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Speaking Beladanese, Chapter V

by Lexi Summer Hale (@velartrill)

By now, you should be able to form simple sentences in Beladanese, things like "I like the goat" or "She steals the forest." But what if you want to say "I like that she steals the forest?" In this lesson, you'll learn how to write this kind of sentence.

To construct this kind of sentence, with more than one clause, we need to use something called a complementizer. In English, complementizers are words like "that," "how," or "to," in sentences like "I said that she left," "I hate how she's here," or "I told her to go." Beladanese has many more complementizers than English, but only one syntax for complementization.

The first complementizer to learn is so, the indicative complementizer. So is used to talk about things that are real, things that have happened, are happening, or are going to happen. Unlike in English, the complement goes before the rest of the sentence, and the complementizer is placed at the end of the complement. We're going to practice a few sentences with so, but first, we need some new vocabulary: golne "to see", tora "to like", marsa "to hate", ferad "male slave, slaveboy", fasta "to speak, say", and chanda "she." Note that marsa is a very coarse word, and not one you should use in polite company!

  1. I see that you and I have a goat.
    Cambari bostam te gabra so is golne.
  2. You (F.SG) hate how she owns me (F).
    Chanda is bosta so rasuinda marsa.
  3. I like that she steals the forest.
    Chanda tamande te cambescan so asmari tora.
  4. I (M) say that the slaveboy is beautiful, dude.
    Meclistache te ferad so cuala fasta.

Note that in (2) above there are semantic clues what pronouns we should be using. The speaker says she's owned, meaning she's a slave — and she's using the word marsa "to hate" which would be very impolite if she was speaking to a social superior! This means she's almost certainly talking to another slave, hence the use of rasuinda "you female slave."

So is not used very often. It's mostly only used with verbs of perception (we'll get into those in the next chapter), communication, and emotion.

There's something important about the sentences above, though: we're not repeating any pronouns. It wouldn't be grammatical to say *Chanda meclistache so chanda fasta or *Chanda is bosta so is marsa. There are three variants of so that we need to learn to be able to say things like "She says she's beautiful" or "I hate that she owns me."

The first is sola. You use sola when the subject of the complement clause is the same as the subject of the matrix clause, the sentence that the complement is embedded in. When you use sola, you don't put the subject in the complement at all. Let's see how this works:

  1. I (F) see I have a goat.
    Bosta gabra sola is golne.
  2. You freemen say that you're beautiful.
    Meclistache sola raginda fastam.
  3. I (F) like that I own you (F.SG).
    Bosta rasuinda sola enna tora.

What if the subject of the matrix clause is the same as the object of the complement, though? In this case, we with sone.

  1. I (F) like that you're fucking me, slavegirl.
    Rasuinda parna sone enna tora.
  2. I hate how she owns me.
    Chanda bosta sone is marsa.
  3. We (F) say that you want us, freewomen.
    Inganda mesca sone campende fasta.

Now we know how to say everything with indicative complementizers… except for one last rare case. What if the subject, object, and matrix subject are all the same? For this, we need soma.

  1. I like that I don't own myself.
    Bostancua soma is tora.
  2. You hate to fuck yourself, freeman.
    Parna soma rachenda marsa.

Soma is very rare, and most people would simply use the normal reflexive pronoun besa with sola, as in Bostancua besa sola is tora. Using soma sounds old-fashioned and sophisticated, especially in Eastern Belad. Not a lot of Beladans actually know how to use soma correctly. Some use soma where so, sola, or sone is required in an attempt to sound formal and respectable; this behavior is called somache and is similar to abuse of "whom" in English.

That's it for the indicative! Next up is ra, the subjunctive, which is used to talk about possibilities or to make suggestions. Ra has exactly the same variants as so, rala, rane, and rama, used in the same way - except than unike soma, rama is still widely used and understood. Verbs ra is used with include vinda "to hope", domma "to need", and rusta "to pray".

  1. I (F) hope you die, freewoman!
    Ras corde ra iranda vinda!
  2. You need to go fuck yourself, dude.
    Parna rama rachenda domma.
  3. I (F) want to be in the forest.
    Ramma te cambescan rala is mesca.
  4. I (M) pray that my uncle does not fuck goats.
    Parnancua te tira cuala cha gabra ra cuala rusta.
  5. You want her to fuck you, slavegirl.
    Chanda parna rane rasuinda mesca.
  6. I (F) tell you to be fashionable, slaveboy.
    Rachenda cardastache ra enna fasta.

And that's it for this chapter! Come back next time to learn all the gory details of verb conjugation.