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Cyrus
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« le: 09 Février 2005, 11:18:49 »

Khuzdûl : a descriptive grammar.
By Aloun Banthrongsakd
© Chroniques de Chant-de-Fer
 

SUMMARY :

I. Introduction
II. The root
III. The noun
IV. The adjective
V. The verb
VI. The pronoun
VII. The prepositions
VIII. The sentence




I. Introduction.

Nowadays, we know about 6,000 human tongues. Most of linguists are agree about the existence of great linguistic families (from 20 to 200 ). The french language is classed in the indo-european branch of languages, like the italian, the german or the sanskrit. They would have a common base, a parent language, called the indo-european (often abbreviated i-e). Certain linguists, like Emile Benveniste, tried to reconstruct it by using methods of the comparative grammar, for there is no written records of this tongue. This reconstruct state is called proto-i-e. It would be an inflexional - a morphological process which consists in adding endings to the root which expresses word classes ; there is two types of inflexion : the nominal inflexion, or declension, and the verbal inflexion or conjugation -  and an agglutinative tongue – addition of affixes to the root to change the meaning of the word. Suffixes define the nature of the word, endings define its function. The indo-european root is constituted by the following  sequence : consonant + vowel + consonant. For example, the root *MEM has given « mémoire » in french, and « memory » in english, etc…

Another great family, the chamito-semitic – sometimes called afro-asiatic – is subdivised in five major branchs : semitic (hebrew, arabic, aramean, akkadian…), chamitic (berber), egyptian (old egyptian, copt), tchadian and couchitic. Unlike the indo-european tongues, the semitic languages have few common points between each other. The major one is the consonant root : each word is derived from a root (as in i-e), exclusively formed by consonants (three, in most of the cases). They are particular inflexional tongues, because they don’t have « real » endings but undergo interns inflexions. They are also agglutinatives (with suffixes like ma- or mu-). For example, in arabic, from the root K-T-B which expresses the idea of writing, we could obtain « kataba » (he wrote), « kitâb » (book), « kutub » (books), « kâtib » (writer), « maktub » (writing, letter), « mukâtaba » (correspondence),…etc. Consonants are the essence of the word, vowels are its nuances.

Tolkien thought of his dwarves very close to the Hebrew. Khuzdûl was thus created on a semitic scheme :
- tri-consonnants roots : from KH-Z-D, which expresses the idea of dwarve, we obtain « *khuzd » (dwarve), « khazâd » (dwarves), « Khuzdûl » (the dwarves’ tongue) and « khizdîn » (the land of petty-dwarves ) ;
- internal inflexions : singular 1u23 and plural 1a2â3 (consonants are replaced by number to highlight vowels and and the placement of consonants) ;
- affixes : -ul which is a mark of relationship or membership, -a(r)- which express the royalty, …etc.

II. The root

As the Khuzdûl is based on the semitic tongues, we can deduce that its roots are mainly tri-consonantic (e.g. KH-Z-D). But, when we take a look at the list of roots, we could see that there is also roots with two consonants (Z-N).

Roots can be divided in two classes : « strong » roots and « weak » roots. The « weak » are those which contain one or several semi-consonants (w and y) ; we know only five, which express the idea of water : (W)-L, (W)-N, N-(W)-D, N-(W)-L and N-(W)-L-K. Semi-consonants are in parenthesis because they are not really part of the root ; they are here just to make the vowel longer (which is then mark with a circumflex accent). Hence, (W)-L gives ûl and not *ul.

There is an assumption according to which the tri-consonantic roots are derived from primary roots (with only two consonants). These latter would give a global meaning and the derivatives a more precise meaning. We have some examples that would illustrate this supposition, but the corpus is too limited to confirm that :
- the primary root *B-D would have given B-N-D, « bund » (head) and Z-B-D, « uzbad » (lord). From this, we could deduce that *B-D expresses the idea of leader or head ;
- in B-R-K, « baruk » (weapon of, axe of), and in B-R-Z, « baraz » (red), we find the idea of blood, « murder » would have come from an eventual root *B-R ;
- B-Z-N, « buzun » (black, shadow), could be derived from Z-N, « azan » (the colour black);
- G-M-L, « gamil » (old), would seem to be derived from the sacred root M-H-L, « Mahal » (the Great Authority) ;
- once again, we can note that all the common nouns having a relationship with water possess the semi-vowel W : (W)-L, « ûl » (river, lower part of a stream) and (W)-N, « ân » (river, the stream in its totality). A tri-consonantic root have also this semi-vowel : N-(W)-D, « nâd » (river, spring). We find again the root (W)-L in N-(W)-L, « nâla » (river, upper part of a stream), which in its turn gives the root N-(W)-L-K, nûluk (at the edge of the water) ;
- there is probably a primary root *L-K which would express the idea of creation, building : F-L-K, « felak » (to cut, cutting rocks with a felak) and « felek » (to dig the rock) ; see also T-L-K, « telek » (to forge, to build).

III. The noun

1) Number and gender :
Like in french, a Khuzdûl noun can be singular or plural. But there is a possibilty that nouns could assume a dual form (a plural form indicating a pair of units, e.g. eyes) like in hebrew, but there is no written evidence of this.
The only words clearly attested under the two gender forms are « rukhs » (orc) and « rakhâs » (orcs). The latter under the form 1a2â3. From these examples , we can deduce the singular form of « khazâd » (dwarves), « *khuzd », of « tarâg » (beards), « *turg », of « mazâr » (archives), « *muzr », of « zaghâl » (the Seven Houses), « *zughl », and from  « bund » (head) we can deduce « *banâd ».
But the singular form of the nouns is not always 1u23 and the plural form not always 1a2â3. Here are some other plural forms that we can find : « aglâ » (words), « shatûr » (clouds), « dûm » (houses), « ûl » (rivers) and « shmêk » (gestures). One could see that these words have a circumflex accent upon their last vowel. It could be the plural mark, but there is no examples enough to make it a definite rule.

Moreover, we definitely don’t know if there is a masculine gender, a feminine or even a neutral gender, for we have no example to indicate it. However, we could suppose that there is only a masculine and a feminine gender, as it is the case in hebrew.

2) The construct state :
The construct state – or compound – is opposed to the noun formation – or derivation -.It ‘s a form with no real equivalent in french. It’s a matter of connecting two words by a dash  or by assimilation. The first word precising or qualifying the second. For example, « kheled-zâram » (the mirror-lake) : « kheled » (mirror) and « zâram » (lake). Here, the words are connecting by a dash but also could be assimilated : « Nulukhizdîn » (land of Petty-Dwarves) is composed by « nuluk » + « khizdîn » > « nulukhizdîn ». The two consonants K are assimilated. But it’s not always the case : « khazâd » + « dûm » > « khazaddûm ». The construct state can also be formed by three different words : « azan » + « ûl » + « bizar » > « Azanulbizar » (The deep-shadowed valley of the Dimrill Dale).

The construct state can expresse several nuances :
- membership : « Khazaddûm » (the Houses of the Dwarves) and « Azanulbizar » (The deep-shadowed valley of the Dimrill Dale) ;
- qualification : « Azanûl » (Dimrill Dale), « Buzundush » (Black Root), …etc. ;
- compound : « iglishmêk » (lit. gestures of word or sign language).

3) Nouns formation :
The formation of nouns –or derivation- is based upon agglutination. To each root, affixes (prefixes, infixes and suffixes) can be added, which will change the meaning of the noun :
-ul (also written -ûl), suffix : it can be the mark either of a genitive form of a noun or a mark of membership : X son of Y. Thus, there is two uses, although the meaning is roughly the same. Indeed, in french « génitif » and « géniteur » have the same root, hence a close meaning. We can notice that it is used only with « lone » words (i.e. neither attached nor relied by a dash). We find it in « Fundinul » (son of Fundin), « Mazarbul » (of archives) and « Khuzdûl » (of Dwarves) ;
-b, suffix : it expresses a collective meaning, the entirety : all, every. The french suffix –age have a similar meaning. We find it in « aglâb » (lit. all the words or language) and in « mazarbul » (lit. of all the archives or of the filing );
-h-, infix : it indicates the greatness. We find it in « Mahal » (the Great Authority, the Great Ancient), in «Sharbhund » (the Great Bald Hill), in « Tumunzahar » (the Great Hollow Cave), and in « Azaghâl » (the King of the Great Mountains) ;
-a(r)-, prefix and suffix : it is used in the proper nouns to design the kingship, the superiority. We can compare it to the prefix Ar- « king » in adûnaic, as in Ar-Pharazôn (the King Pharazôn). We find it in « Azaghâl » (the King of the Great Mountains) and in « Telkar » (the Master Smith).

4) The morpheme -u- :
The morpheme -u- is very special. It is made by mixing the construct state and the derivation. It is a prefix, a suffix and an infix. But its meaning differs according to its place in the word :
- when it is used as a prefix, it marks composition. It changes a noun into an adjective. It follows the form [u + complement] + noun > adjective + noun. Here are the two examples we have : « u » + « dush » + « inbar » > « u » + root + « horn » > « Udushinbar » > « the Rooted Horn ». The second one : « u » + « ruk » + « tharbun » > « u » + « swamp » + « crossroads » > « Uruktharbun » > « the Swampy Crossroads » ;
- when it is used as an infix, it marks the location. It follows the form noun + u + complement ; Here are the only two examples : « bund » + « -u » + « shatûr » > « head » + « -u » + « clouds » > « Bundushatûr » > « the Head in the Clouds ». The second one : « gund » + « -u » + « banâd » > « cave » + « -u » + « heads » > « Gundubanâd » > « the Cave among the Caves (capital) » ;
- when it is used as a suffix, it marks the qualification (work) or the property. It follows the form noun + complement + -u. Here are two examples : « felak » + « gund » + « -u » > « sculptor » + « cavern » + « -u » > « Felakgundu » > « the cave Sculptor ». The second one : « uzbad » + « khazaddûm » + « -u » > « lord » + « Dwarves-mansions » + « -u » > « Uzbad-khazaddûmu » > « the Lord of Dwarves-mansions ».

IV. The adjective

1) Number and gender :
In french, adjectives have to agree in gender and in number with the noun it qualifies ; moreover, it is placed after the noun. But in khuzdûl they seems to follow the english rule : they don’t have to agree with the noun and are placed before it. Here are some examples : « Sigin-tarâg » (the Longbeards), « Azanûl » (Dimrill Dale), « Barazimbar » (the Red Horn), « Buzundush » (the Black Root), « Gabilân » (the Great River), « Gabilgathol » (the Great Fortress), « Gamil Zirak » (Old Silver), « Kibil-nâla » (the Icy or Silvery River), « Narag-zâram » (the Black Pond), …etc.

2) The nominal conversion :
The nominal conversion is the tranformation of an adjective into a noun. It is marked by adding the suffix –ûn. Here are the only four examples :
- « tharik » + « -ûn » > « helping » + « -ûn » > « tharkûn » > « which/who is an help» > « a support, an aid » ;
- « narag » + « -ûn » > « black » + « -ûn » > « nargûn » > « which/who is black » > « the black territory, the Mordor » ;
- « khizîd » + « -ûn » > « Petty-dwarves » + « -ûn » > « Khizidûn » > « Khizdîn » (contraction) > « which/who is petty-dwarvish » > « land of Petty-dwarves » ;
- « uruk » + « tharab » + « -ûn » > « swampy » + « crossed » + « -ûn » > « *Uruktharbûn » > « Uruktharbun » (disappearance of the long vowel) > « which is crossed and swampy » > « Swampy Crossroads ».

V. The verb

We know only three verbs directly from the corpus and one by reconstruction from « *Telkar » : « felek » (to dig the rock, to excavate), « felak » (to cut, cutting rocks with a felak), « gunud » (to dig, to search) and « *telek » (to forge, to build).
In the sentence « Khazâd ai-mênu » (Dwarves are upon you), we can see that the verb « to be » is missing. It is frequently the case in the semitic languages.
These verbs are all given in their primary form, none are conjugated, for we don’t know the times of the khuzdûl.

VI. The pronoun

We know only one : « mênu » (you). Tolkien said that this pronoun is in an accusative form. Hence, we can deduce that the suffix –u is the mark of accusative. Thus, its nominal form would be « *mên ».
We should notice the strong similarity whith the adûnaic pronoun « nênud » (upon us)

VII. The prepositions.

The only known preposition is « aya » (on, by). It possesses a contracted form « ai ». We find it in « ai-mênu » (upon you) and in « ai-oi » (this way !). Once again, we could see the ressemblance with the adûnaic « yada ».

VIII. The sentence

The only sentence clearly attested is « Baruk khazâd ! Khazâd ai-mênu ! » (The Axes of Dwarves ! Dwarves are upon you !).
In the first part we find a genitive relation. It expresses the relation « X from Y ». The morpheme –u would be inserted in the noun, which would mark the genitive.
The second part is not really a verbal sentence but rather a nominal one. The form « XY » = « X is Y » is very common in tongues  like arab or russian, and it is not viewed as a verbal form.
From this single sentence we can deduce the word order : subject group, verbs and complements. The order is the same as in hebrew. But, like in french, the order can change according to the author’s style and the meaning that he wants to express : in this case, the most accentuated part will precede the less accentuated.


(Pffou, pénible celui-là.)
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i]C'est parce que la vitesse de la lumière est plus rapide que celle du son, que bien des gens paraissent brillants avant de passer pour des c....[/i]
Anglin
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« Répondre #1 le: 09 Février 2005, 15:38:17 »

Citation de: "Cyrus"
(Pffou, pénible celui-là.)

No doubt about this, but thanks a lot, It will no doubt (here too) serve us for the future of the CCF website.... :wink:
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Stéphane Grignon <Anglin>
Webmestre et Administrateur du Forum des Chroniques de Chant de Fer
Je suis avec le Comité de lutte contre le langage sms et les fautes volontaires
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« Répondre #2 le: 09 Février 2005, 16:47:35 »

Citation de: "Anglin"
It will no doubt (here too) serve us for the future of the CCF website....

It's with this idea in mind that I translate page after page after page after page.... (based upon the corrected work of Gumbadan and Durin)
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i]C'est parce que la vitesse de la lumière est plus rapide que celle du son, que bien des gens paraissent brillants avant de passer pour des c....[/i]
Diggin
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« Répondre #3 le: 09 Février 2005, 21:19:30 »

:shock:  You ore crayzi...
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loun B. <Diggin>
Si t'es un nain, tu peux faire ton bonzaï généalogique (Pierre Legaré)
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« Répondre #4 le: 10 Février 2005, 08:44:40 »

Citation de: "Diggin"
:shock:  You ore crayzi...

...but I like it !  :blah:

Useless though it may seem for now, at least the work is done once and for all.

P.S. and what about our english-speaking friends, mmh ? :wink:
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i]C'est parce que la vitesse de la lumière est plus rapide que celle du son, que bien des gens paraissent brillants avant de passer pour des c....[/i]
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