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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:28 am 
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I was wondering if we could figure out what the name of the game of Ahyoheek means. The third syllable heek is homophonous with the name of the weapon used by Gehn on Riven. Since that had a bayonet-like point, there is at least a broad similarity with the pointed end of a pen, which is one of the tokens in the game. So if heek means something like ‘pointed’ or ‘pointed instrument’ then it might fit both contexts.

In looking for possible etymological support for this, and noting that the only other known words beginning with hee are heebor ‘fifteen’ and its derivatives heegahfah ‘sixteen’, heegahbree ‘seventeen’, etc., I was struck by the fact that the numeral % looks a lot like the outline shape of a pen-point.

With a little imagination one might also see ) as the outline of a beetle or at least its wing-covering visible in profile. And [ could similarly represent a page. However, neither the names of these numbers (nayvoo; rish) nor the sounds of the corresponding letters (eh; ts) seem to be connected with the name ahyoheek.

The second syllable in the name is yo, which does not appear in any other known D’ni word. But it does resemble, at least phonetically, the ending eeo of the word tahleeo ‘surface’. This might suggest that yo is the part of the word ahyoheek that represents the ‘page’ token in the game, since a page is a kind of surface.

Other words or components that might be related to the eeo in the word for surface are: eer ‘bandage’ (in the sense of a ‘strip of cloth to cover a wound’); and the ending eeuh in the verb ahreeuh ‘protect’. The common idea in these components beginning with ee seems to be that of something essentially two-dimensional, though not necessarily flat or rigid, but which perhaps typically ‘covers’ another solid thing.

Note that the English verb protect is ultimately derived from Latin protegere which meant literally ‘to cover in front’. But the first component of D’ni ahreeuh might be related to the component ahro seen in ahrotahntee ‘Outsiders, Book-worlders’. The original idea of the word ahreeuh may have been something like ‘cover on the outside’.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:32 pm 
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To explain what ahro means as a component in the term ahrotahntee we should consider the entry for this word in the D’ni Language Guide :

outsider – n. ah-ro-tahn (lit. others).

The D’ni word is singular, so the fact that it literally means “others” is probably expressed this way because this word in English is an adjective when singular (other) but is a noun when plural: others typically meaning ‘other people’.

The D’ni suffix -tahn is usually attached to a verb-stem, as in bahreltahn ‘maker’ or meestahn ‘speaker’, where it “changes a verb to a noun that performs the verb” as the DLG explains. So there could be a verb ahro which would mean something like ‘differ, be different’.

But there is also an obvious parallel between ahro and bahro (lit. ‘beast-people’). So the etymological construction of ahro could be ah + ro, with the first component expressing concept of ‘other’ or ‘different’; and then ahro would be literally 'other people' or 'others'.

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:46 am 
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I have tried to draw a connection to the apparent verb ahr 'enter' or 'go', from Gehn's speech to Cho in one of Riven's bad endings, speculating that ahro means 'be outside' or 'come inside'. Hence the ahrotahn, for which a better translation (in D'ni times, anyway) might be 'book-worlders, non-D'ni from the Ages', are literally 'those who are outside (D'ni), those who come into (D'ni)'.

The connection with bah'ro is imaginative, but probably unfounded. As you observed, -tahn is a verbal suffix - it is in fact exclusively verbal, but your putative ahro 'other people' is clearly nominal.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:35 am 
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Insofar as ahro is a verb another suggestive parallel would be the verb kro ‘move’. This is used both intransitively and transitively, i.e. to mean ‘change postion through one’s own volition’ or ‘cause another to change position’. The subject can be a machine or device, but this is presumably metaphorical; and the basic idea of the verb probably entails ‘animacy’.

In other words, we can paraphrase kro ‘move’ as either ‘to animate’ (transitive) or ‘to be animate’ (intransitve). And it seems probable that the later is the more fundamental concept, which then suggests an etymology k(e) + ro. If this k(e) is related to ken ‘be’ then this could exemplify how a nominal root concept could be converted into a verbal one.

Another word that might contain my hypothetical *ah 'other' is the noun ahve 'error'. This could be paraphrased as something which is 'other (than) true'.

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 9:39 pm 
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KathAveara wrote:
I have tried to draw a connection to the apparent verb ahr 'enter' or 'go', from Gehn's speech to Cho in one of Riven's bad endings, speculating that ahro means 'be outside' or 'come inside'. Hence the ahrotahn, for which a better translation (in D'ni times, anyway) might be 'book-worlders, non-D'ni from the Ages', are literally 'those who are outside (D'ni), those who come into (D'ni)'.

I think Kath is onto something here :!:

Gehn’s use of this verb comes after he says: .sekem shokhooteeom ‘you have your instructions’.* His final words to Cho are expressed quietly so the adverbial particle is hard to hear, but probably he says: .ahremah te

The directionality in this is presumably expressed by te ‘in, by, with’ and combined with a verb that is less specific about direction, like ‘go’; so that the resulting imperative phrase ‘go in!’ does mean ‘enter!' If ahr = ‘go’ then we might have an adjective *ahrah ‘gone’, comparable in etymology to adjective yimah ‘seen’ beside verb yim ‘see’.

This could have a potentially broad extended meaning. An example would be illustrated by colloquial English, where in referring to a recent (or imminent) departure one can say “he is gone” or more vividly “he is out of here.” If ahro is a derived verb based on this notion then its sense of 'being outside' might refer both to physical separation and also to notional difference, so that ahrotahntee 'those being outside, outsiders' comes to mean simply 'those who are different, others'.

* Note by the way that shokhoo ‘instruct’ is another of the subclass of D’ni verbs, such as taygahn ‘love’ or say ‘design’, that can be used as a noun without the addition of the suffix -tahv.

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Minor addendum to Khrees' post: the final word in ahremah te could be tah, which probably means 'it', in which case the root ahr would already be directional 'enter'. This would be slightly easier from the viewpoint of connecting a verb 'be outside', but that initial assumption isn't certain.

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:33 pm 
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I guess to my mind "go" is closer semantically to "outside" than "enter" is. That is I could not think of a contextualization that would lead to expanding the meaning of a word from 'enter' > 'be outside'. It seems like the opposite 'do not enter' is the equivalent of 'be outside'; while 'go' (without further directional qualification) means 'move starting here' (in contrast with 'come' = 'move ending up here') and so can imply 'move away' > 'be elsewhere'.

This might also help explain why the DLG says that ahrotahn literally means 'others'. We can think of linking to another Age as going "into it" or going "out of" the one we are in, but this is metaphorical. Literally one is merely changing position to some "other" place in the multiverse.

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:28 pm 
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If you are entering a place, then you are already outside that place, i.e. "one who is outside" = "one who can/must/may enter". Of course, this all depends on what -o means, which is still a total mystery. To my knowledge, this is the only assured case of a segmentable morpheme -o, form verbs from verbs, which makes the job that much harder. There is, of course, another clear morpheme -o visible in tsahno 'eternal, permanent', clearly derived from tsahn 'always, forever', but the identity of the two is hardly obvious.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Another verb that looks like it could be derived from either ahr or ahro is the verb ahrtah. Again we only have a single context as a clue to its meaning. In Atrus’s Prayer he says:

.votahr ah’shem khekamrov kenem
.g’chev ah’shem khekam l’ahrtahem gah kæm boahrtahem

‘I praise you for who you are.
And I thank you for what you have [???] and what you will [???].’

Practically any transitive verb of which Yahvo could be the subject would fit the second sentence. But if ahr refers to some kind of motion, then ahrtah could be the corresponding causative, which we might paraphrase as “to set in motion.”

On the other hand there could be a closer semantic relation to the verb ahro, which we can summarize as referring to existence within other Ages. So the derived verb ahrtah could refer to what Yahvo causes to exist in these Ages. This would connect with Atrus referring earlier in the prayer to being “able to link to various places of Yahvo’s creation.”

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:09 am 
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It's interesting that we don't yet have any examples of causatives, synthetic or analytic, as far as I am aware (and no, the verbs in -on/en are not causatives, they are factitives)

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:13 pm 
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This is true, though we should keep in mind that causative and factitive are often grammaticalized in similar ways. Thus compare English you made him pay vs. you made him happy. This is because syntactically these two types of clause both involve an increase in the valency or number of constituents, adding an instigator to a verbal notion that already involves either an actor or an experiencer.

Bearing this in mind, it is interesting that the endings we are considering as potential markers of factitives, namely -on/en (as in zithon ‘lower’ or veren ‘mollify’) and -tah (as in ahrtah and possibly in mishtah ‘construct’) are both apparently homophonous with pronouns.

Perhaps these are etymologically based on earlier phrases where what now appears as a derivational suffix was originally a pronominal indicator of the underlying experiencer. Thus ver-en-et could have prehistorically meant 'you (instigate) he/she (acts) calm'.

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 3:36 am 
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Yes, I am aware that causatives and factitives are often regarded as identical, but what I meant was rather that we have nothing that must be specifically causative.

Pronominal marking turned derivation is certainly not unheard of - Ancient Egyptian's synthetic passive marker -t(w) is in origin a 4th person suffix pronoun

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:54 am 
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The relative sparsity of causatives in our data may connect with the fact that many causatives are supplied to the language by using the same form as the underlying intransitive. And example is reeslo ‘dissolve’. The historical development may have started with a simple intransitive meaning:

.reshuhteejoo koreesloen ‘the rocksalt dissolved'.

An agency could be indicated, as:

.reshuhteejoo koreesloen te ahno ‘the rocksalt dissolved in water’.

This may have led to a reinterpretation as passive, perhaps with the addition of a form of the copula:

.reshuhteejoo kokenen koreesloen te ahno ‘the rocksalt it was (that) was dissolved in/by the water’ > ‘the rocksalt was (being) dissolved in/by the water’.

And then an active transitive would be back-formed from this:

.ahno koreesloen reshuhteejoo ‘the water dissolved the rocksalt’ = ‘the water caused the rocksalt to dissolve’.

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:36 am 
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This only works with ergative verbs, however - accusative verbs already have an intransitive that doesn't lend itself to this meaning, for example. I feel that this is unlikely to spread beyond this class of verb.

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:08 pm 
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KathAveara wrote:
This only works with ergative verbs, however - accusative verbs already have an intransitive that doesn't lend itself to this meaning, for example. I feel that this is unlikely to spread beyond this class of verb.


Interestingly, there don't seem to be as many clear examples of accusative verbs as there are of ergative verbs. I skimmed through the attested verbs and found chev, which can be used in either chev shem or chev b'shem, plus maybe teeg, which is attested as an intransitive with agentive subject but also occurs in the pseudo-transitive participle pradteegahl.

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