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Author Topic: The Dwarven Language Codified  (Read 14253 times)

Solitarian

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The Dwarven Language Codified
« on: February 17, 2019, 04:53:43 pm »

Here is the obsolete video counterpart to this post. As the language's codification is ongoing, I will only update the video once more things have been finalized: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ybwE7BTc4s&feature=youtu.be

Here is a link to the Dwarven Dictionary. Many thanks for VABritto for assembling it!

ALL ENTRIES DONE.

You can check out all the entries already published at Dwarven Dictionary A to L and Dwarven Dictionary from M to Å

I wanted to make fortress names more interesting, so I decided to give the in-game dwarven language a little grammar. Then I gave it more... and more... and eventually it was almost a whole language, and I post the result of my effort here. This is my attempt at codifying Dwarven. This necessarily involves some linguistics mumbo-jumbo, but I will try to explain it or not rely on it so much so everyone understands. I hope that Dwarven can become the secret code of all DF players, our little Esperanto! Also, I probably forgot some bits of grammar, so I am relying on you to notice my mistakes and gaps.


1
Introduction

One very frustrating aspect of this endeavor was the limited lexicon (total vocabulary) of language_DWARF. I needed to invent many words. For example, Dwarven didn’t have a word for dwarf! I hope that you will help invent words and amend the lexicon, as I really don’t want to create thousands of words alone. Furthermore, language_DWARF contains only a few hundred adjectives, nouns, and verbs. There were no other kinds of words like prepositions, adverbs, or conjunctions, and there was no hint of grammar. My only clue was the fortress names, so I used one of those as the basis of the whole language. The name was:

Kuletmeng Zutashustoslibashemar Mabdug
Abbeylashed the Ancient Angry Axe-Animal of Ale

Yes, the words begin with A. I couldn’t be bothered to scroll down the list. From this name we can tell that Dwarven is agglutinative (it has many compound words, which are larger words comprised of conjoined smaller words, e.g. rainbow). We can see some syntax (word order) too: adjectives precede nouns, and the noun being modified is placed at the end of the compound word. We can also see that Dwarven does not have articles (“the” and “a” and “an”) or prepositions (words that express direction, position, etc.: of, between, beyond, beside, on, under, over, and so on). The “the” before “ancient” is not in the Dwarven name, just as the “of” isn’t. Latin also does not have articles, and it has only sparse prepositions. In Latin, articles and prepositions are often implied by context and syntax, so I supposed that Dwarven was like that too.

The file language_DWARF also shows that Dwarven is mostly an analytic language, but first I should explain what that word means.

Analytic means that the language conveys meaning through helper words and syntax. This is the opposite of a synthetic language, which conveys meaning through changing the forms of words. Most languages are mixed, i.e. a little analytic and a little synthetic. English is like this too. For example, the verb eat can be changed to convey meaning. Eats means it is in the present and singular. From that one word, we know that the action is happening now and only one actor is doing it. The form of the word was changed, in that an S was added. A helper word is usually added too, in this case a pronoun (a word that takes the place of a noun) such as he. That pronoun tells us that one man is performing the action. So, the sentence he eats is both analytic (it uses the helper word he) and synthetic (it changes the form of the verb).

In language_DWARF and language_words, we can see that the forms of words are never changed to convey meaning. For example, the base form of the verb deb (eat) is the same as its “changed” form deb (eats). Similarly, singular nouns are not changed to make them plural. In English, an S is added to make something plural: ale becomes ales. This is synthetic. In Dwarf Fortress, mabdug (ale) is the same as mabdug (ales). So, Dwarven is quite analytic.
That was more or less everything I could glean from the game’s presentation of Dwarven. From that, I had to develop or invent everything. Now, I present the grammar of Dwarven. As I describe things, I will give more detailed example sentences and context.


2
General Characteristics

Because Dwarven is analytic, syntax is very important. The word order is strictly controlled, as sentences’ meanings could change drastically if the order changes. For example: the dog ate the food is different from the food ate the dog. Dwarven’s word order is this: subject, verb-tense, direct object, indirect object, extra information.

The subject is the doer, the verb is what the subject is doing, the direct object is what the subject is doing to action to, and the indirect object is the object of the direct object. For example: I gave a ball to the dog. I-subject, gave-verb, ball-direct object, dog-indirect object.

Before you put anything in that last “extra information” category, think about whether it really belongs there. It probably belongs in one of the other categories instead. The word order is very strict, and the categories can only be left blank if filling them is unnecessary and does not confuse the meaning. The subject, verb, and direct object must always be clearly identifiable!

Because the forms of words never change in Dwarven, I had to rely on affixation, i.e. sticking words and sounds to the beginnings and ends of existing words to make new words. Almost all words end in consonants. There are no pronouns, so everything is third-person. There are no linguistic genders. First person (I / we) is usually conveyed with the noun Kutam (speaker), but not always. One always talks about oneself in the third person, so whatever one is is how one refers to oneself. Second person (you) can be marked with Ùâmid (listener).

Because Dwarven only ever appears as text in-game, there are no rules about pronunciation, as it doesn’t matter. Speak it however you like. However, the phonetics of the language are under discussion and will likely be codified sooner or later.


3
Nouns

As mentioned, nouns have no genders, never change their forms, and are agglutinative. This makes them extremely simple, hence the brevity of this section. One could convey plural with the adjective shámman (many) or by using a number as an adjective. When standardizing the orthography (writing) of Dwarven, I decided that all nouns are capitalized, like in German. This makes them much easier to differentiate from the other words in the sentences. Other words can be capitalized to make them nouns, even adjectives and verbs.

Compound words are very common. The word "zod(en)" can be used to mark a location, as it means "house". So "Nelzod" (bake house) means "bakery".

To refer to the performer of a verb, ù is added as a prefix. It is an abbreviation of Udos (man). So, amal (teach) becomes Ùamal (teacher). The suffix -lod (one) can also be added to indicate a person, and this can be used to make distinctions between something that performs and something that is. For example, Dosîm means wisdom, Ùdosîm means a performer of wisdom (such as a philosopher), and Dosîmlod means "wise one". To indicate an abstract concept (teaching), the prefix mik- is added. Thus, Mikamal means teaching. One could also use Amal as a noun to mean teaching, but this could be confusing.

4
Adjectives

Adjectives, like nouns, never change their forms and are agglutinative. The most important adjective is placed first, followed by the next most important adjective, and so on. Nouns can also be used as adjectives if they are not capitalized. This helps fill Dwarven’s many vocabulary gaps. For example, Ustos means anger, but ustos means angry. Because the entire compound word functions as one big noun, its first letter is capitalized, even if that letter is part of an adjective. Here are some examples:

Ustosonol – angry mountain (ustos + onol)
Onolustos – mountainous anger (onol + ustos)
Oronolustos – large mountainous anger (or + onol + ustos)

As you can see, word order is important. The noun being described is always at the end, and the preceding stuff is all adjectives. This system can easily be used to make words that English doesn’t really have. For example:

Ustoszutash – angry ancientness (ustos + zutash)

“Ancientness” is technically a word, but it is awkward.

Comparative adjectives are marked with the extra adjectives etag (more) or gekur (less):

Etagustosonol – angrier mountain / more angry mountain (etag + ustos + onol)
Gekurustosonol – less angry mountain (gekur + ustos + onol)

Superlative forms are marked with the extra adjectives tel (most) or gudos (least):

Telustosonol – angriest mountain / most angry mountain (tel + ustos + onol)
Gudosustosonol – least angry mountain (gudos + ustos + onol)


5
Verbs

As always with everything else, verbs’ forms don’t change. Instead, tense (time) markers are added. Verbs can also be capitalized to make them nouns. For example: deb (eat) can become Deb (eating, one occasion of eating). However, this would preferablz be marked with the prefix mik, so Mikdeb unambiguously means eating. Nouns and adjectives can be used as verbs too, so long as they are put in the correct place according to the strict syntax. Example: Babin (friend) - babin (befriend / be friends with).

The tense markers are:
geth – past
udiz – present
zalud – future
shoveth – hypothetical
ver - passive
zilir – imperative

deb-geth = ate
deb-udiz = eats
deb-zalud = will eat
deb-shoveth= might eat, would eat
deb-ver'geth = was eaten, became eaten
deb-ver'udiz = is being eaten
deb-ver'zalud = will be eaten
deb-zilir = eat!

Here are some example sentences:

Urist deb-geth Shokmug.
Urist ate cheese.

Urist deb-zalud Shokmug.
Urist will eat cheese.

Notice the syntax. The subject (the doer of the action) is always the first word of the sentence, and the subject is always followed by its verb, which is always accompanied by a tense marker, which is always followed by the direct object (the thing being acted upon).

The tense markers can also be mixed with apostrophes to show multiple times. For example:

Urist deb-geth’udiz Shokmug
Urist ate and is eating cheese.

The marker shoveth is used for conditional or hypothetical meanings. For example:

Urist deb-geth’shoveth Shokmug
Urist might have eaten cheese. / Urist possibly ate cheese.

Urist deb-zalud’shoveth Shokmug
Urist might eat cheese later.

6
Adverbs

Adverbs are the adjectives of verbs, hence their name. Just like adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs. For example: I quickly drive a fast car. Fast describes the car and is an adjective, while quickly describes the driving and is an adverb.

In Dwarven, adverbs precede the verbs they modify. Adverbs and adjectives are usually the same and only marked as one or the other by whether they are describing a noun or a verb. This means that any word becomes an adverb if it is used to describe a verb. However, the suffix -ak can be added to signify something as an adverb, if you want to really stress that. I had to invent some adverbs, as none were given in language_DWARF. Other words can be made into adverbs too. For example: alod (day), alodak (daily). The -ak suffix is not obligatory, though. For example: Urist onoldeb-geth Shokmug (Urist mountainously ate cheese. Whatever that means). Here are some useful adverbs that cannot be formed from adjectives:

eshob(ak) - always
sarum(ak) - also, too, as well, additionally
asdob(ak) - never
foz(ak) - almost
shoveth(ak) - sometimes, maybe
tang(ak) - here
dog(ak) - there
ashok(ak) - now
geth(ak) - then
slis(ak) - finally
mulon(ak) - every, all

Here are some example sentences:
Urist buketdeb-udiz Shokmug.
Urist quickly eats cheese. (Urist quickeat-present cheese)

Urist fozdeb-geth Shokmug.
Urist almost ate cheese.

Urist fozbuketdeb-geth Shokmug.
Urist almost quickly ate cheese.


7
Passive Voice

The passive voice is when the doer of an action is not indicated by the verb. For example: "Urist eats the cheese" is active, while "The cheese is eaten" is passive. Who is eating the cheese in the second sentence? We don’t know. Probably Urist.

In Dwarven, the passive voice is indicated by the verb ver (become) used as a tense marker. For example:

Shokmug deb-geth'ver.
Cheese was eaten. (cheese eat-past'become)

When using the passive voice, you can still indicate the doer as the direct object:

Shokmug deb-geth'ver Urist.
Cheese was eaten by Urist.


8
Possession

Possession is marked by the suffix –long (meaning “belonging to”) attached to a noun and followed by the possessor. For example:

Shokmug-longUrist
Urist’s cheese

Urist deb-geth Shokmug-longMosus
Urist ate Mosus’s cheese.


9
Question Words

All question words (who, where, when, etc.) have an –ag ending and are placed at the end of the sentence, as the beginning of the sentence is always where the subject is, and nothing else can ever be at the beginning of the sentence. Here are the question words:

vadag      what
vasag      where
udosag           who
-longudosag   whose (belonging to who)
vanag      when
hivag              why
nigag              how
vilkag      which

Example sentences with some more words:

Whose job is it to mine?
Avuziseth-longudosag
(miningquest-belongstowho)

Where is Urist   ?
Urist var-udiz vasag
(Urist be-present where)

Who was Urist?
Urist var-geth udosag
(Urist be-past who)

Which cheese is Urist's?
Shokmug-longUrist var-udiz vilkag
(cheese-belongstoUrist be-present which)

Why is Urist angry?
Urist var-udiz ustos hivag
(Urist be-present angry why)

Who ate my cheese?
Shokmug-longKutam verdeb-geth udosag
(cheese-belongstospeaker becomeeat-past who)

Why is there no cheese?
Shokmug asdobvar-udiz hivag
(cheese notbe-present why)

Where are we ?
Kutam var-udiz vasag
(speaker be-present where)

When will we attack the goblins?
Kutam rashgur-zalud Omergedor vanag
(speaker attack-future goblin when)

How will Urist live?
Urist thunen-zalud nigag
(Urist live-future how)


10
Numbers

Numbers seem to be annoying in every language. I tried to make Dwarven counting very straightforward. It is based on the first ten numbers.

0 asdob (this also means no, not, none)
1 nir
2 nob
3 mez
4 vor
5 fim
6 gät
7 zun
8 ått
9 nag
10 zez

The rest of the numbers are all just those previous numbers mixed. Hypens (-) mean addition, while the letter i multiplication. For example:

11 zez-nir (10+1), 12 zez-nob (10+2), 13 zez-mez (10+3)
20 nobizez, 21 nobizez-nir, 22 nobizez-nob, 23 nobizez-mez
30 mezizez, 40 vorizez, 70 zunizez

For the large multiplications of 10, there are abbreviations:

100 zezbog, 1000 zezton, 10,000 zezgurn, 100,000 zezmal, 1,000,000 zeztük

I don’t think numbers bigger than one million are necessary. Here are some larger example numbers:

257 nobizezbog-fimizez-zun
864 åttizezbog-gätizez-vor
1739 zezton-zunizezbog-mezizez-nag
17,841 zezgurn-zunizezton-åttizezbog-vorizez-nir

Approximate numbers (20ish, around 20, approximately 20) are indicated with the adjective shoveth. Example:

Shovethnobizez - approximately 20, 20ish

Ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) are just the numbers used as adjectives with a -t ending. Nir is the exception to this rule, as its ordinal form is "uthar". This is the only ordinal number in language_DWARF, so the rest had to be my inventions. Examples:

Fimtonol
(fifth mountain)

Zuntarkim
(seventh dwarf)

Utharshokmug
(first cheese)

Meztarkim deb-geth Noborshokmug.
The third dwarf ate two large cheeses.
(three-ordinal-dwarf eat-past twolargecheese)


11
Particles

“Particle” is a term that refers to any word that persnickety linguists can’t put in one of their many categories. These are typically special words with special uses. The only ones I cared about for Dwarven were yes and no.

eshob – yes
asdob – no

These are formed from eshon (good) and asdos (bad).


12
Conjunctions

Conjunctions join parts of sentences. Here is a list with some handy lines to make it "easier" to read. Commas are not used in Dwarven lists, so you need to put a conjunction between each item in the list ("Urist and Mosus and Etur" instead of "Urist, Mosus, and Etur").

og   because
get----------before
zal   after
ud       during, as
lok-----------and
ad   but
nat-----------or
gat      until
mit-----------in order that
des      therefore
shug---------unless
kul      whether
git----------since
gad   that
zis---------than

Example sentences:

Urist deb-udiz Shokmug lok Mabdug
Urist is eating cheese and ale (“eat” refers to any kind of ingestion)

Urist deb-geth Shokmug des Urist var-udiz asdobfokásh
Urist ate cheese, therefore he is not hungry. (Note that Urist must be stated twice. No pronouns!)
(Urist eat-past cheese therefore Urist be-present nothungry)

Urist musar-udiz gad Lolumevon rashgur-zalud
Urist knows that elves will attack
(Urist know-present that elf attack-future)

Urist deb-geth Shokmug zal Urist rashgur-geth Omergedor
Urist ate cheese after he attacked goblins
(Urist eat-past cheese after Urist attack-past goblin)


13
Prepositions

As we learned from language_DWARF, Dwarven has no prepositions. However, I could not think of any other way to convey that information, so I turned to Latin and found... postpositions!

Postpositions are like prepositions, except they are placed at the ends of words instead of before them. Here’s a list of postpositions, and they are always affixed to a noun with an apostrophe. I tried to make the list as small as possible and reduce redundancy. For example, there is only one postposition for over and above, as those concepts are very similar. I probably forgot some, though.

'esh       with
'il-------before (in front of)
'at   behind
'er------beyond, past, on the other side of
'ishob   toward, into, until
'em-----away from, out of, off, off of
'urt   below, beneath, under
'ag------on, on top of, over, above
'osh   beside, next to, along
'üf------through, across
'ok   within, inside, in, at
'un-----near, by
'ahd   on behalf of, for the benefit of
'ud------because of, due to, as a consequence of
'ist   against
'iz-------around, during
'üb   about, concerning (topic)
'avor---before (time)
'ach   after (time)
'ish -- between
'osh   like (similar to)
'ol------as, pretending to be
'utan   without
'ar------from, of (origin)

Example sentences with more words I had to invent:

Urist read a book for Mosus.
Urist thîkutnitem-geth Thîkut Mosus'ahd
(Urist read-past book Mosus’onbehalfof)

The fortress is in a mountain.
Geshud var-udiz Onol'ok
(fortress be-present mountain’within)

Urist is eating without socks.
Urist deb-udiz Seshoz'utan
(Urist eat-present sock’without)


14
Appositions

Appositions are descriptive phrases. For example: Joe and Bob, the sons of Elizabeth, are very nice. In that example, the sons of Elizabeth is an apposition describing Joe and Bob. In Dwarven, appositions are marked by apostrophes and immediately follow the things they describe. They do not break the rigid syntax because they are considered part of the nouns they modify. In Dwarven, appositions are also used to introduce more information without starting another section of the sentence. Examples:

Urist lokut Mosus ‘udos onol’ar’ var-udiz ustos.
Urist and Mosus, men of the mountain, are angry.
(Urist and Mosus ‘man mountain’of’ be-present angry)

Urist nitem-geth nikot ‘Mosus mak-geth’.
Urist saw what Mosus did.
(Urist see-past action ‘Mosus do-past’)


14
Conditional or Hypothetical

This is indicated either with the conjunction nos (if) or kul (whether). Usually the verb marker –shoveth is also involved. Here are longer and more complex example sentences with more words and combinations of all the grammar so far:

Urist will eat cheese if Mosus arrives
Urist deb-zalud Shokmug nos Mosus un-zalud
(Urist eat-future cheese if Mosus come-future)
(-un as a postposition means near, and as a verb is means to near, i.e. come closer, approach, arrive)

If Urist had known the elves would attack, he would not have left.
Urist asdobgalthor-shoveth'geth nos Urist musar-shoveth'geth gadt Lolumevon rashgur-geth
(Urist notdesert-hypothetical'past if Urist know-hypothetical'past that elves attack-past)

I wouldn't do that if I were you.
Kutam asdobmak-shoveth nikot 'Ùâmid mak-udiz' nos Kutam var-shoveth Ùâmid
(speaker notdo-hypothetical action 'hearer do-present' if speaker be-hypothetical hearer)

If Urist would just go home, then he wouldn't be in so much trouble.
Urist asdobvar-shoveth'udiz shámmankezat'esh nos Urist estmov-udiz bom'ishob
(Urist notbe-hypothetical'present manytrouble'with if Urist smallgo-present home'toward)

I will kill the elves if I see them.
Kutam vag-zalud Lolumevon nos Kutam nitem-shoveth'zalud Lolumevon
(speaker kill-future elf if speaker see-hypothetical'future elf)

Kill the elves if you see them!
Thîkutnitem vag-zilir Lolumevon nos Thîkutnitem nitem-shoveth Lolumevon
(reader kill-imperative elf if reader see-hypothetical elf)

Urist doesn't know if the elves will attack
Urist asdobmusar-udiz kul Lolumevon rashgur-zalud
(Urist notknow-present whether elves attack-future)


15
Family

Family members are marked with familial titles (sister, brother, father, etc.) that are abbreviated and agglutinated. These are:

Um = Urem (father)
Bor = Bobrur (mother)
Ad = Alud (brother)
Ar = Anir (sister)
Suth = saruth (girl / daughter)
Äd = ärged (boy / son)

Family members from many generations ago are marked with ordinal numbers. Vortum = fourth father, great great grandfather.

Examples:

Umbor = father's mother, i.e. paternal grandmother (Urem + Bobrur)
Borbor = mother's mother, i.e. maternal grandmother
Borädud = mother's brother's son, i.e. cousin
Umarsuth = father's sister's daughter, i.e. cousin


16
Examples Examples Examples

That is all the Dwarven grammar I made! Here are many more example sentences. If you think you understand, try working through this paragraph I translated. It contains many words I had to invent, as they did not exist in language_DWARF, so refer to the English version below it and the list of extra words if you are confused. This is the “Strike the earth!” paragraph seen when one starts a fortress.

Ùâmid un-geth. Danmanromekmov-longÙâmid slishlushôn-geth Romekmov’ach Onolbom’ar Nistomrist’ishob Onol’er. Zunarkimtomêm-longÙâmid veryemt-udiz utstazbyg Anil’ahd-longmulonKuletmabdug. Asdobtzak fozvar-udiz ad Debgol unstaz-udiz Ifinérith. Ùâmid ekast-zilir Arkim-longÙâmid alåth’esh nat ivom’esh nat kahk’esh. Ùâmid yemt-udiz Tzakasmel ‘estun-zalud get Akath ostar-zalud Ùâmid’ ad Ashok var-udiz Bekom. Ashok var-udiz geng mit Ùâmid kan-udiz’zalud bombyg get Etägidar ver-zalud fokásh. Irleitashok-longArkim tangakritan-udiz ‘Urdimthocit’. Ùâmid abod-zilir ber!

You have arrived. After a journey from the mountainhomes into the forbidding wilderness beyond, your harsh trek has finally ended. Your party of seven is to make an outpost for the glory of all of (government name). There are almost no supplies left, but with stout labor comes sustenance. Whether by bolt, plow, or hook, provide for your dwarves. You are expecting a supply caravan just before winter entombs you, but it is spring now. Enough time to delve secure lodgings, ere the (predator name) get hungry. A new chapter of dwarven history begins here at this place, (fortress name). Strike the earth!

do – mak
can - kan
want - vunsh
allow - durf
must - havt
move - mov
go – rud
remain - staz
un – near (become near, approach, arrive, come)
accompany – unstaz (literally:near remain)
give - giv
read - thîkutnitem (literally:book see)
kill - vag
be - var
have - hav
become - ver
mistake - fehl
supply - tzak
food - debgol
hook - kahk
enough - geng
part - leit
goblin - omergedor
dwarf - arkim
human - shukarishen
elf - lolumevon
destroy - förstör
await – yemt (expect)
outpost - utstaz
build - byg
more - etag
yes – eshob
no - asdob
journey - romekmov
see - nitem
sock - seshoz

Urist eats his cheese.
Urist deb-udiz Shokmug-longUrist.

Urist eats his old cheese.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist.

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok.
(Urist eat-present oldcheese-belongstoUrist fortresswithin)

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he is hungry.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist var-udiz fokásh.

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he is hungry after fighting goblins.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist var-udiz fokásh zal Urist bardum-geth Omergedor.

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he wants to fight. ("to fight" is the direct object of the verb "wants" and is a verb, not a noun, so it is not capitalized)
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist vunsh-udiz bardum.

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he wants to fight goblins.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist vunsh-udiz Omergedorbardum. ("to fight goblins" is one big direct object)

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he wants to fight goblins before they destroy the fortress.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist vunsh-udiz Omergedorbardum get Omergedor förstör-zalud Geshud.

Urist eats his old cheese in the fortress because he wants to fight goblins before they destroy the fortress and build their own fortress.
Urist deb-udiz Egarshokmug-longUrist Geshud'ok og Urist vunsh-udiz Omergedorbardum get Omergedor förstör-zalud Geshud lok Omergedor byg-zalud Geshud-longOmergedor.

Urist gives cheese to Mosus in the fortress.
Urist giv-udiz Shokmug Mosus Geshud'ok.

Urist gave cheese to Mosus inside his fortress. (whose fortress?)
Urist giv-geth Shokmug Mosus Geshud'ok-longMosus (longUrist?).

Urist gave cheese to Mosus in the fortress called Abbeylashed the Ancient Angry Axe-Animal of Ale.
Urist giv-geth Shokmug Mosus Geshud'ok 'Kuletmeng Zutashustoslibashemar Mabdug'.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:46:08 pm by Solitarian »
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Superdorf

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 08:42:01 pm »

This... this is...

Thank you.
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Dragonsploof

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2019, 08:51:01 am »

This is very impressive.








Solitarian codified DWARF it was inevitable.
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 01:31:30 pm »

I'm glad you like it! I'm not so sure it was inevitable. The game has existed for quite a long time, and no one has attempted this (as far as I know). Maybe no other language nerd would have done this if not for me. Regardless, I hope the language makes sense to everyone. I have already recognized some weaknesses and bits of grammar that I forgot, though the language more than suffices for its simple in-game uses. I am trying to make a complete lexicon of the entire language, but that is intensely boring, as it involves typing thousands of words into an Excel spreadsheet. Still, once it is done, I (and others) will be able to parse and amend the lexicon very easily.

Does anyone have any problems with the language? I thought the postpositions thing might be tricky for many people, as they are relatively uncommon. I suppose Finnish speakers would be overjoyed that I made the language that way, though.

I guess I could codify the other languages, but meh. Who cares about that sub-dwarven filth?
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2019, 01:51:04 pm »

I am also considering making a video or two which introduce and explain the language. Does that sound useful? It might be better than reading this long post... or maybe not?
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PlumpHelmetMan

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 03:56:58 pm »

This is really cool. Do you have any plans to codify the other languages in the game?
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FrankVill

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2019, 05:24:21 pm »

Kutam suthan-geth Il'utan.
(I ran out of words!)

On a first impression, your post seems really intimidating. Although if somebody were a little interested in general Language structure, he could found it very instructive.
I am really not a fan of languages, specially when they are fictitious, so probably I won't write and read in Dwarven, but I have learnt a lot about concepts that you exposed. Besides, you explain it very well and in entertairning way.
I wanted to make a Dwarven sentence by myself for dedicating to you because of your hard work. It was very difficult to me and it made me to apreciate the merit that there is behind your post.

My sister has studied German and told me who nobody is able to notice when a question sentence is  or not a question one until finishing to read it completely. She also told me what some long words are really sentences because they are composed. For that reason, Dwarven remembers me to German.

(Sorry for my bad English, I'm Spanish and a bad English student).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 05:30:48 pm by FrankVill »
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2019, 05:51:30 pm »

This is really cool. Do you have any plans to codify the other languages in the game?

As I joked in my last post, I'm not very interested in codifying them. The in-game naming system is actually the same for every language, so the constructed grammar for all the other languages would have to be very similar to match the naming system. Since the dwarves are by far the most popular race and the namesake of the game, I think they are the only ones that merit codification.

Kutam suthan-geth Il'utan.
(I ran out of words!)

On a first impression, your post seems really intimidating. Although if somebody were a little interested in general Language structure, he could found it very instructive.
I am really not a fan of languages, specially when they are fictitious, so probably I won't write and read in Dwarven, but I have learnt a lot about concepts that you exposed. Besides, you explain it very well and in entertairning way.
I wanted to make a Dwarven sentence by myself for dedicating to you because of your hard work. It was very difficult to me and it made me to apreciate the merit that there is behind your post.

My sister has studied German and told me who nobody is able to notice when a question sentence is  or not a question one until finishing to read it completely. She also told me what some long words are really sentences because they are composed. For that reason, Dwarven remembers me to German.

(Sorry for my bad English, I'm Spanish and a bad English student).


Hmm... I'm not sure what you meant in Dwarven. Suthan? Did you mean ruin? Speaker ruin-past before-without?

I was worried that it would seem intimidating. That is why I am considering making a video. I probably will do that and put a link to it at the beginning of the post. Since I constructed the language, I know exactly how it works and can explain it rather quickly. I'm glad you learned about linguistics from this post! I tried to explain everything, even things that linguistics people would find too simple to merit explanation. Learning different grammar structures (even in fictitious languages) helps us understand language and grammar in general. Those noises we make with our mouths are strange indeed! Dwarven is a mix of English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Mandarin, and some Polynesian language I forgot the name of (that's where that "-long" construction for posession originated).

I speak German, so my choices of construction probably reflect that. In Spanish, the question marks are at the beginnings and ends of sentences, but in Dwarven there are no question marks at all! You have to see the "arg" at the end to know it's a question.
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Hanslanda

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2019, 07:04:20 pm »

This is intensely awesome.
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FrankVill

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 07:29:47 pm »

He he. In Spanish we usually say "Me he quedado sin palabras" for showing surprise. That's the reason why I was trying to say "I've get out of words" or "I'm Speechless" in Dwarven. But I had some problems when I couldn't found `to have´, `to get´, `to speech´, etc... So I tried to make Dwarven sentence with this another one: "I ran out of words".
Ah! ok, I just saw my mistake:
- First, I found `to ruin´ (Suthan) in DF Wiki and used it instead of `to run´(Rur).
- In other hand, I thought that found the word `word´ when actually was `wordy´(II). Mm, maybe I could take `noum´(kab) as synonym of `word´.
Let me try again:

Kutam rur-geth kab'utan
(I ran out of words)

Better, isn't it?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 07:35:07 pm by FrankVill »
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 04:33:37 am »

This is intensely awesome.

I'm glad you think so!


Kutam rur-geth kab'utan
(I ran out of words)

Better, isn't it?

It's grammatically better, but it doesn't mean what you are trying to say. In English, "run out of" doesn't mean that one literally runs from someplace by foot; it means that one has exhausted a supply of something. However, your Dwarven sentence uses "rur", which means run (as in a footrace, running with your feet). So, you said "speaker run-past name'without". This means "I ran without a name". I think you need to find some other way to say what you mean, like "I had no more words" "I found no more words" "There were no more words" "I used the entire supply of words" "I couldn't find the right word", etc.

Also, the video is being made. It's an informal discussion of the language that lasts about an hour. I wonder if that is also too intimidating.
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Miuramir

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 08:29:34 pm »

Impressive and quite nifty.  I don't have either the time or skill to comment in detail, but wanted to make a few comments regarding numbers that I have thought about in the back of my head for a while. 

* Based on what we know about the way the bookkeeper keeps track of inventory, DF dwarves have a reasonably functional concept of significant figures and/or precision.  Dwarves have in game (and thus need a way to distinguish in their language) a difference between "2000" meaning "exactly 2000", meaning "anywhere from 1995 to 2004", meaning "anywhere from 1950 to 2049", and meaning "anywhere from 1500 to 2499".  Given the info we have, it is more likely that this is a following word or suffix meaning "approximately" rather than a word or suffix meaning "exactly"; and that it has a rounding / sig fig component.  Logically these would incorporate the words or endings for 1, 10, 100, 1000, and 10000 with some other word, possibly one related to skill, accuracy, precision, or length of work. 

* Current dwarves seem to mostly use base 10, but there are hints that "old dwarven" was based on base 8-with-zero (ie, values from 0 to 7, octal), as seen in things like water / magma depths, 7 dwarves being a "full team", and so on.  This *might* mean that the words for 9 and 10 are a bit different, being less ancient, and perhaps originally having been octal 11 and octal 12.  Compare from English which has gone the other way, "eleven" and "twelve" being different than "(foo)teen", hints of old systems based on 12, 60, and 360 still present in our modern languages and measures. 
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 12:19:36 pm »

I thought about making the number system not base ten, though I did not consider 7 specifically (I didn't even think about the depth of water and magma). I considered base 12, but I ultimately thought that would be too confusing for too many people. I'm terrible at math, and I'm certain there are many people who are even worse. Our current system is base ten, so I decided to just make the dwarven one like that too so people might actually use the language.

That point about "old Dwarven" being base 8 is very cool. However, I don't have a way to make the words "less ancient", as they are all my arbitrary inventions. This language is rather obviously constructed, as its grammar is too straightforward and its words have no etymologies. Ten is zez because I thought that sounded distinct, not because the language developed over hundreds of years. Perhaps we could excuse this by saying that the dwarven gods transferred the language to the first dwarves on tablets which perfectly preserved the language as the gods originally made it.

The significant figures idea is also cool and one I had not considered. Again, I think that would complicate the system too much, though I should probably add a word for "approximately" to the lexicon. I'm afraid of dissuading people from using the language. That would be like saying 20ish in English. I guess I could use the ever-useful "zott" word as a prefix or suffix. Zottnobizez = approximately 20. That sounds good. To the lexicon!
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DwarfMines

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2019, 11:46:42 am »

A simple question, why "stark" for "dwarf?"
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2019, 06:11:27 pm »

I don't know. It sounded dwarfy, I guess. Like many words I invented, I had no planned pattern. Most of my chosen vocabulary seems to be vaguely Germanic, so maybe that is why it sounded appropriate.
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