The Mad Latinist's Journal|
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|Sunday, May 19th, 2013|
|Monday, May 13th, 2013|
|Jomōza lua vala ēngoso daoro ȳdrassigon kostilas.
At long last it's done. I know I never get these things out until the last minute, but this entry is over 24 hours late. Sorry about that. This last week was difficult: David J. Peterson was himself delayed by LCC5
, and couldn't post his transcripts right away. In the past I have managed to get quite a lot out of trying to transcribe scenes unofficially with Najahho
, but this week was the first time I would have to do this with High Valyrian. Given HV's complex grammar and phonology, it is much harder to transcribe by ear, especially at our current state of knowledge (and Thoros of Myr's current state of drunkenness.) It was very frustrating to try, and even with Dinok
's prompt and diligent help
, it was overwhelming, and, well, qrinqōntan (ahem, nyke rudan!)
On Wednesday, Mr. Peterson finally posted
(let's call that entry "Hp"), but that very night I came down with something. Between these tings I was not up to the task of getting this post out before the episode. And then of course today another post
came out (let's call it GRL), which included some information I wanted to incorporate.
But before I begin, here are some general comments on what we learned off-screen last week:
- There are six noun declensions in HV, which can be subdivided into 21 total paradigms (so far.) To determine which paradigm a noun belongs to, you only need the nominative singular.
- While the theory of gender we've been working out (largely on the basis of Zhalio's speculations) seems to be nearly exactly right, we are not quite there. And in particular the nominative singular will not always tell you the gender. Since the system we've been using is based entirely on the ending of the nom.s., we clearly have some work to do.
- As far as the semantics of the genders is concerned, Mr. Peterson says they have their origin in "the early grammatical distinction [he] wanted to capture (mass vs. individual)"
- In AV, we already knew there were only two genders. We now know that "solar" and "lunar" merge (this gender is unofficially called "celestial"), leaving the "terrestrial" gender. What happens to aquatic? Well, Mr. Peterson's comment is ambiguous (he seems to imply that it simply ceased to exist), but I take it to mean that the aquatic merges into terrestrial as well.
This episode's scene marks a number of firsts: it is the first time we've had a HV-only scene with no AV mixed in, the first time we've gotten any religious terminology, the first time we've had anyone other than Dany speak HV, or gotten any Valyrian dialog outside of her storyline—as a result I had to get the video from a different YouTube channel: Here it is
, by the way. We also get a first right at the start of the scene... let's get started. ETA: Just got to chat with Mr. Peterson on IRC, and got lots of good information, which I will write up when I have time. But for now, the coolest thing is the corrected versions of my title: Jomōzussis lua vala doros ēngoso ȳdrassigon kostilas, or better yet the negative version I originally wanted: Jomōzussis lua vala mirros ēngoso ȳdrassigon kostilos daor.( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: frustrated
|Saturday, May 4th, 2013|
|Thursday, May 2nd, 2013|
|Me zaldrize tuzis ez perji, svagizi?
Here is my promised analysis of Aeske Hildebrand
. But before we begin, let's have a quick roundup of other Valyrian news:
First of all, we have David J. Peterson's latest blog entry, Perzo Vujita
(PV). Mr. Peterson has also released a few hints elsewhere: On Twitter
, he gave the HV word for "to lift," as manaeragon
, which I suspect to be the etymon of AV maneragho
"to win" (as in Manerágho zýa zómbe, selévas ji Dovoghédhy
... "To win his shield, an Unsullied must...")
In "The Man Who Invented Game of Thrones' Languages
," Peterson gives us a new official transcription: Si kizy vasko v’uvar ez zya gundja yn hilas
“And this because I like the curve of her ass.” Boy was I off on that one
is "and," from HV se
"because" matches the Spanish equivalent porque
"the curve" gives us a rare example of the vi
means "of," more on which below. Gundja
"ass" looks very un-Valyrian to me, and it would make perfect sense for it to be a Ghiscari borrowing. But I was apparently right about yn hilas
In a comment
, Mr. Peterson has also finally revealed what the four genders of High Valyrian are: solar, lunar, terrestrial, aquatic. The names do not really tell you anything about the class (as opposed to masculine, feminine, and neuter, which purport to be connected to biological sex), rather they represent the classic example of a noun of that class (that is the word for "sun" is solar, the word for "moon" is lunar, and so on.) There is at least some correspondence
to semantic classes:
It’s more like the declension classes correspond with some basic categories, and then those declensions fit into a single gender. So a lot of humans will be either lunar or solar, because many will have the ending -a or -ys (plus some others, but I mean words for humans that aren’t names). A lot of foods and plants will be terrestrial, because many end in -on, etc.
Be sure also to read Zhalio's speculation on gender
, as his theory seems good, and in general he has an uncanny knack for figuring out Peterson's languages. Putting all this together, and reading between the lines, it looks like it may be something like this:
- Solar: the lexical form ends in an s
- Lunar: ends in a vowel
- Terrestrial: ends in an n
- Aquatic: ends in an r
We know that Astapori Valyrian reduces the genders to two, but beyond that we know very little about the system.
Now, let us return to Aeske Hildebrand
. The English is a pæan to Dan Hildebrand, and a dirge for Kraznys mo Nakloz. The Valyrian... seems to be something quite different. Mr. Peterson describes this as an "inside joke," but I think it's easy enough for us outsiders to understand: the Valyrian is in the style of Kraznys, and the English is in the style of Missandei! In some cases the "diplomatic translation" can help us figure out the Valyrian, but much of the time it strays too far to help. Lets take a look.( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: pleased
|Saturday, April 27th, 2013|
|Do ydran ji Valyre!
Time once again for Game of Thrones
conlangs. Today we'll be doing episode 304, "And Now His Watch is Ended." The Valyrian scene in this episode is just incredible. If you want to take a look for yourself, see here
. For David J. Peterson's entry on this episode (which, recall, we are calling SUZKO), see here
Linguistically, one of the most important aspects of this episode was the introduction of High Valyrian, in Daenerys' lines. Mr. Peterson has been a good deal more forthcoming about High Valyrian, and those of us who have been following his blog
and participating in the comments actually know a surprising amount about the language already. There will be a lot of grammatical terminology thrown around in our discussions of High Valyrian. If you need anything defined, you may want to read the quick-and-dirty guide I wrote in my replies to "Dinok
" in this thread
. In particular, note that High Valyrian is pretty consistently a "Head Final" and "SOV" language... if you don't know what that means, see here
, but in short it means that the word-order will be very
different from that of English.
In other Valyrian news, Curtain Call: Dan Hildebrand
over at Winteriscoming.net
contains an extensive composition in Astapori Valyrian by David J. Peterson (let's call it Aeske Hildebrand
, or ÆH for short). We now know the language well enough to realize that the English translation might be... slightly less than literal. I'm hoping to write another post on that text later this week, if I get a chance, but in the meantime I'll feel free to use it as evidence for this post.
I am still using underlines to mark lines for which we have Mr. Peterson's official transcription—for this episode it is nearly the whole scene (including English glosses for lines that aren't subtitled). But I have added two new symbols:
( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: exhausted
- Parentheses mark lines where the actor has missed or significantly garbled a word given in the transcript. It happens: not everyone is analyzing the gobbledygook as much as we are, so it's not worth the effort to correct every mistake. Furthermore some of them may not be mistakes, but deliberate cuts quicken the pace of the dialog. Still, if we have David J. Peterson himself saying one thing, but the actors saying another, I figure I should note it.
- To make them easier to distinguish, I have decided to mark High Valyrian (HV) in Targaryen Red, and Astapori Low Valyrian (AV) in Good Master Green.
|Thursday, April 25th, 2013|
|Ji pínda skókido ivetrágho "dragon"
Non-conlanging friends (if any of them are even still on LJ) may be getting bored of this, but nevertheless my Petersonian Valyrian study continues.
So, on Sunday the episode And Now His Watch Is Ended
aired, with an absolutely amazing Valyrian scene (featuring both Astapori and High Valyrian). David J. Peterson's post
(let's call it SUZKI) transcribes nearly the whole thing, which is fortunate because even with his help I'm despairing of getting my analysis done in time. And there is plenty of helpful material in this new post.
But in the meantime, we have a less conventional development: on Monday night, I attended an IRC chat with other Game of Thrones
conlanging fans, including Najahho
, and David J. Peterson
himself. Over the course of the chat, we managed to get a few bits of new information out of Mr. Peterson, most importantly corrections to two sentences from the first episode of the season, and my first post
. I'd like to say that it's incredible how much we got wrong, except it is, in fact, totally credible.( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: geeky
|Sunday, April 21st, 2013|
|Do kotozlíva klimágho kízi
Continuing on my last post
, here is my attempt at a transcription for the “Astapori Valyrian” in Game of Thrones
, episode 303. For further explanation, see that previous post—everything in the introduction there applies here as well (including, I repeat, some very nasty words). Note that Najahho
was not generally available to help me this week... but hopefully he can post his suggestions in the comments when he has more time.
One additional source: Qilōnario Geron
(QG), David J. Peterson’s blog entry about the episode.ETA: I should have also included a video of the scene.( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: tired
|Saturday, April 13th, 2013|
|Ivetra sko vezy las kreny gimigho (or something like that)
Warning: this post is insanely nerdy. Even by my standards.
Recently the third season of Game of Thrones
started. Some of you may know that that show already features the constructed language
, or "conlang," Dothraki
, created by David J. Peterson
) out of the brief snippets that occur in the original books by George R.R. Martin (grrm
). As the show had progressed, Peterson has continued to flesh out the languages of Martin's fantasy world, and this season the job got much bigger: he had to invent not just one language, but a whole language family: Valyrian.
In the world of Game of Thrones, The Valyrian Freehold is a fallen civilization analogous to our Roman Empire. They spoke a language which, in the books, is referred to as "High Valyrian." Once the freehold was destroyed in some sort of natural (and/or magical) disaster, the language broke up into several dialects, with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility, each in the process of greadually developing into its own descendant language. In the books, I gather, these are generally called "Bastard Valyrian."
We are only on the second episode of the season. So far Valyrian has only showed up in the first episode, and it was specifically the dialect of the city of Astapor. Esploranto
(to whom I will be referring as "Najahho," the honorific Dothraki name bestowed on him by David Peterson himself
) and I have been working together on trying to decipher this constructed language. We've only just scratched the surface so far (and have surely made many mistakes)—after all, how much progress could we possibly make with just one scene's worth of dialog, and no official transcript? But I did want to make sure to post it before the next episode airs tomorrow, and renders this incomplete or obsolete.
So, obviously, don't continue reading if you're not interested in this kind of thing. Also, I should warn you that the scene contains some naughty words (in both English and Astapori), and some very
disturbing, violent, images. Continue at your own risk!( Begin transcript and analysisCollapse ) Current Mood: geeky
|Friday, September 21st, 2012|
|Monday, July 23rd, 2012|
|Conventiculum Latinum Lexintoniense anni MMXII
Salvete, diutius tacui!
Lexintoniam hodie adveni, et nunc primum ad Convivium Initiale et Aditiale convivis iam celebrantibus adveni, primum saltem multis annis.
Res hoc anno aliquanto diversae erunt, cum sessionibus post cenalibus, et his solis in Centro Gaines habitis. Sola una nocte potest Cena Romana mea solita haberi, nempe diei Mercurii. NON MVLTVM TEMPORIS. Difficile erit, sed credo me velle nihilminus.
At opus erit bene mane surgere, et iam fere 2a hora est. Tam male constituo horas meas!
Valete. Current Mood: somnolentus
|Wednesday, July 28th, 2010|
Iterum feci. Est nox ultima, et cras peractum erit Conventiculum... sed vix quicquam in ephemeride scripsi. Causa sane est Cena Romana—quae modo facta est hodie nocte, et feliciter. Fortasse in proximis annis potero, deo volente, me melius parare ne tantum tempus medio conventiculo sumat. Current Mood: fatigatus
|Saturday, July 24th, 2010|
Fessus summatim dicam. Incepimus fabulas scaenicas scribere (et fortasse aliquid inerit ex ... A!
?), Locuti sumus de imaginibus de fabulis Livii (ex quo altera fuit Rubentis pictoris), Africane pransi (pullum ex arachide, sed non satis huius leguminis infuit!), praefectus sum *iterum* gregi de textu legens sed etiam sine praeparatione non *omnino* defui, audivimus Scottium dicacissimum acroasin dantem. Denique cum Pistorio, Luciana, Racaëlaque cenam habui apud Smashburger. Isicae et tuberosolana optima erant! Horas ibi terruimus ex Satyricōn libro praelegentes. Bonum fuit quia numquam paro lectiones meas, et, hoc anno, semper praeficior gregi legentium! Ergo si iterum cras fiet, paratus ero.cŏlus -i, m.
"distaff"feretrum -i, n.
"bier"scabellebum -i, n.
"footstool", "foot-castinet" (ergo fortasse "tap-shoe"?)causor -ari -atum
"debate; give as a reason or pretext, blame"desidia -æ, f.
"slacking off" (verb desido
, adj. desidiosus
)clipeum post vulnera sumere
"to take up a shield after wounds" i. e. to close the barn door after the horse has bolted.
|Thursday, July 22nd, 2010|
Mane ad Centrum Gaines perveni, et sessioni introductoriae adfui. Sed numerus hornotinus maximus est et dificilius etiam solito fuit omnium meminisse. In brevi pausa foras exivi et quando indui saccum tergis meis, omissi eum apertum esse, et magna vi computatrum gestabili ad pavimentum latericium prostravi. VAE MIHI! Computatrum damnum accepit, sed re vera miror tantillum esse. Sed in dies videbimus num damnum crescat :/
Sessione altera imaginem descripsimus, iterum tertiam
ex Progressu Ganeonis—annis enim praeteritis saltem semper hac imagine usi sumus.
Cum Accio pransi Coreane—quomodo aliter cum Iapone, nonne?
Sessione tertia imagines Hectoris trucidati, et Patrocli funeris descripsimus, quarta dux eram. Verum ut confitear, cum mihi placeat generatim sessiones ducere, in sessionibus de textibus displicet. Textus hodiernus erat ex Horatii Sermonum libro secundo, de mure rustico mureque urbano. Hic textus tandem aliquando erit fundamentum operum scaenicorum. Id mirum esse, quia anno hesterno eodem argumento usi sunt parvuli
Nunc fessissimus cenam exspecto.
Vocabula:sūra -æ, f.
"calf (of leg)"syndon -onis, f.
genus panni quod et lectis adhibetur, et cadaveribus inhumandis, c.f. Ang. "Sheet" (sed provenitne de Æg. šnd.wt
?)gānĕa -æ, f.
(seu -um -i, n.
) inter tabernam et lupanar "dive, brothel"gănniō -īre
"bark, yelp, growl; chatter"post scriptum:
Bonum est Accium denique revidere! Sed nunc desidero tales quales sunt Stephanus Albertusque.
|♪ Est hora Con-ven-ti-cu-li! ♪
Salvete o diu non salutati Latine legentes, denique inter Conventiculum Latinum Lexintoniense denuo sum. Anno proximo Conventiculum insigne fuit, sed occupatius eram quam qui ephemerin interretialem scriberet—maximi momenti sunt haec duo: primum quod acroasin dedi, dein quod in opere scaenico grex alius me iocose repraesentabant, sed fortasse alio die conabor rem enarare. Hoc autem ipso anno spero me minus sub rerum onere opressum fore.
Usque adhuc haec sunt facta:
- Heri profectus sum, dein Diana compellata statim reversus, nam die maturius iter inceperam.
- Hodie denuo profectus sum, et hoc primo in multis anno ad cenam intoductoriam adveni.
- Rubrum tectum interrete gratis offert, tandem aliquando!
- Sed interrete nunc cum vi electrica defficit. Ut videtur transformatorium efractum est, et fortasse diu in tenebris erimus
Umbris circumdantibus, me somnolento, sessionibus cras incohaturis, opus est dormire. Valete!Commentatio vi electrica reddita proscripta
|Wednesday, June 16th, 2010|
By now you've probably heard what happened
to the "Big Butter Jesus." The idea that God strikes people down with lightning really comes more from Greco-Roman mythology than anything biblical. Still, I can't resist quoting Lucretius on this one:
tum fulmina mittat et aedis
saepe suas disturbet
|Tuesday, June 1st, 2010|
You know that pterosaur, Sordes pilosus [SIC]
? I'm thinking it's common name should be "hairy mess."
|Monday, May 31st, 2010|
"So when Treebeard tries to explain the reasons behind his ponderous demeanor, is that a case of the Ent justifying the mien?"
Current Mood: punny
|Saturday, May 22nd, 2010|
|You think you can handle Paris Troika?
uses that "Paris Troika" pun, which has not yet become a cliché (but surely will some day—it's just too natural). In the comic Paris Troika is a super-villain who has the ability to split herself into three duplicates of herself. Wonderella is not impressed, because she's easily powerful enough to beat three people. You can go read the comic to find out what happens next.
Why am I blogging this? Well, notice the alt-text (if you don't know, to see the alt-text, hover your mouse over the comic, and it should pop up): "Is it Parises or Parii"
OK, this hits on one of my pet peeves, which I have meant to blog about for ages: this weird -ii
thing. People seem to think that -ii
is the plural of just about any Latin noun. This is aggravated by the fact that English pronounces most unstressed vowels more-or-less the same, so it's easy to lump words that end in, say, -as, -es, -is, or -ys in with -us. This is jocularly extended to English words that sound vaguely Latin, like, say, Elvis
It's a joke. Yes, I get it. But to anyone who knows anything about Latin it comes across as just plain weird. There are, you see, many Latin plural suffixes (-ae
, and for neuters -a
), but only a few Latin words form their plural in -ii
. Specifically substantives of the second declension that happen to end in -ius
in the nominative singular. So it's a little weird that -ii
has come to be the emblematic Latin plural used for this joke.1
Nor am I convinced that it's always a joke. I'm pretty sure at least some people genuinely believe that things like syllabii
and (God help us) penii
are genuine Latin forms. In fact they would be the plurals of, respectively, *syllabius
. (If you're curious, the correct Latin plurals are syllabi
(with a long u), and penes
I have even on occasion seen such monstrosities as Starbucksii and Apiciusii. That latter one really threw me for a loop because the proper plural of Apicius
is in fact Apicii
. In this case, -ii
was, for once, right, so the person really had to go that extra mile to get it wrong!
So what is the "correct" Latin plural of Paris? Well, actually there's two ways to handle this:
- The city of Paris was called Lutetia in Roman times. The later name, still used today, derives from the name of the Gaulish tribe who lived in the area, the Parisii. So, even though I kvetched about the horrid Apiciusii above, one can easily make a case for Parisii.
- The personal name Paris would be Parides (three syllables, stressed on the first) in the plural.
And don't even get me started on virii
1. There are only a few Latin words used in English with a -ii plural, the most common of which is probably "radii." I assume the actual reason this suffix gets overused in English is because it is extremely common in scientific names, but as a genitive singular rather than a nominative plural. This is because -ii (implying a nominative -ius) is the preferred method to Latinize and genitivize a vernacular male name in biological Latin—few biologists nowadays know Latin, and even fewer have "official" Latin names, so this simplifies things greatly.
2. Well, syllabi inasmuch as syllabus is a Latin word at all. In Classical Latin it only exists as a ghost word, resulting from misreadings of sittybus and syllabe (in Cicero and Augustine respectively). But I think it's fair to say the word exists now, even if its origin is spurious. Cf. diaphanus's Pluralitas Latina. Current Mood: ranty
|Friday, November 6th, 2009|
Well, I'm all old again. Current Mood: awake
|Monday, July 20th, 2009|
About ten Conventicula ago:
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 18:06:09 -0700
Sender: [My email address]
From: [My email address]
Subject: [Grex Latine] Hodie Lexintoniae
Iustinus omnibus Sodalibus Lexingtonia salutem!
Ut forsitan sciatis, veni ad Conventiculum Latinum Lexingtoniense, quod iucundissimum est. Non autem possum, pro dolor, saepius ad interrete accedere.
Huardus, gregalis qui in Conventiculo erat, mihi dixit hodie esse diem annivarsarium adventus hominum in Lunam. Hanc ob rem breve scripsi carmen, quod spero vobis fore gratum.
Sic, appulsa aquila ille Niallus fortibus ulnis
in Luna faustam deposuit caligam:
"Ecce, homini gradus exiguus, cum sit cito factus
Humano saltus maximus est generi!"
appellere = navem in terram agere
Niallus = Neal
fortibus ulnis = aut epitheton aut nomen Nialli
Sunt alia notanda, sed haec praesertim...)
Esto, mihi est eundum, sed vobis mox aut Lexingtoniae aut domi (id est Madisoniae) rescribam.
PS. Aloisius et David Morgan qui quoque adsunt vos omnes salutant!
The Conventiculum is a very different place indeed, nowadays, but some things don't change.
And I've been meaning to post this poem forever.