The chief and the mouse
The chief and the mouse
The chief and the mouse is a short fable customarily used as a sample text for the Dumic languages, and serves as an example of early Proto-Dumic culture.
- A famous chief was once imprisoned by his enemies in a hut without any door or roof-opening, and left to die of starvation.
- As he sat gloomily on the ground, the chief saw a little mouse running across the hut. He seized his knife, exclaiming: “Rather than die of hunger, I will eat this mouse!”
- But on second thoughts he put away his knife, saying: “Why should I kill the mouse? I shall starve later on, just the same.”
- To his surprise the mouse said to him: “Noble Chief! You have spared my life, and in return I will spare yours.”
- The mouse then disappeared into a hole in the ground, and returned some time afterwards followed by twenty or thirty other mice, all bearing grains and small fruits.
- For five days they fed him in this manner, and on the sixth day the hut was opened by the chief’s captors, who were astonished to find him still alive and in good health.
- “This chief must have a powerful charm!” they declared. “It appears that he can live without eating or drinking!”
- So they released him and let him return in freedom to his own country.
The chief and the mouse is traditionally used as a sample text for Dumic languages, in much the same way that grammars of Edastean languages usually include a translation of the Tsinakan text. This section presents a comparative overview of the first sentence in all major Dumic languages.
(southern Wohata, c. -2000 YP)
(no info available currently)
(Zbur Zubrik, c. -200 YP)
- Musoz lastid tarmuk ubunmi walanlin sib wun titismibinlin sib kuguw wun sisikliz nisiw.
- [ mu.soz las.tid tar.muk u.bun.mi wa.lan.lin sib wun ti.tis.mib.in.lin sib ku.guw wun si.sik.liz ni.siw ]
- famous big-man enemy-PL-ERG house-in-at door-GEN without and roof-hole-GEN without imprison-PFV and starve-SUB leave-PFV
(southern Tidika, c. 0 YP)
- Mosowâki kâtân tân mempahoki vâmpohe homima tântava mumma wimirunetara kutavari tal hukosava.
- mosoɰɑki kɑtɑn tɑn mɛmpaɦoki βɑmpoɦɛ ɦomima tɑntaβa mʉmma ɰimiɾʉnɛtaɾa kʉtaβaɾi tal ɦʉkosaβa.
- [ mo.so.ɰɑ.ki kɑ.t̪ɑn̪ t̪ɑn̪ mɛm.pa.ɦo.ki βɑm.po.ɦɛ ɦo.mi.ma t̪ɑn̪.t̪æ.βæ mʉm.ma ɰi.mi.ɾʉ.n̪ɛ.t̪a.ɾa kʉ.t̪a.βa.ɾi t̪al ɦʉ.ko.sa.βa ]
(Hazāka, c. 0 YP)
- Waziki tamuni hi, timirigi nāgiru kānatsiramuga wazani wu tizumīmani kīmi wāmugīni mi zdaguwa, ka hizwaza ra.
- [ wɐˈzʲi.kʲɪ tɐˈmu.nʲɪ hɪ | ˌtʲi.mɪˈɾʲi.gɪ ˌnaːˈgi.ɾʊ ˌkaː.nɐˌts͡ʲi.ɾɐˈmu.gɐ wɐˈza.nʲɪ wʊ ˌtʲi.zʊˌmiːˈma.nʲɪ ˈkiː.mɪ ˌwaːˌmuˈgiː.nʲɪ mɪ zdɐˈgu.wɐ | ka hɪˈzwa.zɐ rɐ ]
- old-ATTR past-OBL.SG with, famous-ATTR lord-ABS.SG 3M.SG-enemy-ERG.PL door-OBL.SG and roof-hole-OBL.SG without house-DIM-OBL.SG inside imprison-PFV.IND, 3M.ABS.SG starve-PFV.SJV DAT
(Jouki, c. 0 YP)
- Kura spaviki pnaroun ktəi, kan tapkóu tatta taun jau taun nukvissi prafa mei mjou, pi kəijunna kan mavjóu.
- [ ˈku.ra ˈspa.vi.ki ˈpna.rõʊ̯̃ ktə̯i | kɑ̃ tapˈkoʊ̯ ˈtat.ta tãʊ̯̃ ʝaʊ̯ tãʊ̯̃ ˈnuk.wis.si ˈpra.fa mei mjoʊ̯ | pi ˈkə̯i.ʝun.na kɑ̃ mav.joʊ̯ ]
(Rpoš, c. 0 YP)
- Zo'ror yì zwor, zbawuye'mò ži ma'ro rdže'mò gàwà'tšoyr dà, mò a'mòyr ò džez ror yì wóypá džíp yì ži'yuba ro, wóypáwuye'gwaš ror gwà gú'táš dar.
- [ zoˈroːr jì ˈzwoːr | zbawujeˈmòː ʒi maˈroː rdʒeˈòː gàwàˈtʃojr dà | mò aˈmòjr ò ˈdʒeːz ror jì ˈwóypá dʒíp jì ʒiˈjuːba ro | wójpáwujeˈgwaːʃ ror gwà gúˈtáːʃ dar ]
- time-PL GEN time | be.famous-PAST SUB chief to.close-PAST his-enemy-PL by | where door or roof in GEN hole without GEN hut in | hunger because.of he die-SUBJ.NONP in.order.to