Language review

Discussion of existing grammar and words, pronunciation, and compounding new words.

Language review

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 01 Apr 2015 11:57

First of all I would like to emphasize that what I write here is purely suggestion and just an idea.

Now, to business.
The more I learn mando’a and mandalorian culture the more I realize that mandalorians are first of all men of action. According to old Kar’buir statements mando’a is mostly a commanding language, and mandos have troubles even with speaking in past or future tenses. They live in today.
Taking this into account I think that the mando’a language bases heavily on verbs, not on nouns like English. We can see that in examples where nouns are formed from verbs by adding something to them, not the other way around. Even here, on ORG when we try to invent new word or term we mostly take verbs and combine them into new words.
But look at the dictionary we have. Do verbs really stand out out of other words? Yes, they all have the “-r” ending, true, but when you use the verb in a sentence the “-r” is dropped.
And we get a word which ends on many various vowels.
For example:
Adjective: batnor – drunk
Verb: binesor – stack
The ending of both words is the same, “-or”, but one is an adjective and the other is a verb. How do you recognize them in the sentence for what they are?
On the other hand, we have lots of verbs that end in “-ir”. And that is very definite, because no other word form except verbs have that ending. And when you use it in a sentence you still have a rather unique ending “-i”.
What am I suggesting. I know that cannon vocabulary is almost sacred to a lot of mando’a practitioners, but its good enough to use in writing, like in books or stories, where you can always give a translation. But in everyday life its hard to understand by hearing. Trust me, I tried that endless times. Having the action as a base for any statement or question or exclamation requires the verbs to be unmistakingly recognizable. And to get that we may need to rewrite the cannon vocabulary.
I know, I know! Don’t start throwing rocks at me! Yes, mando’a is canonical and is a property of LucasFilm or some other entity. But we already agreed that we can create our own mandoa.org dialect and make it more speakable and understandable.
So to do that we need to review all the words in the vocabulary and rewrite them to fit this description:
Verbs always end in “-ir”.
Other word forms can end in “-r” but never with “-ir”.
Some words will require serious reviewing but I don’t think that it can’t be done.
Anyway it’s just my humble small opinion.
Now I’d love to hear yours.
Tal'jair Rusk
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 02 Apr 2015 15:06

I'd have to look at it closer, and it does restrict how the verbs can flow, but it would certainly make speaking easier. To tell the truth, I usually drop the i when I'm using a simple verb, and I add the i for gerunds and the like. It just feels more natural, as an english speaker.
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 02 Apr 2015 16:54

Well, its not english)))
But dropping the "i" when using the verb doesnt sound right, contradicts the whole grammar idea behind verb forms. But the easy flow is something all languages tend to go. Compare the middle ages english and modern - almost two different languages. Very few languages tend to keep their form and change as little as possible. But most do. Mandos were very conservative and always preserved their language as part of the culture but some little changes are inevitable
Tal'jair Rusk
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 10 Aug 2015 12:33

Here's a new thought. I was looking through the vocabulary and i noticed that there's no distinct pronounciation indication on differend language parts. So i thought what if (thinking that we wont remake the whole assortment of verbs we have now) we change the pronounciation of the verbs so the ending would be always stressed for verbs and never for other words like nouns that end in -r? Thought, anyone?
Tal'jair Rusk
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 10 Aug 2015 16:53

I just sounded out a few words and it seems like that could work, but that really only works when using infinitives...
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 11 Aug 2015 07:27

I think it will work better anyway. For example aaray and aarar, pain and hurt.
If you stress the first A in both words in sentence they will sound very alike:
Ni aala aaray - i feel pain
[nee AH-lah AH-ray]
Ni aara kaysh - i hurt him
[nee AH-rah kaysh]

Or you could sound like this:

[nee ah-LAH AH-ray]
[nee ah-RAH kaysh]

Think it distinguishes verbs more and makes it easier to understand the spoken mando'a.
Tal'jair Rusk
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Re: Language review

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 11 Aug 2015 16:10

Yeah, I think that would work. It'll take some time to see how it plays out, though. So few opportunities to speak...
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