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Lesson 30
Time Case



meal [ana (food) + dal (thing)]


to be early






to study [ulin (school)]


Prefix (verb): to resume VERBing; to start VERBing again


Prefix (verb): to pause in VERBing; to interrupt VERBing


winter (season)


spring (season)


autumn; fall (season)


summer (season)

The verb “ulanin” (to study) is clearly derived from—or at least closely akin to—the noun “ulin” (school).

Additional Vocabulary

There are a few more words we can introduce here. They’re new vocabulary, but they’re composed of straighforward combinations of words & word-parts that we’ve seen before. Láadan makes creating new words—and deciphering the words so created—easy.


evening [háa– (CHILD) + náal (night)]


morning [háa– (CHILD) + sháal (day)]


postposition: until [hath (time) + obée (during) + –ya (TIME)]


week [híya (small) + hath (time)]


sunset [na– (BEGIN) + náal (night)]


dawn [na– (BEGIN) + sháal (day)]


afternoon [udath (noon) + ihée (beyond)]

In addition to the postposition “obée” (during) above, there are two more words we’ve already discussed that can be used as postpositions of time. “Eril” (PAST) can mean “before” or “earlier,” and (as we’ve seen in one of our Time Out lessons) “aril” (FUT) can mean “after” or “later”. These concern time—as distinct from “ihé” (in front of; before) and “ihée” (behind; beyond; after) which locate objects relative to other objects in space.

Time Case

[VP CP–S CP–Time]

To mark a Case Phrase as Time, add the ending “–ya.” This ending specifies an event or state as being at a particular location in time.

Along with the Time Case comes the conjunction “úyahú” (when). Not a question-word, “úyahú” introduces a clause that fulfills the Time case-role, as in the English sentence, “I know when the birds will sing.

Suzette Haden Elgin coined a limited set of conjunctions like “úyahú.” Her formation in this set for “when” was “widahath” [wida (carry) + hath (time)]. We won’t be using it here, but you should recognize it if you should happen upon it.


Bíi hal le wa.

I work.

Bíi hal le náaleya wa.

I work at night.

Bíi hal le náaleya obée wa.

I work during the night.

Bíi hal le hadihad wa.

I always work.

Bíi hal le úyahú them hal le wa.

I work when I need to work.

Báa hal ne?

Do you work?

Báa hal ne bebáaya?

When do you work?

Bíi nahal le nasháaleya wa.

I begin working at dawn.

Bíi náhal le háasháaleya obe wa.

I continue working through the morning.

Bíi nóohal le anadaleya wa.

I pause work at mealtimes.

Bíi náahal le udathihéeya wa.

I resume working in the afternoon.

Bíi nóhal le nanáaleya wa.

I stop working at sunset.

Bíi nehal le sháaleya aril wa.

I work again the next day.

Bíi nohal le rahadihad wa.

I never finish working.

Bíi eril thi ra le dasheth woban lethaya wáa.

I didn’t have teeth at the time of my birth.


Translate the following into English.


Bíi aril ham yul nanáaleya wa.


Bíi melolin with woho wobaneya wi.


Báa ul nosháad eba Wílem betho bethedim miwithede wodide woháasháaleya?


Bíi lothel emidá úyahú aril ulanin néehá shamideth wáa.


Bíi eril mehamedara Bétheni i lan betho nedebe háanáaleya déelasha ranil wáa.


Báa rilrili thad láad Mázhareth ith óolethuth melasha bebáaya?

Of course you had no difficulty with “emidá” in #4; the core of the word is “mid” (creature); “emid” [e– (science of) + mid (creature)] means “biology;” “emidá” [emid (biology) + –á (doer)] means “biologist.”

Incorporate the second noun as a Time; translate into English before and after.


Báa eril bedi di Elízhabeth Láadan?



Báa eril sháad Máthu beyedim?

wemon hathobéeya


Bíi aril menahabahal mewolirihul womahina menedebe wa.



Bóo duheb ne esheth boóthab hin.

udath eril


Bíi aril benem bedihá ulanesha wáa.

wuman obée


Báa eril redeb déelahá áruleth hemenesha nedebenil?

anadal aril

Did you notice the word “beyedim” in #8? Could you tell that it was “beye” (someone/something) + –dim (GOAL)? This is how we form the concept “somewhither; to somewhere.” We should probably expect to be able to translate a number of English words using “beye” and its plural forms in various cases: “beyede” (somewhence; from somewhere); “beyesha” ((in/at) somewhere; someplace); “beyeya” (somewhen; sometime).

In #9, did the word “menahabahal” give you any difficulty? The prefix me– tells us it’s a plural verb, and na– tells us the verb is just beginning. The suffix –hal tells us the verb is unusually intense. That leaves us with “haba” or “aba”; contextually (in addition to having no vocabulary item “haba”), “mahina” (flower(s)) tend to be fragrant; we’d therefore expect the root of “menahabahal” to be “aba” (fragrant).

Were you able to define the word “árul” in #12? It’s composed of á– (infant) + “rul” (cat) and means “infant kitten.”

Translate the following into Láadan.


The traveler sang at night about a perfect pearl, but the audience had lamps.


Will the entomologist gather insects from under the stones during working hours?


The strong healer gives the many wild animals food at dawn and when they are hungry.


The old man always slept in the afternoon; he was always alone in his house.


My cousin paused in going up the mountain last week; she’ll resume next month.


The philosopher teaches entomology, biology, and philosophy to children year-round.

In #13, the “audience” are the ones “paying attention:” “ilá.”

In #14, were you able to devise a word for “entomologist”? Consider that an “entomologist” is one who “does entomology,” the science of insects. “Insect” in Láadan is “zhub”, so “entomology” is “ezhub.” A “doer of entomology”, or “entomologist”, would be “ezhubá”.

In #17, we see a new idiom; the root form is “sháal # AUX.” The “#” would be replaced with a number or quantifier (except in the special case of “sháal ril,” meaning “today”). In this set of idioms, where “#” would be “nede” (one), it may be omitted as assumed. So, “sháal nede eril” and “sháal eril” both mean “yesterday” (though “sháal nede eril” is the much more emphatic “one day ago”), “sháal shin eril” is “the day before yesterday”, and “sháal boó eril” is the day before that or “three days ago”. On the future side, “sháal nede aril” and “sháal aril” both mean “tomorrow”ówith “sháal nede aril” (one day from now) again being much more emphaticó“sháal shin aril” is “the day after tomorrow” and “sháal boó aril” is the day after that or “three days from now”.

As we see here, we can extend the idiom by substituting another time period in place of “sháal”; some possibilities are “náal” (night), or “híyahath” (week) or “hathóol” (month) or a season or “hathóoletham” (year). I can even imagine a bureaucratic functionary behind a small window declaiming “With aril” (Next person).

Any case ending—such as –ya (TIME) or –de (SRC) or –dim (GOAL)—would go on the noun “sháal” or one of its substitutes.

In #18, were you able to decipher the meaning of “ehená?” This –á formation is not so transparent as some; the root of the word is “en” (to understand). Add the prefix e– (science of) to form “ehen” (philosophy: the science of understanding). Then add the suffix –á (doer) to form “ehená” (philosopher).




There will be wind (it will be windy) at sunset.


Everyone gathers at birth-time (of course).


Does William’s spouse hope to arrive home from the city in the early morning?


The biologist knows when the alien will study domestic animals.


Bethany and her several friends danced in the evening ouside the garden.


When might Margaret be able to perceive moonlight on the ocean?



Did Elizabeth learn to speak Láadan?

Báa eril bedi di Elízhabeth Láadan bebáaya?

When did Elizabeth learn to speak Láadan?


Did Matthew go somewhere?

Báa eril sháad Máthu beyedim wemoneya hathobéeya?

Did Matthew go somewhere until autumn?


Many extremely colorful flowers will begin to be unusually fragrant.

Bíi aril menahabahal mewolirihul womahina menedebe wemeneya wa.

Many extremely colorful flowers will begin to be unusually fragrant in spring.


Prithee try to sell these thirteen boats.

Bóo duheb ne esheth boóthab hin udatheya eril.

Prithee try to sell these thirteen boats before noon.


The student will stay at school.

Bíi aril benem bedihá ulinesha wumaneya obée wáa.

The student will stay at school during the summer.


Did the gardener find the wee kitten among the (several) bushes?

Báa redeb déelahá áruleth henemesha nedebenil anadaleya aril?

Did the gardener find the wee kitten among the (several) bushes after mealtime?



Bíi eril lalom imá woshad wonem bethu náaleya, izh methi ilá ithedaleth wa.


Báa aril buth ezhubá zhubeth udesha ranol haleya obée?


Bíi ban wodo woduthahá anath romidedim nasháaleya i úyahú meyide ben wáa.


Bíi eril áana wobalin wowithid udathihéeya hadihad; sholan be belid bethosha hadihad wo.


Bíi eril nóohim edin letha bosha raheb híyahath aril; náahim be hathóoleya aril wa.


Bíi om ehená ezhubeth, emideth, i eheneth háawithedim hathóolethameya wum wa.