Lesson One

On Sige, a human approaches an inlanlu tahori who is in his hamin (humanoid) skin.

English Translation
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.”

Literal Translation
“With-respect, you-payattention. Vocan you-understand?”
“No, I-no-understand. Uhjayi you-understand?”
“Yes, part-small.”
“Sige you-reside?”
“Yes, Sige-resident I-am.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Jodh dukihchri. Vocan dumulri na?”
“Su, unurmulri. Uhjayi dumulri na?”
“Ki, fythkukit.”
“Sige duravri na?”
“Ki, Sigerav unhuri.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson One

Special Pronunciation
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.

Extra Credit
~ 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.)

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