THE DWARVEN TONGUE ("THERGERIM TAAL", "THERGERTAAL")

GRAMMAR PRINCIPLES - TENSES - QUESTIONS - PRE- AND SUFFIXES - PEOPLE WORDS
DIMENSIONAL DIRECTIONS - DIRECTIONS - PUNCTUATION - NUMBERS
CONNECTORS - RACE TITLES -
SHAPES - SENTENCES
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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.

GRAMMAR PRINCIPLES

Suffixes/Prefixes are added with capitals to distinguish meaning, thus: VoholCaor (VoholCaor, "far wood"). Plurals are formed by adding -erons ("-erons") to the main word, e.g. rotrum/ rotrumerons (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 AveVerEt (AveVerEt), 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.

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TIME MARKERS

Time Marker

Position Time
[None] In front of sentence Expresses present actions
Inn
(Inn)
Added to verb Expresses immediate actions (Present Participle), e.g. Mumpherlinn (Mumpherlinn) meaning "standing". Inn (Inn) by the way derives from enninn (enninn) meaning "loving".
Ver
(Ver)
In front of sentence Expresses past actions
Ave
(Ave)
In front of sentence Expresses future actions Return to the top
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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.

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PRE- AND SUFFIXES

Pre-/Suffix

Meaning
ka (ka)
away from, from; KaVerOon - travel (leaving), Kavon, to travel
pra (pra) towards, to; Pratheron, to meet
pripra (pripra) into
re (re) hold, keep back; Reardenim - waiting; Rearden, to wait
pu (pu) open, release; CoPuGolzeron - fists, literally “not-open-hand-plural”
dis (dis) negative, reversed; DisPor - lost, literally “not - located”
huun (huun) remove, out of; HuunGer - dig, Hunsthomm - excavate
guun (guun) after, as in guul, back, GuunNolWerfer - Gunolwerf - resettle
wehrn (wehrn) before as in wer, front; KhorimWehrn - old age
ta (ta) again, repeat; TaHuhn - forge, strike
ko (ko) do the opposite of; KoThergerim - undwarven ways, discourteous
pe (pe) with, together, -ly as in peNegrinUth, surrounding (lit. “with - all - us”)
The syllable ‘pe’ carries connotations of belonging, posession. When used between two sentient beings it is always considered mutual; “Hu PeBaun” - she is his - means just as validly ‘he is hers’...
tol (tol) below, under; as in tol, underground
ke (ke) above; as in kerrin, high
un (un) like, same, resembling; UnSthommErons - those like stone
ber (ber) next to, beside; BerKerryim - subordinate (next to high one)
yeh (yeh) do, doing; YehGerinn - farming, YehMith - metalworking
ek (ek) more, -er Thus: unarilek, ekunaril - prettier (no ‘than’ is required in a dwarven sentence of comparison)
it (it) Most, -est unarilit, itunaril - prettiest (no ‘the’ is required in a dwarven sentence of comparison)
yim (yim) One who does something, -er, -ist a suffix used for a person or title, such as ‘Muryim’, Miner – from ‘mur’, meaning ‘mine’ (also Hunyim, ‘dig-person’) Return to the top
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Examples with pre- and suffixes:

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…’

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DIRECTION WORDS
People Word Translation People Word Translation
Huttol (Huttol) Mother Barol (Barol) Father
Eenhu (Eenhu) Sister Eenbar (Eenbar) Brother
Thereen (Thereen) Baby Unbol (Unbol) Son
Hunol (Hunol) Daughter    
Huenbar, Huenhu (Huenbar, Huenhu) Aunts Barenbar, Barenhu (Barenbar, Barenhu) Uncles
Hubarol (Hubarol) Grandmother on Father’s Side Barhutol (Barhutol) Grandfather on Mother’s Side
Huenegrin (Huenegrin) 'Auntie'
(an affectionate way to refer to the senior dwarves of the cavern)
Barenegrin (Barenegrin) ‘Uncle’
(an affectionate way to refer to the senior dwarves of the cavern)
Oe (Oe) I Uhn (Uhn) you
Uhnegrin (Uhnegrin) you all Ba (Ba) he
Hu (Hu) she Theh (Theh) we
Distheh (Distheh) they Uth (Uth) us
Negrin (Negrin) all KoNegrin (KoNegrin) none
Wi (Wi) it (thing or genderless)    
Yabarrah (Yabarrah),
pl.
Yabarerons (Yabarerons)
Bachelor (unwed male dwarf) Yehurra (Yehurra),
pl.
Yehurerons (Yehurerons)
Maiden (unwed female dwarf)
Lekunn (Lekunn), pl. Lekunerons (Lekunerons) Child (1 to 10 human-years of age, not yet weaned) Shorr (Shorr), pl. Shorerons (Shorerons) Adolescent (young dwarf under the age of Hu/Baregozar) Return to the top
Kavoninn Yabarrah (Kavoninn Yabarrah) Travelling Bachelor    
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Note that when relationships are expressed that the gender of the individual usually comes first, then the relationship.

QUESTIONS (KHOALERONS)

? Ver Khotaph Papraz Eenjuvig Huun EenjuvigPuveen? “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? (lit.: "who bad-take small-cake out of small-cake-pot?")

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QUESTION WORDS
Question Word Translation Question Word Translation
Khor (Khor) What? (Khor) Khouhn (Khouhn) Who?
Kholou (Kholou) Where? (Kholou) Khotaph (Khotaph) Why?
Khoafer (Khoafer) When? (Khoafer) Khohuun (Khohuun) How?
Uu (Uu) Yes (Uu) Paa (Paa) No Return to the top
Khordispor (Khordispor) Whatever (lit. "thing-unknown")    
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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".

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QUESTION EXAMPLES
Thergerim Taal Tharian Text

? Ver Khotaph Hu Kaenul ?
(? Ver Khotaph Hu Kaenul ?)

Question – Past – Why – She – Cry (Why did she cry?)
? Khouhn Pra Hu Kaenulinn ?
(? Khouhn Pra Hu Kaenulinn ?)
Question - (Present )- Who – Towards – She – Crying (For whom is she crying? or, depending on context, To whom is she crying ?)
? Ave Khordispor Hu Kaenul ?
(? Ave Khordispor Hu Kaenul ?)
Question – Future – Whatever – She – Cry (For what reason will she be crying?) Return to the top
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DIMENSIONAL DIRECTIONS

!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’ only.

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DIRECTION WORDS
Direction Word Translation Direction Word Translation
WerAv (WerAv) for’right (45 degrees to the right of the body’s front) GulAv (GulAv) ast’right (135 degrees to the right of front, or 45 degrees left from the dwarf’s back)
WerBar (WerBar) for’left GulBar (GulBar) ast’left
AvWaar (AvWaar) right (90 degrees) and down 45 degrees WerAvNer (WerAvNer) halfway up
(like a straight-arm salute, pointing 45 degrees up and out from the shoulder) Return to the top
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DIRECTIONS (KHOLOU ALERON)

!Shu-Theu Thelonerons! (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 separately below.

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DIRECTION WORDS
Direction Word Translation Direction Word Translation
Nol (Nol) North Sol (Sol) South
Eol (Eol) East Wol (Wol) West
Huun (Huun) out Pri (Pri) in
Ke (Ke) over Tol (Tol) under
Ber (Ber) next to Pripra (Pripra) to, towards, into
Shu (Shu) by    
Ket (Ket) on Diskett (Diskett) off
Ner (Ner) up Waar (Waar) down
Av (Av) right Bar (Bar) left
Wer (Wer) front Guul (Guul) back Return to the top
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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.

PUNCTUATION

!Hutpu Duterons! “Sh-tty Arse-oles!” (curse-word, often heard when accidentally hammering one’s thumb) - 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.

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PUNCTUATION OVERVIEW

MarkType

Type Meaning
. Statement Used to frame ordinary sentences
! Excitement For strong emotion
? Question Unsure, doubt, request
* Joke Meant lightly, amusingly
/ Emphatic Indicates absolute certainty
< Sarcasm Inverts meaning of sentence Return to the top
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NUMBERS (TAKELERONS)

*Gor, 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!

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NUMBERS
Number Translation Number Translation
Koneg (Koneg) 0 (Nothing) Etinn (Etinn) 6 (Marking)
Gor (Gor) 1 (Onething) Den (Den) 7 (Holy)
Bar (Bar) 2 (Male) Thergetyr (Thergetyr) 8 (Clan)
Berbar (Berbar) 3 (NextToMale) Dishun (Dishun) 9 (Incomplete)
Werhut (Werhut) 4 (BeforeWoman) Golzeron (Golzeron) 10 (Hands) Return to the top
Hut (Hut) 5 (Woman)    
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Fractions are known as Warzilerons (from Warzilyeh - to divide, partition equally) . ½ - Barzil 1/3 - Berzil ¼ - Werzil 1/8 – Gezil... and so on.

CONNECTORS (EENALERONS)

 !EpEen EpEenwit! “As small as a Brownie!” (lit. "As small as the Smallest Thing!")

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CONNECTOR WORDS
Connector Word Translation Connector Word Translation
Pe (Pe) with, -ly Kul (Kul) and
Vani (Vani) or Muut (Muut) but
Bari (Bari) if Ep (Ep) as
Ze (Ze) of Ra (Ra) for
Vev (Vev) so, therefore Karnula (Karnula) from
Ka (Ka) away Re (Re) hold, keep back
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RACE TITLES

/ Konaver Sprukthu UrtBerav Pra Harrenja/ (never waste a good joke on an elf!) – dwarven proverb

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RACE TITLES

Title

Meaning
Thergerim (Thergerim)
Dwarf - Untranslatable, but carries the meaning of ‘our people’, ‘loyalty’ and ‘unbreakable bond’. All clan names contain the last morpheme ‘erim’/’arim’ , which is believed to mean ‘the dwarven people’.
Alaverimin (Alaverimin) Elf - “Long-Living”
Harrenja (Harrenja) Elf - lit. “Leaf-Eared” (alternately)
Caorprioon (Caorprioon ) Elf - lit. "Woods-Dweller" (alternately)
Vothuten (Vothuten) Human - “Sunlover”
Kegertheren (Kegertheren) Human - “Surface Folk” (less courteously)
Gerrezt (Gerrezt) Human - “Ground-Scratcher” (alternately)
Dragrum (Dragrum) Orc - “Rough-Toothed”
Covikgrupu (Covikgrupu) Orc - “Rude Eater” (disparagingly)
Barzilmutten (Barzilmutten) Hobbit - “Halflings” (literally, “half-body”)
Undegolz (Undegolz) Gnome - “Clever-handed”
Undwirreli (Undwirreli) Gnome - “Craftsman/Artificer”
Eenwit (Eenwit) Brownie - “The Smallest Ones” (“small-thing-most”)
Anushona (Anushona) Mullog - “Swamp-folk”, “Wetlanders” (wet-place-ones)
Nedzoluun (Nedzoluun) Troll - “The Bitterfaced”
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SHAPES (OONERONS)

Holwi DisOon Ze OeuOng / “That’s not the shape of my heart…” (song lyric) - Note that two-dimensional shapes end in 'oon' (Wheroon, Wheroon = square; Berbaroon, Berbaroon = triangle, Hunoon = rectangle, Eyroon = oval, Kaenoon = teardrop), 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

! DradikTaal Wiralyehyim! “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 of Jewels).

Some example sentences in Thergerim Taal sentences can be found in the table below:

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EXAMPLE SENTENCES

Thergerim Taal

Literal Translation Tharian Text
! Disthergyter HuThegerim Unaril ! (excitement) not-clan female dwarf like-jewel That strange dwarven maid is beautiful!
(! Disthergyter HuThegerim Unaril !)
. Ave Oe Drummet HuUnolun Mithmez Ke . (future) I draw female face-like gold-metal upon I will draw her portrait in gold.
(. Ave Oe Drummet HuUnolun Mithmez Ke .)
? Ave Khor Uhn CoTaal HuUrten Wi ? (questioning) (future) (what) you think female enjoy thing Do you think she will like it?
(? Ave Khor Uhn CoTaal HuUrten Wi ?)
* Paa, Uhnu Patz Drummetinn * (joke) negative your bad drawing No, you're a terrible artist.
(
* Paa, Uhnu Patz Drummetinn *)

Following a little story...

.Ver Hunden  Bok Vo KhirrilMor Kul HuunGer DenArilerons PriAvwaarLok. (Past) Day-name Bok go Jewel Mine and dig 7 gem (plural) in Av-Waar tunnel. Yesterday Bok went to the Jewel-Mine and dug up seven gems in the Right-Down tunnel.
.Ver Ba Wirrel Wierons PriPra HomEenIko PraKagoz LithHu. (Past) male make thing (plural) in towards neck string to give love female. He made them into a necklace for his love.
.Ver HuPil Kul Unaril - Prigoz TheleronsMor Pe KaertheronsMez. (Past) female short and like-jewel -  have hair (plural)- black with (together) eye (plural)- gold She was short and beautiful, with dark hair and golden eyes.
.Ver HuPil CoPragoz BokKagozwi Kul Votten - KaepaiPe. ?Khotaph? .Theh DisHthuuCotaal. (Past) But female (opposite)-take Bok-give-thing and run - cry (with).  Unsure-reason?  We negative understand-think. But she rejected his gift and fled, weeping. Why? We do not know.
/VerYrant / (Emphatic) (Past) Finish The End Return to the top
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 Date of last edit 15th Passing Clouds 1671 a.S.

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