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Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

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Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby mszegedy on 2011-09-22, 22:27

If you are from Britain or Reddit, you are almost sure to be familiar with TV Show Doctor Who to at least some extent. If you have been following the new series then you also know that the Time Lords apparently have an alphabet written entirely in little circles. However, BBC has not taken pains to actually construct a grammar or vocabulary for this.

I have.

I hereby present…
The Prydonian Gallifreyan Morphology and Syntax Guide

I did not make a vocabulary; it's much more fun to make up as it goes along. I have standardized a few things elsewhere, such as the verb "to be", and the general shape of pronouns. And this is just a work in progress; I intend to make many more diagrams (for example, those that explain conjunctions; in this purely text format, they are a bit opaque), and a Level II guide, which explains things like relative clauses and additional case uses.

And it has an alethic mood! As well as a conditional-permissive. And a substitutive case. If Wikipedia is to be believed, you haven't heard of any of these things. Please check it out!
Last edited by mszegedy on 2012-04-18, 4:39, edited 2 times in total.
My native language is Hungarian, so it's hard to surprise me with any of your grammatical aspects! (Not literal grammatical aspects, as Hungarian doesn't have ANY.) Also, I consider myself fluent in Latin and English.

*hibernating until winter*
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Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby mszegedy on 2011-09-25, 6:40

I suppose, since nobody is listening, I might as well tell you the ideas behind the language.

This is supposed to be an old language. The Time Lord civilization was around since the beginning of time or so, so it makes sense that its language would be pretty old too. There is such an annoyingly long case list because of this; all prepositions (save one, which mutated into a conjunction sort of thing) agglutinated onto the nouns, and were eventually systematized. And, of course, it is fitting that one of their primary cases would be the temporal case, to tell when something happened. This mass of inflection is balanced out by the unsophisticated verbs, which once again demonstrate the nature of the Time Lords in that it is the future tense that has the most aspects.
The fact that their numbers go through singular, dual, trial, all the way to 5,764,800-al I have no excuse for (their numbers are known to be in base seven though); although, they would have to be precise for all of the engineering they have going on. If I were to transpose this into a phonology, though, I'd say that in the most commonly spoken dialects, the only concrete number is the singular, and the others are all just the names of the numbers that agglutinate onto the beginning of nouns and pronouns. Word order I want to leave to your imagination, as I do not want to think too hard about the whole issue of relative clauses going sideways and things.
I decided to make articles wonderfully weird in this language, following a different path than any language on Earth (or so I think). I like the idea of pronouns having articles, and furthermore these articles indicating the case of a given pronoun (I hate having an oblique case in any language because it is so vague, but I had no problem using it here because the uncertainty is corrected by the article).
Who knows, someday I might invent a phonology and a verbal vocabulary for this, but I don't want to make it too definite a language, because then it loses its mystery and ability to be retconned, two characteristics that are essential to anything related to Doctor Who.
I think I'll wrap it up here; lastly, an imperative example asked of me by a person on Gallifrey Base:
Image
(he asked for "#### biscuits"; here's the gloss:

PRS.IMP-####-GNO a-ACC biscuit-ACC-PAU)
My native language is Hungarian, so it's hard to surprise me with any of your grammatical aspects! (Not literal grammatical aspects, as Hungarian doesn't have ANY.) Also, I consider myself fluent in Latin and English.

*hibernating until winter*
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Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby meidei on 2011-09-25, 9:16

OK, this is awesome :o
Knows:Cypriot Standard Greek & Cypriot Spoken Greek (el-cy)| (en)|Standard Greek - Greece's Written Standard (el)
Attempting:  (tr) (sgn-CY)
Resuming shorty: (fr)
Forgetting: (ja)
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Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby Milya0 on 2011-09-25, 10:17

Cool. 8-)
Qroo₃₁ kaa₄ cro₂ kraa₃ kaa₄ qo₄₁ cra₄₁ ka₄ qoo₄₂ krá₄₂.

--
Językoznawstwo, językotwórstwo. Po polsku.
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Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby mszegedy on 2011-09-26, 2:36

I have to get working on my list of additional case uses; my case list is severely lacking in equivalents for certain prepositions. I think I am also going to build up a reasonable stock of helping verbs, as there are many notions as of yet unrepresented in my language. I will add a few diagrams to the original; I cannot believe I don't have a proper diagram for indirect objects, nor can I believe that I forgot to tell you how to indicate the passive voice (you add this adverb/particle to the participle; I know, not the verb? weird). On to of all that, there is a wonderful transcription of "that which can be destroyed by truth, should be" that I want to share with you, but cannot scan properly. So, working on these things.

By the way, one extra case meaning that I was thinking of is (and is utilized by the above translation) is the Adessive of Agent. I think it's pretty fitting; "at the hands of", eh? I think there will also be an Adessive of Instrument. And a Terminative of Duration of Time, like in my beloved native language, Hungarian.

Please understand that I am not prone to large case lists with one-word explanations because this is the first time I ever read about this stuff on Wikipedia, but because I sympathize with that sort of language.
My native language is Hungarian, so it's hard to surprise me with any of your grammatical aspects! (Not literal grammatical aspects, as Hungarian doesn't have ANY.) Also, I consider myself fluent in Latin and English.

*hibernating until winter*
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Posts: 154
Joined: 2011-09-22, 22:08
Location: US United States, New Jersey, Hillsborough

Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby WallOfStuff on 2011-12-15, 4:15

Very awesome.
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Re: Prydonian Gallifreyan: A TV series language

Postby Kēwēkamē on 2011-12-15, 21:15

There are no words for how awesome this is. I'm not British, but I am unashamedly obsessed with Doctor Who (note the Harold Saxon avatar) and have always been fascinated by all of those brilliant circles that apparently mean something. This is just... brilliant. Fantastic. It's almost as cool as bowties (but not quite).
I am a conlanger, a master scuba diver, a belly dancer, a schizotypal introvert, an author, a geek, a psychologist, a gamer, a Whovian, a pianist, a clarinetist, a sailor, a CGI artist, a singer, a Psychonaut, a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a candlestick-maker, and a magic-bean-buyer. Who are you?
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