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Lesson 2
Word Order


Vocabulary

áya

to be beautiful

Bíi

Type-of-Sentence Word—declarative

doth

to follow

hal

to work

hena

sibling (by birth)

mid

animal; any creature

óoha

to be tired; to be weary

thul

parent

wa

Evidence Word—claimed to be true because the speaker herself perceived what has been said

with

person


Note that Láadan doesn’t divide adjectives and verbs into two classes as English does. Thus “áya” means “be beautiful” without any need for a separate word “be” in the sentence.

Word Order 1

NOTE: If you find grammar-geekiness intimidating, skip to “Word Order 2.”

[Type-of-Sentence Word, Verb, Case Phrase–Subject, Evidence Word]

Don’t be concerned about the notation above; it will be useful in the long run. A “Case Phrase” is the same thing as what traditional English grammars call a “prepositional phrase.” In English this means a preposition and its following noun phrase, as in “with a hatchet” or “to the beach,” most of the time; in Láadan it usually means a noun phrase and its ending. This will become clear as we go along, and each of the sentence patterns explained will use the notation, with “Case Phrase” abbreviated to just “CP” in future to save space. “Case Phrase–Subject” will be written “CP–S.”

Word Order 2

A Láadan sentence begins with a word, called the [Type-of-Sentence Word], that tells you what sort of sentence it is—statement, question, request, etc. The most common of these words is “Bíi,” which begins ordinary statements (known grammatically as declarative sentences).

 

A Láadan sentence ends with a word, called the [“Evidence Word,”] that states why the speaker considers the sentence to be true. Probably the most common of these words is “wa,” which means “claimed to be true because the speaker herself perceived whatever has been said.

Within the sentence that begins with the Type-of-Sentence Word and ends with the Evidence Word, the Verb comes before the Noun(s).

Examples

Bíi áya hena wa. listen to this pronounced

(The/A) sibling is beautiful.

Bíi doth mid wa. listen to this pronounced

(The/An) animal follows.

Bíi hal thul wa. listen to this pronounced

(The/A) parent works.

Bíi óoha with wa. listen to this pronounced

(The/A) person is weary.

Note that Láadan has no separate words for “a(n)” or “the .” In future examples, one or the other will be provided for the purposes of the English translation.

Bíi áya Bétheni wa. listen to this pronounced

Bethany is beautiful.

Note that names occupy the noun’s place in a sentence, just like any other noun.

Exercises

Translate the following from Láadan to English.

1  

Bíi doth hena wa. listen to this pronounced

2  

Bíi hal mid wa. listen to this pronounced

3  

Bíi óoha thul wa. listen to this pronounced

4  

Bíi áya with wa. listen to this pronounced

5  

Bíi doth Másha wa. listen to this pronounced

6  

Bíi hal hena wa.listen to this pronounced

Put these in correct Láadan word order, then translate them into English.

7  

mid wa bíi óoha

8  

bíi thul áya wa

9  

doth with bíi wa

10  

wa Elízhabeth bíi hal

11  

hena bíi óoha wa

12  

áya bíi wa mid

Translate the following from English to Láadan.

13  

The parent follows.

14  

The woman works.

15  

Margaret is weary.

16  

The parent is beautiful.

17  

A person follows.

18  

Michael works.

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Answers

1

A sibling follows.

2

The animal works.

3

The parent is tired.

4

The person is beautiful.

5

Marsha follows.

6

The sibling works.

 

7

Bíi óoha mid wa. listen to this pronounced

The creature is weary.

8

Bíi áya thul wa. listen to this pronounced

The parent is beautiful.

9

Bíi doth with wa. listen to this pronounced

The person follows.

10

Bíi hal Elízhabeth wa.listen to this pronounced

Elizabeth works.

11

Bíi óoha hena wa. listen to this pronounced

A sibling is tired.

12

Bíi áya mid wa. listen to this pronounced

The animal is beautiful.

 

13

Bíi doth thul wa. listen to this pronounced

14

Bíi hal with wa. listen to this pronounced

15

Bíi óoha Mázhareth wa. listen to this pronounced

16

Bíi áya thul wa. listen to this pronounced

17

Bíi doth with wa. listen to this pronounced

18

Bíi hal Máyel wa. listen to this pronounced

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