7. gjâ-zym-byn


twâ-θĭ-zô kyn-vĭ.

Ќ lĭw-i fru hǒ, Ќ oj ruŋ-zô mwe. vy-zô hǒŋ vĭj cǒ ši mruň-cu o kě’bâl syj-i ruŋ-źa-gĭn-zô, ť lĭw-i tâ-tôn-cu ř. zym-Ќ-zô hǒŋ ruŋ-źa ði ť ŋâw-o twâ-θĭ-zô.

hwǒ, ĉǒ gju-zô rjuŋ tu-i, wǒn že mĭ-i bâň-ť-zô źǒ, hǒŋ ť ŝâj-o gâ ħulŋ-fwa ĥy-i bwĭl-ƥ-zô. ť wuŋ-i kě’bâl ĥy-i pî’râ-zô heŋ le. ƥ ĥy-i ħum-fwa-zô žǒŋ le.

kun-pôm re i tyn-van heŋ bî’lym-daj. gju-pôm mruň-cu i bâwŋ-θaj-van heŋ te mĭ-i. že kâ-i rĭm-van lyn fu-da ʝâr-i, ĉǒ bî’lym-daj ʝem ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-ť-zô. hwǒ, ť pe bî’lym-daj dî’fu-i ĵyj-sra-źa-van lyn fu-da. ðru-hyrŋ-bô ŋĭn-i bî’lym-daj ķy-bô mĭ-i. ť wuŋ-i kě’bâl ðĭ-i bâň-ť-zô źǒ hǒŋ bî’lym-daj ʝem ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-ƥ-zô. ħulŋ-fwa ŋĭn-i bî’lym-daj pǒ mĭ-i. sâ-cô-źa-fwa ŋĭn-i mew.

kun-pôm šî’fy tâ-tôn-cu-za krĭ-o bĭŋ-fwa-zô ť ke kě’bâl. sâ-cô-fwa ŋĭn-i rĭm-pôm ce mĭ-i. ĉǒ bî’lym-daj ðru-hyrŋ-bô ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-Ќ-zô mje, wǒn dlâw-ť-van heŋ šelm ruŋ-źa-rjâ-zô kiň zuň-cô jâ-o še.

Ќ lĭw-i fru hǒ, že kâ-i ku-zô mwe: ĉǒ bî’lym-daj ķy-bô hǒl ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-zô heŋ, wǒn ť ĥy-i ħĭn-fwa-zô šelm rjuŋ. mjyl-rô ŋĭn-i vǒm bî’lym ʝem mĭ-i, gâ lǒ ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-Ł-zô. ĉǒ vĭj bâ-bô i pwĭm-fja jâ-i bî’lym ķy-bô mĭ-i, wǒn te ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-zô mâ pen. te ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-zô vǒm. nu kǒ i, Ќ lĭw-i fru hǒ, ť wuŋ-i kě’bâl syj-i ruŋ-źa-gĭn-zô mwe kiň ħâň-pwĭ-zô kî’prâ-tan ruŋ-bô. vǒm.

English Translation

A father gives advice.

My child, come near me. You intend a short while hence to set out on a journey to the mountains on horseback, away from your family. I think I should advise you before your journey.

Ah, if the dragon speaks, don’t allow him to give you anything injurious. Probably he won’t burn your horse. He’ll merely frighten it.

I’ve learned that there are no apples there. People say that they don’t grow in the mountains. The full moon will see it, if you eat the apparent apples. Alas, the moon is stronger than you and the apples. The real apples are purple. Don’t let your horse eat the seeming apples. Those apples are injurious. They’re even evil.

I’ve learned that you and your horse will create a familial spirit. I’ve seen this; it’s bad. If I’d eaten the purple apples, you would not have to go on this quest and perhaps die.

My child, listen to this: if you don’t eat the whole set of real apples, the dragon will capture you. The apparent apples are sweet, which people eat. If the real apples were never dry, everyone would eat them. Indeed they would eat them. Now, my child, set out on your horse and baa your delight like a goat as you go. Indeed.

Grammar and Vocabulary


gjâ-zym-byn (gzb) is an agglutinative language, fairly minimalist lexically, which leads to some long and sometimes not perfectly perspicuous compounds. In the glossary I’ve listed mostly only the root words, particles and suffixes, but also listed a few compounds used in the text where their meaning seemed hard to figure out from the component morphemes. Feel free to email asking for help, or look at the online lexicon for more information.

Root words are nominal, and are turned into verbs, modifiers, postpositions and conjunctions with appropriate suffixes. Compound postpositions, used to mark case roles, are formed using one of the core spacetime postpositions {i, o, ř} as a suffix on a root word for the appropriate abstract concept.

The verb suffixes used in the text are {-zô} and {-van}. {-zô} marks an active (and agentive) verb. {-van} marks a stative (but not necessarily non-agentive) verb. Subject pronouns can be incorporated into the verb. Sequences of verbs have the auxiliary verb first; sometimes, objects or complements of the second verb come between the first verb and the second. Light verb modifiers (root and derived adverbs) follow their head verb; relative clauses follow their heads.

Typical word order is OVS, but varies since subjects and objects are marked fairly explicitly for theta roles with postpositions. Postpositional phrases almost always precede what they modify. Within a noun phrase, the head noun comes first, followed by its modifiers if any. Morpheme order in compounds is generally head-modifier, with the exception of a few morphemes marked “suffixoid” in the lexicon, which produce head-final compounds. Most place, time, etc. complements tend to precede the direct object and verb. If the subject is at the end of a clause or sentence, the subject postposition can be omitted. gjâ-zym-byn allows for omitting the subject when it is the same as in the previous clause, or (at the beginning of a text or an utterance) if it is first person. A vocative phrase sets the default subject for the following clause.

{-bô} modifiers derived from a stem denoting a quality work like adjectives or adverbs depending on context, e.g. from {jĭ} “smoothness” -> {jĭ-bô} “smooth” or “smoothly”. {-bô} modifiers derived from a stem denoting an action or process work like participles in English, e.g. from {lju} “act of reading” -> {lju-bô} “reading, while reading, in the process of reading”. {-bô} modifiers derived from a stem denoting a number form cardinal number quantifying adjectives.

Evidentiality and validationality adverbs derived with {-pôm} can either follow the verb, or go at the beginning or end of the sentence; in any case their scope is wider than just the verb.

Other derivational suffixes should be clearly enough described in the glossary below.


n. the empty set; the number zero; nothing; no-one, nobody
bâň n. allowance, permission
bâwŋ n. to grow, gestate, make, develop (organically, unconsciously)
bâwŋ-θaj-van v. to grow, gestate (thing growing or gestating in {ʝâr-i} if animal/human, {mĭ-i} if plant, fungus, bacteria…)
bĭŋ n. existence, realness, actuality
bî’lym n. apple
suff. quality noun -> adjective
bwĭl n. giving, donating; gift, donation
ce pron. this, that (event or situation just mentioned)
mod. few, little, not much (count or mass); a few times, rarely; for a short time
suff. opposite, reverse, contradictory quality
cu n. complex system; organized group [suffixoid]
ĉǒ mod. if (events outside the speaker’s control, incl. things that have already happened that the speaker doesn’t yet know about; archaicallly, referred to counerfactual conditions)
da suff. covered with, saturated with ~; ~-full
daj suff. a set of ~ in the same place, a mass or collection of ~
dî’fu n. comparison, checking for differences
dî’fu-i postp. compared with, by comparison with
dlâw n. duty, obligation, imperative, necessity
ði postp. before (time)
ðĭ n. relationship, connection, assocation
ðĭ-i postp. in some relationship with (generic abstract postp.)
ðru n. red
fja suff. having a minimal nonzero degree or amount of ~
fru n. child (son or daughter)
fu n. light; shining
fu-da mod. bright, luminous
fwa suff. causative suffix: inducing a state of ~, causing to be ~, to do or experience ~
n. thing, item, discrete object
gĭn n. beginning; often incorporated into verbs to mark inceptive aspect
gju n. speech; talking
gju-pôm mod. I hear tell (evidentiality)
gju-zô v. speak, talk ({tu-i} talks about noun phrase {mĭ-i} or clause {mĭ-šar} or {hǒŋ})
heŋ mod. negative, not; no (response)
mod. vocative particle
hǒl mod. whole, entire, total; wholly, entirely, fully, completely, totally
hǒŋ conj. that (introduces subordinate clauses)
ħâň n. cry, yell, holler, moan, roar, bleat
ħĭn n. arbitrary restrictions, limits; unfreedom
ħĭn-fwa-zô v. to capture, imprison; constrain, restrict
ħulŋ n. hurt, harm, damage, injury
ħum n. fear, being afraid
ħum-fwa-zô mod. to frighten (deliberately)
hwǒ mod. general-purpose interjection of surprise, wonder, dismay
ĥy n. patient, thing acted on, thing affected by an action/process
ĥy-i mod patient case marker
hyrŋ n. blue
i postp. at, with, in, near
n. role, state, form
jâ-i postp. in such a state, role
jâ-o postp. becoming
ʝâr n. experiencer
ʝâr-i postp. experiential case marker
ʝem mod. apparent, seeming; apparently
ĵyj n. vigor, energy, untiredness, stamina; being very awake
n. noticing, paying attention to something, focusing one’s attention upon something
kâ-i postp. object-of-attention case marker
ke conj. multiplied by; emphatic, synergistic ‘and’; conjunction for hybrids or collaborations
kě’bâl n. horse; (chess) knight
kiň conj. and [between clauses]
kî’prâ n. goat, ibex (mammal of genus Capra)
mod. this here; my (first-person demonstrative)
Ќ pron. I, me
krĭ n. writing, making, designing, composing; creative work
krĭ-o postp. object of creation case marker
ku n. hearing
kun n. indirect, exterior knowledge; book learning or hearsay knowledge in contrast to experience; acquaintaince
ķy n. truth, agreement of ideas with reality
ķy-bô mod. true, real, existent (of things)
kyn n. parent (father or mother)
le mod. probable, probably
lĭw n. relation between people, esp. family
lĭw-i postp. of (relation: the friend of, the sister of, etc.)
mod. which (relativizer)
Ł pron. one (third-person generic pronoun)
lyn n. Luna; Earth’s moon
lyn fu-da n. full moon
n. person, human
mew mod. also; too; even; as well; and, surprisingly…
n. topic, subject, theme
mĭ-i postp. about; topic case marker; topic or focus adjunct for thinking/saying and experiential verbs
mje mod. awhile ago, of old, in the past; tense marker
mjyl n. honey
mjyl-rô mod. sweet
mruň n. mountain, hill, ridge
mwe mod. must; imperative, hortative, optative adverb
nu n. time, moment, occasion
ŋâw n. calling, invoking, trying to get someone’s attention
ŋâw-o postp. to (talking, writing to)
ŋĭn n. comment, explanation, description; gloss, definition (of words)
ŋĭn-i postp. comment marker in topic-comment sentences
o postp. to, towards
oj postp. coming near but not reaching
postp. into
pe conj. plus, and (links words/phrases within clause, not clauses)
pen mod. all, every, each
pî’râ n. fire, burning, combustion; rapid oxidization
mod. that yonder (distant from speaker and listener; third person demonstrative)
pôm suff. derive evidentiality adverb from root
ƥ pron. he, she, they (spirits, people, animals already mentioned)
pwĭ n. joy, delight, enjoyment, (nonphysical) pleasure
pwĭm n. water, esp. in liquid form
re pron. place-pronoun
rĭm n. seeing, having within view, vision
rĭm-pôm postp. I saw for myself (evidentiality)
rjâ n. search, quest, seeking
rjuŋ n. dragon
suff. characteristic quality of (tangible noun -> adjective)
ř postp. from, away from, out of, since
ruŋ n. going, coming, moving
ruŋ-zô v. to go, come, move
ruŋ-źa n. trip, voyage, journey; travelling a significant distance to a specific destination
n. moral approval
sâ-cô-fwa mod. bad, evil, wrong, inducing moral disapproval
še mod. maybe, possibly (events outside the speaker’s control)
šelm mod. hypothetical, subjunctive, counterfactual particle
ši postp. after (time)
šî’fy n. spirit; angel, fairy, demigod, daemon, kami, genius loci
sra suff. more, to a greater degree, most (with quality or process stems); more than (with number or unit of measure stems); comparative/superlative suffix
ŝâj n. possess, have (stuff, alienable possessions)
ŝâj-o postp. to, being given to
syj n. use, using, making use of; calling (a function or subroutine)
syj-i postp. with, by means of, using (a tool); in (a language)
tan suff. ~like, resembling ~, similar to ~
n. sibling; brother or sister
tâ-tôn n. relative, kin
te pron. it (plants, inanimate things, abstractions already mentioned)
tôn suff. generalized superclass of ~
ť pron. you, y’all
tu n. deliberate actor, agent, doer; base of active participles
tu-i postp. agent case marker
twâ n. sentence; strophe of a poem; proverb, saying, prophecy, quotation, aphorism
twâ-θĭ-zô n. to advise, to counsel
θaj suff. other member of asymmetrical relationship; complement of pair; complement action; opposite
θĭ n. helping, assistance, benefit
tyn n. location, situation, small local area, place, spot, point
tyn-van v. be located, be found
van suff. stative verb suffix
n. digestion; digestive system, esp. stomach and intestines
vâ-oŋ-zô v. eat, drink
n. maleness, masculinity
vĭj n. time, duration, while, period
vǒm mod. yes (response); indeed, verily, truly, certainly, of course
vy n. will, intention, firm decision
vy-zô v. to intend, decide upon, will
wǒn conj. then; therefore; thus (effective causation)
wuŋ n. ownership
wuŋ-i postp. of, belonging to (not necessarily in possession of) (property)
za suff. having to do with, associated with root
suff. active verb suffix
že pron. this, that (event or situation about to be described)
žǒŋ mod. only, just, merely; no more than (quality, not quantity)
zuň n. life, aliveness; quality of being alive
zuň-cô n. death, state of being dead
źa suff. augmentation of root meaning; (with units of measure) kilo-
źǒ mod. negative imperative/hortative/optative adverb
zym n. idea, thought, thinking, theory