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Lesson 2

Page history last edited by Rex May 7 years, 1 month ago

LESSON TWO — Separator Words


You've learned that the basic Ceqli sentence structer is SVO, that is, subject-verb-object.


fawl da bwa pani. the bird drinks water.

pamo dorm tcwaq. the father sleeps (in) the bed.


In that second sentence, a basic principle of Ceqli is terseness. The verb dorm

doesn't really have an object, it's an intransitive verb. In cases like that, the space

of the direct object can be taken by any word that makes sense. Even in English,

"Father sleep bed" is perfectly clear, though not regular English grammar. Of course,

it's also permissible to say:


pamo da dan tcwaq dorm.


A word about da — the reason for the word is to mark the end of the subject

phrase and the beginning of the verb phrase. Ceqli has lots of compound words,

and da and some other words (gramvor, or grammar words) act to prevent two words from sounding like

compounds. In the first sentence, fawl da bwa pani, we have a literal

translation of "Bird it drinks water." There's a remote danger that fawl bwa

will be heard as fawlbwa which might mean "drink in the fashion of a bird"

or something of the sort. Consequently, the da is used as necessary to

prevent that. However in written Ceqli, the separation is indicated by a

space in the text, so it would seldom be useful to use the da when writing.


But what about pamo da dan tcwaq dorm. ? What's to prevent us hearing

compounds like dantcwaq (an inside bed?) or tcwaqdorm (to sleep in a

bed fashion?) or even dantcwaqdorm (meaning who knows what)? The

answer is that there are other 'separator words' in Ceqli. For example, the

two articles in the last lesson, to and te. So, you can break up

dancwaq with one of those.


dan te tcwaq in a bed


dan to tcwaq in the bed


But what about pamo da dan te tcwaq dorm. How do we keept cwaqdorm

from being understood. Well, we have another separator word, sa, and it

basically means that the words before it modify the words after it.


pamo da dorm father sleeps, but how does he sleep? He sleeps in a bed,

so we express that with:


    • pamo da dan te tcwaq sa dorm.**


As for sa, it has as its basic function keeping two words from combining into a compound,

but it can also function, indirectly, as a sort of possessive particle.


Go ten sa dom.  The I-have house, or, the house that I have, or my house.


This can be abbreviated to.


Go sa dom.  My house.


This also works with any other pronoun, name, or noun:


Janzo ten sa dom > Janzo sa dom

To hyun ten sa dom > To hyun sa dom


So sa is not a possessive particle technically, but can function as though it were.

As for pronunciation, sa is meant to be unstressed.  I've been in the habit of writing

it without a space, gosa, to ensure that, but I've been talked out of it, for the sake

of consistency, so sa should always have a space before it.


So we've added three separator words to make the Ceqli sentence absolutely

unambiguous. We don't need to, for the most part, in written Ceqli, and we

can leave them out in spoken Ceqli unless we're afraid of being misunderstood.


We can call such words gramvor (grammar words) because they don't have

'meaning' themselves, but show the relationship of other words.


Go on to Lesson 3


Return to Lesson 1


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