[Back to Table of Contents]
Prev: [Plural]
Next: [Translation 1]
[Printable (pdf) version of this lesson]

Lesson 5
Negative


Vocabulary

bal

bread

dal

thing

dóon

to be correct

em

yes

ne

you (second person pronoun, singular)

née

to be alien

ra

negative, no, not

rahu

to be closed [ra– (NON) + u (be open]

rawith

no-one; nobody [ra– (NON) + with (person)]

wi

Evidence Word: known to the speaker because the matter is self-evident

Just as in the case of “le” along with “ne” (you, singular) come “nezh” (you, few-to-several: 2-5 of you) and “nen” (you, many: more than 5 of you).

Negative

[Verb (Negative) CP–S]

To make a sentence negative, just put “ra” immediately after the verb. The “ra” does not change the form of the Verb, nor of the Case Phrases.


The parentheses around “Negative” mean that it is an optional element in the sentence.

Ra” is a very useful word. In addition to making a sentence negative, “ra” can also be used as a prefix on other words to make them mean their opposites.

A nominal ra-compound, such as “rawith” (no-one), introduced here, is, by itself, adequate to make a sentence negative. Additional negatives may be used, at the speaker’s discretion, to emphasize the negativity.

Examples

Bíi thal with wa. hear this sentence pronounced

The person is good (according to my perceptions).

Bíi thal ra with wáa.

The person is not good (I’m told).

Bíi thal rawith wáa.

No-one is good (I’m told).

 

Bíi di ne wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

You speak, I hear.

Bíi di ra mid wi. hear this sentence pronounced

The creature doesn’t speak, obviously.

 

Bíi laya bal wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

The bread is red (I hear from a trusted source).

Bíi laya ra bal wa. hear this sentence pronounced

The bread is not red (according to my perceptions).

Bíi laya ra bal wi. hear this sentence pronounced

The bread is not red (obviously—because it is present for the speaker and hearer to examine).

 

Bíi hal le wa. hear this sentence pronounced

I work.

Bíi hal ra le wa. hear this sentence pronounced

I don’t work.

Bíi mehal lezh wa. hear this sentence pronounced

We (few) work.

Bíi mehal ra len wa. hear this sentence pronounced

We (many) do not work.

Exercises

Translate the following into English

1

Bíi mehóoha ra len wa. hear this sentence pronounced

2

Bíi née ra mid wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

3

Bíi u ra áath wi. hear this sentence pronounced

4

Bíi medi ra nezh wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

5

Bíi medoth ra thili wa. hear this sentence pronounced

6

Bíi mezháadin ra with wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

Make the following sentences negative; translate into English before and after.

7

Bíi áana hena wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

8

Bíi memíi thul wa. hear this sentence pronounced

9

Bíi mehéeya lezh wa. hear this sentence pronounced

10

Bíi rahu tham wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

11

Bíi dóon bud wa. hear this sentence pronounced

12

Bíi dathim Bétheni wi. hear this sentence pronounced

Translate the following into Láadan (they’re trusted hearsay, unless that doesn’t make sense).

13

The stone does not work.

14

The grass is not alive.

15

I make no statement.

16

The pillows are not good.

17

You are not red.

18

The song is not beautiful.

In #13, it should be obvious that a stone does not work. Therefore, I have chosen to use “wi” as the Evidence Word.

The circumstances surrounding the utterance would have to be extremely unusual for the statement in #15 to rely upon hearsay (about myself); for that reason, I have translated this one with the Evidence Word “wa.”

In #15, did you have any trouble with the English construction “make a statement”? Bear in mind that “to state/declare” would take an Object; we haven’t seen how to form an Object in Láadan, so we use an English construction that means that without requiring an Object. The Láadan verb “dibíi” is translated as “to state; to declare;” however, used without an Object, the English translation would have to be “to make a statement/declaration.”

top

Answers

1

We (many) are not tired.

2

The creature isn’t alien.

3

The door is not open, obviously.

4

You (few) do not speak (I’m told).

5

The fish do not follow.

6

The women are not menopausing (I’m told).

 

7

The sibling is asleep (I’m told).

Bíi áana ra hena wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

The sibling is not asleep (I’m told).

8

The parents are amazed.

Bíi memíi ra thul wa. hear this sentence pronounced

The parents are not amazed.

9

We (few) are afraid.

Bíi mehéeya ra lezh wa. hear this sentence pronounced

We (few) are not afraid.

10

The circle is closed.

Bíi rahu ra tham wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

The circle is not closed.

11

The clothing is correct.

Bíi dóon ra bud wa. hear this sentence pronounced

The clothing is not correct.

12

Bethany needleworks (obviously).

Bíi dathim ra Bétheni wi. hear this sentence pronounced

Bethany is not needleworking (obviously).

 

13

Bíi hal ra ud wi. hear this sentence pronounced

14

Bíi wíi ra hesh wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

15

Bíi dibíi ra le wa.

16

Bíi methal ra thom wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

17

Bíi laya ra ne wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

18

Bíi áya ra lom wáa. hear this sentence pronounced

top