Proto-Kai

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This article is part of Project Genesis.
Proto-Kai
Ká-eghedži
File:Old Kai k.svgFile:Old Kai a.svgFile:Old Kai i.svgFile:Old Kai e.svg  File:Old Kai g.svgFile:Old Kai e.svgFile:Old Kai h.svgFile:Old Kai i.svg
Kai K.svgKai A.svgKai I.svgKai E.svgKai G.svgKai H.svgKai E.svgKai D.svgKai Z.svgKai H.svgKai I.svg
Old Kai text.svg
Kaijin Star.svg
The word šurhóas written in Proto-Kai on an early Jähimajist text, dated circa 3777 Ʋ
Star of the Kaijin People
Region Riden Peninsula (Primarily), Assai
Kai, Assai, Primative Kaijin
Language codes
ISO 639-3 OK

Proto-Kai (PK, File:Old Kai k.svgFile:Old Kai a.svgFile:Old Kai i.svgFile:Old Kai e.svg  File:Old Kai g.svgFile:Old Kai e.svgFile:Old Kai h.svgFile:Old Kai i.svg Kai K.svgKai A.svgKai I.svgKai E.svgKai G.svgKai H.svgKai E.svgKai D.svgKai Z.svgKai H.svgKai I.svg Ká-eghedži, Modern Kai: Kai E.svgKai I.svgKai J.svgKai A.svgKai J.svgKai I.svgKai K.svgKai A.svgKai I.svgKai D.svgKai I.svgKai M.svg Éjajikádim, Assai: Kai-ekí) is the earliest stage of the modern Kai Language as well as the immediate ancestor of the closely related Assai Language, conventionally believed to have been spoken between 3577 Ʋ and 4327 Ʋ. As a Kai-Meridian Language of the Eastern Kai Family, Kai was the official language of the Alawazi Empire in Eastern Ridan as well as its successor states. Old Kai was spoken throughout much of the Riden Peninsula as well as western Greater Assai, where it later developed into the independent Assai Language.

Religious Jähimajist texts dated from circa 3777 Ʋ account for the majority of modern surviving Old Kai texts, with their near-perfect condition allowing linguists to have significantly reconstructed Old Kai. Today, much of its phonology, syntax, and morphology is well understood and documented, with many of its grammatical features (such as VSO syntactic structure, complex noun declension system, and prominent use of the 3rd person) surviving into Old Kai’s descendant languages of Kai and Assai.

As an Eastern Kai language, Old Kai is believed to be a descendant of Proto-Kai spoken in Southern Zhou. The emigration of the Kaijin people from their Zhou homelands after the Zhou Kaijin genocide led to the movement of Proto-Eastern-Kai into the Riden Peninsula, where it was spoken for several centuries as the dominant language of the region, replacing the Old Riddish Languages of Dumar and Tiriz. Old Kai would later develop in the Alawazi Empire of Eastern Riden, which itself developed into Middle Kai following the invasion of the Zhou in 4264 Ʋ. The invasion of Greater Assai by the Kaijin in 3779 Ʋ resulted in the spreading of Old Kai to Assai, where it later developed into the independent Assai Language after the collapse of the Alawazi Empire and its consequential isolation from Middle Kai.

Old Kai is very different from Modern Kai, being difficult for Modern Kai speakers to understand without study. Conversely, the Assai Language shares several grammatical similarities with Old Kai which allow speakers of Assai to read Old Kai without significant difficulties. Old Kai was written using Old Kai Script, which was later replaced by the use of the simplified Kai Script. Old Kai Script continued to be used in Classical Kai, a derivative literary form of Old Kai which continued to be used well into the Middle Ages.

Demographics and History[edit | edit source]

Geographical Distribution[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Phonology[edit | edit source]

Vowels [edit | edit source]

Front Back
Rounded Unrounded Rounded Unrounded
/y/ ó /ø/ /e/ /i/ /u/ /o/ /a/
á/ai/ á/ai/

Note that for all the above sounds except for /ai/ a long form may be indicated by adding an umlaut (ő in the case of ó) to indicate the vowel is pronounced long. For example, 'ö' = /o:/, 'ä' = /a:/, etc.

Proto-Kai utilises vowel harmony, wherein every word will utilise vowels of the same group. These groups are as follows, with all vowels therein including their respective long forms (with the exception of the diphthong /ai/)

  • Front /i y e ø ai/, where /u/ will change to /y/, /o/ to /ø/, and /a/ to /e/.
  • Back /u o a ai/, where /y/ will change to /u/, /ø/ to /o/, and /e i/ to á/.
  • Rounded /y ø u o/, where /i/ will change to /y/, /e/ to / ø/, /a/ to /o/, and /ai/ to /u/
  • Unrounded /e i a ai/, where /y/ will change to /i/, /ø/ to /e/, /o/ to /a/, and /u/ to /o/

For example, the word "ïndja" (‘to drink’) consists of a front vowel system root with the infinitive -ja suffix. Conjugated into the 3rd person singular formal, the affix -jakhe would normally be added. The vowel /a/ will harmonise with the front vowel root to an /e/, resulting in the word "ïndjekhe" (harmonised) instead of "ïndjakhe".

Consonants[edit | edit source]

Labial Dental/Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal /m/ (m) /n/ (n)
Plosive Voiceless /p/ (p) /t/ (t) /tʃ/ (tš) /c/ (kh) /k/ (k)
Voiced /b/ (b) /d/ (d) /dʒ/ (dž) /ɟ/ (gh) /g/
Fricative Voiceless /f/ (f) /s/ (s) /ts/ (ts) /ʃ/ (š)
Voiced /v/ (v) /z/ (z) /dz/ (dz) /ʒ/ (ž)
Approximant /j/ (j)
Trill /r/ (r) /R/ (rh)

Orthographic representation of each character is indicated in brackets.

Phonotactics[edit | edit source]

Proto-Kai follows a (C)V(C)(C) phonotactic system, wherein:

  • /ts m/ cannot form the coda.

Morphology[edit | edit source]

Noun Declension[edit | edit source]

Proto-Kai had three genders, which are as follows:

  • Animate
  • Feminine
  • Neuter

Similarly, Proto-Kai had seven cases (see below). Whilst there are no definite or gender-declining indefinite articles, case declension varies according to the gender of a word. Thus,

Case

Animate (ádže – water)

Inanimate (ÿkhytš – hope)

Neuter (itan – mountain)

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Nominative

ádže

ádžen

ÿkhytš

ÿkhytšif

itan

Itanatsö (-atsü)

Accusative

ádžeš

ádžešin

ÿkhytše

ÿkhytšef

itan

Itanašö (-ašü)

Dative

ádžesi

ádžesin

ÿkhytši

ÿkhytšifi

itaneghi

itanekhi

Genitive

ádžež

ádžeži

ÿkhytšite

ÿkhytšifte

itanitš

Itanötš (-ütš)

Vocative

ádžekhó (-kho)

ÿkhytšókhe (-okhe)

itanna

Locative

ádžerÿ (-rü)

ádžere

ÿkhytšedž

ÿkhytšedži

itanerhe

Itanerho (-erhu)

Instrumental

ádžekhe

ádžeghe

ÿkhytšá

ÿkhytšáf

itanitse

itanidze

The indefinite article ‘ë’ may be used before a noun followed by a hyphen. For example, ‘He went to the mountain’ would be ‘ferješghó eliz itanerhe rhykhőjo’ (go+[conj.]+[modal] he mountain+[locative] [simple past modal verb]), whilst ‘He went to a mountain’ would be ‘ferješghó eliz ë-itanerhe rhykhőjo’.

A noun phrase in Proto-Kai may use the genitive or the affix ‘-be’ depending on the inalienable/alienable nature of the compound noun. For example, ‘Khórhÿtešikiž Ká-eghedži’ means ‘the language of the Proto-Kai’, an example of alienable possession (ie, the language is something which can be lost). Conversely, ‘Khórhÿtešikibe Ká-eghedži’ means ‘the Proto-Kai language’ utilising inalienable possession, and is thus something which cannot be lost.

Adjectives[edit | edit source]

Adjectives are not declined according to gender and/or case in Proto-Kai. However, adjectives can be turned into nouns through the addition of the suffix –(e)šïr. For example, ‘eghedži’ (old) can become ‘eghedžišïr’ (old age). Similarly, nouns can also be converted into adjectives by the use of the suffix -tse. For example, ‘ádže’ (water) becomes ‘ádžetse’ (aqueous, watery). Adverbs are also produced from adjectives through the addition of the suffix -džek. For example, ‘reši’ (fast) becomes ‘rešidžek’ (quickly, rapidly).

Adjectives in Proto-Kai are always added after the main noun phrase. Similarly, adverbs are always added after the main verb phrase. Thus, ‘an old man quickly drank the aqueous water’ would be ‘ïndješghó rešidžek ë-ero-eghedži ádžeš-ádžetse rhykhőjo’ (drinks quickly a man old water aqueous [modal verb]). Note that adjectives are usually connected to their noun via a hyphen, although this is purely a literary custom.

Verb Conjugation[edit | edit source]

Verbs in Old Assai conjugate according to number and person. Tenses are indicated through the use of auxiliary verbs.

Person

Type

Pronoun

Affix

Example (ïndja, to drink)

1st Person

Rhe

[]-je

ïndje

2nd Person

Rhus

y-*[]-je

indje

Conjunctive

sth. Kó sth.

[]-jis

Ïndjis

3rd Person Singular

Masculine/Animate

Eliz

[]-ješ

ïndješ

Feminine/Inanimate

Khež

[]-jo

Ïndja

Neuter

Ïz

[]-ji

Ïndji

Unknown

Sádže

[]-ješ

ïndješ

Formal

Yt

[]-jakhe

Ïndjekhe

3rd Person Plural

Known

Te

Šá-[]-ys

šáïndis

Unknown

Tïdže

Šá-[]-as

šáïndis

Formal

Ytdžï

Šá-[]-jakhe

šáïndjekhe

Mood is indicated in the following way:

  • Imperative: the omission of any suffixes indicates the imperative mood in Proto-Kai. For example, ‘drink!’, in the context of a group of known people, would be ‘šáïnd!’. The same word in the context of a single male person would be ‘ïnd!’.
  • Interrogative: the use of the participle ‘tše’ before the verb indicates the interrogative mood. No other changes occur. Thus, ‘she is drinking’ is ‘ïndjo khež’, whilst ‘is she drinking?’ would be ‘tše ïndjo khež?
  • Conditional: the infix –(i)mï- is added after the root of the verb. For example, ‘he drinks’ is ‘ïndješ eliz’, ‘he might/could drink’ is ‘ïndimïješ eliz’. Šátšikhis te (they [known] speak) would become šátšikhimïs te (they might/could speak)

Tense, Negation, and Modal Verbs[edit | edit source]

Tenses are indicated by the use of modal verbs, which are illustrated below:

Tense

Modal Verb

Example

Translation

Future

Near

vughüžja

vughüdž eliz mitan ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz mitan vughüžja

He drinks tomorrow

Distant/Unspecified

ykhotšjo

ykhotš eliz ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz ykhotšjo

He will drink

Present

Continuous

berja

ereš eliz ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz berja

He is drinking

Past

Perfect

keredzja

kerž eliz ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz keredzja

He has drunk

Simple

rhykhőjo

rhykhoš eliz ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz rhykhőjo

He drank

Continuous

tšetškádzja

tšetšeš eliz ïndja, or ïndješghó eliz tšetškádzja

He was drinking

All these modal forms may be structured in one of two ways, by using the conjugated modal verb with an infinitive at the sentence’s end, or by using the conjugated verb with a modal marker (-ghó) and the modal infinitive at the sentence’s end.

All of the above verbs are irregular. Their conjugations are as follows:

Type

Pronoun

vughüžja

ykhotšjo

berja

keredzja

rhykhőjo

Tšetškádzja

1st Person

Rhe

vaghüž

ykho

berje

kedzje

rhykhő

tšetše

2nd Person

Rhus

ughažja

ykhydžo

irje

ikedž

yrhykhő

itšetše

Conjunc.

sth. Kó sth.

vughüžaž

ykhotšiš

eržiš

kerjis

rhykhyš

tšetšiš

Masc./Ani.

Eliz

vughüdž

ykhotš

ereš

kerž

rhykhoš

tšetšeš

Fem./Ina.

Khež

vughü

ykhu

ere

keredza

rhykho

tšetša

Neuter

Ïz

vughádž

ykh

er

kerži

rhykhy

tšetši

Unknown

Sádže

vughüdž

ykhotš

ereš

kerž

rhykhoš

tšetšeš

Formal

Yt

vukhano

ykhodžókhu

erakhe

keredzje

rhykhokhy

tšetšjakhe

Known

Te

šávys

šukhys

šáberi

šákedž

šurhykhys

šátšetšis

Unknown

Tïdže

šávas

šukhyš

šáberas

šákedzas

šurhykhos

šátšetšaš

Formal

Ytdžï

šávukhano

šukhodžókhu

šáberakhe

šákeredzje

šurhykhokhy

šátšetšjakhe

Negation is expressed in Proto-Kai by using the infix -ne- immediately following the stem. For example, ‘She is drinking’ is ‘ere khežïndja’ or ‘ïndjaghó khež berja’, whereas ‘She is not drinking’ is ‘erene khež ïndja’ or ‘ïndjaneghó khež berja’. Proto-Kai frequently utilises modal verbs to denote subtle changes in meaning. See section on syntax for the way in which these modal verbs are used.

Evidential Markers[edit | edit source]

Whether or not an event is known to have occurred by the speaker can be described by using the narrative infix -yt- (that is, if the speaker witnessed the event occur) or through the use of the rumour infix -fetä- (that is, if the speaker did not witness the events occur). If the speaker is unsure of the truth of what was said, the infix -zeka- is used. Furthermore, whether or not an event was seen or heard by the speaker can be illustrated using the infix -inó- or -ikha- respectively. Thus,

  • tšikhinejughe khež Káš-eghedži rhykhőjo means 'she was seen to have been speaking Proto-Kai'.
  • tšikhikhajughe khež Káš-eghedži rhykhőjo means 'she was heard to have been speaking Proto-Kai'.
  • tšikhitjughe khež Káš-eghedži rhykhőjo means '(I, the speaker, witnessed that) she was speaking Proto-Kai'
  • tšikhfetäjughe khež Káš-eghedži rhykhőjo means '(I did not witness this, but believe that) she was speaking Proto-Kai'.
  • tšikhizetajughe khež Káš-eghedži rhykhőjo means '(I'm not sure about this, but believe that) she was speaking Proto-Kai'.

Note that when an inpossible phonetic clustering from affixes would have occured, the vowel 'i' has been used before the affix. Additionally, affixes have been harmonised.

Syntax[edit | edit source]

Proto-Kai is a head-initial language with a Verb-Subject-Object sentence structure. The complex case system of noun declension in Proto-Kai permits for a particularly free sentence ordering, although the placement of the verb in the sentence is particularly strict. This freedom of syntax, as well as the capability of words to accredit complex meanings from affixes, is partially why the Classical Kai derrivative of Proto-Kai was used extensively for literature.

Verb placement in Old Assai is particularly important, with the main verb or modal verb indicative of tense always being used first, followed by any verb phrase modifiers (ie, adverbs). Modal verbs or verbs agreeing with an initial modal verb must always be used at the end of a sentence, the exception chiefly being in poetry. Between the two verbs, however, the order of subject and object is not particularly important. Subject occuring before object is, however, more typical of colloquial speech.

Forming Questions[edit | edit source]

Questions are formed in Old Assai through the use of the participle tše before the initial verb. For example, Takür drinks water would be ïndješ Takür ádžeš (literally drinks Takür water+[acc.]), whilst Does Takür drink water? would be tše ïndješ Takür ádžeš?.

Subordinate Clauses[edit | edit source]

Subordinate clauses usually have the main verb sent to the end of the sentence with the introduction of a subordinate conjunction. For example, 'His father, who is old, drinks water' would become ïndješ rykhóbe eliz, eghedži eja, ádžeš (literally: drinks father of he, old is, water+[acc.]).

Example Texts[edit | edit source]

The Lord's Prayer[edit | edit source]

RykhóbeFather (w/ inalienable poss.) ïzneuter 3rd sing., beješlives elizhe itširÿheaven+LOC,

ejais dzekitšname+GEN elizhe utokonitškhohallowed.

ykhotšwill kešyrižkingdom+GEN elizhe eferjacome (infin.),

ykhotšwill žižekižwill+GEN elizhe kujabe done (infin.)

SaberÿSabel+LOC, elizhe itširÿheaven+LOC kuješdoes.

Tsághješgives tesi3rd known+DAT ghóretoday mitábaniteitebread+ACC+GEN te3rd known ghóširdaily,

and fóryghokoješforgives sekaršižitrespasses+GEN ïz3rd neuter

fóryghokojyforgive ïz3rd neuter tïdžeš3rd plu. unknown+ACC, ïziš3rd neuter+ACC šáfóryghokoastrespass against,

and šetšanneješlead+not ïziš3rd neuter+ACC žekherhedžtemptation,

džibut arutážješdeliver ïziš3rd neuter+ACC dzar-kerÿevil-from.

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Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

On Earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trepass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

Excerpt from Songs of Jäh[edit | edit source]

šurhóasredden dzeránsun+NOM PLU etšrÿwest+LOC

rhÿšókhjyfears ïz3rd N. žitanašnight+ACC

ghokanprotect ïziš3rd N.+ACC, džä-metšÿJäh-great

bekharlet (IMP) eliz3rd N. esižlight+GEN eliz3rd N., žitantseašnight+ADJ+ACC rhekhještorments

kheUntil šurhóasredden dzeránsun+NOM PLU asrÿeast+LOC

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Kai K.svgKai H.svgKai E.svg  Kai S.svgKai H.svgKai U.svgKai R.svgKai H.svgKai O.svgKai H.svgKai A.svgKai S.svg  Kai D.svgKai Z.svgKai E.svgKai R.svgKai A.svgKai I.svgKai N.svg  Kai A.svgKai S.svgKai R.svgKai Y.svgKai Y.svg

The suns redden in the west,

I fear of the night,

O Great Jä, protect me,

Let your Light torment the nightness,

Until the suns redden in the east.

Lexicon[edit | edit source]

Main Article: Proto-Kai/Lexicon.
  • Tsurónokh (an.) - adult, mature person.
  • tšo (adj.) - high, upper, over.
  • Dzerá (an.) - sun (lit. 'great light').
  • dze- (prefix) - intensifier.
  • (an.) - light (also es), ray.
  • Tšódzerá (an.) - noon, midday (lit. 'high sun').
  • noghy (prep.) - after, later, then.
  • Nóghytšódzerá (an.) - afternoon (lit. 'after noon').
  • Noghytsurónokh (an.) - elder, wise person, senior, shaman (lit. 'after adult').

See Also[edit | edit source]

Cateogry:Western Assai