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Son Of The Realm Of Unspeakable Chaos: Translation and Discussion of Grammar and Vocabulary

Kevin Wald


Mrs. Peacock: Eureka! When Mr. Boddy said "Red cell ..." before he died, he didn't mean "red-cell, erythrocyte". He meant "Red shirt"; he died before he said "-sto" [the difference in Chaotic between _pazo_, "cell", and _pazosto_, "shirt"]. So his killer wore a red T-shirt. Hematology (blood-science), and his O+-type blood, were a red herring.

Professor Plum: But nobody is wearing a red T-shirt! My shirt is "green and white divided +-wise", and your shirt is "yellow with a blue horizontal stripe", and Mrs. White is wearing "blue and white and green divided bullseye-wise", and Miss Scarlet is wearing "green and yellow divided /-wise", and Colonel Mustard is wearing "yellow and black and blue and green divided X-wise", and Mr. Green is wearing yellow and black, divided +-wise. And Mr. Boddy (or his body -- ha, ha, ha) wore "white, with a black 'circle-eye' [i.e., cyclops]". The circle-eye was Polyphemus; was Mr. Body a mythology fan? (He was a Trekkie and he was a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fan, so he was a fantasy fan.)

Mr. Green: He was a mythology semi-fan. He wasn't a Minos-bull [i.e. Minotaur] fan; he said "The Minotaur is $@%^&!". But he was a circle-eye fan. He said, "A cyclops is half-blind, and I am one-third-blind". He was dichromatic; I and you see three colors, but he saw two colors ... Oh! He was red-green colorblind; to him, green and red were *one color*! So the killer wore a *green* shirt -- the killer is Colonel Mustard or Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet or Mrs. White!

Miss Scarlet: Bull$@%^&. Nobody is wearing a *green* T-shirt. When Mr. Boddy said "red", he said "*red*"; he didn't say "red and one color or two colors or three colors"!

Mrs. White: Miss Scarlet and Professor Plum are wearing two *half*-green T-shirts, Colonel Mustard is wearing a *quarter*-green shirt, and my shirt is ... one-seventh green? one-eighth green? one-third-of-one-third green? So the killer is Miss Scarlet or Professor Plum.

Professor Plum: Nobody is wearing a red shirt, or a green shirt! I and Miss Scarlet said it! So Mr. Boddy did not mean "red shirt", or "greet shirt"!

Mrs. Peacock: Hmm ... You said, "He was a Trekkie" ...

Miss Scarlet: "Trekkie"?

Colonel Mustard: A Trekkie (or a Trekker) is a "Star Trek" fan. It was a fantasy program; on "Star Trek", Captain Kirk, and his star-sailors, explored the galaxy.

Professor Plum: And on "Star Trek", when a star-sailor (an astronaut?) wore a red shirt, he died. He was a "redshirt", and the galaxy was a redshirt-killer. When you wore a red shirt, you wore a bull's-eye ... Oh!

Mrs. Peacock: You see? Mrs. White is wearing a bull's-eye, so she is the killer! [Mrs. Peacock does to Mrs. White whatever is conventionally done to the killer by the person who discovers his or her identity in the denouement of a mystery story written in the Realm of Unspeakable Chaos.]

Professor Plum: Huzzah! Mrs. Peacock, your analysis is A+!

Additional notes on grammar and vocabulary, beyond those found at http://web.mit.edu/puzzle/www/01/Solutions/chaotic.html. Note that unlike that page, the grammar here is not intended to be complete.

I) Dictionary Supplement

A) Additional simple nouns

    batugu trek 
    dulo body
    figolad explore
    gobu blood
    kumora science
    lokula killer
    paratu bull
    pazo cell 
    pazosto shirt 
    raba + shape
    tawa eye
    tulola lover
    trowo sailor
    tumu excrement

B) Possessive determiners (which inflect like numbers):

    d_ my
    z_ your
    f_ his/her/its 

C) Additional adjective

    zop_ blind

D) Additional conjunctions

    gry when
    ky but
    lony before
    omy so
    wy or

E) Pronouns

    di I/me 
    zi you
    fi he/she/it/him/her 
    stir (not) anybody (used with negative verbs) 

F) Simple verbs

    figolad explore
    na am/is/are 
    mylop see
    plaguz mean
    rusam die
    tipor do something or other to 
    trod say
    wum wear 

G) Titles

    ge Mr. 
    se Ms.

H) Fractions

The suffix -od, attached to any number, forms the corresponding reciprocal fraction. The resulting fraction is used only in compounds, and is uninflected there.

I) Interjections

    o oh 
    hmm hmm 
    hy-hy-hy ha-ha-ha

II) Grammar Supplement

B) More sbout inflection of modifiers

Possessive determiners inflect as numbers do.

Any adjective modifying a noun inflects as a color word does. Any adjective not directly modifying a noun -- whether a color word in a _-re_ construction, an adjective in a compound word, or an predicate adjective (one used with a form of _na_) has _a_ as its last vowel.

B') Verbs

i) Derivation

There are numerous unanalyzable simple verbs in this language, such as _wum_ ("wear") and _mylop_ ("see"). One can also form the negative of a verb by adding _r_ after the last vowel; for example, _wurm_ ("does not wear").

ii) Inflection

Verbs inflect only for tense. The present tense is unmarked; the past tense is formed by making its last vowel a front vowel, and appending a copy of the original (unmodified) last vowel to the end of the word. For example, from _na_ ("is/am/are") we get _nea_ ("was/were") and from _plagurz_ ("do/does not mean") we get _plagyrzu_ ("did not mean").

B'') Compound formation

The elements of a (noncoordinative) compound are ordered with the modifying element following the modified element. Note that title + name combinations are treated as compounds, and the title comes second.

Compounds can combine in arbitrarily long complexes. For instance, in _zopa-wudo-moldan-sulda_ ("red-green colorblind") _zopa-wudo_ ("colorblind") has _wudo_ ("color") modifying _zupa_ ("blind"), _moldan-sulda_ is a coordinative compound of _moldan_ ("green") and _sulda_ ("red"), and then _moldan-sulda_ modifies _zopa-wudo_.

C) More syntax

iv) Simple and complex sentences

In a simple sentence, Verb, Subject, and (if present) Object occur in that order. This order is the same in declarative or interrogative sentences.

Simple sentences can then be joined with conjunctions into complex sentences.