Posted by Mark Rosenfelder on 1:30 12/5/01

In reply to: Questions posted by Philip Newton on 11:01 12/5/01

(quotations from Philip are in italics... sorry, too much work to use blockquote. :)

1. How are streets named in Verdurian?

Prosia Hovard, prosia Iloshora, prosúlia Anguia, etc., with the name in the nominative; note also lagana Rafát, desi Zhevuran. This is the same pattern as Sherë Corona in the grammar; I took it from French (Assurance "Mondass"; Lycée Rodin).

Bolyáshe is really a typo; it's due to the fact that the word for 'street' was once stolen directly from Russian-- prospekt.

As for the genitives, they're simply an alternative, just as in French you can have Rue Monge or Rue des Écoles.

2. How does Verdurian handle the case of possession where the possessors are many and they each possess one thing?

Don't take this as a reprimand, but for questions like this it's often wise to consult the Verdurian version of the Zeir story. I check it myself, after the grammar and the dictionary, since I hate to answer a question and then find that I've considered the same situation elsewhere and chosen differently!

Anyway, there's a nice example there, which follows the English:

Otrî dhunî voyakî ya izvlazhnu belacem zië.
The other two mercenaries had drawn their swords.

3. Is it correct to use the accusative in zet duisre hipco soa scafa "He headed down the dock"? Heading somewhere involved for me more turning in place rather than motion anywhere, but it does kind of imply motion.

It depends on the intent, I think. Normally duisir, like "head (for)", does imply motion-- we'd take the sentence as meaning that Durm did in fact walk, not just orient himself-- so your rendering is correct. But if we were just focussing on direction, I think the dative would be correct: Duisum nanán, we're headed north.

4. Is it correct to translate (the) hundreds of xxx as (soî) shatemî xxxei? That is, can shatem be treated like a noun, forming a regular plural?

Yes, that's fine.

5. What verb tenses are used with fayir when the necessity is not in the present but, for example, in the past (as in this story)?

I'd write fayre dy matune, since both verbs refer to the same past time. (Verdurian, unlike Greek or Esperanto, doesn't use 'relative' tenses in indirect speech or subordinate clauses: Mizhe dy läzne Deshtain, he said he was going to Deshtai.

Actually, a construction such ilun fayre matuan dhun sokolië would also have made sense to me...

I like the dative constructions, which also match the causative (Ilun shesne matuan dhun sokolië, something made him capture a pair of falcons). Think of it as an optional transformation: Faye dy (X-nom V-finite O) --> Faye X-dat V-infinitive O.

6. How to express 'you have to capture them wild'? I chose faye dy tu cam matue dharimi, using the adjective in the appropriate form (masculine accusative plural) after the verb.

Dharimi is correct. Reminds me of a pet peeve of mine: pedants who insist on writing "I feel badly", as if only 'to be' is allowed to have an adjective complement.

7. How is isu used?

a. Does it conjugate? Or does it simply take a noun in the appropriate case and number after it? For example, would Do we have enough bread? be Tenom isu lon? and Do we have enough flowers? be Tenom isu zhortem?

Yes. An example from the dictionary: Cha, e isu mushî shuchî. Man, that's a lot of pigs.

Though on reflection, for your examples, I'd use the partitive, as in French: Tenom isu yonei? Tenom isu zhortië?

b. What about with adjectives? I guessed it's the second -- isu zol.

That's correct.

c. And what about the construction enough to xxx? Is that formed with dy + indicative?

From the Zeir story:

Fue rhomuán isu irzovec soa takna. It was nonetheless enough to win the battle.

But I don't think your formulation is wrong-- just a bit wordy. ("It was strong enough that it could carry his weight" is correct in English too, but can be pared down.)

8. What construction is used with tro? For example, how would you translate This box is too heavy to lift?

From the Grammar:

Pirodonul lië eshele tro pidhë ab kion zet alir.
His inheritance was too small to get by on.

Based on this, I'm going to say we should use a preposition, as in French. The best preposition would be and; thus: Ci-cista e tro seshuë and sevan.

9. Is it correct to translate they were useless to him as ilun fueu agbütî -- that is, with the dative?

Yes. (Hmm, does it help you or confuse you to natively speak a language that also has a dative case?)

10. Do eto and tot have a plural? ... I really wanted a plural pronoun here to refer to "those" falcons. But kio also doesn't have a plural, which also feels weird to me, so I suppose that's just the way it is with inanimate objects. Is the translation of those as tot here correct?

Yes. I understand the feeling of oddness; but just think of a Spanish speaker, used to quien and quienes, who has to make do with English "who"!

11. Finally, a question that's not connected to the translation but which came to me: how does Verdurian form negative commands? ... If Verdurian does it like French, then I would expect something like Rho velenei uverä esë!

Right, it's just rho, as you have it here.

And what about the abbreviated form, often used for example by mothers to tell their children to stop doing whatever they're at?

Hmm, how do you do this in French? Just Non?

For Verdurian, I'm going to suggest Deshi! 'Stop!' The need for something quick, and the frequent use with young children will, I think, override the usual reasons for avoiding the classical imperative.

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