Author Topic: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives  (Read 2713 times)

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leoboiko

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Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« on: April 01, 2014, 10:09:53 am »
Hi! I'm just taking my first look at High Valyrian and I have some noob questions:

1. When should the aorist tense be used, as opposed to perfect? Is it the thing where aorist is punctual, and perfect implies continuing state? Or something else?

2. Quoting the wiki:

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The vast majority of Class II stems end in j, l, n, ñ, or r. There seem to be some rare exceptions to this rule, but thus far none are known. Stems may end in multiple consonants, e.g. mirre "any," morghe "dead."

2a. In morgh-, cited in the same paragraph, the "two consonants" are /r/ and /ɣ/, right? So when we say that "no exceptions are known" to the /j, l, n, ñ, r/ rule, do we mean just one of the consonants of the cluster?

2b. Litse "beautiful" in the vocabulary is listed as a Class II stem.  Is that correct? If so, isn't it one of the exceptions?

3. I'm in doubt about where the stem ends to form diminutives.  Please tell me that zaldrīzes + ītsos becomes cute Spanish-like zaldrīzītsos :D

4.

From the wiki vocabulary:

zokla, 1☽ → zoklītsos, 2☉
riña, 1☽ → riñītsos, 3☉

Is the class of zoklītsos a mistake, given that "second declension nouns have the stem vowel -y"? Since third declension has -o, it looks better for -ītsos nouns…

Assuming 3. above is correct, would Dænerys' three little dragons in nom. paucal be zaldrizītsun?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 05:56:12 pm by leoboiko »

leoboiko

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 09:35:28 am »
Also, I just noticed tāemitsos which is stated to be a diminutive, and it's 3☉ as I'd expect. But why short  -itsos and not -ītsos…?

Mad Latinist

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 11:40:42 am »
Hi! I'm just taking my first look at High Valyrian and I have some noob questions:
Rytsas, Leoboikos (*Liobaeko·s, maybe?). Sorry it's taken me so long to reply: I rarely read the forums, and only noticed your questions because Qvaak drew my attention to this thread.

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1. When should the aorist tense be used, as opposed to perfect? Is it the thing where aorist is punctual, and perfect implies continuing state? Or something else?
The name "aorist" is confusing if you only know it through Greek grammar (which, admittedly, most people who know the word do). Outside of Greek it tends to be used quite diferently: it refers to something which is a general truth. So, if we're talking about Greek, it's specifically like the gnomic aorist, or more commonly the present tense. This distinction is actually quite easy to get in English: as a (simplistic) rule of thumb, the Valyrian present tense is our "present continuous," and the Valyrian aorist is our "simple present." So:
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  • Dakon "I am running" (e.g. "... from a horde of wights; I suggest you do the same!")
  • Dakossin "I run" (e.g. "... every morning, to stay in shape.")

This is also the verb form in the infamous Valar Morghūlis/Dohaeris, conventionally glossed "All men must die/serve." Because the aorist implies something is always true, it can sometimes be translated with "must," especially when used with a collective noun. Let's play with that a bit:
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  • Valar morghūlis (col, aor) "All men (must) die."
  • Valar morghūljas (col, pres) "All men are dying."
  • Vala morghūlis (sing, aor) "A man dies."
  • Vala morghūljas (sing, pres) "A man is dying."

I thought I explain at least the material in my first paragraph over at [[High Valyrian Verb Conjugation]]. I should look it over again to see how it can be made more clear. Any suggestions? It's difficult, since I am essentially the only writer on the Valyrian languages over at the wiki, so it can be difficult for me to tell if I'm being clear or not.

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2. Quoting the wiki:

Quote
The vast majority of Class II stems end in j, l, n, ñ, or r. There seem to be some rare exceptions to this rule, but thus far none are known. Stems may end in multiple consonants, e.g. mirre "any," morghe "dead."

2a. In morgh-, cited in the same paragraph, the "two consonants" are /r/ and /ɣ/, right? So when we say that "no exceptions are known" to the /j, l, n, ñ, r/ rule, do we mean just one of the consonants of the cluster?

2b. Litse "beautiful" in the vocabulary is listed as a Class II stem.  Is that correct? If so, isn't it one of the exceptions?
Hmm, I think I intended that list to refer specifically to stems that end in one consonant, and for consonant clusters to be treated separately. But difficult to be sure at this point.

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3. I'm in doubt about where the stem ends to form diminutives.  Please tell me that zaldrīzes + ītsos becomes cute Spanish-like zaldrīzītsos :D
That is correct, so far as I know. Take off everything from the "stem vowel" on, then add -ītsos.

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4.

From the wiki vocabulary:

zokla, 1☽ → zoklītsos, 2☉
riña, 1☽ → riñītsos, 3☉
I love that you're using the ☽/☉-symbol system! That was originally my idea, and even DJP thought it was cool, but I decided it was safer to use abbreviations on the wiki.

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Is the class of zoklītsos a mistake, given that "second declension nouns have the stem vowel -y"?

Since third declension has -o, it looks better for -ītsos nouns…
Absolutely! Again, since I'm virtually the only one working on this, I don't get a lot of proofreading. So if you see what appears to be a mistake, then it probably is one! In particular, I think I make a lot of mistakes regarding noun declension class number. There is no possible way for zoklītsos to be second declension, sorry about that.


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Assuming 3. above is correct, would Dænerys' three little dragons in nom. paucal be zaldrizītsun?
Formally that is correct. But I warn you that we know very little about how the paucal is used. I don't think we've seen any examples that weren't "relexes." When I did my Valun Jomorghūlis joke, David said that was iffy because I "was using 'some' to mean 'certain'" (he felt the joke would only work with the contrast to valar morghūlis right there). That's about all we know about how the paucal behaves "in the wild." Feel free to ask DJP if zaldrizītsun will work for "Dænerys' three little dragons," and let us know what he says!

Also, I just noticed tāemitsos which is stated to be a diminutive, and it's 3☉ as I'd expect. But why short  -itsos and not -ītsos…?
Yeah, another mistake on my part: that i is definitely long!

leoboiko

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 05:51:55 pm »
Hey Mad Latinist, thank you so much for the work on the wiki (and the detailed comments on DJP's blog, et cetera).  I really appreciate it; you efforts translated into hours of entertainment for me :)

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I thought I explain at least the material in my first paragraph over at [[High Valyrian Verb Conjugation]]. I should look it over again to see how it can be made more clear. Any suggestions? It's difficult, since I am essentially the only writer on the Valyrian languages over at the wiki, so it can be difficult for me to tell if I'm being clear or not.

I read it again and yes, the opening table plus the Present Active first paragraph are clear enough; I blame myself for skimming the page too lightly.  I think I must have jumped directly to the "Aorist" sub-heading, and (as you've guessed) the tense name interfered with my previous knowledge of the word in a Greek context.  (In my defense, I think I've skimmed the Wikipedia entry too, and it says that “in these [IE] languages the aorist is usually a form that expresses perfective aspect and often refers to past events. It is thus comparable in meaning to what is called the preterite in grammars of some languages.”—and in my native language we do use "preterite" for past tense).

Perhaps what would have saved lazy me would be a brief re-statement of the semantics on the Aorist sub-heading, and an explicit note that it's not like the Greek/IE "past tense aorist" but the "gnomic aorist".  On second thought, I should add those myself…

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I decided it was safer to use abbreviations on the wiki.

Yeah, I used the astronomical symbols in my Anki flashcards only to find they don't show up in the mobile (Android) version—even though I had previously installed the Junicode font for runes and such.  It's a shame that, in this age of cheap processing, we still can't even rely on having a full Unicode set in all devices.

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Feel free to ask DJP

Will do.  Thanks for the detailed answer!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 05:57:16 pm by leoboiko »

leoboiko

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 07:55:14 pm »
Ok, he said that yes, it would be zaldrīzītsun for "a few little dragons" (nom.). David also said that

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while you could say hāri zaldrīzin [number + paucal], it would be more natural to say either hāri zaldrīzesse [number + plural] or zaldrīzin [paucal] by itself.

So I guess "a few little dragons" are ok, but "three little dragons" would be better as hāri *zaldrīzītssa…  (I wonder if I can say Dænero zaldrīzītsun issi litsi ? Guess I just want to use the paucal… )
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 08:07:47 pm by leoboiko »

Mad Latinist

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 08:59:12 pm »
Hey Mad Latinist, thank you so much for the work on the wiki (and the detailed comments on DJP's blog, et cetera).  I really appreciate it; you efforts translated into hours of entertainment for me :)
Always good to hear someone else is getting something out of this ;)

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I read it again and yes, the opening table plus the Present Active first paragraph are clear enough; I blame myself for skimming the page too lightly.  I think I must have jumped directly to the "Aorist" sub-heading, and (as you've guessed) the tense name interfered with my previous knowledge of the word in a Greek context.  (In my defense, I think I've skimmed the Wikipedia entry too, and it says that “in these [IE] languages the aorist is usually a form that expresses perfective aspect and often refers to past events. It is thus comparable in meaning to what is called the preterite in grammars of some languages.”—and in my native language we do use "preterite" for past tense).
What is your native language?

Yeah, to be honest the only context I've actually heard "aorist" used this way is in Late Egyptian/Demotic/Coptic. This kind of thing comes up a lot though, cf. Mr. Peterson's annoyance at the use of the term "middle voice" for Greek.

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Perhaps what would have saved lazy me would be a brief re-statement of the semantics on the Aorist sub-heading, and an explicit note that it's not like the Greek/IE "past tense aorist" but the "gnomic aorist".  On second thought, I should add those myself…
That might be a good idea.

Quote
Quote
I decided it was safer to use abbreviations on the wiki.

Yeah, I used the astronomical symbols in my Anki flashcards only to find they don't show up in the mobile (Android) version—even though I had previously installed the Junicode font for runes and such.  It's a shame that, in this age of cheap processing, we still can't even rely on having a full Unicode set in all devices.
Yeah, that, and, well, I'm just imagining all the newbies getting totally confused by those symbols.



Ok, he said that yes, it would be zaldrīzītsun for "a few little dragons" (nom.). David also said that

Quote
while you could say hāri zaldrīzin [number + paucal], it would be more natural to say either hāri zaldrīzesse [number + plural] or zaldrīzin [paucal] by itself.

So I guess "a few little dragons" are ok, but "three little dragons" would be better as hāri *zaldrīzītssa…  (I wonder if I can say Dænero zaldrīzītsun issi litsi ? Guess I just want to use the paucal… )
Zaldrīzītossa you mean, but that's just a typo. But what DJP says makes sense, and is true in a lot of languages... it's like how you COULD use he numeral two followed by a dual form in Greek, or Hebrew, or whatever, but why use both the dual and the numeral? I think the idea here is similar. Litsi should be fine (that reminds me, I need to add its irregular degrees of comparison to the vocab page), but under normal circumstances, issi should go at the end.

leoboiko

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 06:38:43 am »
What is your native language?

That would be Brazilian Portuguese :)

Quick question: "Blood" is listed as ānogar, but "Fire and Blood" as well as "of the blood of Old Valyria" have ānogār (tow long ās).  But the only -ār ending in 1aq is the locative? Why not nom. and gen., respectively?

Mad Latinist

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 09:53:32 pm »
Quick question: "Blood" is listed as ānogar, but "Fire and Blood" as well as "of the blood of Old Valyria" have ānogār (tow long ās).  But the only -ār ending in 1aq is the locative? Why not nom. and gen., respectively?
OK, in hen Valyrio Uēpo ānogār, ānogār is in the locative, because it's dependent on hen "from" (can't Portuguese de mean either "from" or "of"?)

In Perzys Ānogār the second /a/ is long for an entirely different reason, not related to declension. This is something I call "conjunctive lengthening" ... I haven't written it up on the wiki yet (aside from a quick mention here), because, honestly, I have no idea where to put it!

Here's how it works: it's basically just another way to say "and" (HV has a lot of them, just like Latin). The second item (I think all the examples we've seen so far have been for just two items) has the vowel in its final syllable lengthened, and the stress moved to that syllable. So Perzys Ānogā́r is really equivalent to Perzys se Ā́nogăr.

Make sense?

leoboiko

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 06:23:35 am »
Perfect sense, thanks! That's a cool feature.  I'm relieved that the accent does shift; I had found [aː.'no.ɡaːɾ] quite awkward to pronounce.

And yes, our de = from, of  (Incidentally I've recently learned that the Tupi locative postposition pe can mean either "at" or "towards".  No relation to anything, it just came to mind :) ).  But when I say sou do Brasil "I'm from Brazil" I somehow don't feel that as "locative", in the way I would in vim do Brasil "I came from Brasil".   Guess I thought of origin relationships, "from [Country], of the [Country], [Country]an", as genitive; and thus missed the regency of hen.  It all gets a lot simpler if I just keep in mind that hen asks for locative.

Would a more literal translation for hen Valyrio Uēpo ānogār iksan be "I'm from Old Valyrian blood" (since Valyrio uēpo is gen.  and ānogār loc.)?

« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 06:30:35 am by leoboiko »

Mad Latinist

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Re: Questions: Aorist, Class II stems, diminutives
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 10:29:11 am »
Perfect sense, thanks! That's a cool feature.  I'm relieved that the accent does shift; I had found [aː.'no.ɡaːɾ] quite awkward to pronounce.
Well, that should be  ['aː.no.ɡaːɾ] in any case.

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Would a more literal translation for hen Valyrio Uēpo ānogār iksan be "I'm from Old Valyrian blood" (since Valyrio uēpo is gen.  and ānogār loc.)?
Yeah, though I would still say "from the blood of Old Valyria." But that's more a question of English than of Valyrian I suppose.

But my larger point is that while English distinguishes "of" and "from," most European languages don't, and this is particularly relevant in noble names, with de in the Romance languages, and von/van in Germanic, and so on. Whereas in English, nobles are "of" their lands, medieval Latin typically uses either or ā for this, which is more like "from."