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Taurahe

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Taurahe refers to the native languages spoken by the Tauren from the Warcraft universe. There are numerous dialects of Taurahe, as most tribes retain their own version of the language. The most common dialect by far is Bloodhoof Taurahe, the native tongue of High Chieftain Baine. Bloodhoof Taurahe has supplanted ceremonial Taurahe in areas of trade and tribal politics. There are a number of culturally Tauren words that have been adopted into other languages from Taurahe, such as shaman, leather, mana, feral, lava, and totem.

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

There are 17 consonants. Letters in angle brackets denote orthography where different than IPA.

  Labial Dental Alveolar Alveolo-palatal Velar
Nasal m ŋ <n>
Plosive p t tʃ <ch> k
Voiceless Fricative f θ s ʃ <sh> x <h>
Voiced Obstruent v ð <d> dʒ <j> ɣ <g>
Approximant l ɹ <r>

VowelsEdit

There are four vowels and two diphthongs.

Front Central Back
High i
Mid e o
Low a

The two diphthongs are /ya/ and /wa/. They function no differently than the pure vowels.

Syllable StructureEdit

While most syllables are simply of the form CV, the maximum syllable structure is sCLVC.

There are five types of onset.

  1. No onset.
  2. Single consonant. Any of the 17 consonants can appear as the onset.
  3. Non-coronal consonant + liquid. There are 14 such onsets: any of /m p f v k x g/ + /l/ or /r/.
  4. /s/ + nasal or voiceless continuant. There are 6 possible onsets: /s/ + /m n f θ ʃ x/
  5. /s/ + non-coronal nasal or voiceless continuant + liquid. There are 6 possible onsets: /sml/, /smr/, /sfl/, /sfr/, /sxl/, and /sxr/.

The coda can be any consonant except /p t tʃ k/.

Stress and RhythmEdit

Stress is trochaic and generally regular. Most words have primary stress on the penultimate syllable, with secondary stress on the first syllable for words longer than 4 syllables. Some words have irregular stress which may or may not be orthographically indicated. Like English, Taurahe is metrically a stress-timed language. When speaking, stressed syllables typically occur at regular intervals.

OrthographyEdit

Because Tauren did not traditionally write, there is no native orthography. Written Taurahe differs dramatically from source to source, being influenced by the dialect of the speaker as well as the language, style, and preferences of the writer. The Taurahe written on this page uses an orthography that tries to present Bloodhoof Taurahe in a manner that is easily understandable by speakers of English but still reflects the way the language actually sounds. As a result, a few words differ in spelling from forms observed in other texts, but the words as written here should not be taken as more or less correct than other spelling conventions.

GrammarEdit

Nouns and AdjectivesEdit

Nouns and adjectives are typically 2 to 4 syllables

  • θalo woman
  • peje child
  • rochi animal
  • lavo wolf
  • maro short
  • korvi cougar
  • ormi bird
  • kelke flower
  • θavi briarthorn
  • aldo feather
  • talne stick
  • kala small egg
  • mago fruit
  • tagli clear rock or gem
  • rofa red
  • goma fat
  • niko one
  • sheni bone
  • hakaji arrow
  • kolovi earthenware object
  • akalake man
  • taurajo campsite
  • nosθoki head
  • shatohaji many

PluralEdit

Both adjectives and nouns are marked for plural.

Words that end in final /-i/ or /-e/ change the final stem to /-ahe/. Some words that end in /-o/ change the final stem to /-aho/.

  • peje > pejahe child > children
  • iche > ichahe white
  • koide > koidahe shield > shields
  • tauri > taurahe story > stories
  • korvi > korvahe cougar > cougars
  • sheni > shenahe bone > bones
  • lapo > lapaho stone > stones

Some words that end in /-a/ and /-o/ change the final stem to /-ina/ and /-ino/, respectively.

  • kala > kalina egg > eggs
  • aldo > aldino feather > feathers
  • maro > marino short
  • θalo > θalino woman > women

Words that end in a consonant can take the suffix /-i/, /-a/, or /-ai/. Some words that end in /-a/ can change the final stem to /-ai/.

  • tokan > tokanai object > objects
  • soham > sohami two
  • kakam > kakama strider > striders
  • totem > totemi totem > totems
  • rofa > rofai red

Some words take on a different meaning when pluralized.

  • kahi > kahahe rain > weather

Attributive adjectives, those that directly modify a noun, agree in number.

maro  talne kaθθa   ma  a   θalo 
short stick collect PRS NOM woman
The woman gathers a short stick.
marino   talnahe  kaθθa   ma  an a   θalo
short.PL stick.PL collect PRS PL NOM woman
The woman gathers short sticks.

Strictly speaking, predicative adjectives, those that indirectly modify a noun, should also agree in number, but in casual speech they usually remain singular.

kei ma  sheni iche  s
COP PRS bone  white COP
The bone is white.
kei ma  an shenahe ichahe   s
COP PRS PL bone.PL white.PL COP
The bones are white.
kei ma  an shenahe iche  s
COP PRS PL bone.PL white COP
The bones are white.

NumeralsEdit

Tauren take an interesting approach to counting. For everyday counting, Tauren count based on groups rather than individuals. The important numbers in this system are 3, 12, and 36. So for example, to count 20 arrows, a hunter will mentally split them into groups of three and count 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20 minus 1. When asked how many arrows he has, he would say he had one group of 12 and 3 groups of 3, minus one. Large numbers are counted more roughly, so a tailor who needed to count 100 feathers for a headdress. Would likely count 12, 24, 36, note the size of the pile, and then note 72 and 108, being satisfied that 108 is close enough to 100. For very precise counting, such as in mathematics, economics, and engineering, Tauren will count the discrete members within each group, so to count precisely to 15, for example, they would say 1, 2, 3, (4, 2, 3), (7, 2, 3), (10, 2, 3), 12+1, 12+2, 12+3.

  • niko one
  • soham two
  • kompa three
  • done 4, 5, 6
  • koide 7, 8, 9
  • shatohaji 10, 11, 12

VerbsEdit

The citation form of a verb is in the past tense. All past tense verbs end with /o/.

  • tékio walked
  • tifo saw
  • kaθθo gathered
  • diloko went
  • ogro ate, drank
  • sirno believed
  • servo knew

PluralEdit

There is a plural particle /an/ that can follow the verb.

If the object in the sentence is plural, then the verb will be plural.

ogra ma  an magino   a   sfiti
eat  PRS PL fruit.PL NOM hunter
The hunter eats the fruits.
kaθθo       an go sohama lapaho
collect.PST PL 1s two    stone.PL
I collected two stones.

If the sentence doesn't have an object, but the subject is plural, then the verb will be plural.

tekya ma  pisxa
walk  PRS girl
The girl walks.
tekya ma  an pisxai
walk  PRS PL girl.PL
The girls walk.

TenseEdit

Every verb has 2 forms, usually very closely related. For regular verbs, the past tense ends in /-o/ and the non-past form, used for present and future tenses, ends in /-a/.

Past tense verbs, the /-o/ verb is used.

ogro      peji  a   galo
drink.PST juice NOM boy
The boy drank juice.
tekio    pisxa
walk.PRS girl
The girl walks.

For present tense verbs, the particle /ma/ follows the /-a/ verb.

ogra  ma  peji  a   galo
drink PRS juice NOM boy
The boy drinks juice.
tekia ma  pisxa
walk  PRS girl
The girl walks.

For future tense verbs, the particle /mo/ follows the /-a/ verb.

ogra  mo  peji  a   galo
drink FUT juice NOM boy
The boy will drink juice.
tekia mo  pisxa
walk  FUT girl
The girl will walk.

SyntaxEdit

Taurahe syntax is somewhat more complicated than English syntax. The most basic structure is VOS, but the order of constituents changes to indicate different focuses.

When both object and subject and definite, then they follow the standard VOS order.

ogra ma  tavra a   korsxi
eat  PRS bark  NOM deer
The deer eats the bark.

However, if the subject is a pronoun, the subject precedes the object. (Surface VSO order.)

ragno     ana moja
climb.PST 1p  tree
We climbed the tree.
roo           go ticho
interpret.PRS 1s sign
I interpret the sign.

If either subject or object is indefinite, however, it will be promoted to in front of the verb. (Surface SVO or OVS order.)

korsxi ogra ma  tavra
deer   eat  PRS bark
A deer eats the bark.

If the object is promoted, it requires the object particle /an/.

moja an  ragno     go
tree OBJ climb.PST 1s
I climbed a tree.

Taurahe doesn't allow both subject and object to be indefinite, nor does it allow intransitive verbs to have an indefinite argument. Expressions parallel "a dog barks" and "a man hears a dog" are ungrammatical.

LexiconEdit

KinshipEdit

To make sense of kinship terms in Taurahe, it is useful to understand how Tauren families are organized. Tauren society is strongly patrilineal and patrilocal, meaning that people trace their bloodline through their father and live in their father's household. After marriage, a woman leaves her family and joins her husband with his father. As a result, there is a lot of focus on the paternal bloodline and very little on the maternal bloodline.

Tribe: smahi

  • paternal grandfather: gorata
  • paternal grandmother: agam
    • father: sahakanagi
      • brother: chiro
      • sister: kosidi
      • self: go
        • son/nephew: galo
        • daughter/niece: pisxa
          • grandson: pirogalo
          • granddaughter:piropisxa
    • uncle: kanagi
      • male cousin: chiro
      • female cousin: kosidi
    • aunt/uncle's wife: sxraja
  • mother: agam

These family members are not part of someone's household but they are blood-relatives through the mother. There in incest taboo against these people, and therefore unpaired men and women are strongly discouraged from interacting with these people.

  • maternal grandfather: jagiro
  • maternal grandmother: mathi
    • any male descendant: jagiro
    • any female descendant:mathi

ColorsEdit

There are only three color terms: 'iche' white, 'orkwa' black, and 'rofa' red.

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