9. Ree Rɛɛ Kıbyaa Text


Vıŋuk ra.

Hašaŋ het lɛyeŋ ra, sto vivɔɔ ihnì rıvor kımıdwaa, o sto mik lıŋgii ndıı uŋ ra. Het lɛkıı ra ndıı, sto ɛyaŋ, iisto ka duudı išut rıkɛɛ kuu nanaabal ra do.

Kɛɛge hıvir tigrek ra skuu išpanɔɔ raa, ɛtuk teguu ra wot nırɛduu, ral sper, o šu krek p’ek duhlɛbuu ra re sap šudɔɔ.

Tı hɔɔhar sihŋɛɛ ıvaa lɛmaa, ral hiiyum, sto hiišu, o šu sımım ra skuu gugundɔɔ. Ɔpwɛɛ ra ka šıı ru tlin liŋ ra, o t’ɛɛ ra šıı iraa nu duhlɛbuu ra re sap!


English Translation

I am disoriented.

At night I sleep, I keep creating many remarkable things, and I invent them on my own for my own pleasure. I dream about them, I am confident, and I can attain every goal that I aim for.

But now I see myself going across a wide plain, all the landmarks deceive me, I am losing my way, and so unfortunately I cannot reach the end of the road.

But then the morning sun begins to shine, I wake up, I rise, and I have to pay attention to the real world. I would really like to fall asleep again, and I believe that then I would finally reach the end of the road!


ENGLISH TRANSLATION from Interslavic text

I am confused.

When I am sleeping, I create the most miraculous things which I can imagine for myself. And when I start to dream, it seems to me that I can make all my wishes come true.

Now unfortunately I have lost my way, and I have not reached the end of the road, because I am on a plain where every marking of place is wrong.

Well, but in this moment the day comes, so I am awake and I am walking along the real world. How I would like to fall asleep again, having hope that I would manage to get to the end of my road!


Grammar and Vocabulary


* Nouns have three genders (human, animate, and inanimate), which are formally unmarked, but trigger agreement in pronouns, determiners, and some quantifiers.

* Nouns themselves inflect for number (singular vs. plural) and state (absolute vs. construct). The construct state is mainly used to indicate possession or similar kinds of relationships, with the possessed noun being marked for the construct state and followed by the unmarked possessor.

* Inanimate noun phrases in an agentive role are marked for ergative case with a phrase-level proclitic.

* Noun phrases may also be marked for definiteness (definite vs. indefinite), also using phrase-level proclitics. Indefiniteness marking sometimes signifies non-specificity (i.e. that the speaker does not have a particular referent in mind) rather than indefiniteness proper (i.e. that the listener does not know which referent is meant).

* Noun phrases which are (a) marked as ergative, (b) inflected for the construct state, or (c) used as the complement of a noun in the construct state are considered definite by default and do not receive overt definiteness marking.



* All verbs have two stems, which differ in aktionsart (lexical aspect). The aorist stem refers to a single punctual, semelfactive, and/or telic event, or for verbs with stative meaning to a momentary state (with no implication whether the state is temporary or permanent). The durative stem describes an extended situation with habitual, iterative, protractive, resumptive, or atelic semantics; with stative verbs it usually indicates that the state holds for a long time. For the purposes of this relay, aorist and durative verbs have been treated as separate lexical entries.

* Various modal and aspectual shades of meaning may be expressed with auxiliaries, which usually appear as proclitics attaching to the stem of the main verb. Some auxiliaries have restrictions regarding which types of verbs they may appear with.

* Another set of proclitics carry evidential meaning; however, these are added at the clause level and thus often do not attach directly to the verb, but instead to a preceding conjunction, adverb, or noun phrase.



* The syntax of Ree Rɛɛ Kıbyaa is mostly head-initial, with basic VSO word order (although other orders are also possible).

* Quantifiers and demonstratives generally precede their noun.

* Adjectives in attributive use precede their noun when they refer to essential or inherent properties, but follow it when they refer to contingent or temporary properties.

* Relative clauses follow their noun. They always contain an overt pronoun referring back to the relativized element within the relative clause (i.e. the language uses a pronoun-retention strategy).

* Lexical adverbs may appear in several different positions in the clause: at the beginning (most common), after the subject, or at the end.

* Prepositional phrases in adverbial function typically appear late in the sentence.

* With regard to adverbial clauses, Ree Rɛɛ Kıbyaa tends to prefer a rather flat syntactic structure with clause chaining instead of proper subordination.

* Dependent clauses in a chain exhibit a few special properties. The most relevant one for the purposes of this relay is that they are introduced by switch-reference conjunctions, which indicate whether the subject of the chained clause is the same as or different than the subject of the preceding clause. Since the different-subject markers also inflect for person, overt subject pronouns are often dropped in chained clauses.

* The end of a switch-reference chain is often signalled by using the copula šu as a sentence adverbial.



There are several active morphophonological processes in Ree Rɛɛ Kıbyaa, but only two of them are relevant for this text:

* Long vowels in verbal proclitics are shortened when they are immediately followed by a stressed syllable. However, when an evidential proclitic attaches to something else than the main verb of the clause, it tends to attract the accent, and thus its vowel is only shortened if the next syllable also contains a long vowel.

* Some prefixes and proclitics may trigger lenition of following intervocalic consonants, causing underlying /p’ t’ k’ b d/ to appear as /b d g v r/ instead.




d=, du=     potential, hypothetical, dubitative, or counterfactual mood

g=, gı=     definite article (used with animate noun phrases)

hɔɔ=        evidential: non-visual sensory evidence

ii=         affirmative (patterns as an evidential; causes lenition of following consonant)

i=, iš=     indefinite article (used with inanimate noun phrases)

kɛɛ=        evidential: visual evidence

k-, kı-     adjectivizer

l=, la=     inceptive or inchoative aspect (used for states and atelic predicates)

nı-, rı-    plural (causes lenition of following consonant)

ɔɔ=, ar=    optative mood

sii=        inceptive or inchoative aspect (used with motion verbs)

s=, sa=     obligative mood

tii=        progressive aspect, emphatic present tense (used with motion verbs)

u=, w=      ergative case (used with inanimate noun phrases)



bor         n.i          thing, item, object

daa         adv          then, next (irrealis)

do          pron         (3rd person singular, inanimate)

ɛtuk        cj           (switch-reference: different subject, 3rd person)

ɛyaŋ        v.it (DUR)   enjoy oneself, be confident, be even-tempered

ge          adv          however, in contrast

grek        v.it (AOR)   go, walk

har         adv          then, next (factual)

hašaŋ       adv          at night, in the dark, secretly

het         adv          (background marker)

hiišu       v.it (AOR)   stand up, rise

hiiyum      v.it (AOR)   wake up

hıt (-ut)   qu           each, every (distributive; used with inanimate noun phrases)

hıvir       adv          now, immediately

hlɛbuu      v.tr (AOR)   reach, arrive at, find

hni         qu           much, many (used with inanimate noun phrases)

hŋɛɛ        v.it (AOR)   shine

iŋ          v.it (AOR)   sleep

ımım        v.it (DUR)   pay attention, be alert

ıvaa        n.a (CNSTR)  sun (construct state of vaa)

ka          adv          really, actually, certainly, in fact, of course

krek        adv          thus, therefore, as a result

kuu         pron         (relative pronoun, inanimate)

lɛkıı       v.tr (DUR)   dream about

lɛmaa       n.a          morning

lɛyeŋ       v.it (DUR)   sleep

lıŋgii      v.tr (DUR)   imagine, invent, come up with

mik         adv          alone, on one’s own

mıdwaa      v.it (AOR)   stand out, be remarkable, be unusual

nanaabal    v.tr (DUR)   point towards, aim for

ndıı        pron         (3rd person plural, inanimate)

nu          adv          finally, eventually, after all, notably, exceptionally

o           cj           and

ot          qu           all (collective; used with inanimate noun phrases)

panɔɔ       adj          vast, endless

pwɛɛ        v.tr (AOR)   like, love

p’ek        v.aux        (negation)

ra          pron         (1st person singular)

raa         n.i          lowlands, plain

ral         cj           (switch-reference: different subject, 1st person)

re          n.a (CNSTR)  tail (construct state of te)

rɛduu       n.i          landmark, place of interest

rıkɛɛ       n.i          plan, project, goal

ru          adv          urgently, with determination

sap         n.i          road, path

skuu        pp           at, on (dynamic)

sper        v.it (AOR)   lose one’s way

sto         cj           (switch-reference: same subject)

šıı         cj           (complementiser: irrealis)

šu          v.cop        (copula)

šudɔɔ       adv          sadly, unfortunately, painfully

teguu       v.tr (AOR)   lie to, deceive

tı          cj           but

tlin        adv          again, repeatedly, several times

t’ɛɛ        v.tr (AOR)   believe, trust

ugundɔɔ     n.a          the world

uŋ          pp           for the benefit of

uudı        v.tr (DUR)   achieve, accomplish

vivɔɔ       v.tr (DUR)   build, construct, create

vıŋuk       v.it (AOR)   be stunned, be disoriented, be confused



Vıŋuk              ra.
vıŋuk              ra
be_disoriented.AOR 1SG
I am disoriented.


Hašaŋ    het lɛyeŋ     ra,
hašaŋ    het lɛyeŋ     ra
at_night BG  sleep.DUR 1SG
At night I sleep,


sto vivɔɔ      ihnì           rıvor    kımıdwaa,
sto vivɔɔ      iš=     hni    rı-bor   kı-  mıdwaa
SS  create.DUR INDEF.I=many.I PL-thing ADJZ-stand_out
I keep creating many remarkable things,


o   sto mik   lıŋgii     ndıı  uŋ  ra.
o   sto mik   lıŋgii     ndıı  uŋ  ra
and SS  alone invent.DUR 3PL.I BEN 1SG
and I invent them on my own for my own pleasure.


Het lɛkıı           ra  ndıı,
het lɛkıı           ra  ndıı
BG  dream_about.DUR 1SG 3PL.I
I dream about them,


sto ɛyaŋ,
sto ɛyaŋ
SS  be_confident.DUR
I am confident,


iisto   ka       duudı           išut           rıkɛɛ kuu   nanaabal ra  do.
ii= sto ka       dwa=uudı        iš=     hıt    rıkɛɛ kuu   nanaabal ra  do
AFF=SS  actually POT=achieve.DUR INDEF.I=each.I goal  REL.I aim.DUR  1SG 3SG.I
and I can attain every goal that I aim for.


Kɛɛge        hıvir tigrek        ra  skuu   išpanɔɔ         raa,
kɛɛ=ge       hıvir tek= grek     ra  skuu   iš=     panɔɔ   raa
VIS=CONTRAST now   PROG=walk.AOR 1SG on.DYN INDEF.I=endless plain
But now I see myself going across a wide plain,


ɛtuk teguu       ra  wot         nırɛduu,
ɛtuk teguu       ra  u=    ot    nı-rɛduu
DS.3 deceive.AOR 1SG ERG.I=all.I PL-landmark
all the landmarks deceive me,


ral  sper,
ral  sper
DS.1 go_astray.AOR
I am losing my way,


o   šu  krek      p’ek duhlɛbuu      ra  re         sap  šudɔɔ.
o   šu  krek      p’ek dwa=hlɛbuu    ra  re         sap  šudɔɔ
and COP therefore NEG  POT=reach.AOR 1SG tail.CNSTR road sadly
and so unfortunately I cannot reach the end of the road.


Tı  hɔɔhar         sihŋɛɛ        ıvaa      lɛmaa,
tı  hɔɔ= har       sii=hŋɛɛ      ıvaa      lɛmaa
but SENS=then.FACT INC=shine.AOR sun.CNSTR morning
But then the morning sun begins to shine,


ral  hiiyum,
ral  hiiyum
DS.1 wake_up.AOR
I wake up,


sto hiišu,
sto hiišu
SS  rise.AOR
I rise,


o   šu  sımım            ra  skuu   gugundɔɔ.
o   šu  so= ımım         ra  skuu   gı=   ugundɔɔ
and COP OBL=be_alert.DUR 1SG on.DYN DEF.A=world
and I have to pay attention to the real world.


Ɔpwɛɛ        ra  ka       šıı     ru       tlin  liŋ           ra,
ar= pwɛɛ     ra  ka       šıı     ru       tlin  lo= iŋ        ra
OPT=like.AOR 1SG actually SUB.IRR urgently again INC=sleep.AOR 1SG
I would really like to fall asleep again,


o   t’ɛɛ      ra  šıı     iraa         nu      duhlɛbuu      ra  re     sap!
o   t’ɛɛ      ra  šıı     ii= daa      nu      dwa=hlɛbuu    ra  re     sap
and trust.AOR 1SG SUB.IRR AFF=then.IRR finally POT=reach.AOR 1SG tail.CNSTR road
and I believe that then I would finally reach the end of the road!