Author Topic: a couple little questions  (Read 1377 times)

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larza

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a couple little questions
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:51:51 pm »
m'athcomaroon. anha zalak qafat at yeri!

first thing: I am wondering about the use of "nem"? I have seen it a few times, mostly in "me nem nesa" (it is known). as far as I can tell, it means "is" in a universal way? I am having trouble wrapping my mind around where to put it. The best guess I've got is to use it if I'm talking about something that everybody agrees with. Would "Lajaki kishi nem haji" make sense? "Jalan nem zheanae"?

another thing: how to say "twice"?

Also, I'm really new to noun cases and have trouble understanding the difference between alienable and inalienable possession. For example, would you talk about somebody's children in genitive or ablative? Yalli anni or yalli anhoon?

I also recall reading something somewhere about forcing words into Dothraki, but I don't remember what was said. If I'm talking about being from Oregon, would I say "anha dothrak oregonoon" or is there a different way to treat foreign words?

athchomari yerea!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 01:55:34 pm by larza »

larza

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Re: a couple little questions
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 01:56:46 pm »
also: I definitely put this in the wrong section, sorry for that!

Qvaak

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Re: a couple little questions
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 02:21:40 pm »
Nem facilitates passivation. It's purely a grammatical particle, which does not have anything really similar in English (it's actually fairly exotic altogether, I think). That being said, in practice the way English auxiliary verb to be works in the passive syntax is kinda sorta analogous. The fact that nem isn't a verb is mostly a techical curiosity (just don't try to conjugate it or use it without a predicate verb). You'll have pretty good hang on how to use nem as soon as you understand what is a passive sentence. Unfortunately this has been surprisingly challenging for many of our less linguistically backgrounded learners.

Passive sentences we're talking of now are a grammatical class of sentences. If you just try to get a feel of how active or passive a sentence is, you'll get this wrong more often than right. "A house is burning." is an active sentence, and so is "She was sad." Compare to these passive sentences: "A house is being burned." and "She was saddened."

A large number of verbs can be used with subject - object relation (ie. they are transitive): X does something to Y. These can be passivised by leaving the subject unsaid: something is done to Y. In English you can re-introduce the doer-X-thingy in a sort of a footnote by adding by X (and incidentally Dothraki grammar offers an analoguous option). This is actually a great test to check if you have a passive sentence:

*"A house is burning by the angry mob." -> does not work, so "A house is burning." is an active sentence.
"A house is being burned by the angry mob." -> does work, so the sentence could be a passivised version of a sentence "The angry mob is burning the house."

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"Lajaki kishi nem haji"
To be strong is not something you do to someone - it's just something that you do. Hajat is not a transitive verb. You need the "X does something to Y" so that you can remove X and still have Y.
[Incidentally, "Lajaki kishi nem ahhaji." would probably work even though we don't seem to have ahhajat confirmed. And of course you could, thus also expand to "Lajaki kishi nem ahhaji ki athvilajerari."]
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"Jalan nem zheanae"?
Same here.

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This is just a short and messy explanation. Wikipedia is your friend.

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how to say "twice"?
Dunno. That probably isn't known by us. Akat kashi would be my quick guess.


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Also, I'm really new to noun cases and have trouble understanding the difference between alienable and inalienable possession. For example, would you talk about somebody's children in genitive or ablative? Yalli anni or yalli anhoon?
I think the general feel of the distinction is that the inalienable "ownership" relation is profoundly defining to the object's very identity. Someone might cut off your hand and steal it away, but it will be forever your hand, not just by rights of ownership, but by definition. Dothraki has, though, a very narrow take on the concept of inalienability. Body parts are inalienable [I think achrakh was also inalienable, which makes sense], and pretty much everything else is alienable. I'm pretty sure even parenthood is not held in such and intimate standards. You can adopt children. Dothraki probably do, both forcibly and otherwise. I also think on our "contemporary Dothraki timeframe" alienability system has already degenerated to A fairly grammatical thing, so I guess ultimately it's more metadata stuff you just should learn with the words.

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I also recall reading something somewhere about forcing words into Dothraki, but I don't remember what was said. If I'm talking about being from Oregon, would I say "anha dothrak oregonoon" or is there a different way to treat foreign words?
Ya. There actually is. Dothraki don't like to try to force foreign words to their iflection system, so they tend to leave them uninflected and use them with the vaguely generic preposition haji: Anha dothrak haji Oregon. This of course loses the information on whether you are riding to, from, or perhaps along Oregon, but you might add that information back by saying eg. Anha dothrak rhaeshoon haji Oregon.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 02:23:22 pm by Qvaak »
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