High Valyrian Pronouns

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Personal pronouns

Singular Plural
1st person 2nd person 3rd person 1st person 2nd person 3rd person
solar/lunar terrestrial/aquatic
Nominative nyke ao ziry ūja īlon jeme pōnta
Accusative yne avy ziry ūī īlōn jemī pōnte
Genitive yno zijo ūō īlo jemo pōnto
Dative ynot aōt zijot ūjōt īlot jemot pōntot
Locative nykē zirȳ ūjā īlō jemē pōntā
Instrumental ynoma aōma zijosy josa īloma jemme pōntosa
Comitative zijomy joma pōntoma
Vocative nykys aōs zirys ūjus īlos jemys pōntus
Reflexive/Emphatic nykēla aōla zirȳla jāla īlōnda jemēla pōntāla
Possessive ñuha aōha zȳha jāha īlva jeva pōja
English (sub.) I you he, she, it we you they

Possessive pronouns

When a possessive adjective needs to be nominalized, instead of the expected substantive forms in -y and -ir, a special form in -on is used, which declines as an ordinary 3ter. noun. Thus:

Singular Plural
1st person ñuhon
2nd person aōhon
3rd person, zȳhon
"his," "hers," "its"
"its," "his," "hers"

Unlike possessive adjectives, which always modify a noun attributively (e.g. Āeksiot zȳhon vaoreznon jepin "I ask the Lord His favor."), possessive pronouns are used either on their own (e.g. Kesy zȳhon issa[1] "This one is his."), or predicatively (e.g. Zȳhon suvio perzō vāedar issa "His is the song of ice and fire.")

Demonstrative and interrogative pronouns

Demonstrative and interrogative pronouns form a category in High Valyrian. Unlike personal pronouns, they largely decline regularly, acting for the most part as High Valyrian Adjectives. These divide up into three subcategories:

  • Proximal (indicating something comparatively close, like English "this")
  • Distal (indicating something farther, like English "that")
  • Interrogative (asking a question, like English "which")

For each of these subcategories there are two stems, one of which is used with animate antecedents, and the other of which is used for inanimate ones. Thus:

Animate Inanimate
Proximal bisa kesa
Distal bona kona
Interrogative spare skore

Some notes:

  • The demonstratives are all class I adjectives, whereas the interrogatives are class II.
  • Although gender and animacy frequently align, so that animate nouns will be lunar or solar, and inanimate ones terrestrial or aquatic, there are many exceptions. For instance brōzi "name," and brāedazma "bronze," both lunar but inanimate; dāerves "freedom," solar but inanimate Targārien "Targaryen," and turgon "worm," both terrestrial but animate; valonqar "little brother," hāedar "little sister," both aquatic but animate. Thus all stems can occur in any gender.
  • Animals may be treated as either animate or inanimate, depending on the animal, and the speaker's attitude towards it.[2]

These pronouns behave like adjective in every way: they have prepositive, postpositive, and substantive forms. However, the postpositive forms are fairly rare, as demonstratives (and probably interrogatives too) nearly always precede the noun they modify. [3] They may occasionally follow the noun, but this is unusual, and highly marked. Doing this tends to give the sentence a more "official" feel,[4] but, in some cases, it might be done for simple emphasis.

It is particularly important to distinguish the substantive forms: if the demonstrative or interrogative modifies a noun, it goes in the prepositive or postpositive form. If no noun is explicitly stated, the substantive form must be used:

Lunar Solar Terrestrial Aquatic Substantive
Animate Proximal bisa muña
"this mother"
bisys zaldrīzes
"this dragon"
bison turgon
"this worm"
bisor hāedar
"this little sister"
"this one," "this person"
Distal bona muña
"that mother"
bonys zaldrīzes
"that dragon"
bonon turgon
"that worm"
bonor hāedar
"that little sister"
"that one," "that person"
Interrogative spare muña
"which mother?"
spare zaldrīzes
"which dragon?"
sparior turgon
"which worm?"
sparior hāedar
"which little sister?"
"which one," "which person," "who?"
Inanimate Proximal kesa brōzi
"this name"
kesys biarves
"this celebration"
keson glaeson
"this life"
kesor qelbar
"this river"
"this one," "this thing"
Distal kona brōzi
"that name"
konys biarves
"that celebration"
konon glaeson
"that life"
konor qelbar
"that river"
"that one," "that thing"
Interrogative skore brōzi
"which name?"
skore biarves
"which celebration?"
skorior glaeson
"which life?"
skorior qelbar
"which river?"
"which one," "which thing," "what?"

The substantive forms can be used in different cases and constructions to cover a variety of expressions. For instance, the type 2 substantives in the locative indicate place:

  • kesīr "at this place," "here."
  • konīr "at that place," "there."
  • skoriot "at what place," "where?"

Also derived from skorion is Skorȳso? "Why?," "because."

Skoros seems particularly rich in idiomatic case uses:

  • Skoros otāpā? "What do you think?"
  • Skoro syt? "On account of what," "why?" (but skorio syt also exists)[5]

Other questions words that are not overtly cases of skoros or skorion include:

  • Skorī? "When?"
  • Skorkydoso? "How?" (cf. keskydoso "In that way," "in the same way.")


Relative pronominal adjective

Headed relative clauses are formed with the relative pronominal adjective, lua, which declines more-or-less like a Class I adjective, with certain irregularities (marked on the following chart in boldface):

Singular Plural
Lunar Solar Terrestrial Aquatic Lunar Solar Terrestrial Aquatic
Nom. lua lȳs luon luor lȳs, -ȳz[6] lua lura
Acc. lue luon luor lua lura
Gen. luo luo luo luro luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luro(t)[7]
Dat. luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luro(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luro(t)[7]
Loc. luā luo(t)[7] luro(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luo(t)[7] luro(t)[7]
Ins. luos luos luos luros luos luos luos luros
Com. luon, -om[8] luon, -om[8] luon, -om[8] luron, -rom[8] luon, -om[8] luon, -om[8] luon, -om[8] luron, -rom[8]
Voc. lūs lȳs luos luos lis lȳs, -ȳz[6] luas luas

Some notes on usage:

  • Relative clauses follow the order clause + lua + head noun, the exact opposite of English and most European languages. Thus, "The man who encouraged the woman" is Ābre kustittas lua vala, literally "Woman encouraged who man."
  • Since the relative adjective always precedes the head noun, it only ever occurs in the prepositive forms.
  • The relative pronoun takes its case from the main clause. So, for instance, a sentence like "I saw the man who encouraged the woman," becomes Ābre kustittas lue vale ūndetan. This is, again, the exact opposite of Engish and most European languages. So:
Subject of main clause Object of main clause
Subject of relative clause Ābre kustittas lua vala raqiros issa.
The man who encouraged the woman is a friend.
Ābre kustittas lue vale ūndetan.
I saw the man who encouraged the woman.
Object of relative clause Ābra kustittas lua vala raqiros issa.
The man whom the woman encouraged is a friend
*Ābra kustittas lue vale ūndetan.
I saw the man whom the woman encouraged.
Notice that we find lua on the left column and lue on the right, whereas, in the English, we have "who" on the top row, and "whom" on the bottom row.
  • This principle applies to all syntactic roles, not just subect and obect, so, for instance: Istas luon lenton ūndan "I saw the house where he went," Ābra rūklon teptas lua vala raqiros issa "The man whom the woman gave a flower is a friend,” and so on.
  • This mean that relative sentences often end up unclear, or even ambiguous. The precise meaning must be understood from context. However, if extra precision is required, extra words may optionally be added to the relative clause to clarify:
Role Standard phrasing Precise phrasing
Possessor Ābra kepe rhēdes lua vala raqiros issa.
("The man who the woman knows the father is a friend.")
Ābra zȳhe kepe rhēdes lua vala raqiros issa.
("The man who the woman knows his father is a friend.")
The man whose father the woman knows is a friend.
Location Ābra morghūltas luon lenton pryjataks.
("The house that the woman died was destroyed.")
Ābra konīr morghūltas luon lenton pryjataks.
("The house that the woman died there was destroyed.")
The house where the woman died was destroyed.
Comparand Ābra kirinkte issa lua vala raqiros issa.
("The man who the woman is happier is a friend.")
Ābra zijosy kirinkte issa lua vala raqiros issa.
(The man who the woman is happier than him is a friend.)
The man who the woman is happier than is a friend.
Adposition Ābra dekurūptan lua vala raqiros issa.
("The man who the woman walked is a friend.")
Ābra va zijot dekurūptan lua vala raqiros issa.
("The man who the woman walked up to him is a friend.")
The man the woman walked up to is a friend.
  • This same principle can presumably be applied to other ambiguities. For instance, a sentence like *Tyvaros urnēbiles lī dārilaros undan could theoretically mean either "I saw the prince who was watching the snake" or "I saw the prince whom the snake was watching":
Standard phrasing Precise phrasing Translation
*Tyvaros urnēbiles lī dārilaros undan. *Ziry tyvaros urnēbiles lī dārilaros undan. I saw the prince who was watching the snake.
*Tyvaros ziry urnēbiles lī dārilaros undan I saw the prince whom the snake was watching.
  • The example Ābra morghūltas luon lenton pryjataks shows that in some cases luon can be equivalent to English "where." Although we don't yet have any examples, it almost certainly can be used for "when" as well: *Morghūlilā lȳs tubis gīmigon kostua daor "You cannot know the day when you will die."

Relative pronouns

For "headless relatives," that is relative clauses with no explicitly stated head noun, the relative pronouns, which are formally just the substantive forms of the relative pronominal adjective. As with any substantivized adjective in High Valyrian, there are two types:

  1. The specific relative pronoun (type I substantive), which follows the 2lun. declension, with some irregularities similar to that of those of the pronominal adjective. It generally means something like "one who," "one which," "whoever."
  2. The generic relative pronoun (type II substantive), which largely follows the 5aq. declension, with just a couple irregularities. It generally means something like "that which," "whatever." It may have other meanings as well, see below.

The paradigms are as follows:

Sing. Pl. Pauc. Col.
Nom. n r
Acc. ni ri
Gen. luo luoti no ro
Dat. luot luoti nty rty
Loc. nny rry
Ins. luomy luommi ssy rzy
Com. luomy luommi mmy rmy
Voc. s s ssy rzy
Sing. Pl. Pauc. Col.
Nom. r lura lurin lurir
Acc. r lura lurini luriri
Gen. lurio lurȳti lurinti lurirti
Dat. luriot lurȳti lurinti lurirti
Loc. līr lurȳti lurinni lurirri
Ins. lurȳsi lurȳssi lurissi lurirzi
Com. lurȳmi lurȳmmi lurimmi lurirmi
Voc. s luas lurissi lurirzi
Like the relative adjective, the relative pronoun comes at the end of the relative clause, but takes its case assignment from the main clause:
Subject of main clause Object of main clause
Subject of relative clause Ābre kustittas sȳz issa.
The one who encouraged the woman is good.
*Ābre kustittas ūndetan.
I saw the one who encouraged the woman.
Object of relative clause *Ābra kustittas sȳz issa.
The one whom the woman encouraged is good
*Ābra kustittas ūndetan.
I saw the one whom the woman encouraged.

If the predicate of the relative clause is adjectival (e.g. "is green") or genitive (e.g. "is a man's"), the verb "to be" is omitted entirely, and the adjective or genitive modifies the pronoun directly, thus "I will take what is mine" is Ñuhor līr gūrēnna (as opposed to Ñuhor *issa līr gūrēnna) it is not known if issa in such a sentence would be outright incorrect, or if it's simply unnecessary. Some further examples:

Case Specific Generic
Nominative Ābra kustittas lȳ sȳz issa.
"The one who encouraged the woman is good."
Ābra kustittas līr sȳrior issa.
"That which encouraged the woman is good."
Accusative Kaste lī ipradinna.
"I’ll eat one which is green."
Kastor līr ipradinna.
"I’ll eat that which is green."
Genitive Valo luo vaoresan.
"I prefer one which is a man's."
Valo lurio vaoresan.
"I prefer that which is a man's."

It is not known whether the generic relative, as a type II substantive, can be used for locations, in which case it would mean something like "the place where," "wherever." However, the example Skorī dēmalȳti tymptir tymis, ērinis iā morghūlis "When you play the game of thrones you win or you die" shows that it is at least possible to use use skorī "when" (normally interrogative) to form a headless relative, if the meaning is "the time when," "whenever." Therefore it is entirely possible that one can use skoriot "where," skorkydoso "how," and so on to form headless relatives as well. It remains to be seen if this is the case or not.

Indefinite pronouns

Animate Inanimate Adjective
"nobody", "no one", "none".
"nothing", "none".
dōre -ior
adj. II
"the other one"

"the other one"
tolie -ior
adj. III
"someone", "anyone"
"something", "anything"
mirre -ior
adj. II
"some", "any".
tolvie -ior
adj. III


  1. Sentence made up for this page, not an official Petersonian example.
  2. Compare the way English speakers have the option either to refer to an animal "he" or "she" (according to sex), or just use "it" across the board. The High Valyrian animacy distinction, and the English gender distinction are somewhat analogous here.
  3. "Right, so that's why it's the default that adjectives can be in both places except for modifiers (even though the latter are older)" "Oh, and by modifiers I mean determiners/demonstratives" -DJP, IRC
  4. "All adjectives can be postpositive if they want, but especially those that are more determinative in nature generally come before the noun, unless you want to sound...official?" —DJP, IRC
  5. DJP writes, via email:
    I meant skoro syt, but you could also say skorio syt. A slightly different shade of meaning; the former would be more common. They're the genitives of skoros and skorion, respectively, which are two different words formed from the same base *skor-.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The form is lȳz before a vowel, or a voiced consonant.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 The -t is omitted before a consonant, but retained before a vowel.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 The form is -m before a vowel or a labial consonant, but usually -n elsewhere.
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