Seakitty Notice – A Text in Tą

This public notice, posted in an Obtobian city around 40 years ago in Sheesanian time, is an example text of my newest language, Tą. The ancestor of modern Tą was an Obtobian language, but after Obtobai conquered the other countries of Thomorai, some rulers forced their non-Obtobian subjects to speak Tą, too. Today it is spoken all over Thomorai – albeit with many dialectal differences between countries! – and is the main language of all Thomoraii countries except Kafa Monica.

I am not planning to write a formal grammar of Tą anytime soon, or even type in my sketchy notes, but here are some technical details if you’re interested, e.g., please feel free to skip this bit! (If you’d like to see more details, you could leave a comment or contact me and I would be happy to write up some more for you.)  Tą has nineteen consonants, including a series of retroflex stops (and a retroflex R!) and three glottal fricatives (which you could call variations of H): a normal one, a pharyngeal one (similar to Arabic’s ح) and a very weird nasal-glottal-fricative thing that is sort of like H but done through the nose. Then there are five fairly boring vowels…but which each also have a pharyngealized version and an epiglottalized version, all contrasting, plus two diphthongs, for a total of 17 vowels. Yay.

Tą is quite isolating, but is moving more and more towards an agglutinative/fusional system, and indeed already has some complex morphology. There are few boundaries between nouns, adjectives and verbs. An old evidentiality system, which used to be mandatory, is still sticking around, but is falling more and more out of use (much to the chagrin of older Tą speakers). Plurality is complicated. Tą used to have no grammatical plurality. Now it has two grammatical paucal plurals, an associative one and a non-associative one, but otherwise you must use one of the many irregular non-paucal plural nouns, or make it obvious in context that the number is bigger than paucal, or use a number. Tą has seven noun cases: trigger, nominative, accusative, genitive, locative/adpositional, causal/benefactive, and instrumental. Tą is somewhat Austronesian in morphosyntactic alignment, with the main topic of the sentence being marked with the trigger case, and the verb marked with the role of the trigger. There are a gazillion pronouns, since there are proximate, obviate and further obviate pronouns, plus polite and pejorative forms, and irregular forms with certain cases…

In verbs, Tą has some bipersonal particles borrowed from Kafa Monican for concisely marking subject and object. The interesting thing is that since these particles were borrowed from Kafa Monican, they use a different pronominal system than Tą does. Fun times! So then you also have boring past, present and future tenses, but with each having anterior and posterior versions. There is pretty much no grammatical aspect, so there are various convoluted semantic ways that speakers accomplish the jobs usually done by aspect. “Adjectives” are basically just nouns in genitive case that modify other nouns. Finally, there is a bunch of derivational morphology, because I love derivational morphology. And I have a lot of words in my Tą dictionary, and I’m very proud of them since I have a lot of nice semantic differences from English, and they’re short (thanks to all those vowels!).

So, without further technical ado, here is the English translation of the notice in Tą, the Tą version, an interlinear and literal translation of the Tą, and the Tą version written in the lovely Tą alphabet (which I hope to post about soon). Note that the year given, 687, is in the old Thomoraii count of years – it’s equivalent to about 1460 in the standard reckoning of Sheesanian years.

English

NOTICE

It is generally known that stray seakitties have recently been causing trouble in our city. They have been stealing food, dirtying our water supplies, destroying our plants, making noise, &c. In order to remedy this problem, the Council deliberated on the second day of the full moon, and has arrived at this decision. All people in Nošbą must:

-Not feed, house, or care for any stray seakitties. You may, however, adopt stray seakitties, but you must register the adoption at the Family Office and promise to keep the seakitty for its whole life.

-Not leave food out in places that are easy for a seakitty to reach, such as a doorstep.

-Not release seakitties you own. If you have seakitties you cannot care for, bring them to the Nošbą NSSI on Astkyan Street.

-Try to catch any stray seakitties you come across and are able to catch. If you catch a seakitty, release it in the jungle, bring it to the Nošbą NSSI on Astkyan Street, or report it to the Peace Office.

-Report any foreigners bringing and releasing seakitties into the city at the Peace Office.

By Order of the Council of Nošbą
Second Day of the Full Moon, Fifth Month, 687

EǪȞETI

Riy ajôf e ǎjazdií ǎ ťěbh ǎ sildgǔ le tôbą âp îg yóna a nǐan ąk wenêb a. Ḣéšep e lézyǎ uh ubába tǫi, frǐjj ǔh ôêl îťǫ yóna ǫi, dâḣk ûh báḣi tǫi yóna ǫi, dúîe uh, Ê.Q., wêm fî. Tělě ě běh tǫi sildgǔ ǫi, Tělělą ǔh Ȟakfê iť šésildas or, tḣéhe běh tǐ jazdián uk. Wa yuw e tôh â wêm â Nošbą apǫ:

-Íqǒ ti ajôjôf a ǎjazdií ǎ léfile, whěb, réťa ek i. Něuleš ě wǒh ajôjôf ti ǎjazdií ǎ, fêkwê, ǫja en, šǒbeǐ wa fûťíši áno wǒh něuleš tǐ, íse óno núlǫri ti ajôf lą jǔrul iťǫ, Ťiêsi-Tôḣîȟ ap.

-Uáab ti bêu âp ajôf uḣ îjâw ąn wáblab ǫi káʔlǎ ek i, mîan, fǐhǒtaye ǎp.

-Ajôjôf ti wǒ ǎ rámwi ek i. Ajfôô e wǒ ǎ o ek, núlǫri e tḣe tǫi wǒ ǔḣ ašefgǔ ek, wa tḣéhe NSSI-Nošbą ap, Šwêaʔ-Ástkyan apǫ, šwǎʔ ěn.

-Ajôf ti yaḣór ek, ȟwu e ḣe tǫi ašf ek, êydą ê wǒh rǐʔa ąn. Wǒ ě ajôf ti ȟwu uk, wa ḣee zǫn ap rámwi en, íwi NSSI-Nošbą ap, Šwêaʔ-Ástkyan apǫ, šwǎʔ ěn, íwi š en Ťiêši-Sild a ťow.

-Íqô ti kinúa a šwǎʔ, rámwi a ajfôô tǫi tôbą apǫ Ťiêši-Sild ap š ek.

Sánsǫ iť Tělělą ǎ Nošbą a
Ȟakfê, Yakǎʔri Bǎyǔ ǎ, 687

Interlinear/Literal Translation

List of Abbreviations

1 – first person
2 – second person
3 – third person
acc – accusative
ben – benefactive
caus – causative
cls – clause
gen – genitive
imp – imperative
incl – inclusive
ins – instrumental
loc – locative
neg – negation
nom – nominative
pc – paucal
pej – pejorative
pl – plural
pres – present
pron – pronoun
pst – past
rc – relative clause
sg – singular
trg – trigger
verb – verbal focus

EǪȞETI
notice

Thing that should be read

Riy
HEARSAY
ajôf
seakitty
e
TRG
ǎjazdií
houseless
ǎ
GEN
ťěbh
many
ǎ
GEN
sildgǔ
disorder
le
BEN
tôbą
city
âp
LOC
îg
in
yóna
1pl.INCL
a
GEN
nǐan
work
ąk
PRES.NOM
wenêb
started.recently
a.
GEN.

It is said many houseless seakitties have recently begun to work for the benefit of disorder in our city.

Ḣéšep
3sg.PEJ
e
TRG
lézyǎ
steal
uh
NOM
ubába
food
tǫi,
ACC.RC,
frǐjj
dirty.CAUSE
ǔh
NOM
ôêl
water.supply
îťǫ
INS.RC
yóna
1pl.INCL
ǫi,
GEN.RC,
dâḣk
destroy
ûh
NOM
báḣi
edible.plant
tǫi
ACC.RC
yóna
1pl.INCL
ǫi,
GEN.RC,
dúîe
make.noise
uh,
NOM,
Ê.Q.,
it.continues,
wêm
be.at
fi.
PRES.LOC.

They a stealing of food, a causing of our water supplies to become dirty, a destruction of our edible plants, a making of noise, it continues, are at.

Tělě
address.problem
ě
TRG
běh
this
tǫi
ACC.RC
sildgǔ
disorder
ǫi,
GEN.RC,
Tělělą
Council
ǔh
NOM
Ȟakfê
2nd.full.moon.day
INS
šésildas
discuss.solving.problem
or,
PST.BEN,
tḣéhe
3.PC.TRG
běh
this
ACC
jazdián
build
uk.
PST.NOM.

For the purpose of addressing this disorder, the Council used the 2nd day of the full moon to discuss how to solve the problem, they built this.

Wa
IMP.urgent
yuw
all
e
TRG
tôh
people
â
GEN
wêm
be.in
â
GEN
Nošbą
Nošbą
apǫ:
LOC.RC:

We order that all people who are in Nošbą:

Íqǒ
any
ti
ACC
ajôjôf
seakitties
a
GEN
ǎjazdií
homeless
ǎ
GEN
léfile,
feed,
whěb,
cover,
réťa
care.for
ek
PRES.NOM
i.
NEG.

Not feed, cover, care for any homeless seakitties.

Něuleš
adopt
ě
TRG
wǒh
2sg.NOM
ajôjôf
seakitties
ti
ACC
ǎjazdií
homeless
ǎ,
GEN,
fêkwê,
however,
ǫja
allow
en,
PRES.ACC,
šǒbeǐ
but
wa
IMP.urgent
fûťíši
register
áno
PRES.VERB
wǒh
1sg.NOM
něuleš
adopt
tǐ,
ACC,
íse
promise
óno
PRES.VERB
núlǫri
parent
ti
ACC
ajôf
seakitty
BEN.RC
jǔrul
life
iťǫ,
INS,
Ťiêsi-Tôḣîȟ
Office-Family
ap.
LOC.

You adopting homeless seakitties, however, is allowed, but you must register the adoption by you, promise to parent the seakitty for life, at the Family Office.

Uáab
food.PC
ti
ACC
bêu
place
âp
LOC
ajôf
seakitty
uḣ
NOM.RC
îjâw
touch.reach
ąn
PRES.ACC
wáblab
lazy
ǫi
GEN
káʔlǎ
put
ek
PRES.NOM
i,
NEG,
mîan,
for.example,
fǐhǒtaye
doorstep
ǎp.
LOC.

Not put food in places seakitties can touch lazily, for example, at a doorstep.

Ajôjôf
seakitties
ti
ACC
2sg
ǎ
GEN
rámwi
release
ek
PRES.NOM
i.
NEG.

Don’t release your seakitties.

Ajfôô
seakitties.PC
e
TRG
2sg
ǎ
GEN
o
exist
ek,
PRES.NOM,
núlǫri
parent
e
TRG
tḣe
3.PC
tǫi
ACC.RC
2sg
ǔḣ
NOM.RC
ašefgǔ
impossible
ek,
PRES.NOM,
wa
IMP.urgent
tḣéhe
3.PC.TRG
NSSI-Nošbą
NSSI-Nošbą
ap,
LOC,
Šwêaʔ-Ástkyan
street-Astkyan
apǫ,
LOC.RC,
šwǎʔ
move.bring
ěn.
PRES.ACC.

Seakitties exist that the parenting of them by you is impossible, we order that you bring them to the Nošbą NSSI, at Astkyan Street.

Ajôf
seakitty
ti
ACC
yaḣór
pass.by
ek,
PRES.NOM,
ȟwu
grab.catch
e
TRG
ḣe
3sg
tǫi
ACC.RC
ašf
possible
ek,
PRES.NOM,
êydą
CLS.PRON
ê
TRG
wǒh
2sg.NOM
rǐʔa
try
ąn.
PRES.ACC.

Pass by a seakitty, catching it is possible, try to do that.

2sg
ě
TRG
ajôf
seakitty
ti
ACC
ȟwu
catch
uk,
PST.NOM,
wa
IMP.urgent
ḣee
3sg.TRG
zǫn
jungle
ap
LOC
rámwi
release
en,
PRES.ACC,
íwi
or
NSSI-Nošbą
NSSI-Nošbą
ap,
LOC,
Šwêaʔ-Ástkyan
Street-Astkyan
apǫ,
LOC.RC,
šwǎʔ
move.bring
ěn,
PRES.ACC,
íwi
or
š
say.report
en
PRES.ACC
Ťiêši-Sild
Office-Peace
a
GEN
ťow.
to.

You a seakitty caught, it in the jungle release, or to the Nošbą NSSI, at Astkyan Street, bring it, or report it to the Peace Office.

Íqô
any
ti
ACC
kinúa
foreigner
a
GEN
šwǎʔ,
move.bring,
rámwi
release
a
GEN
ajfôô
seakitties.PC
tǫi
ACC.RC
tôbą
city
apǫ
LOC
Ťiêši-Sild
Office-Peace
ap
LOC
š
say.report
ek.
PRES.NOM.

Any foreigner bringing, releasing seakitties at the city, at the Peace Office report.

Sánsǫ
order.law
INS
Tělělą
Council
ǎ
GEN
Nošbą
Nošbą
a
GEN

Through the order of the Council of Nošbą

Ȟakfê,
2nd.full.moon.day,
Yakǎʔri
Month
Bǎyǔ
Five
ǎ,
GEN,
687
687

2nd day of the full moon, month of five, 687

Tą in Tą Script

Seakitty Notice

 

(click for larger picture)

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