L’enchanthadh – An Efenol Legend

Not long ago, I was told about an old Spanish legend, so old that its origins are blurry and many irreconcilable versions have came to being. Now yet another version was birthed, but this time it’s narrated by a different voice, in a different tongue. By combining parts of various versions of the myth, I managed to compose the text  I bring to you today in one of my constructed languages.

N’un lên madhuradh de·Hn Sean, un pathor bî bio
un mucher bêlîm bethidh de·vanch therch d’un·cybh.
Pînabh su cevîl lâr i ochur ngun pîn d’ôr.

-C’ê ma bêl… – ferhunthô al·phathor – e·phîn o seo?
Sofîtann ce lha podherî ser un vuch, l’einthan dich “Tu·bîn ê ma bêl”.
-Ô! – dich a·mhucher n’un sufir – Meldhîthën a·di!
Por thu·gulf tharê enchanthadh thîn în ma!

The legend has its roots in Spain and so does the conlang it was translated to. I find this legend beautiful, and so I chose a conlang which is also based in one of the nicest languages I know. That’s why the text is written in Efenol, a Spanish-based conlang with an enormous Sindarin influence.

Months ago, in my very first post I mentioned Efenol, Spanish adapted to Sindarin (one of the languages Tolkien included in The Lord of the Rings) phonology. However, it also holds some characteristics which tell it apart both from Spanish, its mother language and from the tongue of the gray elves.

I think it’s one of the most euphonic languages I’ve ever made. Fortunately , the reaction of other conlangers towards it has been positive too. That’s a good reason to exhibit it… and what could make a better way of displaying a tongue than with a glossed text? 🙂

N’un lên madhuradh de Hn. Sean, un pathor bî bio un mucher bêlîm bethidh de·vanch therch d’un cybh.
/nun leːn maðuˈɾäð ˈdehän ʂʲän | uɱ ɸäˈθoɾ biː bjo un muˈxeɾ beˑˈliːm beˈθið deˈväŋx θeɾx dunˈxyβ̝/
En-un lên madhuradh de+San_Sean, un pathor bî bio un mucher bêl-îm bethid de+vanch therch de-un cybh.
In-a far eve/dawn of-Saint_Jhon, a shepherd  old saw.3PS a woman beautiful-most clothed of-white near of-a cave.
One St. John’s eve long ago, a shepherd saw a most beautiful woman wearing white clothes near a cave.

Some particles trigger a consonant change (what is known as mutations). For example, the word de (of) turns the word San (Saint) into Han (abbreviated as Hn.).

The use of the name Sean for John isn’t related to the Irish name Sean (which comes from the same source as John) but from Catalan Joan.

Pînabh su cevîl lâr i ochur ngun pîn d’ôr.
/piːˈnäβ̝ su t͡ʃeˈviːl läːɾ i oˈxuɾ ŋuɱ ɸiːn doːɾ/
Pînabh su cavêl+(I) lâr i ochur con-un pîn de+or.
Combed her hairs-PL long and dark with-a comb of-gold.
She was brushing her hair with a golden comb.

Plural is indicated by vowel changes. For example, Cavêl (one hair) → Cevîl (hairs). Some particles trigger consonant mutations in singular nouns but not in plural ones: Su·gavêl (one of her hairs, c→g), Su cevîl (her hairs, c is unchanged).

C can be pronounced either as K or as Ch in “church” when placed after an E, I or Y. The use of preference of one pronunciation over another depends on the dialect used.

-C’ê ma bêl… – ferhunthô al·phathor – e·phîn o seo?
/t͡ʃʃeː mä beːl | feɽunˈθoː älfäˈθoɾ | eˈfiːn o ʂʲo/
-Ce-ê ma bêl… – ferhunthô a-e*pathor – e*pîn o seo?
-What-is more beautiful – asked-3PS to-the-shepherd – the-comb or I?
“What is more beautiful…  the comb or me?” she asked.

Sofîtann ce lha podherî ser un vuch, l’einthan dich “Tu·bîn ê ma bêl”.
/sofiˈtän t͡ʃe ʎa poðeˈɾiː seɾ un vux | lei̯nˈθän dix tuˈbiːn eː mä beːl/
Sofitann ce lha podherî ser un vuch l’+einthan dich “Tu+pîn ê ma bêl”.
Suspecting that she could-be-able be a witch, the-elder said “your-comb is more beautiful”.
Fearing that she was witch, the old man said “Your comb is more beautiful”.

-Ô! – dich a·mhucher n’un sufir – Meldhîthën a·di!
/óː | dix ävuˈxeɾ nun zuˈfiɾ | melðiˑˈθeːn äˈdi/
Ô! – dich a-mucher en-un sufir – maldhîthôn+(I) a+ti
-¡Oh! – said the-woman in-a whisper – curse-PL to-you!
“Oh!” the woman said, whispering. “Damn you!”

Por thu·gulf tharê enchanthadh thîn în ma!
/por θuˈgulf θäˈɾeː eŋxänˈθäð θiːn iːn ma/
Por tu-culf tharê enchanthadh thîn ein+(I) ma!
For your-blame I.will.be bewitched a.hundred years more!
Because of you I’ll remain bewitched for yet another hundred years!

Vowel ablaut and consonant mutations:

Vowels:

Vowel

Weak ablaut

Strong ablaut

U-ablaut

a

e

ei

o

e

i

î

y

i

i

î

y

o

e

ë

o

u

y

y

u

y

y

y

y

â

ai

ai

au

ê

ei

ei

ë

î

î

î

ij

ô

oi

ë

ô

û

û

ij

û

ij

ij

ij

ij

ei

î / ei

î

ij

ë

ë

ë / oi

ë / ij

Pluralization involves changing unstressed vowels according to weak ablaut and stressed vowels according to strong ablaut. U-ablaut is used for some verbal conjugations.

Consonants:

No mutation

Soft mutation

Nasal mutation

Rhotic mutation

B

Bh (v)

Mb

Bh (v)

C

G

Ch

Ch

CH

Ch

Ch

Ch

D

Dh

Nd (n*)

Dh

DH

Dh

Dh

Dh

F

F

F

F

G

‘ /ʔ/

Ng

Rh

H

‘ /ʔ/

Ch

H / ·h (h)

L

L

L

Lh

LH

Lh

Lh / L

Lh

M

Mh (v)

M

Mh (v)

N

N

N

N

P

B

Ph (f)

Ph (f)

R

R

Rh

R

RH

Rh

Rh

Rh

S

H

Z

H

T

D

Th

Th

TH

Th

Th

Th

V

V

V

V

Z

R

Z

S

Sometimes, the same sound can be written in different ways depending on its origin. For example, /v/ can be written either as V, Bh or Mh.

Nasal D, <Nd> is to be pronounced as /nd/ if it’s preceded by a vowel. Otherwise, it’s pronounced as an /n/ and lengthens the following vowel: Dallas (Dallas) → Ndallas (in Dallas, sounds as nâllas). Dipthongs and ë aren’t lengthened.

A middle dot is used to distinguish an R or L followed by an H from the digraphs Rh and Lh: arha /’äɽä/ de ar·ha /ˈärha/.

Athafôrim! – Till next time!

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Posted on 2011/11/26, in Efenol (en), English. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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