Ring E: 2/22: mërèchi

Amanda Furrow
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[ mërèchi | Smooth English | Orthography | Grammar | Vocabulary ]

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mërèchi

ëàlis lachàtian calëlómnö siröfàsap'të:

lösiröfàp'n fàla kèshepë fúi, sàlapë, këràtpë, të lièlpë, të lötödisödafàp'n; lökesanikfàp'të calëlóm yihechidàfi të làcci, të lögürifàp'të kasàtanli të këràtli nikèsi; lölapalitsödafàp'n gàtasü fàla, të lalüpidafàp'të pàlitan hródi lösiröfàp'të lítan böltànsü haridàfi; lödisödafàp'të pàlitan calëlóm-gürífiapë lítacümdi yískesi; lömetafàp'n líta lítali të l'accidödafàp'të; lödisödafàp'të chàkapacümdi; löyihechidafàp'të tólic të'lahatýmisöv'të;

löhalafàp'n, lachàtian calëlómnö ki'siröfàv'të.


Smooth Translation

Here is my smooth translation. I decided my people write recipes in the conditional passive, which is rather weird but fun.

Thus may meat pastries be made:

If dough is made from white flour, oil, salt, and water, and set aside; If cooked meat and onions are chopped, and mixed with spices and a little salt; If the dough is formed into walnut-sized balls, and the balls flattened so that they are made into circles the size of a spread hand; If balls of the meat mixture are placed into each circle; If circle with circle is covered and they are joined; If they are placed in an oven; if they are cooked until they have become golden;

If this is done, meat pastries will be made.


Orthography

The mërèchi love diacritics. The diacritics are mostly meaningless (they encode vowel pronunciation as well as stress, but stress is not usually important and vowel pronunciation is rarely other than standard). If you cannot read them, the interlinear is presented diacritic-free, and the vocabulary includes diacritic-free versions of all the words.

The apostrophe is written by convention to indicate where certain prefixes and suffixes have been attached to a word. It is not pronounced. Apostrophes in the text can be helpful in finding prefixes and suffixes, although not all prefixes and suffixes are set off by apostrophes; however, you can be sure that an apostrophe never occurs inside a word root.

All the vowels in the text presented have the standard values:

a, à /A/
e, è /E/
ë, é /e/
o, ò /O/
ö, ó /o/
i, í /i/
ü, ú /u/

Additionally, y in some contexts (and ý always) is /i/.

Consonants also have IPA values except:

c /k/
ch /x/ or /tS/
sh /S/
y /j/ between vowels, /i/ next to consonants

Grammar

The grammar defaults to English-like unless otherwise specified. The major differences are that mërèchi features postpositional phrases (just like prepositional only backwards), and that adjectives (and all other modifiers except the article) follow the noun. Adjectives do not agree in case, number or postpositions with the noun.

The genre of the current text is usually written in the conditional passive, for reasons best known to the mërèchi. As a result, this text is entirely lacking in accusative case and in most pronouns. Word order is SOV in declarative sentences, VSO in conditional sentences.

Verbs take an optional negative prefix, an optional tense or mood prefix, optional derivational prefixes and suffixes (such as the causative, passive, inceptive, abilitative, and equative), a mandatory aspect suffix, and a mandatory pronoun/agreement suffix. If no tense or mood prefix appears, the verb is in present tense. Perfective aspect is used for simple past actions; imperfective is used in the past tense to show that someone habitually used to do something, or was doing it for some time; the present tense usually uses the imperfective.

Example

ka'ki'tinidep'a
ka- ki- tinide -p -a
NEG FT remember IMP 1P.SG
I will not remember

Tense prefixes

ki-, k- future
te-, t- past

Mood prefixes

lo-, l- conditional

Aspect suffixes

-p imperfective
-v perfective

Pronouns can appear as verb suffixes, in which case they agree with or are the subject of the verb, or they can appear elsewhere as independent words with a case or postpositional suffix. If the sentence appears to have no subject, the subject is the pronoun on the verb. Otherwise, the subject will be the noun without a case suffix or postposition, and will agree with the pronoun on the verb.

Derivational affixes are used heavily in verb formation. Affixes are accretive; they build upon those already attached to the word. Examples using the abilitative suffix -sa, the inceptive prefix la-, and the passive suffix -fà (-fa):

hàla (hala) to do I do it
hàlasa (halasa) to be able to do I can do it
halafà (halafa) to be done It is done
halafàsa (halafasa) to be able to be done It can be done
lahàla (lahala) to begin to do

Some suffixes move the stress in a word (the causative and passive suffixes steal the stress, for example; the passive participle -fi also moves the stress, but to the previous syllable), which causes different vowels to become accented.

The equative suffix -sö (-so) creates a verb meaning "to be X", where X is the root to which it is affixed and is either a noun or adjective:

èchi (echi) hot
èchisö (echiso) to be hot
lahèchisö (lahechiso) to become hot
echidà (echida) to keep hot
lahechidà (lahechida) to make hot
pàlit (palit) a ball
pàlitsö (palitso) to be a ball
lapàlitsö (lapalitso) to become a ball
lapalitsödà (lapalitsoda) to make into a ball

The equative suffix can be omitted between an adjective and a causative suffix, as illustrated above with echidà and lahechidà.


Vocabulary

Postpositions

-cüm (-cum) in
-cümdi (-cumdi) into
-di to (a place)
-li with
-nö (-no) of
-pë (-pe) made from, made of
-sü (-su) the size of

Plural suffix

-an after consonants
-n after vowels

Nouns

böltàn (boltan) a hand (collective plural of "finger")
calëlóm (calelom) meat
chàkapa (chakapa) an oven
fàla (fala) dough, batter
gàta (gata) a walnut
gürífia (gurifia) a mixture
kasàta (kasata) a spice
këràt (kerat) salt
kèshe (kEshE) flour
làcci (lacci) an onion
lachàtia (lachatia) a pastry
lièl (liEl) water
líta (lita) a circle
pàlit (palit) a ball
sàla (sala) oil

Adjectives

atými (atymi) golden
ëàmliö (eamlio) this
fúi (fui) white
hàri (hari) spread out, wide
lúpi (lupi) flat
nikèsi (nikEsi) a little, a small amount
yískesi (yiskEsi) every, each

Pronouns (can be suffixed or standalone)

-n third person singular suffix, neuter or unknown
-të (-te) third person plural suffix

Verb prefixes

l- (l-) conditional mood, before vowels
la- inceptive derivational prefix (before consonants)
lah- inceptive derivational prefix (before vowels)
lö- (lo-) conditional mood, before consonants
ki'- future tense
t'- past tense, before vowels
të'- (te-) past tense, before consonants

Verb suffixes

-dà (-da) causative derivational suffix
-fà (-fa) passive voice
-fi passive participle
-p imperfective aspect, after vowels, sonorants
-sa abilitative derivational suffix
-sö (-so) equative derivational suffix
-v perfective aspect, after vowels

Verbs

accídö (accido) to join, to come together
dísö (diso) to be located
gúri (guri) to mix, combine, stir
hàla (hala) to do (something)
kèsanik (kEsanik) to cut up, to chop
mèta (mEta) to cover
sírö (siro) to create, to make
tödisödà (todisoda) to set aside
yihechidà (yihechida) to cook

Other words

ëàlis (ealis) thus, by this method
hródi (hrodi) so that
të (te) and
tólic (tolic) until

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June 14th, 2005
Comments? Suggestions? Corrections? You can drop me a line.
zpentrabvagiktu@theiling.de
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