Sing to the Mountains, Sing to the Hills--Letter from the Editor SpecGram Vol CXLVII, No 4 Contents Gothic for Travellers--Anita Judzis
Speculative Grammarian is proud to present yet another irregular installment in the Linguistic Anthropologic Monograph Endowment's Bizarre Grammars of the World Series.

The Hyperactive Voice: An Anthropological
Linguistic Study of the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil 0
Bizarre Grammars of the World, Vol. 54

Once again, here in the Amazon, we have found evidence that, perhaps, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis does not represent as much of a one way avenue of causation as perhaps some had thought. Once again we have found evidence that accidents of culture and environment can have drastic, even devastating effects on language. Recall, if you will, the case of the Winodanugai (LAME BGW, Vol. 53); here we have another case of culture influencing language in a way Sapir and Whorf might never have imagined.

Cultural Background
For more generations than anyone living among the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil (whose generations are indeed very short and closely spaced, for reasons explained below) can remember their way of life has varied little. Each day, almost the entire village wakes between two and three hours before sunrise to go out to work the sugar cane fields which surround the village for miles in every direction. They work late into the night, eating sugar cane constantly, sleeping only a few hours a night. A small percentage of the village, the elderly, wake between half an hour and an hour later to care for the children and the farm animals. Children do not sleep at all for most of the first eight years of their lives, and are kept in a large cage like structure which is built of sugar canes, as are the huts of the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil.

The thing that makes the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil so unique is their sugar cane. Chemical analysis has shown the odd variety of sugar cane grown in this village to consist almost entirely of various forms of sugar, much of it cross-linked to provide stiffness. Over 90% of the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil's diet consists of this sugar cane, the rest is made up of beef they raise themselves. The metabolism of the average Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil adult is almost six times that of the average European adult. The metabolism of the children is unmeasurable, and there are legends among the tribe that claim that if the elders are lax in their duties of providing food for the children, they will eat each other.

An Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil reaches sexual maturity at the age of nine, has a family by fourteen, and expects to be a grand-parent by their twenty first year. Few live much beyond their twenty fifth year, though accidents and sickness are almost unknown. Most elders simply spontaneously combust; they usually burn to husks without damaging anything in their surroundings. I witnessed two such combustions in my time in the village.

Linguistic Peculiarities
The first oddness among the Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil is non-distinctive reduplication. Many speakers repeat elements of words without apparent change in meaning. Consider the following example. (Note that Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil is polysynthetic.)

(1) bin-bin-bin-bin-aistu-aistu-bin-bin-aistu- mipl-mipl-mipl- aistu-bin-aistu-aistu- mipl-mipl-iz-iz-iz- mipl-iz-iz

Imperative-Imp-Imp-Imp-1sg-1sg-Imp-Imp-1sg- use-use-use- 1sg-Imp-1sg-1sg- use-use-toilet-toilet-toilet- use-toilet-toilet.

"I need to use the restroom"

Example (1) is functionally equivalent to (2), which is almost never heard.

(2) bin-aistu-mipl-iz

Another striking peculiarity of Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil is its voice system. Oboioboioboiwikantsitstil is totally lacking a passive voice. I tried to explain the distinction to my consultant who merely laughed at me for supposing that anyone would voluntarily passively accept anything. My consultant explained to me that I seemed to have misunderstood what I have come to call the hyperactive voice:

(3) Gagabigabilibili blot-blot-yæ-yæ-yæ Kimimiminini
Gabili beat-beat-hyper-hyper-hyper Kimini
"Kimini beat Gabili by the sheer force of her attack"

The hyperactive voice indicates that the patient was forced into that role by the sheer volume or strength or power of the agent. Consider another example (with non-distinctive reduplication left out):

(4) ig nor wikant
rain fell village
"Rain fell on the village"
    (5) Wikant nor-yæ ig
village fell-hyper rain
"The village was flooded by rain"

Tentative Conclusions
More research is necessary to unravel the intricacies of this system. Said research will require more and abundant funding.

Claude Searsplainpockets Somewhere in the Amazon

0 This paper was made possible by LAME grant #47H4J58F8D8E5- S4D7D4S558W547- 8-96-5/4G-78- 5C4V5C8V- 4V55C/88X- 996X/4CC*8S9A/9A6- 54//V5B, and the number 7.

Sing to the Mountains, Sing to the Hills--Letter from the Editor
Gothic for Travellers--Anita Judzis
SpecGram Vol CXLVII, No 4 Contents