An adverb is a part of speech that modifies verbs or any part of speech other than a noun. Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives (including numbers), clauses, sentences, and other adverbs.
Manner adverbs modify the verb by specifying the manner or way in which the action is performed. Most common adverbs that end in “-ly” in English are manner adverbs.
In Dothraki there are a couple of ways that adverbs are formed. Certain adverbs have a historic regular derivation that is no longer an active way or deriving words but the form is easily recognizable.
- alle adv. farther, further (cf. ale, “more”)
- atte adv. first (cf. at, “one”)
- disse adv. only, just (cf. dis, “simple, plain”)
- yomme adv. across (cf. yom, “crossing”)
Contemporary Dothraki uses a different construction to express manner adverbs. Basically to go from a given adjective to a corresponding manner adverb you have to go by way of deriving the noun first. This is done by the circumfix ath- -(z)ar. If we take the adjective anxious (manimven), with the corresponding noun anxiousness (athmanimvenar), for example then instead of expressing the manner adverb "anxiously" it is instead said with the phrase "by anxiousness". In Dothraki this is said using the preposition ki (often abbreviated to k' in front of words beginning with a vowel) which also assigns the genitive case to the noun so the phrase in Dothraki becomes "k'athmanimvenari".
- Example: Khalasar ayoki k'athmanimvenari. — "The khalasar is waiting anxiously"
Generally adverbs appear sentence-finally. It is possible to put the adverb at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis but this is a very clunky construction and it would look out of place. In situations where there are several phrases after the verb there might be situations where the adverb is moved closer to the verb of the sentence.