I promised I would get to your other questions/ideas after work, so here I am. I'll return to the topic of active vs passive voice afterwards:
Raeth wrote:2. Progressive Tense & Gerunds
Raeth wrote:Where we get into non-canonical new territory is nominalizing other verbs into gerunds:
epar - epan, (to) eat - eating
sushir - shushan, (to) listen - listening (I am assuming that the missing 'h' is an irregular exception to the rule, perhaps not uncommon to the many exceptions and special cases you find in English!)
While there is a dearth of actual canonic examples of these gerunds, I think because we have canonical references to the actual construction, extrapolating the stem + -an conjugation of gerunds is reasonable. The difference between the progressive form of the verb and the gerund form could be understood in context to the position between the verb cuyir and the progressive/gerund verb.
Was the sushir --> shushan a typo with the extra "h"? The dictionary doesn't seem to have "shushan" in it, so I'm assuming this is a construction following your pattern.
This pattern seems to make sense to me. Lacking other examples to extrapolate from, I'll say the -an suffix seems reasonable and sensible.
As for contextual understanding, I agree -- to a point. Cuyir is usually only used for emphasis, and as such, can be left out entirely and the meaning would still be present in most cases.
I can't think of a scenario where this construct is strictly necessary. Take these examples:epar = "to eat"
Ni epan = "I am eating"
Ni epa = "I am eating"
Ni emuuri epan = "I like eating"
Ni emuuri epar = "I like to eat"viinir = "to run"
Ni viinan = "I am running"
Ni viini = "I run / I am running"
Ni viini at yaim (or drop the at since it can be implied) Ni viini yaim = "I run home / I am running home (contextual)"
Ni n'emuuri viinan = "I don't like running"
Ni n'emuuri viinir = "I don't like to run"
Each case raises the question of whether such a borne-in grammatical construct is entirely necessary, though it does seem useful.
To address your specific example sentences individually:
Raeth wrote:Ni cuyi'epan ramen. (<--- progressive verb; note that cuyir and epan are used as a single, conjugated compound)
I am eating ramen.
This could be rewritten as "Ni epa ramen" = "I eat ramen / I am eating ramen"
As with many things in Mando'a, the meaning of the rewritten sentence is contextual; when asked "what are you eating?" your response means "I am eating ramen" -- when asked "what do you get at the Japanese restaurant?" your response means "I eat ramen."
Raeth wrote:Ramen cuy jate'epan (<--- gerund noun; note that cuyir stands alone as the verb and epan is separate as the gerund noun).
Ramen is good eating.
This could be rewritten as "Ramen jatyc" = "Ramen is good" or "Ramen jatyc kai'tome" = "Ramen is good food."
Raeth wrote:Ni cuyi'miit'gaan o'r Mando'a. (<--- progressive verb; again, cuyir and miit'gaan are used together as a single verb conjugation)
I am writing in Mando'a.
This could be rewritten as "Ni miit'gaana Mando'a" = "I write Mando'a" or "I am writing Mando'a" -- the "o'r" is unnecessary to carry meaning in this case (its use seems to be intended as more of a preposition, like "inside") and the particular meaning of my example sentence is dependent upon context.
Raeth wrote:Ibic miit'gaan cuy Mando'a. (<--- gerund noun; not only is the gerund noun miit'gaan separate from the verb cuyir, it also precedes the verb)
This writing is Mando'a.
This could be rewritten as "Ibic miit'gaan Mando'a" = "This writing is Mando'a" -- the "cuy" is dropped, as it is unnecessary, and the "miit'gaan" is just the verb with the verb suffix "ar" chopped off, thus making the noun.
I think I understand your desire to extend Mando'a with such concepts as gerunds and passive voice -- you want to make the language more natural for everyday use. The thing to remember about Mando'a, though, is it is the language of the Mando'ade -- a practical no-nonsense people. Everything can be simplified, and should be. That which is not complicated is less likely to be confusing and/or break.
Raeth wrote:QUESTION II - NEW WORDS
Raeth wrote:1. gam'hukaatir - wear
This seems like a sensible word. It has a sense of "armor up" and thus seems very Mandalorian. "Gam" seems to mean armour, even in "pel'gam" -- which would just mean "soft armour." For a people whose lifestyle as a culture seems to generally revolve around battle, the concept really suits them.
The only real alternative I can think of involves more words than yours:
naritir = "insert, place, put"
gam ~= "layer, covering"
bat = "on"
I can think of no simple way to combine them into a single word -- instead it's more like a sentence, and means "to put on, to don" which can be serves just as easily by your word.
Raeth wrote:Ni gam'hukaati beskar'gam.
I wear beskar'gam.
I might suggest compounding that a little more, like "Ni beskar'gam'hukaati" though that seems a bit unwieldy now that I wrote it down and looked at it.
Raeth wrote:2. nakar'ca'nara - someday, sometime
Since we're inventing new words, why not get even more creative? Just for compact-ness, I would shorten it to nakara or naka'nara (but it sounds silly, hence my first suggestion).
Now back to passive voice:
Raeth wrote:What happened to the house?
It was demolished to make way for a bypass.
That sentence can be rewritten as "Mr. Prosser demolished it to make way for a bypass." The meaning is still present; it just changes the focus of the sentence. I agree that there is a use for that, but Mando'a was designed for a fictional people who conquer worlds -- what use would they have for personifying the enemy?
Raeth wrote:What happened to the money?
It was spent on a good cause.
"We spent it on a good cause."
Raeth wrote:What happened to the roast nerf haunch?
It was eaten yesterday.
"Someone ate it yesterday." (thus prompting the same follow-up questions as your example: "Who ate it?" and "Where did eat it?" -- I almost wrote "by whom" and "where was it eaten" because of my own propensity for usage of passive voice in my day-to-day life; one additional benefit to no passive voice is the elimination of subject/object forms of words, like who/whom).
"Several of us ate it yesterday at that party." (thus giving enough information to reduce the need for follow-up questions)
Raeth wrote:Any news about the proposed grammar?
It will be reviewed tomorrow.
"We will review it tomorrow."
Raeth wrote:Why are you drinking, laughing, and crying?
I was fired.
"My employer terminated me."
My only disagreement is with the necessity of such a grammatical construct. Passive voice has its uses in English (and Japanese/French, etc.), but active voice is much more commanding and draws more power and attention to the perpetrator of the actions, rather than the object/person being acted upon.
Your suggestion for how to carry it out seems reasonable.
And yes, it is entirely probable that the real reason Mando'a lacks such constructs as passive voice and gerunds and progressive verbs is because Kar'buir was very busy and didn't have time to flesh the language out completely, but it also makes just as much sense that Mando'ade simply had no need for such concepts due to their worldview. I appreciate your enthusiasm and education and expenditure of effort to bring these concepts to Mando'a -- if anyone is likely to make Mando'a a daily-use language, it's probably you -- but (the inevitable "but") I don't think those concepts fit with the original intent of Mando'a. By all means keep it up, but it will definitely be kept on the side as perhaps the "common" dialect of Mando'a -- perhaps spoken on conquered fringe worlds -- whereas the core language would remain "formal" or "high" Mando'a (nod to Elvish).
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