On IRC, ingsve, Qvaak and I were discussing Christmas traditions around the world, and somehow the tradition of the Yule Goat came up. I found the idea of a goat at Christmas charming (especially one that brought gifts; not one burned in effigy), and so I have borrowed the idea over. Not into Dothraki, mind (we’ll have to see if George R. R. Martin ever elaborates on what, if any, winter traditions the Dothraki have), but over to the Dothraki blog.
And so, once again, Merry Goatmas to you all! Let us see what Dorvi Aheshki has brought for you! (Though I will note that I think the featured image might be a dorvof [an ibex].)
Over at the Dothraki Wiki, our own Daenerys has been putting together a huge page on semantic word groupings. It’s quite an effort! Unfortunately, many of the cells are blank, because vocabulary in Dothraki hasn’t come to light in any systematic way. In order to help fill it in, I thought I’d give you the Swadesh list in Dothraki.
The Swadesh list is a great big list of 207 words (though there are shorter versions of 100 and 35 words) that a field linguist uses for elicitation. The original intent of the list was to demonstrate how closely related two languages are. The list of words is supposed to comprise words that are not likely to be borrowed from another language—words that the language should have from time immemorial. If there are clear historical connections between the words on the Swadesh list elicited from two different languages, then there’s a good chance that the two languages are related. For example, here’s a partial list (using English as a base line) with Spanish, French, Italian, Russian (romanized) and Hawaiian:
Just based on this small sample, one can tell that Spanish, French and Italian are pretty closely related; English is more distantly related to these three; Russian is even more distantly related; and Hawaiian isn’t related at all. And even though I chose these samples on purpose, that’s pretty close to reality!
Nowadays, the Swadesh list enjoys other uses—particular amongst field linguists who are starting the process of elicitation—and so I thought it might be neat to come up with the 207 word Swadesh list in Dothraki. I ended up not doing anything with it, though, so I thought I might as well make it available here.
Note that you will have seen some of these words before, and that the meanings of the English terms are often ambiguous, so if you have questions, feel free to ask them here.
Otherwise, may Winter Goat wag his shaggy, goatish beard for you and shower you in his goatish fur! Perhaps next year we can put up some pictures of Winter Goat taken by those who read the blog (I know I shall certainly be on the hunt for goats to take pictures of, since I don’t seem to have any goat pictures myself). We shall see…!