Human: “Excuse me. Do you understand vocan?”
Inlanlu: “No, I don’t understand. Do you understand Uhjayi?”
H: “Yes, a little.”
I: “Are you from Sige?”
H: “Yes, I am Sigian.”
“With-respect, you-payattention. Vocan you-understand?”
“No, I-no-understand. Uhjayi you-understand?”
“Yes, Sige-resident I-am.”
“Jodh dukihchri. Vocan dumulri na?”
“Su, unurmulri. Uhjayi dumulri na?”
“Sige duravri na?”
“Ki, Sigerav unhuri.”
Sige is one of the few names pronounced the same in vocan as Uhjayi. SEE-gay
Vocan is not an Uhjayi word, but the name of the human language. VO-kuhn
~ Uhjayi is a language of roots and modifiers. The most important two roots are -ku, which makes a root into a noun, and -ri, which makes a root into a verb (present tense is assumed; it’s an infinitive if no pronoun is attached). Both -ri and -ku are always directly attached to the roots they modify; any descriptor modifiers come before the main root or after the -ri/-ku.
~ Uhjayi’s structure is OSV – object subject verb. The subject, if a pronoun, is directly attached to the verb. “You sing” is dugiri; du is “you,” gi is the root of “sing/song,” and -ri makes gi into a verb.
~ Uhjayi roots can be a single vowel, a consonant-vowel pair, or a consonant-vowel-consonant syllable. Any vowel paired with an H (IH, EH, UH) is considered a single vowel. Similarly, any consonant paired with H (CH, DH, JH, KH, RH, SH, TH) is considered a single consonant; H is only its own consonant when it stands alone, and it never ends a root. For example, guh is a consonant-vowel root, while hes is a consonant-vowel-consonant root, and ih is a single-vowel root. Only pronounce H when it stands alone.
~ Ur- is a prefix that negates a verb. In the conversation above, unurmulri means “I don’t understand” or “I-no-understand.” Ur- always comes between the pronoun (un) and the verb (mulri), since it modifies the verb and not the subject.
~ Na is a question indicator and comes at the end of a query, unless it is included in a word used earlier in the sentence. Na can also be used alone as “huh?” or “eh?” in casual conversation. If you can only say one thing in Uhjayi, na is a good choice to indicate your confusion if a tahori speaks to you.
~ Practice identifying -ri and -ku in the conversation.
~ How would you say “yes” and “no”?
~ If gi is the root and giri is “sing,” how would you say “song” in Uhjayi? (Hint: look at the first note above.)