In the Shadow of Elvish – The Black Speech and Orcish

Ash Zhâbur Durbatulûk – One Speech to rule them all

Category: text

Stars are shining on our meetings

Here is the Quenya greeting Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo “A star shines on the hour of our meeting” in different dialects. Notice the similarities between Zhâbuir A and Svartiska on the one hand and Zhâburi and Angband Orcish on the other. The main difference between Zhâburi A and B is that A is based on Svartiska and B is based on Angband Orcish (which in turn has developed from Primitive Elvish). Note that the word for shine “drau-” is used in Zhâburi A, Svartiska and Land of Shadow. The Svartiska word shrakhum “meeting” is from the Rukh Nulûrz dialect. (20.05.15) I have added the sentence in the Rukh Nulûrz dialect. It is of course very similar to the Land of Shadow variant.

Zhâburi B
Zhân shilugar zhûm-ishi banar-bak’khu

Angband Orkiska
Zhán shila zhúm-shi banar-ghu dimba.

Zhâburi A
Kâlt draut îlishi banarbagûb

Ash ûlûrag drauat za-ilûsh gurobi shrakhumob

Land of Shadow
Ilz drauat sib-shi traf-ob izubu

Rukh Nulûrz
Ilz draugat sib-shi shrakhum’ob izubu







Changing the tense suffixes

When writing the Gilgamish (see last post) I started to realize that there are really alot of fricative sounds. That’s not surprising given that the language has a lot of them. But I’m thinking of ways to reduce them. One way is to limit fricatives in grammatical affixes. The tenses has two fricatives, past tense -sh and future tense -z (present tense is -g).

I am also thinking that it could be nice to align Zhâburi to either Svartiska or LoS. So now think I will change the future tense -z to -b which corresponds to both Svartiska and LoS -ub (that would be the intransitive future in Zhâburi) and let the -z suffix mark past tense corresponding to LoS past tense -uz. I could use the Svartiska ending -(u)l but that would coincide whith the third person marker -ul.

That would give us:

past tense: -sh > -z
present tense: -g (no change)
future tense: -z > -b

Or maybe I just change the future tense to -b. I kind of like the past tense -sh.

Here are the published Gilgamish lines with -z as past tense suffix

  1. Lubashi-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganazanûk
  2. Guzhubadazanûk, ishazanûk
    Gilgamish-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganazanûk
    Guzhubadazanûk, ishazanûk
  3. Fushazanûk ruk kând Bârad-khu
  4. Khutazanûk gûludûk shû-khu
  5. Ganazan dhûri, badzazan buzhi
  6. Ruzhazan zhabazhi zhûsh-ikhu shub-ishibû bâradbâ-iza

Star Trek – to boldly go…

In the Facebook-group ConLang there was a request of a translation in one’s conlang of the Star Trek theme:

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission – to explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life, and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before!

Here is the sentence i Zhâburi:

Zhâtur. Bit dâki. Tak bînuri îlbalag-iba Intirprâz. Sûb vraudugar durak – fushatar mâgh narg, rau abak; gimbatar rau gazh agh rau gazhâb; gan batutar potza azgon batushikh! 

It was an interesting challenge because I had to invent most of the words. I have tired to use words from genuine Tolkien-languages instead of words from Svartiska or LoS.

Space-ABS. Final border-the-ABS. These travels-the starship-the-of Enterprise. It’s going-ITERATIVE [continuing] order – intention-to-explore-ITERATIVE many strange, new worlds-ABS; intention-to-find-ITERATIVE new life-ABS and new societies-ABS; boldly intention-to-travel-ITERATIVE where-to-DIR no-one-ABS traveled-NEGATIVE!

PE=Primitive Elvish
BS=Black Speech

Zhâburi English Comment
zhâtur space Q láta “open” > zhât + -ur > zhâtur “space”
dâk border PE taika “n. boundary, limit, boundary line”> dâk
bit final Q metta “final end” > bit
bînur voyage, travel PE mēn “n. a way, a going, a mov[ement]” > bît + ur “bîtur”
îlbalag starship PE êl “star” > îl; Ad balak “ship” > balag
durak order BS durb- “to rule”, root dur + -ak > durak
fush- explore Sv fush- “to explore; discover; detect”
mâgh many numerus particle
narg strange Sv nargil “strange, odd, weird”
aban world Ad aban “world”
gimbatar with the intention to repeatedly find BS gimb- “find”
rau new Sv rau “new”
gazh life Sv gajum “life” > gazh
agh and BS
gazhâb society gazh “life” + PE prefix wâ- “together” > postfix -âb
gan bold(ly) Q canya (KAN) > gan
batutar with the intention to travel continously Ad bat- “to walk” > bat- “travel”
potza wher-to
azgon nowhere
batushikh not went/has not gone bat-

An interesting result of this exercise was that I realised that the jussive iterative of transitive verbs is constituted of the suffix-complex -atar which is very similar to the Svartiska and Zhâburi A agent suffix -atâr. So ushatâr “warrior”; ushatar “with the intention to repeatedly fight”

Trollmother’s lullaby

Here is a translation of the Swedish lullaby ”Trollmor” in Zhâburi B. The original Swedish text goes like this:

När trollmor har lagt sina elva små troll och bundit fast dem i svansen – så sjunger hon sakta de vackraste ord hon känner – oh aj aj aj aj buff etc (nonsense words).

Which is translated to English as:

When mother troll has put her eleven small trolls to sleep and bound them together in their tales – then she slowly sings the most beautiful words she knows – oh ai ai ai ai buff etc

In Zhâburi

Ug krankolog-gha nukash sûb ologstâ kâtashazdat agh bâsh-izi krimpashatulûk – ug thak lashagat mîruz bîthi istagat – û ai ai ai ai buff etc

When [the] parant-troll-ergative eleven of her smalltrolls has lied down and the tail-instrumental bound-has-she-them-completely – then slowly sings-she beautiful-most words-the knows-she-them

Word list
BS=Black Speech, attested Black Speech words
LoS=Land of Shadow
PE=Primitive Elvish

when/then (Sv) – should it be changed to ‘gu’?
krank ”parent”  (LoS)
gha – ergative ending indicating the subject in a transitive sentence
nukash ”eleven”
sûb – 3 person possessive independent pronoun
ologstâ ”small trolls” compound word olog ”troll” (BS) + sta (Sv) lengthening of the wovel in ’sta’ as in the compound lugbûrz.
kâtashazdat ”she has lied them” kât-a-sh-azd-at; kât ”to lie” (Q caita-), -a- transitive, -sh- past tense, -azd- final aspect, -at third person personal subject marker of transitive. I’m thinking that it should be ‘gât’ instead of ‘kât’, analogous with dur(b)- (BS) tur- (Q).
agh ”and” (BS)
bâsh-izi ”with the tails”; baush ”tail” (Sv, LoS ”baush”), -i- article, -zi – instrumental case ending
krimpashatulûk ”she has bound them completly”; krimp-a-sh-at-ul-ûk; krimp ”to bind” (BS), -a transitive, -sh- past tense, -at- third person subject of transtive, -ul- third person object of transitive, -ûk absolute positive ending indicating ”completeness”.
thak ”slowly” (Sv)
lashagat ”sing”; lash- ”sing” (LoS), -a- transitive, -g- present tense, -at third person subject of transitive
mîruz ”most beautiful”, mîr ”beautiful” (Sv) + -uz – descriptive ending, positive relative ”most”
bîthi ”the word[s]”  (Adunaic bêth) -i, article
istagat ”she knows”; ist- (PE (Q, LoS)) ista- ”know”, -a- transitive, -g- present tense, -at, third person subject of transitive