Ghaf is the dominant language of the province of Ferah, and is also widely spoken in emigrant communities found in cities across the eastern part of the continent of Kečæne. It is directly descended from Yïåf, a lingua franca used among speakers of Ferahic languages during about the 32nd to 35th centuries of the Daiadak Era of the Prophet. During this time, Yïåf came to be the most important language of the Ferahic-speaking region and even beyond, its spread helped by several factors:
The language went through many changes, including the adoption of loan words from other languages (notably its relatives Yhát and Zhai) and the appearance of a system of vowel harmony (possibly under the influence of an unrelated language). By about the 37th century it had developed into an early form of Ghaf.
In the 38th-40th centuries, there are two main groups of Ghaf dialects: Western Ghaf continues to be spoken both as a first language and as a lingua franca in and around Ferah province, including the ancient towns of Fërah and Jefröye (ancient Thāras and Nitazē); while Eastern Ghaf is spoken by emigrant communities in the large cities all along the eastern coast. The Western dialects are more conservative; the Eastern ones are more innovative, and have been influenced by the majority languages of the coast. This sketch presents a fairly typical dialect of Eastern Ghaf.
Ghaf belongs to the Daiadak branch of the Edastean language family. It is a member of the Ferahic (or Eastern Daiadak) group of languages, which share a common descent from Agaf, the language of the old Republic of Fadah, and its predecessor Ayāsth. All the Daiadak languages are descended from Adāta, the language of the ancient Empire of Athalē and of the Prophet Zarākātias.
Yïåf’s semivowel allophony is slightly extended, so that not only do [i ɯ u] become [j ɰ w], but also [y] is realized as a semivowel [ɥ] #_V and V_V. Furthermore, these close vowels become semivowels whenever they form a diphthong: rising diphthongs [jɛ jʌ jæ jɑ ɥø ɥʌ ɥo ɥɪ wɔ wo wu], falling diphthongs [ej ɛj æj œj æw ɔw ow ɛɰ æɰ œɰ oɰ].
Nasalized vowels become oral unconditionally.
A stress accent arises, with primary stress always on the last syllable of the root.
Unstressed initial [ø ʌ ɪ ɨ] are deleted #_CV.
[æj æɛ ɑɔ] → [aj ae ɑo]
[iɛ uɔ] → [ijɛ uwɔ]
[h] is deleted after a consonant; where it followed /ʁ/, the uvular fricative remains unvoiced [χ].
The back semivowels become fricatives initially and intervocallically: [ɰ w] → [ɣ v]. ([w] thus merges with inherited [v] in these positions, but remains distinct in others.)
[wu] → [u] C_
Palatal plosives shift forward: [c ɟ] → [tʃ dʒ]. This is followed by secondary palatalization: first [ɥ] merges with [j]; then [j] palatalizes a preceding consonant, with results as follows:
In the dialect described here, [ʁ] → [r], with [χ] becoming [r̥]; this is typical of Eastern Ghaf. In some other dialects, [ʁ] merges with [ɰ] syllable-finally; more rarely, it may also merge with [ɣ] before vowels (this happens in a few dialects of Western Ghaf).
There’s also some syncope of unstressed vowels in longer roots and affixes; this is not entirely predictable, but is most likely to affect the penult of the root or the first syllable of a polysyllabic suffix.
Labial Dental Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Plosive/Affricate p b t d tʃ dʒ c ɟ k g Nasal m n ɲ ŋ Fricative f v s z ʃ ç ɣ h Liquid r r̥ rʲ j
(/r̥/ is a marginal phoneme which contrasts with /r/ only intervocallically, and in a small number of words.)
Front Back Close i y ɯ u Mid ɛ œ ʌ ɔ Open æ ɑ
Diphthongs: /aj ɛj œj ij ɑw uw ɑɰ ɔɰ ʌɰ uɰ ɑo ae/
(/ae/ is extremely rare.)
V here includes diphthongs.
Initial Cr clusters are formed only with labial consonants: /pr br mr fr vr/.
Many consonants cannot occur syllable-finally. Those that can are /p b t d k f v s h r/. (Technically /j w ɰ/ can as well, but only in diphthongs.)
/h/ cannot follow another consonant. Most other medial consonant clusters resulting from the syllable structure are allowed, but clusters of plosives with different voicing are avoided, usually by deleting the first plosive.
Vowels in hiatus are also avoided, either by eliding one of them or by inserting a [j] or [v].
/j/ palatalizes a preceding consonant. (See the palatalization rules under Sound changesabove.) After labial consonants /j/ becomes /r/.
Stress: Primary stress always falls on the final syllable of the root. The addition of affixes has no effect on this.
Ghaf retains an intonation pattern derived from the Yïåf pitch-accent. In general, each word (of more than one syllable) has a rise and drop in pitch, with the peak located where the old pitch-accent was; there may be a secondary peak two syllables before this in longer words. The location of these peaks is unpredictable, and does not necessarily correlate with stress; but in words with monosyllable roots they naturally coincide. In many longer words the main drop in pitch occurs immediately beforethe stressed syllable.
Unstressed vowels harmonize in backness with the core vowel of the stressed syllable in each word. Front vowels are [i y ɛ œ æ]; back vowels are [ɯ u ʌ ɔ ɑ]. It could be argued that these are allophones of one another, which alternate according to a word-level “front/back” switch.
Affixes alternate between forms with front and back vowels, depending on the harmony of the word they’re attached to. When cited in isolation, their vowels are conventionally given as [i u ɛ ɔ ɑ], which are considered the more “basic” vowels.
Semivowels and diphthongs are unaffected by vowel harmony. Vowels that have a diphthong between them and the stressed syllable harmonize with the diphthong.
Syllable-initial [ɣ] corresponds to syllable-final [ɰ]. This alternation may be seen in some compounding and affixing: a final [ɰ] will become [ɣ] if a suffix starting with a vowel is added. Similarly, syllable-final [w] becomes [v] if a vowel follows; when not followed by a vowel, it contrasts with final [v].
/r/ is devoiced before an unvoiced consonant; the few places where /r̥/ is phonemic are where a following /h/ has been lost. In a few dialects, /r̥/ is realized as [x] or [h]. In conservative dialects that have [ʁ] for /r/, /r̥/ is [χ].
/f s/ rarely occur intervocallically; where they do, they’re voiced in many dialects.
The consonants /p b t d k g m n f v s z h r/ are written exactly as in IPA.
The consonants /tʃ dʒ c ɟ ɲ ŋ ʃ ç ɣ r̥ rʲ j/ are written <č j ky gy ny ng š hy gh rh ry y>.
The vowels /ɑ æ ɛ ʌ i ɯ ɔ œ u y/ are written <a ä e ë i ï o ö u ü>.
The semivowels /w ɰ/, found in diphthongs, are written <w ğ>.
The diphthongs /aj ae ɑo/ are written <ay ae ao>.
An apostrophe <’> may be used to show where a vowel has been elided.
Ghaf nouns inflect for both case and number. Case is marked by prefixes; plural number by a suffix. There are also clitic possessive pronouns which attach to the end of the noun phrase they modify.
The Yïåf case system has undergone some reorganization, partly because sound changes caused some prefixes to become too similar, and partly because some of the cases dropped out of use. The Ghaf cases are as follows:
Absolutive Ergative g(o)- Dative d(o)- Ablative re(t)- Locative j(e)- Instrumental p(a)-
(The phonemes in parentheses are dropped as needed to avoid awkward vowel or consonant clusters.)
Some dialects have an allative prefix öy-, which they sometimes or always use in place of the more standard dative.
Yïåf had a logical system of determiners, which marked four degrees of quantity and distinguished partitive from collective groups. This system has somewhat broken down in Ghaf, largely as a result of the adoption of one of the determiners as a plural suffix. Six of the determiners remain; they follow the noun they refer to.Plural suffix: -fak
föd few, a little dävöd some däväk several, many öföd most äghöd all äghäk every, each
Ghaf has both definite and indefinite articles; the former developed from the Yïåf demonstratives. Use of the articles is optional in many situations; they are used less frequently than in English, for example. The articles follow the noun they refer to.
Singular Plural Indefinite kyö Definite ghe örče
These clitic possessive pronouns attach to the end of a noun phrase.
Singular Plural 1st person oh hok 2nd person oğ oghok 3rd person ah ahok
Ghaf has a complete set of personal pronouns, with distinct forms for each combination of person, number, and case (except locative). It also has a set of correlatives, many of which can be similarly inflected by the addition of the same affixes used for nouns.
1SG 2SG 3SG 1PL 2PL 3PL Absolutive yehyö gyö vähyö vuk guk vëvuk Ergative nyö ngu gah iy gaw gëvuk Dative nay dongu naw jiy doghaw daw Ablative jöfrö jofu jofah jöfiy jofrëghaw jofëvuk Instrumental pe pä pihäh prëghëk pok parëk
Query This That Some No Every Adjective eh ye ghö däviye bäšö äghäk Person * payghaw Thing gäh ye ghö däviye pay äghehče Place bär gerör gärör daorör bärör Time sër giyh hyer dëf bër Way ef hyep dävep Reason vuh hyešö däfrö basuh
Yeand ghö can be used as demonstratives, with the plural forms yefäk, ghöfäk.
Finally, Ghaf also has a single relative pronoun, ähyö, which introduces a relative clause.
*Since questions and relative clauses are often treated alike (in terms of TAM marking and word order), many speakers are beginning to use the query correlatives as relative pronouns; and some also use the relative ähyö for “who”, which otherwise is expressed by yëghaw eh “which person” or yëghaw gäh “what person”.
Sometimes the case roles in a sentence may be different than expected. The underlying metaphor of the Ghaf case system is one of movement and direction; thus verbs of motion generally take ergative subjects even when they’re intransitive, and non-subject arguments are often marked dative or ablative to imply movement:
Ophai heard the words of my mouth.
Dëvuvo Öfay döreyiyfäk örče rëbaboh.
dëvu-o öfay do-reyiy-fak örče ret-bab=oh hear-PFV.3SG Ophai[ABS] DAT-word-PL DEF.PL ABL-mouth=my
A more literal translation might be “Ophai listened to the words that came out of my mouth.” (Verbs of sense perception always take an absolutive subject and dative object.)
Possession can be indicated by the clitic possessive pronouns, or by a locative or directional case prefix:
the woman’s book
hïrkër jeghähyö ghe
hïrkër je-ghähyö ghe book LOC-woman DEF.SG
Literally “the book at (the) woman”.
The ablative is used for alienated possession: it indicates that something used to belong to someone, or came or was received from someone:
in my father’s throne
je-öfer ret-bäh=oh LOC-throne ABL-father=my
Literally “in the throne (that I inherited) from my father”.
The dative is used for inalienable possession, such as family relationships and body parts:
brother of the sun and moon
baghat döhiymrä äryö, dofaor äryö
baghat do-hiymrä äryö do-faor äryö brother DAT-sun and DAT-moon and
This logic can apply to locative phrases too:
on the table top
je-dät do-čëvu LOC-top DAT-table
Here the table is dative because the top is an integral, inalienable part of it.
The Ghaf verbal system remains quite close to Yïåf structurally, though there have been some notable changes in usage. Verbs still inflect for Tense/Aspect and Mood, and agree with their subjects in person and number. (It’s worth noting that this subject agreement shows nominative alignment, though the case marking on nouns is ergative.)
Mood is marked by prefixes on the verb.
The principal moods in Ghaf are:
There are also negative forms of these moods, which are somewhat more restricted in use. The Indicative Negative and Subjunctive Negative negate verbs in main clauses and subordinate clauses respectively. The Optative Negative is used for negative requests and commands. The Conditional Negative is used for “if not” statements. All of these forms are often replaced by constructions involving ör “no, not”, except for some fixed expressions; always using the prefixes sounds rather formal or old-fashioned.
Finally, there’s the Interrogative, which forms yes/no questions. This is rarely used in speech, and sounds archaic; most speakers simply indicate a question with a rising intonation at the end of the sentence.
Positive Negative Indicative p(u)- Subjunctive j(o)- dars(a)- Optative uh- unga(t)- Conditional os- osays(a)- Interrogative zeh-
Tense/aspect is marked by suffixes. The primary aspect suffixes mark verbs as either perfective (completed or simple action) or imperfective (incomplete or ongoing action), and also show subject agreement. There are two sets of these suffixes; which set is used is lexically determined, and defines the two conjugational classes of Ghaf verbs.
Ghaf also has a secondary tense/aspect distinction, traditionally described as one between past and present tense. The past is unmarked; the present is marked by a suffix that follows the primary aspect suffix (or a contracted version of it). This description is somewhat misleading, in a couple of ways. For one thing, the “past” tense might be more accurately described as “non-present”; it can be used for future or hypothetical actions as well as for past ones, and the “past” imperfective can refer to an action which began in the past and is still going on. For another, these secondary categories may not actually be tenses at all: the semantic difference between the “past” and “present” forms seems to be partly or even mostly aspectual rather than simply one of time. In this view, the “present tense” can be analyzed as forming two more aspects: perfect and progressive. The whole system then looks like this:
Here are the suffixes:
Class I verbs Class II verbs 1SG -o -no 2SG -ngu -no 3SG -o -no 1PL -ji 2PL -gu -jo 3PL -yo -jo
Class I verbs Class II verbs 1SG -nu -tu 2SG -dengu -tengu 3SG -nu -tu 1PL -jiy -čiy 2PL -devu -tevu 3PL -du -tu
Class I verbs Class II verbs 1SG -o-mray -no-mray 2SG -ngu-mray -no-mray 3SG -o-mray -no-mray 1PL -mray -ji-mray 2PL -gu-mray -jo-mray 3PL -yo-mray -jo-mray
Class I verbs Class II verbs 1SG -nu-mray -tu-mray 2SG -(d)nu-mray -(t)nu-mray 3SG -nu-mray -tu-mray 1PL -jiy-mray -čiy-mray 2PL -du-mray -tu-mray 3PL -du-mray -tu-mray
There’s an irregularity in some Class I verbs that end in vowels; the first and third person singular perfective suffix -omay be elided, causing these forms to be identical to the first person plural in the perfective and perfect.
There’s also a third conjugational class, which takes Class II perfective suffixes, but Class I imperfectives. This class is made up entirely of loan words.
The subject can be dropped in imperatives, but the agreement suffix remains (the imperfective is usually used):
uh-vufu-dengu do-gerör OPT-come-2SG.IPFV DAT-here
Don’t eat that!
Uhvuwdëngu ghö ör!
uh-vuw-dengu ghö ör OPT-eat-2SG.IPFV that[ABS] not
Or more formally:
Do not eat that!
ungat-vuw-dengu ghö OPT.NEG-eat-2SG.IPFV that[ABS]
The conditional is used for both the “if”-clause and the conclusion:
If I became king, I’d give everyone food.
Ösöyvrëruvuno yehyö jerhä, osdavnu nyö järö doyëghawfak äghäk.
os-öyvrëruvu-no yehyö jerhä os-dav-nu nyö järö do-yëghaw-fak äghäk COND-become-1SG.PFV 1SG.ABS king[ABS] COND-give-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ERG food[ABS] DAT-man-PL every
If I became king, I’d give my kingdom away.
Ösöyvrëruvuno yehyö jerhä, osdavnu nyö jeskäröh.
os-öyvrëruvu-no yehyö jerhä os-dav-nu nyö jeskär=öh COND-become-1SG.PFV 1SG.ABS king[ABS] COND-give-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ERG kingdom[ABS]=my
Eastern Ghaf has borrowed the T-V distinction from the languages around it: in polite or formal speech the 2nd person plural is used in place of the singular. A waiter says:
What would you like to eat?
Gäh uhvuwdëvu gaw?
gäh uh-vuw-devu gaw what OPT-eat-2PL.IPFV 2PL.ERG
Your mother says:
You need to eat!
uh-vuw-dengu ngu OPT-eat-2SG.IPFV 2SG.ERG
Like Yïåf, Ghaf has basic VSO order. However, Ghaf is entirely sytactically nominative: an ergative argument normally follows the verb, rather than going at the end of the sentence as in Yïåf.
The girl ate lamb.
Vuvo goghaw yäghärö.
vuw-o go-ghaw yäghärö eat-3SG.PFV ERG-girl lamb[ABS]
The subject can also be fronted for emphasis:
Her father (on the other hand) ate beef.
Göbähäh vuvo öy.
go-bäh=ah vuw-o öy ERG-father=her/his eat-3SG.PFV ox[ABS]
An indirect object follows the direct object if both are present:
The father gave her a little of his wine.
Davo göbäh ghe šarap födäh naw.
dav-o go-bäh ghe šarap föd=ah naw give-3SG.PFV ERG-father DEF.SG wine[ABS] a_little=his 3PS.DAT
(Notice too how the possessive clitic attaches to the determiner rather than the noun.)
Ghaf is consistently head-first, modifier second. Adjectives, numerals, and possessors always follow the nouns they modify, as do relative clauses. The normal order of modifiers in noun phrases is slightly different than in Yïåf: adjective of character — adjective of appearance — other adjective — numeral — correlative, demonstrative, or article.
these three cold white stones
töjäröfäk yöye giye daw yefäk
töjärö-fak yöye giye daw ye-fak stone-PL cold white three this-PL
(Adjectives don’t inflect at all, which breaks a supposed universal for VSO languages.)
In apposition (e.g. equative clauses), a proper noun precedes a common noun.
Sinakan was a king.
Šihä jerhä kyö.
Šihä jerhä kyö Sinakan king one
(Notice that there’s no TAM marking on this kind of sentence, since there’s no verb; such information has to be understood from context.)
In verb phrases, the fully inflected main verb comes first; all its arguments, including any subordinate verb, follow it. Adverbs follow the adjective or verb they modify, and normally come after the subject and any objects.
I am nearly reborn.
J’öyešetümray ötröyö yehyö fäkäröh.
jo-öyeše-tu-mray ötröyö yehyö fa-käröh SBJV-be_born-1SG.IPFV-PRS again 1SG.ABS ADV-close
Here ötröyö “again” precedes the subject in order to differentiate the sentence from J’öyešetümray yehyö fäkäröh ötröyö, “I am again close to being born.” (Notice the derivational affixes too: ötröyö comes from Yïåf röïyüÿ “second” with an old adverbializing prefix ÿt- which is no longer productive; another adverbializing prefix fa- appears in fäkäröh “nearly”.)
Subordinate clauses are distinct in a number of ways. They are usually introduced by a relative or correlative pronoun; they usually show SVO order; and the verb is usually placed in the subjunctive. They always follow the noun or verb they modify.
I killed the man who raped me.
Fesö nyö yëghaw, ähyö joyëhyïnavuno yehyö.
fes-o nyö yëghaw ähyö jo-oyëhyïnavu-no yehyö kill-1SG.PFV 1SG.ERG man[ABS] REL SBJV-rape-3SG.PFV 1SG.ABS
Question words (which, what, where, etc.) are always placed at the beginning of a question; they may be inflected for case. Such questions are often treated as if they were relative clauses, with the verb in the subjunctive.
Where have you put my book?
Döbär j’ïfngumray ngu hïrkëroh?
do-bär jo-ïf-ngu-mray ngu hïrkër=oh DAT-where SBJV-put_down-2SG.PFV-PRS 2SG.ERG book=my
In colloquial speech these question words are often used as relative pronouns; in more formal speech this is avoided.
When I sat on the throne of my father
Formal: Jëzat, j’ähyö j’oyaftu yehyö j’öfer rebähöh
je-zat je-ähyö jo-oyaf-tu yehyö je-öfer ret-bäh=oh LOC-time LOC-REL SBJV-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS LOC-throne ABL-father=my
Colloquial: Sër j’oyaftu yehyö j’öfer rebähöh
sër jo-oyaf-tu yehyö je-öfer ret-bäh=oh when SBJV-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS LOC-throne ABL-father=my
Negation is another area where colloquial speech differs from formal and written language. The negative prefixes are no longer used much colloquially; instead, sentences are negated with ör:
When I didn't sit on the throne of my father
Formal: Jëzat, j’ähyö dars’oyaftu yehyö j’öfer rebähöh
je-zat je-ähyö darsa-oyaf-tu yehyö je-öfer ret-bäh=oh LOC-time LOC-REL SBJV.NEG-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS LOC-throne ABL-father=my
Colloquial: Sër j’oyaftu yehyö ör j’öfer rebähöh
sër jo-oyaf-tu yehyö ör je-öfer ret-bäh=oh when SBJV-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS not LOC-throne ABL-father=my
The placement of ör varies; it can follow the verb, the subject, or the object, depending on what the speaker wants to emphasize as negated.
This legend is based on a 5700-year-old inscription found outside the ancient capital of the Edak Empire, near the east coast of Kečæne. The translation has a somewhat formal, old-fashioned style, noticeable in the use of negative prefixes and the absence of question words used as relative pronouns.
Thus spoke Sinakan, the great king, the king of the land of Kaxad,
Hyep j’evö Šihä, jerhä garoğ ghe, jerhä jeKähäd,
hyep jo-ev-o šihä jerhä garoğ ghe jerhä je-kähäd thus SBJV-speak-3SG.PFV Sinakan king[ABS] great DEF.SG king[ABS] LOC-Kaxad
brother of the sun and the moon:
baghat döhiymrä äryö, dofaor äryö:
baghat do-hiymrä äryö do-faor äryö brother[ABS] DAT-sun and DAT-moon and
“Before I sat on the throne of my father,
“Rëzat, retähyö dars’oyaftu yehyö j’öfer rebähöh,
ret-zat ret-ähyö darsa-oyaf-tu yehyö je-öfer ret-bäh=oh, ABL-time ABL-REL SBJV.NEG-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS LOC-throne ABL-father=my
all the rival countries were hostile towards me.
räghävrefäk äghöd hïrëho nay.
räghävre-fak äghöd hïrëho nay foreign_country[ABS]-PL all hostile 1SG.DAT
The nearby rival countries spoke thus:
Evrö räghävrefäk käröh örče:
ev-yo räghävre-fak käröh örče speak-3PL.PFV foreign_country[ABS]-PL near DEF.PL
‘His father was a brave king.
‘Bähäh jerhä perär kyö.
bäh=ah jerhä perär kyö father=his king brave one
He conquered many rival countries, and he became a god.
Övö gah räghävrefäk däväk äryö, öyvrëruvunu vähyö döjerhäriye kyö äryö.
öv-o gah räghävre-fak däväk äryö öyvrëruvu-nu vähyö do-jerhäriye kyö äryö conquer-3SG.PFV 3SG.ERG foreign_country[ABS]-PL many and become-3SG.PFV 3SG.ABS DAT-god one and
But he who sits on the throne of his father is a child.’
Gär ähyö j’oyaftumray j’öfer rebähäh, vähyö jevrö kyö.’
gär ähyö jo-oyaf-tu-mray je-öfer ret-bäh=ah vähyö jevrö kyö but REL SBJV-sit-3SG.IPFV-PRS LOC-throne ABL-father=his 3SG.ABS child one
“When I sat on the throne of my father, brother of the sun and the moon,
“Jëzat, j’ähyö j’oyaftu yehyö j’öfer rebähöh, baghat döhiymrä äryö, dofaor äryö,
je-zat je-ähyö jo-oyaf-tu yehyö je-öfer ret-bäh=oh baghat do-hiymrä äryö do-faor äryö LOC-time LOC-REL SBJV-sit-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ABS LOC-throne ABL-father=my brother[ABS] DAT-sun and DAT-moon and
before I went to the rival countries which were being hostile towards me,
gär j’ähyö darsadurnu nyö döraghavrefäk örče, ähyö hïrëho nay,
gär je-ähyö darsa-dur-nu nyö do-raghavre-fak örče ähyö hïrëho nay but LOC-REL SBJV.NEG-go-1SG.IPFV 1SG.ERG DAT-foreign_country-PL DEF.PL REL hostile 1SG.DAT
I went to the feasts of Ophai.
duro nyö dojarovaroğfak j’Öfay.
dur-o nyö do-jarovaroğ-fak je-öfay go-1SG.PFV 1SG.ERG DAT-feast-PL LOC-Ophai
I celebrated them, and I raised my hand to the shining mother.
Brëruvuvo nyö vëvuk äryö, fa nyö kaghoh döme bar ghe äryö.
brëruvu-o nyö vëvuk äryö fa-o nyö kağ=oh do-me bar ghe äryö celebrate-1SG.PFV 1SG.ERG 3PL.ABS and lift-1SG.PFV 1SG.ERG hand[ABS]=my DAT-mother shining DEF.SG and
I spoke thus:
ev-o nyö speak-3SG.PRV 1SG.ERG
‘My mistress, light of the stars!
‘U hun’oh, hiy dögiyfäk örče!
u hunë=oh hiy do-giy-fak örče oh lady=my light DAT-star-PL DEF.PL
The nearby rival countries belittle me who call me a child;
Vuvradumray göräghävrefäk käröh örče yehyö aryö, ähyö pëfratumray yehyö jevrö kyö;
vuvra-du-mray go-räghävre-fak käröh örče yehyö äryö ähyö pëfra-tu-mray yehyö jevrö kyö mock-3PL.IPFV-PRS ERG-foreign_country-PL near DEF.PL 1SG.ABS and REL name-3PL.IPFV-PRS 1SG.ABS child one
and they begin to attack the borders of your holy land, my mistress!
sešedümray gëvuk jopërudu dočërahfak döjeskär äröghök äryö, hun’oh!
seše-du-mray gëvuk jo-përu-du do-čërah-fak do-jeskär är=oghok äryö hunë=oh begin-3PL.IPFV-PRS 3PL.ERG SBJV-attack-3PL.IPFV DAT-edge-PL DAT-kingdom holy=your[PL] and lady=my
Strike the unholy down!’
Ühfesdevü äreyifäk örče!’
uh-fes-devu äreyi-fak örče OPT-smite-2PL.IPFV unholy-PL DEF.PL
“Ophai heard the words of my mouth.
“Dëvuvo Öfay döreyiyfäk örče rëbaboh.
dëvu-o öfay do-reyiy-fak örče ret-bab=oh hear-3SG.PFV Ophai DAT-word-PL DEF.PL ABL-mouth=my
She raised me up, and she gave strength to my arm.
Fa gah yehyö äryö, oyorkagho gah ër’oh öktöjärö äryö.
fa-o gah yehyö äryö oyorkağ-o gah ëra=oh öktöjärö äryö lift-3SG.PFV 3SG.ERG 1SG.ABS and make-3SG.PFV 3SG.ERG arm[ABS]=my strong and
I conquered those who contested me in ten years.
Övö nyö ähyö böyhyö yehyö jëzawrovïfak ëğ.
öv-o nyö ähyö böyh-yo yehyö je-zawrovï-fak ëğ conquer-PFV.1SG 1SG.ERG REL fight-PRF.3PL 1SG.ABS LOC-year-PL ten
I conquered them.
Övö nyö vëvuk.
öv-o nyö vëvuk conquer-PRF.1SG 1SG.ERG 3PL.ABS
I captured prisoners, oxen, and sheep,
Giyvuğravo nyö jehfäk äryö, öyfäk äryö, yağfak äryö;
giyvuğrav-o nyö jeh-fak äryö öy-fak äryö yağ-fak äryö take-PRF.1SG 1SG.ERG prisoner[ABS]-PL and ox[ABS]-PL and sheep[ABS]-PL and
and I sent them back to the land of Kaxad.”
prëra nyö vëvuk döKähäd äryö.”
prëra-o nyö vëvuk do-kähäd äryö send-PRF.1SG 1SG.ERG 3PL.ABS DAT-Kaxad and
|Fërah||the region it comes from; also its ancient capital [Adāta Thāras]|
|*Jefröye||another ancient town in the same region [Adāta Nitazē]|
|*Ühät||the Yhát language|
|*Jay||the Zhai language|
|Šihä||a very ancient king [Adāta Sinakan]|
|Kähäd||his ancient kingdom [Adāta Kāxad]|
|Öfay||the ancient goddess [Adāta Ophai]|
|+ 10||× 10|
Numbers above twenty: her-kyö “twenty-one”, davï-kyö “thirty-one”, etc.
|+ 10||× 10|
|*royuk, rawg||eighth||*roraghuk, ruvuk||eighteenth||*royughağ, royağ||eightieth|
|*royëğ, vuğ||tenth||*röher||twentieth||*refrö, zefrö||hundredth|
*Her “twenty” comes from Yïåf hèr “a group of something”, from Agaf xælæ “herd, flock”. The other altered numerals are the result of analogical levelling; several of the older, irregular forms are still used by some speakers, and are therefore listed second in these tables.
|*hunë||lady [Yhát ahúna, woman]|
|*bir||homosexual man [Zhai bijr, goat, homosexual]|
|gavre||foreigner, outsider, heathen|
|*ghäjik||a law [Yhát ghadzisk, decree]|
|*häs||fine wool [Yhát ház, wool]|
|*hasër||moonlight [Yhát khánsal]|
|*hir||volume, chapter [Yhát khírl, book]|
|*hïrkër||book, novel, history [Yhát khírlkal, notebook, chronicle]|
|*ik||cat [Zhai ıkh]|
|*jä||penis (vulgar) [Zhai ıdzan]|
|jiyt||tradition, the past|
|*neräp||pet [Zhai neraph]|
|*op||peasant, hick [Zhai oph, country-dweller]|
|*suk||whore (vulgar) [Zhai ısuk]|
|*šarap||wine [non-Edastean loan]|
|*šöy||a breed of dog [Zhai shoj, dog]|
|*hïrëho||hostile [Zhai xireho]|
|brëruvu||to celebrate, praise|
|dëvu||to listen, hear|
|eyä||to say untruthfully, lie|
|ev||to tell, to say|
|fa||to lift, pick up|
|ïf||to put down|
|öv||to defeat, conquer|
|seše||to start, begin|
|oyërfa||to commit suicide|
|öyerhyehyi||to have sex|
|öyeše||to be born|
|öyrav||to get, receive|
|öyvaf||to get up|
|öyvrëruvu||to happen, to become|
|oyorkağ||to make, to do|
|öyvuvra||to lack self-esteem|
(take Class II perfective endings, Class I imperfective endings)
|*äbingi||to cry, lament [Zhai abıngin, to cry]|
|*däri||to fuck, be fucked (vulgar) [Zhai ıdarin]|
|*düši||to desire, lust for [Zhai dushin, to want]|
|*ezibi||to insult [Zhai enzıbin]|
|*hüši||to masturbate (vulgar) [Zhai xushin]|
|*kevi||to belittle [Zhai khevin]|
|*müji||to protest [Zhai muzhin]|
|*ngäšebi||to denounce, accuse [Zhai ngashebin]|
|*ovamo||to offend [Yhát ovámon, to insult]|
|*rüri||to love [Zhai rurin]|
|*sihi||to curse [Zhai sıhin]|
|*tivi||to sin [Zhai thıvin, to err]|
|*hah||alas [Zhai hax]|
|*u||oh [Zhai u, Yhát ú]|
*Asterisks mark words added to the lexicon by Corumayas; if no origin is given they are regularly derived (in most cases from Adāta words that were left out of the Agaf lexicon).