Verb Classes

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While by default the subject is in nominative and object in accusative, verbs can assign any case to them, most notably to the object. While some case assignments are straight application of the roles of the cases, often the interpretations are somewhat expanded. However the interpretations are not arbitrary, they are dictated by custom. The situation is somewhat similar to the way english prepositions are applied, but in dothraki this is much more imminent with case assignment.

The way this works is that there are certain classes of verbs that when they are combined with a specific noun case they express an extra meaning that is not necessarily explicit in the verb itself. There are lots of these verb classes and this page will describe the ones that are known. Some verb classes are almost direct applications of how the respective noun case is defined while others are more of a metaphorical extention of the noun case. Verbs can belong to more than one class.

Contents

Genitive

Next to someone class

Noun cases: Genitive
Semantic meaning: Motion beside another body.

This class expresses actions that occur when the subject is beside the object.

Example:
Rakh lan nayati."The boy ran beside the girl." In this example to express that the girl is in fact next to the boy the girl is in the genitive case (nayati).

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • lanat - "to run"
  • dothralat - "to ride"
  • anat - "to jog"
  • ifat - "to walk"
  • elat - "to go"
  • chetirat - "to canter"
  • karlinat - "to gallop"

As well as other verbs that involve motion.

Topic class

Noun cases: Accusative - Genitive
Semantic meaning: Object - Topic

This class is used when the object of a sentence instead of being a direct object is instead a topic of the object.

Examples:
Rakh char nayat."The boy heard the girl." In this example the girl is really there and she is the direct object that the boy heard so nayat is in the accusative case as expected.
Rakh char nayati."The boy heard about the girl." In this example the boy doesn't hear the girl directly. Instead he is hearing about the girl so she is the topic of what he is hearing and this is marked by nayat being in the genitive case (nayati).

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • charat - "to hear"
  • qafat - "to ask"
  • tihat - "to see" (In this case we can understand this as "looking in on" or "checking up on" as in "The boss checked up on his employers to see how things were going". )
  • astolat - "to speak"
  • astilat - "to joke"
  • donat - "to shout"

As well as other verbs that involve communication.

Allative

Recipient class

Noun case: Allative
Sematic meaning: Recipient

This class is fairly straightforward. The allative case denotes movement towards something so when you for example give a gift to someone the gift is moving towards the recipient.

Examples:
Rakh azh yot nayataan."The boy gave a fruit to the girl." As we see in this example the recipient (nayat=the girl) is marked with the allative case suffix.
Rakh chom nayataan."The boy respected the girl." In this example we see a metaphorical extention where respect is treated as a thing that can be given to a recipient.

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • azhat - "to give"
  • chomat - "to respect"
  • assilat - "to signal"
  • davralat - "to be useful to someone"
  • emat - "to smile (at), to approve of"

Irresultative class

Noun cases: Accusative - Allative
Semantic meaning: Complete - Irresultative

This class involves verbs that can either have a successful action or an action where the result is unknown and the difference is marked by different noun cases.

Examples:
Rakh vinde yot."The boy stabbed the fruit." In this example the stabbing of the fruit is successful so the word "fruit" is in the accusative case like you would expect.
Rakh vinde yotaan."The boy stabbed at the fruit." In this example the fruit is marked with the allative case and the meaning of this is that the boy stabbed towards (at) the fruit but we don't know if it was successful or not.

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • lojat - "to hit"
  • vindelat - "to stab"
  • fakat - "to kick"
  • fatat - "to slap"
  • fatilat - "to insult" (Here an irresultative insult is thought to mean an insult that is said under the breath so that the insulted person perhaps doesn't hear it.)
  • frakhat - "to touch"
  • sikhtelat - "to spit"

Ablative

Partitive class

Noun cases: Accusative - Ablative
Semantic meaning: Complete - Partitive

This verb class expresses the difference between completing an action and only succeding with part of the action.

Examples:
Rakh risse yot."The boy sliced the fruit." In this example the boy succeeded in slicing completely through the fruit so the fruit is expressed in the accusative case.
Rakh risse yotoon."The boy cut into the fruit" In this example the boy starts to slice the fruit but does not get all the way through or he only gets off a little part of it.

In other verbs this is used in a metaphorical sense. For example with the verb charat "to hear" you can use it when you hear a part of something but not the whole thing so you express that with using the ablative case.

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • charat - "to hear"
  • rissat - "to cut"
  • tihat - "to see"
  • adakhat - "to eat"
  • ostat - "to bite"
  • yanqolat - "to gather"
  • lekhilat - "to taste"

Source class

Noun cases: Ablative
Semantic meaning: Source

This class expresses what the source of the verb is.

Example:
Heffof nir evethoon."The jug was full of water." In this example we have the verb nirat ="to be full". To express that it is the water that is the source of the jug being full, the word water is in the ablative case (evethoon).

Verbs that belong to this class:

  • nirat - "to be full"
  • menat - "to be empty"
  • dogat - "to suffer"
  • fevelat - "to thirst"
  • garvolat - "to hunger"
  • drivolat - "to die"
  • gerat - "to lack"
  • zigerelat - "to need"
  • ildat - "to strike" (This comes from the Dothraki having different sword strikes that takes on the aspect of various animals, so the animal is the source of the strike.)
  • khezhat - "to be sad"
  • nithat - "to feel pain"

Comparand class

Noun cases: Ablative
Semantic meaning: Comparand

In a sentence that compares something with something else the comparand (the thing the main thing is compared against) is marked with the ablative case.

Example:

Jorah Andahli ahajana khaleesisoon."Jorah the Andal is stronger than the khaleesi" Here we have the verb ahajanat = "to be stronger". To mark who or what it is the subject (Jorah) is stronger than (in this case khaleesi) you mark it with the ablative.

Verb that belongs to this class is any verb that expresses a comparison.

For example:
  • ahajanat - "to be stronger"
  • asafazhanat - "to be hotter"
  • osachranat - "to be less smelly"
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