Naduta

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Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 24 Aug 2014 16:22

You (i.e. one person) asked for it, so here it is: a thread devoted to Naduta.

My original purpose in the creation of Naduta was to create a complex script that I could adapt to an unrelated language, creating an orthographic nightmare like Japanese or Akkadian. I didn’t originally plan to put too much thought into the Naduta language itself, since it was only supposed to be background for the other language. However, once I started working on it, I got attached to it, and have developed it in a bit more detail. The other language that I was going to use the script for, on the other hand, is still only in its infancy (because I trashed the entire thing except for about three words, and then tried to make it related to another language I have only somewhat invented, forcing me to back-form a proto-language).

The language has SOV word order. Nouns inflect for number (singular, plural), gender (animate, known, unknown), and case (nominative, objective). Verbs inflect for person, tense, mood, aspect, and voice.

The writing system is logosyllabic: It employs a large set of glyphs that can be used logographically, ideographically, or phonetically, often with little or no reliable visual differentiation.

The phonology of the language is as follows:

Code: Select all

Consonants:
             stops              nasals      trills/etc. fric   approximants
             asp    unvoc  voc  unvoc  voc  reg   stop         unvoc  voc
labial       pʰ      p      b     m̥     m                       w̥      w
dental/etc.  tʰ      t      d     n̥     n    ɾ~l   t͡ɾ    s      j̊      j
velar        kʰ      k      ɡ                            x     

Vowels:
             i   u
             æ   ɑ
The Romanization is pretty straightforward:
labial: ph, p, b, mh, m, wh, w
dental/etc.: th, t, d, nh, n, r, tr, s, yh, y
velar: kh, k, g, h
vowels: i u e a
  • Any consonant can occur initially. Final consonants are limited to n, r, s, y, h, although some root morphemes end with disallowed consonants; these are elided most of the time, and only crop up in certain conjugations/declensions
  • No consonant clusters are allowed within a single syllable except /tr/, which I have simply classified as a phoneme since it seemed easier.
  • /rr/ is realized as /t͡ɾ/.
  • syllable-final /h/ becomes a soft and sometimes nearly inaudible [ʁ] before voiced consonants
  • EDIT: /ih/ is pronounced [iə̯x] (or [iə̯ʁ])
  • EDIT: /r/ is pronounced [l] when adjacent to dentals
EDIT: The language draws a distinction between breathy consonants (aspirate stops and unvoiced nasals/approximants) and their non-breathy counterparts. Certain conjugations can cause non-breathy consonants to become breathy, and vice-versa.

Initially, I considered the possibility of there being a secondary feature of vowels such as length, pitch, phonation, or whatever that is not indicated in the script (and thus is unknown) in order to allow for more apparent homophones, but I have not really explored this possibility at all. For now there appears to be nothing, but of course that was the initial idea, so maybe it does exist. If I make a descendant of Naduta (which, as far as the conworld is concerned, exists) I will have to look into this.

Feel free to ask me any questions about the language or script, and I will try my best to answer them. If there are no questions I will just add some random stuff to the thread eventually.
Last edited by clawgrip on 25 Aug 2014 11:45, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Naduta

Post by Dezinaa » 24 Aug 2014 21:19

I like the phonology, especially the voiceless nasals.
What kinds of nouns have the known or unknown genders?

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Re: Naduta

Post by Dormouse559 » 25 Aug 2014 01:53

clawgrip wrote:You (i.e. one person) asked for it, so here it is: a thread devoted to Naduta.
Thank you! [:D] This all looks great.
clawgrip wrote:The writing system is logosyllabic: It employs a large set of glyphs that can be used logographically, ideographically, or phonetically, often with little or no reliable visual differentiation.
It'd be interesting to see a more detailed description of the script. What are some examples of how the logographic/ideographic/phonetic elements interact? Can glyphs be used in all three ways?
clawgrip wrote:[*]/rr/ is realized as /tr/.
Does this contrast with /t͡ɾ/? And is /rr/ considered a long version of /r/ or a consonant cluster?

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 25 Aug 2014 02:09

Thanks for the question. I will take that opportunity to explain the gender and case system (since they are interconnected).

Genders
As I said, there are three genders: animate, and the two common genders, known and unknown.

animate (mhetudegurunta): The animate gender typically includes nouns that refer to animals and people, as well as various non-living things that demonstrate frequent or constant flux or motion, such as water, wind, trade, and transient emotions and feelings such as anger, pleasure, etc. The animate gender is comparatively predictable, with relatively few seemingly animate concepts being classified in other genders, and vice-versa.

known (yusgurunta): The known gender, together with the unknown gender, makes up one half of the common genders. Classification of nouns within the two common genders is mostly unpredictable, though in general, countable nouns, tools, body parts, and some natural objects are more likely to be classified in the known gender. In addition, gerunds of verbs always become known gender.

unknown (ruyusgurunta): The unknown gender constitutes the second half of the common genders. As its name suggests, the unknown gender classifies a few things that are unfamiliar, mysterious, or large, such as ba- night, ruyma- ocean, sar- mountain, but there are many other nouns that unpredictably occur in this gender.

Cases

animate cases
Animate case endings are entirely regular and thus easily learned. Below is a table outlining the relevant forms:

Image

As you can see, the writing system does not distinguish between case allomorphs. Everything is written identically.

Image

ba- (person), bata, barta, bay, barey

As you can see, for words marked with simple pictograms, plural is indicated through reduplication of the glyph rather than the plural glyph.


Image

igan- (news; word), iganta, iganurta, iganey, iganrey

You can see that when a stem form has an open space in the bottom right, various endings will be inserted in that space.

"known" cases
Known gender noun stems ending in a vowel conjugate regularly, but consonant-final stems may decline according to one of two separate forms, that must be learned individually for each word. Below is a table of the various conjugations:

Image

Like the animate cases, allomorphs are mostly ignored by the writing system.

* The only explicitly marked allomorph is ke. This form only appears on stems that end in /h/.

Image

wa- (horn; antler), wan, warna, wah, warha


Image

isuy- (hammer), isuyne, isuyrena, isuy'he*, isuyreha


Image

miy- (writing brush), miyun, miyurun, miy'he*, miyuruh


Image

eh- (arrival; visitation), ehne, ehrena, ehke, ehreha

*note that the suffix -he does not force consonants to become breathy (aspirate/unvoiced)

"unknown" cases
Like the known gender, unknown gender noun stems ending in a vowel conjugate regularly, but the nominative-singular of consonant-final stems employ epenthetic vowels or alternate forms that must be learned individually for each word. Below is a table of the various conjugations:

Image
* The difference between -unta, -inta and -anta is lexical and must be learned for each word. -anta is relatively rare.

Image

re- (hole), renta, rereta, reih, rerih


Image

kis- (knife), kisinta, kisreta, kisih, kisrih


Image

uh- (skin; hide), uhanta, uhreta, uhih, uhrih
This word can take either form of written pluralization.
Last edited by clawgrip on 25 Aug 2014 02:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 25 Aug 2014 02:12

Dormouse559 wrote:
clawgrip wrote:The writing system is logosyllabic: It employs a large set of glyphs that can be used logographically, ideographically, or phonetically, often with little or no reliable visual differentiation.
It'd be interesting to see a more detailed description of the script. What are some examples of how the logographic/ideographic/phonetic elements interact? Can glyphs be used in all three ways?
The writing system is so intertwined with the language that it's basically impossible to explain it without referring to the language. I can give examples of the language and show how the script represents it though.
clawgrip wrote:[*]/rr/ is realized as /tr/.
Does this contrast with /t͡ɾ/? And is /rr/ considered a long version of /r/ or a consonant cluster?
I just forgot the tie bar there. They are identical. Frankly I don't know what it should be considered. If it is a long version of /r/, then /r/ is the only consonant with a long version. And if it is considered a consonant cluster, then it is the only possible initial consonant cluster. The writing system treats it as a single phoneme and I just did the same for now.

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Re: Naduta

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 25 Aug 2014 06:11

clawgrip wrote:You (i.e. one person) asked for it[...]
I may not have asked, but I am no less interested. [:)]
Dormouse559 wrote:It'd be interesting to see a more detailed description of the script. What are some examples of how the logographic/ideographic/phonetic elements interact? Can glyphs be used in all three ways?
I'm curious about this too.

Also, are there multiple characters used for the same phonetic component?
Last edited by Thrice Xandvii on 25 Aug 2014 08:25, edited 2 times in total.
Image

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Re: Naduta

Post by sangi39 » 25 Aug 2014 07:59

Is this Naduta language & script thread over on the ZBB still a valid source of information regarding the script?
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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 25 Aug 2014 11:26

XXXVII wrote:
clawgrip wrote:You (i.e. one person) asked for it[...]
I may not have asked, but I am no less interested. [:)]
Seems like more people have asked since then. Thanks everyone.
Dormouse559 wrote:It'd be interesting to see a more detailed description of the script. What are some examples of how the logographic/ideographic/phonetic elements interact? Can glyphs be used in all three ways?
I'm curious about this too.

Also, are there multiple characters used for the same phonetic component?
I'll write some things up about this soon. Basic glyphs are either pictograms or ideograms, which can be used either logographically, ideographically, or phonetically. I would say that probably every glyph is used in at least two of the three ways, but as I said, the script does not necessarily indicate how you should interpret a specific glyph, though phonetically used glyphs are often (but not always) raised above the writing line.
sangi39 wrote:Is this Naduta language & script thread over on the ZBB still a valid source of information regarding the script?
That thread is still valid, but early on I was updating the thread at the same time that I was designing the language, so sometimes things are not particularly clear, particularly early on in the thread. For example, the explanation of cases and gender is better laid out in this thread.

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 26 Aug 2014 16:35

Several people would like to know how the script works, so I will try my best to give a basic outline.

The script was intended to be a somewhat early but not very early stage of the writing. Many pictograms are still easily recognizable as the objects they represent, while several others are not, as they have been obscured by orthographic drift and standardization of the style. I imagine in the future more simplifications and alterations will continue, and if I have enough time I will someday explore these.

The most basic glyphs are all logographic pictograms and ideograms. There are also a few dots and bars and so on that act as true ideograms in that they are not associated with any particular words and serve only to augment the other glyphs. I’m sure you saw some pictograms in the previous post, such as wan (horn), isuyne (hammer) and so on.

Let’s take as an example a couple glyphs we've already seen: Image, used for the animate nominative ending, and Image, used for the unknown nominative. Image is actually the glyph for ta- "axe", while Image is un-, the glyph for "rope/cord/thread". They are used phonetically, without modification, to mark case endings.

As you can see, phonetic complements are approximate; most commonly, the first consonant and vowel are matched, while the final consonant is ignored.

Often, a glyph used phonetically will be raised above the writing line. Example:

Image -ga "if" As you can see, the phonetic complement Image gah- "stone; rock" is raised above the writing line.

Some glyphs don’t get raised, such as Image bi- "tree", which is simply too tall to be raised, e.g. Image bir- "to arrive".

Sometimes, glyphs will be placed together to form an ideographic compound. The phonetic values of the glyphs are ignored, and these instead represent a separate word.

Image mhir- "arm"
Image gehme- "structure"
Image tru- "to make"

Often, this type of compound is supplemented with a phonetic glyph, e.g.:

Image ruh- "fire"
Image gir- "house"
Image tehu- "pitchfork"
Image ten- "kiln"

Here, the glyph Image tehu- serves as a phonogram to assist in the reading of the word.

Rarely, glyphs will merge into a single new glyph:

Image nur- "eye"
Image apan- "to manipulate"
Image ku- "to see"

Glyphs are not always written horizontally. Sometimes, they may be stacked for aesthetic or semantic reasons:

Image hi- "to do"
Image yhun- "to think"
Image yu- "grain; to be"
Image yun- "to plan; to intend; to attempt"

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 07:55

It's back! And with some new grammatical info. This time I want to talk about the topic particle. I had been meaning to write this up for some time...now I finally have. It's a short post, but it details this piece of grammar I had not actually written down before now.

Topic Marking
First of all, it should be known that Naduta is not a topic-prominent language; Himmaswa and Yabushionese are, and I think two is quite enough. However, it does allow topic fronting, which is usually marked with the clitic day. This particle has around two uses at the moment, and I may think of more.


Topic fronting
For those unfamiliar, Naduta has SOV sentence structure. When an argument of the predicate is moved out of the predicate to the front of the sentence, before the subject, it must be marked with Image day:

The process is similar to English fronting, in that it shifts focus from the subject to the fronted phrase.

Image
Phurireta we yirkhururun bueh tu tah-ehehturmu.
sage-leaf-PL.UKN.NOM and corn-body-PL.KN.OBJ.NOM 1.PL-OBJ DAT PST=PASS-bring.to-PL-3
Sage leaves and ears of corn were brought to us.

Image
Bueh tu day phurireta we yirkhururun tah-ehehturmu.
1.PL-OBJ DAT TOP sage-leaf-PL.UKN.NOM and corn-body-PL.KN.NOM PST=PASS-bring.to-PL-3
(It was) to us (that) sage and ears of corn were brought.

This fronting may also occur on the subject itself, in order to explicitly mark it as the focus:

Image
Baaneytuta disah gi tah-niwermu.
Baaneytu-ANIM.NOM temple-KN.OBJ from PST=leave-3
Baaneytu left the temple.

Image
Baaneytuta day disah gi tah-niwermu.
Baaneytu-ANIM.NOM TOP temple-KN.OBJ from PST=leave-3
Baaneytu, he left the temple.

This is similar to topic-introducing strategies of English, such as the use of resumptive pronouns or the phrase "as for".


Subject disambiguation
Due to word order, relative clauses frequently follow directly the subject of the main clause. There is often therefore the potential for ambiguity in parsing which clause the subject heads. Using the topic marker on the subject of the main clause thus sets it apart from the subordinate clause.

Image
Usta yata reta day tah-yhisdarey pitrey tah-ustarmu.
3-ANIM.NOM GEN-ANIM.NOM son-ANIM.NOM PST=raise-ATTR-PL-ANIM.OBJ goat-PL-ANIM.OBJ PST=slaughter-3
His son slaughtered the goats he raised.

Image
Usta yata reta day tah-yhisdarey pitrey tah-ustarmu.
3-ANIM.NOM GEN-ANIM.NOM TOP son-ANIM.NOM PST=raise-ATTR-PL-ANIM.OBJ goat-PL-ANIM.OBJ PST=slaughter-3
He slaughtered for market the goats his son raised.

The first of these two sentences is ambiguous in Naduta just as it is in English. I'm considering adding a specific relative subject pronoun that indicates that it is the same as the main clause subject which immediately precedes it. Not sure yet.
Last edited by clawgrip on 30 Aug 2015 10:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 08:13

Should I come up with some sort of script gloss to help people understand how everything is written down? Does anyone care that much?

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Re: Naduta

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 30 Aug 2015 08:47

Well, I guess that depends. Is it something that you'd enjoy doing... or would it be sort of a chore?

Personally, I've always been a fan of your various scripts, and Naduta in particular is one of my favorite conscripts. So, to answer your question more directly, there'd be at least one person who'd be interested to see in more detail how some of the various glyphs are constructed and what the components in them "do."
Image

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 08:56

Thanks. If you are interested then I would be happy to do it. The problem is finding a good system for glossing it. The one I've used so far I think only makes sense to me. Have to device something more understandable.

For example, how should I gloss the glyph Image, which is pronounced ba, means "person", but is used completely ideographically as part of a different word, or is reduplicated to mark the plural?

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Re: Naduta

Post by Sumelic » 30 Aug 2015 09:38

I like the words you've listed of it so far, and as others have mentioned the writing system is appealing!

Phonetics questions (sorry if anyone's bored by these)
  • is coda /n/ subject to place-assimilation before at least some consonants? (I'd expect this at least before the plosives, and possibly before the nasals and approximants as well).
  • Is there any kind of special assimilation in /nr/ or /rn/ clusters, or are they just realized as [nl] and [ln]?
  • is coda /s/ also voiced like /h/ is before at least some voiced consonants? (I'd expect voicing at least before /b d g/, and possibly before /m n w y r/).
Grammar questions:
  • are there more morphonological ways to differentiate known and unknown gender nouns, besides the gerund rule? Which gender is "productive" for loanwords and so on? (I've read that even in languages like French and German with apparently "unpredictable" genders for nouns, most nouns actually can be assigned to a gender using morphophonological rules, though the rules may be complicated to write down.)
  • what agrees in gender?

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Re: Naduta

Post by Khemehekis » 30 Aug 2015 10:38

clawgrip wrote: Image
Usta yata reta day tah-yhisdarey pitrey tah-ustarmu.
3-ANIM.NOM GEN-ANIM.NOM son-ANIM.NOM PST=raise-ATTR-ANIM.OBJ PST=slaughter-3
His son slaughtered the goats he raised.

Image
Usta yata reta day tah-yhisdarey pitrey tah-ustarmu.
3-ANIM.NOM GEN-ANIM.NOM TOP son-ANIM.NOM PST=raise-ATTR-ANIM.OBJ PST=slaughter-3
He slaughtered for market the goats his son raised.
How come I don't see the word "goat" in the glosses?
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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 10:42

Thanks for the questions.
Sumelic wrote:I like the words you've listed of it so far, and as others have mentioned the writing system is appealing!

Phonetics questions (sorry if anyone's bored by these)
  • is coda /n/ subject to place-assimilation before at least some consonants? (I'd expect this at least before the plosives, and possibly before the nasals and approximants as well).
  • Is there any kind of special assimilation in /nr/ or /rn/ clusters, or are they just realized as [nl] and [ln]?
  • is coda /s/ also voiced like /h/ is before at least some voiced consonants? (I'd expect voicing at least before /b d g/, and possibly before /m n w y r/).
  • Coda /n/ assimilates before the plosives and nasals. It still remains n-like before approximants.
  • /r/ assimilates to /l/ when it clusters with any dental except /r/, as /rr/ becomes [tɾ]
  • /s/ and /h/ do indeed voice before all voiced consonants, becoming [z] and [ʁ] respectively. I didn't write this very clearly in the initial post, and totally forgot to write about /s/.
Of all these changes, only <tr> is reflected in the Latin orthography.
Grammar questions:
  • are there more morphonological ways to differentiate known and unknown gender nouns, besides the gerund rule? Which gender is "productive" for loanwords and so on? (I've read that even in languages like French and German with apparently "unpredictable" genders for nouns, most nouns actually can be assigned to a gender using morphophonological rules, though the rules may be complicated to write down.)
  • what agrees in gender?
  • The known gender is more productive at least for intangible concepts and ideas and so on, as well as man-made objects, though this is all still fairly general and not clearly set. The unknown is common for things from nature other than animals. I haven't fully explored loanwords yet, since this is supposed to be a historical language from the perspective of the "present" time of my conworld. I have no other local languages at the moment for it to borrow words from.
  • adjectives, relative clauses, and genitive phrases are all formed pretty much the same way, and they all agree with the noun they modify.
examples:
trundata guta the big fish (NOM)
trunday guy the big fish (OBJ)
tah-heswerdata guta the fish that swam away (NOM)
tah-heswerday guy the fish that swam away (OBJ)
bu yata guta my fish (NOM)
bu yay guy my fish (OBJ)
Last edited by clawgrip on 30 Aug 2015 10:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 10:43

Khemehekis wrote:How come I don't see the word "goat" in the glosses?
I guess I must have been distracted as I was writing it. I have added it in now, and added in PL on the previous word which should have been there.

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Re: Naduta

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 30 Aug 2015 11:10

clawgrip wrote:For example, how should I gloss the glyph Image, which is pronounced ba, means "person", but is used completely ideographically as part of a different word, or is reduplicated to mark the plural?
Very good questions.

I guess it depends on what type of system you were planning to use. If you are attempting to adapt Interlinear Glossing to the glyphs, then you'll prolly have to adapt a bunch of new abbreviations to indicate such things. Alternatively, you could use a color code of some sort to differentiate among: meaning-, sound-, and idea-bearing components in glyphs?

You'd be breaking into new territory so far as I can tell so I'm not sure what to suggest.
Image

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 13:59

I tried a new type of script gloss. It is more complicated than I was hoping, so I hope it's not excessively confusing.

I am glossing each glyph in the order left to right, top to bottom.
  • The first line is the most basic pronunciation of each glyph.
  • The second line is the pronunciation it represents in this instance. If it is being used ideographically, this line will be blank. This line will spell out the sentence (almost) exactly as it appears in my transliteration.
  • The third line is the meaning of each basic glyph
  • The fourth line is the meaning of each compound glyph
  • The fifth line is the meaning of a compound of compound glyphs The combination of these last two should come out the same as the Leipzig gloss
Also, there was an error in my image, so you may have to refresh your cache.

Image
Phurireta we yirkhururun bueh tu tah-ehehturmu.
sage-leaf-PL.UKN.NOM and corn-body-PL.KN.OBJ.NOM 1.PL-OBJ DAT PST=PASS-bring.to-PL-3
Sage leaves and ears of corn were brought to us.

Code: Select all

 PHU  RI     R        UN                         WES     YIR  KHUR     R        N        BA      BA      BUN      UH
 phu  ri     re       ta                         we      yir  khur     ur       un       e               bu       h
 sage leaf   plural   cord       horizontal bar  shrub   corn body     plural   sickle   person  person  lizard   skin
[sage leaf] [PL    ] [UKN.NOM ] [and                  ] [ear of corn] [PL    ] [KN.NOM] [PL]    [1P            ] [OBJ ]


 TU    TAH          DEN    DEN  TREY                        RAN   TU    R        MU
 tu    tah          eh    [eh               [                     tu ]  r        mu
 leg   past tense   foot   foot inside dot   horizontal bar touch leg   plural   PHON /mu/
[DAT] [PST       ] [PASS] [come           ] [raise                   ] [PL    ] [3        ]
                          [bring                                     ]

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Re: Naduta

Post by clawgrip » 30 Aug 2015 15:56

One more:
Image
Baaneytuta day disah gi tah-niwermu.
Baaneytu-ANIM.NOM TOP temple-KN.OBJ from PST=leave-3
Baaneytu, he left the temple.

Code: Select all

 THA  BA       EYTU   TA                         DI   DI     BA     EGU         DI   SAT   H
[baan       ]  eytu   ta        [day                      ] [disa                        ] h
 king person   top    axe        VERTICAL STROKE hand hand   person divine pole hand land  PHON /h/
[illustrious] [top] [ANIM.NOM] [TOP                      ] [temple                      ] [KN.OBJ ]
[Baaneytu         ]

                 GIR     TAH          NI     TU  WES     MU
[gi                   ]  tah          ni    [wer      ]  mu
 VERTICAL STROKE house   PAST TENSE   exit   leg shrub   PHON /mu/
[from                 ] [PST       ] [exit] [leave    ] [3        ]
                                     [go out          ]

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