Lesson 6 — Commands and other imperatives. Demonstratives.

mwĭl-van mwe.
I need to sleep.

ruŋ-ť-zô mwe.
Go! / You should go.

tĭw son tyn-ca mwe tam-ram.
Tom should sit in the comfy chair.

The particle {mwe} following a verb makes it imperative. Imperatives in gjâ-zym-byn aren't implicitly second-person (refering to the listener); they can have any subject, and if none is specified, the usual default subject rule applies. They're first-person unless a previous sentence has established another default subject.

{mwe} can follow postpositional phrases, as well as verbs:

mwĭl jâ-o mwe num.
The wren should go to sleep.

The negative counterpart of {mwe} is {źǒ}:

rî'mâ oŋ ruŋ-ť-zô źǒ.
Don't go in the house!

ru pǒ i râm mĭ-i gju-zô źǒ âlĭs-ram.
Alice shouldn't talk about cats like that.

{ru} means "way, manner", and {pǒ} is a third-person demonstrative; so {ru pǒ i} is "in that way" or "like that." The other demonstratives are:

first person; this, near me
second person; this, near you

For instance,

tyn kǒ o ruŋ-ť-zô mwe.
Come here. / Come to this place near me.

tyn tǒ o ruŋ-Ќ-zô.
I'm coming to you / to a place near you.

gzb expresses things like "here", "there", "now", "then", "thus" etc. as postpositional phrases: with a basic word plus one of the demonstratives plus a postposition.

nu kǒ i râm kâ-i rĭm-van heŋ.
I don't see the cat just now / at this moment.

ĥwĭl pǒ i gju-zô râm.
In those days, cats talked.

šun pǒ i ƴâw ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-zô mâ.
People eat dogs there.

râm pǒ im ʝym-daj ĥy-i ĥâ-zô suĝatha-ram.
Sujatha cut that cat's hair.

twâ-cu tǒ kâ-i lju-gju-ť-zô mwe.
Read aloud from that book over by you.


person, human
ƴâw dog
tyn-ca to put oneself, to situate oneself
šun region, country, broad area
lju-gju-zô to read aloud
mwe should, must; imperative marker
źǒ don't, shouldn't, mustn't; negative imperative marker
heŋ no, not; negative indicative marker
first person demonstrative; this, near me
second person demonstrative; this, near you
third person demonstrative; that, far from either of us
nu time, moment
vĭj time, period
ĥwĭl time, era
tyn kǒ i here
nu kǒ i now
ĥwĭl pǒ i in those days; back then


Translate into English:

  1. râm kǒ kâ-i pwĭ-van.
  2. ajrĭs-ram hǒ, pwĭm tǒ ĥy-i vâ-oŋ-zô źǒ.
  3. kjĭ pǒ ĥy-i mew vâ-oŋ-zô mwe râm.
  4. swyŋ son twâ-cu pǒ ĥy-i tyn-ť-zô mwe.
  5. râm tǒ mĭ-i mwĭl-ŝra heŋ jâ-i.
  6. nu pǒ i mwĭl-van kjĭ.

Translate into gjâ-zym-byn:

  1. Open your eyes.
  2. Read this blue book.
  3. Don't look at that bô.
  4. Listen to that person.
  5. The cat is not under the table now.
  6. There are no oaks here.

Onward to Lesson 7...

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Last updated December 2015.