gjâ-zym-byn text from the 13th Conlang Translation Relay

gjâ-zym-byn was the penultimate language in Ring C of this relay. I translated this from Jan van Steenbergen's Slezan.

Here is the main relay site.

Native text

fî'suň-bly im lyn-bly jâln-cô-bô-sra iŋ, tyn ŋy-bô o ruŋ-zô mje de mâ-ĵĭn-vĭ tu-i, kujm-šar dĭ-cô vĭj-jâln-cô-za ĥy-i dy-cô-zô. re i, vĭj pen i râm rjâ-i žâ-van, gâ-lǒ ĥun-i kun-hôw-kô o ruŋ-zô. ƥ im čě'nuŋ sin su-twâl-van de râm pǒ tu-i, gâ-lǒ mĭ-i ĝĭ-bô pe ðru-bô ŋĭn-i. ru pǒ i, kun-hôw-kô o ƴâ-zô huw-bô mâ-ĵĭn-vĭ tu-i, kiň vĭj hǒl i râm-la ĥy-i ðwĭr-zô suŋ-bô.

*hwǒ. nu kǒ i, râ-van ru-ʝǒ-ŋa-bô ruŋ. flâň-zô râm tu-i, kiň ƥ-mâ ĥy-i gĭn-zô sî'ðyr-zô. ƴâ-ĉa-ĝĭ ruŋ-o-bô kâ-i rĭm-van gwe, kiň ƥ im rĭm-ŋĭw syj-i te kâ-i kâ-rĭm-zô. hî'pym-tôn-ĵwa ĉin lân-ʝa ĥy-i źum-zô, mǒj žâw-van râm ʝâr-i, hǒŋ te mĭ-i jâln-cô-bô pe dĭ-fwa heŋ ŋĭn-i, kiň tyn cĭ-pa-ƥ o ruŋ-zô jǒj, mâ-ĵĭn-vĭ ŝâj-i wĭm son.

nu-šar, re o ruŋ-zô ƴâ-ĉa-ĝĭ mĭ-i. nu pǒ i ɱ ŝu-i ŋĭw-cu ĥy-i dĭ-fwa-zô ĵwy-bô râm tu-i. *hwǒ. gě'dĭm pǒ mĭ-i huw-cô-fwa ŋĭn-i râm ðĭ-i, kiň gĭn-van mje θǒ te mĭ-i.~~~

n the coldest month of the year, a young man would regularly go to a far-off place, in order to resist the discomfort of the cold season. There, he would always wait for a cat, with which he would go to school. The cat (which was large and red) would sit on his shoulder. Thus, the boy would make his way to school cheerily, and all the while balance the cat adroitly.

Ah! This time, the journey happens far otherwise. The cat trembles, and starts to fight him. It has already seen the great vehicle, and using its eyes it looks at it. It touches the fence around the flower-garden, but senses that it is cold and uncomfortable, and goes back to its original location, on top of the boy's bag.

Then, the great vehicle arrives there. Then the cat quickly makes its body comfortable. Ah! This day is an unhappy one for the cat, and it is just beginning...

Grammar overview

gjâ-zym-byn (gzb) is an agglutinative language, fairly minimalistic lexically, which leads to some long and sometimes not perfectly perspicuous compounds. In the lexicon I've listed mostly only the root words, particles and suffixes, but also listed a few compounds used in the text where they seemed especially hard to guess from the component morphemes. Feel free to email asking for help, or look at the online lexicon.

Root words are nominal, and are turned into verbs and modifiers -- also postpositions and conjunctions — with appropriate suffixes. Compound postpostions, used to mark case roles, typically use the generic "at, in, near, around" postposition {i} as a suffix on a root word for some appropriate abstract concept.

The only verb suffixes used in the text are {-zô} and {-van}. The former marks an active (agentive) verb, the latter a stative (but not necessarily non-agentive) verb.

The typical morpheme order in compounds is head-modifier, but some roots that should be heads act like suffixes; I think {cu} and {bly} are the only ones used in the text, and I've listed their compounds specifically anyway.

Typical word order is OVS, but varies since subjects and objects are marked fairly explicity for theta roles with postpositions. Postpositional phrases almost always precede what they modify. Most complements tend to precede the object and verb. gjâ-zym-byn allows for omitting the subject when it is the same as in the previous sentence.

Punctuation: all sentences end in a period. The asterisk * marks an excited or emphasized sentence (or standalone interjection). Tildes ~~~ are used as ellipsis. The apostrophe or single quote ' marks syllable boundaries in polysyllabic roots.


bly n. falling, orbiting; orbital period
s. form adjective from quality root word
n. the number one
s. opposite
čě'nuŋ n. shoulder
cu n. system, set of parts that work together
ĉa s. derive tool for doing action described of root (E-o "-il-")
ĉin postp. around, surrounding
de adv. habitual aspect
n. comfort, pleasure
n. diffused pleasure; comfort
ðĭ n. relationship, connection (in the broadest sense)
ðĭ-i postp. in relation to
ðru n. the color red
ðwĭr n. balance, equilibrium
dy n. toleration, submission, acceptance
fî'suň n. the Earth
fî'suŋ-bly n. year
flâň n. shivering, shaking, trembling, quivering
fwa s. causative; forms adj. meaning "causes to be/have qualities of" root word
n. thing
gě'dĭm n. day (wake-sleep cycle)
gĭn n. beginning
gwe adv. already
ĝĭ n. bigness
heŋ adv. no, not
hî'pym n. morning glory (flower-vine)
hî'pym-tôn n. flowering plant
hǒl adj. whole, entire
hǒŋ conj. that (introduce objective subordinate clause)
hôw s. attempted causation, e.g. derives {kun-hôw-zô} "teach" from {kun} "knowledge"
huw n. happiness, contentment
hwǒ intj. ah! oh! alas! listen!
ĥun n. togetherness, meeting
ĥy n. patient, thing acted upon
ĥy-i postp. patient case
i postp. at, in, around, near, during
im posp. part of
postp. inside, contained in; (time) during
jâln n. warmth, heat
jǒj adv. more, again
ʝa s. rotate root's concept by 90 degrees
ʝâr n. experiencer
ʝâr-i postp. experiencer case
ʝǒ adj. other, different
ĵĭn n. youth, youngness
ĵwa s. a place full of the thing the root denotes
ĵwy n. speed, quickness
n. attention
kâ-i postp. attentive case (marks object of perception-verbs)
kiň conj. and
dem. this
s. place where action denoted by root or radical is done
kujm n. motive, purpose, end, goal
kun n. indirect, theoretical knowledge
la s. affectionate attitudinal suffix
lân n. floor
lân-ʝa n. wall, solid fence
clitic forms relative pronouns/conjunctions from root
lyn n. Earth's Moon, Luna
lyn-bly n. month
n. person, human
n. topic, subject
mĭ-i postp. topic case
mje adv. in the past
mǒj conj. but, however
ɱ pron. 3d person animate, forward-reference
nu n. moment, time, occasion, turn
nu-šar conj. then, just then
ŋa s. attitudinal suffix of surprise
ŋĭn n. comment, note, gloss
ŋĭn-i postp. comment case
ŋĭw n. organ, faculty, body part
ŋĭw-cu n. body (human, animal, plant)
ŋy n. far-offness, distance
o postp. to, toward
pa s. ordinal suffix
pe conj. and
pen n. all, every
dem. that
ƥ pron. 3d person animate, back-reference
n. event, occurrence, happening
râm n. cat
re pron. a place previously referred to
rĭm n. view, seeing
rĭm-ŋĭw n. eye(s)
rjâ n. quest, seeking
ru n. manner, way
ruŋ n. going, motion
sin postp. on, atop, on top of
sî'ðyr n. fighting, attacking, opposing
son postp. onto
šar s. derive conjunction from root word
sra s. comparative (or superlative if no explicit comparison made)
su n. standing up
su-twâl-van v. to sit, be in a seated position
suŋ n. skill, know-how
ŝâj n. possession, having (alienable property)
ŝâj-i postp. of (possessive)
ŝu n. having qualities, parts (inalienable possession, more or less)
ŝu-i postp. of (inalienable possessive)
syj n. use, using, utility
syj-i postp. with, using, by means of
te pron. 3d person inanimate, back-reference
tôn s. generalizer; derives word for broader category from root
tu n. agent, actor, doer
tu-i postp. agentive case
twâl n. angle
θǒ adv. just; immediate previous or next, by context
tyn n. place
van s. forms stative verb from root
n. maleness, masculinity
vĭj n. time, period, while; season
ƴâ n. motion with frequent adjustment of direction, esp. walking
ƴâ-ĉa n. vehicle, esp. automobile
wĭm n. bag, sack
za s. form adj. meaning "pertaining to, related to" the root word
s. marks active verb
žâ n. waiting (for someone/thing)
žâw n. sensing, perceiving, feeling
źum n. touching, contact


adj. adjective/adverb
adv. adverb
conj. conjunction
dem. demonstrative
intj. interjection
n. noun
postp. postposition
pron. pronoun
s. suffix
v. verb

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