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Tûn Boá

Llárriésh Narrative

Here is what I've managed to translate of a Gene Wolfe short story into Llárriésh. The story can be found in The Book of the New Sun, the best fantasy book this side of eternity.

Hallvard's Story:

Boá. Fuó ô úru dáo. Tún llevwela tádaï gúno fu dáo. Yéshdaï hio ô oákódú. Wosh yó mó, wôsh tûn níchhóshî. Yó rew llevwela oákódú rún fu úru dáo. Tún ki fu llevwela tádaï úru dáo, hóra fwód tádaï tyellínú, fwôd ro mêth nídá daha góy ivanshîún, tuáda thórdá óll iéllason.


Boá. This generic evidential is. I stories many such to.me is. Some yes generic made-perf.-thing. Time although now rel.cl. we(trnc.) forget-subord.. Maybe stories fictional person to evidential is. I also attribution stories many evi. is, because these.things many weird which not you south-adj. action able dream-sb.-inf. islands north in happen-iterative-moment.-pl..


Hello. This is a true story. I have many such stories. Yes, some are made-up. Although now is the time which we have forgotten. Maybe to someone these stories are true. I also know many true stories, because many strange things which you southerners are not able to dream happen in the northern islands.

*****

  • úru = evidential epistemic mood. personal information.
  • Stories are something that you have as part of your person, they aren't possessed or known. They are part of you. Hence fu.
  • passive participle: the verb (clipped form if trisyllabic+) + aspect + =dú (thing)
  • fu can also mean to, or for. attribution.
  • =dá is used to make something an adjective.

*****

Tún Glaícies muc glâ tuá thor dálá tuáda kyu dáshî odhóes. Thuwóá tuá á tûn ró án llár ú ó ngullí ú, skimpáesh tún kyu, llénaóesh. Ngilvuesh romó dîn ró dáowó. Kena ngilvuesh fu Anskar, Hallvard, Gundulf dáo. Hallvard wábá tún fu dáo. Tún reeshïn í tee llénaówohoes, yuy tún kllirk óll goy hnuwicíkícúwún. Dín ófi tuntíbeyesh be llístóïkaones ó llam. Reelán tûn goáesh, ró llamí llamádheewówopon ó bíwí tún kyu li yantilska, ó dárrhíesh ó tuntíbesh tún kyu li.


I Glaicies from which island north most islands of is-sb. come-perf.-sg.. That-distal island the we of on man a and woman a, elders me to, live-perf.-pauc.. son-pauc. three them to are-perf. names sons to Anskar, Hallvard, Gundulf are. Hallvard father I to is. I large (be) until live-perf.transitional enough.so.that i fishing.boat on able help-repetitive-inceptive-inf. he so brothers with hunt-perf.-reversative-terminative and fish. instead we toil-impf.-pauc., so.that fish caught-passive-usitative-semelfactive and mother my to brought.home, and older sisters and brothers my to.


I come from Glaicies, which is the northernmost of the islands. On our island live a man and a woman, who are my grandparents. They had three sons. They were named Anskar, Hallvard, and Gundulf. I became large enough that I was able to begin helping on the fishing boat. Because of this he stopped hunting and fishing with his brothers. Instead, we toiled together, so that fish were caught and brought home to my mother, and my older sisters and brothers.

*****

  • dáshî can be the reduced form of dáo. Also, note that the copula can be left out occasionally. (although never when providing attribution with fa or .)
  • is interchangeable with kyu, although the latter is more commonly used for attribution, while the first more often deals with physical possession.
  • the relative clause clipping can be dropped, if a pause is added, and if it is next to the verb being modified.
  • ú is the indefinite article.
  • Names and fathers are inalienable. This is a fluid category, and doesn't stop with the body.
  • A coordinating conjunction is not needed for lists.
  • í is an article (perhaps better called a clitic) which is used with any word to make it a noun. It is also a stative verb, of sorts. It's hard to pin down. The best translation of this sentence might be: I lived, changing, until I became large. But it could also be translated as I lived to the point of being large. Or of having the largeness. I'm not sure í works, grammatically - it certainly wouldn't in English - but we'll run with it until I run into some serious errors. It only works as a derivational morpheme - it cannot, for instance, work for a noun. Perhaps "the quality of being large exists" is a good translation. I lived changing until the quality of being large existed.
  • If a verb is being used with the same aspects and clitics as a preceding verb, they can all be dropped.
  • tuntíbesh is an irregular paucal form. For pronouns, the <y> and <w> are not inserted between identical vowels.

*****

Rrí shóf wátuntesh tún kyu yelaóesh, ófi dîn kllirk ú kéllíyúmiesh. Dîn llamí llamóesh. Dîntuá fát mutén, fï dîn llamí skimpáesh tún kyu ukán. Skimpá nato oï rounú dáo. Brúwosh mo dáoíy, dîn lost skimpá kyu pánwóesh. Lost skimpá ro wáf thuwóá tuá án dáo. Hófa hék é lostgorr ú óll dáo, lôst den shóf brríthrást hórshî. Rún dúda kópa óll dû hínita ro shoh óll dán visshîún Glaícies án goy vukârún, hóra fá lostgorr óll viswosh úyop túla unuóï geï ee dáo.


So never uncle-few i of share-few, so they fishing.boat a share-progressive-continuative-pauc.. they fish caught-perf.-pauc., or they fish elders my gave. Elder strong pair no.longer is. Summer mo is-prog., they land elder of farm-usitative-pauc.. land elder to best that-distal island on is. Because it the valley a in is, rel.cl never ice.wind hear-rel.. He thing-pl. there in rel.cl place-pl. not other in could.probably ripen-sbd.-inf. Glaicies on able may-adv. grow-tr.-inf., because that valley in growing.time week two long comparative particle is.


So my uncles never married, and so they continued to share a boat. They caught fish. They ate those themselves, or gave them to my grandparents, as they were no longer strong. In the summer, they would regularly farm my grandfather's land. My grandfather had the best land on that island. The land is in a valley, which alone hears the ice wind. You could grow things which would probably not ripen in other paces on Glaicies because in that valley the growing season is two weeks longer.

*****

  • According to my own rules, the oft cited word muténún to eat is illegally spelled, and ought to be mucénún. Luckily, I have the power to change things. Here, I am going to say that, since this is such a common word, it is actually at the forefront of a sound change, and the [t] doesn't palatalise.
  • Dîntuá is a perfectly respectable construction: contracted plural (here paucal) plus the =tuá, which basically equates to "-selves".
  • is an odd word. It means, instinctively, 'or'. However, it is used for choices which can occur repeatedly: sometimes they would do this, or they would do that. tïr is used for a choice that is irrevocable or only occurs once: do this or do this. The brick is yellow, or it is red. Both of these words tend towards being used for complete lists. The correct terminology which I ought to use for this is escaping me. Another word, hoï is used for incomplete lists: Either give him the apple or the orange or something else. It can be used in place of either tïr or() . We'll see how this pans out, in the long run, I hope. Oh, note the word rohô, which means nor, pretty much in any environment (at this point).
  • is an adjective of sorts, but it's more of a counter. It's used to refer to a couple, in particular a married or mated pair. It takes singular noun agreement, but the verb takes plural agreement (not paucal).
  • mo is my answer to my ill-ease with my temporal clauses. Basically, this is a derived form of boá (arguably the most important Llárri word). What this says is that in the speaking, it is this time, or this way. Again, terminology is escaping me. I need to go back to school. In mo dáo clauses, no conjunction is needed for the following clause. The dáo can also be deleted, like normal, if it's repetitive.
  • wáf is an adjective meaning best. geï is used for better, and can be used as a coordinator between two adjectives or clauses to indicate that the first one is better than the second. yana can be used in the same way to indicate worse. gin is the superlative form for worst. All of these can also be used after an adjective, followed by ee, to indicate the superlative (best, most, greatest), comparative (better, more, greater), and superlative pejorative (worst, least, smallest), and comparative perjorative (worse, lesser, smaller).
  • Relative clauses do not need to follow the words they modify immediately.
  • Two modal verbs are allowed, and must follow immediately after each other.

*****

Dull mo tún ro yukáohoícúes. Murrn tún kyu llára tún thoïn kyu túmeth aóases; wás wábá, wátuntesh, tún dáo. Tûn mo fürt li üskóasúktion. Skimpáí tún fu noh dáowó. Ngállár tuá reeshïn kyu kópa óll ta gash míéçârún. Ngilvu obleáúmiakéon, oyo túntuá.


beard so I gen. grow-impf.-trans.-incept.-sg. Old.man i of men i family of together call-perf.-moment.-sg.; that.is father, uncles, me is. We so kancha to go-perf.-mom.-term.-pl. elder-fem. I of dead is-perf.. Priest island big of there in is in.order.to body lay-out, as myself.


My beard was beginning to sprout. My grandfather called the men of my family together; that is, father, uncles, and I. We got to his house. My grandmother was dead. A priest from the big island was there to lay out the body. Her sons wept, as I did myself.

*****

  • When two genitives follow each other, kyu is only need on the last one.
  • In lists of three or more, no and is needed. Neither is genitive attribution, unless it isn't clear from context.
  • oho mainly functions at adding a second subject, or clarifying information by adding the information of a previous clause to another noun. It pretty much translates as "as __", but doesn't work in metaphoric usage or simultaneous time alone.

*****

Doa mo heepá dáo. Gill skimpá ro nï tûn kárrlláon. Gill é nï, Skimpá so ngállár é so. Skimpá frótasícúes pó "Rrí. Tún as seéena kyuhá tún ro théklaóes. Bega üskódá dáo. Thoïn díní ro kyuhá rheth teriá ro rodaowó, ó tún díní shï hweï sllodhuíyúmüún. Hllavord yeládá dáo, ó kyuhá kyû küní dín ro dín odhâróshî dín ro. Fáu be dín thoïn dín ro ouláes, ó yó weshthenngi dínta ro dáo, shï dínda belóbóth lléllaéllon.


Night now same is.


That night,

*****

  • So…so is a construction that's a lot like "on the one hand…on the other", but it indicates not just two sides, but two extremes or camps. So, here, the grandfather and the priest are on opposite sides of the table, and markedly so.
  • üskódá is, essentially the active participle. Note that the passive participle is with =dú, not =dá. They are a bit different in their origination, as the first means things, and the second is the adjectival suffix from dáo.


richard @ conlang . org