Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lesson one - nouns and verbs

I recently stumbled across a collection of awesome free language lessons here. They piqued my interest, and so I've started to work them into the Sandic language. A special thank-you to Gary Shannon, who made the lessons free-to-use and translate (see relevant mailing list post here).

These lessons will use the híies tsidai instead of the traditional latin writing method, to make it easier for learners (ha ha, I know, I know) to access and understand pronunciations. Below is lesson number one.

Confused about how to read híies tsidai? Click here.

(EDIT, 31 May 2012: added traditional writing in parentheses.)


Sandic Nouns and Articles

Sandic does not have grammatical noun genders such as one finds in German or French. The noun system is relatively straightforward and hopefully not confusing. The only interesting thing to see for subject nouns is that there is no indefinite article (“a _____”).

díó (dîo) a book
sourí (surî) a pen

Nouns do, however, inflect for number and case. For example, in the sentence “I have a pen”, the accusative form of the noun (in this case, “souríp”) would be used:

díóp (dîob), a book (acc.)
souríp (surîb), a pen (acc.)

Nouns also inflect for number.

díón (dîon), books
sourín (surîn), pens

díopi (dîobin), books (acc.)
sourípi (surîbin), pens (acc.)

Depending on whether the noun is singular or plural, there are different articles to be used (accusative doesn't affect the article):

Ba díó (ba dîo), the book
Ba sourí (ba surî), the pen

Ta díon (ta dîon), the books
Ta sourín (ta surîn), the pens

Verbs do not “conjugate”, per se, but they take instead a simple marker which indicates what is doing the verb.

Ehhilét (elëlét), I have
Péhhilét (pélëlét), You have

Here the markers are e- and pé-, for I and you.


Sourí(p) (surî(b)), pencil
Sourí(p) jekhai (surî jekai), pen
Dío(p) (dîo(b)), book
Mé / wí (mé / wî), and
Paé(p) (paé(b)), paper
ehhilét (elëlét), I have
péhhilét (pélëlét), you have

Example sentences.
Cover either side to quiz yourself!

I have paper.                 Paép ehhilét.               Paéb elëlét. 
You have paper.               Paép péhhilét.              Paéb pélëlét.
I have a pencil.              Souríp jekhai ehhilét.      Surîb jekai elëlét.
I have a pen.                 Souríp ehhilét.             Surîb elëlét.
You have a pen.               Souríp jekhai péhhilét.     Surîb jikai pélëlét.
I have a book.                Díop ehhilét.               Dîob elëlét.
You have a book.              Díop péhhilét.              Dîob pélëlét.
I have paper and pencil.      Paép ehhilét wí souríp.     Dîob elëlét wî surîb.
You have paper and pencil.    Paép péhhilét wí souríp.    Paéb pélëlét wî surîb.
I have a pencil and a pen.    Souríp ehhilét wí souríp jekhai.
                              Surîb elëlét wî surîb jekai.
You have a pencil and a pen.  Souríp péhhilét wí souríp jekhai.
                              Surîb pélëlét wî surîb jekai.

Your turn! Translate into Sandic.

You have a book.
I have a book.
You have a pencil.
I have a pencil.
You have paper.
I have paper.
You have paper and a pencil.
I have paper and a pencil.
You have a pen and a pencil.
I have a pen and a pencil.
You have a book and a pencil.
I have a book and a pen.

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