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Author Topic: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project  (Read 14962 times)

WoobMonkey

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #150 on: December 02, 2013, 10:50:04 am »

At least, not yet. Music and poetry are planned features: for the tavern arc, I think. Even now though, we see the rudiments of purely imaginative works in religious artwork and the occasional engraving of a griffon or centaur.

In that case, I shall reserve any further comment on this idea until the next release.  I don't want in any way to try to discourage the amazing creative and scholarly work going on in this thread.
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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #151 on: December 26, 2013, 08:03:51 pm »

This thread is like llama wool on an evil glacier; just won't stay dead...

Something struck me about Dwarvish: it has the largest assortment of marked vowel sounds out of all the languages, with twenty-five total vowel sounds (compared to nineteen consonants, I think). This suggested to me that Dwarves are very attuned to vowel sounds, making small and certain distinctions and relationships between them. Following this thinking, I created a chart:

(No, it isn't a pentacle)

It shows the relationships between all the vowels and their subtypes. I is considered the "highest" vowel (i.e. in the mouth, cf. IPA); is the lowest; the rest are in between, with E and A being "in front" and O and U being "in back."

Circumflex marks a "long" vowel, considered an extension of the "standard" vowel.

Diareses mark "half-vowels," considered weaker or in-between versions standard vowels. They have distinct sounds:
    = yɪ
    =
    = (the a in "bat")
    = wɔ
(Note that this introduces y and w sounds into Dwarvish, which were previously absent)

Acutes and Graves mark "lifts" and "drops," respectively (or rises and falls, I haven't quite decided on terminology). They represent middle stages of a vowel, considered to be "lifting" or "dropping" towards a half-vowel. As before, for English speakers they'd sound exactly like the standard vowel.

still sounds like long O; it's not technically a half-vowel (it's called the "deep vowel" or the "deep A") but it's treated pretty much the same.


Continuing in the "Dwarves notice vowel sounds a lot better than we do" reasoning, I though that maybe using ablauts for alterations in meaning would be a good idea. For example, the plural of English "man" is "men"; the vowel shift expresses plurality. Same for goose-->geese (and maybe mouse-->mice?).
I've come up with a sample system for verbs using this approach. The shifts follow the relationships between the vowels, as outlined in the Vr.
Spoiler: Verbs! (click to show/hide)

Baffler

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #152 on: December 27, 2013, 12:40:43 pm »

You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. For terminology, I'd suggest peaks and valleys, if only because that would be a familiar image to a dwarf. As far as difficulty, I actually think I would rather learn this than the endings. As you said there's less you need to actually memorize and it rather neatly wraps up issues that would normally require an irregular form. I do have one concern though, how is the stem vowel determined? If the stem vowel has some marking how is that handled?

« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 12:45:45 pm by Baffler »
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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #153 on: December 27, 2013, 02:38:51 pm »

For terminology, I'd suggest peaks and valleys
Sounds good to me.

I do have one concern though, how is the stem vowel determined?
It's the final vowel of the aorist tense/infinitive (i.e. the dictionary form)

If the stem vowel has some marking how is that handled?
The verb would probably use endings (which I have yet to think of). Such verbs are fairly uncommon, to my knowledge, but they do exist.

Loam

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #154 on: December 30, 2013, 01:37:28 pm »

A new translation of the Boatmurdered Prologue:

Ak MMLZ d, osor dun tvn Kinmelbil fok zettan avuzrull. s-steris az nethgn bar limul van az tithlth dun keldor, kelranteshkath van latholth, tomm dun zizmlsis s-goshath bar aban bomrir dun tvn dun Kinmelbil ak Umarkil Nikuz. duthar dun ats dun erar enen-tarem dun avuz s-atlet, omamath tul dun nabsal dun ikutd dun geshud zet isavet sl, am sh zettan taremshoveth van gimbir egdbesh
Spoiler: Literal (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Analysis (click to show/hide)

Right now it's just too much like English. Without enough meaningful difference, it ceases to be a language and just becomes a secret code. I might try to fit it into a more rigid sentence structure, which might especially be helpful for passive voice stuff. I'd have to think of a poetic form that emphasized sentence structure, though, but that could be fun.

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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #155 on: February 17, 2014, 02:31:42 am »

Right now it's just too much like English. Without enough meaningful difference, it ceases to be a language and just becomes a secret code.

A simple fix would be to remove tense. In Chinese they say "We go tommorow", but in English we say "We will go tommorow". Easy fix and it will streamline things somewhat.
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Re: Dwarven Linguistics: Community Project
« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2014, 06:35:36 am »

The realistic names thread: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=145713.0

Thoughts? I'd really appreciate anything you can share on how names actually developed in the past.
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