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Topics - Qvaak

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Announcements / Haiku contest is here again!
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:20:55 am »
If someone isn't reading David's blog, know ye that the annual haiku contest has been launched: The main deal is still Dothraki haikus, but DJP is also accepting Valyrian.

There's been quite a few writing attempts lately, so I think this should garner some interest. Come, let's do this.

Announcements / Valyrian site?
« on: April 04, 2013, 01:56:29 pm »

Should we make it, can we make it? And when I say we, I of course mean pretty much you, not me. I think there's no need for a wiki yet, but a forum would be nice. It would be much nicer to say to people like this:, "Come to our forum.valyrian(s?).org website to discuss the language(s)!" than to say "Come to our website to talk about the Valyrian language(s), 'cause we are the (original) people interested in GoT conlang family and there's a lot of interest in Valyrian, even though it's not exactly what it says on the tin, and anyway we think one strong GoT conlang fandom (or 'people with interest', if you find 'fandom' itchy) is much preferable to fragmentary field of different languages."

Does it make sense to make Would it be better to create or something, with subpages for different languages? I don't like the idea of forgoing and it does not sound bad to me to have Not that we couldn't make an umbrella page nevertheless, but it does not seem a priority. Don't domain names cost and all? How does/would this work?

David's Dothraki blog / Dothra Ma Khalasaroon - words
« on: March 29, 2013, 03:21:35 pm »
I said we might untangle this Dothra Ma Khalasaroon web page, so here's a start. There's text all around the pages, so help in finding all the text is needed.

Top field:
Dothra ma khalasaroon ~ Ride with the khalasar ~ Join the realm
Emra ~ Enter ~ Log in
Hash yer rayim kemi ma rhojosoroon? Emra vessinae mae. ~ Have you already joined the family? Enter to edit it. ~ Already have a house? Log in to edit.
  New word: essinalat, from known root esina

Front page:
Che move khir rhojosori zhorre shafki che okki khir haji vilajerosh adori ~ create your own family flag or choose flag from Game of Thrones. ~ Create your own family arms or choose one from the show.
  It might be worth a notion that "your own x" seems to translate very straightforwardly. I've had some trouble to *get* the tone of zhorre.
Ma avvathori mae, ma maji mae, ma ammasi hatifide zhonatha shafki ma khogaroon shekhikhi ~ Save it and share it and decorate your social profile with coverings of light. ~ Save it and save it and get graphics to customize your social profiles.
  New word: avvathorat, from known root ath
  New word: majat (or majilat), from unknown root (connection to ma or majin would be a bit bizarre). Seems to mean ~"to share".
  New word: hatifidi (last vowel may be off), from known roots hatif and ido. This seems ad hoc modern word meaning more or less "virtual face", and literally of course "wooden face"
  New word: zhonath (or zhonatha), from unknown root (seems to be a wink on someone named Jonathan). Seems to mean ~"social", though that might be severely off.
  khogar shekhikhi seems also like an ad hoc modern phrase for "graphics", but who knows. It's either rather imaginative or I'm just not reading it right.
Move rhojosores anni ~ Create my family ~ Create my house
Ti mae h'anhaan ~ Do it for me ~ Do it for me
(number) voji rhaesheseroon dothrae haji vilajerosh adori ~ (number) people of the world ride along Game of Thrones ~ (number) people are connected to Game of Thrones worldwide
Dothra ma lajasaroon ~ Ride with the army ~ Join the ranks

Bottom Field:
Athsandizar nesikhi ~ Safeness of the information ~ Privacy
  New word: athsandizar, from known root sandi
Assokh ~ Message/Instructions ~ Terms
Qisi HBO ~ About HBO ~ About HBO
2013 Home Box Office, Inc. qorasoe athehizar. Jin okre zanisshi'sh losha nesikh ha yaqlakea disse. ~ 2013 Home Box Office, Inc. Takes the rights. This shadow tent might have information just for adults. ~ 2013 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This website may contain adult content.
  New word: athehizar, from unknown root that seems to be ehi. Seems to mean ~"rights".
  New word: yaqlak, from unknown root that seems to be yaql(e?). Seems to mean ~"adult".
  okre zanisshi seems like another ad hoc modern phrase, meaning "website", but who knows. Again, it's either rather imaginative or I'm just not reading it right.
  In English text "All rights reserved" is IMO sentence at it's own rights, albeit incomplete, but the Dothraki version seems to use "2013 Home Box Office, Inc." as a subject.

Creation Page:
Okki ma liri shafki ma tihikh ma jor amovee khir rhojosori shafki. ~ Choose your text, scenery and icon(s) to create your family flag ~ Choose your text, background and icons to create your family arms
  New word: joro (the last vowel ascertained below), which seems to be a new root, though the root is probably used in vojjor. I thought vojjor was some old and perhaps irregular gemination derivation, but now it seems it's a proper compound and is likely missing the end vowel. Joro seems to mean ~"icon" or "idol" - perhaps even "achetype".
  It also seems David has done something with lir to shift it's meaning, perhaps make it animate and plural, perhaps diminutive, but it's hard to tell. The word should IMO be in accusative, and either way, that's no accusative.
Liri ma hakees ma awazof rhojosori shafki metorgas ~ Draw the name and war cry of your house below. ~ Enter your house name and words below.
  New word: awazof, from known root awaz. The meaning is rather foggy, though literally it of course means "great scream". "Awazof rhojosori" might be an ad hoc translation of "house motto" and awazof might not even have a fixed meaning in Dothraki proper.
  Lirat is a known word, but as per above, this might actually be lirilat.

Text Subsection
Liri ~ text ~ text
  Dunno. See above.
Okki che hakees rhojosori che awazof rhojosori fin vessinae shafki. ~ Choose family name or family motto which you'll edit. ~ Select house name or words to edit.
  Either I totally fell off the cart at the relative clause, or shafki should be shafka. Could be something interesting going on there of course.
Visshiya lirikhi [¤]ao [¤]dei ~ Text color [¤]dark [¤]light ~ Text color [¤]dark [¤]light
  With the difference between lir(i?) and lirikh, the mystery of the exact distictions deepens.
Gacheser rhojosori ~ Area of the family ~ House location
  New word: gacheser, from known root gache. With gache meaning "place, environs", it seems gacheser must be used to gain a wider sense of the area, "neigbourhood".

Background Subsection
Kelenikh ~ Pattern ~ Pattern
  New word: kelenikh, from known root kelen. This looks pretty straightforward, though maybe it's worth a notion that the "resultive" derivation is used, so there might be some simpler noun like kelenV, with a different meaning.
Visshiya ~ Color ~ Color
Sinneya ~ Border ~ Border
  New word: sinneya, from an unknown root that seems to be sin. Seems to mean ~"border", though there is certainly interpretational space there. We might be familiar with sin in sindarine or even in esina

Icons Subsection
Joro ~ icon(s) ~ icon
  This has been discussed above already
Haji Vilajerosh Adori ~ About Game of Thrones ~ Show
Rhoa ~ Animal(s) ~ Animals
Emmay ~ Entertaining ~ Fun
Thikhmithrin ~ Hobby ~ Hobbies
  This I remember from IRC discussion. A new compound derived from known words. Though the sense would be more "leisurely pursuit" than straight out "hobby", I think this too would fit well within the canon, and I think David expressed similar attitude, though he did not straight out canonize the word.
Os atthirari ~ Path of life ~ Lifestyle
Oskimi ha fozakoa ~ Yesteryears of the elders ~ Medieval
  Oskimi is a new word (plural of oskim, perhaps), and even though I'd like to see some relation to oskikh, the derivation would not follow any path we know of. "Medieval" is inevitably translated quite far off the mark, so the meaning is hard to guess. "Yesteryears" is just a random stab.
Vojjorosor ~ Religion ~ Religious
  New word: vojjorosor, from a known word vojjor. If this is a canon word (and the derivation is so active and straightforward that I think this almost inevitably is somewhat in existence), it probably means pretty much "pantheon", as I don't think Dothraki would consider different worships excluding the reality of one another's gods.
Venikh ~ Semblance(s) ~ Shapes
  That's pretty much non-existent shift in meaning from what we knew already.
Vilajerosh ~ Game(s) ~ Sports
Tekh ~ Techonogy ~ Technology
  This is a new word, and to me looks like a loan from English, so probably a big no on canonicity. It's pretty close to resultative derivation from tat, though, and while movelat would be more natural base on the word for "artifact", this is not terribly unlikely either.

The Picture
Rhojosor [hake shafki] ~ Family [your name] ~ House [your name]
Okki jor ~ Choose the icon ~ Add your icon
Awazof rhojosori ~ War cry of the house ~ Your house motto
  OK. The "war cry" translation feels silly already. Perhaps just "motto"?

(Supposedly) New House Mottoes
Osarthas, ochin, osamva ~ Unfallen, unbent, unbroken ~ Unbowed, unbent, unbroken
  All these words are kinda new, but osarthas and osamva are simply negatives from known adjectives, and as that's part of stable comparative system, it does not really count.
  But chin is a new word and a new root, and should mean something like "bent".
Az kishi hasi ~ Our blades are sharp ~ Our blades are sharp

Creation Page Continued
Ti mae h'anhaan ~ Do it for me ~ Do it for me
Evi save ~ Start again ~ Start over
Avvathori/Vatteri ~ Save/Continue ~ Save/Continue
  Avvathorat has already been discussed.

The Page for Automatically Created Sigil
Maji khir rhojosori shafki okeosea ei rhaesheseroon ~ Share the flag of your family with your friends from all the world ~ Share your family arms with friends around the world
  All the words are known or discussed above.
Okki hatifide zhonatha metorgas amajie lirikh zhorre shafki ~ Choose social profile below to share your own symbol(s) ~ Select a social profile below to share your custom graphics
  All the words are known or already discussed above. Note, however, that here lirikh is not used for "glyph", but simply for "graphics" - much closer to the original meaning.
Maji  Losholi  Asshili ~ Share  Download  Introduce ~ Share  Download  Invite
  Losholat should be derived from loshat, but if it's not an error, how the l got there is a mystery to me. A new word neverhteless, albeit not necessarily canon. [edit: turn out this is an error and should be just losho, from not-so-new word losholat - /-lat/ being just a suffix.]
Essina Jor ~ Edit the icon ~ Edit image

Prompt from "Dothra ma Lajasaroon" button
ajjoni - close - close
  New word: ajjonat, from a known root jon.
Tihi ma shilakikh sasha senak firesofoon ma alikh mr.Okroon Faysvoki haji Vilajerosh Adori - Watch new rumours of the third year and more inside the Tent of Facebook about the Game of Thrones
  OK. I'm totally lost on that syntax. Maybe I'm just tired, but right now it does not work for me. The ordinal is not working in any way I'd expect it to - might be even an error. The English version is so wastly different, and so close to the text after the second bullet (english having only one bullet), that this must be meant to go somewhere else.
  Faysvok (or, rather, Okre Faysvoki) is of course Dothrakified version of Facebook. Take it as a non-canon Dothraki word if you wish.
  Shilakikh is a new word, from a known root shil, and more relevanly from a word shilak, "a gossip, busybody". It's hard to guess, what that might exactly mean, perhaps "rumour".
Vasteri vojea ei raesheseroon mr'O - Converse with people from the whole world inside O
  This is probably the text that should be there, only interrupted in the middle of "Okre". English version goes "Join the conversation from around the world on the Global Game of Thrones Page".

Prompt from "Avvathori/Vatteri" button
ajjoni - close - close
Avvathori  che  Losholi - Save  or  Download - Save  or  Download
Ma avvathori khir rhojosori shafki amajie okeosea, ma ammasi hatifide zhonatha shafki ma essina mae mirges - Save the flag of your family to share with friends, decorate your social profile and edit it later - Save your family arms to share with friends, personalize your social profiles and edit it later
  Should mirges as "later" be taken as a word/meaning worthy of a place in a dictionary?
Losholi jpeg ha khiraan rhojosori shafki ma vitteri vessinae - Download a jpeg for your family flag and keep on editing - Download a JPEG of your family arms and return to editing
  Vitterat (well, yeah, I guess it could be vitterilat, but I consider that rather unlikely) is a new word (if not misspelled vatterat), which seems to come from ittelat - and also perhaps eventually from tat. We know already one word for "to return", and considering the probable background, I'm leaning towards "to persevere" or "to keep on doing".

Prompt from "Asshili" button
Anha dothrak movelatoon khir rhojosori anni haji Vilajerosh Adori haji HBO. Dothra ma khalasaroon ma move khir shafki ajjin: - I just created my family flag from Game of Thrones of HBO. Ride with the khalasar and create your flag now: - I just created my family arms for HBO's Game of Thrones. Join the Realm and create yours now:

Error Prompt
Nakhi - Quit
Ki vorsasi! Yer ray jado gachaan ojila. Essa osaan. - The Hell! You have arrived to a wrong place. Return to the path.
Itte save - test again
  I haven't seen the English version, but looks clear enough.

General Discussion / Chaf Valsh ma Shekh
« on: February 20, 2013, 04:53:46 am »
Hey, look, I made a Dothraki version of one of the oft tried conlang test texts, an Aesop tale The North Wind and the Sun. Compared to the biblical stuff like Tower of Balbel text and Pater Noster this tale has benefits of being both natural, flowing language and of vocab that is congruent with GRRM's world and Dothraki culture. I think my attempt is quite simple language and for most part also taking it safe, avoiding unsure grammar and vocab, so you might like to see, if you can read it; or if you'd like to question my choices; or if you can bash me for all the errors I made.

The version I used as a base is, though I soon gave up translating and decided just to tell the same story with my own words.

Chaf Valsh ma Shekh

Ma chaf valsh ma shekh kis akkelenish, hash che chaf valsh ahajana shekhoon che shekh ahajana chafoon. Mahrazh ver vi osaan qisi ashefa rekke, majin mori azhish, meme fini vil ekkhogarae verakes anajaha. Chaf Valsh itte athhajar moon atte, majin me ho k'athivezhofari. Vosma kash chaf ahasana, kash verak onde qemmosores sekke k'athhethkari. Chaf Valsh kis et jin arrekaan ei athzalar som, majin me azh meshekh kis ekkhogarae verakes. Majin shekh sekke asafazhanoe ahhaz, majin hash verak nem affazh, hash me ev ejervat qemmoes ray, majin me vatter nakhaan me nem assil k'athafazhari. Me ekhogara qemmoes nakhoki ajjin, ma kijinosi me e zerqolataan ashefasaan.

David's Dothraki blog / haikus n' stuff
« on: February 03, 2013, 11:03:01 am »
Just FYI, here's my loose translation, on what I tried to say in the other two haikus:

Krazaaj osti
m'oltoon sadevesha
os k'athhethkari.

Mountains bite
with fog-soaked hills
tightly on the path

Qana nakhoki
e she tozarasoon.
Jesh fish flas hethke.

The last stork
Set off from the lake.
Cold ice is a tight film.

I'll be happy to discuss, what problems these might have, if anyone is interested. Of course, as always, I'll be also happy to discuss what problems (or strenghts, for that matter, though problems are easier to pick out) other's haikus might have, if they are interested (and don't feel like going to David for definite answers). ...or creation process or philosophy of haikus or making a Rengay after all (perhaps starting off with some already published attempt) - I'm not too picky about topics.

Hey, remeber when I made an unofficial latin alphabet based ortography/script on Dothraki (exhibit A)? It's a bit silly and ad hoc, but serves well as digraphless script more informative of word complexity than the official English- and ASCII-friendly ortography. And since I initially made it in old-timey looking fraktur, it can have a bit of a cool factor, and has even seen use in Ingsve's Christmas card.

Well, some time ago as I was trying to figure out, how to write sonnets in Dothraki, I started to seriously think, it would be fun to test, how Dothraki would look and feel in a syllabe based writing system. Since then, I have fiddled now and then with this loosely latin based srcipt, which is quite far-out, but also fun. In the form it is now, it looks more sci-fi than fantasy, so there's some surprise resonance with David's Defiance project, for which he has made a proper abugida (or several of them?). Haikus having syllabe count, I could not skip an opportunity to test this on a couple of them. So here's my Krazaaj osti... in my basic script (Exhibit B) and Meghan's Qahlan karlina... in slightly stylized version (exhibit C).

David's Dothraki blog / Subvert the Haiku Contest!
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:46:06 am »
Hehh. Not really ... well, maybe, kind of.

I was - and still am - quite proud of my last year's haikus, and thus I fear this year anything I do will feel as a cheap sequel. And I was thinking that some new angle, some inspiration, might be needed. And naturally I ended up thinking about renga tradition. It would be wonderful to try to create some sort of short renga. Perhaps with some of the theme tradition attached to it, perhaps fully westernized rengay, perhaps something in between.

These things are group efforts, though, so I need is two or three co-conspirators. I think this should be fun. Since these are forms of loosely (associatively) linked poetry, the "haikus" in them should stand at their own rights, so this should be an inspirational framework that yields haikus from all participants. Interested?

Dothraki Language Updates / on A and B classes
« on: November 01, 2012, 10:59:00 am »
I kind of promised to explain, what I/we think we know about these class A and class B things Mr. Peterson uses. I'm not sure when or how this information will be on the wiki, so meanwhile this gotta do.

These classes are simply declination patterns. There are no wider semantical or grammatical implications. If you meet an inanimate noun in its dictionary form (ie. in nominative case), you can't easily infer, what the accusative will be - the accusative will either get an /-e/ suffix or it will not. To inform us, whether or not the /-e/ will be added, David began using class A (/-e/ will not be added) and class B (/-e/ will be added) markings. This is pretty much the whole deal.

It seemed at first that this /-e/ suffix was just a phonotactical thing. If the regularily derived accusative ended in a consonant or consonant cluster that was impossible for the end of the word (agaist the rules of Dothraki phonotactics, that is) an /-e/ was usually added. The whole issue seemed to consider only few of the inanimate words, and it seemed the only truly undeterminable accusatives were on the words with stems ending in geminates, because there the geminate was sometimes just degraded to a short consonant and no /-e/ was added. Since then it has become more and more apparent, that there are half a dozen reasons to add an /-e/ suffix, and so it seems you often can't dependably determine, if an inanimate noun belongs to class A or class B.  It's best just to know.

Some unclear things:
  • Are geminates the only case where class B would be required for phonotactical reasons, but class A is still sometimes used by simplifying the ending consontant?
  • If the nominative of an inanimate noun ends in consonant, is it always class A noun?
  • It does not make sense (to me) to use these classes with animate nouns, but verb past singulars work so similar to noun accusatives, that this kind of classification might be an useful tool for them too. But they seem so regular, using /-e/ always when phonotactics demand and never otherwise, that perhaps there is no need?
  • As far as we know, we have met precisely one inanimate noun with vowel ending stem, zhalia. Are all inanimate nouns with vowel ending stems like this: extra vowel in nominative and class B?
  • What are all the reasons for nouns to be on class B? There is some symmetry/rhythm stuff, some homonymity dodging, some phonotactics... what exactly?

When we first came up with these (and some other) irregularities, we decided to keep the techical stuff at minimum. As the accusative (and in verbs the past singular) is the only hard to determine case, we decided to simply list it as a supporting declination instead of some techical coding. When David introduced these class markings, we thought we'd just keep the vocab as it was. It might be a time for a change, either to David's marking system, or to double system, with both support declinations and David's markings.

General Discussion / The Lords Prayer thread
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:03:55 am »
Hahh. My brother and I just discussed the traditional test texts for different languages - and especially conlangs. It seems Lord's Prayer is rather popular. I think that might be almost doable.

Of course, the questions are almost doable too - probably somewhat easier than the Lord's Prayer.

I'm bone deeply unreligious, so it does not make much difference, which religion the translation candidates belong to. Even some unreligious texts would be quite alright, though I wonder if there are any as prominent.

General Discussion / On knowing meaning
« on: November 21, 2011, 05:55:42 pm »
Conversational post :)
Slightly silly. Contains errors and crappy terminology.

Now and then we run into doubts about our vocabulary's (and dictionary's) words definitions - and for good reason. Many of the words are picked from very thin sources, often from just a single sentence or a plain one-word translation by Peterson. In my oponion we hardly know meanings of any Dothraki words. We know about meanings. In some cases we know more, in some cases we know less.

First we have deeply cultural level. Words carry connotations. There are established methaphorical extensions, established associations. Any text has subtext both intentional and unintentional. In a way this is wise-assy thing to even bring up; connotations do not belong to dictionary, the only way to truly get into them is to understand the whole Dothraki culture - everything from their stories to their daily routines. But we are interested in dothraki culture, and anyway it's always good to know, what we don't know (even if we do an awful lot of not knowing).

Our modern culture is rapidly changing organic mix of professions, sub cultures and diverse living environments. We are quickly moving from a bunch of heterogenic nations to international ("northern hemisphere western") community. Even though our culture is incredibly rich in symbols, I think our shared connotations are watered down and vague. Dothraki culture should be almost a polar opposite: nearly static largely homogenic culture. Their shared connotations should be myriad and sharply defined. When two dothraki from the same social group (male, female or slave, I guess) and the same khalasar talk, I'd imagine the level of shared conversational subtext could be likened to close grown siblings of our society.

Then again, one of the main ideas of fantasy genre is that while society is medieval-like in tech-level, social classes and harsh presense of violence, the mentality of peoples is still accessible. Perhaps we should expect even Dothraki society to be more accessible than the alienity of the culture would indicate. We are left to speculate. Peterson keeps his hands somewhat tied when it comes to intimately cultural stuff, so most of this stuff isn't even fixed.

Then there is the stuff that might go into dictionary. What is the core meaning of the word? How far does the scope reach? Does the word have established metaphorical extensions?

Semirandom examples:

Jano is a word I honestly think we know well enough to consider it known. There are, sure, some questions, but they are very superficial:
  • It seems Dothraki eat almost everything, and certainly they eat dogs. Even though I don't find it likely, Dothraki might have an own word for dog meat (David might have even commented on possibility of special meat words, but I don't remeber for sure).
  • Dothraki know at least two unmissably similar canines, wolves and dogs, so there's a possibility that there is super group - sub group hierarchy. If jano would extend to super group term, then wolves would be "wolf kind of dogs" and dogs "regular dogs".
    ...but that's all I can think of.

    On more cultural level, though, there's a lot of interesting questions:
  • What is a stereotypical dog? My image of the dogs Dothraki know is a feral garbage eating pests following the khalasar. Do Dothraki keep domesticated dogs, and if they do, what kind of dogs would those be? Would they be dependable shepherd helpers, ferocious but noble hunting dogs, half wild guards chained around the camp?
  • Consequently, Dothraki seem to be rather keen on using animals as archetypes of different natured humans. What human characteristics are associated with dogs?
  • Dothraki are not committed to genetics, their words don't - strictly speaking - denote to biological species. Would Dothraki allow a lap dog jano, or would they be all "That thing might have jano ancestrors, but it ain't no jano! ..Janosh, perhaps."

    Ador seems at first glance well understood word, too, but on the closer inspection the uncertainities seem less trivial. The questions are largely the same, but carry more weight:
  • What is a regular ador? Our stereotypical chairs have four legs and a back. It's an exemplary piece of furniture. I doubt Dothraki carry around a lot of proper chairs, or keep them at Vaes Dothraki. I'd imagine Dothraki mostly seeing and using benches and stools, often of impromtu kind. Perhaps ador means more stool than chair.
  • If ador truly denotes foremost to an object with four legs, a seat and a back, it seems like rather specific word for somewhat rare item - word that could be likened in our culture to eg. divan. It would probably not be a supergroup word, so benches and stools would not be ador, rather the other way around.
  • For us chair has a metaphoric dimension as a place of power. Dothraki leaders are not leading sitting down. Would ador rather communicate weakness and retirement for them? When they hear of Ador Shiqethi will it sound cool or slightly silly? Shiqethi at least should have very positive vibe; I'd guess that the trueness of metal would have some echo in shiqethi even if tawak carries the conventional true extension.

David's Dothraki blog / The Generic Dothraki Blog Thread
« on: September 19, 2011, 10:15:24 pm »
For anyone, who still missed it, the blog is up and running, three posts already. There's some discussion there, be sure to check it out.

So far david has given thorough basics for pronunciation of geminates (doubled consonants, that is) and also kindly showcased an alternate ortography test by yours truly. Apart from a few stray tidbits (eg. that homorganic oral stop can't be followed by fricative - or that consonant lengths are probably closest to Arabic) what we've learned so far is more corroborating what we know than expanding on our knowledge. So not a flashy mind blowing rollercoaster opening, but solid well-written stuff for anyone to read who's interested in Dothraki or conlangs in general.

I eagerly await for more.

David's Dothraki blog / Smaller Questions
« on: September 05, 2011, 03:51:09 pm »
Not all the interesting things make good blog post topics. Still they might be worth asking and, consequently, worth bringing up in a blog posts. Nothing is too insignificant for Small Questions thread.

Keep lengthy discussions on the other threads, please; this is a clean & simple questions thread. Also, if you think your peers (eg. me or ingsve) will probably already know the answers, you might ask your questions first at the beginners section or visit the IRC channel, and if our limited knowledge does not satisfy, then ask here.

David's Dothraki blog / Propose Topics
« on: September 05, 2011, 03:36:35 pm »
Blog posts will require topics to discuss. David (J. Peterson) said he will welcome topic proposals from us people here. So let us let the wishes fly.

This thread is reserved for topic proposals. Keep any lengthier discussions on the other threads. Even though Mr. Peterson has usually kept his distance, it is very likely that he will be reading this (Hi, David).

General Discussion / What would you ask from Peterson?
« on: July 10, 2011, 06:18:59 pm »
Presently there's an interview coming at Goodreads, to which you can propose questions. (When you read this, the interview has probably already happened, so this is just a background laying intro paragraph.) Rather than be a sensible person and submit propositions there, I decided to list some questions here and ask you other people persons, what you'd ask. Nice and hypothetical, eh.

Well, we do have the IRC discussions, too. But not everyone has time to visit those chats, and even if you do, there are a lot of good big questions you just rarely can fit into conversations.

1) When you created Dothraki was there need to consider - or maybe even construct - the linguistic environment it had diegetically developed in? Does Dothraki have things like recent loan words? Even more pointedly, many (me included) consider the Common Tongue of Westeros to sound as heard on TV - virtually identical to English (etymologies and such excluded of course). Have you conceived any influence between Dothraki and English / The Common Tongue?

2) On the one hand the GRRM's original corpus of Dothraki was probably written more by the looks of the words than aural images, on the other hand one suspects that diegetically Dothraki is not established as written language and thus the words we read should be an orderly transcript rather than culturally developed written forms.
How does the dichotomy between written and spoken language - and Dothraki's heavy weight on the latter - figure to your work? How do you approach the latin letter written Dothraki?

3) Dothraki seems to be quite strictly single culture language. Still, are there any characteristic lapses in structure or pronunciation during informal speech? Are there any special subgroups with their own style of speech? Womens' argot? Slave creole?

4) Let's imagine the dothraki would notice they had missed a few beats at technological progress and the world around them would suddenly be filled with cars, postmodern art, tax returns and internet. How would the language adapt? What would be the most natural ways to invent new words? Would the language take a new direction or would it be pretty much the same tracks you use now to create Westeros-current dothraki words?

5) As it's a language for specific needs, Creating Dothraki has, I'd imagine, been in many ways an exercise in constrained writing. One challenge has surely been that the language should be easy enough to enunciate for a native English speaker, but unusual sounding enough to convey a sense of exotic. How thin blade edge has this felt like to dance on? And do demands like this ever turn frustrating?

Introductions / Time to say hello
« on: May 24, 2011, 05:43:16 pm »

It seems I'm writing more than one or two posts here, so I guess it's appropriate for me to introduce myself. I'm a finn. I'm no linguist and speak no languages except english (some) and finnish (with some confidence), so I might be compairing Dothraki to finnish more often than you'll be comfortable with (we have ablatives n' stuff so maybe it isn't that bad a comparison).

I'm somewhat holistic in my interests and have also a deepset relationship with fantasy genre. ASOIAF has so far been a saga of outstandingly good storytelling, and when the HBO series was announced, I decided it worth the effort to invest my curiosity into this meta adventure. The story of Dothraki's creation might well be the most unique and inspiring facet of this journey.

I love speculating and hypothesizing. This is probably the strongest asset I can offer. As I have very little knowledge to back up my theories with, they might turn a bit crackpotty. If I become a nuisance, give a stong hint and I'll tone myself down.

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