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Forum Home > The Language Room > D'ni 'Roots' (pardon the pun)

KathTheDragon
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Recent discussion (http://guildoflinguists.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/9413291-new-d-ni-text-at-cyan-com?page=last) has prompted me to think about an idea I discovered in the DLF. Namely, is it possible that many D'ni words are composed of more fundamental 'roots'? Some examples of this I have to hand are mar in marent and maryéša, and gal in galon and galpo.


Discuss!

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October 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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A tentative example of an old suffix is -o. This can be found on several words, such as ano, aro, cano, and perhaps ago, xapo, yavo, enyalo, faðo, garo, tavo, gilo, iglarno, kæligo, kímo, keso, kino, maðo, miro, oenazo, neco, šento, talío, tíko, túgo, çeto, çiso, vamo, zíro. Quite what it meant, however, can probably only be worked out once we can identify all the words which would have this suffix, and which would not.

Edit: It may also feature in the compound suffix -aloþ

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October 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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Posts: 96

Here are some potential examples of what look like 'roots' that have been noticed over the years.

I have included words that have a shared phonetic component and possible semantic association but not related to each other by known productive means of derivation.



bahtsahnah 'map', bahtsen 'to map'

beerah 'keep, stay, remain', beeree 'maintain' (said to derive also from ahreeuh 'protect')

erem 'skill'; rem 'flow' (verb)

fenah 'story', fentasenta 'historian'

gahlon 'ground' (noun), gahlpo 'cave'

hev 'word', hevo 'swarm'

idhsay 'line', say 'design' (verb, noun)

kotah '(of the) locked doors', kotsah 'gate'

lahsah 'seal, close' (verb), lesa 'sealed'

mahn 'existence', mahnshoo 'die'

misho 'universe', mishtah 'construct' (verb)

rees 'eat', reeslo 'dissolve'

rooayk 'destroy', roon 'zero'

shento 'take', sheten 'cherish'

rifoon 'remember' (?), tefoonet 'memorial'

tahg 'give', tahgahm 'know', tahgayr 'learn'

tsahv 'live', tsahvahn 'immortal, eternal (living)'

uru 'large gathering, grand community', urwin (a large bird).

October 19, 2013 at 5:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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I have a DLF thread which covers man and manšú, and also links -šú to šufé

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October 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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The pair rees 'eat' : reeslo 'dissolve' may suggest the kind of connection that underlies a shared formative suffix.  Another verb ending in -lo is malo 'forget'; and there is an adjective enyalo 'sick'.  The common semantics in these seems to do with lessening or loss, something going or passing away.  Thus 'dissolve' can be paraphrased by "eat away" in English; to 'forget' is to allow or suffer memories going away; and being 'sick' means one's health is deteriorating.  In the case of malo the underlying root could be *ma or *mal since a resulting double ll in *mal-lo would be simplified.


In another case of apparent suffix we can perhaps be a little more certain, namely iglahrno 'temporary' and tsahno 'everlasting, permanent'.  Since the root of the latter form seems to survive in the adverb tsahn 'always, forever', it presumably represents *tsahn-no, and the two adjectives become closely parallel if we just suppose that *iglahr refers to a short time.  If we understand 'temporary' to be "lasting a short time" then the suffix -no originally conveyed duration and is perhaps related to the word noref 'final'.


The interesting part is that words like tsahno with perceptible "roots" like tsahn would appear to contain a suffix -o, which might have led to the formation of other words from roots using this apparent suffix rather than the underlying suffix.  Thus tahno may have been the model for gahro 'great, mighty' formed from the shorter gahr that occurs with the same meaning in some compounds.  In the same way an adjective like enyalo 'sick' might have served as a model for miro 'toxic'.  It would then be due to the ultimate multiple origins of the suffixal form -o that we have such a diversity of words that seemed to be derived with it.

October 20, 2013 at 11:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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I am very tempted to say that all D'ni roots should be of the form CVC(VC), which would make a lot of sense in the context of natural languages, a number of which do do things like that. To solve the apparent problem of roots of the forms VC(VC) or CLVC/CVLC when L is a liquid consonant, the first would have a historic word-initial glottal stop, and the latter would have had a weak vowel which dropped in favour of a cluster. Since I am stuck on a tablet right now, I'll scribe the glottal stop as ' and the weak vowel as ê. Therefore, we would have (say) historic *'an for water, and historic *marên for create. I do like your analysis, but I do feel that *-o would be a historic suffix with some meaning. An afterthought: perhaps we could produce an etymological dictionary for D'ni? ahno would probably then be given as 'an-(n)o (whatever 'an means, since it does crop up elsewhere + durative)
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October 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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I agree that *-o would have been an historic suffix of some sort, or perhaps more cautiously, that there were one or more historical suffixes *-o. Whether these are entirely explained or only partially explained by analogy from original suffixes whose initial consonant was lost by phonological processses, we can only determine by further examination of the evidence.


Another potentially relevant suffix to consider is seen in toogo 'foot' and togo 'floor'.   If the former refers etymologically to the appendage used for standing, then the latter could plausibly mean 'place for standing'.  If "stand" could be used metaphorically, then either 'stand for' (as representative) or 'stand out' (as leader) might explain the underlying meaning of kaligo 'council'; and the latter metaphor could also explain ahgo 'well' as etymologically having a sense like "outstandingly."

October 22, 2013 at 4:20 AM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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I would caution against using English idioms as metaphors in D'ni. At best, it's really bad linguistics. Also when dividing words into roots, you ought to provide a meaning for the other root as well. As for ago, I think it more likely refers to good health than achievement.
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October 22, 2013 at 9:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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But the assumption that the D'ni word for 'well' refers primarily to good health is also based on English idiom.  It is not necessarily "bad linguistics" to extrapolate theoretic possibilities from the history of one's own language, as long as you realize that that is what you are doing.


The question is whether we have supporting evidence that the D'ni used physical properties metaphorically to represent social relationships, and we do. (And not surprisingly, since these sorts of metaphor are hardly unique to English.)


As for a root ah possibly having a meaning related to 'out' compare *ahro (in ahrotahn 'outsider') where the ro looks like it is related to rov 'person' so the ah- is left as the part that refers to the "outside" or "otherness."  Of course with such a short potential morpheme there will be other possible, and maybe better, theories ;) 




October 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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Actually, it's based on the sentence ken ago 'I am well', where a meaning of achievement makes no sense.

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October 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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 I thought we were talking about the development between the root meaning and the derived meaning, and deciding which of two meanings came first in D'ni "well" (adverb) or "well" (adjective).  If the same word can have both meanings then either one could theoretically be a metaphor for the other, and therefore we have to look elsewhere in the language or culture to find evidence of which came first.


But I do like the idea that the root is *ahg (rather than just *ah) since it narrows the field of where to look for potential etymological parellels.  Another word that contains (or might contain) this sequence is lorahg (this might actually be lorag -- but bear with me :) ) and while we do not have an English gloss, the context gives a fairly good indication of the possible meaning.  It occurs in Atrus's Prayer, where he says:

… kam lora(h)g kenen b’ken shin b-baykh b’totee rahnahl …

'… what [???] (it) is to be able to link to various places …'

Since this is a prayer Atrus is presumably talking about (what is for him) a spiritual feeling or quality that he associates with being able to use Books to link to Ages.  I have suggested that lorahg might mean something like our words "grace" or "joy."  But we can perhaps infer, since Atrus wrote many of the Books he (indirectly) alludes to, that he means the joy of achievement (or the grace that permits that achievement) that comes from writing Ages well.


And given further how much of D'ni culture centers around the successful achievement of tasks that lead to (or benefit from) this linking to other places that Atrus describes, I would suggest that (to a D'ni speaker) ken ahgo may very well mean basically "I am feeling good about my achievements" with the (predicate) adjectival sense being derived from a root sense of "successful performance" or "(having done) well."  For a D'ni speaker 'wellness' (ahgoth, I suppose) would be as much a spiritual or mental state as a physical one.


Getting back to word-formation, I would suggest that from a root *ahg, a derivative *ahg-go makes sense as a possible metaphoric source of the word ahgo 'well'; because "well-being" as a personal state can be figuratively represented by one's positioning in an Age whose existence one has facilitated and derives benefit -- surely an architypal D'ni metaphor.

October 23, 2013 at 12:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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Posts: 381
So how many potential roots is that now? We're on a roll! I would also stress that it would be worth tabulating these roots somewhere, either here in the Guild, or on your D'ni dictionary. Speaking of which, the dictionary I have on the site is meant to be more of a reference dictionary, for quick look-up, while yours is much more in-depth (though might I suggest adding a way to hide the sources?)
--

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October 23, 2013 at 6:11 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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Posts: 96

I suppose if I were a Linguists Guildsman then it would be a natural part of my duties to continue enhancing the usefulness of my D'ni dictionary for purposes of other Guild members as well as the D'ni community at large ;)

October 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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Posts: 96

Summarizing what we have found as potential sources for -o formations: (1) reeslo (v.); malo (v.); enyalo (adj.); miro (adj.), perhaps all containing element *lo indicating privation or diminution; (2) iglahrno (adj.); tsahno (adj.); gahro (adj.); misho (n.), perhaps *no indicating duration or extent; and (2) toogo (n.); togo (n.); kaligo (n.); ahgo (adj., adv.), perhaps *go indicating location, position or situation. 


Once the simplification of double-consonants occurred some words in these groups would have looked like they ending in *-o, and when words from more than one of the groups led to further formations, these would take the ending *o.  For example kahpo 'perhaps' could reflect both extent and privation; fahdho 'experience' refers to situation but also duration, gilo 'plant' to an object that has both position and duration, while chiso 'archive' (v.) is about instituting duration (of knowledge) but implies a situation (for it) as well; and the ahro- in ahrotahn, if it means to be outside or other, contains the idea of privation and position.  The verb oenahzo 'hope, wish' expresses a state of privation that anticipates the transition to a situation; while shento 'take' describes the instigation of privation in another and its alleviation in the actor. 


Some words in *o seem to reflect more directly one of  the earlier original categories, though presumably formed after they had blended.  Thus tahvo, a short time-period (about 14.5 minutes) seems to echo iglahrno 'temporary', but may derive from the morpheme -tahv added to verb-stems to express an action or the result of one.  Perhaps *tahv originally meant something like 'task' and tahvo was the duration of a single task.  And tahleeo 'surface' seems analogous to togo 'floor', though what the underlying element(s) meant is unclear.  There remain some words ending in -o that are still hard to explain: ahno 'water'; bigto 'blessing'; keemo (a kind of fish); netso 'produce, make'; Yahvo 'the Maker'; and several that have not been securely translated yet.


October 27, 2013 at 12:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

KathTheDragon
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Fascinating analysis Khrees! I have thought for a long time as ahrotahn as being 'one who enters/arrives' as that would fit quite nicely with the sense of 'book-worlder' - they must first 'enter' D'ni.
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October 27, 2013 at 5:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Khreestrefah
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I like the idea that ahro-tahn could be 'outsider' as "enterer"; possibly related to the verb Gehn uses to command Cho to test the trap-book, which sounds like ahremah.  This would make *ahro parallel to shento in a way.

October 27, 2013 at 4:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

tayrahvo
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Posts: 4

.shorah b'shemtee

I think, we should continue to study the construction of D'ni-words. Unfortunately I'm not a linguist, but maybe I can give a new inspiration.

There are at least 3 ways to contruct a new word:


1. Substitution (the transposition of one or two consonants)

examples:

gel (write) + sev (Age) = sel

porpah (king) + min (woman) = morpah (and perhaps por / mor)

gorahn + prin = prorahn

speculative:

yim + jerooth = jim (prophesy = to see the possibilities)

hahr (year = cycle, the revolution of the earth) + yim = yahr (the visible cycle = change of light and darkness = day)


2. Combination (connect the roots (or one syllable of each word) to get a new word)

examples:

gahreesen = gahro + ahreeuh + senahren

beeree = beerah + ahreeuh

speculative:

fentahsentah = fenah + tahgahm + senahren + tahgahm (to know stories and buildings = to know the historic sources)

porpah = por + pahboy (por = father (?) + bless = blessed father, "father of his country")


3. Addition (prefix and suffix)

We should tabulate and complete step-by-step


June 13, 2014 at 6:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

tayrahvo
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June 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

tayrahvo
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tayrahvo at June 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM


ad 3 (suffix)

The participles are formed by suffixes:

-ahl (present participle active), e.g. kahntinahl = oppressing

-in (perfect participle passive), e.g. kahntinin = oppressed.

To nominalize there is use -(e)th.


In the kenen gor is the word kahntinahloth.

I think there is used the suffix -ahlo (or -ahl-o) to form a different participle: present participle passiv (as in Greek). The translation could be "being oppressed one"

June 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Talashar
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Posts: 30

I tend to think that -oth is an allomorph of -(e)th, which has a stative/patientive meaning contrasted with the active meaning of -tahn, so that kahntinahloth (patient) contrasts with kahntintahn (active).

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June 20, 2014 at 9:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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