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From Esperanto to Dothraki: languages as works of art and why they matter

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11 July 2019, Institut für Turkologie, Freie Universität Berlin

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From Esperanto to Dothraki: languages as works of art and why they matter

  1. 1. Augusta Taurinorum From Esperanto to Dothraki: languages as works of art and why they matter Federico Gobbo (Amsterdam / Turin) ⟨F.Gobbo@uva.nl;federico.gobbo@unito.it⟩ 11 July 2019 Institut für Turkologie Freie Universität Berlin 1/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  2. 2. Planned languages? For real? 2/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  3. 3. Language planning and planned languages normative (written) variety language planning continuum of language variation (in speech) language use 3/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  4. 4. How many planned languages? communication expression publicsecret Esperanto Latino sine Flexione Ido Basic English Novial Volapük (19th c.) Interlingua Interslavic Lojban Dothraki Klingon Tolkien’s (21st c.) Volapük (20th c.) Na’vi Tolkien’s (20th) Europanto
  5. 5. Esperanto 5/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  6. 6. Esperanto as part of the innovations of its time ■ 1865: International Telegraph Union; ■ 1874: Universal Postal Union; ■ 1876: Alexander Graham Bell makes the first phone call; ■ 1884: International Meridian Conference (Greenwich); ■ 1886: the Coca-Cola was born in Atlanta, US ■ 1887: Zamenhof publishes Esperanto in Warsaw, Poland; ■ 1888: The Kodak camera was born: ‘you press the button - we do the rest’: ■ 1889: inauguration of the Tour Eiffel in Paris; ■ 1894: Pierre de Coubertin restores the Olympic Games; ■ 1900: L’Exposition de Paris: the cinema was born. 6/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  7. 7. Who was Zamenhof? Source: Bonvenon! by Gobbo & Gamberoni (2018)
  8. 8. La bela sonĝo de l’ homaro…
  9. 9. From the speech of Zamenhof, 1905 En la malgrandan urbon de la franca marbordo kunvenis homoj el la plej diversaj landoj kaj nacioj, kaj ili renkontas sin reciproke ne mute kaj surde, sed ili komprenas unu la alian, ili parolas unu kun la alia kiel fratoj, kiel membroj de unu nacio. Rough translation in English: In the small town of the French seaside came together persons from the most different countries and nations, and they meet one the other reciprocally not mute and deaf, but they understand one the other, they speak one with the other as brothers, as members of just one nation. 9/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  10. 10. Appeal to the Diplomats, 1915 Will you begin simply to remake and patch up the map of Europe? Will you simply decide that territory A must belong to the nation X and territory B to the nation Y? True, such work you will have to do, but it must be only an insignificant portion of your work; […] in handing over any territory to the people of this or that race, you will always do an injustice to other people who have the same natural rights in respect of that territory. […] It would be best if, instead of various large and small European states, we should some day have proportionally and geographically arranged “United States of Europe”. 10/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  11. 11. … ends with the Great War (1914-1918) © 1915 Louis Raemaekers satirieke kaart van Europa, Het gekkenhuis (oud liedje, nieuwe wijs)
  12. 12. The influence of Esperanto on Tolkien’s languages The British Esperantist Association (BEA) was found in 1904. In Oxford the local club was found in 1930, where the 22nd Word Congress was organized (1211 participants from 29 different countries). Tolkien gave at the Esperanto Congress in Oxford in 1930 entitled A Hobby for the Home, later known as A Secret Vice: Personally I am a believer in an ‘artificial’ language, at any rate for Europe a believer, that is, in its desirability, as the one thing antecedently necessary for uniting Europe, before it is swallowed by non-Europe; […] also I particularly like Esperanto…which is good a description of the ideal artificial language [but] my concern is not with that kind of artificial language at all. (my emphasis) from A Secret Vice, J. R. R. Tolkien 12/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  13. 13. Esperanto as a political tool… © 1936? Esperantomuseum Vienna; from: Comissariat de Propaganda de la Generalitat de Catalunya
  14. 14. … ends in tragedy! :( © 2014 Dan Mazur. Esperantists
  15. 15. Who are the Esperantists? 15/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  16. 16. Europe is the lullaby of Esperanto Source: Garvía (2015:78)
  17. 17. The world is its home Youth Member Esperanto (TEJO) Organizations in 2018
  18. 18. Esperantists are a social avangarde According to the demographic analysis by Roberto Garvía (2015:100) summarizing the work by the pioneer Tanquist (1927), these are the main motivation in learning Esperanto (US, UK, Germany-Austria):
  19. 19. Pioneers of alternative lifestyle: vegetarianism © 1914 Vegetarano, the official bulletin of the Vegetara Ligo
  20. 20. Myrtle R. Douglas (Morojo; 1904 - 1964) Science Fiction fan, fanzine publicher, cosplay pioneer, Esperantist 20/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  21. 21. Lýdia Machová, Language Mentor and Polyglot © https://languagementoring.com 21/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  22. 22. Kjara, an Italian femal singer-songwriter © http://chiararaggi.net/esperanto/ 22/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  23. 23. The non-FIFA Esperanto football team: Lille (FR) 2015 World Esperanto Congress 100, 110 years after the first one 23/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  24. 24. Esperanto and gender (‘ri’ is like ‘hen’ in Swedish) © https://egalecen.org/ 24/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  25. 25. Where is Esperanto spoken? 25/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  26. 26. Esperanto: history and geography There is no Esperanto state or specific territory. However, we can consider congresses, festivals, and meetings in local clubs as the ‘language territories’ of the language, where the community members gather. This is the geography of Esperanto. The places where these events happen – as well as some places where Esperanto is used on a firm basis – form the geography of Esperanto. The history of Esperanto drives new initiatives, rooted in virtual and real places. 26/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  27. 27. The web mania in Duolinguo (as of 24/4/2018) Studying Users Availability (millions) (except EN) English 399.72 all available languages Spanish 142.51 PT, FR, DE, RU, ZH French 101.65 ES, PT, DE, IT, AR, RU German 61.28 ES, RU, PT, FR, TR, AR, IT Italian 39.8 ES, FR, PT Portuguese 20.55 ES, FR (…) Dutch 5.40 (…) Esperanto 1.67 ES Vietnamese 1.46 Catalan 1.44 ES (only) Welsh 1.03 https://jakubmarian.com/duolingo-number-of-users-per-language-statistics/
  28. 28. Esperanto Türkiye
  29. 29. Mongola Esperanto-Societo
  30. 30. SES, Summer Esperanto Study, 2019
  31. 31. IJK, Internacia Junulara Kongreso, 2020
  32. 32. How is Esperanto made? 32/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  33. 33. Esperanto is a contact language (Germanic + Romance + Slavic) x regularization = Esperanto
  34. 34. Dothraki is at the other extreme of the diagram communication expression publicsecret Esperanto Latino sine Flexione Ido Basic English Novial Volapük (19th c.) Interlingua Interslavic Lojban Dothraki Klingon Tolkien’s (21st c.) Volapük (20th c.) Na’vi Tolkien’s (20th) Europanto
  35. 35. Dothraki 35/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  36. 36. Why Dothraki was needed? Source: ‘The Languages of Ice and Fire’ by David J. Peterson in Language and Narration
  37. 37. Creating the Dothraki Language Let’s watch!
  38. 38. From George Martin to David J. Peterson David J. Peterson was a student in linguistics at the UC San Diego. In 2000 he co-founded the Language Creation Society (LCS), that collected all ‘conlangers’, with annual conferences, just like an academic society. When Peterson was contacted by HBO, the producer of the TV-series Games of Thrones, he already had a lot of experience. The first email in Dothraki was sent the 9th Nov 2009, while the post-production of the first series – where Dothraki is mostly used – finished the 24th Mar 2011. A lot of work was done: 3,034 words, 177 pages of material, 640 mp3s. 38/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  39. 39. Peterson had to start from the original material ■ Khal → leader of a Dothraki tribe ■ Khaleesi → wife of a Khal ■ qoy qoyi → blood of my blood 39/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  40. 40. Peterson had to start from the original material ■ Khal → leader of a Dothraki tribe ■ Khaleesi → wife of a Khal ■ qoy qoyi → blood of my blood Question: does Dothraki show case morphology? 39/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  41. 41. Animate Noun Declension Paradigm Case Singular Plural Example Nom verak veraki Verak dothrae. “The traveler is riding.” Acc verakes verakis Anha tih verakis. “I saw the travelers.” Gen veraki veraki Hazi zande veraki. “That’s the traveler’s sack.” All verakaan verakea Kisha dothrash verakaan. “We rode to the traveler.” Abl verakoon verakoa Me lan verakoa. “He ran away form the travelers.” 40/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  42. 42. Personal pronouns singular plural first person anha kisha I we second person yer yeri (familiar) you you second person shafka shafka (formal) you you third person me mori he/she/it they 41/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  43. 43. What do these sentences mean? Hash yer dothra-e chek? polar you-sing to ride-pres well? Anha dothrak check. I ride well Dothras check. ride well Fonas check! hunt well 42/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  44. 44. Correspondences with English Hash yer dothrae chek? → How are you? Anha dothrak check. → I’m fine. Dothras check. → Be cool. Fonas check! → Goodbye! 43/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  45. 45. Movement and distance in Dothraki Dothraki word definition in English karlin-qoy-i ‘gallop-blood-of’: to gallop fast enough to kill a horse, if prolonged karlin-at gallop-inf chetir-at canter-inf irvos-at trot-inf onqotahat-at walk-inf karlin-a gallop-nom → 1 mile chetir-a canter-nom → 1/2 mile irvos-a trot-nom → 1/4 mile onqotahat-a walk-nom → 1/8 mile 44/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  46. 46. Expressing ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ ■ In Dothraki there is neither copula, nor ‘to have’ auxiliary. ■ Possession is expressed through the idiom mra qora. ■ The auxiliary verb is dothrakh, ‘to ride’ – dothraki is ‘rider (gen)’. Examples: mahrazh lajak man warrior Arakh mra qora curved sword Prep+All hand/arm 45/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  47. 47. The principle of reuse Anha dothrak adakh- -at- -aan I aux eat inf all Anha dothrak adakh- -at- -oon I aux eat inf abl 46/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  48. 48. The use of Easter Eggs One that surprised me was word I coined in honor of my mother-in-law. Her name is Jolyn, and I gave her the Dothraki root jolin in honor of her awesome cooking skills (jolinat, the verb, is “to cook”). A word built off this root is jolino, which refers to a large pot for cooking. I created it and didn’t think anything of it. Then in the episode “A Golden Crown”, they decided to add a line in ADR for Drogo: “Empty that pot!” This was awesome, because not only would I get to use her word, her name would be used exactly as it’s pronounced (more or less) in English, because of the grammar (pot is the object, and the accusative form of jolino is jolin). Thus the line came out: Ammeni haz jolin! This was the best. 47/ 48 2019 F Gobbo
  49. 49. Thanks! Dankon! San athchomari yeraan! Questions? Comments? If not now, send afterwards to: ⟨F.Gobbo@uva.nl⟩ More info about me: https:/federicogobbo.name/en/ 48/ 48 2019 F Gobbo