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1. Dothraki by David Peterson

Texts | Grammar | Lexicon | Glossary
Next (Philip Newton, Engadinese)

Dothraki

"Dorvi Zichome"

Kash chiori zheana dothra yomme osoleth, kash me nem annakh ki dorvi. Ast dorvi ki, "Zhey chiori zheana! Yer allayafi anna. Anha zalak kemolat ma yeroon."

Chiori jas. "Kifindirgi yer zali meyer nem akemi m'anhoon? Yer vos nesi hakees anni akka."

Qaf dorvi ki, "Hakees yeri? Anha vos qafo qisi hake yeri: Anha qaf meyer nem akemi m'anhoon. Fini elzikh yeri?"

"Jini elzikh anni", ast chiori fini zirisse oggoes dorvoon m'arakhoon mae.

Majin oggo dorvoon, chilay sh'ejakh, ast, "Majin...elzikh yeri 'ai'?"
  Smooth English

"The Disrespectful Goat"

A beautiful woman was riding across a bridge when she was stopped by a goat. "O beautiful woman!" said the goat. "You please me. I wish to marry you."

The woman laughed. "Why would you want to marry me? You don't even know my name."

"Your name?" asked the goat. "I didn't ask about your name: I asked you to marry me. What is your answer?"

"This is my answer," said the woman who sliced the goat's head off with her arakh.

The goat's head, lying on the bank, then said, "So...is that a yes?"

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Grammar

  • Website: http://dothraki.com/

  • Typological facts: word order = SVO; prepositional; NG; NA; NR. Adverbs generally come sentence-finally.

  • The old word order of Dothraki is VSO. Vestiges of this old word order sometimes surface in relative clauses, questions, and quotations.

  • The infinitive form of a verb ends in /-(l)at/. Strip off this suffix to get the verb stem. The verb stem by itself serves as the past tense form of the form in the positive grade. In the negative grade, a suffixed -o is added to the verb stem in the past tense. In the present and future tense, verbs take personal suffixes. Only two are encountered in this text: The first person singular /-ak/, and the second person singular /-i/. The future tense of a verb is built off the present (the stem plus the personal ending). To the form the future tense, prefix /a-/ to the present tense form.

  • There is no copula in Dothraki. If you have X-NOM Y-NOM, it means "X is Y". The nominal forms listed in the lexicon are the nominative forms of a given noun, unless otherwise stated.

  • Dothraki has five cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, ablative and allative. Only the first four feature in this text. Unless otherwise stated, the subject of a verb takes the nominative, and the object takes the accusative. The genitive is used in possessive constructions (such that X Y-GEN means Y's X). Otherwise, the various prepositions will state what case they assign to their governed noun phrase.

  • Aside from the pronouns (whose relevant declensions are listed in the lexicon), you'll find a few declined nouns. Inanimate nouns drop their final vowel before being declined. The genitive ending is /-i/, and for animate nouns, the accusative ending is /-es/ (which is added regardless of whether the word ends in a vowel). The ablative ending is /-oon/.

  • Dothraki distinguishes alienable possession from inalienable. Alienable possession is indicated with the genitive (as shown above). Inalienable possession, though, is indicated with the ablative as follows: X Y-ABL = Y's X. This is used primarily with body parts.

  • Dothraki doesn't distinguish between progressive and perfective. This means that a verb in the past tense means "x'd" or "was x'ing", depending on context (and this extends to the other tenses).

  • Dothraki passives are unusual. If a standard sentence is "X V Y", then the passive will be "Y nem V (ki X)", where the verb agrees with Y.

  • There are two grammatical elements here which may not be comprehensible without explanation. Certain verbs in Dothraki can take a subordinate clause or a non-finite clause headed by an infinitive. This is kind of like the English verb "hate" (which can work in phrases like "I hate to eat onions" and "I hate that I have to eat onions"), but the pattern extends to more verbs in Dothraki than it does in English.

  • Dothraki has a series of adverbial conjunctions which work a little differently from English. One such is /kash/. A phrase like "kash X kash Y" means "while X, Y happened" or "X when Y".

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Lexicon

  • ai (expr.) yes (a positive response to a command)
  • akka (adv.) even
  • allayafat (v.) to please
  • anha (pron.) I (first person singular nominative pronoun)
  • anna (pron.) me (first person singular accusative pronoun)
  • annakhat (v.) to stop (someone/thing)
  • anni (pron.) my (first person singular genitive pronoun)
  • anhoon (pron.) from me (first person singular ablative pronoun)
  • arakh (ni.) a curved, one-handed sword
  • astat (v.) to say
  • chilay (adj.) lying, suppine (participle)
  • chiori (na.) woman
  • dorvi (ni.) goat
  • dothralat (v.) to ride
  • ejakh (ni.) bank (of a river, lake or pond)
  • elzikh (ni.) answer, response
  • fini [1] (pron.) what (WH-word)
  • fini [2] (pron.) relative pronoun used to introduce a relative clause
  • hake (na.) name
  • jasat (v.) to laugh
  • jini (pron.) this, this one
  • kash (adv./conj.) while, during, when (see grammar notes)
  • kemat (v.) to conjoin, to marry (someone to someone else [the latter is preceded by /ma/])
  • kemolat (v.) to marry (someone, use the preposition /ma/)
  • ki (prep.) by, because of (assigns the genitive case); also precedes quoted speech
  • kifindirgi (adv.) why
  • zheana (adj.) beautiful
  • m' (prep.) elided version of /ma/ which occurs before words beginning with a vowel
  • ma (prep.) with (assigns the ablative case)
  • mae (pron.) her, his, its (third person singular genitive pronoun)
  • majin (conj.) and then, then, so, and so, consequently
  • me (pron.) she, he, it (third person singular nominative pronoun)
  • me- (pref.) complementizer used to introduce subordinate clauses
  • nem (part.) passive (see grammar notes)
  • nesat (v.) to know
  • oggo (na.) head of an animal
  • osoleth (ni.) bridge
  • qafat (v.) to ask
  • qisi (prep.) about, concerning (assigns the nominative case)
  • sh' (prep.) elided version of /she/ which occurs before words beginning with a vowel
  • she (prep.) on, upon (assigns the nominative case)
  • vos (part.) no, not (negator)
  • yer (pron.) you (second person singular nominative pronoun)
  • yomme (prep.) across (assigns the nominative case)
  • zalat (v.) to hope for, to want
  • zhey (part.) vocative particle
  • zichome (adj.) disrespectful
  • zirisselat (v.) to cut off, to remove

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Glossary

A = adjective
ABL = ablative
adj. = adjective
adv. = adverb
conj. = conjunction
expr. = expression
G = genitival phrase
GEN = genitive
N = noun
n. = noun
na. = animate noun
ni. = inanimate noun
nm. = name
NOM = nominative
O = object
P = preposition
part. = particle
prep. = preposition
pron. = pronoun
R = relative clause
S = subject
V = verb
v. = verb
X = an argument of the verb or clause
Y = a different argument of the verb or clause

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Next (Philip Newton, Engadinese)

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