7. Old Greedian


Buanlik li kapu duay.

Titiin tanit buo, unak telese thuok buo khuig duay. Osloo noyos duay diu buo, duayi duay unak kuub ku.

Gegem kal buo, ses taphe koynet raa, es gor na lekhinte duay ku diyaa yeessiari.

Duay kapu na yeg isang na logu banaap na tiaar li thod duay, lo tan duay khi sos taphe koynet diu.

English Translation

I live untidily. When I sleep, I can do very strange things.

Were I to imagine something, wouldn’t it be shaped according to my desires ?

But when I tried, I didn’t reach the destination; the signs of land in that plain were misleading, I guess.

Now my life is tidied up anew, so that as I can follow a clear path in the confusion of the world; may I reach my goal while sleeping!


ENGLISH TRANSLATION from Sodemadu text

I lead a disordered life.

When I sleep, I’m able to achieve strange and wonderful deeds.

I thought that if I can picture something, then I could do it.

When I tried to, I wasn’t able to reach my destination, but then I guess all the signs of land in the plain were misleading.

I put order in my life so as to navigate more easily amidst the confusion of the world.

Therefore, my sleep now has to lead me on the right path.


Grammar and Vocabulary

As it’s an isolating language, parts of speech in Old Greedian are easily confused, switching places as syntax demands. So, let it be remembered that only nouns can take a postposition and the roles of agent or patient, that verbs are the only ones to be preceded by a mood particle, and that adjectives can find themselves augmented by the prefix t(e)- of comparative and superlative. Adverbs are already in the lexicon, or they are adverbial phrases with li.

When used as a noun, adjectives describe something having the quality in question. When verbs are used as adjectives, it can be thought as a passive participle (transitive) or present participle (intransitive); as nouns they describe an action. (I highlighted these as there are some examples in the text).

There is no inflection on nouns, neither for plurality nor for case.

Possessive phrases are of the shape Determiner — determined.

In a noun phrase, possessive phrases come first, followed by determiners, then by adjectives, then by the head noun, ending with the postposition.

Adverbials of time are either root adverbs, or noun phrases embedded in a ADT…buo structure, where ADT can be one of the four special deictic adverbs having to do with the emotional distance one has to the epoch considered.

Deictics, then. In Old Greedian, they are classified not by spatial distance, but emotional one. With tiin and its derivatives, there is love, fondness, respect, all positive emotions; with gem on the other side, it’s hate, fear, disgust, all negative emotions. Phes is for when one doesn’t give a sh… on the referent and sort of scorn it. Loo is for newly introduced, unknown referents. All these, used as pronouns as well as determiners, are then derived to make time and place adverbs following non-productive patterns (they will appear in the lexicon).

A overloaded sentence is ordered thusly: Adverbial clause(s) — subordinate clause — agent — mood particle — verb — patient — tense particle. The simplest sentence is Noun — tense particule, conveying a meaning of « there is ».

There is no copula « to be ». Putting in relation two nouns, one write a dash in between; to describe something with an adjective, there is no such thing and the mood particle (if any) gets between the adjective and the noun. Subject always come last.

As the system is a purely ergative one, the subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive ones are both placed after the verb, and in the latter case, the agent can be omitted (it would be translated as an agentless passive).

Tense particles are optional if the context is sufficient, or if otherwise the meaning is gnomic/habitual.

The suffix -(i)t on verbs is a reminder of a previous definite patient/experiencer, be it pronoun or numeral phrase or noun phrase preceded by a deictic, so that as to not repeat that patient again. When suffixed, a verb can be followed by a tense particle.

To negate a verb, its vowels have to be changed: if their qualities differ, they’re switched from beginning to end, regardless of the number of syllables. But if their quality is the same (or there is just one vowel), they mutate following this pattern: a>e, e>a, i>u, o>e, u>i, aa>ee, ee>aa, oo>ee (other combinations of vowels actually begin with a semivowel and thus are not concerned).


banaap [n.] world, earth

buanlik [adj.] crumbly, chaotic, fuzzy, blurred, falling apart

buo [conj.] that, which

diyaa [n.] island, land, country, place

duay [pron.] first person

[mood part.] speaker’s supposition

duayi [pron.] variant of duay (pronoun) next to day (mood particle)

es [conj.] and, but (simultaneity)

diu [tense part.] future

gegem [adv] gem-derived time adverbial

gor [n.] plain

isang [n.] daylight, daytime, order, cleanliness

kapu [vi] live

kal [vi] taste, search, try

koynet [n.] end, finish, stop

ku [det.] each, every; as head of a noun phrase, means a part of something bigger

kuub [n.] desire, will, wish

khi [mood part.] optative

khuig [vt] master, be able, know

lekhinte [adj.] false, misleading

lese [adj.] strange, unheard of, miraculous

li [post.] with, by

lo [conj.] that’s why, therefore, as a result

logu [conj.] to, in order to, purpose

na [post.] in, on, while (general locative)

[tense part.] present

noyos [vi] see the invisible world, hallucinate, think visually

osloo [adv.] loo-derived time adverbial

sos [vt] eqal, reach, begin to

raa [tense part.] past

tan [vi] sleep

taphe [n.] path, way, road

tiaar [n.] Good, truth, harmony

titiin [adv.] tiin-derived time adverbial

thod [vi] walk

thuok [vi] act, move, work

unak [vt] make, craft

yeessiari [n.] clue, signal, part of a bigger scheme

yeg [mood part.] perfect, relevant at the time, new situation