Verb Conjugation

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Infinitive

Infinitive is the dictionary form for Dothraki verbs. It ends with the suffix /-at/ if the stem of the verb ends in a consonant and in /-lat/ if the stem ends in a vowel. (For those who are not language fans or linguists, the infinitive form of a verb is the form that means to (verb). )

Examples: samvolat (to break); kaffat (to crush).

A verb stem can end in l, so with /-lat/ ending verbs it's not immediately clear, what a stem of a verb is. The vocabulary informs on this by offering past singulars in addition to infinites.

Example: zalat (to hope) has a consonant ending stem despite the seemingly /-lat/.

You may notice that infinitives are not the most useful form for most verbs. In order to get the more commonly used finite form of the verb, you first remove the infinitive suffix (as explained above) to get the bare stem of the verb. Then, add on the tense/person/plurality/grade suffix needed for the situation. Example: ifat (to walk) first becomes if (walked). The bare stem is the past tense singular, finite form of the verb. In all other cases, you need a suffix for another tense (and the suffixes also vary on the person and number of the subject, and if the sentence is in the negative grade). So, as explained below, the first person, present tense singular form for ifat would be ifak (walk). The first person future tense singular form would be vifak (will walk). If you are seriously interested in learning Dothraki, memorizing these conjugations is very important, as they are somewhat irregular in the way they vary.

Past tense

The past tense singular is generally formed simply by dropping the infinitival suffix -(l)at.

essalat"to return"Me essa"It returned."

However since words are not allowed to end on certain consonants or clusters there is sometimes an -e added to the end. Check the page on epenthesis for more details on this.

In the negative grade the past tense takes on the suffix /-o/ on the stem of the verb. If after removing the infinitival suffix the word still ends in vowel, the /-o/ replaces that vowel.

Me vos esso."It didn't return."

The past tense plural has a suffix -(i)sh, and in negative grade -osh.

Mori essash."Those returned."
Mori vos essosh."Those didn't return."

Present tense

The present tense has more variation between persons.

For verbs where the stem ends on a vowel we have the following forms using the verb dothralat="to ride":

Person Singular Plural
First person dothrak dothraki
Second person dothrae dothrae
Third person dothrae dothrae

As you see it's the first person singular and plural that deviate a little from the others.

When a verb stem ends in a consonant the conjugation is a bit different. As an example we'll use the verb astat="to say":

Person Singular Plural
First person astak astaki
Second person asti asti
Third person asta asti


Conjugations also agree with the negative grade. This means that there will sometimes be a change in the conjugation when the sentence is expressing a negation. In the negative grade the conjugations are as follows:

For verbs that end in a vowel (-lat verbs), again using dothralat="to ride" as an example:

Person Singular Plural
First person dothrok dothroki
Second person dothrao dothrao
Third person dothrao dothrao


And for verbs where the stem ends in a consonant (-at verbs), again using astat="to say" as an example:

Person Singular Plural
First person astok astoki
Second person asti asti
Third person asto asti

Future tense

The future tense is formed by adding a prefix to the present tense conjugation. For verbs that begin with a consonant the prefix /a-/ is added and for verbs that begin with a vowel the prefix is instead /v-/. This means that the phrase "I will ride" would be anha adothrak and "you will ride" would be yer adothrae in Dothraki. "I will speak" is said Anha vastak.

In the negative grade the future tense is changed from /a-/ to /o-/. So the sentence "I will not ride" would be Anha vos odothrok. For verbs that in the infinitive begin with a vowel there is no prefix change because of negation. The future negative will still be /v-/.

Imperative moods

The imperative mood expresses commands or requests. In Dothraki there are two ways to express the imperative mood. One conjugation is used for informal requests while the other is used for formal commands.

The informal imperative is expressed using the conjugation /-(a)s/, and in negative tense /-os/, with o replacing the possible final vowel.

Lekhis jin mawizze."Taste this rabbit."
Vo lekhos jin mawizze."Don't taste this rabbit."

For formal orders or commands the conjugation /-i/ is used instead for verbs that end in a consonant, and for verbs that end in a vowel the formal imperative is just the stem. The /-i/, and in vowel ending stems the final vowel, changes to /-o/ in negative.

Drogo ast ki, "Addrivi tokikes"."Drogo said, "Kill the fool""
Drogo ast ki, "Vos addrivo tokikes"."Drogo said, "Don't kill the fool""
Qora mae!"Seize him!"
Vo Qoro mae!"Don't seize him!"


There is a special construction when it comes to the impersonal commands and engouragents. It's not verb conjuction in the strictest sense of the word, but in practice the difference is of little consequence. To express impersonal commands we treat the nominative of a verb as if it was an animate noun and put it in the accusative case.

adakhat"to eat"Adakhates."Let's eat.", Adakhates yalli kimikh."Let the children eat dates."
dothralat"to ride"Dothralates."Let's ride.", Dothralates mori"Let them ride."

Participle

Participle is an adjective-like verb form; participles even decline the same way as any adjective. For the dothraki language of our time frame it is an archaic verb form and is almost never used outside of some specifically established cases, in which the participles are just treated as independent adjectives. These are listed in the vocabulary. Nevertheless, a participle form of any verb should still be generally understood.

Participle is formed with a suffix /-(a)y/.

Example: Rek chiori astoy zheanae."That speaking woman is beautiful."

More prevalent version might be: Me zheanae, rek chiori fin astoe."She's beautiful, that woman who's speaking."

Conjugation Table

    stem -C negative -C stem -V negative -V
infinite   /-at/   /-lat/  
past SG // or /-e/ /-o/ // (V/o)
PL /-ish/ /-osh/ /-sh/ (V/o)/-sh/
present SG 1 /-ak/ /-ok/ /-k/ (V/o)/-k/
PL 1 /-aki/ /-oki/ /-ki/ (V/o)/-ki/
SG 2 /-i/ /-i/ /-e/ /-o/
PL 2 /-i/ /-i/ /-e/ /-o/
SG 3 /-a/ /-o/ /-e/ /-o/
PL 3 /-i/ /-i/ /-e/ /-o/
imperative 1 formal /-i/ /-o/ // (V/o)
imperative 2 informal /-as/ /-os/ /-s/ (V/o)/-s/
participle   /-ay/   /-y/  
  stem C- negative C- stem V- negative V-
future (used with present suffixes) /a-/ /o-/ /v-/ /v-/


Examples

    "to smile" negative "to cut" negative "to learn" negative "to insult" negative
infinite   emat   rissat   ezolat   fatilat  
past SG em vos emo risse vos risso ezo vos ezo fati vos fato
PL emish vos emosh rissish vos rissosh ezosh vos ezosh fatish vos fatosh
present SG 1 emak vos emok rissak vos rissok ezok vos ezok fatik vos fatok
PL 1 emaki vos emoki rissaki vos rissoki ezoki vos ezoki fatiki vos fatoki
SG 2 emi vos emi rissi vos rissi ezoe vos ezoo fatie vos fatio
PL 2 emi vos emi rissi vos rissi ezoe vos ezoo fatie vos fatio
SG 3 ema vos emo rissa vos risso ezoe vos ezoo fatie vos fatio
PL 3 emi vos emi rissi vos rissi ezoe vos ezoo fatie vos fatio
future SG 1 vemak vos vemok arissak vos orissok vezok vos vezok afatik vos ofatok
PL 1 vemaki vos vemoki arissaki vos orissoki vezoki vos vezoki afatiki vos ofatoki
SG 2 vemi vos vemi arissi vos orissi vezoe vos vezoo afatie vos ofatio
PL 2 vemi vos vemi arissi vos orissi vezoe vos vezoo afatie vos ofatio
SG 3 vema vos vemo arissa vos orisso vezoe vos vezoo afatie vos ofatio
PL 3 vemi vos vemi arissi vos orissi vezoe vos vezoo afatie vos ofatio
imperative 1 formal emi vos emo rissi vos risso ezo vos ezo fati vos fato
imperative 2 informal emas vos emos rissas vos rissos ezos vos ezos fatis vos fatos
participle   emay   rissay   ezoy   fatiy  

References

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