Calénnawn text for relay 13 (The missed bus)

Featuring (among others) Malero, the boxing glove, the postman, the cat, the cougar, the badger, the raven, and the ice ship.

The full details of the relay can be found at

The text

'Gol dull úluboy, pòðawd-vinúyfa še úyfa se póðiwd uráronur glis. Tésvo o glus orše móvralt, beše háqa anc qúna-umper pe-dwaf on ívolar gowvupé so cétiwm. Sófa ley héxiwduv itúcca orše noraygódavrar. O pòðawd-vinúyfa orše ddámvovra se xomp. Calássoše nopanaléya!2 O pòðawd-vinúyfa beše noraygódar so ðelc, nóri še púvuz tof, be còwlo-xepúno s-bru patúfi. Faše lúxci fh féspi úlu sum o qáncabaduv calásso. Ley fa orše gowsupévra so glus, beše panaléyas se rime. Sófa o fubúttbov calásso ólayplaše bibúlmevra fénco!2 Úbbon ozayše stábaday sno o pòðawd-vinúyfa orše xázevrann s-hísil, úrne byu púvuz-vésti tof. Cas mìstaš-lènta-vésti pra num h calásso uráronur hísil. Ólmo o pòðawd-vinúyfa orše lòyma-xabástavra uráronur o glus. Sófa níwtvo awn-umper, nus ifúrtigla novúlmiš fh calàsso-folhéxiw.

The text in native alphabet


aygódarvbother, annoy so.
beconjand (see note (15))
bibúlmevhave (of some physical state)
-bovsuffix-ed (inverse participle used as adjective)
brupron(possessive pronoun) his/its (animate)
byupronhe (deontic, animate, 3SG, nominative)
calásson(a certain kind of feline predator)
cówlovgain, win sth.
-daysuffixhas begun, is in progress (aspect: ózay .. -day)
ddámvovtake sth.
dullprepduring, at (point in time)
-duvsuffix-ing (active participle used as adjective)
-dwafconj"that" see note (15)
fapronhe (epistemic, animate, 3SG, nominative)
fh /f@/artthe (concept/idea/mass/uncountable, accusative)
fubúttvcurse so./sth.
fol-prefixact of .. (action, gerund)
glaadv(adverb or enclitic: future tense)
glusnwagon, cart
gowsupévgo towards
gowvupévlead up to
h /@/artthe (concept/idea/mass/uncountable, nominative)
ívolarnstreet, road
léntavprotect so/sth.
moltvto move
níwtvonumeralsome unspecified (ordinal)
no(r)-prefix(verb prefix: inverse voice)
nóriconj(closing bracket for "be" construct, see note (16))
numprepaway from
-nursuffix-ing (active participle)
o(n)artthe (nominative, definite, countable)
ólayplaadvnot yet stopped .. (ólaypla .. -vra)
oradv(perfective aspect (or .. -vra))
ózayadvhas begun, is in progress (aspect: ózay .. -day)
panaléyavsee sth.
pepostpat, near (proclitic)
prapronhimself (animate, 3SG, reflexive)
púvuzvavoid sth/so.
qúnanperiod of time
-ssuffix(aspect: progressive)
s-artthe (proclitic) (accusative, definite, countable)
se(n)arta (accusative, indefinite, countable)
soartthe (accusative, definite, countable)
stábavbe (expresses weather conditions)
šeadv(adverb or enclitic: past tense)
tofpronhim (accusative, 3SG, animate)
úlunumerala small amount (cardinal)
-umperpostpduring (enclitic)
urárovuse sth.
úrneconjso that (+deontic subject)
vi(n)-prefix(converts verb to noun) agent of .. (English -er)
-vrasuffixhas .. (perfective aspect (or .. -vra))
-vrasuffixhas not yet stopped .. (aspect: ólaypla .. -vra)
-vrasuffixhas stopped .. (cessitive aspect (-vra))
vúlmišvdistress so.
xázennvgrab sth/so.
xepúnovtry, attempt
xompnstick, pole


3sg3rd person singular
3pl3rd person plural

Grammar notes

  1. Calénnawn is a pro-drop language, usually with SVO word order.

  2. $ is an alternative spelling for s-caron (i.e. s-hachek, š) for non-UTF-8 environments. These represent the same letter (/S/).

  3. Acute and grave accents denote primary and (in compounds) secondary stress, respectively. Vowels with acute or grave accents are not fundamentally different from the plain vowels, since the stress can shift when words are combined into compound words.

  4. Absence of an article in the nominative indicates indefiniteness.

  5. There is no copula "to be": a noun or adjective may be used as predicate directly, which implies the copula "to be".

  6. "Dangling" prepositions must be interpreted as adverbs.

  7. Adjectives precede the nouns, but can also occur standalone (e.g. the big [one]). Cardinal numerals follow the nouns they belong to, ordinals precede them.

  8. In compound words, the first part is the modifying part: a predicate A-B is a B of type A.

    Auxiliaries are used in this way too, with part B being the auxiliary. The object of the verb may be used directly as the object of the verb-auxiliary compound.

  9. The plural forms of nouns are formed by replacing the vowel in the last syllable with i:


  10. There are two cases (in this text): nominative and accusative. The noun case is marked on the article.

  11. All prepositions govern the nominative.

  12. Verbs are marked for aspect. Progressive aspect is marked with the suffix -s. The perfective and cessitive aspect are formed with the suffix -vra, which is infixed if the verb ends in a consonant:


  13. Verbs have two voices: active and inverse. There are corresponding active and inverse participles.

    X-NOM panaléyaY-ACC.X sees Y
    Y-NOM nopanaléyaX-ACC.Y is seen by X

  14. Participles taking a direct object behave as prepositions (see also note (11)).

  15. There are many conjunctions, nearly all of which express that one constituent of the first sentence is identical to one of the constituents in the second sentence. The constituent may be left out from one of the sentences. Examples:

    be(the subject of the 1st sentence is identical to the subject of 2nd)
    prep-dwaf(the pre-/postpositional object of the 1st sentence is identical to the subject of the 2nd sentence)

  16. For nearly every conjunction, there is a "closing bracket" which closes the second sentence and indicates that the first sentence continues from that point on.

  17. Punctuation: there are two types of exclamation points: !1 and !2. !2 is used for emotional utterances.

Smooth English translation of Nesheti text

Sometime during a morning, a postman brought messages using wagons. The first wagon stopped, and waited during a short time near the road that leads to the marketplace. But then, a howling animal was bothered. The postman grabbed a stick. A panther was seen! The postman, bothered by the danger, avoided him, and he attempted to win its trust. He gave the playing panther a little food. Next, seeing an opportunity, he went to the wagon. But the cursed panther was not satisfied! It began raining, and the postman grabbed branches, in order to avoid it. You can best protect yourself against panthers using branches. The postman has gone home with the last wagon. But another day, other men will be distressed by the howling of a panther.

Smooth English translation of Calénnawn text

Sometime during a morning, a messenger brought messages using wagons. First, the wagon stopped, and waited a short time near the road that leads to the market. But then, a howling animal was bothered. The messenger grabbed a stick. A panther was seen! The messenger, bothered by the danger, avoided him, and he attempted to win its trust. He gave a little food to the playing panther. Next, seeing an opportunity, he went to the wagon. But the cursed panther was not yet satisfied! It began raining, and the messenger grabbed branches, so that he might avoid it. One can best protect oneself against panthers using branches. Finally the messenger has gone home with the wagon. But another day, other people will be distressed by the panther-howling.


Author: René Uittenbogaard.

Conversion date: 2007-07-29

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