Author Topic: Can you guys check if we're doing it right?  (Read 2367 times)

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Wyzr

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Can you guys check if we're doing it right?
« on: September 09, 2015, 09:38:24 pm »
After our fifth (sixth?) session we've hunkered down to practice verbs and noun cases. We came up with some sentences to practice, but am not sure if we did it right (the book has very few examples of noun cases used in actual sentences). Let us know if there are correct, or if they aren't how they *should* be used.

Anha chomak khales
I respect the khal

Mori tihish hrazef khaleesisi
I saw the queen's horse

Anha adothrak vaesoon asshilokh
I will ride to the city tomorrow

Kisha dothrash najahheyaan oskikh!
We rode to victory yesterday!

Vos fato rizhaan anhoon!
Do not insult my son!

Anha vindek laquikhes tihoon moon
I will drink the tears from his eyes

Zhor yeron mra quora ma anha vadakhak mae
I have your heart, and I will eat it
 
Me asto inavvaes chiorisaan moon
He spoke to the sister of his wife.

Having throuble with the inalienable possession concept. For example, "her sister" is inalienable because she will always be her sister, sek? But a man's wife can be taken from him? At least that's kind of what we reasoned about during our discussion.

Qvaak

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Re: Can you guys check if we're doing it right?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 01:51:17 pm »
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Mori tihish hrazef khaleesisi
I saw the queen's horse
I'm guessing the error is really on the English translation, because this correct Dothraki for "They saw the queen's horse."

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Anha adothrak vaesoon asshilokh
I will ride to the city tomorrow
Vaesoon is "from the city", vaesaan would be "to the city". Where is asshilokh from? To my knowledge, asshekh is "today" and silokh "tomorrow". A lot of time adverbs (like time adverbs from demonstratives) have been formed by adding /a-/ and geminating the first consonant of some word or another, but as far as I know, this is etymology stuff, not an active derivation pattern. And, anyway, I would not expect s to soften to sh in gemination.


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Kisha dothrash najahheyaan oskikh!
We rode to victory yesterday!
Victory is not a place and riding to victory is a figure of speech, which means that this probably works, but might not - at least as long as you can't show DJP using this exact phrase somewhere.
This is always the case with idiomatic stuff. We can't avoid using figurative speech altogether and can't find a canonical example for everything we want to say, so we often have to fly by the seat of our pants. It's just good to be aware when you move from fairly stable literal footing to more wobbly figurative area. Even the most intuitive feeling metaphors are sometimes different in different cultures, like some might say "Looking back, I should have studied harder," and in another language people might express the same idea with "Looking forward, I should have studied harder," because we are not in universal agreement about in which direction is the past and which the future.

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Vos fato rizhaan anhoon!
Do not insult my son!
I'd say just Vos fato rizhes anhoon. Fatilat + allative is interpreted as per the irresultative class. If you use allative, it changes the meaning only slightly, implying that there was at least an attempt at inslut, but it did not necessarily stick, or hit the mark. So it's sort of half-way to "Do not try to insult my son." I might translate Vos fato rizhaan anhoon! as "Do not throw insluts at my son!"

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Anha vindek laquikhes tihoon moon
I will drink the tears from his eyes
"Tear" is laqikh; there is no u. It's also inanimate, so accusative is just laqikh. Tih, on the other hand is animate, so it has a plural, so it should be tihoe.

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Zhor yeron mra quora ma anha vadakhak mae
I have your heart, and I will eat it
Yeroon and qora. If the next word after ma starts with a vowel, ma is pretty much always elided into m', so this wouls be better m'anha. I just lamented on the other thread, how this is confusable with me- clitic, which is also elided to m'."  ???

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Me asto inavvaes chiorisaan moon
He spoke to the sister of his wife.
Topic class uses genitive, and chiori is alienable, so chiorisi mae. But chiori also should AFAIK mean "woman", not "wife", so to make the English version accurate, Dothraki should be Me asto inavvaes chiorikemi mae.

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Having throuble with the inalienable possession concept. For example, "her sister" is inalienable because she will always be her sister, sek? But a man's wife can be taken from him? At least that's kind of what we reasoned about during our discussion.
The way Dothraki language handles inalienable is very narrow. DJP has said it's mostly body parts. Yes, it would make sense to regard one's sister inalienable, but I'm fairly sure Dothraki regards it alienable. Have you read http://www.dothraki.com/2012/11/possession/? In it DJP even mentions
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In Dothraki, the genitive case is the default expression of alienable possession. It’s used for most types of garden variety possession, including interpersonal relationships


Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Wyzr

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Re: Can you guys check if we're doing it right?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 09:59:23 pm »
Ugh, we got a long way to go. oh well, back to drills then. hard to do this by figuring it out by ourselves! :p

Thanks for your help though! Some explanations and questions then, since we never have anyone else to ask when we sit down for a session:

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I'm guessing the error is really on the English translation, because this correct Dothraki for "They saw the queen's horse."

Yep, sorry, mea culpa, meant "He."

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To my knowledge, asshekh is "today" and silokh "tomorrow".

Again, my fault. was thinking of "asshekh" while typing out "silokh."

 
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Fatilat + allative is interpreted as per the irresultative class. If you use allative, it changes the meaning only slightly, implying that there was at least an attempt at inslut,

I figured that "riszh" is the direct object of the transitive negative verb of "fatilat" and conjugated accordingly. Sorry, I'm not quite following your distinction between "to try to insult" vs. "to insult." How does the syntax create these distinct meanings?

Thanks for the link to DJP's blog! Useful stuff. I should go over his blog, as the book is a bit pithy with its explanations
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 10:15:10 pm by Wyzr »

Qvaak

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Re: Can you guys check if we're doing it right?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 08:48:52 pm »
First of all, I'm not always as sharp as you might hope, and when I concentrate on one possible bump in translation, other one will often slip past. While I eventually commented on the alienability issue, and specifically mentioned that interpersonal relationships should be treated alienable, I did not correct them all.

"My son" is of course rizh anni, not rizh anhoon
Nothing strange here, justy a little miss.

But this is a stranger fumble of mine:
"sister of his wife" is inavva chiorikemi mae just as I translated it, so
Me asto inavvaes chiorikemi mae. does indeed mean (as far as I know) "He spoke to the sister of his wife."
However, Dothraki is pretty good at ending with sentences which can be interpeted in multiple ways - you might say it's often fairly lossy. Somehow I got confused somewhere along the way to the corrected translation. I actually thought I was translating "He spoke to the sister about his wife." The translation just happened to be exactly same. That is why I'm mumbling about verb classes there (more about verb classes below).

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I figured that "riszh" is the direct object of the transitive negative verb of "fatilat" and conjugated accordingly. Sorry, I'm not quite following your distinction between "to try to insult" vs. "to insult." How does the syntax create these distinct meanings?
[just a small heads-up: AFAIK conjugate is an English word specifically reserved for inflecting verbs. Not that my grammar vocabulary is any more sharp, I am neither native English speaker nor linguist]
The case for a direct object is accusative. For rizh singular accusative is rizhes.

Now, the whole thing about "trying to insult". In Dothraki prepositions are very much just an extension of the small case system, and bare cases are favored. So when you want to create an indirect object, often you don't use any preposition, but just use allative, ablative or genitive case instead of accusative. For many verbs the use of cases is not entirely intuitive, but is dictated by convention and just has to be known. This is basically same as in English, where a lot of verbs are used with different prepositions, the fixed conventions are just much more with bare cases. So while Vos fato rizhes anni. is a perfectly good sentence, meaning "Don't insult my son", Dothraki has an option that English does not really have, to say instead something roughly like "Don't insult at my son", and that would be Vos fato rizhaan anni.
See: http://wiki.dothraki.org/Verb_Classes and, even better, http://conlang.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/djplcc4.pdf

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Thanks for the link to DJP's blog! Useful stuff. I should go over his blog, as the book is a bit pithy with its explanations
Humm? You weren't aware of the blog? OK.

Let's make sure you know the essential sources:

Apart from the Living Language book, this aforementioned http://www.dothraki.com/ is the best authoritative source of information. It's about what ever David has felt like writing about, so it's a fragmented collection. I have made this http://wiki.dothraki.org/A_List_of_David_Peterson's_Blog_Posts list mostly so that I myself could more easily recheck stuff from there, but if it helps finding relevant information, be my guest and use it, even update it - it's in the wiki.

The most comprehensive, wide-reaching source is the wiki's grammar hub http://wiki.dothraki.org/Learning_Dothraki. It's collected by learners, so information is always a bit suspect, and since a lot of it is my writing, it isn't too well written either. It's also a place where you can easily participate, signing in and improving the content.

Some less essential stuff:

David is active at tumbl and has posted there a lot of little things: http://dedalvs.tumblr.com/tagged/Dothraki

Apart from the series dialogue http://wiki.dothraki.org/Season_One_Dothraki_Dialogue and http://wiki.dothraki.org/Season_Two_Dothraki_Dialogue and the dialogue examples is the Living Language book, I find LCC relay texts http://dedalvs.com/relay/previous/lcc4results/1.html, http://dedalvs.com/relay/previous/lcc4results/17.html, http://conlang.org/language-creation-conference/lcc5/1-dothraki-initial-text/ and http://conlang.org/language-creation-conference/lcc5/13-dothraki-final-text/ very lookworthy text examples.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.