Tȳni Trēsi

Didn’t I tell y’all there would be some Dothraki this season? Ta da! There it is!

If I may come to things out of order, I thought the VFX of the White Walker dying were outstanding. Must be pretty satisfying to stab something and then have it turn to ice, fall and shatter that way. Pretty cool! Of course, Sam should’ve retained his knife (what was he so afraid of? He killed it! No way you can come back from that!), but the action north of the wall has been replete with horror movie tropes, so it is fitting. For those who remember the specific action of the book better than I do, though, what was up with those birds?! I don’t remember that from the book. And why would they have been so excited about this encounter as to opposed to the others that we’ve seen in the series already? There were no crows in those scenes (or, at least, no literal crows). Oh, and one more question: Isn’t it a bit of a coincidence that that White Walker is the exact same White Walker we saw in the season 2 finale?

I thought the scenes surrounding and during Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding were done very well. Reading those scenes initially, it was so frustrating how much Tyrion wants to convey to Sansa that he’s not a bad guy, and how miserably he fails to do so. I thought they captured that aspect of the books quite well in the scenes we saw here.

There has been a bit of controversy in some corners regarding the scenes on Dragonstone. I would like to go on record saying I thought they were fine. I have no complaints, and found everything to be in keeping with what ought to have been expected.

In today’s scene from Slaver’s Bay, we’re introduced to Daario Naharis, who looks nothing like I thought he would. You know who does look cool, though: Prendahl na Ghezn (played by Ramon Tikaram). Dude looks awesome! He’s even got the blue hair! (If there was any glare on your screen, you might not have noticed it, but his hair was dyed blue, I can assure you.) Alas, his role is a bit short-lived… It’s too bad. Honestly, I hope I see more of him in some other feature. He looks like a leading man, to me.

The main scene begins with Mero leading Prendahl and Daario into Dany’s tent. There is an exchange where Mero is even more insulting than Kraznys, and he provokes the incredible, invincible and indomitable Jacob Anderson, a.k.a Grey Worm, a.k.a Torgo Nudho, who says:

  • Nya dare, beza unehtelas jaa engo ozy?
  • “My queen, shall this one slice out his tongue for you?”

And for those keeping track, yes, that is a Dothraki-style hiatus there with jaa, in addition to Dothraki-style post-vocalic h in unehtelas, both of which he nails, because Jacob Anderson is a Golden God.

Anyway, Dany responds in High Valyrian:

  • Bisi vali īlvyz zentyssy issi.
  • “These men are our guests.”

The word vali was cut due to length, I’m guessing, but the result would still be grammatical (it would just mean “These ones [probably animate] are our guests”). If the form of the possessive adjective looks odd to you, then you’re really keyed in to the phonology of High Valyrian. As I mentioned somewhere at some point in time, adjectives in High Valyrian have a different form depending on whether they come before or after the noun they modify. In this case, the full form would be īlvyzy. The final y drops out if the adjective precedes the noun it modifies, though, and the z devoices unless the next word begins with a voiced sound. Since “guests” is zentyssy, then, the form of the adjective is īlvyz and not īlvys.

After many more insults and a scene between the three Second Sons, we see Missandei bathing Daenerys. Though this scene was, of course, planned, this bit of dialogue was added by Dan Weiss very late in the game (he asked for the translation in mid-September). Personally I think it’s kind of a meta joke since this is literally the only Dothraki that appears in the entire season. What he did was he gave me the English line and asked if I could get athjahakar (the Dothraki word for “pride”) at the end of the sentence. Ultimately this is how I did the translation:

  • Zhey Drogo ast me-Dothraki thasho h’anhaan ven anha ray yol mehas. Me azh maan atjakhar.
  • “Drogo said I spoke Dothraki like one born to it. It gave him great pride.”

Those who know Dothraki will note that this line features the (somewhat) rare invocative use of zhey (i.e. bringing to the listener’s attention a person who hasn’t yet appeared as a topic of discussion). You’ll also note that athjahakar is misspelled. Indeed, this little exchange was supposed to reveal that Dany was never as good at Dothraki as she is, of course, with High Valyrian or Common. And the specific word is a call-back to episode 103, I think it was, where Dany’s handmaiden Jiqui (or Zhikwi) Irri is shown teaching Dany Dothraki by teaching her to say the word athjahakar.

Looking at the above Dothraki line, you’ll note that Dany mangles it pretty badly. That was the intention, but personally I think Emilia went a little too far. Neither Dany nor Emilia was ever that bad! Of course, if Dany hasn’t really been speaking Dothraki much, I can see her getting out of practice (perhaps Jorah is the only one that speaks to the Dothraki now [or, actually, now Missandei can too]). She puts together a rather grammatically complex sentence, though. Pretty impressive for a second language learner!

Second Sons was a little light on language, so to add some girth to this, here’s the full declension for vala, the High Valyrian word for “man”:

Case Singular Plural Paucal Collective
Nominative vala vali valun valar
Accusative vale valī valuni valari
Genitive valo valoti valuno valaro
Dative valot valoti valunta valarta
Locative valā valoti valunna valarra
Instrumental valosa valossi valussa valarza
Comitative valoma valommi valumma valarma
Vocative valus valis valussa valarza

Oh, also I wanted to mention that the word for “son” from our title comes from Twitter user @Tracee2ez, who was my 3,000th Twitter follower! The word is trēsy, which is nicely symmetrical with the word for “daughter”, which is tala. Both are lunar words, but tala is first declension, and trēsy second. There are a number of dualities that work this way, where two words which are intended to be in some sort of semantic relation to one another differ either solely in declension class or gender, but in systematic (or semi-systematic) ways. This word, then, turned out to be quite the fortuitous coining, since I already had the word for “daughter”.

Also, for those in the Bay Area, I will be at BayCon this Sunday. If you’re in the area, stop by and say M’ath!

Oh, and one more also (consider this a public service announcement): The penultimate episode of this season of Game of Thrones will not be airing a week from yesterday! I guess due to a ratings slump on Memorial Day, HBO is skipping a week, and episode 309 will air on June 2nd. Perhaps I can put together a post next week trying to answer some questions. Or I can take a break and enjoy the weekend. We’ll see.

Fonas chek!

Posted on May 20, 2013, in Episode Recaps and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.

  1. It was not Jhiqui but actually Irri (Amrita Acharia) who was teaching her to say Athjahakar in episode 103. This was right when Irri noticed that Dany was pregnant which led to the wonderful scene between Irri and Rakharo.

  2. 1. OK, what about Stannis’s spell? It sounded like “Iza va [name of target].” Is this some sort of Bastard Valyrian, or is his High Valyrian just that bad? ;) (Or of course I could just be hearing it wrong)

    2. Hooray for the full declension of vala! Of course that was already the word we had the most forms attested (largely, of course, because you like to use it as your example, and that itself for obvious reasons.) Before this we had hardly any collective forms, and almost no paucal at all. So, very exciting.

    3. I notice that the first declension is vala, second declension is trēsy, third declension is āeksio… and all three of them are lunar (well, we know vala and trēsy are, but just guessing āesio is as well, based on the theory originally proposed by Zhalio.) Does this mean the numbering of the declension classes is aranged according to gender?

    Vale (Wait, why am I saying “man” in the accusative?)

    • I thought he said “Usurper Robert Baratheon, Usurper …, etc.”

    • You’re hearing it wrong. He’s putting a title of “the usurper” before each name. It’s more like “th’usurpa” with the way he’s saying it, so I don’t really blame you for mishearing.

    • 1. As others have noted, this was English, but I’d like to add that when he did the first two, I really thought he wasn’t speaking English and was trying to figure out what the heck he was saying. By the third time I’d figured it out and actually heard “usurper”, so figured that’s what had happened with the other two.

      3. The genders come in an order (lunar, solar, terrestrial, aquatic), so in a declension class, they’ll come in that order, if present.

      • 1. Yep, even Najahho caught that, and he’s not a native speaker. I may need him to teach me English!

        3. Drat, my master declension chart has solar before lunar, and Word doesn’t make reärranging that thing easy!

        • 3. It’s not important. The order is purely arbitrary.

          • OMG… OMG… why did this take me so long to figure out?

            What you’re saying is that the declension class corresponds roughly to the thematic vowel; the gender to the coda in the nominative ending.

            My declension chart is currently arranged first by gender, then subdivided into declension. It should be the other way around.

            This will be a good deal of work to rearrange, but I suspect it will be fruitful.

  3. The declesion table was awesome. Just a question. Does “vala” mean “humang being” or “human male”?

    • Yeah, valar morghūlis seems to mean “human beings,” but then Daenerys says “but we are not men” (And furthermore David felt free to translate that Yn vali soty daor.)

      Thinking of Latin (as usual), generally vir means “adult male,” whereas homo means “human being.” But even so, homo is of the masculine gender, and even though women are included in the category of hominēs, in the singular it would be really odd to refer to a woman as a homo. And of course in the Romance languages vir disappears and homo turns into the word for “adult male” (Fr. homme, Sp. hombre, Pt. homem, It. uomo and so on).

      Well, my point is maybe it’s something like that: in theory “human being” in practice “human male”?

  4. I was interested in Missandei’s assertion that High Valyrian is the only language for poetry. What kind of poetry is she talking about, I wonder? Does Valyrian lend itself to rhyming? Is this epic poetry, or briefer stuff like Japanese waka?

    • High Valyrian’s regular stress pattern, fixed set of word endings and flexible word order would lend itself well to poetry both epic and short. It’d be much easier to rhyme it, at least, than it would Dothraki. If I had all the time and resources in the world, I think it would be pretty cool to do an epic poem on the sacking of Old Ghys…

      • Aha! I was hoping you would allow flexible word order in poetry. I really want to try composing Greek/Latin-style verse in HV eventually… especially epic hexameters. (That would be damn near impossible in the standard overwhelmingly head-final prose word order.)

    • Oh, and is it a coincidence, or did you know that your handle there (egao) is how you translate the first person locative copula of Moro in the present tense…?

      • COMPLETE coincidence! It’s “smile” in Japanese: 笑顏 (“laugh” + “face”). It was my nickname in the chorus I participated in while I was living in Japan.

        Anyway, thanks for the response!! I had been thinking HV would lend itself to Greek/Latin-style poetry. Nice to know I wasn’t off-base.

  5. What about the things we can hear in the background when Daario and the other two talk in their camp? Are there Valyrian words you had to provide? It’s a multilingual camp, isn’t it?

  6. [SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS]
    Those crows you asked about, David, did appear in the books, if I remember correctly. If I’m not mistaken, those crows are the crows that appear around Coldhands as he walks Bran, Meera, and Jojen to the cave where the children of the forest and Brynden reside. That, or they’re Brynden’s crows. It’s been a while since I last read the books, so I really don’t remember, but I am pretty sure those crpws had something to do with Coldhands and Brynden.

    • Well, yes, that happens, but what does that have to do with Samwell and Gilly? He’s not there when the White Walker comes, is he?

      • [SPOILERS FOR SHOW WATCHERS]
        They actually did a change on what happens where. The scene we saw, based on the way it looked like, was supposed to be the one where Sam and Gilly are almost at the wall and stop to sleep at an abandoned hut and then a lot of wights appear and start to attack Sam and Gilly, surrounding them around the weirwood. Those ravens on the tree start to mass and suddenly attack the wights, and that’s when coldhands appears to rescue them (the ravens are controlled by him/three-eyed raven).

        The “Sam the Slayer” scene was supposed to happen much earlier, before even Mormont gets killed, which would be around episode 3, when they’re walking back totally exhausted from the attack at the fist.

        D&D said they did this to create a better “hero” arc for Sam, from totally screwing things with the ravens to rescuing Gilly and becoming Sam the Slayer.

        Hope I have clarified things a bit :)

  7. Well, since you’re not going to make IRC tonight, I’ll have to ask you here: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3uhslk/

    How’s the Valyrian?

    • Let’s see… All men must die…a small group of men must die continually? Was that what you intended?

      • “All men must die, but some men continue to die.”

        • Ah, no, then. You can’t use the paucal like that; it wouldn’t make sense. I mean, perhaps by contrast, but not ordinarily. Hmm… We’d need a native speaker to say for sure. My instinct says no (i.e. it seems like you have to speak English to get that meaning).

          • I suppose you’d have to word it in a more unambiguous way, such as “Unir valar morghūlis, yn «some» valun jomorghūlis «thereafter»”.

          • This is precisely why I had intended to ask you about this on IRC: it’ll be hard for us to figure this out at the usual baud rate of our discussions. Two problems in particular:

            • We have had very few encounters with the paucal, so I cannot say I have a firm grasp on exactly how it works and what it tends to mean in HV.

            • We also don’t have a firm grasp on whatever gives morghūlis the sense of “must.” I would guess it’s morghūlis “must die” vs. *morghilis “die at some point; will die” or the like, except that then we have valar urnēbis, which… well it seems to be a simple present. So maybe I’m overthinking this.

            But, yeah, I was going for something like “All men must die; a few men keep dying.”

            By the way, please forgive the missing macrons in the image: ironically, “image macros” don’t allow them.

            • except that then we have valar urnēbis, which… well it seems to be a simple present. So maybe I’m overthinking this.

              Nope: Simple present is urnēbzi.

              I had an initial moment of hesitation with jo- plus the habitual. It’s almost like they’re doing the same thing… Or how could one be applied to the other? But I guess it does work (or could work).

              And with the contrast built in, yes, I think it does work. I have to catch myself and think, “Is this just English interference?” sometimes, but, yes, I think that does work.

            • ¶1: Oy. But on that topic see below.

              ¶¶2-3: Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Am I “clear”? I can start propagating this meme? ;)

            • Oh, and given what you say here, should I maybe be putting jomorghūlis into a different form?

  8. Nope: Simple present is urnēbzi.

    Aha — so is urnēbis the aorist? With {-is} being the equivalent of {-ssis} for athematic verbs? Or is the “habitual” yet another verb aspect…?

    • My first reaction was “Oh God, no: I’ve been misinterpreting the most basic verb endings all along.” Namely that -is and -zi aren’t different classes of verb (“athematic”), but different aspects. I figured your interpretation was just colored by mine.

      But I went over the corpus, and now I’m even more confused. There are plenty of examples where I don’t see what the semantic distinction could be, e.g. …dáorys zíry ōdrikílza. Jémot kivío ñúhe tépan. “No one will harm him, I give you my word”… why not *tepna? Se dā́eri váli pṓntalo syt gáomoti iderḗbzi “And free men chose their own actions”… why not iderēbis.

      Furthermore, in IRC last week, David rendered my jomōzus lua vala as “A man who is drinking,” and told me to use “the aorist” jomōzussis “drinks” instead.

      So perhaps your interpretation is right. But … I dunno, it seems unlike David to use words like “aorist” and “habitual” interchangeably. I think we’re going to need help here.

      • Habitual, aorist… It’s the last form. Call it what you want.

        Furthermore, in IRC last week, David rendered my jomōzus lua vala as “A man who is drinking,” and told me to use “the aorist” jomōzussis “drinks” instead.

        I most certainly did not! You were talking about a drunk guy (i.e. a guy who drinks). You would most certainly use the aorist with that. If you wanted something different, I guess I wasn’t paying very close attention.

        why not *tepna?

        That’s not phonologically licit in High Valyrian. You can’t have a nasal follow a voiceless stop like that (or at least certainly not in inflection. It would never happen).

        Se dā́eri váli pṓntalo syt gáomoti iderḗbzi “And free men chose their own actions”… why not iderēbis.

        That was a judgment call. I think properly it ought to be aorist. I wanted that to be present tense, though—to emphasize the immediacy of it; make it less didactic. It’s hard to explain, but I remember translating that… If I did it again, I might do aorist, or I might do future. I could even see a subjunctive there. It seems like of all the possible choices, the present is the least…forceful? I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like she doesn’t want to force them to choose their own names: she wants them to know that they can, and that such a thing is normal, and that it’s totally cool for them to do so.

        • Habitual, aorist… It’s the last form. Call it what you want.

          OK, let me make sure I understand:

          1. You’re saying that “habitual” and “aorist” are indeed different names for the same form.

          2. Zhalio’s interpretation is correct:
          • For some verbs -an -a -as is the present tense (the aorist being -assin, -assī, -assis).
          • For other verbs -an -as is the aorist (the present being -na, -ā(?), -za).

          3. Furthermore, which class a verb falls into is driven by phonotactic considerations, e.g. “You can’t have a nasal follow a voiceless stop like that”

          Are these interpretations correct?

          I most certainly did not!

          I’m not sure which part of my statement you are disagreeing with, but in my defense I did double-check my IRC logs before making that claim.

          If you wanted something different, I guess I wasn’t paying very close attention.

          No, that’s right. But as I said, I’m not sure where exactly our understanding of the situation diverges.

          That was a judgment call. I think properly it ought to be aorist. I wanted that to be present tense, though—to emphasize the immediacy of it; make it less didactic. [etc.]

          OK, I think I understand your point here, thanks.

          • 1. You’re saying that “habitual” and “aorist” are indeed different names for the same form.

            Technically, there is the aorist and the past-habitual. Those are the “official” English names for those two tenses. In practice I’m lazy.

            2. Zhalio’s interpretation is correct:
            • For some verbs -an -a -as is the present tense (the aorist being -assin, -assī, -assis).
            • For other verbs -an -ā -as is the aorist (the present being -na, -ā(?), -za).

            No…? I don’t remember seeing that claim. Let me scroll up. I still don’t see it. The aorist always has i in its endings. If there was an -a theme verb, you’d have verbassis, etc. The -an, and -as/-sa/-za endings are all present.

            No, that’s right. But as I said, I’m not sure where exactly our understanding of the situation diverges.

            Ack! I just went back and read what you wrote in the comments, and, indeed, there is no disagreement. I misread your comment. My apologies! It’s been a hell of a week.

            • Yeah, that’s not exactly what I claimed. I would have guessed something like this:

              (1) Thematic verb: tepa-gon
              Present: tepa-n, tepa-a > tepā, tepa-s, …
              Aorist: tepa-ssun, tepa-ssa, tepa-ssis, …

              (2) Athematic verb: rāel-agon
              Present: rāel-n-a > rāenna, rāel-a, rāel-s-a > rāelza, …
              Aorist: rāel-issun > rāelissun, rāel-issa > rāelissa, rāel-iss-ø > rāelis, …

              But from what David said above, it looks like {tepan} has an athematic stem {tep-}, with the {-a-} being epenthetic…? In that case, replace {tepagon} by {ȳdragon} in the above.

            • Well, wanted to give you some time off from our constant questions, but I’m still kind of lost about this issue, and I’d really hoped to get it straight before my next lj post. So please forgive me for resuming this discussion.

              The aorist always has i in its endings. If there was an -a theme verb, you’d have verbassis, etc.

              OK, but if it’s an athematic verb it’s just -is, and it conjugates like an i-stem (e.g. gimigon)? Is that it?

              On the other hand, Zhalio wrote:

              Yeah, that’s not exactly what I claimed. I would have guessed something like this:

              (1) Thematic verb: tepa-gon
              Present: tepa-n, tepa-a > tepā, tepa-s, …
              Aorist: tepa-ssun, tepa-ssa, tepa-ssis, …

              (2) Athematic verb: rāel-agon
              Present: rāel-n-a > rāenna, rāel-a, rāel-s-a > rāelza, …
              Aorist: rāel-issun > rāelissun, rāel-issa > rāelissa, rāel-iss-ø > rāelis, …

              Thanks for the clarification. That is a very smart theory… does it have the added advantage of being correct?

            • It’s getting hard for me to keep track of things. Maybe I’ll just post some tables next week…

              OK, but if it’s an athematic verb it’s just -is, and it conjugates like an i-stem (e.g. gimigon)? Is that it?

              Almost. Compare:

              • dohaer-in “I (must) serve”
              • dohaer-ia “you (must) serve”
              • dohaer-is “s/he/it (must) serve”
              • sindi-n “I buy”
              • sindī “you buy”
              • sindi-s “s/he/it buys”

              So pretty close. (The latter, of course, are present tense forms from an i-themed vowel.)

            • KIRIMVOSE! That helps a lot.

  9. dohaer-in “I (must) serve”
    dohaer-ia “you (must) serve”
    dohaer-is “s/he/it (must) serve”

    sindi-n “I buy”
    sindī “you buy”
    sindi-s “s/he/it buys”

    Wheee! Conjugation party! :) Let’s see if I can get these right:

    Athematic present:
    dohaer-na “I am serving”
    dohaer-a (?) “you are serving”
    dohaer-za “s/he/it is serving”
    i-thematic aorist:
    sindi-ssin “I buy”
    sindi-ssi “you buy”
    sindi-ssis “s/he/it buys”

    a-thematic present:
    ȳdra-n “I am speaking”
    ȳdrā “you are serving”
    ȳdra-s “s/he/it is serving”
    a-thematic aorist:
    ȳdra-ssin “I speak”
    ȳdra-ssi “you speak”
    ȳdra-ssis “s/he/it speak”

    (Of course, given the scene, we don’t know that {ȳdragon} literally means “speak”. It could mean “know”, “use”, “command” or something like that.)

    So is there really a “must” flavor in the aorist? I’m assuming that just comes out of the context of the saying?

  10. By the way, my Volantene Script is now available on MyFonts, though my password-protected sale that gives it away for free hasn’t been activated yet.

    http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/catharsis-fonts/volantene-script/

    I’m also holding out on promoting it by Twitter etc. until I’m reasonably confident I’m not infringing on HBO’s copyrights by using “HBO” and “Game of Thrones” in my marketing material (if only to attribute credit for the font’s inspiration). I’ve asked MyFonts about it, but maybe I should contact HBO directly?

  11. So apparently the thing Carice van Houten would most like to say in Valyrian is “Can I order a crèpe?”

    http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones/episodes/3/28-second-sons/interview/carice-van-houten.html/

    David, any help? ;o)

    • Krespe sindagon ipradagōn jaelilen?

    • Gah! I missed this! Now what, precisely, would a “crêpe” be…? I guess krespe would be a pretty good HV rendering (etymologically speaking)…

      • I was pretending krespa (of course it really seeps to be from Latin crispa, though I’m not sure I get the semantics). But obviously, it’s totally plausible that they eat crêpes in Essos, and so have a native term ;)

      • If you’re worried about using {drak-} for dragons, don’t use {kresp-} for crêpes. ;o)

        I’m sure they make some kind of omelet in Essos; isn’t that something of a culinary universal? You could define a composite like “egg cake”, but from what you said earlier, HV doesn’t like composites. Then maybe an idiom like “a spread out one” or an “eggy”?

        • Well, of course I was not suggesting krespa as a real word, but my idea was that unlike drakarys it’s representing something in our world. If we assume they have crêpes in Essos (and frankly I would be shocked if they didn’t), presumably the actual Valyrian word will be something unrelated to ours. (BTW, part of my thinking on krespa was that AV would drop the s, just like French does.)

          For the sake of comparison, they definitely had pancakes in the Roman empire, called in Greek τηγανίται (meaning, essentially, “frying-pan bread) or σταιτίται (seemingly “dough bread”), and in Latin lucunculī (but I don’t know the etymology… it’s the diminutive of the obscure word lucuns, which the L&S suggests is cognate to luxus “crooked,” or oblīquus “slanted,” but I wouldn’t consider that a reliable source on etymologies).

          Of course these pancakes seem to have been more like the thick ones we’re used to in the US than crêpes. I’m betting they had crêpe-like ones too, but I don’t know what they were called (crispa does not yet seem to have that sense).

          • {Lucunculī} is an awesome word! Too awesome to be forgotten: I just coined a direct descendant {coungul} [‘kuŋgəl] in Jovian. :)

            So {luxus} originally meant “crooked”? I guess it acquired its present-day meaning via “depraved, decadent”? Neat.

            Doesn’t τηγανίται just mean “frying-panned ones”?

            • Luxus (-ūs, m.) “extravagance” is not normally considered the same word, and probably comes from a different root entirely. BTW, now that I check, I see luxus (-a, -um) is better translated “dislocated” (it does have a noun form identical to the word for “extravagance,” which is interesting but surely coincidental.) Cf. the technical term “luxation.”

              As for τηγανίται, yes properly that -ίτης suffix is so vague that you could feel free to translate it that way. But if you look at Greek names for types of bread, a huge number of them use that suffix. It was apparently just a standard protocol for naming pastry products, or something.

  12. So, I was wondering about this: if Jelmāzmo means Stormborn, which part is “storm” and which part is “born”? Also, the “mo” in the word: is that the same as the “mo” used to mean that someone comes from a family? And if “mo” means what I think it does, do “na” and “zo” mean the same thing? Finally, if I’m right about the use of these three words, why did they evolve in the way they did? Is there a rule?

    • Actually, jelmazma means “storm”, and it’s put into the genitive/possessive. The positioning is a bit antiquated (you’d expect Jelmazmo to come first), but it’s just the way of names.

      • Funny because this is exactly how her name is translated into Spanish! Did you take that into account or was just a coincidence?

        • Hopefully this doesn’t become another Drakarys-gate where people want to know which part means “dragon” and which part “fire”!

          jelmazma = of the storm

          As Najahho said, this is a common rendering in translations of the books also, for example:

          In Spanish – Daenerys de la Tormenta

          In French – Daenerys du Typhon (also Typhon-Née)

          Not sure what she’s called in German, haven’t read it in translation and couldn’t find it on the wiki just then.

          In some other languages it’s more literal, e.g. Chinese, where she’s called 风暴降生 (Fēngbào jiàngshēng) which is literally “storm birth”, but where Jiàngshēng has overtones of the coming of a saviour or something more elevated than regular birth.

          • According to the German version of the Wikia, the translation is Daenerys Sturmtochter.

            • Oof, that sounds atrocious… almost as bad as »Bruchtal« for Rivendell. :P They could have gone with something like »Sturmkind« instead.

            • Bruchtal makes sense as a literal translation for Rivendell (as in, it’s a dell which is riven), but I agree it isn’t as nice-sounding as Rivendell… So it probably doesn’t fir Tolkien’s sense of phornography. I’d probably have just gone Rivental or Riventhal if you wanted it to look pseudo-antiquated.

              “Sturmtochter” doesn’t sound too bad to me, it sounds like fairly standard fantasy-lit from a German perspective.

    • As for the {mo}, {na}, {za} in Slaver’s Bay names: I would expect those to be holdovers from the old Ghiscari language, rather than Valyrian. The names themselves (Ghrazdan etc.) don’t sound Valyrian either, so that would fit.

      • I would expect the same. Also, they’re separate words (I guess probably prepositions), as opposed to a Valyrian declension.

      • As for the {mo}, {na}, {za} in Slaver’s Bay names: I would expect those to be holdovers from the old Ghiscari language, rather than Valyrian. The names themselves (Ghrazdan etc.) don’t sound Valyrian either, so that would fit.

        And, indeed, that was my operating assumption, and what led me to move AV towards prepositions with some postpositions as opposed to the opposite in HV.

  13. I am confused with the meaning of “bisi” in “Bisi vali īlvyz zentyssy issi”. It should mean “these”, but it has no relation with the other proximal demonstrative forms “kesy, keso, kesir” .
    Maybe HV has more than two-ways of demonstrative distinction, and kes- is the proximal and bis- the medial demonstrative.

    • HV has a two-way demonstrative distinction, but its demonstratives also distinguish between gender groups (kind of like the distinction between “who” and “that” or “he” and “it”). That’s what’s going on here.

      • I see. “Bisi”,and its AV cognate “Bezy” are used to refer people.

        • “People” are not a gender in HV… I rather expect the distinction is between celestial and aquiterraneous nouns (though most people’s proper names seem to be celestial). Most importantly, the word {vala} is lunar, so {bisi} is probably celestial. Could the nom:sg of {kesy} then be something like {kesyn} or {kesyr}…?

          • Of cours David has stated that animate nouns are usually (but not always) solar or lunar, and conversely he glosed bisi here as “These ones [probably animate]” As a parallel I’m thinking of Latin where “these (m.p.)” could be used with canēs “dogs,” botulī “sausages,” laterēs “bricks,” and so on, but if used on its own, without a stated antecedent, it almost certainly means “these people,” or, at the very least “these men.”

            My point is that, although “people” is not a gender HV, I expect that the same assumption will be made when a “celestial” demonstrative is used this way.

            And, RCA, I’m almost certain you have it backwards: bis- vs. kes- is a distinction of degree of deixis, whereas the endings, if anything, are what distinguish animacy.

            • Inicially I though that, as latin, the stems like “bis-“and “kes-” indicate the level of deixis
              (near vs far) and the endings indcated case, noun and gender. But both bis- and kes- are translated as proximal demonstrative, so it cannot be a distinction of proximity but a distinction between gender groups.

            • Actually, David’s statement above (“…but its demonstratives also distinguish between gender groups […] That’s what’s going on here.”) sounds to me like {bis-} vs {kes-} is a distinction of genders.

            • It’s actually fairly straightforward. Demonstratives distinguish between: (1) proximal; (2) distal; and (3) interrogative. In those three groups, each distinguish between: (1) animate and (2) inanimate. This is not tied to gender (after all, an adjective will agree with any noun in gender). When these are formally nominalized (i.e. given nominal endings), there are two sets of nominal endings. The deictic pronouns take either a lunar (more individuative) or aquatic (less individuative) ending, and the interrogative pronouns take either a solar or a terrestrial.

              Does that explain it?

            • Yeah, I know, after RCA’s reply I reread it, and realized it was ambiguous. But if the two stems represent two gender groups, how ate the two degrees of deixis, which he also mentions, represented?

              David, could you please clarify this?

            • Oops, sorry, may as well delete my last comment (and this one)

  14. First of all I would like to apologize for the horrendous spelling in my last comment. Quptenkos Ēngoso muño ēngos ñuhys iksos daor.

    Second, if I understood:

    – kesir is a proximal inanimate demonstratives
    – bisi is a proximal animate demonstrative
    – konir is a distal inanimate demonstrative

    It’s fairly simple…

  15. Well, for what it’s worth, I did finally put up that post. I’m always doing it late, but this really takes the cake, being two weeks overdue: http://jdm314.livejournal.com/198861.html

  16. The Dragon Demands

    Okay, I’ve run into a massive problem regarding Grey Worm on the Game of Thrones Wiki: can Grey Worm understand Common Tongue?

    Could he understand Common Tongue in the books? Because when Mero is insulting Daenerys in “Second Sons”, they’re…*apparently* speaking in Common Tongue, right? Grey Worm is shown to understand the insults that Mero is giving, but responds to Daenerys in Low Valyrian.

    OR, is this a translation convention? That everyone in the tent is actually speaking in Low Valyrian and it’s only being translated into English for the convenience of the TV audience?

    • He also understands Daario’s plan in Rains of Castamere. And furthermore Dany does not worry about sending Jorah, Daario, and Grey Worm together on her strike team, when Jorah doesn’t seem to understand Valyrian.

      It would be weird for this to be translation convention, because then why is Grey Worm and Grey worm alone stuck speaking Astapori Valyrian in every scene? I think we have to assume he understands common, but doesn’t speak it.

      • Reading the TV-version world, Westeros Common seems to be a language with a strong standing.
        They manage to dig a few middling common speakers from a Dothraki khalasar; on the faraway city of Qarth everyone worth a notice seems to be able to speak Common. You might just suspense-of-disbelieve that away, but you might also integrate the fact into the world.

        Of course Dany’s marriage has been a deal that’s proably been in making for some time, and Jorah has also been traveling with the khalasar presumably for some time (we could even assume him ending up with Dothraki is no coincidence).

        And of course Qarth is a proud merchant city and it’s very plausible they would pride themselves in knowing all major languages of the world.

        But then again, the slaves are export items, so good language skills would be a big bonus even for a soldier. Common is no priority, of course, but rudimentary understanding would still probably be good for the unsullied.

        Inciedntally, I also think it would be wise to teach unsullied High Valyrian, because they are most likely to serve people speaking some Low Valyrian, but probably not from Slaver Bay area. Understanding of High Valyrian would make the transition much easier.

  17. I’ve been reading through your blog a bit and but unfortunately am still confused about the conjugation of the verbs morghūljagon and dohaeragon into “dohaeris” and “morghulis”.

    I ask because a friend of mine asked me to write out the phrase “all men must drink” and I’m not quite sure what to do with mōzugon… any help would be much appreciated.

    PS I couldn’t figure out how to reply to the specific comment, but this is the one I was trying to reference :) http://www.dothraki.com/2013/05/tȳni-tresi/#comment-1764

  18. Whoa, that was super helpful, definitely helps clear it up. Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: