January 11, 2011

Today's Kriol lesson

I'm still finding out new Kriol words and constructions even though I've been learning Kriol since 2004. This is exciting for me and a constant reminder of just how intricate and complex Kriol can be. It's so easy to just see the English-related surface of Kriol and miss all the juicy stuff going on behind the scenes.

So today two young guys DR and KM were starting to transcribe a recording we'd made of them and I learned a couple of things.

A new word: medrim. I'd listened to it on the recording but had no clue what the word was. The example sentence:

Kriol: Ai garra medri im tha'n
Gloss: I FUT beat+Tr him/her "that one"
English: I'll flog her.

Don't ask me where the word medrim comes from. I have no idea as of yet.

Note also the contractions and dropping of sounds that happen all the time in the normal speech of your average Roper Kriol speaker. In the above sentence, medrim gets shortened to medri and tha'n is actually a contraction of tharran which is a derivation of the English, that one.

There are lots of contractions and shortcuts being made in Roper Kriol that I'm still learning about. The new one I learned today: gitbat. It's a shortened form of gibitbat: gibit is from the English give-it and -bat is a progressive aspect marker (like -ing in English). The example sentence:

Kriol (normal speech): Yulu'im im gitbat im, ngabi.
Kriol (slow speech): Yu luk im, im gibitbat im, ngabi
English translation: Look, he's giving it to him, isn't he.

Very cool. And I just love teaching people how to transcribe their own recordings in ELAN. DR and KM had a first try today, were getting into it and I'm encouraging them to keep going. Fingers crossed.


David Nash said...

"Don't ask me where the word medrim comes from":
My shot: from English murder plus -im.

nginarra said...

Thanks David. Yeah, actually that thought crossed my mind too...

If it is, it's a nice phonological adaptation and another 'hit' verb. Kriol seems to be quite rich with hitting verbs: kilim, ngum, bal, beldim, medrim, mausim, barnjim, hitim...

David Nash said...

mausim? Not in the KRIOL—INGLISH DIKSHENRI -- tell me more!