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Lesson 26
Instrument Case


Vocabulary

bada

spoon

batha

fork

hum

knife

lohil

to pay attention (to), internally

óoma

foot [oma (hand)]

óoyo

mouth [oyo (nose)]

oya

skin

oyi

eye

oyo

nose

oyu

ear

Instrument Case

[VP CP–S CP–O CP–Mann
CP–Instrument]

To mark a Case Phrase as an Instrument (as that which is used to do something), use the ending –nan.” Insert an “e” if necessary.

Along with the Instrument Case, we get the conjunction “únanú” (using what; by means of what). It introduces a clause that fulfills the Instrument case-role, as in the English sentence, “I know by means of what the men move the furniture,” or, in more colloquial English, “I know what the men use to move the furniture.”

Examples

Bíi láad le háawitheth oyinan wa.

I see the child(ren).

Bíi láad le lometh oyunan wa.

I hear the song.

Bíi láad le yuleth oyanan wa.

I feel (with my skin) the wind.

Bíi láad le mahinath oyonan wa.

I smell the flower.

Bíi láad le yuth óoyonan wa.

I taste the fruit (that’s in my mouth).

In English, words for perception are specific to the sensory modality involved (see, hear, smell, taste, feel/touch). The non-specific verb “perceive” can feel awkward to English speakers precisely because it doesn’t contain this sensory modality information.

Láadan handles perception differently; in Láadan, we have a sensory-modality-nonspecific verb (láad) which we can, optionally, make specific by means of an Instrument Case phrase. This is one of the truly liberating things about Láadan: one can easily use “láad” by itself to mean “perceive” with no sensory modality implied or required.

Bíi il le háawitheth oyinan wa.

I look at/watch the child(ren).

Bíi il le lometh oyunan wa.

I listen to the song (to detect its melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic structures).

Bíi il le yuleth oyanan wa.

I feel (with my skin) the wind (to sense its temperature/direction/etc).

Bíi il le mahinath oyonan wa.

I sniff the flower (to sample its fragrance).

Bíi il le yuth óoyonan wa.

I taste the fruit (to learn if it’s sweet or tart, pungent or subtle).

The same construct applies to paying attention. One can “pay attention” with the eyes (English: “watch; look at”); with the ears (English: “listen”—also obsolete Láadan: “ma”); with the mouth (English: “taste”—as in “Here, taste this”—also obsolete Láadan: “lóoyo”); with the nose (English: “smell, sniff”—also obsolete Láadan: “shu”); or with the skin (English doesn’t make this easy to say; we can use “feel,” but then we almost always have to specify that this isn’t an emotional sensation or a mere perception—an involuntary tactile sensation). We can also “pay attention” without specifying a sensory modality—which is not nearly so troublesome in English as “perceive” is.

Láadan handles attention similarly to perception; in Láadan, we have a non-sensory-modality-specific verb (il) which we can, optionally, make specific by means of an Instrument Case phrase. Again, the sensory modality information is optional; using “il” without Instrument is perfectly acceptable to mean “pay attention” without expressing a sensory modality.

The obsolete Láadan forms mentioned above were formed when Láadan was young and some of the people proposing words were strongly influenced by languages such as English where sense-words always incorporate the sensory modality. Láadan makes the “paying attention” primary and the sensory modality secondary—in fact, optional. Those three words, “ma,” “shu,” and “lóoyo,” will not be used in these lessons; nevertheless, it will be valuable if you recognize them should you happen across them.

There is an idiomatic usage in Láadan for specifying similarity to a given sensory-modality:

Báa mezhe be i lal oyinan?

Does it look like milk?

Báa mezhe be i lal oyunan?

Does it sound like milk?

Báa mezhe be i lal oyanan?

Does it feel (to the sense of touch) like milk?

Báa mezhe be i lal oyonam?

Does it smell like milk?

Báa mezhe be i lal óoyonan?

Does it taste like milk?


Bíi loláad le ath wa.

I perceive, internally, love for an inanimate.

Bíi lohil le ameth wa.

I pay attention, internally, to love for one related by blood.

On the other hand, emotions in English are often attributed to “my heart,” “my soul,” “my very being.” Láadan emotions are presented without any such Instrument; when using the Láadan internal perception/attention verbs (loláad and lohil), the organ of feeling for emotions is assumed, just as the organs of external perception are assumed in English. To use an Instrument with internal perception/attention would feel as superfluous as an English speaker stating “I smell it with my nose.”

Bíi hal behid wa.

He works.

Báa hal behid bebáanan?

How (using what) does he work?

Bíi hal behid edenan wa.

He works with (using) a tool.

Bíi hal behid Méri benan wa.

He works with (using) Mary.

Bíi hal behid thulenan wa.

He works with (using) a parent.

Bíi hal behid thul Méri bethanan wa.

He works with (using) Mary’s parent.

By this time it should be routine to note that personal names do not take suffixes, as in the fourth and sixth examples above, and that the Case ending will move to the end of the Possessive case phrase, as in the sixth.

Bíi medibíi bezh únanú hal le wa.

They (few) declare how (using what) he works.


Bíi mehal bezh hinan wa.

They (few) work using this/that.

Bíi mehal bezh zhenan wa.

They work using the same.

Bíi mehal bezh beyenan wa.

They work using something.

Bíi mehal bezh ranan wa.

They work using nothing.

Bíi mehal bezh ed ranan wa.

They work using anything but a tool.

Bíi mehal bezh hizh hizhenan wa.

They work using each other.

Notice the pair of examples using “ranan[ra– (NON) + –nan (INSTR)]. The first of these is a straightforward statement that the Instrument Case does not apply. The second, on the other hand, states that the case does apply, but that the noun it would be applied to absolutely does not. In effect, this example excludes this noun from the Instrument Case function.

Bíidu ada Doni mahinanan wi.

The Earth laughs with flowers. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Exercises

Translate the following into English.

1

Báa eril láad ehá oyinan únanú dóyom ábedá éesheth nedebe wáa.

2

Bíi eril il le thilith óoyonan, i thal be wa; aril meyod lezh beth bathanan i humenan.

3

Bíi eril il wohóoha wohéena letho ilith oyanan wáa; owa be.

4

Bíi dóham edin letha woshad woshath shalenan wa.

5

Báa aril menéde menasháad meworabalin wohedalahá óomanan?

6

Bé ril she Mázhareth áshinehosherídan bethath lemanal lámálanan i lomenan wa.

Did you have any trouble with “áshinehosherídan” (infant great-great-niece/nephew) in #6? We have seen “shinehosherídan” (great-great-niece/nephew); the only innovation here is the addition of á– (INFANT); any relative is, by definition, a life-form, and thus is eligible to receive life-stage prefixes.

Incorporate the second noun as an Instrument; translate into English before and after.

7

Bíi eril mehel halá esheth boó wáa.

oma

8

Báa aril bel ebalá wodazh wobaleth?

bebáa

9

Bíi aril dóhada zháawith háawitheth wa.

mewohíya wobini

10

Bíi rilrili láad imá zho wilithuth we.

oyu

11

Bé eril menédeshub menáhim néehá wa.

beye

12

Báa aril yod ra bedihá womeénan wohanath?

bada

Translate the following into Láadan.

13

The pregnant zoologist learned how (by means of what) the speaker taught Láadan.

14

How (using what) does the family make the work easy?

15

Prithee clean beloved-your home with (using) this.

16

Clearly no-one can help anything just with fretting.

17

Will your mother quickly get a new house with (using) her winnings (her-by-chance money)?

18

She’s asking what you smelled.

In #13, did you successfully form the word “dihá” (speaker) [di (to speak; to talk; to say) + –á (DOER)]?

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Answers

1

The scientist perceived by eye the means whereby the farmer caused several sheep to be safe. (The scientist saw what the farmer used to protect several sheep.)

2

I tasted the fish, and it was good; we will eat it with fork(s) and knife(knives).

3

My tired heart-sibling felt the water; it was warm.

4

My cousin causes there to be perfect harmony through (using) courtesy.

5

Will the young botanists want to depart on (using) foot?

6

Upon my oath Margaret is gently comforting her infant great-great-niece using caress(es) and song(s).

 

7

The workers made three boats.

Bíi eril mehel halá esheth boó omanan wáa.

The workers made three boats by hand (using hand(s)).

8

Will the baker bring/take soft bread?

Báa aril bel ebalá wodazh wobaleth bebáanan?

How (using what) will the baker bring/take soft bread?

9

The senior will make the children laugh.

Bíi aril dóhada zháawith háawitheth mewohíya wobininan wa.

The senior will make the children laugh with (using) small gifts.

10

I dreamed the traveler might perceive the sound of the river.

Bíi rilrili láad imá zho wilithuth oyunan we.

I dreamed the traveler might hear the sound of the river.

11

I swear the aliens intended to continue traveling.

Bé eril menédeshub menáhim néehá beyenan.

I swear the aliens intended to continue traveling somehow (using something).

12

Won’t the student eat sweet food?

Báa aril yod ra bedihá womeénan wohanath badanan?

Won’t the student eat sweet food with a spoon?

 

13

Bíi eril bedi wolawida wohemidá únanú om dihá Láadan wáa.

14

Báa dódozh onida haleth bebáanan?

15

Bóo ril dóhéthe na beth nathoth hinan.

16

Bíi thad den rawith daleth waha lhithenan neda wi.

17

Báa aril thel thulizh netha wobun wobelideth ralóolonal losh bethinan?

18

Bíi ril dibáa behizh úthú eril láad ne oyonan wa.

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