Topic: Passive Voice

I was reading your lesson on the Passive Voice, and I like the idea of using a suffix to mark the passive voice. I think this gives us a chance to differentiate BS from English.

When English expresses the passive voice, it does so mainly by moving the subject and object around:

I hit Tom (active voice)
Tom was hit by me (Passive voice)

However, if BS uses a suffix, then the subject and object doesn't need to move. We can follow the same grammar we normally follow and just add the suffix in:

olog gimbuzat golug - The troll found the elf (active voice)
olog gimbaguzat golug - The elf was found by the troll (passive voice)

When the subject is unknown, as is often in the English passive voice, then it would be assumed to be "someone" and conjugated as He/She/it (-at):

gimbaguzat golug - The elf was found (by some unknown entity) (passive voice)
thrâkaguzat krith nazgu sharazuz matûrz - Nine rings were given to mortal men (by some unknown entity) (passive voice)

I notice in another post you said you were abandoning this idea, but I personally like it. When I was learning BS, the Orcs of the Red Hand just pretended that Orcs didn't use the passive voice, although it was something that was brought up from time to time. Adding in a suffix to allow for it fits in with the rest of the language, and removes the complicated nature of using kul-. It's so simple even an olog could understand it! big_smile

Re: Passive Voice

I liked this idea too. But from what I saw in social media, it's clear that people still use simple sentences or copy English grammar. Horngoth also had passive voice suffix but without any clarification how to use it.

As for your examples, it's hard to distinguish patient from agent of action. Either we should use -irzi (by) suffix as in English to mark  patient of passive action or make a strict rule for word order. Better both. I'm unsure if person suffix should depend on agent of patient of action. I prefer suffix based on subject=patient

Golug gimbaguzat olog-irzi - The elf was found by the troll
Golug gimbaguzat - The elf was found
Krith nazgu thrâkaguzut sharazu matûrzu**
** adjectives take plural ending too, but animated/person nouns do not have plural. Seems 99.9% people including myself always forget this. That's why this was changed in new dialect.

Re: Passive Voice

Un4givenOrc wrote:

I liked this idea too. But from what I saw in social media, it's clear that people still use simple sentences or copy English grammar. Horngoth also had passive voice suffix but without any clarification how to use it.

As for your examples, it's hard to distinguish patient from agent of action. Either we should use -irzi (by) suffix as in English to mark  patient of passive action or make a strict rule for word order. Better both. I'm unsure if person suffix should depend on agent of patient of action. I prefer suffix based on subject=patient

Golug gimbaguzat olog-irzi - The elf was found by the troll
Golug gimbaguzat - The elf was found
Krith nazgu thrâkaguzut sharazu matûrzu**
** adjectives take plural ending too, but animated/person nouns do not have plural. Seems 99.9% people including myself always forget this. That's why this was changed in new dialect.

Since this is all proposed grammar, I'll give my argument for why I'd think passives should work the way I suggested.

I don't like copying English grammar. To me that just turns the language into codified English and not a language proper. Given the chance, I'd avoid copying English whenever I can (Maybe Sauron wouldn't want his language to mirror that of the Men he hates, or he'd want to make it difficult for men to learn it?). That means in my concept of BS, for the passive voice, the subject would not become the patient but remains the agent. The addition of the -ag suffix allows for BS to do this.

I'm looking at this from a non-debased Black Speech point of view. How does the language work as Sauron originally made it?

In the English passive voice the subject has to be the patient because that's how it expresses the passive voice. If we toss out the subject=patient as an Englishism, I think it frees us to do something different. (Japanese, for example, just uses a different verb conjugation but the order of the subject and object nouns isn't effected. They can even do passives that English can't do by using different particles.)

English - Active: The Subject Verb's the Object; Passive: The Object was Verb'ed by the Subject
Old BS - Active: Subject Verb+conj(+1st P. Sub) Object, Passive: Object kul Verb+uga Subject-irzi
Proposed BS - Active: Subject Verb+conj(+1st P. Sub) Object, Passive: Object Verb+ag+conj Subject-irzi
Lug BS - Active: Subject Verb+conj(+1st P. Sub) Object; Passive: Subject Verb+ag+conj(+1st P. Sub) Object

With these, how do they work with pronouns?

The troll attacked me
olog dîsuzizish

I was attacked by the troll
Old BS: ?? kuluz dîsuga??? olog-irzi - Where does the pronoun go? It can't go first as that breaks the "no first person first rule" which I think orcs would hop on when debasing the language, I think the kuluz isn't needed, I don't think -irzi is appropriate*
Pro BS: ?? dîsaguz?? olog-irzi - Where does the pronoun go? same issue as above, don't think -irzi is appropriate*
Lug BS: olog dîsaguzizish - strict word order which never changes, just add the -ag suffix, no possibility of debasing into first person first ***

What about when it's all pronouns and they would normally be attached to the verb as suffixes?

ta dîsuzizish
He attacked me

I was attacked by him
Old BS: ?? kuluz dîsuga?? ??-irzi - maybe it's dîsugataizg**, then neither kul or -irzi does anything
Pro BS: ?? dîsaguz ?? -irzi - maybe it's dîsaguztaizg**, then -irzi does nothing
Lug BS: ta dîsaguzizish - strict word order, just add -ag ***

* -irzi means "by" in the sense of "indicating the means of achieving something", while the "by" in English passive is "identifying the agent performing an action". "By" has two meanings, but -irzi only covers one of them. BS doesn't have the other kind of "by", which suggests that its passive wouldn't work the same way as English's.

** I think these are too confusing to be useful

*** Going with this version means that the passive word order is the same as the active word order, which would probably lead to debased dialects not even using the passive voice most of the time (which seems to be the case as Horngoth was the only one that proposed a passive and it was via a little-used suffix, maybe as a leftover of the original BS). We end up with a construction most orcs would never use as it just makes the sentence longer while allowing someone like Sauron, and his smarter allies, to write passive sentences if they wanted to.

That's my thinking. If we're going to create something new, let's have some fun with it smile

**** I don't mind the whole don't-pluralize-peoples-but-pluralize-adjectives. It was just 1:30AM and I was tired from coding all day long big_smile

Re: Passive Voice

If you want get rid of English cliches, then I strongly recommend to familiarize yourself with Zhâburi dialect. It's based upon grammar of ancient Hurrian language.

I don't think that using stand-alone pronouns is strictly forbidden. Was it ever stated by Tolkien himself? And adjectives after nouns should also be quite a loose rule (but still a preferable variant).

Attaching pronouns to verbs is very tricky. First, I think attached pronouns of subject serve as suffix of verb's person (but this doesn't suit well with Shadowlandian 3rd person; should we add both -at and -ta then?).

lugrekh wrote:

Old BS: ?? kuluz dîsuga??? olog-irzi - Where does the pronoun go? It can't go first as that breaks the "no first person first rule" which I think orcs would hop on when debasing the language, I think the kuluz isn't needed, I don't think -irzi is appropriate*

Kuluz-izg dîsuga olog-irzi
Kul is not needed in easy active present tense sentences. But in such complex constructions it carries information about tense, and serves as anchor for subject pronoun.

lugrekh wrote:

Pro BS: ?? dîsaguz?? olog-irzi - Where does the pronoun go? same issue as above, don't think -irzi is appropriate*

Dîsaguz-izg olog-irzi
yes, -irzi suffix is not very important

lugrekh wrote:

* -irzi means "by" in the sense of "indicating the means of achieving something", while the "by" in English passive is "identifying the agent performing an action". "By" has two meanings, but -irzi only covers one of them. BS doesn't have the other kind of "by", which suggests that its passive wouldn't work the same way as English's.

I think Scatha's translations of English prepositions were quite literal. She tried to distinct space and time prepositions, but there was not any system. So "-irzi" can have both meanings.

lugrekh wrote:

Lug BS: olog dîsaguzizish - strict word order which never changes, just add the -ag suffix, no possibility of debasing into first person first ***

This is very close to what I liked in Zhaburi. The word order there is Subject-Object-Verb, but as we can place object pronouns after verb, your construction suits it. However, Zhaburi has Ergative case marker for agent, but patient is not marked with case endings. However object pronouns have special form for joining the verb. In that case we don't need passive ending too. So, your sentence would be like "Olog-(ergative case marker) dîsuz-izish". And "Troll was attacked by me"/"I attacked the troll" both will be like "olog dîsuz-izg" or "izg-(erg. case) olog dîsuz". Please note that actual Zhâburi has different suffixes and vocabulary, and there's no examples when a pronoun is an agent of transitive verb.

Re: Passive Voice

lugrekh wrote:

What about when it's all pronouns and they would normally be attached to the verb as suffixes?
ta dîsuzizish
He attacked me

Maybe "dîsuzatizish"?

lugrekh wrote:

I was attacked by him
Old BS: ?? kuluz dîsuga?? ??-irzi - maybe it's dîsugataizg**, then neither kul or -irzi does anything

kuluz-izg dîsuga tazirzi, optional (z) suffix is inserted between vowels to not make the diphthong, another way is:
kuluz-izg dîsuga tarzi, here we skip the first letter of suffix instead of inserting an auxiliary one between them

Pro BS: ?? dîsaguz ?? -irzi - maybe it's dîsaguztaizg**, then -irzi does nothing

** I think these are too confusing to be useful

dîsaguz-izg ta(-rzi), again in that case -irzi is not obligatory, but just for clarification


lugrekh wrote:

Lug BS: ta dîsaguzizish - strict word order, just add -ag ***

It's just ""he attacked me" but with extra steps smile so -ag is not needed either

Re: Passive Voice

Un4givenOrc wrote:

Attaching pronouns to verbs is very tricky. First, I think attached pronouns of subject serve as suffix of verb's person (but this doesn't suit well with Shadowlandian 3rd person; should we add both -at and -ta then?).

In situation where both could show up, yes, we would use both. It would be:

She attacked him
ta dîsuzatta

ta dîs -uz -at -ta
she attack -past tense -he/she/it person -him/it (object)

I attacked him
dîsuztaizg

dîs -uz -0 -at -ta -izg
attack -past tense -I/we/us person -him/it (object) -I (subject)

I also don't think we need to add z between suffixes if they are separate syllables. Each suffix should be clearly understandable (at least in Classical Black Speech, Debased Black Speech can do whatever it wants, and since Orcs slur stuff together this makes good sense):

I attacked him
dîsuztaizg

dîs -uz -0 -ta -izg
attack -past tense -him/it (object) -I (subject)

I get the way kul-/-irzi is used now with pronouns, but I'm still not a fan of it. It could be a feature of Debased Black Speech, but English doesn't exist in Middle Earth (the conceit of the books having been translated from Westron into English by Tolkien) so it seems unlikely that it's grammar would show up anywhere on Middle Earth.

Is the lesson on Passive Voice something you wrote by yourself? I don't remember it being a part of Scatha's lessons.

Un4givenOrc wrote:
lugrekh wrote:

Lug BS: ta dîsaguzizish - strict word order, just add -ag ***

It's just ""he attacked me" but with extra steps smile so -ag is not needed either

The -ag suffix is what would turn it from "He attacked me" into "I was attacked by him" without moving the subject/object or using the kul-/-irzi helpers. This is my proposed way of doing it to replace the kul-/-irzi way.

I noticed I actually made a mistake, and it should be:

ta dîsaguzatizish
I was attacked by him

ta dîs -ag -uz -at -izish
He (subject) attack -passive marker -past tense -him/her/it person -me (object)

I've finished the verb code to parse all the suffixes, so now I have a way to double check that I'm doing things correctly. Hopefully this will lessen my mistakes. The forum I'm coding for the Red Hand site will have a built in way to link Black Speech to the parser, so it'll be easy to check words (at least when using LoS CBS). I tested it with your examples in lesson XIII: ghâshaguzatûk ufubulâzh azubulûk-izg

I'm still working on nouns, but I have a lot done. It currently parses the noun examples from lesson XIII too: dûshatârnizkûfzagus ronktablataghâraz

It still won't parse narsrinkhshârzusharzrad though. I'm not even sure what it means, lol! Can you break it down into it's parts so I can see what it's supposed to mean?

Re: Passive Voice

lugrekh wrote:

Is the lesson on Passive Voice something you wrote by yourself? I don't remember it being a part of Scatha's lessons.

Yes, it was written by me (Lessons 11 - 16). I'm going to remove some of my additions when new dialect pages will be ready better.

lugrekh wrote:

I attacked him
dîsuztaizg

Order of suffixes was not defined in pure Shadowlandian. Now I think suffix of person (= subject pronoun) should go before object pronoun (-izg in same place as -ta). But again, it will be different dialect then.

lugrekh wrote:

The -ag suffix is what would turn it from "He attacked me" into "I was attacked by him" without moving the subject/object or using the kul-/-irzi helpers. This is my proposed way of doing it to replace the kul-/-irzi way.

Yes, I liked it, but maybe we should change passive verb suffix to, as -ag will be used in my new dialect for participles. Maybe Horngoth's -âk then?

lugrekh wrote:

It still won't parse narsrinkhshârzusharzrad though. I'm not even sure what it means, lol! Can you break it down into it's parts so I can see what it's supposed to mean?

On the PC you can put mouse pointer over smiley ":D" at the end of sentence to get the answer. It's not very grammatical though. It was taken from some post of The Second Nazgul at one of old Shadowlandian message boards. She liked to insert auxiliary suffixes. It should be splitted as:

Nar-srinkhsha-arz-u-sharz-rad
not-understand-adverb (-able)-(auxiliary, between z and sh for easier pronunciation)-very-now
very-non-understand-able-now

Re: Passive Voice

Un4givenOrc wrote:

Yes, it was written by me (Lessons 11 - 16). I'm going to remove some of my additions when new dialect pages will be ready better.

Don't delete them yet. I'm still learning stuff from them big_smile

Un4givenOrc wrote:

Order of suffixes was not defined in pure Shadowlandian. Now I think suffix of person (= subject pronoun) should go before object pronoun (-izg in same place as -ta). But again, it will be different dialect then.

I like the way you have them defined. It makes everything much more organized. I've always liked the subject pronoun going at the very end.

Un4givenOrc wrote:

Yes, I liked it, but maybe we should change passive verb suffix to, as -ag will be used in my new dialect for participles. Maybe Horngoth's -âk then?

That might be a good idea. I will probably add both for now.

Un4givenOrc wrote:

On the PC you can put mouse pointer over smiley ":D" at the end of sentence to get the answer. It's not very grammatical though. It was taken from some post of The Second Nazgul at one of old Shadowlandian message boards. She liked to insert auxiliary suffixes. It should be splitted as:

Nar-srinkhsha-arz-u-sharz-rad
not-understand-adverb (-able)-(auxiliary, between z and sh for easier pronunciation)-very-now
very-non-understand-able-now

Okay. I see what the issue is. The adverbs have been turned into suffixes, while the rules on the adverb lesson say that adverbs come after the word they modify or at the end of the sentence, the word order in Appendix B also shows them as stand alone words, and the suffix guide in Lesson XIII doesn't list adverbs as being suffixes. It should be, according to the rules in the lessons (and my parser can understand it like this):

narsrinkhshaarz sharz rad
not-understand-adverb very now
not very understandably now

"understandable" would be the adjective form, so to get that English translation it would have to be narsrinkhshaûrz  sharz rad Not very understandable now.

Since neither -arz nor -ûrz are listed in the verb suffixes in lesson XIII, I decide to put them in with the infinitive suffix, as that suffix also changes the verb into something else, and they seem to be only added to the root of the word much like they are for nouns. None of the other suffixes will make much sense once they have been converted. At some point I'll be adding code to parse adjectives and adverbs (right now it only breaks down verbs and nouns) to better handle that anyway.

Re: Passive Voice

lugrekh wrote:

Don't delete them yet. I'm still learning stuff from them

But new pages will not be ready soon. Definitely not earlier than January 2020. And deleting or changing the lessons takes much time too wink

I also don't like these very long words joined just for joining without any logic behind. Moreover, I prefer to write object pronouns separately too.

Re: Passive Voice

Un4givenOrc wrote:
lugrekh wrote:

Don't delete them yet. I'm still learning stuff from them

But new pages will not be ready soon. Definitely not earlier than January 2020. And deleting or changing the lessons takes much time too wink

Good to know I have plenty of time smile

Un4givenOrc wrote:

I also don't like these very long words joined just for joining without any logic behind. Moreover, I prefer to write object pronouns separately too.

Yeah, there needs to be logic when joining words. Orcs may not care about it, but I'm sure Sauron would, and that's who's language I'm trying to learn smile

I don't mind pronouns as being part of the verb. I'm actually used to it at this point.