Saturday, 22 May 2010


I picked up two new grammars from the 24 Hour Book Sale at the Regent Theatre yesterday. One was Teach Yourself Hindi from Hind Pocket Books, rather than Teach Yourself Books, which is the copy I am still looking for; and Mastering French. TYHindi has added some rules about how endings of nouns change depending on the case, more complications for nouns. And now I am working through Mastering French to add more notes to my grammatical information on my eclectic language. This will delay further translation work on the dialogues. Back later.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Sentence 1.4

The next exchange is between two men in the house.

A tí ta chomú?, who is it?

is the normal word for 'is', when 'is' means something exists rather than at a place. Compare it with the earlier sentence.

Ta here is being used as a pronoun meaning 'it' or 'he'.

The other man replies:

Bodú úwedshim, I don't know.

Bodú is the normal word for 'I'. It is used between people of equal status or strangers talking to each other. Originally it meant something like 'your servant' and is quite humble. Now it is more common than the me-pronoun.

Úwedshim is a combination of two different words or morphemes. Úwed is a verb for 'I know'. It is a definite verb, used for a single action of 'coming, or getting, to know'. The ending -shim is a negative suffix and means 'not or do not'.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sentence 1.2

The next sentence is A ítí ta chomú?, Who is there?

A is the normal word to introduce a question.

ítí means 'is'. It is only used when 'is' points out where something is, so it means 'is (at a location)'.

Ta is a pronoun. In this case it is used to mean 'there' and is the subject of the verb ítí.

Chomú means 'who?' It is the object of the verb ítí.

Unlike English chomú is not moved to the beginning of the sentence. Literally the sentence is translated 'Is there who?' which is a different order to English.

The stranger outside the door replies Ei'm, 'it is me'. Ei is the topic marker discussed previously used again. After the topic marker the pronoun in this case is reduced to 'm, 'me'. Note that in this dialogue the 'me' pronoun is only used by people in charge when they are talking to servants. There is another pronoun 'me' used for talking to friends which will be introduced in a later sentence.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Sentence 1.1 redux

I looked at this sentence again. Especially at the word piras. It is a survival from OT1.0 where it was pulta from porta, borrowed from Quechua or something like that I believe. Borrowing from the old form of the language did not satisfy me so I went looking through my notes again. I discovered the word drúí. It is a plural word 'double doors' which acts as a singular 'door'. Ghostian is not as particular or irregular at marking case in plurals as it is in singular nouns. The plurals appear to have leveled out. So the revised form of this sentence is: Ei chomú-dâ kú drúí.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sentence # 1

I took a hiatus from this blog while I made new notes from two new grammars that I have bought: Living French and TY Italian. The notes are now finished although I haven't assimilated them yet. There is new material that I haven't included into the preposition list.

To resume activity I shall start revising the first dialogue.

The first sentence is Ei chomú-dâ kú piras.

Ei is a common word in the language. It marks the topic in a sentence, usually something that can be sensed by the speaker. In this case it is translated as 'there is'. In other sentences it can be used for 'about' or 'for'. It is included as a preposition. In this case it takes the place of a verb.

chomú means 'who', and with the ending it means 'someone'. The ending means the person is unknown.

is another preposition. It means 'at a location'. It is followed by the genitive case.

piras, 'door'. The -as ending marks it as a feminine noun in the genitive case.