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Deciphering The Tagalog Verb - Part I


-Reill Bautista-

Harpito-Ruganes -7-Mark Brian MacStiofin Mhaiti Domhnaill (Wasgar)-

A Psycholinguistic Assessment From 2098 -10-Sabrina Palis-

Sirens of the Sea -13-Kyle Farrington-

Are We Wired To Create Languages? -15-Gabe Witmonger-

L Failikvas -17-

-Mark Brian MacStiofin Mhaiti Domhnaill (Bok)-

Typemes and Allotypes Voice Inflection in Albanesca -18-Ryan Shaffer-

The Boradhi Creation Myth -21-Christian Evans-

The Honest Woodcutter - Translations -23-

Editorial Team
Editor in Chief
Jonathan Fleury
Layout Design & Graphics
Gabe Witmonger
Senior Editor
Sabrina Palis
Gabe Witmonger
Jonathan Fleury

the Tagalog Verb - Part I
There was a time when a Facebook friend told me that he spent a month memorising
a Wikipedia table containing the conjugation of Tagalog verb.

With all due respect, as a native speaker, I find this table to be a bit
confusing and with a paper published that claims that Tagalog is an
ergative language (as opposed to a separate classification), this series of
articles on the Tagalog verb shall attempt to clarify the workings of the
system, bit by bit.
This article wont be about morphosyntactic
alignment of Tagalog nor is something similar
to a set of grammar lessons. However, we shall
approximate such format to make things clear. I
will desist from detailed glossing, and allow you
to judge what the particles and other grammatical
structures mean. But of course, I will supply what
the words mean. I shall also mark the affixes with
a boldface style. I would use pronouns, but the
glosses would be clear so we can skip discussion
of pronoun forms. Finally, I wont do IPA of the
words; the focus is morphosyntax.
Tagalog is rich in affixes and particles that carry
subtleties in meaning. Instead of seeing the
affixes as having a separate range of meanings, it
must be treated as having an overlapping range
of meanings, with the nonoverlapping ranges as
being the identity of the affix.

The meanings carried by affixes can vary by

dialect; so to make things clear, I note that I live in
a province near Manila.
Our focus shall only be on three of the forms:
<um> affix
First syllable doubling
Combination of first syllable doubling plus
And a host of particles:
1. Ang/si
2. Ng/ni
3. Sa
As a final note before we start, if ever you want
to try what you learned here in conversing with
Tagalog, do not try to attempt to extrapolate
what you learned by guessing the meaning with
the verbal affixes which are not discussed here. Ill
show you a good example later.

as an imperative, and the last one as a past particle (as textbooks may say).
Its location in the verb depends on whether the verb starts with a consonant or

building what the particles also mean:

<ang>/<si> distinction is for between common nouns and names.

action above.
First syllable doubling

Combination of first syllable doubling plus <um>

This expresses a present tense, but is more accurately described as having
progressive tense.

The roles of <ang>/<si> and <ng> are generally the same as with <um> and first syllable
doubling. The three previous examples are what is stated in Wikipedia as actor focus, as
<ang>/<si> is used to mark the actor of the sentence. You can actually conclude that the
previous set is for active voice, but of course most linguists disagree.

<sa> particle
Now our focus is on another particle. It usually carries information on
location of action, but can also have other uses as well:

<sa> is used to mark comments on the action, such as location, date, manner, etc. Knowing
which is which is essentially through exposure, so we shall not focus on it that much.

<na> and <pa>

We had an example before containing an extra particle:

<na> is used to mark action as now, already while <pa> is used to mark action as
still, yet. Both particles immediately follow the verb when the verb more or less takes
an indicative mood.

Indicating time of action

Words (especially adverbs) that indicate time of action usually follow the verb, but can go
to the end of sentence:

But for specific dates, <noong>/<sa> is used, <noong> for past events,
while <sa> is for future events.

All seems to be clear, until we consider this example.

With a simple flip of the affix, the roles of the particles now seem to flip! We shall now discuss this affix
and the changes it makes on the roles of the particles.
<in> affix.
<in> works like <um>: if it starts with a vowel, then it is prefixed to the verb; if it starts with a consonant,
then it is infixed between the first consonant and the following verb, thus cutting the first syllable in half.
By making comparison with <um>, it is fairly easy to conclude that it marks passive voice of the verb,
but it is wrong since sentences using <in> can be easily translated with corresponding active voice construction in English.

How can we choose the right way of translating the sentence? It depends on the
context and the verb, and here enters the subtleties: for the example we had (ani),
the <in> is used to refer to the act of harvesting a crop or fruit. <um> is also used
for that verb, but it is not used to refer to harvesting crop or fruit, but rather for
something else:

Now, to finally end this short article, we shall go back to

an example before:

I hope things are now clearer! Future issues may feature Part II of the
discussion if people are interested. There are still other affixes and
particles we have not yet discussed here, and those shall be the focus
of future articles.

Harpito Ruganes
-"the Hillpath of Sorrow"-

There was a time, back before the Empire rose

and fell, when a young man who rode by the
name of Onaite Mamogoi1, was walking a fine
being of a horse to the local auction, where
Onaite was instructed by his father to sell the
creature. The auction took place in the heart of
Aike Drines, a town in the great land of Hendak
Onihom. As Onaite was trotting along the dirt
paths of his town he saw a sight which couldnt
please his eye more, her name was Nula. Hers
was a beauty that would bring an untameable
stallion to a calm trot. She caught the horseman
glancing at her and gave a little grin. Onaite hurriedly looked elsewhere as the nerves shot up
through him and carried on to his little journey
to the auction. The crowds gathered around the
wooden fence when they saw Onaite walk the
horse into the berendak onoi2. The boys father,
often called Mog by those that know him, was
well known for breeding a fine quality of horse.
So when his son was seen selling a horse it
attracted a crowd of eager buyers. After a fury of
voices shouting before him the horse was sold.
The buyer approached Onaite with a smile on his
face and he spoke Im going to be a pain and ask
you to bring the horse to my brog (house), for
Im a busy man and need be elsewhere
Mogs son answered well then, where do you
Do you know the great path that leads to the
South? Follow that until you see Barbhar Hill,
you should find a little worn out path which if
you follow should take you around Barbhar Hill
and youll see my brog on the end of the path, my
daughter is home, shell take the horse off you
Onaite nodded and said his farewell to the man.
The horseman saddled the horse and rode just
where the man had told him to go. He rode
around Barbhar Hill and saw before him a snug
brog with open land surrounding. When he
reached the brog he shouted out hello! Is
anyone home? a dark haired girl came out to
greet him. Your father bought this horse...he
said to bring it here
Okay then, follow me, Ill show you to the field
where youll put it.

Onaite grasped the reins and walked nervously by

the mans daughter, he thought he recognised her,
he felt the nerves sting in his belly when he blurted
out Youre the girl from the town...I mean I think
you areor a girl that looked like youshe was
pretty he was near punching himself when the girl
spoke back I saw you too, I remember being
glared at by a horseman a grin grew on the girls
face as she turned to face Onaite I wasnt
staringI was just Onaite fumbled in his mind
to say something admiring. The girls grin grew
just a little more. Im Nula, does the admirer have
a name?
Onaite, Im Mogs son
And with that the two began talking, even when
the horse was shown to its new home the two kept
talking. Onaite eased up and got a few laughs from
Nula and as he grew to take a liking to the girl the
Sun was on its way out. Its getting dark Nula
Can I see you again? Onaite asked.
Id like that, meet me further down the great path
by Barbhar Hill, near to where the small lake is
Thats a long journey from my brog!
Well, you can get therelive up to your

The next day as the sun rose Mog wakened his

son. Wake my son, I hear of a fine horse which
I am for buying. But it is far away, we must leave
now if we wish to get there and back before it is
dark Onaite sighed, for it was this day that he
was to meet Nula. So reluctantly he went with
his father to get the new horse. When they
arrived the sun was just after its midway point
across the sky. As his father went off to see the
horse Onaite took a wander among the other
horses as they grazes, he sighed as he walked
Nula will be wondering why I am not there
as the words left his mouth a horse with a tint of
a yellow circle in its eye called out to Onaite
what ails you?
The young horseman replied Im supposed to
meet a girl right now, but my father took me here
instead, now I cant get back to her in time
The horse spoke back get on my back and Ill
take you there, I run as fast as the winter wind
Onaite was going to mount the horse when
another spoke up, itself with a yellow ring to its
eyes winter winds may speed, but I ride as fast
as a secret from a wifies mouth so Onaite went
to mount the second horse when another yellow
ring eyed horse raised its voice but seldom are
such secrets worthy of hearing Onaite turned to
face the third horse
Well, how fast are you? to which the third
horse said I am as swift as a maidens mind
between two men Onaite gave a chuckle and got
on the horse. The creature cleared great fields in
but a few gallops, in the distance he saw a small
town, he blinked, after which the town was far
behind them after what was barely enough time
to say jyngs kryvyns help ma bb the horse
stopped by the waters edge and the lad saw the
lovely lass waiting for him. He thanked the horse
dearly and made his way to the girl. Your father
named you well Onaite
The pair spent what felt like an eternity by the
waters edge where the two were falling for each
other. That night they parted ways to their own
homes feeling light and warm.
On a day not long after Nula was at a local
market of Aike Drines where traders brought in
food and fanciful things to the otherwise plain
grasslands of Hendak Onihom. As Nula was
looking through the market she herself was
being looked upon, by the local king Merbh. He
asked his guard, Geul, who was Mogs nephew,
who she was, and that he wanted the young girl
as his wife. Merbh approached the girl and asked
her if she would like to be queen over Aike
Drines, to be wrapped in fine silks and bear the
son of a king.

To which Nula replied I would sooner be the

queen of a warm cosy brog, wrapped in the arms
of the man I love and bear the son of Onaite and
then she walked off, hurting the arrogant kings
pride. But the petty ruler wouldnt leave it at that,
he sent gifts of fine beauty to the brog by Barbhar
Hill, but no show of wealth or fanciful gift could
turn the heart if Nula. As this went on one of the
kings guard, Geul, Mogs nephew and Onaites
cousin visited Onaite to tell him that Merbh was
after his love Nula and that he was bent on
having Nulas heartand the head of that Onaite
that Nula spoke of at the market. Upon hearing
this Onaite decided that he must flee for his life.
Devastated by the news, Mog gave his son his
finest horse to carry him on his way. The father
and son said a farewell before the horseman
galloped off into the night. Onaite had no idea
where he would go but he stopped by the brog by
Barbhar Hill to say goodbye to Nula. When he
got there he called out for Nula. She rushed out
and hugged him tight
Im so glad to see you soon after their long
embrace Onaite noticed a glint by the brog.
What is that shining in the moonlight over
Merbh sends me gold in hope to win my
heartbut it only belongs to you I swear
He left out a sigh as he told her that he knew
what was happening, and that the king
threatened him with his life, forcing him to flee
and say his goodbye to her. But Nula refused to
leave him saying that if he was going then she
was going. She climbed on his horse and refused
to get off. Onaite knew better than to argue with
the stubborn girl. They rode off into the inviting
darkness of the night to the hills which lay to the
For many sunrises and sunsets did the couple
start to make a home among the hills, there was
deer and fowl to hunt, fresh mountain streams to
drink from and it was far away from Merbh. In
the hills they were content.
But Merbh was outraged that the two slipped
away as they did. Such so that he personally went
out to search for them along with his guards
Geul, Onaz and Yabal.
Unaware in their content mountain home, the
pair went about their day. Onaite went to the hill
foots, which were rich in bushes which housed
the Naskait, a fowl bird so named for the males
have shiny feathers along their wings and a long
tail which waves side to side as it walks, giving it
the appearance of a swimming fish.

A Naskait (gallina piscus)

Onaite took out his sling and stone. He sat among
the bushes when he saw the shivering silver that
meant dinner. He slung his stone and earned himself a meal. He walked out to claim his prize when
he heard hooves pounding against the ground. He
turned around to face the Hillpath below him and
saw four riders. King Merbh, Geul, Onaz and
Yabal were there looking right at him. Merbh with
a look of anger on his face, Geul with a look of sadness, for he wished no harm on his kin but duty
compelled him there and the other two with slight
grins. Merbh ordered to Yabal to kill Onaite. The
guard got off his mount and ran for Onaite, with
no weapon but his sling, he took a stone and
loosed it as Yabal, striking with such force that it
went through his left eye and into his skull killing
him. All the more enraged Merbh ordered all his
guards after him. But Onaite being on the upper
ground and with better knowledge of the hills got
away before Merbh could get him. All day did they
look for him but never caught him. For Geul was
secretly leading them in the wrong direction. But
when they spotted smoke rise in the distance they
set forth to it.
The smoke was from a fire that Nula was cooking
the Naskait on. A mistake which brought Merbh
right to their self-made brog. As the petty king was
soon approaching the brog he was struck in the leg
by a flying stone and shouted out with pain. Onaite
was keeping a lookout in the darkening evening
with his sling. But against the enemys swords it
would be a sore fight. Onaz rushed to Onaite with
his sword glittering in the moonlight, as the bright
blade was getting closerit fell. Geul wrestled

Onaz as he told his cousin to run. The sound and

commotion brought Nula around from the back
where dinner was cooking. Onaz struck a mighty
blow to the right side of Geuls face with a rock.
King Merbh shouted out in rage and reminded
Geul of his Etugains3 which entwines him in duty
to the king. The Etugains is an unbreakable oath
which would shatter soul and honour if broken.
Reluctantly Geul returned to the kings side.
During the fight between Geul and Onaz the
couple managed to run away into the nightbut
Merbh was soon after them. The couple ran along
the cliff edge, for it had a path down into the hill
footswhere they wished to escape. But Merbh
and his men caught up. Onaite turned towards
thembut he turned back around to see Onaz
come up the path by which they wished to escape.
For Merbh had sent him there before they left the
brog. Now trapped on all sides and with the steep
rocky cliff edge to his back, Onaite took a defensive
stancethe king ordered Geul to kill his own
cousin and reminded him of his Etugains. And so
Geul walked up to Onaite with a blade in his hand
Please forgive me he said just before he lunged at
Onaite with his blade, he swung and missed, he
swung again and this time thrust the blade into
Onaites belly. The horseman tried to grab his cousins arms to stop the short blade, for a few seconds
they struggled but Geul was to strong and plunged
the blade into his cousins stomach Im so sorry
he said as the last life left Onaites body before it fell
over the cliff and onto the rocks below. Merbh
grinned as Nula wailed in grief, she rushed to the
cliff s edge and looked down upon her lovers body.
As she gazed upon him she said:
Mondi sutor ngugn ruga,
Ngugn gosa eu moso ber hokebher nobha,
Daikat suteu notamakem suteumaiterolo disa
mosut, Nguga regb ita tarak ruganes
Great is my sorrow,
My heart has broken into tiny shreds,
Such that each piece can pass through the eye of a
needle, I will walk with the death of sorrow
After these words she stepped over the cliff s edge
and joined the son of Mog in the next life. And so
that path through the hills was ever known as
Harpito Ruganes (the Hillpath of sorrow).

1Onaite Mamogoi=the first name means horseman in the

Wasgar tongue, the last name means Son of Mog. Mog=brown
2Berendak onoi=fenced area where horses are displayed during
3Etugains=meaning sacred oath of duty in the Wasgar language

A Psycholinguistic Assessment From 2098


After carefully reading the excerpt below, and briefly
outlining the way automated translators were originally
designed, you will explain the impact of the Trs Belle
Neurowear translator on its users.
Once upon a time, an American engineer was surfing
the web with a lot of flair, when he met an incredibly
beautiful woman from Romania it was love at first
sight. However, he could not speak Romanian, and she
could not speak English. Solving problems being the
kind of things that engineers do, the super smart guy
created a translating device for his paramour. Their love
story was better than any advertising campaign, and after
a few months everybody was using his translating device.
Investors got interested, and the beta version evolved
through all the updates of the Greek alphabet. At first
people were only using them to talk to foreigners, but the
designers gave it such a sexy look and intoxicating touch
that it soon became essential to the everyday life. Bye bye
Babel Tower language divisions, bonjour Trs Belle Neurowear translation! That is how, in less than a generation,
all languages were wiped off the planet, as everybody
started communicating solely with the device. That is
how we lost empathy. That is how we lost poetry too.
From Lost and Found linguistics, 2095
In the first decade of the 21st century, automated translation software became accessible to everyone via the
internet. Cheap and user-friendly, they allowed people
who were otherwise divided by language barriers to
communicate instantaneously in the same language. If
most commercial machine translation systems were first
developed using a rules-based approach, providing users
with cryptic translations, there was a considerable
improvement with the implementation of statistical
learning techniques to build a new translation model. As
Google research scientist Franz Och explained:
Languages are complicated and, as any language learner
can tell you, there are exceptions to almost any rule.
When you try to capture all of these exceptions, and
exceptions to the exceptions in a computer program, the
translation quality begins to break down. Google Translate takes a different approach (...)

Once the computer finds a pattern, it can use this pattern

to translate similar texts in the future. When you repeat
this process billions of times you end up with billions of
patterns and one very smart computer program.
While one may admire the fantastic resourcefulness of
the research scientists who designed this statistical translating system, one cannot help but notice the limitations
that resulted in our current conundrums: the damage
done to language as a communicational and cultural
tool, and the damage done to the human mind.
First, the documents used to teach computers how to
translate were mostly multilingual human-translated
United Nations and European Union official documents,
i.e. administrative and highly formal language. This
choice entailed an immediate redefinition of Jakobsons
functions of language. From 6 functions, only one was
left: definite descriptions and deictic words, i.e. the referential function.
What got lost then? The internal state of the speaker that
is conveyed by the expressive function, the vocatives of
the conative function, the Parnassian beauty of the
poetic function, the thirst for contact and checking for
openness and engagement of the phatic function, and
the so useful distance-taking possibility allowed by the
metalinguistic function.
Most were convinced at the time that these were little
loss compared to the gains: limiting language to its mere
referential function would ensure clarity of information
transmission. No more garden path sentences, ambiguous, and vague utterances that confuse readers and
listeners - language would finally become a dramatically
efficient communicational tool thanks to the Trs Belle
neurowear translator, and de facto cognitive prosthesis.
Vocabulary and connotations were rationalised, and
soon ambiguity was obliterated from human speech.
However, Piantadosi and his colleagues argued that:
Contrary to the Chomskyan view, [that] ambiguity is in
fact a desirable property of communication systems,
precisely because it allows for a communication system
which is short and simple. We argue for two beneficial
properties of ambiguity: first, where context is informative about meaning, unambiguous language is partly
redundant with the context and therefore inefficient; and
second, ambiguity allows the re-use of words and sounds
which are more easily produced or understood.


Indeed, researchers at MITs Brain and

Cognitive Sciences department demonstrated
that when every word is different, the
information rate is very high, consequently the
speech channels bandwidth may reach its
saturation limit. However when many words
sound the same but are made distinguishable
by context, then the communication system is
more efficient. Therefore stripping language
from all its functions, with the rational of
increasing its efficiency actually resulted in a
loss of comprehension capacity and damaged
the communicational tool that is language.
When people stopped learning languages and
resorted only to automatic translations, the
software would only be fed with documents
that were translated using automated
translation. It entered into a loop - there was
absolutely no human feedback any more. After
a while, not only did the target language stop
evolving, but also the native language of the
human users. The more they were using the
automated translator for communicating, the
more they were modelling their own human
language after the one of the machine. As we
explained earlier, this rationalisation of
language that occurred by use of extremely
precise words mined from institutional speech
material data was counter-productive: instead
of fostering efficiency, it achieved saturation.
But it also had a more deleterious impact: it
damaged language as a cultural tool.
As Sapir stated, human beings construct their
understanding of the world through language,
by means of expressing and describing. Quine
insisted that language is a social art, and
Everett, with fantastic intellectual iconoclasm
for his times made clear that language IS
instrumentum linguae, the tool through which
all cultural constructs are made possible.
As Korzybski stated, the map is not the
territory. Human are five-sense beings
evolving in a three dimensional plane: their
nervous system allows them to sense object and
events, but they leave out many characteristics
as they proceed, and continue to use those
inaccurate descriptions to make more
inferences about the world. In his new
corollaries for general semantics, Anton
proposed that there is no not territory,
because the territory (reality) consists of many

deductio and homo narrans building their

understanding of the world on inferences, and
telling stories about them, that then lay the
basis for new inferences and more stories.
But human beings, are also above all, homo
metaphora. And this is where the designers of
the initial automated translations went wrong:
they only fed the smart software with very little
metaphorical language. However everyday
abstract concepts such as time, change, and
causation are metaphorical! As Anton
explained, humans navigate towards the
future thanks to language. But as they do, they
must also navigate across different forms of
conceptual mappings, and this is achieved
through a system of conventional conceptual
metaphors as demonstrated by Reddy in The
Conduit Metaphor. It is not just about
communication, cognitive metaphors shape
the way humans think and act. And as Lakoff
and Jacobs suggested in their ethics-driven
approach to language, metaphors allow for
social conditioning and pressure to form
specific cognitive bias.
When the automated translators entered the
feedback loop of recursive updating and the
lingua franca froze into a highly technical,
unambiguous and literal medium for
referential communication, it is the Theory of
mind of the 21st century humans that got lost.
Except for a few cognitive rsistants who went
on learning languages and avoiding the
systematic use of the Trs Belle Neurowear
translator in their everyday communications,
most peoples internal workings changed at a
dramatic pace. As Astington and Baird
recalled, research showed strong relations
between childrens linguistic abilities and their
theory of mind. Furthermore Gopnik stated
"hearing language is particularly important for
understanding others, while other kinds of
experience, such as the visual modality, are
less important"
This machine rationalised language that could
be heard from the translating neurodevice had
a deleterious impact on users.
You talk like who you talk with.

Human beings are not mere homo loquax, they

are in a constant tension between homo

Deprived from exposure to ambiguity, lacking the practice of positing intentional

contexts, they started to lose the ability for empathy. And as their linguistic metaphors
got threatened by the literalness of the new language, and poetry disappeared, their
conceptual metaphors petrified, and so did their understanding of the world.
I believe as Everett did that language diversity is the cognitive fire of human life. We
should therefore protect and encourage those who still pursue language studies,
despite the easy solution that is the Trs Belle Neurowear translator.


Take my hand
Take my hand
Yeah take my hand
Follow me
Follow me
Yeah let's go
To the sand
To the sand
The purest sand
Into the sea
Into the sea
Yeah let's go

Mm takmpusoint
Nuboint ka
Nuboint ka
Mm sonoim
To fu sic
To fu sic
Fu pukric sic
Tonac fu ntui
Tonac fu ntui
Mm sonoim

Out beyond the water's edge

Far out past the coral ledge
Underneath the diamond dancing lights
Chase the world from far below
Silent sleeping indigo
Drifting down into the endless night

Oigcat fo fu movori
Oigcat fo fu zuinwii
Mpor fu kidonci mafic maizin
Nupntadoint fu rud fo mpor
Winew ntintic ntaidero
Feinkim to fu nawkuci fin

I cannot resist your call

I cannot resist your call

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Take my hand
Take my hand
Yeah take my hand
Follow me
Follow me
Yeah let's go
To the sand
To the sand
The purest sand
Into the sea
Into the sea
Yeah let's go

Mm takmpusoint
Nuboint ka
Nuboint ka
Mm sonoim
To fu sic
To fu sic
Fu pukric sic
Tonac fu ntui
Tonac fu ntui
Mm sonoim

Leaving reason far behind

Nothing here is cruel or kind
Only your desire to set me free
Let us lie here all alone
Worn away like river stone
Let us be the sirens of the sea

Ka fo vinmponc oih sonim

Mpum wint pakrim wob pankrim
Cen mpui nawin pod kai soniunki
Sonkigoint kar mpum huphain
Soncintim fe koi zain
Kar ziuroim fu pikben movori


I cannot resist your call

I cannot resist your call

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Leaving reason far behind

Nothing here is cruel or kind
Only your desire to set me free
Let us lie here all alone
Worn away like river stone
Let us be the sirens of the sea

Ka fo vinmponc oih sonim

Mpum wint pakrim wob pankrim
Cen mpui nawin pod kai soniunki
Sonkigoint kar mpum huphain
Soncintim fe koi zain
Kar ziuroim fu pikben movori

I cannot resist your call

I cannot resist your call

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Ka wint dekim mpui niznkab

Sirens of the sea

Pikben movori


It is assumed that Foxp2 is in charge of aiding

infants automatise the unconscious control over
the speech structures (tongue, lips, throat, lungs,
etc.). Ever since it was discovered in the 1990s its
transcription factor has been the main researched
protein due to its capacity to regulate the activity of
other genes (turning them on and off), by
improving the formation of new synapses between
neurons and procedural memory, which in turn
are crucial for mental associations and thus for
language processing.

Are We Wired To
Create Languages?

Geneticists and Linguists have been bewildered at

the human capacity for complex and abstract
communication for ages. Since this unique ability
at this level of complexity is particular to humans
many believe it comes programmed in our DNA,
and it is responsible for the necessary parts in our
brain for developing the skill of language. Some
neuroscientists call it the Linguistic Gene and
consider it to be the main responsible for the way
we understand and produce language.
Researchers at MIT claim to have discovered the
human version of this gene, Foxp2 (CAGH44,
SPCH1 or TNRC10) which is thought to be
responsible for transforming new experiences into
routine processes. They believe this gene creates
the necessary neurological pathways for thought
association which is fundamental for processing
language. For them learning is associated with
behaviour and the latter can always be automatised
so that no longer conscious relations get in the way
of how fast the response can be produced.

On the matter, Genevieve Konopka, an assistant

professor of neuroscience at the University of
Texas Southwestern claims that these discoveries
suggest that human Foxp2 facilitates learning
that has been conducive for the emergence of
speech and language in humans. The observed
differences in dopamine levels and long-term
depression in a region-specific manner are also
striking and begin to provide mechanistic details
of how the molecular evolution of one gene might
lead to alterations in behaviour.
However, not everyone agrees with the
assumptions behind the discovery of this genes
actions; Philip Lieberman, Seed Professor of
Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Department of
Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, claims that
there is no linguistic gene nor is there a language
organ in the brain. During the decade of the 70s
he focused on the evolution of the vocal anatomy
that enables humans to communicate, eventually
he realised how deep the language ability is and
that it is far from being only exclusive to the vocal
anatomy, he expanded his research to how neural
circuits that regulate syntax, cognition as well as
speech production and other aspects of motor
control, work together to produce meaningful
Liebermann states that the human brain has
evolved in a certain way so as to systematically
enhance the human cognitive plasticity and ability
for imitation and improvement. For him there are
pre-programmed in the brain, he claimed that the
basal ganglia structures are the responsible for the
development of creativity in the brain and
therefore intrinsically involved in how language is
created. Liebermann sustains that the transfer of
information in the basal ganglia was enhanced by
selective genetic mutation and progression; these,
eventually gave rise to supercharged neural
circuits that link together the different parts of the
brains activity.


On the other hand, Chomskys advocates have

been debating how Foxp2 gave rise to the language
instinct and how irrefutable the evidence on the
matter is; for them our linguistic abilities cannot
be thrown under the carpet encapsulated as evolutive structures. These cognitive geneticists hold
their ground by claiming that the lack of this gene
in humans cause serious linguistic disabilities as it
was discovered in the KE family, who for more
than three generations had been suffering from
speech disabilities.
The scientists discovered that their disorder was
not grammar-related or speech-specific. VarghaKhadem, the researcher in charge of the scientific
investigation, discovered that the disorder featured
the following characteristics:
1.- Defects in processing words according to
grammatical rules; understanding of more complex sentence structure such as sentences with embedded relative clauses

Consequently, he claimed that these disabilities

clearly showed how important this gene is in the
matter of understanding and production of language. The Human Mind requires cognition and
awareness of this cognition, and in turn this cognition relies on the human capacity for complex
communication. The discovery of this gene may
well be a fundamental part of how the human
mind seems to be wired to create language.
Although nobody can claim to have discovered the
holy grail of human communication (i.e. The Linguistic Gene), having discovered a gene essential
during the early gestation process for development
of brain areas linked to speech and language makes
more than one hopeful on the matter.
The whole study provide us with novel ways of
seeing how powerful our instinct to communicate
is, and how relevant genes are to the way we create
our communication systems.

2.- Inability to form intelligible speech

3.- Defects in the ability to move the mouth and
face not associated with speaking (relative immobility of the lower face and mouth, particularly the
upper lip), and
4.- Significantly reduced IQ in the affected compared with the unaffected in both the verbal and
the non-verbal domain.


L Failikvas
L Failikvas
Naikove keitis, salais kaita boikvka,
Tsinovokala ini Vaskar sala okais maikupok,
Olaition salais nykei Sarut, rato, sopa?
Byraitsy! Boiksy! Kotvasy! Sonlasy ratosalan
Tsynosala paisuvvar mk nadukevas pok
Veis tsika sime? Veis tsika symoi? Lyteikasy?
Savol savol! Salais l failikvas, Sarutvy.

Until Our Last Breath

Kingdom of Gid, our mountain home,
For stream! For mountain! For family! For these
We protect from great temple to little stone,
Will you die? Will you bleed? For the Lyteika?
We will! We will! Until our last breath, O Sarut.


Typemes and Allotypes:

Voice Inflection in Albanesca


I wanted the grammar to differ substantially from Romance languages. I borrowed
about 99% of the syntax from English. I gave all the adjectives and almost all the nouns
a neuter gender. Granted, I loosely based the bound morphemes off of Latin, but the
compound words took mostly from English as well. I liked the idea of creating a
language thats similar enough in structure to English, becauselets face itEnglish is
all by its lonesome, even in the West Germanic subfamily of languages, and I thought it
looked a little lonely. However, I definitely did not intend to recreate English or any
other natlang for that matter, so I gave it a fairly novel concept:
typeme n. (in Albanesca) a paradigm of consonants and their representative letters
which interchange in a verb to inflect the voice
allotype n. a consonant and its letter within a typeme, whose voice corresponds with
the consonants place of articulation, manner of articulation, and/or phonetic voicing
So what does all this mean? Basically, Albanesca has three voices: active, middle (a.k.a.
mediocausative), and passive. Active-voice allotypes are usually more front-lying than
their middle-voice counterparts, and the passive-voice allotypes are articulated back
from the other two. This applies to 27 of the 36 consonants in Albanesca, and those 27
are grouped into threes. Furthermore, to change a verb from the indicative mood to the
subjunctive, you exchange each typeme (other thanx) for its voiced or unvoiced
counterpart. Below is a table illustrating the typemes (in the white corner brackets) and
the allotypes (in the black corner brackets) in IPA:


Notice the spectrum below the table. Phonological spectra are very
important in verb conjugation, especially typemes.
Here are the allotypes in Albanescas alphabet:

Here I shall illustrate how typemes play into conjugation:


I took the idea of typemes from an old, largely abandoned concept for a conlang whose verbs were a
polysynthetic chain of dynamic, stative, and copular consonants; and of bound vowelic infixes that took
the place of conjunctions, prepositions, relative pronouns, and particles of other languages. While the
basis of a whole vocabulary on a chain of dos, haves, and bes quickly daunted me, I grew attached to
the idea that voice inflections could operate on a phonological spectrum, and out of that idea grew
Albanescas typemes. In fact, one of the main purposes of choosing Latin to lexify Albanesca was simplicity in forming the vocabulary, so that I could pay more attention to the morphology.
The concept of internal change within a verb to make it passive or causative was novel to me, but there
are parallels in other languages. English, after all, has lay as the causative counterpart of lie, as well
as set for sit; fell for fall, and raise for rise. These, however, are considered lexical formations
and not morphological. Maybe closer to the concept of typemes are causative constructs within Lahu,
Maori, and Swahili:

While internal consonant change may take place to construct causative verbs in other languages, such
languages neither have a phonological spectrum of Doing Having Being, nor construct passive
verbs through the same process. The adherence of typemes to a spectrum of activity vs. passivity is what
makes them unique.


The Boradhi Creation Myth

Ceu aste sor, aste nor.
Before there was land, there was sea.
Midhde Aoga cisme nathtuial erad cu an nor i
farte is an Sur, Asaerad me pi? i avdea an Sur
cis, Naease gu erad, i aste na Sis nathtuial
ceue is. Ueste Aoga cinad, ii ede aste rehad.
Ancestor found himself swimming in the sea
alone and asked the Sky, Why am I alone?
and the Sky told him, You are not alone, and
then there were fish swimming all around. This
made Ancestor happy, but soon he was hungry.
Asarehad me pi? farte is na Sis i avdea na Sis
cis, Naease gu rehad, i perde ispeme cis fi
madu. Ueste Aoga cinad, ii ede sifte iac o-is
pifi an Ir.
Why am I hungry? he asked the Fish and the
Fish told him, You are not hungry, and gave
itself to him to eat. This made Ancestor happy,
but soon his eyes grew weary of the sun.
Sipa iac o-me pifi an Ir pi? farte is na Char
i avdea na Char cis, Naesipe iac o-gu, i
sedhde na Sil cu an Sur fi um-ueste. Ueste
Aoga cinad, ii ede dolde gul o-is.
Why do my eyes grow weary? he asked the
Gull and the Gull told him, Your eyes do not
grow weary, and the Stars sat in the darkened
sky. This made Ancestor happy, but soon his
heart ached.
Dola gul o-me pi? farte is na Sil i avdea na
Sil cis, Naedole gul o-gu, i ueste Aoga ras i
nis. Ueste Aoga cinad, ii ede sifte is.
Why does my heart ache? he asked the Stars
and the Stars told him, Your heart does not

ache, and Ancestor became Man and Woman.

This made Ancestor very happy, but soon he
was tired.
Raema me pas? farte is an Nor, ii avde an
Nor naen. Alo nate Aoga fi raemeriu. Nate is fi
er mor, i dhadha midhde ci an Borath i farte is
an Borath, Borath, raemdisim cai gu? i an
Borath avdea cis, Naomdisim gu me
Boradhor, ii ase an Nor i naetena me raemeriu
fi guor. Ii siue gu an siu domi meor i domdisim
Where am I to rest? he asked the Sea, but the
Sea said nothing. So Ancestor swam to find a
place to rest. He swam for a day and finally he
came across a Great Whale and asked, Great
Whale, may I rest upon you? and the Great
Whale said, You may call me Great Whale,
but I am the sea and have no place of rest for
you. But sing to me a lullaby and I may sleep.
Ii Borath, sipa iau me i sic-naetene siutu fi
gu, avde Aoga, ii avde an Nor naen.
But Great Whale, I am so tired and cannot
sing for you, Ancestor said, but the Sea said
Raechde Aoga can Sur i farte is, Sur, isiue gu
fi me fi raemdisim me? i avdea an Sur cis,
Hefinde me eradasa a-gu. Iperde gu ci me
pe? Fi aua na mor o-me, isiue me fi gu,
lic-perde Aoga ci an Sur. Alo, isiue me ci gu.
Ancestor looked to the Sky and asked, Sky,
will you sing for me that I might rest? and the
Sky said, I have ended your loneliness. What
will you give me? I will sing for you all of my
days, Ancestor promised to the Sky. Then I
will sing for you.

Raechde Aoga ci na Sis i farte is, Sis, isiue gu fi me fi raemdisim

me? i avdea na Sis cis, Hefinde me rehadasa a-gu. Iperde gu ci me
pe? Fi aua na mor o-me, isiue me fi gu, lic-perde Aoga ci na Sis.
Alo, isiue me ci gu.
Ancestor looked to the Fish and asked, Fish, will you sing for me
that I might rest? and the Fish said, I have ended your hunger.
What will you give me? I will sing for you all of my days,
Ancestor promised. Then I will sing for you, said the Fish.
Raechde Aoga ci na Char i farte is, Char, isiue gu fi me fi raemdisim
me? i avdea na Char cis, Heraemde me na iac a-gu. Iperde gu ci
me pe? Fi aua na mor o-me, isiue me fi gu, lic-perde Aoga ci na
Char. Alo, isiue me ci gu.
Ancestor looked to the Gull and asked, Gull, will you sing for me
that I might rest? and the Gull said, I have rested your eyes. What
will you give me? I will sing for you all of my days, Ancestor
promised. Then I will sing for you, said the Gull.
Raechde Aoga ci na Sil i farte is, Sil, isiue gu fi me fi raemdisim
me? i avdea na Sil cis, Dhelde me gul a-gu. Iperde gu ci me pe?
Fi aua na mor o-me, isiue me fi gu, lic-perde Aoga ci na Sil. Alo,
isiue me ci gu.
Ancestor looked to the Stars and asked, Stars, will you sing for me
that I might rest? and the Stars said, I have eased your heart.
What will you give me? I will sing for you all of my days,
Ancestor promised. Then I will sing for you, said the Stars.
Raemde aua eudivad fi Aoga i domde Borath i ueste is an Sor. I
maste bos cai ges o-is i carde ispe iol fi na rah i Aoga fi vivdu, fi
ligahar-tendisim is i raemdisim fi ispe piu raema fi iol a-gu.
All of them sang beautifully for Ancestor and Great Whale slept and
became the Land. And trees grew atop his body and made homes for
the animals and Ancestor to live, that he would keep his promise and
sing for those who sing for his home.


The Honest Woodcutter

"Woe is me!" a poor woodcutter cried when he dropped his axe into a deep
pond. A friendly water spirit appeared before him with a silver axe and asked,
"Is this yours?"
"No," the woodcutter said.
The spirit returned with a golden axe.
"Is this yours?" she asked.
"No," said the woodcutter.
Then the spirit appeared with his plain wooden axe.
"That one is mine!" said the woodcutter happily.
"You've been so honest," said the spirit, "take the gold and silver axe too!"
On the way home the woodcutter met a rich merchant. When the merchant
heard the woodcutter's tale, he ran to the pond and dropped his wooden axe in.
"Woe is me!" he cried.
The spirit appeared with a silver axe.
"That one is mine!" the merchant said quickly.
"You know it is not," said the spirit, and disappeared.
The rich man's wooden axe stayed on the bottom of the deep pond.

Rolf Weimar - Atlaans De Eerlicha Holtsniter

"Oh nee!" plak een armseliga holtsnitter wen he abzet haar aks in een tiefa teech. Een friendseliga vaater geest
kom su hich med een silber aks en fraach, "Ar dies deen?"
"Nee," saach de holtsniter.
De geest kom shuruch med een goldena aks.
"Ar dies deen?" fraach se.
"Nee," saach de holtsniter.
Dan de geest kom su hich med haar zimpel holt aks.
"Das daar ar meen!" saach de holtsniter froolich.
"Du ar sho eerlich," saach de vaater geest, "neem de goldena en de silber aks ooch!"
Ouf vech heem de holtsniter tref een reecha handler. As de handler hoor de gezishte fon de holtsniter, he ren
su de teech en abzet shogar haar eegena holt aks daarin.
"Oh nee!" plak he.
De geest kom su hich med een silber aks.
"Das daar ar meen!" saach de handler snel.
"Du vees es ar niet," saach de geest en fersvina.
De reecha man'se holt aks bleeb ouf de boden fon de tiefa teech.

Kyle Farrington Kaidu Fu Diuric Mpokapme

O navrim! can wisompric mpokapme wasnkabes font se hafes sei mpokapwem tonac can duigric sunrit. Can
vinbenric ntuii siub sonmeres ntof fu mpokapme wit can siorric mpokapwem af firines Mpai ziurim mpui
Wint, fu mpokapme mpages.
Fu siub mpimpnises wit can fiorric mpokapwem.
Mpai ziurim mpui sai? se firines.
Wint, fu mpokapme mpages.
Ntos, fu siub sonmeres wit fu mpokapmei mpizrinc mporic mpokapwem.
Ntai ziurim mpui! fu mpokapme woncric mpages.
Mpu ntic diures, fu siub mpages, sonmpusoint adze fu siorric af fiorric mpokapwem!
Font nac fu neg to toir, fu mpokapme sonkebes can suidsompric uisme. Font fu uisme cices fu mpokapmei
nkob, se ntades to fu sunrit af hafes sei mpokapwem tonac fu ntui.
O navrim! se wasnkabes.
Fu siub sonmeres wit can siorric mpokapwem.
Ntai ziurim mpui! fu uisme doric mpages.
Mpu mpancim dant se wint ziurim. Fu siub mpages, af soncimeres.
Fu suidsompric marei mpokapwem kiges tuc fu duigric sunriti mporgar.



Rodrigo Pereira Docian Zo lenyor honest

"Ray mi" cri undyo probi lenyor kiand lash cader zeina asha inuna lackua fondya. Undyo sprit amitblie
dza aka appeirw anti lei can undya asha argentut preguntri, "I cisto teino?"
"Nu", ditri zo lenyor.
Zo sprit volvi can undya asha dort.
"I cisto teino?", preguntri.
"Nu", ditri zo lenyor.
Dempiasse zo sprit apeirw can zeina asha dei materia.
"Ce i meino!" ditri zo lenyor can joyi.
"Fwst tamu honest," ditri zo sprit, "preni zas ashas dort argentut thamn!"
Inu chamn ail chassa, zo lenyor incontri undyo mercator richi. Kiand zo mercator udibri za storie dzo
lenyor, fuksi ath za lackua lash cader zeina asha dei materia pir lai.
"Ray mi", cri il.
Zo sprit apeirw can undya asha argentut.
"Ce i meino!" ditr zo mercator rapiidmin.
"Ssaips ka nu i," ditr zo sprit, dispari.
Za ascia dzo homi richi fencu inu fond dza lackua fondya.

Gary Taylor-Raebel - Mila no::-:

:-::n--oo-:n :o:-on:-:c-n:--:: o:-co:-no:n-
-cn:-:-:n-oo-:nn no-:n-::-
no:n-oo-:-:-no: :-cn::--:
::-on:-coo::-:o-:n::--:n :n-::--: c:v-oo-:: :c-
no:n-:-:-no-:o :::-oo-::
Cinbudna Kigud.
Nuhlin kiguda mi ba inmia. Ingubluh puin izukta luin kirak inliti. Lublin sinbin cubnic tina kiscin kigu
uhlua ba inicta. Cuban inmicta uliluda kirak.
Kiguda ba inmiru lubinga kirak.
Cubnic tina kuhkin kigu ba inbukca.
Lulac inmicta uliluda kirak.
Kiguda ba inmiru lubinga kirak.
Cubnic indup tina lumin kigu.
Kiguda ba puhcin inmila lubin kirakta.
Cubnic ba inmiru in canbud. Kuhkin kiscinla karga tuhlu.
Ludina pukcin supinla igubla uglitcina lular indira. Luric kigudna minap iniru. Suktij ba inluhu. Izukta luin
kirak inliti.
Mi ba inmia.
Cubnic tina kiscin kigu ba inicta.
Lular hiscin inmiru lubin kirak.
Cubnic inmiru ludin canbi ibida. Ilukidra ba inluhu.
Uglitcina lurin jukin kigic puin suktin igukta ba inguhula.


Christian Evans - Southern Aasim Mohloke Yekei

Tlat yuv uven! mohloke yemorgonhei mlleoq ngesi la sinpinuq ul ngeta awadi mohlog lei. Inr teei
meni yaqeoq ula, n mohlog teldi, v tanoq la, sa yuvoq ei?
Yi, mohloke mleoq.
Inr deb yaqeoq, n mohlog newei. sa yuvoq ei? tanoq la.
Yi, mohloke mleoq.
Eme inr yaqeoq, n mohlog moyvi lei.
la yuvoq venei! mohloke mleoq gan nwa.
Yuvet yekei, inr mleoq, nea vg mohlogud teldi v newei!
Qvul ul ngird, mohloke sepimoq rgnun morgonhei. Ngesi rggnun searoq rehs mohlokei, kbloq ul
nget v sempenoq ul tea mohlog moyvi lei.
Tlat yuv uven! mleoq.
Inr yqeoq, n mohlog teledi.
la yuvqq venei! rgnun gan kval mleoq.
usun la yi yuv ei, inr mleoq v yikoq.
Mohlok mvi nameni morgonhei nowdoq ul iwd ngetei awedi.
- Northern Aasim Mullekkuun Eyyeqayii
Telaat uubinaayuub! mullekkuun imergunhaayi mallayeq ngisi laa uul ngitaa awaadii senpineq mullennga
laayi. Iner tieyi miyenii uulaayeqqayeq, nuuy mullennga tiletii, be tehaneq laana, Esaa yuubeq aeyi?
Yii, mullekkuun melayeq.
Iner dibbe yeqqayeq, nuuy mullennga niweii. Esaa yuubeq aeyi? tehaneq laana.
Yii, mullekkuun melayeq.
Imi iner yeqqayeq, nuuy mullennga muuyebii laayi.
Laa yuubeq binayi! mullekkuun gannwaamelayeq.
Yuubet eyyeqayii, iner melayeq, ennayaa baga mullekuut tiletii be niweii!
Qbuul uul ngiireta, mullekkuun sipiimeq raggenuunna murgenhaayi. Ngisi raggenuunna seyareq rihesna mullekkuunii, uungetaqebbaleq be uuteaasenpineq mullennga muuyubii laayi.
Telaat uubinaayuub! mellayeq.
Iner yeqqayeq, nuuy mullennga tiletii.
Laa yuubeq binayi! raggenuun gaqbaalamelayeq.
Ea usuun uy laa yii yuub eayi, inar melayeq be yiiquyeq.
Mullek muuyubii naamenii murgenhaayi uul iweda ngetayi ewaadii nuuwedeq.


James Allen shyk Hgorplora tkinalaet Amnae

vlam bmghyth! hgorplora tkinalaet bimalm tkysth shrbenmthyk shhadindre tepylhth. shorsh
sharth amnmetmth ghindra trashmn trekr tkysthdr benghokor mdra ilthpa papmpn.
tkinalaet tor azh tyrltr.
shorsh benghin saotorakm tkysthdr orar.
mdra ilthpa, pap aeatorakm.
tor, tkinalaet azh tyrltr.
shorsh trashmn torakm tykaeysh tkysthdr hgorplor thirth.
mza mth tkinalaet azh tyrltr zhovikth.
amin ilarion tlth, tkysth orar benghokorypn klak iltren! shorsh azh tyrltr.
tkinalaet fandr benghnm shtaet sukinadr trvin trltr. shtaet tgn tkinalaetshpa nzmyk,
shhadindr shlozh indrtorakm tkysth hgorplor shrben draepnal.
vlam bmghyth! bmal indrtrltr.
shorsh trashmn torakm tkysthdr benghokor.
shtaet mza mth azh tyrltr bre.
kkesmt pransir iltr, shorsh azh tyrltr trshamintr torpnm.
tkysth hgorplor drgarshpa sukinadr szhhdindra tepylhth vorth torakm.

James William McCleary Khljha Khwsoqeim Sttse

Aiyo akhant pxhmi ei! khyja khyefhju Khwsoqeim lryiqhe apnta qus teiqhaperetlkhaxing qir
tlhemat tlhekhepa. Xhna kyathyinging tsena xhnir fhaqhefhrethir khtha Qhiswuypwar qhkhnaikh
pajexhmoqlyatser xhyjar Tyentiring peiyjhei?
Tyentirsur pajeyeilja Khwsoqeim.
Khmothake xhrijhtuqei xhmpta xhroe Proxeypwar.
Tyentir peiyjheixing? rija jar eixhrejor kexhing.
Khnenopaingate pajetsaqnelnge Khwsoqeim.
Qr t jhpxhrefha teiqha xhnir xhmthoring jhkh emsti Syofheypwar.
Teiyekhmiting! pajetsiwniya qhtim tlhir Khwsoqeim.
Khnsta km qr xhr teir pajxhutse Xhrmliin. Engemtyaiyaqhor kpayxhmikheng kki xhroe
yontet xha!
Xertsilqhyatser khwthatlhus Wtsinse tkhtut kae xhlir Khwsoqeim. Khrti qus teiqhakharunu Khwsoqeim Qhanteqhyepakhh khyefhiypwarn tstrumet pae koaqoas qxei tyrqho teiqhaperetpwar emsti
pfhu kyan koxhing.
Oiyo okhant pxhmi ei! rpyel pajeyelyteqhe koxhing.
Tsswin xhnir fhaqhefhrethir khakhteylkha Khlaxaypwar.
Pyentir teixingesa! pajekhwilifhufhuyqlel Sya.
Pjekii t khnenopaingate pajekhmta Qhswuxing pejor tynana.
Fhlfhors jxokho se tsetrumetlkha fht pfhu teiqhxhrijhot emsti sae Fhlrikhing.


Bibliography and References

Typemes And Allotypes:

Voice Inflection In Albanesca
* Kiparsky, Paul. Explanation of Phonology.
Publications in Language Sciences (4). Berlin:
Walter de Gruyter, 1982. Print.
* Mpiranya, Fidle.
Swahili Grammar and
Workbook. London: Routledge, 2014. Print.
* Song, Jae Jung. Nonperiphrastic Causative
World Atlas of Language
Structures Online. Ed. Matthew S. Dryer and
Martin Haspelmath. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology, 2013. Web. 11
May 2015. <>.

Are We Wired To Create Languages?

* h t t p : / / n e w s o ffi c e . m i t . e d u / 2 0 1 4 /
* h t t p : / / w w w . m p i . n l / q - a /

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