ThergerimTaal is a very old language, spoken in nearly all known dwarven communities. Like a dwarf's life, Thergertaal in general isn't a very complicated tongue. Once the principles are known it is in fact very easy to learn. Characteristic for Thergertaal is the deep tone the spoken words produce, mainly because the language uses many hollow sounds and concentrates on vocals like "o" und "u", representing the echoing and deep sound voices generated in tunnels mined by the dwarves. Also very typical of this language is the fact that there are hundreds of different words for only slightly different kind of stones, ores, minerals, and other elements.
Suffixes/Prefixes are added with capitals to distinguish meaning, thus:
(VoholCaor, "far wood"). Plurals are formed by adding
("-erons") to the main word, e.g.
(rotrum/rotrumerons) meaning "mountain/mountains".
Morphemes, or units of meaning, are capitalized, then run together to form a complete concept, so that adjectival forms are added wholesale onto the noun. E.g. UnSthommErons, UnSthommErons, the Dwarven Fathers) or YehLithInn (YehLithInn) = do + passion + ing = lovely, loved one (often used as an endearment among dwarven couples). Note that when forming a new word from various morphemes, double letters are often eliminated: thus Enn (Enn) = love, Eninn (Eninn) = loving. Where they remain it often indicates an archaic usage (UnSthommErons, UnSthommErons, those like stone = the Dwarven Fathers).
Spaces separate the different parts of speech as necessary to distinguish, e.g. Ylaoth KhirrilDrumm (Ylaoth KhirrilDrumm) = the Isle of the Glimmering Stones (mistranslated, literally, "Island - Jewel - Story", or the mythical Island of Jewels.)
The present participle is either formed by adding Inn (Inn) or Yeh (Yeh), e.g. Wiral (Wiral, talk) = Wiralinn (Wiralim, talking), while Anyeh (Anyeh, bath, wash) derives from Anul (Anul), water + yeh, doing.
TENSES AND CONJUGATION
… Ave Kul Oe Ona Uhny…
“And I will always love you….” (song lyric) - ThergerimTaal does not conjugate
verbs – they remain regular, or in simple root form. Tenses are formed by adding any of the
so-called "time-markers", at the
front of the sentence, thus
immediately clarifying what the dwarf is speaking about.
The past is expressed by starting a sentence with Ver (Ver). Like in this example: Ver BokVoPra KhirilMur Kul HuunGer DenArilerons Pri AvwarLok. (Ver BokVoPra KhirilMur Kul HuunGer DenArilerons Pri AvwarLok), which translates to: [Yesterday] Bok went to the Jewel-Mine and dug up seven gems in the ‘Right-Down’ tunnel.
Future sentences start with Ave (Ave). Ave Oe Drummet Hunolun Mithmez Ke. (Ave Oe Drummet Hunolun Mithmez Ke.), which translates to: I will draw her portrait in gold.
Non-marked sentences are assumed to be present tense; an action that is actually taking place at the time has "inn" added to the verb to emphasize its immediacy.
PRE- AND SUFFIXES (ALPALERONS)
An alpal (pre- or suf-fix) modifies the root word. The only logic of placement appears to be aesthetic - if the word is more euphonious to the dwarven ear by placing the ‘fix’ after the root, thus it shall be done. Position does not modify meaning.
Examples with pre- and suffixes:
.Ver Eenbar Reardyeh Pri Mukkot.
(.Ver Eenbar Reardyeh Pri Mukkot.)
The woman was waiting in the house. (Literally: PAST mother wait-ing in cavehome.)
.Ver Yabarra Kagoz Shaln PraYehurra.
(.Ver Yabarra Kagoz Shaln PraYehurra.)
The boy gave the girl a flower. (Literally: PAST unwed male give flower to maiden.)
.Ver Yehurra KhouhnPra Yabarra Kagoz Shaln VerMetinn
Mettoth. (.Ver Yehurra KhouhnPra
Yabarra Kagoz Shaln VerMetinn Mettoth.)
The girl to whom the boy gave a flower was reading a book. (Literally: PAST maiden who towards boy give flower PASTread-doing book.)
The girl's book. Literally: book of maiden.
One could also say “Mettoth Hun” - (the) book (is) hers - or “Hiwi Mettoth PeYabarra” - this book with/together maiden. - or simply “Huu Mettoth” - her book - depending on context. There are often a lot of specific words where we would use a general one (‘aunt’ for example) and dwarves prefer titles - a person is a mother, a miner, a teacher, etc - to personal names. You’d need to specify WHAT woman was waiting… (Note: ReardenYeh has been elided. Also, if you meant a human female in a human house, it would be Ver HuVothuten Reardyeh Pri Hund. )
PEOPLE WORDS (THERGE ALERON)
Ver Aveveryim Barbartol Korek Som. “My
grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf…” (lit. ‘Time-er of Grandfather
large-er (than) ledge…’
Note that when relationships are expressed that the gender of the individual usually comes first, then the relationship.
Ver Khotaph Papraz Eenjuvig Huun EenjuvigPuveen?
“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? (lit.: "who bad-take small-cake out
Questions (Khoalerons, Khoalerons) always start with the prefix Kho (Kho, marking questions) which are transfered into question words. These are called KoporetErons (KoPorEtErons) or "doubt-markers", which are usually put directly before the subject and verb. These markers also always are positioned after the time-marker. See the list of Question Words, based on the doubt prefix and the appropriate root; e.g. When = Khoafer (Khoafer), literally "unsure-time".
!Disvo Ner Hiwi Waarlok!
“Don’t go up the down tunnel!” (signboard in Mithrilite excavation) - These are
unique dwarven directions for working in three dimensions, possibly in low - or
no-light conditions. They are relative to the Thergerim body’s ‘earth-sense’
DIRECTIONS (KHOLOU ALERON)
(By our beards! – ancient dwarven warcry) - Direction words are used as prefixes
or suffixes. Dwarves don’t distinguish between the two in terms of meaning.
Neither do they distinguish prepositions of movement, though we have sorted them
Coincidentally, the acronym for the compass directions is the same as the human (Morelsche) tongue. It is believed by scholars that the earliest human settlers borrowed dwarven usages to describe the country around them, and a consonant shift occurred in many words to make the sounds easier on the human tongue.
Arse-oles!” (curse-word, often heard when accidentally hammering one’s
Dwarves have their own script, and thus
their own punctuation. As in tenses, punctuation is put at the very
beginning of a sentence to indicate with what emotion the sentence should
be read. The convention in translating or transliterating ThergerimTaal is
for scribes to use human punctuation
marks, but set them at the beginning and end of sentences to more closely
approximate dwarven style.
Bar, Berbar, Ave Oe Uhny* - One,
two, three, I seek thee! (Dwarven
childrens’ counting chant) - Numbers must be inferred from context
and intonation when spoken, as each number word also has its own meaning.
(For example, does ‘Den Mettotherons’ mean ‘seven books’ or ‘holy books’?
) When written, of course, they are scribed as number runes rather than
words and thus this difficulty does not apply. N.B. Since dwarves do not
believe in the concept of 0 as a number/placeholder (how can you count
nothing?) their large numbers get nasty, e.g. 2673 =
BarEgri'EtinnOltgyr'DenGol'Berbar.... But it's a very exact system, and
for a race that is as long-lived as the Thergerim, I suppose they don't
mind the extra time taken to say their age!
Fractions are known as Warzilerons (from Warzilyeh - to divide, partition equally) . ½ - Barzil 1/3 - Berzil ¼ - Werzil 1/8 – Gezil... and so on.
“As small as a Brownie!” (lit. "As small
as the Smallest Thing!")
/ Konaver Sprukthu UrtBerav Pra Harrenja/ (never waste a good joke on an elf!) – dwarven proverb
Ze OeuOng / “That’s not the shape of my heart…” (song lyric) - Note that
two-dimensional shapes end in 'oon' (Wheroon,
Wheroon = square;
Berbaroon = triangle,
while their adjectival form ends with 'un' or 'on'. Note that 'oon' actually
means "circle", which is the essential shape to a
Thergerim – also used for ‘shape’,
‘group’, ‘community’ depending on context.
Three-dimensional constructs are usually distinguished by 'een' or 'ene' suffixes. For example: Taareen, Taareen = Pillar, Sohaareen, Sohaareen = Arch, Bernarene, Bernarene = Pyramid.
FORMATION OF SENTENCES
“He’s a frank speaker!” (lit. ‘rough language talk-ing-er’) - Morphemes, or
units of meaning, are capitalized, then run together to form a complete concept,
often creating compound words in the process. Capitals and double letters are
eliminated from morphemes when the concept forms a name or a complete new word
sanctioned by long usage. YehLithInn - do + passion + ing = Yehlithin => lovely,
loved one (often used as an endearment among
dwarven couples) or Enn - love, Eninn - loving Enoeuim (‘en-NOY-oo-eem’ -
“beloved”) . Where capitals still remain in common names it often indicates an
archaic usage (UnSthommErons, those like stone - the
Dwarven Fathers) Spaces separate
the different parts of speech as necessary to distinguish meaning and provide a
visual break: Ylaoth Khirildrum - the Isle of the Glimmering Stones
(mistranslate, literally, “Island - Jewel - Story”, or the Mythical Island
Some example sentences in Thergerim Taal sentences can be found in the table below: