• 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 IV – Verbs: Infinitive and Present Tense
Because this is an invented language, we will assume that all verbs are regular. Therefore, all infinitives end in -at: for example, durbat = to rule, gimbat = to find, krimpat = to bind, and thrakat = to bring. The BS dictionary gives only the verb stem (for example, durb-, gimb-, krimp- etc) to which you will add the various endings, like -at, -ut, -ub, -uz, etc.
Find several other verbs in the dictionary and give the infinitive form for each.
In Black Speech, we assume that all verbs are regular and are conjugated in the following way:Gimbat, to find:
|gimb||I find||gimb||we find|
|gimb||you find (sing.)||gimb||you find (pl.)|
Thrakat, to bring:
|thrak||I bring||thrak||we bring|
|thrak||you bring (sing.)||thrak||you bring (pl.)|
Please note: According to some of the contributors to Tolklang, third person plural takes the ending “ut”. I have added the ending “at” to the third person singular, even though I realize this may be a little confusing. I have done this for two reasons: first, because some of the posters on the LOS board were already using the infinitive form as the third person singular, and second, it made sense to be able to indicate the difference between a command (gimb! = you find, and gimbat = he finds). Using the -at ending for the third person singular and for the infinitive should not be too problematic. After all, the English language uses the same ending for almost all verb endings.
Some new words:
|fauthat||to hide / to lie hidden|
Translate the following:
you (sing.) doom
you (sing.) lure
you (pl.) gather
you (pl.) bind
*note that the verb stem “throqu-” ends in a “u”, so you will have to add another “u” to form the present 3rd plural or future tense: throqu, I devour, throquub, I will devour (pronounced “throw-kwoob”). In many European languages, it is customary to add a “u” after the “q” to indicate the “kw” sound. In Middle Earth, of course, Black Speech would be written in tengwar or runes, not in English letters, so the extra “u” would not be an issue. In other words, the fact that you happen to have two “u's” together here doesn't mean you should pronounce them as a long “uu”.
You might notice that all verb forms in this lesson are Present Simple. And what about Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous forms? Black Speech doesn't have them! It's very hard to understand for English students, but evident for slavic students. I suppose you should use Past Tense in Black Speech instead of Present Perfect, use Present Tense in other cases. So phrases “I eat”, “I am eating” and “I have been eating (for 10 minutes)” will be all translated as “throqu”. And “I have (just) eaten” may be translated as “throquuz”.
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