The Mad Latinist (jdm314) wrote,
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Kesi udra dōro numāzmo issi.

Tymptir Dēmalȳti 4x03 Daenerys Targārien Merīnot māzis
In contrast to last week, there was a ton of Valyrian in this episode! I also got a lot more help than usual, with input coming in from Najahho, Zhalio, Joel W, and Papaya. Kirimvose, jemys!

First of all, let's deal with the title:

Pryjassiros Belmoti
Breaker of Chains

This is a bit tricky: we don’t know for certain if a construction of this sort should be with a genitive (belmoti "breaker of chains") or an accusative (belma "one who breaks chains"). It's entirely possible both are acceptable... we just don't know. A further complication is that genitives can either lead or follow. While a leading genitive appears to be the norm, it seems like a following genitive is common in titles and names (see here as well.) So that gives us at least three possibiliies:
  1. Pryjassiros Belmoti
  2. Belmoti Pryjassiros
  3. Belma Pryjassiros

On to the episode, we begin with Oznak zo Pahl, champion of Meereen, taunting Dany and her men:Looks like Happyplace.com got it right!
Oznak zo Pahl: Oa mysa iles me dídighi, si oa pipa tuzilés uttumistu.
Oh hey, what's that weird looking yellow color? Oh right, this is our very first example of Meereenese Valyrian (MV), a close relative of Astapori Valyrian. I will be marking that in Great Master gold.

So, what does this mean? Oa mysa iles me dídighi "Your mother was a [something]". Si oa pipa tuzilés uttumistu "And your [something] smelled [something]." Why does this sound familiar? Why am I getting this strange feeling that didighi means "hamster," and uttumistu means "elderberries"? WHY???

OK, so if this really is what I think it is, this would certainly fit the bill for the cool thing David J. Peterson told us to listen carefully for!

Some notes on the words themselves:

Pipa— it is of course in grrm's original canon that the Ghiscari word for mother, used in Slaver's Bay Valyrian, is mhysa. But we don't know the word for father. Now, the High Valyrian kepa would be expected to produce something like keba, or possibly kiba in Astapori (I dare not speculate as to the Meereenese!), so it is entirely possible that that's what Oznak is saying here. Indeed, a word like keba does seem to show up more clearly later on in his speech. But I find it odd that a language would borrow a substrate word for "mother" but not do the same for "father." Then again, it's possible both the Ghiscari words and the Valyrian words show up in Slaver's Bay Valyian, but they belong to different registers (like, say, "mom, dad" vs. "mother, father")... perhaps in addition to mysa, there is also *muni? But this is rank speculation.

Tuziles— on my first couple listens I was pretty sure this was tujiles... now I'm less sanguine. If that is correct it represents a dialectal difference from Astapori, which definitely has a /z/ there.

Uttumistu— the problem here, is that all our Astapori examples have specified an odor either with ez "of, at (etc.)" or with dos "with." I hear nothing that sounds like either of those here. Perhaps one of the dialectal differences between Astapori, Yunkish, an Meereenese is precisely in the use of adpositions. This would make a good deal of sense, given that the only thing we know about this from the books is that Astapori names contain mo, whereas most Yunkish and Meereenese names contained zo (and then there's Prendahl na Ghezn, who so far as I can tell is indistinctly "Ghiscari"—perhaps from the empire of New Ghis?). We know this is something Mr. Peterson took into account.

The rest of Oznak's oration is very difficult to make out. I hear something like:
O: P’adova(?) Gundja! Jiv(?) ?? dovodeda. Keba mirba ja bobova...
Missandei: He says we are an army of men without... man parts.
M: You claims you are no woman at all, but a man who... has his cock in his own asshole.
Unfortunately there's not much we can make out here, and any correspondence to Missandei's translation is very loose.

P’adova— meaning uncertain, but probably the same word as p’atova (see below).

Gundja of course means "ass," the only obvious correspondence to Missandei's translation.

Jiv sounds more like shif, but that's impossible. Could be j’iv. But the most likely explanation is that it's jiva "your."

Dovodeda— "ignorant."

I can't make head or tail of the rest, and I frankly gave up here. "Ignore it," I said to myself, "These are just meaningless words." I do think I hear at least one more gundja in there, though.


After this we have a brief Valyrian exchange between Dany and Torgo Nudho:
Grey Worm: Yn tebá kiza rigle, Mysa ez po Zaldrizes
Subtitle: “Allow me this honor, Mother of Dragons.”
G: Do drokozlivan oa qez
S: “I will not disappoint you.”
Yn tebá kiza rigle, Mysa ez po Zaldrizes "Give me this honor, Mother of the Dragons."

Do drokozlivan "I will not disappoint you"— With Zhalio's help, I came up with the etymology drokagho*dorhoskagon
*dor-hoskagon I think this is really quite clever. The one problem is that both Najahho and, in fact, Zhalio himself actually hear something starting with /b/. This suggests an alternate reading of do vrogozlivan "I will not fall." Either way, though, note that this is the first time we've heard an AV future in the 1s that ends in a clear /n/. This makes the whole thing make a good deal more sense.

Oa qez— This must mean "Your Majesty." Qez looks like a Ghiscari word. It's worth mentioning, though, that Najahho and Zhalio both hear something grezy, which, I suppose, sounds even more Ghiscari. Furthermore, Zhalio proposes that oa grezy actually means "your trust," or the like, and the verb means "betray, let down" ("I will not betray your trust.")

Daenerys: Dovaogēdys jentys e(?) iksia(?) ...
S: “You are the commander of the Unsullied.”
D: ... avy jilinkagon koston daor.
S: “I cannot risk you.”
Dovaogēdys jentys e(?) iksia(?)Dovaogēdys jentys "the Unsullied leader," not, as the subtitles might imply, "the leader of the Unsullied," which would be Dovaogēdoti or Dovaogēdyro jentys. I can't explain the e, perhaps it's just a mistake. Iksia... now that's interesting. What we expect is iksā... iksia is the aorist. It's not hard to come up with a reason why Dany would chose to use the aorist here, except for the fact that the aorist of sagon is supposed to be very rare and, well, recherché. So if this indeed an intentional aorist, it surely must be very marked.

Avy jilinkagon koston daor "I cannot risk you"— Only new word here is "risk." At normal speed I only hear three syllables, something like jinkagon, but when the sound is played at low speed it sounds more like jilinkagon. Looks like some sort of applicative.


Next Oznak prepares for his duel with Daario. When he is ready, he says to his squire something that sounds like:
O: Va p’atova!
Va p'atova— "To the atovos," whatever they are. I originally heard vatova and Zhalio heard twatova, but if it begins with the plural definite article po, it makes a lot more sense.


After the duel we have an extended speech by Daenerys.
D: Daenerys Jelmāzmo iksan.
S: “I am Daenerys Stormborn.”
Nothing new or difficult here, actually.

D: Kostrĕvis Jevi āeksia inovipetra(?) jemo(t) vestretis,
S: “Your Masters may have told you lies about me,”
D: iā daoryn jemo(t) vestretis.
S: “or they may have told you nothing.”
Kostrevis Jevi āeksia inovipetra jemot vestretis "Your masters may have told you lies about me." Kostrevis— I take this to be some sort of adverb meaning "perhaps," formed from kostagon, possibly from some sort of word like *kostarves "possibility." Jevi āeksia "your masters." Jemot vestretis "have told you"— I don't hear the /t/ in jemot, but presumably it should be there. Inovipetra "lies"— Papaya points out that this word is likely a nominalized perfect participle from some verb like *inovipegon. That is: inovipegon "to lie (to)" → inovipeta "having lied" → inovipetir "lie" → inovipetra "lies."

iā daoryn jemo(t) vestretis "Or they have told you nothing."— The /n/ in daoryn is pretty indistinct; I only hear it at low speed. Other than that (and the /t/), this is pretty clear.

D: Daoryn ajemaks.
S: “It does not matter.”
D: Mērī jemī ivestra(n).
S: “I speak only to you.”
D: Dōri(ar) ūdra ponto syt eman.
S: “I have nothing to say to them.”
Daoryn ajemaks "It does not matter"— The literal meaning seems to be "Nothing is led."

Mērī jemī ivestran. "I am speaking only to you" (No comment needed.)

Dōriar ūdra ponto syt eman. "I have no words for them." (No comment needed.)

D: Ēlī Astaprot istan.
S: “First, I went to Astapor.”
D: Astaprot dohĕdrossa,
S: “Those who were slaves in Astapor,”
D: sīr yno inkot iōrzi,
S: “now stand behind me,”
D: dāeri.
S: “free.”
Ēlī Astaprot istan "First I went to Astapor"— Note the use of the dative for motion towards. We've seen this before in HV, e.g. in aōt māzili "we will come to you" from Talisa's letter. This lines up with the English use of "to" in both cases, but it's not, as a rule, permissible in Latin (HV is not Latin, but of course that's always my comparand.)

Astaprot dohĕdrossa "Those who were slaves in Astapor"— Dohedrossa "those who were slaves" is quite mysterious. It seems to point to a citation form dohedros, which looks suspiciously like dohaeriros, but is different enough to make a direct connection unlikely within HV. My first thought was that it was a nominalized perfect participle of dohaeragon (which would fit the meaning perfectly)... the problem is that should give dohaerti, which is definitely not what she's saying. Zhalio suggests it's a Low Vayrian word borrowed back into HV, I guess that's possible. Think something like this:
  1. HVdohaerty "one who has served", pl. dohaerti "slaves."
  2. Slavers Bay Valyrian *dohedro, *dohedros "(former) slave(s)," with some anomalous phonological and morphological changes.
  3. This in turn is reborrowed into HV as dohedros, dohedrossa "(former) slave(s)"
Step two requires some anomalies, but Zhalio points out that it could have even been *dohaertos already in HV, by contamination from / analogy to dohaeriros "slave." Alternately it could come from dohaeriros itself, if, say, in the course of becoming Low Valyrian the unstressed /i/ drops, and the first /r/ dissimilates into a /d/. In any case, any of these explanations would represent a novel phenomenon for us, but they're certainly possible, and better than anything else we've been able to come up with.

sīr yno inkot iōrzi, dāeri "...now stand behind me"— inkot is new, but totally predictable, being the locative of inkon "back."

D: Hempār(?) Yunkaihot istan.
S: “Next I went to Yunkai.”
D: Yunkaihī dohedrossa,
S: “Those who were slaves in Yunkai,”
D: sīr yno inkot iōrzi
S: “now stand behind me,”
D: dāeri.
S: “free.”
I take hempār to be contain the same element as sepār "and (then)." The first element may be identical to hen "from." The rest of this section is the same, mutatis mutandis as the previous one.

D: Sesīr Merīnot mastan.
S: “Now I have come to Meereen.”
Nothing new here, except for the HV form of the name "Meereen."

D: Jevy(s) qrinuntys ikson daor.
S: “I am not your enemy.”
D: Jevy(s) qrinuntys jemo paktot issa.
S: “Your enemy is beside you.”
The word for "enemy" is new. Unfortunately it is very difficult to make out: for the life of me I hear qoenuntys, which doesn't make a lot of sense, phonologically. Fortunately, Papaya pointed out that this could actually be qrinuntys (that is, what I'm hearing as [qøe̯] is actually something more like [qʀ̞ɪ]—with Ms. Clarke assimilating the /r/ to the uvular /q/). Now suddenly this makes sense! The word begins with qrin-, and ends with -tys... a possible candidate for the middle is ūñagon "to count," if, perhaps, "to miscount" is an idiom meaning "to curse" or the like (as is qrimbrōzagon "to misname")—there was certainly an association between counting and cursing in the ancient Mediterranean. Zhalio, however, disagrees:
Zhalio: Hmmm, I'm not sure Dany would mispronounce /r/ that way. She's never used [R] before.
Zhalio: And there's plenty of words with negative associations that start with q-.
Zhalio: My money is on qenuntys.
Zhalio: Qenunagon, to oppose...?
Zhalio: Or qenugon...?

(He watches the scene again to verify Dany's pronunciation)
Zhalio: I hear [qeinuntis]
Zhalio: So it could be qēnuntys.
I still prefer Papaya's theory, but usually when I disagree with Zhalio he turns out to be right, so make of that what you will.

It is also a bit odd, that she seems to say jevy and not jevys, and continues to do so throughout the speech. This may be a sign that we have something wrong, or it could of course be actor error.

Paktot "beside" is particularly interesting, because it literally means "to the right." Perhaps *paktos/pakton (or whatever) means both "right side" and just "side"—this certainly seems like it fits the mentality of HV.

D: Jevy(s) qrinuntys jemo riña(ri) laodisi se ossēnis.
S: “Your enemy steals and murders your children.”
D: Jevy(s) qrinuntys jemo syt mērī belma se botaria,
S: “Your enemy has nothing for you but chains and suffering,”
D: se udrāzmī ēza.
S: “and commands.”
Jevys qrinuntys jemo riñari laodisi se ossēnis "Your enemy steals and kills your children"—Jemo riñari coulld be, I suppose jemo riñi, but it frankly sounds like riña. The use of the genitive instead of the possessive is interesting, almost as if she said "the children of you" instead of "your children." Perhaps it's just idiomatic with this word.

Laodisi and ossēnis appear to be present tense. Arguably, an aorist might make more sense here ("are stealing and killing" vs. "steal and kill"), but I'm reasonably certain she says laodisi se ossēnis, not laodissi se ossēnisi.
ETA: As Papaya points out qrinuntys is gramamtically singular (duh!), so in fact what she's saying is:
Jevy(s) qrinuntys jemo riña(ri) laodissis se ossēnis.
Udrāzmī "commands"— clearly udir "word" + -āzma. This makes a lot of sense for HV.

botaria "sufferings"— it actually sounds more like boteri, but that's harder to explain morphologically.

D: Udrāzmī maghon daor.
S: “I do not bring you commands.”
D: Iderennon maghan.
S: “I bring you a choice.”
The (much needed) word for "to bring" appears to be maghagon, though Ms. Clarke seems to consistently pronounce the indicative maghan and the subjunctive maghon (I have corrected this in my transcription) exactly the reverse of what we would expect. Surely this is actor error? I mean, it's always possible that I'm just hearing wrong, but that seems unlikely in this particular case.

D: see below
S: “And I bring your enemies what they deserve.”
This line is particularly difficult to decipher. Let me show you three different first readings:
  1. Mine: "Jevy qoelontito borjo buzdari maghan (?!)" (Marked with this illuminating comment: "Iiiiiii have no idea.")
  2. Joel W's: "Jevo koinon tito porgho gurutaori maghan" (marked "especially uncertain")
  3. Zhalio's: "Jevy qelontito porjo vun taori maghon."
Based on Joel's reading, I listened again and decided it WAS possible that was an /n/, then started to wonder if it might be a mistake for qrinuntoti (with the /i/ and /o/ reversed), although if that's the case, we would expect jevo here (and, pace Joel, I don't hear an /o/). Zhalio then pointed out that porjo could easily be pojo "their." And I realized that his and Joel's -aori could easily be a mistake for -ario.
Dany brings the Masters their just desserts.
So perhaps what we have here is something like Jevo qrinuntoti pojon gustarion maghan "I bring your enemies their just deserts."

If you can improve this, please do comment below!

D: Naejot!
S: “Forward!”

D: Nemēbātās!
S: “Fire!”
Well, Naejot "Forward!"— as expected, that was directed at her soldiers, not the people of Meereen.

Nemēbātās "Fire!"— I unerstandibly took this at first to be memēbātās "march!" (the very first sentence of Valyrian we hear Dany speak is, after all, Dovaogēdys, naejot memēbatas!) I assumed there had been a change of script they didn't have time to have Mr. Peterson correct for. But everyone else assured me this was an n-, and I was eventually convinced. This was then confirmed by DJP. So apparently memēbagon means "march," and nemēbagon means "fire" and never the twain shall meet. I don't object to having two words of different meaning be so similar—that happens all the time! But I do think it's a bit unrealistic for a military command: in the heat of battle, clarity is always at a premium, and so commands tend to be phrased for maximum distinctiveness. Think, for instance, of how the American military pronounces "9" as "niner," lest it be confused with "five." Nemēbātās and memēbātās are far, far closer than "nine" and "five!" Since these are both -v̄bagon verbs, it would be really interesting to know what the original meanings of *memagon and *nemagon are.

Well, once again I've been working on this right up to airtime for the next episode, so for better or for worse, I must put this entry to bed. See you next week!
Tags: astapori valyrian, conlangs, david j. peterson, game of thrones, high valyrian, linguistics, meereenese valyrian, valyrian
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