Conlang Descriptions English Language

Section IV: True-Verbs

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 IV: True-Verbs

This section of “Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred” begins to delve into the heart of the grammatical system of the draconic language: true-verbs. Although in Srínawésin all words are inherently “verbs,” this section explains the difference between the common “verb” and the “true-verb”, i.e. a true-verb is one which can have a direct object, requires an aspect marker and other features which make it closer to what a human would consider a “verb.” Section IV goes over the possibly unique approach to ergativity in Srínawésin; the morphology of true-verbs, both intransitive, reflexive and the two main types of transitive; aspect and tense systems; an introduction to the class structure used by dragons to describe their environment; the draconic person and number structures as well as command and optative forms commonly used in everyday speech. This section contains most of the essential concepts inherent to any draconic communication and all further grammatical concepts are based on the rules underlying true-verbs.

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