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Ditzie and the Vilani First Grade Reader


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Gentle Sophonts,

I put together the main parts of a Vilani First Grade Reader, along the lines of "Look, See", and am presenting it for your amusement and edification.

It uses many of Jesse DeGraff's images of Ditzie. We will see if he might sketch up some new images for the story. Until then, you'll have to put up with my very poor drawing skills.


For the language masochists out there, here's a breakdown of the Vilani text.

1. Igdiki, Dakimki.
Literally, "Look, See." The -ki command suffix is attached to the unmodified infinitive forms for informality's sake. A more correct way would be to add the proximal discourse participant prefix /Se/ to each: "Sigimki, Sedakimki."

2. Igdiki, igdiki, dakimki Dizik.
Dizik is the Vilani form of "Ditzie", which itself is an affectionate form for the Vilani name Dizamer. Since Dizik is untoned here, there is the outside chance that someone might misinterpret the sentence as commanding Ditzie to look and see, rather than the reader to look and see Ditzie. We could clarify the object better by adding tone marks: /Dizik'/. We'll see tones in the next sentence.

3. Khii Di'zik unnadin'im.
This sentence raises the bar for Vilani comprehension.

/Khii/ is an existential copular verb, which is a fancy way of saying it's an "is"-type verb. The tone markings on "downport" shows plainly that it is an indirect object; the rising tone on the third syllable indicates that the noun is in an applicational case; thus it isn't a subject or an object. So it is read as "at the downport" or "in the downport", etc. Thus the sentence reads "Ditzie is at the downport".

4. Iira dakimki.
Simply put, "See the gun." /Iira/ is gun.

5. Khii egi ii'ra Di'zikak.
This sentence introduces the posessive construction. /Egi/ X Y /-ak/ denotes that X belongs to Y. /Khii/ again is a "there is" kind of verb, called a copula, that describes simple relationships of nouns to each other.

6. Durumagi dakimki.
/Durumagi/ is "corsair".

7. Kikakag dur'umagi unna'dinim!
Here we finally see a transitive sentence at work. The verb /akag/ is "to attack"; the pronoun prefixes /kik-/ tells us that some human agency is attacking some non-sentient object. The first noun, /durumagi/, "corsair", has the rising tone on the first syllable, showing us that it is the agent, while the second noun, /unnadinim/, "downport", has the rising tone on the second syllable, showing us that it is the object. Thus, the corsair attacks the downport.

8. Dakimki nikgin Dizik. Gaakginki, Dizik, gaakginki!
The first sentence has a verbal phrase embedded in it: "See <Ditzie shoot it>". In Vilani, this is "See it-she-shoots Ditzie"; what's more, the subordinate verb "shoot" is placed in a secondary mode, indicated by a different set of pronoun prefixes. Here /nik/ means "some human agency shoots some nonsentient object".

The second sentence shows the command form of the verb "to shoot", using the prefix "gaa-" to show it's directed at someone not currently participating in this discussion; that is, the command is to Ditzie: "Shoot, Ditzie, shoot!"

9. Igdiki Kaniizu' khuur!
This sentence introduces the adjective, which is often just a stative verb tacked on after the noun it's modifying. Note also that the rising tone is on the third syllable of /Kaniizu/, indicating that the noun is in the applicational case (an indirect object) rather than the subject or object. Thus this sentence reads "Look at the angry Vargr!"

10. Dakimki gaashaa Dizik. Gaashaaki, Dizik, gaashaaki!
These sentences use already familiar constructions to write "See Ditzie run. Run, Ditzie, run!"

11. Serima dakimki. Dakimki nikkag Dizik.
/Serima/ is one word for "starship". /Kag/ is "arrive, board, enter".

12. Dakimki nikmin Dizik.
/Min/ is a reciprocal verb meaning "to land or launch a ship", with the exact meaning inferred by context.

13. Upaan, Dizik!
Literally, the informal "Goodbye, Ditzie!"

The End. (Literally "it is complete").
My 5 year old thought it was great.

But better art would be good. When's the next chapter coming?
This was quite amusing, though Rob's mini-essay on Vilani grammar makes my head hurt on a Monday.

Nice work overall. I especially like "insert picture of angry Vargr".

Originally posted by Aramis:
My 5 year old thought it was great.

But better art would be good. When's the next chapter coming?
That was two questions. If you want better art, pester Jesse DeGraff or someone who can draw Ditzie, because my "art" stinks, as you can see.

For the next chapter, well, can anyone suggest a plotline?
Hmmm, Ditzie Goes Shopping.
Where does Ditzie find this toy? A starport gift shop? A major city on a major world?
And why a penguin? (Just how ubiquitous is the penguin in the Traveller Universe, anyway?) Would a Groat do just as well? Or a Shalap?

The major problem, of course, is the (lack of) artwork. Maybe I should start learning how to draw a Ditzie...
Originally posted by robject:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Aramis:
My 5 year old thought it was great.

But better art would be good. When's the next chapter coming?
That was two questions. If you want better art, pester Jesse DeGraff or someone who can draw Ditzie, because my "art" stinks, as you can see.

For the next chapter, well, can anyone suggest a plotline?
</font>[/QUOTE]No, was two comments and one question.

Well? When is the next chapter?
I'll check out the penguin reference, as time permits. Thanks.

I can see only one major reason that another chapter is slow coming, and that's artwork. I was basically pulling images stored years ago; with no new images to support the text, the text will essentially fail to amuse.

Anyone have some pointers on how to draw?
HI evereeebodeeee. Immm baaaaack.

What's evereeone gonna get for me for my biiirthdaay? It's it's on the twentyyy thiird of Novemmber... I'llll bee eight. Or sixteeen. Or somethiiiing.

The niiice guys from the the TML um found my firrst intercewpted trannie-mission:

</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 21:10:10
From: Ian or Katts <ianw@orac.net.au>
Subject: Leaked memo to "Uncie Hengie"

To : Uncie Hengie

From : Ditzamaanner Spofulam

Re : BD - Wimp Booooorrrring


This is Cousin Ditzie here. It's boooooring here at Compliance. A couple of
us saw the tapes about Winnie and the fun she was having, so we put our
heads together.

I reckon we could take a teensy weensie baby particle accelerator and build
it to stay within the hunnerd kilos or so you can carry in a BDE body
BeeeeDeeeEeeee body suit. And weeeeee reckon the beam would stay together
to six hunnerd kilometers or so.

See, with a 0.64 meter tube, eight centimeters wide, you should be able to
have a quarter of a megajoule or so on come out ... with should rilly rilly
muss the makeup of any stray tin canny-type person. It's elementary
particles too, so it's hyuk hyuk hyuk time if they dont have shielded leccy

We built a draft model to try on Leeeeeegals car, and and and Cousin Davey
hadnt taken his meds and he says he can still see the purple spiders, but
weeeee think he's lying.

Those boooooooring people down at Leeeegals say we need to put a carriage
and a beam pointer on any particle accelerator. Weeee reckon if it's being
carried it dont need a carriage, and hand-held lasers dont need a beam
pointer, so why should a hand-held particle-warticle accelerator ?

And and and if it turns out you cant carry a big enough power pack to make
it work - and, Uncie, an accumulator for a quarter of a meee-jay peeeeey-ay
is just twenty-five kilograms, then you could have a friiiieeeend in a
body-suit carrying the power plant and run a cord between you ... and 90
kilos of fuuuusie plus puts out about point three of a megawatt.

So Uncie, can we build one ? Can we can we can we can we ???

Your loving cousein,