Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Discussion of extensions to the Mando'a core grammar and suggestion of new word roots.
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Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Raeth » 10 Jan 2014 16:54

QUESTION I - VERB CONJUGATION

1. Passive Tense
I wasn't sure if it has already been covered, but I have been trying to puzzle out a way to create a passive conjugation of verbs. I am hazarding the guess that this could make extensive use of the verb cuyir almost as a conjugational prefix.

Examples:

Pizza ru cuy'epa.
The pizza was (lit., was eat) eaten.

Pizza ru cuy'epa de ner ad'ika.
The pizza was eaten (lit., was eat) by my son.

Beskar'gam cuy'pirimmu de Mando'ade.
The beskar'gam is used (lit., is use) by Mandalorians.

Would this be correct/sensible passive verb conjugation?

2. Progressive Tense & Gerunds
The progressive conjugation of verbs in English is accomplished by adding -ing, e.g. run to running, eat to eating, and so on. A gerund is simply the use of a progressive verb as a noun, e.g., I hate running, I like eating, etc.

There is a canonic example of a gerund already in Mando'a: laaranir - laaran, (to) sing - singing. If we combine the gerund with the verb cuyir, I thought we can extrapolate a reasonable progressive tense.

Example:

Ni cuyi laaran.
I am singing.

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.

Examples:

Ni cuyi'epan ramen. (<--- progressive verb; note that cuyir and epan are used as a single, conjugated compound)
I am eating ramen.

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.

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.

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.

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QUESTION II - NEW WORDS

1. gam'hukaatir - wear

Contrary to my previous gargantuan compound word suggestions, this one seems succinct and straight forward. Beskar'gam is armor, and pel'gam is skin. Hukaatir is to cover something up. In a way that is hard for me to describe, when I put gam and hukaatir together, it gives me the impression of covering one's body, i.e., wearing something.

Example usages:

Ni gam'hukaati beskar'gam.
I wear beskar'gam.

Nu'ni gam'hukaati beskar'gam. A', ni copaani gam'hukaati beskar'gam nakar'ca'nara.
I do not wear beskar'gam yet. But, I want to wear beskar'gam someday.

Tion gar gam'hukaat pajamas?
Do you wear pajamas?

2. nakar'ca'nara - someday, sometime

Nakar'tuur (lit., unknown day) is already the canonic Mando'a word for tomorrow. So, to express a more indefinite time span into the future, I combined nakar (unknown) and ca'nara (time) to mean either someday or sometime (see the example above for usage).

----------

I would really love anyone and everyone's feedback, comments, criticisms, and thoughts on these words and points of grammar. Ori'vore!
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Re: Post Writings, Receive Evaluations

Unread postby Adi'karta » 10 Jan 2014 17:11

Regarding passive voice, there is none -- it seems to have been left out on purpose: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22&p=247&hilit=passive+voice&sid=c89cd6684216d154cd7bd6b5dcc65955#p247
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Re: Post Writings, Receive Evaluations

Unread postby Raeth » 10 Jan 2014 17:55

Adi'karta wrote:Regarding passive voice, there is none -- it seems to have been left out on purpose: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22&p=247&hilit=passive+voice&sid=c89cd6684216d154cd7bd6b5dcc65955#p247


OK, I think this is where I go full on apostate* and suggest a bit of canonical heresy. :twisted:

"...past and future tense were colloquially done away with."1

This quote to me implies that various verb forms were at some point used in Mando'a, but later omitted as the language and culture evolved. Progressing from this premise, what we are doing now is a continued evolution of the language. and, yes, I admit this exists outside the canonical usage of Mando'a in the Star Wars universe (books, movies, etc.). Then again, we don't all wear beskar'gam to work or make a living as mercenary soldiers and bounty hunters for hire. And yet, we have had discussions about 'adapting' Mando'ade culture into our lives in a culturally relevant manner. Would adapting the language while trying to remain consistent to its roots be so terribly different?

So, I do agree that Mando'a in use at the time of, say, Jango Fett or the Clone Wars had shed certain verb forms. But, I would counter-argue that it does not mean they never existed at all nor should we not speculate what they could have been or even engage in creating/re-creating those forms for our current usage.

Please, let me be clear, my disagreement is NOT heated nor originating in personal offense. Mostly, I'm just a very rebellious Mando'a heretic (well, a very nerdy sort of heretic) who is looking for creative and pragmatic solutions to make Mando'a a more relevant, useful, and living language. To that end, may I propose the following:

1. I completely agree that the Mando'a we've been given is absent several verb forms, conjugations, and tenses, and these omissions were relevant to Mando'ade culture as it was portrayed in the canonical Star Wars works.

2. With a nod to its non-canonical introduction, but also with a nod to the fact that any 'living' language evolves, I would VERY HUMBLY ask you to consider and advise me whether or not the previously suggested conjugations (perhaps most specifically the 'passive' form) make sense as derivatives from canonical Mando'a, as heretical as they may be.

*I use apostate in this sense not to mean that I do not believe in using Mando'a, but only that I do not feel a need to ONLY use canonical Mando'a. I must apologize for being such a troublesome upstart, but I will try to be so as respectfully as I can. ;) One way or the other, I am really enjoying the discussions and debates!

P.S.
What about the other, less heretical bits? How were those? :D :pray:
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Re: Post Writings, Receive Evaluations

Unread postby Adi'karta » 10 Jan 2014 18:45

I'll get back to you on the rest after work today, but the passive voice is (in my opinion) entirely unnecessary in any language, and is only useful as an affectation. Anything that can be stated in passive voice can be reworded into active voice with relative ease, simply by ensuring the subject is acting upon the object, as opposed to the object being acted upon by the subject. Unless you're trying to personify the object or build sympathy for the object, there is no need for passive voice.
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Re: Post Writings, Receive Evaluations

Unread postby Raeth » 10 Jan 2014 22:56

af·fec·ta·tion
noun
1. behavior, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress.
synonyms: pretension, pretentiousness, affectedness, artificiality, posturing,

--------------------------------------------------

Adi'karta wrote:I'll get back to you on the rest after work today, but the passive voice is (in my opinion) entirely unnecessary in any language, and is only useful as an affectation.


The Japanese language makes extensive use of the passive construction of verbs. And this is usage in a daily context, not simply an "affectation" reserved for artificial or pretentious posturing. :ugh: I do not assume you plan on telling the Japanese that several major and definitive parts of their language are "entirely unnecessary". Latin, Spanish, and French also make regular use of the passive conjugation of verbs.

But, since the topic is raised, using Mando'a might be the ultimate in affectation, and yet that fact does not stop us from loving it, learning it, discussing it, and trying to use it. What is more artificial and unnecessary than devoting one's mental faculties to learning and using a made-up language?

Adi'karta wrote:Anything that can be stated in passive voice can be reworded into active voice with relative ease, simply by ensuring the subject is acting upon the object, as opposed to the object being acted upon by the subject. Unless you're trying to personify the object or build sympathy for the object, there is no need for passive voice.


Practical examples of the passive construction of verbs where changing to a causative construction would not be the same thing but change the meaning or context of the statement:

What happened to the house?
It was demolished to make way for a bypass.

What happened to the money?
It was spent on a good cause.

What happened to the roast nerf haunch?
It was eaten yesterday.

Any news about the proposed grammar?
It will be reviewed tomorrow.

Why are you drinking, laughing, and crying?
I was fired.

So, why is the passive construction useful? Why is the passive voice needed? Sometimes a specific meaning requires that the subject be the thing acted upon by the verb. And, unlike sentences that make use of a gerund, the passive construction makes use of a verb or verb tense that cannot be nominalized, either because of context or because of the nature of the verb itself. In the above examples, the focus of the discussion is not upon the active agent, but upon the thing being acted upon.

I particularly like the example of the "roast nerf haunch". The focus is upon the "nerf haunch". Maybe it is already known who ate the nerf haunch. Maybe it isn't important who at the nerf haunch. To change that sentence from, "It was eaten yesterday." to "Someone ate it yesterday." changes the focus and context of the reply and the conversation in general.

For voices other than my own that better explain the use and necessity of the passive conjugation:

englishclub.com
Wikipedia
UNC Writing Center (This one may be particularly of interest and relevance, because it addresses when the passive voice should and should not be used, albeit in the context of academic or expository writing.)

So, I must disagree with you strongly. There is a need for the passive voice in language. There are uses beside the personification of an object or the attempt to build sympathy. It is this part where you mention sympathy that makes me wonder if you perhaps understand the meaning of 'passive' in the context of grammar. It does NOT mean weak, submissive, or somehow inferior or pitiable (needing 'sympathy'). The passive voice certainly is not simply a tool for 'artificiality' or 'posturing' ("affectation"). The passive voice is a useful grammatical structure with a rich and varied usage.

If you do not like it, I am fine with that. Don't use it. If you don't need it to express what you want to say, I don't need to change how you say what you say. But, I like it, and I need it to say some of the things I want to say!

I am not asking if you like it or if you need it. What I am asking is, does the way I presented a possibility for the passive conjugation of Mando'a verbs make grammatically mechanical sense given what we know about canonical Mando'a grammar?

Am I feeling a bit "Bic ni skana'din!"? OK, yes, I am. I felt dismissed and slighted... but, in a way that got me excited and fired up! I LOVE THAT WE ARE DEBATING SOMETHING BOTH INTELLECTUAL AND ACADEMIC! Most of my arguments in my daily life involve either being a parent or a manager: "I don't want to clean up my toys!" "I don't want to help those customers!" "I don't want to eat my vegetables!" "I don't want put my phone away!" Heh. :lol: Anyway, I've had my say and taken some deep breaths, so let me say:

Vode an ratiin.
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Re: Post Writings, Receive Evaluations

Unread postby Adi'karta » 11 Jan 2014 06:03

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.


Lovely reference. :D

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).
or
"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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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Adi'karta » 12 Jan 2014 05:42

So I'm going to double-post, because my last post was long enough and I don't want to edit it and make it even longer...

I support this development, and I look forward to more academic discussion on it. I appreciate Raeth's enthusiasm here, and I would like to see more of this vod's good ideas. Raeth's suggestions for how to tackle the integration of passive voice and gerunds into the language is admirable and the suggested grammatical constructs to represent these concepts makes sense, and I think it should be developed. If anyone else wants to contribute to this conversation, please do. I look forward to Mando'a becoming a true living language, and I expect this should be just the first of (possibly) many dialects.

For liability reasons (and for a sense of organization on the forums -- a place for everything, and everything in its place), I need to keep it separate from discussion of core Mando'a. As such, I have spun this thread off into its own topic in a new forum dedicated to the growth of such non-canon extensions of Mando'a.
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Adi'karta » 13 Jan 2014 05:13

Here's one source to support the inclusion of passive voice, however rare or infrequent its use may be in core Mandalorian culture:

http://mercs.firespray.net/forum/index. ... #msg922052

I've set up a topic to discuss this specific paper here:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=80

Here's the relevant quotation:
Passive voice is considered a non-existent tense. The verb cuyir is the only indicator of this when, rarely, used.


So if we can find the source that this author used when writing that statement, we can find some solid canon support for your inclusion of passive voice (though it almost sounds like your method of providing gerunds based on that sparse explanation).
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby MsLanna » 02 May 2014 20:11

Subjunctive anyone?

I'm tempted to just use 'meh' as a verb prefix parallel to 'ke' or 'ru'.

ni sirbu - I say
ni meh'sirbu - I would say.

Hm, maybe align it a little more to the other prefixes and just make it 'me' or 'm' before a vowel.
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 02 May 2014 22:15

Tricky thing with that is it sounds like you're saying "I say what" phonetically
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby MsLanna » 03 May 2014 18:55

Not quite sure I get you here. XD

I can see where it looks like the short questioning form 'What's going on? What do you want?'
I think the grammatical constructions are far enough apart not to lead to confusin when used, though.


Anyways homophons are a 'problem' in any language. And English has those (two, too; their, there; air, heir; etc) plus funny constructuions like 'this is tough going' and 'we're going now' which even have the same homograph. (There are reasons English is the punniest language ever. XD )
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 04 May 2014 04:44

It is a tricky problem. As of now, I don't have a better solution. I'll take a deeper look during lunch monday.

EDIT: came up with this at lunch today.

Demonstration of proposed passive voice in Mando'a.

Ni rejorhaa kaysh. [I tell him]

Ni cuy ru'rejorhaa de'kaysh. [I am told by him]

For unconnected words, such as "protected" in the specific sense of the continuing state
of being defended by an outside source.

Cabu [protect]

Cabu'la [protected]

The original context of the problem was the notion of the phrase "Protected by
[God/Manda/what-have-you] in a language with no native passive voice.

My proposal for this, then, is:

Cabu'la de'Manda
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby mato'genet » 17 Sep 2014 18:26

So, in order to say "as it was said by Mandalore" the translation would be "Sa bic cuy'epa re'sirbu de Mand'alor"?
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 17 Sep 2014 20:50

I'd tend to minimalize it in Mando'a, since it's not a very wordy language. I'd maybe say "Sa ru'sirbu de Mand'alor" for "As was said by Mandalore" or even just "Sa Mand'alor ru'sirbu"

Not sure where the "epa" came from, since I don't know of any meaning for that other than "eat"
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby MsLanna » 20 Sep 2014 23:31

Currently wondering how many things there are you really cannot say in active vocie (as said by the Mand'alor -> as the Mand'alor said) and how a language without passive voice would look. (Not to mention social and psychological implications for said society. Everything is active, everything is done by somebody, there is somebody responsible for any action ever. I think I need a moment with my inner world-builder... XD )
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Munnodol » 17 Jun 2017 10:58

Actually, I believe Passive voice can exist in this language. Using your wookiepedia source, it states that Mando'a lacks a passive verb form, so that means we cannot assign anything to the verb, but what about the object or subject? What I propose is something I call "Hutuun'la Mando'a", or weak mando'a. So for instance let's look at this sentence:

ni edeemir adate= "I bite people"

Here, this sentence is active and possesses a direct object as well as a subject. what hutuun'la mando'a does is that it would add a "hu',h' " to the object (not the verb), so the new sentence would be:

ni edeemir hadate= "I bite [passive] people"

However, you would not say the [passive] part, so the sentence structure largely (minus the new sound) remains the same. So what is the difference? Well the difference is that there is little to no syntactic (sentence structure) change, and the change is mainly semantic (meaning) or pragmatic (context). Mando'a speakers would speak using what appears to be passives, but in reality they understand that what is being said is actually a passive sentence. I must say that what I propose is theoretical and lacks evidence.However, the opposing idea also is lacking since many major known languages do possess a passive, but the usage of it varies. So in Mando'a, while they do possess some sort of passive, they still openly hate the use of it I can elaborate more on this for those who want to know.
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby BlackSwordKirito » 11 Jul 2017 23:38

It may be just because ner mirsh solus, but I could definitely use further explanation, as I have no idea what the difference is between those two examples. ven'vor'e
Nynir ni daab, ni n'akaanir; Jurkadir ner vode, bal kyr'am nu'ven'cabuor gar teh ni a'den.

Strike me down, and I'll not fight back; Threaten my brothers, and even death will not protect you from my wrath.
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Belandrie Meave » 16 Jul 2017 05:54

I gather Munnodol is suggesting introducing a way of indicating that a verb is passive, without rearranging the order of words.

So: 'ni edeemir adate' = I bite people would be correct, but 'ni edeemir hadate' would be more accurately translated people are bitten by me.

I'm not sure exactly what function this would serve, as the usual use of the passive voice in English is to shift the emphasis from the 'doer' to the 'done upon'. This proposed construction in Mando'a doesn't actually achieve this goal.
Duumir cuy haat acyk gar kar'ta bal haa Dral. An ashi dar'cuy. - Surenit Kli'qiy
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Re: Passive Voice, Gerunds, and Progressive Verbs

Unread postby Munnodol » 28 Jul 2017 02:47

Belandrie Meave wrote:I gather Munnodol is suggesting introducing a way of indicating that a verb is passive, without rearranging the order of words.

So: 'ni edeemir adate' = I bite people would be correct, but 'ni edeemir hadate' would be more accurately translated people are bitten by me.

I'm not sure exactly what function this would serve, as the usual use of the passive voice in English is to shift the emphasis from the 'doer' to the 'done upon'. This proposed construction in Mando'a doesn't actually achieve this goal.


So basically in English, the emphasis is more noticeable, since the word order itself changes. However, some languages (Japanese is a partial example) do not necessarily change the word order, but rather add a morpheme (a basic unit of sound that holds meaning) to one of the words. In this case, I am proposing that by adding the "hu" or "h" to the object, you therefore mark the object (theta role being the theme) as the subject (nominative case). So The function in a sense marks the subject (though it is only used in passivization) or the emphasis of the sentence.

Example: "ni edeemir adate" means "I bite people", but I want people to be the subject because that is who the story is about, so I use weak mando'a, which, while not changing the structure (thereby fulfilling the rule that passives don't exist) changes the pragmatic or contextual meaning behind the sentence.
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