Hosted by Sean Anderson
January to March 2011
"Relay" is a game regularly played by conlangers on the Conlang Relay Mailing List over at valdyas.org. The participants are professional and hobbyist linguists alike, however only constructed, that is, artificial languages are allowed. The game proceeds like this: One person makes up a text in their conlang and hands it on to the next person on the plan, who has to make sense of the text they got according to the grammar notes and vocabulary attached—within 48 hours per turn. And so on, until the ring is closed and the worn-out text returns to the person who started the game. Since there is typically a large number of participants, four rings of twelve people are not uncommon. When all rings have finished translating, all texts are revealed and fun is had by everyone, as bears may have turned into dragons, ravioli into primordial soup, busses into divine chariots, and bees into swirling dervishes...
R18, Ring A:
me gevida eto: modo usa pe yo statuo ana anglo gina vive
yo kano da silvo zudorme ina bratco da yo persono. kano didorme i gina barke. bonco nimbo grando da fumo vene i turbine; pos yo longe, elo solve. me vida yo damo ana yo palaso mo summo velazo kon nivo. damo mo aspekto koma yo persko i bello sol severo sol to no sapa modo normalo: to zurise sol zulava to mo aspekto kona to mo vesto.
I've Seen This: How a Statue on the Corner Started Living
A woods-dog was sleeping in some person's arms. The dog woke up and started to bark. A number of big smoke clouds came and churned. After a long time, they broke up. I saw a woman on the snow-covered roof of a mansion. The woman's aspect was like a peach and beautiful but severe. But she didn't know normal manners: she was smiling but cleaning her face with her clothes.
Of course, I only received Jeffrey's translation after I had had my turn.
I saw this: The way used by which the statue on the corner starts to live
The dog of the forest is sleeping in the arms of the person. The dog stops sleeping and starts to bark. A few large clouds of smoke come and whirl around; after a moment, they dissolve. I see the woman on the palace's top, which is covered by snow. The woman's expression is like a peach and beautiful, but severe. But she doesn't know the way it usually is: She smiles, but washes her look away with her clothes.
Pinyan kilisu, ang ningay vās miranena, sirī le tavreng teno nyānilang hinyanya lingena mitanena:
Yomayo veneyang vinim si ang manga toryo luga tinuyēa nyānena. Nārya takamenya, ang radanyo veneyvinim, nay cunyong gagavyam. Da-sahāra kutunyereng-kay runu nake, nay gurteng ku-gurican. Ya bomteng nārya pang takan. Ang silvay edaya envanas ling mitanya, si ri naykonrey kanka. Marinang envanena pray ku-seygo, nay adareng veno, nārya kilisārya. Arēn sa koronoyyeng miran datau. Purivayeng-nama, nārya sa gonjeng silvan yena marinena tareri vehimena yena.
Please allow me to tell you of the way by which came alive the statue at the corner of the roof of the palace:
There is a forest dog which is sleeping among the arms of a person. But suddenly, the forest dog wakes up and starts to bark. Thus come a few large smoke clouds and they swirl like spirals. They dissolve after a moment, though. I see here a woman on the top of the palace, which is covered by snow. The face of the woman is smooth like an apple, but strict. However, she does not know how it usually is. She just smiles, but she wipes the look from her face with the sleeve of her dress.
|adareng||pron||that (one), it|
|-ang / ang||part||animate Agent case marker|
|-ara||pron||3rd person inanimate (agreement or focussed)|
|-as / sa||part||animate Patient case marker|
|-ay||pron||1st person singular (agreement or focussed)|
|cun-||v||to begin, to start|
|-(e)na / na||part||genitive case marker|
|-(e)ri / ri||part||instrumental case marker|
|gur-||v||to spin, to turn around|
|-kay||adv||a little, (a) few|
|kilisārya||adj||strict (lit. 'unallowing', see 'kilis-' below)|
|-ley / le||part||inanimate Patient case marker|
|ling||prep||on top (of)|
|manga||part||indicates motion and progressive aspect|
|miran||n an||way (in which sth is done)|
|mitan||n an||palace, residence, villa|
|nārya||conj||but, though, although|
|radan-||v||to wake up|
|-reng / eng||part||inanimate Agent marker|
|-reng||pron||3rd person singular inanimate agent|
|-rey||pron||3rd person singular inanimate patient|
|saha-||v||to come here, to approach|
|silvan||n ani||view, look|
|tav-||v||to get, to become|
|-teng||v||3rd person plural inanimate agent|
|vās||pron||2nd person singular/plural patient|
|veneyvinim||n ani||fox, lit. 'forest dog'|
|-ya||pron||3rd person masculine (agreement or focussed)|
|-ya, -ea / ya||part||Locative case marker|
|-yam / yam||part||Dative case marker; participle marker|
|yena||pron||3rd person singular feminine genitive|
|(-)yeng||pron||3rd person singular feminine agent|
|-yo||pron||3rd person singular neuter (agreement or focussed)|
|yoma-||v||to exist, to be there|
|-yong||pron||3rd person singular neuter agent|
Two same vowels colliding result in a long vowel, e.g. [a]# + #[a] results in [aː] <ā>. A combination of [t, k] + [j]
Word order is usually V A P O, where O is any of the oblique arguments (here: genitive, locative, instrumental). Modifiers generally follow their heads, and this also goes for possessive constructions, where the order is possessee-possessor. Even noun-noun compounds take this order.
Nouns are either animate or inanimate, also singular or plural. They take case markers as suffixes, or a zero suffix when being focussed, i.e. when made definite and the subject of the sentence. When a noun compound is marked for case and the resulting word is longer than four syllables, the case marker goes on the head of the compound with the modifying part being split off to form a modifying word.
Personal pronouns are marked for gender, number and case. They may also be focussed, in which case the case marker is split off, resulting in the same form as the verb agreement. If the Agent NP only consists of a pronoun, this pronoun replaces verb agreement.
The relative pronoun, if not marked for case, refers to the immediately preceding NP. Otherwise it agrees with its head-NP in case. Relative clauses have a habit of attracting the NP they refer to, while always being the last element of a sentence, so that in this special case e.g. P-O-A constituent order may occur. Complex relative pronouns are doubly case-marked: Once for their referent, once for the role of the whole thing, e.g. in cases like "of which". Again, the middle part that contains the marker for the referent NP can be zero. So: si- + -ang (Agent NP reference) = sang, which can be combined with -na (genitive of relative pronoun) = sangena (REL-A-GEN). However, when the middle part is dropped, the word does not turn into sina (= si- + -na (Genitive NP reference)), but into sinā (= si- + -Ø (previous NP reference) + -na (genitive of relative pronoun)) to differentiate. The same happens e.g. with the instrumental case marker (sirī "by means of which, how").
Verbs usually agree with the Agent of the sentence in person and number. If the Agent NP only consists of a pronoun, this pronoun replaces verb agreement. Verbs can be negated as well. Also, they are frequently preceded by the case marker of the focussed noun in its unbound (i.e. non-suffixed) form. The copula is a zero-morpheme, so predicative adjectives or phrases appear juxtaposed to verbs. If a verb has an intransitive verb as a complement, this complement will be a participle.
Unfortunately, this has not yet been resolved.
And neither has this been.