Creating new words, yay or nay?

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

Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 30 Jan 2011 02:56

Because I really think this is a topic too complex to be discussed in Mando.

So, what exactly do you mean with making new words? Picking them from thin air?
Personally, I feel uncomfortable with it because it is not my franchise and not my language. As much as I love it. :oops:
Turning already existing words into new words is more down my alley. :D
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 30 Jan 2011 03:59

I say no to creating entirely new words.

Yes, though, to making words out of existing ones. Like your word for horny.
Having a list would be nice to keep track of the 'semi-canon' words.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 30 Jan 2011 04:00

What's wrong with inventing totally new words, though? We just recognize that it's fanon and move on with it. I don't care if the words later get replaced by canon words. I would love to see Mando'a expanded. I just want some more words to fill in the gaps. I feel like there are some words that you really can't create out of the other words we have (can't think of any examples right now, but I often get the feeling when trying to use Mando'a). The language we have is woefully short on vocab and sometimes there really are NO good ways to say something you might want to say.

It's fine that you guys aren't crazy about the idea, but can we talk about the pros and cons a bit before we shoot it down entirely? I don't see the harm in inventing another nonsense word which sounds like the other words and prescribing a meaning to it.

Though I do agree that forming words from already existing words is preferable, and even if we did make some ex nihilo, I would expect most of the fanon words we create to be derived from other words.

But there are some things that shouldn't be derived from other words, but rather have other words derived from it. Horn is a good example of this. So many animals have horns that you would think that when the language was young, horn would be a word that would be developed early. Then later other words would be made by describing things to be like the horns that some animals have. There aren't many words from which the word horn could logically be derived. Getting into the minds of early Mando culture, what do I want to say when I see the first horn I have ever saw? I might say it's an "outer tooth" since teeth would be one of the few things that might need to be described sooner than a horn. Of course, you'd have to make sure your fellow mando knew you didn't mean "outer jaw" since "teeth" and "jaw" are the same word in Mando'a.

I dunno. Linguistics is one of my favorite subjects. I find the idea of developing new words for mando'a exciting and hopeful.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 30 Jan 2011 04:01

Pros: More words and easier translation

Cons: The more madeup words we use, the harder it is for those outside this forum to understand us.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Adi'karta » 30 Jan 2011 04:02

I thought about this a lot when making my Mando'a translator, and noticing the relatively small lexicon. Most words are made simply by joining two words together, which is fantastic, but sometimes you really really have to stretch to figure out how to make a new word, often requiring use of a thesaurus to help find a barely-related stem word to use as the root.

As one also deeply interested in linguistics, I love the idea of creating entirely new word roots, but I would recommend doing it very sparingly, and only in the case of dire necessities. There would, indeed, need to be much discussion and agreement upon these new word roots, which would be time-consuming, but possibly worthwhile in the end.

And when it comes down to mutual intelligibility, we can just chalk it up to us having our own isolated regional dialect. Sort of like how Chinese shares almost nothing in common with languages like French. :P

So to sum up my feelings on the topic: brand new root words...eh, maybe, just be careful and use that power *very* sparingly. Use a thesaurus whenever possible, and possibly, instead of adding new word roots, consider expanding the definition of an existing word to explicitly include the word you thesaurus-ized.

Am I making sense?

Oh, and as for keeping track of them, I would be glad to add an alternate dictionary database to my translator to keep track of these changes. That way, people can look up "Core Mando'a" in a separate dictionary from "Our Mando'a."

And to answer the question about legality of my translator: yes, I have permission to use it. LFL responded to my request last night and said they're cool with it, but I am to remain non-profit and unaffiliated with Lucasfilm.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 30 Jan 2011 04:33

I think we agree on 'creating' words/forms from what is there already?

With discussion beforehand and consensus in the end. I think we really have to talk about those new words first and agree on how they make senes and such. Time-consuming yes, but I think it is better to be slow and thorough when you talk lingusitcs.
(w00t, more linguistic nuts :D )
For those words, a sticky would be created, mod-posting-power only.


Completely new words are a double edged sword. They would be convenient for us, but also difficult for new people. They could also make a lot of trouble if new words emerge.



Also, the first of us getting to work for lfl hast to swear he'll get his hands on the right do create more words. :lol:
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 30 Jan 2011 04:34

MandoaOrg wrote:There would, indeed, need to be much discussion and agreement upon these new word roots, which would be time-consuming, but possibly worthwhile in the end.


Goodness gracious me! I thought spending excessive amounts of time discussing the language was the entire purpose of this forum and hobby. Was I mislead somehow? ;)

And exactly why do we care if other people understand us or not? We're learning a fictional language. >90% of the human population will never understand or use this language anyhow. Why not use it how we want to use it? Are we afraid of the SWU fandom waging war against us and destroying us? Seems like the entire point of a forum like this would be to at least speculate at what expansions we can make on the language, because we know this can't be the whole thing.

And of course we're all agreed that forming words from old ones is far preferable, but I still don't see what's so terrible about making new stems for words which can't be reasonably derived from other words.

EDIT:
Writing in the Mando'a Only area is great for finding examples of words that need to be created. Several times I have wanted to say that something needed to be "continued," but I couldn't find a good word for that in Mando'a. I decided to use the phrase, "carry on" since it has similar meaning and we know what those words are, leading to juri bat.

Similarly, I have frequently wanted to use the word, "conversation," but have had similar trouble with it, so I used the verb, "to talk" and made a noun out of it: jorhaa

I figure these types of changes ought to be recorded for later use and discussed. Is this the only way to convey the same idea? Is this even the best way to convey these ideas?
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Adi'karta » 30 Jan 2011 04:36

I agree with Lyat'aag about recording these things. Though they may be commonsense at some point, having them written down would certainly be helpful for newcomers, and would save time for everyone else. That way, if they needed a word like "conversation," they could just look it up, verbatim, and receive "jorhaa." Press button, receive bacon. Automation reduces workload, and since none of us are getting paid to do this work, some degree of automation should be permissible, since it won't end up costing us our jobs. :P
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 30 Jan 2011 04:38

Okay, I'm trying to translate a song and there are words and ideas which have no direct translation into Mando'a.

"Yield." I'm torn on this word whether it is better to say, pelar to imply that it is the verb meaning "to be soft, to yield," or if it's better to use the word tok'kad.

"Though" as in, "although, despite." I'm really not sure how to make this word from anything else. I could try inverting the word, "because" by using nu'jorcu, but saying, "not because" doesn't seem to quite be what I want here. Any ideas?

Another word I'm having trouble with (which I feel is a bit of an oversight by KT, to be honest, since this is a bit of a culturally crucial word) is "ride." There isn't really a word for "mount" either, nor "fly." Not even "pilot." "Navigate" is the closest I can get to any word related to the idea of riding on something, which is really limiting because riding is a really basic human action. Mandos rode Basilisk droids through the atmospheres of planets, and yet they had no word for what they were doing?

Similarly, "pride" has no direct translation and I can't find any good translations for it. No words for "esteem" and "love" or "confidence" aren't really what I'm looking for. Pride is one of those words which isn't very well derived by other words. I wouldn't even know where to start to try to think of a word more fundamental than pride. That's just an emotion or an attitude.

Then there's the word, "as" by which I mean, "as, like (comparative)." An example use of the word is, "think of me *as* a professional." I think KT's excel file had a typo because under that definition it has the mando'a listed as, "as...as" which I find to be unlikely to be the actual mando'a word, especially when it then says that the word is pronounced, "SAH." I kind of took a guess and said that the real word was spelled, sa. Anyone know this one?

"Than." I mean, "rather than" or "more than" without the "more." Not sure how to make this word. It's a contrastive element. I would rather do this *than* that. I see it used only very particularly in Mando'a and I would guess that it can be formed by saying, shya as a word itself.

Additionally, as a side question, what are the rules about changing words to make the syllables fit a song? I know sometimes they can be made longer by pronouncing letters which normally aren't, but can they be shortened? A lot of Mando'a words unfortunately have many more syllables than English does.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 30 Jan 2011 04:39

Lyat'aag wrote:Okay, I'm trying to translate a song and there are words and ideas which have no direct translation into Mando'a.
Additionally, as a side question, what are the rules about changing words to make the syllables fit a song? I know sometimes they can be made longer by pronouncing letters which normally aren't, but can they be shortened? A lot of Mando'a words unfortunately have many more syllables than English does.


Are you translating "Die with Honor"? great song
...Fearless hearts, filled with pride! Into glory we shall ride!

And no concrete rules are set for lengthening or shortening syllables. It's basically just change it to fit the song. Try listening to the RC soundtrack with lyrics and compare how they sang it.

And another thing - Jorhaa. should it be conversation or speaker?
Cuyan, Cuyanir = survivor, survive. not survival. I dont know, im just asking.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 30 Jan 2011 04:41

Cuyan wrote:Are you translating "Die with Honor"? great song
...Fearless hearts, filled with pride! Into glory we shall ride!


Yes, actually. I had the idea a while back that it would be only more awesome in Mando'a.

Cuyan wrote:And another thing - Jorhaa. should it be conversation or speaker?
Cuyan, Cuyanir = survivor, survive. not survival. I dont know, im just asking.


Think about it this way: Jorhaa'ir, jorhaa = to talk, talk (noun) as in, "to have a talk," or equivalently, "conversation." Although I think you could have it mean "speaker" just by context. It depends on if you're using the word to describe a person or a thing. In your Cuyan example, I would be using cuyan to mean something like, "salvage" as in, "something you saved, something worth saving" in use as a noun for an object rather than a person.

I think it would be very fitting for Mandos to call their salvage, "survivors" because it metaphorically hints at their value of durability. You want that salvage because those parts are tested and true survivors of war.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 30 Jan 2011 04:43

Lyat'aag wrote:Yes, actually. I had the idea a while back that it would be only more awesome in Mando'a.


Yes it would. Tell me when you get that translated

Lyat'aag wrote:Think about it this way: Jorhaa'ir, jorhaa = to talk, talk (noun) as in, "to have a talk," or equivalently, "conversation." Although I think you could have it mean "speaker" just by context. It depends on if you're using the word to describe a person or a thing. In your Cuyan example, I would be using cuyan to mean something like, "salvage" as in, "something you saved, something worth saving" in use as a noun for an object rather than a person.


That actually makes alot of sense.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 30 Jan 2011 04:44

I surely will, but I may need help with the words I listed. They're tricky to say the least.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 08 Feb 2011 16:30

The use of words could be very different. Look at Japanese. Depending on the way you use a word can mean anything from 'to sing', 'singing' or even 'song'. It takes time to learn - and of course stays ambiguous at the best of times.

Particles might ablos be of help. If you use something that is actually waord with a genitive, it could imply an automatic nominalisation of the verb.
striilir - to track, to trail
striilir be adate - trail (left by) of people

Am I making sense?
The use of the infinitive form could be argued. |:(
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Adi'karta » 08 Feb 2011 18:53

I don't know if I'm correct, and if I'm nitpicking here, feel free to shoot me, but wouldn't you cut the "r" off the end of striilir in your second example, MsLanna? I forget the rule for making nouns out of verbs, but would that apply here? Or is it a rule for making verbs out of nouns? I'm such a noob. XD

<EDIT>
I just looked over Karen's grammar file, and apparently neither is correct, I'm thinking of the rule for making adjectives out of verbs or nouns. Oops. :D

Also, how would one make adate singular, as in "person" instead of "people?" Would it be ad, like in Tion'ad, or is that too short?
</EDIT>
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 08 Feb 2011 22:11

If you take the final 'r' of any verb it just turns the infinitive into present tense. So you'd say:
I track Kal -> Ni striili Kal
I want to track Kal -> Ni vaabi striilir Kal.

Or that's my interpretation.

If you want to use the verb as nominalisated form, I am not sure if it would be more intuitive to keep or drop the 'r'; whether to sue and infinitive or a flected form.

Ad menas son/daughter/child with 'ade' as plural.
Following the plural = word+e rule adat could be person. The word does not exist with another meaning, too.
I can imagine tion'ad to be a shorteing for tion'adat(e) because everything that is used a lot will change a lot over time.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Adi'karta » 09 Feb 2011 16:52

Man, it's been a long time since I took any linguistics classes, let alone basic grammar classes. XD

So in your example striilir be adate, using the infinitive form of the verb to represent a physical trail seems a little bit weird to me. How would one convert striilir into a noun? Would just cutting the 'r' off to make it a non-infinitive also make it usable as a noun? Cutting off the entire ending and making striil seems...brutish?

----------

While I may be an admin, I still have no idea how to speak this language. That's my whole reason for making the translator and subsequently providing a new home for this forum -- to help me learn, and thus to help others learn. Otherwise, I wouldn't follow through on my new year's resolution because I'm forgetful. :P

One step at a time for me. I'm slow. I'm trying to adopt one new word as often as possible. Cuyan's kebi (and its plural parent, kebise) is the first word I grabbed, because it's so general and useful.
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 17 Feb 2011 22:51

The idea is that a wordform is defined by the way the word is used. A little like verb/nouns in English. Look at 'shot'. It can be a verb or a noun, we can glean that from the context. The idea is to create rules of context that allow us to use verbs as nouns.

It is then a second question which form of the verb to use in a context that implies nominalised use.

More clear?
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby Adi'karta » 19 Feb 2011 23:30

So basically we should be able to determine whether a word is being used as a noun or a verb based on word order (or word ending, perhaps)?
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Re: Creating new words, yay or nay?

Unread postby MsLanna » 20 Feb 2011 00:19

Bascially. I mean it's done in English a lot so the cocnept should not be new.

his shot gun - his gun shot

Though the personification of the gun might be a little unconventional here. XD

What I tried in another thread: my see of world (ner haa'tyli b'uvete) and I do hope it can be easily read as 'my view of the world' aka 'my world view'. :S
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