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Question on Tau language
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 17:16   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Question on Tau language

In writing my fluff, I've been wondering recently about Tau grammar, specifically in how plurals should be written. Most sources I've seen have Tau plurals written as the word with an S at the end (e.g. Shas'la = Shas'las, Tau'cyr = Tau'cyrs), but this seems... weird. It just doesn't look or sound right to me, to apply English grammar to alien words in this way. I tend to write the singular the same as the plural for most words (e.g. Aun = Aun) except for certain specific ones where it simply sounds better to me to have an S (e.g. Dec = Decs, Sept = Septs).

What do you guys think about this?
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 17:32   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

go with writing singulars until it sounds better to add an S- official fluff writing does the same

'The Shas' as opposed to 'Shas's'

There is no official ruling on it- but look through the Project Tau Article:Lexicon if you want inspiration- if i do say so myself.
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 17:40   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmsword
There is no official ruling on it- but look through the Project Tau Article:Lexicon if you want inspiration- if i do say so myself.
You have no shame. :P
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 17:44   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

well i have to have some kind of advertising- they won't sticky it! :'(
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 18:16   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasrkin
In writing my fluff, I've been wondering recently about Tau grammar, specifically in how plurals should be written. Most sources I've seen have Tau plurals written as the word with an S at the end (e.g. Shas'la = Shas'las, Tau'cyr = Tau'cyrs), but this seems... weird. It just doesn't look or sound right to me, to apply English grammar to alien words in this way. I tend to write the singular the same as the plural for most words (e.g. Aun = Aun) except for certain specific ones where it simply sounds better to me to have an S (e.g. Dec = Decs, Sept = Septs).

What do you guys think about this?
Well from what work I have done with the language the Tau do not have sentences lie we do.

The Entire system is build up of word phrases which each have their own individual meaning.

e.g.

Gue'la'elro

Is the same as a English sentence saying; "The Standard Aliens Speaker ..."

A Tau (Note how I haven't addressed this yet) would continue the word phrase like;

"Gue'la'elro'chia'au'xesa. "

This would be the equivalent of us saying;

"The Standard Alien speaker was speaking about the unification history."

This could be shortened to;

"The Human leader spoke about history on unification"

Tau sentences are never very long, in fact "Gue'la'elro'chia'au'xesa. " would be very poor grammer, it is more likely to be written;

"Gue'la'xesa'elro Au'chia'tau"

"The Human speaker, spoke about Tau history of unification."

To read Tau one must look at each individual segment of the phrase and it's meaning. Then look at the order in which they appeared (Not important unless an emphasis part meaning has been included). Then wherever you have a break treat as a colon or semi colon. Often the phrases run into one another making a string of meaning, but sometimes they break and start anew. Hence the Tau don't have a full stop.

Additionally in Tau written, you don't have commas between the part meanings. Thus one must understand that every 'word' so to speak, carries as much information as a human sentence.

Plurals.

The partmeaning for plurals is; | Era | this is NOT the same as putting an s on the end of words like in English. This is like saying | Them | or | Us | collectively. As far as I understand the Tau have no denominator for plurals in general.

Even Calmsword is incorrect it is Sept, and Dec regardless. Septs is a word fans of the 40k universe have used to dictate meaning, because if you wrote the; "Sept of T'au and Bork'an." then you will confuse people. Likewise with time; "It was 50 Dec."

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Old 14 Jan 2008, 15:40   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

on Tau language,

has anyone noticed that the 'font' used for the written language is not unique to GW?

I have seen it in the Stargate series as the language of the Ancients.

Does anyone know of anywhere else it is used?

(sorry if this has been raised before, I couldn't find it.)
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 10:11   #7 (permalink)
Kai
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

It is possible they just don't pluralise at all. Japanese, for example has no inflections to imply pluralisation. All things are done on context, for instance "Pen Desu" is a construction built on a noun and a verb "Pen" is shared in English (common noun) and "Desu" is the verb "To be". The sentence can mean "It is a Pen"; "They are Pens", "That is a pen", "Those are pens" and even "I need a Pen".

Given the amount the codex says Tau language is influenced by pheremone signals, prosodics (non verbal communication features) and tone, its not unlikely they might adopt a similair method of diexical implication.

Quote:
Additionally in Tau written, you don't have commas between the part meanings. Thus one must understand that every 'word' so to speak, carries as much information as a human sentence.
I'm sorry... what? Do you mean the morphemes arn't seperated by apostraphies when creating compounds? Or do you mean Clauses arn't seperated by commas? I really am sorry to be such an ass but if you're going to talk about linguistics could you use correct terminology so that we can actually follow what you're saying please?
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Originally Posted by Kai
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Originally Posted by †Methelas†
The Titan is not a human, therefore has no genitals!
My subtle diagram disagrees with you.
your "subtle" diagram contains Optimus Prime and Proffessor Farnsworth, it's heresy in it's own right!
Any similarities between your reality and mine are purely coincidental...
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 12:49   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

That would actually make sense, given that they're already based off japanese culture.

"What do you mean these are pens? they're sticks!"
"No, I need a pen!"
"They're not pens!"
"Oh stuff it, I'll try someone else..."
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 19:37   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
It is possible they just don't pluralise at all. Japanese, for example has no inflections to imply pluralisation. All things are done on context, for instance "Pen Desu" is a construction built on a noun and a verb "Pen" is shared in English (common noun) and "Desu" is the verb "To be". The sentence can mean "It is a Pen"; "They are Pens", "That is a pen", "Those are pens" and even "I need a Pen".

Given the amount the codex says Tau language is influenced by pheromone signals, prosodics (non verbal communication features) and tone, its not unlikely they might adopt a similar method of diexical implication.

Quote:
Additionally in Tau written, you don't have commas between the part meanings. Thus one must understand that every 'word' so to speak, carries as much information as a human sentence.
I'm sorry... what? Do you mean the morphemes aren't separated by apostrophes when creating compounds? Or do you mean Clauses ain't separated by commas? I really am sorry to be such an D'yi but if you're going to talk about linguistics could you use correct terminology so that we can actually follow what you're saying please?
I've never studdied English language or any language really. Other than trying to break this one down with my mates.

When you write in Tau (that is their letters) it appears you don't use the commas at all. The word phrase is written straight off in a sequence, with breaks in the text where the English text would have them. I base this off GW artwork which has been translated (unfortunately most is gibberish, however there are a couple of examples, codex unit names) which do adhere to this ideal.

Err if I explain futher;

Gue'la'xesa'elro

|Gue| is a part meaning
so is
|la|
|xesa|
|elro| etc.

however if we went to Tau letters now Gue'la'xesa'elro would be;

gueaxesaelro

like a single word, however to a Tau this is like a single sentence all in one. Most 'sentences' appear to be made of three or four part meanings strung together and spoken as a single term. A discrete packet of information.

I hope that helps, perhaps you could inform me if this is the best way to go about thinking about the language?

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Old 16 Jan 2008, 08:52   #10 (permalink)
Kai
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Default Re: Question on Tau language

Ok I get what you mean now

The thing you refer to as a "part meaning" is actually called a morpheme, its basically a singular unit of language that has a meaning conveyed by it. Words can be made up of single morphemes such as "Cheese" (which tells you exactly what the object is" or it can be made up of several morphemes such as 'disease' (a compound construction of 'dis' - which basically means against or lacking, and 'ease' - meaning a state of comfort and relaxation).

In English we tend to make new words through a process called 'analogy', which is where morphemic boundaries of an existing word become split, often through similarity to an existing word.

A good example of this is 'Hamburger'. The original meaning of this word was 'A person from Hamburg' (what we now know as hamburgers where called hamburger steaks, which was shortened by ellipsis to 'hamburgers' as slang), so its morphemes were "Hamburg" - the proper noun (the town) and "er" - denoting a person attached to the prefixed noun or verb. Because of the shortening this became reanalysed into the morphemic boundaries of "Ham" - meaning the flesh of a pig, and "Burger" - which now carried the connotation of a meat filling in a seasame bun. Because "Burger" now exists as a single morpheme, with Ham only existing as a prefix, it is now possible to add other morphemes infront of burger to create new words, such as cheeseburger, veggieburger and so on.

What you've basically said about Tau is that the morphemes are combined by adding apostraphies to make a singular compound word which carries the entire meaning of a sentence, and as a result does not have clauses (which lends more weight to my 'pluralisation and other features dependant on context', as clauses are used to define meaning.).

The bits that break up the word in Tau are called apostraphies, not commas. Commas are the little curved things that look like this ( , ) and are used to break up clauses (parts of a sentence that contain different complete sections of meaning, but are related to each other - usually one is dependant on the other to give it context and thus make sense. If both sentences can be used independantly but are related they can be seperated with a semi-colon.) from one another. So in Shas'la the 'shas' and 'la' are seperated by an apostraphy, and this sentence was just serperated by a comma.

No, how your looking at it is pretty much right tbh. Its just a little more complicated than what you've said (and your terminology is making it you're thought track hard to follow), because a language working that way has thousands of implications on how its grammar (particularly syntax) would work. At the moment we seem to be applying English principles to try and understand it, and if this is true then its just never going to work.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by †Methelas†
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
Quote:
Originally Posted by †Methelas†
The Titan is not a human, therefore has no genitals!
My subtle diagram disagrees with you.
your "subtle" diagram contains Optimus Prime and Proffessor Farnsworth, it's heresy in it's own right!
Any similarities between your reality and mine are purely coincidental...
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