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Láadan Made Easier

LESSON TWO

Rule 6. Láadan nouns have no plural form.

Rule 7. To make a Láadan verb plural, put the prefix "me-" at the beginning of the word.

EXAMPLES

1a. Bi lema with wa. (The woman is gentle.)
1b. Bi melema with wa. (The women are gentle.)
1c. Ba melama with? (Are the women gentle?)
1d. Bi melema ra with wa. (The women are not gentle.)

Note: Because Láadan words try to maintain a sound pattern in which consonants alternate with vowels, an /h/ is inserted between "me-" and any word that starts with a vowel.

EXAMPLES

2a, Bi ada with wa. (The woman laughs.)
2b. Bi mehada with wa. (The women laugh.)
2c. Ba mehada with? (Do the women laugh?)
3a. Bi en with wa. (The woman understands.)
3b. Bi mehen with wa. (The women understand.)

Rule 8. Láadan doesn't mark time on its verbs; it has no markers like the "-ed" morpheme that marks past time in English. Instead, it puts a time _auxiliary_ right before the verb. Two of these auxiliaries are "eril" (past time) and "aril" (future time).

EXAMPLES

4a. Bi aril ada with wa. (The woman will laugh.)
4b. Bi aril mehada with wa. (The women will laugh.)
5a. Bi aril wida with yuth wa. (The woman will carry the fruit.)
5b. Bi eril wida with yuth wa. (The woman carried the fruit.)
5c. Bi eril mewida with yuth wa. (The women carried the fruit.)
6a. Ba aril shulin ili? (Will the water overflow?)
6b. Ba eril shulin ili? (Did the water overflow?)

Rule 9. Láadan has a set of suffixes that can be added to the Speech Act Markers to carry additional information. Here are eight of them:

said in anger: -d
said in pain: -th
said in love: -li
said in celebration: -lan
said in jest, as a joke: -da
said in fear: -ya
said in narrative, as a story: -de
said in teaching: -di

EXAMPLES

7a. Bi shod le wa. (I'm busy.)
7b. Bid shod le wa. (I-say-to-you-in-anger, I'm busy!)
7c. Bida shod le wa. (I-say-to-you-in-jest, I'm busy!)

Note: In English we rely on body language to express most emotional meanings when we speak. When I say, "I'm busy," you have to rely on such things as my tone of voice and the expression on my face to tell you whether I'm just stating a fact or am angry or joking. In written English, we rely on sequences such as "she said angrily." In Láadan, these emotional messages are lexicalized; they have a specific surface shape, whether they're spoken or written.

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