Author Topic: Animate or inanimate nouns.  (Read 6996 times)

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ingsve

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Animate or inanimate nouns.
« on: May 17, 2011, 09:36:05 pm »
We have started assigning which nouns are animate and which are inanimate but there are still a lot of nouns where we don't know if it's animate or not. This thread will be a place to try and figure this out.

David has provided some general phonetic rules that determine animacy:

animate:
-ak
-asar, -eser, -isir, -osor
infinitive

inanimate:
-i (diminutive)
-(s)of (augmentative)
ath-(z)ar
-(i)kh
-eyya
compounds

Having removed all words that fall into any of these categories we are left with the following list:

vizhad   silver   
addo ajjalani   midnight   
ador   chair   
ahesh   snow   
asavva   sky   
ase   word   
ave   father   
ayena   bell   
azhasavva   blessing   
azho   gift   
chare   ear   
chiftik   cricket   
chiori   woman   
dorvi   goat   
dosh khaleen   group of widowed khaleesi   
dothraki   The dothraki people ”the riders”   
esshey   roof   
eveth   water   
fire   ring   
foth   throat   
gamiz   rice   
gende   rip   
gizikhven   candy   
hadaen   food   
haesh   spawn   
hatif   face   
havazh   sea   
heth   rim   
hrakka   white lion   
hranna   a type of grass   
hrazef   horse   
idrik   leader of the hunt
jalan   moon   
jalan qoyi   harvest moon   
jano   dog   
jaqqa rhan   ”mercy men” not litteral   
jesh   ice   
jorok   corn   
khal   leader, king   
khalakka   prince, son of khal   
khaleesi   queen   
khas   group of bodyguards, protectors   
kher   flesh   
loqam   arrow   
maegi   wise, sorceress of black magic   
mawizzi   rabbit   
mithri   rest   
nhare   head   
noreth   hair   
orvik   whip   
qazer   apple   
qeso   basket   
qosar   spider   
rakh   boy, lamb   
rhae mhar   Sore-foot   
rhaesh   land, country   
rhaggat   cart   
riv   tip   
rizh   son   
sajo   steed   
san   heap, pile, much   
shierak qiya   comet, bleeding star   
shiqeth   iron   
shor   garment mainly worn by women   
tih   eye
tikkheya   verb   
vado   turnip   
vaes   city   
vezh   stallion   
vikeesi   slang for annoying woman.   
voji   people   
vort   tooth   
zande   satchel, sack   
zhaqe   bass   
zhavvorsi   of the dragon   
zir   bird   

What we need to do now is find out some way to determine which of these are inanimate or animate. One way to do this is to look at example sentences. The easiest way is to find a sentence where the word is used as the object of a sentence. If the noun ends in -es or -is it will be animate otherwise it's inanimate. Also the genitive ending for words that end in a vowel is also a clue. Inanimate nouns will only have -i even after a vowel but animate nouns will instead have -si. Animate nouns also have various declensions for plurals of the ablative and allative so any word ending with a vowel that ends in -saan or soon rather than just -aan or -oon will be animate. Also any instance of the endings -(s)oa or -(s)ea will also be animate.


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Hrakkar

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 04:31:12 pm »
Maybe this is somewhat of a noobish question. Would things that are alive be automatically animate (many in the exception list)? Or is animate/inanimate a linguistic thing?
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ingsve

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 05:44:52 pm »
Maybe this is somewhat of a noobish question. Would things that are alive be automatically animate (many in the exception list)? Or is animate/inanimate a linguistic thing?

Well, David has created the language as a naturalistic language that has evolved over time and things tend to change over time. So there is some historical logic to what words are animate and which are inanimate but over time things have become jumbled to the point that you can't use things like that as a clear and fast rule. If you look at the word lekh for example it has two different meanings namely language and tounge. The strange thing however is that when it is used to mean language it is animate and when it is used for tongue it is inanimate. So there is an example that goes right against what you would probably have guessed.
"I just need to rest, that’s all, to rest and sleep some, and maybe die a little" – Samwell Tarly

Verak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 09:51:32 am »

Is David still in the political situation that he can't just tell you what the animacy is for each noun item? He has to know already to be able to generate translations, right?

I can't imagine that HBO cares about keeping that information secret. I'd be SHOCKED if they even understand the concept of what it is and its relationship to the complexities of the grammar.

Revealing this information could in no way endanger the unfolding of the story on screen. If the word is already 'out there', what harm could it be for the very few folks who are learning the language to know what the animacy designation is for 'released' nouns?

I understand that for some folks it might be really fun to 'unravel' the mysteries of the 'irregular ni' like a puzzle, but just asking him does not seem unreasonable to me either as an option for how to get the info. He can always just say "Sorry. Can't."


ingsve

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 10:44:21 am »
Well, he could but that would require time to go through it all one word at a time with him. He's not really the guy who would come in here and post it all on the forum. He said at one point that it would feel strange for him to interact at that level. There will be words that we will have to double check with him at some point but the more words we can figure out in other ways the better. We still only have around 350 words of a language that has over 2700 words created so far so the list of words to double check with him could get really long.
"I just need to rest, that’s all, to rest and sleep some, and maybe die a little" – Samwell Tarly

Verak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 11:30:40 am »
Well, he could but that would require time to go through it all one word at a time with him. He's not really the guy who would come in here and post it all on the forum. He said at one point that it would feel strange for him to interact at that level. There will be words that we will have to double check with him at some point but the more words we can figure out in other ways the better. We still only have around 350 words of a language that has over 2700 words created so far so the list of words to double check with him could get really long.

I understand his not wanting to be engaged in this forum, but if I were he, I would have the animacy of all of my nouns noted in my own records. If I were sent the list that appears above, I (personally) wouldn't mind indicating the base form and animacy of all the nouns on the list—especially considering how critical it is that animacy be understood and factored into grammatically correct sentences. He seems to have built this feature into the language because he wanted to; as a point of personal pride and satisfaction. I read nothing in G0T that indicated to me that GRRM included this animacy concept overtly. I would think he'd be highly motivated to teach these things to anyone willing to pay attention and learn.

But, again, that's just my personal feeling. I don't know David, so it's a bit presumptuous of me to project.


ingsve

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 12:00:32 pm »
Well, he could but that would require time to go through it all one word at a time with him. He's not really the guy who would come in here and post it all on the forum. He said at one point that it would feel strange for him to interact at that level. There will be words that we will have to double check with him at some point but the more words we can figure out in other ways the better. We still only have around 350 words of a language that has over 2700 words created so far so the list of words to double check with him could get really long.

I understand his not wanting to be engaged in this forum, but if I were he, I would have the animacy of all of my nouns noted in my own records. If I were sent the list that appears above, I (personally) wouldn't mind indicating the base form and animacy of all the nouns on the list—especially considering how critical it is that animacy be understood and factored into grammatically correct sentences. He seems to have built this feature into the language because he wanted to; as a point of personal pride and satisfaction. I read nothing in G0T that indicated to me that GRRM included this animacy concept overtly. I would think he'd be highly motivated to teach these things to anyone willing to pay attention and learn.

But, again, that's just my personal feeling. I don't know David, so it's a bit presumptuous of me to project.

Well, I'm sure he has it all written down in his own dictionary and I'm sure he would help out if we asked him. I just think the less words we need to have officially verified by him as opposed to deduced it would leave more time to find out other things when we do get him in an IRC chat etc.
"I just need to rest, that’s all, to rest and sleep some, and maybe die a little" – Samwell Tarly

Verak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 05:38:03 pm »
I have decided to guess

vizhad   silver      ni
addo ajjalani   midnight   ni
ador   chair     ni
ahesh   snow   n
asavva   sky   n
ase   word   n
ave   father   n
ayena   bell   n
azhasavva   blessing    n
azho   gift   ni
chare   ear   n
chiftik   cricket    ni
chiori   woman   n
dorvi   goat   ni
dosh khaleen   group of widowed khaleesi   n
dothraki   The dothraki people ”the riders”    n
esshey   roof    ni
eveth   water   n
fire   ring   ni
foth   throat   n
gamiz   rice   ni
gende   rip   ni
gizikhven   candy   ni
hadaen   food   ni
haesh   spawn   n
hatif   face   n
havazh   sea   n
heth   rim   ni
hrakka   white lion   n
hranna   a type of grass   ni
hrazef   horse   n
idrik   leader of the hunt   n
jalan   moon   n
jalan qoyi   harvest moon   n
jano   dog    ni
jaqqa rhan   ”mercy men” not litteral   n
jesh   ice   ni
jorok   corn   ni
khal   leader, king   n
khalakka   prince, son of khal   n
khaleesi   queen   n
khas   group of bodyguards, protectors   n
kher   flesh   n
loqam   arrow   n
maegi   wise, sorceress of black magic   n
mawizzi   rabbit   ni
mithri   rest   ni
nhare   head   n
noreth   hair   ni
orvik   whip   n
qazer   apple      ni
qeso   basket   ni
qosar   spider   ni
rakh   boy, lamb   n
rhae mhar   Sore-foot   ni
rhaesh   land, country   ni
rhaggat   cart   ni
riv   tip   ni
rizh   son   n
sajo   steed      n
san   heap, pile, much      ni
shierak qiya   comet, bleeding star   n
shiqeth   iron   ni
shor   garment mainly worn by women   ni
tih   eye   n
tikkheya   verb   ni
vado   turnip   ni
vaes   city   n
vezh   stallion   n
vikeesi   slang for annoying woman.   n
voji   people   n
vort   tooth   ni
zande   satchel, sack   ni
zhaqe   bass   ni
zhavvorsi   of the dragon   n
zir   bird   ni (based on allegra)

Qvaak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 10:37:45 am »
Speaking of animate versus inanimate, could it be that some pronouns inherit animacy from the words they denote to? I tried to puzzle why '...ast chiori fini zirisse oggoes dorvoon...', but 'Mawizzi Fin Zal Kemolat ma Yesisoon'. Fini and fin seem to serve very similar role, and the best explanation for the difference I can come up is that mawissi is an inanimate noun (as we indeed suspect) and thus fini takes an inanimate form.

If that were true, we would have one more indicator for determining animacy.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Verak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011, 10:46:39 am »
If that were true, we would have one more indicator for determining animacy.

Very clever!!

Such a puzzle, this language!


Qvaak

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Re: Animate or inanimate nouns.
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011, 12:18:25 pm »
Quote
Such a puzzle, this language!
It is! And we must hurry in solving everything we can, too, because any day Peterson might publish the comprehensive guide to grammar and vocaburaly and spoil the whole fun.

Seriously, though, there are better and worse reasons to keep us in the ...not quite dark...dusk maybe, all of them still valid. As I've said before, I do really enjoy the relative lack of knowledge.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.