Section VII: Sentence Structure and Speech Patterns

Madeline Palmer was born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1980 and lived there for most of her life until moving to Washington State, eventually attending the University of Washington, Seattle, earning a double-major degree in linguistics and anthropology. She then attended the New York University as a graduate student in linguistics, focusing primarily upon Celtic languages, a field which has long interested her. The idea for Srínawésin came to her about twenty years ago when she read a novel and began to wonder why dragons never spoke in their language in any story, legend or tale she had read. This thought led to thinking about what their language would sound like and this simple question spawned a lifelong interest in language in general and specifically how a draconic language would sound and function. This paper is the accumulation of all of that work.

Book Abstract

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred: A Grammar and Lexicon of the Northern Latitudinal Dialect of the Dragon Tongue
This series of papers sets out to describe and detail Srínawésin, the language spoken by dragons. As part of the paper’s fictional background it is adapted from original notes written by Howard T. Davis, a linguistics student at the University of New York from 1932 to 1937, the author attempts to present this language in a readable form for linguists as well as laypeople to give Mr. Davis’ work as wide an audience as possible. Section I includes an overview of the draconic worldview, mindset, and physical characteristics which give this language several “unique” features. In Sections II through VII the author explains the phonetic sounds which comprise the language, the morphology of the words, the ways in which verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs and possessives are created as well as how sentences are constructed in grammatical form according to Davis’ notes. Section VIII includes several dialogues in Srínawésin, songs, legends, poems and discussions between Davis and his sources while Sections IX and X comprise an extensive lexicon, breaking down how words are derived from the original root forms, as well as a thesaurus of root forms according to their class structure.

Section Abstract

Section VII: Sentence Structure and Speech Patterns
All of the previous sections detailing Srínawésin have involved the way in which the language functioned grammatically, how it was pronounced, how verbs, nouns and adjectives were constructed and how they were modified. This section details not how Srínawésin functions but how it is used in everyday life by its draconic speakers. It includes word ordering, the use of evidential sentence enclitics, disjunctive and conjunctive usages, clauses, question words and speech patterns. It also explains more esoteric concepts such as three-dimensional directions and navigation inherent to a species which can fly, lunar and seasonal names, the various constellations and skywatching terms, poetic and lyrical forms and sensibilities, curses, figures of speech, insults, and various forms of non-verbal communicative strategies used by dragons in their everyday lives. This section ties together all the other more grammatically-based sections and all eight sections give a complete picture of how dragons speak, think, act and use their unique language.

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