This is a collection of several short texts in Melfem. All are translations from English texts, unless otherwise noted. The Melfem translation and the English source are shown side-by-side, and a morpheme-by-morpheme gloss of the Melfem follows. The English version of each line in the latter section is a more literal rendering of the Melfem. The following symbols and abbreviations are used in the glosses.
- Morpheme boundary = Clitic boundary . Boundary between multiple elements that correspond to one 1-3 Person Abl Ablative Abs Absentative All Allative Ant Antithetical Def Definite DS Different Subject F Feminine Fu Future tense Im Imperative In Inanimate Ind Indefinite
Inf Infinitive Int Intransitive Loc Locative M Masculine N Negative Neu Neuter NR Non-referential P Plural Per Perlative Pot Potential Pst Past tense Rel Relativizer S Subject Sg Singular Sen Sentential Tr Transitive
Translation of a folktale “retold from various Eastern European sources.”
Wthuedh Wnto Po’choech Wnant Sciwt
Sanyman’choech scom iellwnto wnant sciwt. Iegcsheshia shȏȃt dhe scwr ‘roam chesalpw memetw scom aichȏas iapte suifoalpw scom echebia sachpe cfa-nwn wdh’marmwadhia tagconoc oel.
Mydhw̑ oel ‘pam suȏ iechȏalimesfi padhiw sciwt iraicholpia nelfie sciwt choel-sh pluȃ oc wdh’selpo pwsiw cam noarpia twf’twmant nepam iegcmemetw cam aichȏas sachpe wnant.
Tanpluȃ oc catedh puȏch aibȇs selpiab iachel tanleiem ‘roam capeflia ifalpo noapletuȃsh aibȇs, siec ‘pam sifi memeto shocȃsh rom poam’noaia poam’syntan tochim.
Nelfiec, cam poam’siab choal pwsuant twf’twmant, cam merotw mydhw̑ cam tefolȏlfi syntan samel nȏall poam’tandhesh shwnopan dher nȏall noeltan tochim shocȃsh ‘coi poam’iepalia foch egco. Llwsmoth cam nepam cania noelto tochim dhascant poam’mire llin.
Nepam shwnopia ecania llwsmoth cam choel-sh oscw tantochiam noeltedh sheshia pluȃ oc iecnoscȏlpia nomws ‘ioam silpo tochim noatia piania setoetuas petw loent pesh-chant.
Idhec cam noeltw somfen nomws oc sarmedhiȏlfi onoan ioam focuȏlpo rifw mydhw̑c ‘pam somperchȏfi iegcaniw shȏȃt dhe scwr llwrnes nelfie choel-sh. Idhec maremw iny mydhw̑c dhe sasob cam choel-sh dhoashw esh’calech focuas cam sheshȏlpia cam romuo shȏȃt marȏlfi esia pluȃ oc scoi choel-sh focuan chȏalalia uampia wnant wnant sciwt.
Why People Today Die Their Own Death
In ancient days people did not die their own death. Instead, law and tradition required that they be taken into the mountains and pushed over a sacred cliff when they reached a certain age.
One family could not bring themselves to depart from their old grandfather, and so when his time came, they hid him in their cellar instead of taking him to the cliff of death.
At this time there was a great famine in the land. The crops had failed, the food stores were exhausted, and indeed, no one even had grain left for seed.
The grandfather, from his hiding place in the cellar, told his kin to remove the thatched roofs from their houses and rethresh the straw for any kernels of grain that may have been missed the first time. They did as he suggested, and harvested a good measure of forgotten grain.
Acting again on the old man’s advice, they sowed the newfound grain that very day. Miraculously their crop sprouted, matured, and was ready for harvest the next morning.
The king, who quickly learned of this miracle, demanded an explanation. Thus the family was forced to admit how they had violated law and tradition by sparing their old grandfather. The king, impressed by the family’s courage and by the old man’s wisdom, decreed that from that day forth old people would be allowed to live until they died their own death.
‘Why People Today Die Their Own Death’
‘In ancient days, people did not die their own death.’
‘This was not done, rather, law and tradition were such that they were taken to the mountains’
‘and pushed over a sacred cliff when they reached a certain age.’
‘One family could not bring themselves to depart from their old grandfather,’
‘When that day came, they hid him in their cellar rather than take him to the cliff of death.’
‘In those days, a great famine was in the land, the crops had failed, the food stores were exhausted,’
‘and there was nobody who had remaining grain to take seed from.’
‘The grandfather, who was in his hiding place in the cellar, spoke to his family, instructing them ’
‘to remove the straw roofs from their houses and rethresh the straw and find any seeds of grain that hadn’t been seen the first time.’
‘They did as he suggested, and harvested a good measure of forgotten grain.’
‘They again followed the old man’s suggestion, and sowed the seed that had been found, and did it on that day.’
‘Although they had just sown it, there was a miracle, and the seed sprouted, matured, and was ready the next morning for harvesting.’
‘The king soon learned of this miracle and demanded it be explained,’
‘and the family was forced to admit that they had not followed law and tradition, and had rather spared their old grandfather.’
‘The king - the family’s courage and the old man’s wisdom impressed him,’
‘and he decreed a law that from that day old people would be allowed to live until they died their own death.’
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