small_stone_NM different_ .

The other stone [voluntarily] repeated thus:

<delimit_quote> <2subj> <must> <negative> I_VN comportment_ .

"You must not ?behave (like?) me.

<1subj> <fut> non-invariable_cause_ feel_an_emotion_ satiety_ , <involving> the_ .

I will be sated by this [in this instance; that's not a generic truth].

<delimit_quote> so_ .


English translation of UNLWS text

This smooth rendering is annotated, on the account that we made a relatively great number of alterations to the Ttuan for UNLWS naturality and other reasons.

The UNLWS has no inherent reading order, so this rendering proceeds in an order paralleling the Ttuan.

[1] The following story takes place a hundred million years ago.
[2] Two small stones were located at an extremely narrow mountain range.
[3] The first stone asked "What's on the other side of our mountain range?"
[4] The other stone said "We'll never perceive what's over there."
[5] This was overheard by a flying creature and a snake with two hands, who joined the conversation.
[6] The flier said "We two would be able to travel to the other side of the mountains, and return and tell you what we observed there.
[7] Would you like that?" The stones said they would.
[8] This induced the flier and snake to do so, separately.
[9] The flier gave its report: "From a distance, I perceived three things there:
[10] a river with a broad, sparkly surface;
[11] a long valley, which is filled with a mass of green vegetation;
[12] and an unusual tree with four trunks."
[13] The first stone said "Hearing that, it's just like we were there."
[14] The second said "If we don't get familiar with this place, we'll be very sad forevermore."
[15] Then the snake gave its report: "I got familiar with the place and experienced the same three things:
[16] a large body of slow-moving water, with the smell of formerly-present food;
[17] a bunch of stiff plants;
[18] and a place with many rodenty critters around."
[19] The first stone said "I don't want to see that."
[20] The second said "You're not like me, then. I'd already be content to the full degree if I saw that."

[0] We dropped the Ttuan title as not adding a lot.

[1] This past setting echoes the Ttuan story being set in the perfect. The hundred million years is on account of the Ttuan 'pterodactyl'; rather than coin a specific word for 'pterodactyl', we decided to use our generic 'flying creature' word and move back the timeline (in rough round-number terms) to a point when pterodactyls will have been a natural reading.

[2] 'Extremely narrow' is apparent Ttuan 'line' + superlative.

[3] The first stone is the one writing in red; the orange stone's text visibly builds on it in places.

[4] Rendering 'we will never know'. 'Know' = 'think something which happens to be true' is not a pragmatically natural bundle of senses in UNLWS. This is going for 'we'll never learn what'.

[5] This sentence marks the first of many places we have thrown out the Ttuan I've rendered 'in front of a time' or 'behind a time', as UNLWS isn't big on stating temporal sequence. As a bonus, that means we didn't have to figure out whether Ttuan used a 'future is ahead' or 'past is ahead' metaphor!

As in [1], 'pterodactyl' lit = just 'flying creature' here. The Ttuan 'sky' (modifier?) wasn't clear enough to convince us it wasn't redundant.

[6] Ttuan had pterodactyl & snake speaking in concert, but UNLWS had to drop this; two actors can't really share the task of drawing a line. We chose the pterodactyl as main speaker just because it was first in the Ttuan.

[7] This offer, explicit in the UNLWS, we felt was pragmatically implicit in the Ttuan. At least 'judge favourable' is a good match of construction.

[8] Ttuan seems to call the place being reported on the 'home in front of the horizon', but we already have a binding for it so don't need another name.

This line also marks the biggest discarding of explicit temporal sequence, namely that the pterodactyl returned quickly and the snake much later. We have completely lost the temporal separation, but it is recoverable that the blue lines preceded the green ones.

[9] We couldn't figure out what 'core #2' is, so dropped it.

[11] In fact the UNLWS quotes the particular color of green being reported. It's something in the fuzzy vicinity of #158045.

[13] The Ttuan was obscure: 'I feel that I can judge the sight of that'? We took it to be '(on account of your description), I feel like I can see that'.

[14] 'Become familiar with', the UNLWS we more usually render 'grok', covers for the Ttuan 'blend seamlessly into'.

[15] The Ttuan has something about the snake carrying something here, also dropped 'cause we couldn't make it fit in.
The explicit one for one identification of the snake's three observations with the pterodactyl's three, which we embraced here, may have been there in the Ttuan. But the Ttuan 'first, second, third' words were glossed with opposite senses as "places" and as "[positions] in sequence", so we wasn't sure if the identification was meant to be reversed from the textual order. But that's all a bit moot, because...

[16] We've mostly completely rewritten the snake's observations, bothered by the fact that in the Ttuan they were highly vision and color-centric, when in actuality most snakes can't see worth beans. Their detection of smell and vibration are quite keen, though. So instead of the (presumable) river being 'the lustrous yellow and blue', it's water, slow-moving because broad rivers are, and with a smell persisting.

[17] This observation parallels the apparent original Ttuan observation about grass which is like bamboo or soft wood.

[18] Yeah, if this wasn't a tree snake (at least, we couldn't match up anything in the Ttuan original of the snake's report to the tree), I guess a extraordinary tree could be a gathering place for a bunch of squirrels or whatnot.

[20] 'You're not like me' represents seeming 'you must not behave like me'.

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