Lesson Four – Asking Questions


em yes
ra no; not
ne you
Báa I say to you as a question; I ask you


1. Question: Báa ril sháad Athid buzhedi?        Answer: Em.

“Is Athid going to the con?”        “Yes.”

2. Báa ril sháad Sha buzhedi?        Em.

“Is Sha going to the con?”        “Yes.”

3. Báa ril sháad óowamid buzhedi?        Em.

“Is the dragon going to the con?”        “Yes.”

4. Báa ril thi Athid imedimeth?        Em.

“Does Athid have a suitcase?”        “Yes.”

5. Báa ril thi Sha imedimeth?        Em.

“Does Sha have a suitcase?”        “Yes.”

6. Báa ril thi óowamid imedimeth?        Ra — imedimeth boó wa!

“Does the dragon have a suitcase?”        “No — three suitcases!”

7. Báa ril sháad ne buzhedi?        Em.

“Are you going to the con?”        “Yes.”

8. Báa ril sháad ne buzhedi?        Ra.

“Are you going to the con?”        “No.”

9. Báa ril thi ne imedimeth?        Em. [Or Ra.]

“Do you have a suitcase?”        “Yes.” [Or “No.”]

Láadan Grammar Facts

  1. The reason there’s no evidential at the end of the questions above is because questions don’t offer information and claim that it’s true; questions ask for information.
  2. In an ordinary conversation you wouldn’t have to keep constantly repeating your Speech Act words and time words and evidentials; you’d only need to include them in your sentences if things changed and you needed a different one, or if it was important to you to include them. This is why it’s okay to just say “Em” or “Ra” as the answer to a yes/no question.

    However, if for some reason you wanted to make it clear that you were saying “yes” or “no” based on your own perceptions, you would say “Em wa” or “Ra wa.”

Pattern Practice

Complete the following sentences by adding the appropriate ending to the Láadan word that follows the sentence.


Báa ril sháad ne buzhedi?

“Are you going to the con?”

1. Báa ril sháad ne ___________? [to the hotel; hotel — both]

2. Báa ril sháad ne ___________? [to the moon; moon — óol]

3. Báa ril sháad ne ___________? [to the ocean; ocean — mela]

4. Báa ril sháad ne ___________? [to the room; room — shod]

< Lesson Three – For The Con, You Need A Suitcase Table of Contents Lesson Five – Going To The Con >