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Lesson 36
Time Case


Vocabulary

dide

to be early

hathemen

season (of the year)

náa–

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

née–

Prefix (verb): to VERB temporarily; to VERB with the expectation of VERBing in return

obée

during

udath

noon

weman

winter (season)

wemen

spring (season)

wemon

autumn; fall (season)

wuman

summer (season)

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.

háanáal

evening [háa– (CHILD) + náal (night)]

háasháal

morning [háa– (CHILD) + sháal (day)]

hathobéeya

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

híyahath

week [híya (small) + hath (time)]

nanáal

sunset [na– (BEGIN) + náal (night)]

nasháal

dawn [na– (BEGIN) + sháal (day)]

udathihée

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–O CP–Mann 
CP–Instr CP–Assoc 
CP–Goal CP–Src CP–Plc 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.

Examples

Bíi hal behid wa.

He works.

Báa hal behid bebáaya?

When does he work?

Bíi hal behid anadaleya wa.

He works at mealtime(s).

Bíi hal behid Méri beya wa.

He works at Mary-time.

Bíi hal behid anadal Méri bethoya wa.

He works at Mary’s mealtime(s).

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

Bíi medibíi bezh úyahú hal behid wa.

They (few) declare when he works.


Bíi mehal bezh nuya wa.

They (few) work now.

Bíi mehal bezh núuya wa.

They work then.


Bíi mehal bezh hiya wa.

They (few) work at this/that (time).

Bíi mehal bezh zheya wa.

They work at the same (time).

Bíi mehal bezh beyeya wa.

They work somewhen (sometime).

Bíi mehal bezh raya wa.

They work nowhen (at no time).

Bíi mehal bezh anadal raya wa.

They work at any time but mealtimes.

Bíi mehal bezh hizh hizheya wa.

They work at each other’s time.

Notice the pair of examples using “raya[ra– (NON) + –ya (TIME)]. The first of these is a straightforward statement that there is nothing to which the Time Case applies. 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 Time Case function.

Nedaba

[In response to Elfquest Chaoist’s question, “It seems that question words don’t have any way to indicate whether they’re asking about a person or an object or a location, although some questions will be obvious,” Suzette Haden Elgin wrote:]

EC is correct; the third person pronoun is ambiguous in questions, so that “Báa eril yod bebáa thilith? could be either “Who ate the fish?” or “What ate the fish?” and “Báa eril sháad ne bebáade? could be either “Where did you come from?” or “What did you come from?” This sort of ambiguity is typical of human languages—the classic example for English is sentences like “Visiting relatives can be difficult”—but is a problem only for isolated examples. In actual discourse, spoken or written, ambiguity is very rare, and the language has plenty of resources for fixing it if it happens.

Nevertheless, EC’s question makes it clear that it would be useful for Láadan to have a “which” question word. Let’s add one—“nedaba,” roughly “Only + Q”—and set it up like this.


Báa eril yod bebáa thilith?

1

Báa

Q

eril

PAST

yod

Eat

bebáa

Qprn1 + SUBJ

thilith?

Fish + OBJ

Who/what ate the fish?

To disambiguate:

Báa eril yod bebáa thilith? (Báa ) with nedaba?

Báa

Q

eril

PAST

yod

Eat

bebáa

Qprn1 + SUBJ

thilith?

Fish + OBJ

(Báa)

(Q)

with

Person

nedaba?

Which

Who ate the fish?

or

Báa eril yod bebáa thilith? (Báa ) mid nedaba?

Báa

Q

eril

PAST

yod

Eat

bebáa

Qprn1 + SUBJ

thilith?

Fish + OBJ

(Báa)

(Q)

mid

Creature

nedaba?

Which

What ate the fish?


NOTE: The parentheses around the “Báa” before “nedaba” means that it’s optional; it can be used or left out, as the speaker/writer wishes. And you could of course specify “wild animal” or “domestic animal” instead of the generic “creature” if the context required it.


Báa eril sháad ne bebáade?

2

Báa

Q

eril

PAST

sháad

ComeGo

ne

You1

bebáade?

Qprn1 + SRC

Where/What did you come from?


To disambiguate, follow the sentence with either “(Báa ) hoth nedaba? (which place) or “(Báa ) dal nedaba? (which thing).

NOTE: This doesn’t mean that the Láadan word “which” should be used the way the English one is; “nedaba” is intended only as a question word. You wouldn’t use it to translate “I know which child ate the fish.” How that would be done is a separate issue, and this is enough for now.

Exercises

Translate the following into English.

1

Bée aril ham yul nanáaleya wa.

2

Bíi melolin with woho wobaneya wi.

3

Báa ul nosháad eba Wílem betho didenal bethedim miwithede woháasháaleya aril?

4

Bóo mehamedara ne i lan netho nedebe déelasha ranil háanáaleya.

5

Báa rilrili thad láad Mázhareth ith óolethuth oyinan melasha nol bebáaya? Hathemeneya nedaba?

6

Bé aril lothel emidá úyahú eril ulanin néehá shamideth wa.

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

7

Báa eril bedi di Elízhabeth Láadan?

bebáa

8

Báa eril sháad Máthu beyedim?

wemon hathobéeya

9

Bíi aril menahabahal mewolirihul womahina menedebe wa.

wemen

10

Bóo dunéeheb ne esheth hi thiháde.

udath eril

11

Bíi aril benem bedihá ulinesha wáa.

wuman obée

12

Báa eril redeb déelahá áruleth hemenesha nedebenil?

háanáal

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).

In #10, did the word “dunéeheb” give you any difficulty? We know the prefix du– (TRYto); the rest of the word is “néeheb” (to rent; to lease; to buy/sell temporarily) [née– (TEMP) + eb (buy/sell)]. This is the first we’ve seen of the new prefix née–;” other uses for this prefix might be “néeban” (lend) [née– (TEMP) + ban (give)], “néethel” (borrow) [née– (TEMP) + thel (get)], and “néesháad” (to come/go with the expectation of returning) [née– (TEMP) + sháad (come/go)].

Also in #10, we encounter the word “thihá” (owner) [thi (to have) + –á (DOER)]. Surely by now, it presented no trouble.

In #11, did the word “ulin” give you any trouble? It’s related to “ulanin” (to study), and means “school.”

In #12, we find the word “árul” (infant cat; kitten) [á– (INFANT) + rul (cat)]. This is a regular application of a standard life-stage prefix, and would not be found in a dictionary.

Translate the following into Láadan.

13

The traveler sang a comic song about a perfect pearl at night to an audience with lamps. Which night?

14

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

15

I’m guessing the caring physician gives the many wild animals food at dawn and when they are hungry.

16

Michael runs; he runs to and from work; he runs at sunrise and sunset; he runs everywhere all the time; but (WARN) he is not willing to run near the blighted place; it is dangerous.

17

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

18

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

In #13, the “audience” are the ones “paying attention:” “ilá” [il (pay attention) + –á (DOER)].

In #14, were you able to devise a word for “entomologist”? How about “ezhubá[e– (SCIof) + zhub = ezhub (entomology) + –á (DOER)]?

In #15, did you devise a word for “physician?”Try “eduthahá[e– (SCIof) + dutha (heal) = edutha (medicine) + –á (DOER)].

In #16, we use “woho” (all; every) in some notable ways. Formally, “everywhere” would be “hothesha woho” (in/at every place) and “all the time” would be “hatheya woho” (at every time). When used thus formally, a noun takes the case suffix; the postposition takes none. However, less formally, we can imply the noun and apply the case suffix directly to the erstwhile postposition; in this usage it acts as a pronoun. If the informal usage causes any confusion, the formal will resolve it.

Also in #16, could you form a word for “blighted?” We use “ratháa” (to non-thrive; to be blighted; to be withered) [ra– (NON) + tháa (to thrive)].

As we see in #17, we can extend the “yesterday/today/tomorrow” 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 its substitute.

In #18, how did you do forming a word for “biology?” How about “ewí[e– (SCIof) + (life)]? Of course, that also suggests “ewíhá” (biologist) [ewí (biology) + –á (DOER)].

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Answers

1

(WARN) It will be windy at sunset.

2

Clearly, everyone congregates at birth-time.

3

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

4

Prithee dance, you and several of your friends outside the garden in the evening.

5

When might Margaret be able to see moonlight upon the ocean? In which season?

6

I promise the zoologist will know when the alien studied domestic animals.

 

7

Did Elizabeth learn to speak Láadan?

Báa eril bedi di Elízhabeth Láadan bebáaya?

When did Elizabeth learn to speak Láadan?

8

Did Matthew go somewhere?

Báa eril sháad Máthu beyedim wemoneya hathobéeya?

Did Matthew go somewhere until autumn?

9

The many extremely colorful flowers will begin to be unusually fragrant.

Bíi aril menahabahal mewolirihul womahina menedebe wemeneya wa.

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

10

Prithee try to rent this/that boat from the owner.

Bóo dunéeheb ne esheth hi thiháde udatheya eril.

Prithee try to rent this/that boat from the owner before noon.

11

I understand the student will remain at school.

Bíi aril benem bedihá ulinesha wumaneya obée wáa.

I understand the student will stay at school during the summer.

12

Did the gardener find the kitten among the several bushes?

Báa eril redeb déelahá áruleth hemenesha nedebenil háanáaleya?

Did the gardener find the kitten among the several bushes in the evening?

 

13

Bíi eril lalom imá wodóhada wolom woshad wonem bethu iládim ithedaleden náaleya wáa. Báa náaleya nedaba?

14

Báa aril buth ezhubá zhubeth udede beyen ranol haleya obée?

15

Bíi ril ban wonaya woheduthahá anath romidedim menedebe nasháaleya i úyahú meyide ben wo.

16

Bíi yime Máyel wáa; yime be haledim i halede; yime be nasháaleya i nanáaleya; yime be wohosha wohoya; izh bée nime yime ra be woratháa wohothesha thoma; rayom be.

17

Bíi eril nóosháad edin letha bosha raheb híyahatheya eril wa; aril náasháad ba hathóoleya aril.

18

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

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