Lesson 1 - The simplest sentence forms. Some useful words.

The simplest possible sentence in gjâ-zym-byn is just a verb by itself:

I was asleep / I was sleeping.

I'm talking.

I'm eating.

I'm delighted!

When you say something about yourself you don't necessarily have to explicitly mention yourself or use the pronoun {Ќ} (I, me). A verb with no subject is assumed to be referring to the speaker, unless the context tells us it's about someone or something else (whatever was the subject of the previous sentence).

The most common verb endings are {-zô} and {van}. {-zô} marks an active, deliberate action; {-van} marks a state, or a comparatively inactive though deliberate "action", or an involuntary process. A {-van} verb is often used where English would use a form of "to be" and an adjective.

Verbs aren't marked for tense, as you can see from the alternate glosses of {gju-zô} above. There are various ways to say when something happens, which we'll go into in later lessons, but they don't involve inflecting the verb in any way.

Another simple sentence type involves a noun or pronoun and one of the simpler role markers, with no verb:

num gǒ.
Look, a wren!

dejv-ram hǒ.
Hey, Dave!

Ќ gǒ, ť hǒ.
Hello. (Literally, "Here I am." or "Behold me, O you.")

{gǒ} points attention to the word or phrase that precedes it, like "behold!" in archaic English or "voila" in French. {hǒ} is used following the pronoun {ť} (you) or a person's name, to get their attention when you're starting to talk to them. The suffix {-ram} marks a personal name (there are other suffixes for family names, place names, etc.)

{gǒ} can also be used after a verb, to call attention to it as something surprising:

ly-zô gǒ.
Look, I'm flying!

If you want to use a verb to talk about someone other than youself, the simplest way to do it is to put the subject noun right after the verb, at the end of the sentence. (There are other, more precise ways to do it, and they're required if you want to put the subject in front of the verb, or put other things after the subject; more on that in later lessons.)

mwĭl-van num.
The wren is asleep.

gju-zô dejv-ram.
Dave is talking.

If the subject of a verb is a pronoun, you can put it inside the verb, between the stem and the {-zô} or {-van} suffix:

You're eating.

ly-zô num. pwĭ-Ќ-van.
The wren flies. I'm delighted.

In the last example, if we had left out the pronoun {Ќ} in {pwĭ-Ќ-van}, and just used {pwĭ-van}, the context from the previous senence would make it mean "The wren is delighted."


Ќ I, me
ť you, y'all
digestive system
vâ-oŋ-zô to eat or drink
vâ-řŋ-zô to excrete
gju speech, talking
gju-zô to speak, to talk
râm cat
num wren
ly flying
ly-zô to fly
mwĭl sleep
mwĭl-van to sleep
pwĭ delight, joy
pwĭ-van to be delighted, joyful, exuberantly happy
-ram suffix to mark personal names
behold! look! there is a ... here.
O! (Placed after the pronoun {ť} or a person's name when addressing them.)


Translate into English:

  1. vâ-řŋ-zô num.
  2. gju-ť-zô.

Translate into gjâ-zym-byn:

  1. You were asleep.
  2. Look, a cat!

Onward to Lesson 2...

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Last updated March 2014.