• Lesson I – Background information
• Lesson II – Black Speech Sounds and Pronunciation
• Lesson III – Nouns
• Lesson IV – Verbs: Infinitive and Present Tense
• Lesson V – Verbs: Future Tense
• Lesson VI – Adjectives and Word Order
• Lesson VII – Pre- and Postpositions, Noun Cases, Phrase Verbs
• Lesson VIII – Verbs: Past Tense
• Lesson IX – Numbers
• Lesson X – Pronouns and Commands (Imperatives)
• * Lesson XII – Comparisons
• * Lesson XIII – Suffix Order and Indirect Objects
• * Lesson XIV – Questions
• * Lesson XV – Participles and Passive Voice
• * Lesson XVI – Conditional and Subjunctive Moods
• Appendix A: Prefixes and Suffixes
• Appendix B: Grammar quick overview
• Appendix C: Measures, Directions, Army Ranks
• Appendix D: List Of Abbreviations
• Appendix E: Canonical Tolkien's Black Speech
* Lesson XIII – Suffix Order and Indirect Objects
In previous lessons adjectives, prepositions, etc. were spelled as separate words or as suffixes separated by hyphen. But experienced language users usually write them in one long word. Why? Alphabets of Middle-Earth have no hyphens, so prepositons really shall be written without it. Tolkien himself wrote “sharkû” instead of “shara kû”, so joining short adjectives to nouns shall be a common practice.
This lesson is partially based on information by The Second Nazgul, Witch-Queen Of Angmar, maybe the only member of Black Speech Community who knew Scatha.
Below lies a table of suffix chains for most common and complex parts of speech. Given examples were chosen to contain as many suffixes as possible.
|Part of speech||Suffix chain order||Example||Translation|
the most powerful elves
(he) was completely burned
will frighten them slightly
I will kill them all
about that ugly sorceress
from beneath his pits
I leave you with this little gem:
Attaching pronouns to the verbs
While Scatha recommends to attach pronouns to the verb, even if it's subject of sentence, it could be very frustrating if the object is also a pronoun. See my remarks on Lesson X about pronouns and examples for verbs in suffix chain table above.
Many people were confused with referring to two separate people in third person specially with many word modifiers (adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, etc.) in one sentence even without attaching them all into one word.
“I know what you mean about referring to two different people in third person. I also found that frustrating at first, but thing is, it's often clear from context which person you are talking about – here black speech differs from English, as you can leave the subject understood with no pronoun – or you can simply repeat the noun, which is the simplest and easiest solution. Though the latter does get repetitive after a while, it's not such bad form.” – says The Second Nazgul. She proposed using suffix -u with indirect objects but actually it is supposed by most verbs requiring two objects. I also recommend to add objective (~ accusative) case suffix -ish to direct object which was absent for nouns in Shadowlandian, but such novelty conflicts with old examples and the most of already translated texts. Let's see 4 possible variants of objects' combination:
- If neither the direct nor the indirect object are pronouns,
the indirect object comes after the direct object.
Both are separate from the verb. Adding objective case suffix to direct object is optional,
because everything is clear from word order. However, if subject is a pronoun attached to the verb, then
adding objective case suffix to direct object is recommended.
Thrak nazg(ish)u Scathazu = bring Scatha rings (lit.: bring rings to Scatha)Thrak golugish urûku flîzûr = give an elf to orc(s) for sacrifice = give orc(s) an elf for sacrifice*(*) Without additional suffixes it was almost impossible to understand, what and for whom should we give. But better solution is to modify this phrase into “give an elf for sacrificing by the orc(s)” = “thrak golug flîugumûr urûkirzi”
- If the direct object is a pronoun, and the indirect object is not a pronoun,
the direct object is attached to the verb and the indirect object is separate and follows.
Adding suffix -u (or other case suffix) to indirect object is strongly recommended in this case.
Thrakul Scathazu = bring them to Scatha.Azul goth(latub)ûr = kill them for (your) master.
- If the direct object is not a pronoun and the indirect object is a pronoun,
the indirect object is attached to the verb and the direct object is separate and follows.
Using additional case suffixes to both objects is almost obligatory in this case.
Thrakul(u) nazg(ish)u = bring (to) them ringsAzulûr golug(ish) = kill elves for them
- If both the direct and the indirect object are pronouns, the direct object is attached to the verb and the indirect object follows.
Add case suffix to indirect object. If direct object is personal pronoun then additional suffix is not needed, because
personal pronouns already have special form of objective case.
Thrakul izishu = bring them to usAzul izishûr = kill them for us
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