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. Taurahe has contributed several words to other languages, such as shaman, leather, mana, feral, lava, and totem, to name a few.
Writing and AlphabetEdit
Taurahe doesn't strictly have an alphabet, since Tauren don't write. However, the language can be transliterated using the Latin alphabet, because the sound system of Taurahe is small and fairly easy to pick up for non-native speakers. There are 21 unique sounds in the language, which can be approximated with this alphabet:
a e i o t th d p k f h v g ch sh j m n r l s
There are 4 vowels:
- a as in lava or father
- e as in hey or table
- i as in leaf or teeth
- o, which overlaps with the vowels in cool/coal or moo/mow
Sometimes you will see the letter u, which is a contraction of the sequence ohi, and is pronounced the same as o. Furthermore, y sometimes alternates with i, and w with o when they are next to another vowel, for example: iaki > yaki
There are 17 consonants.
- t like talk
- th like think. I sometimes write this as θ so I don't have to use 2 letters.
- d, which is pronounced like the sound in though or leather, not like
- p like pink
- k like king
- f like feather
- h, which is pronounced like a harsh, forceful ha
- v as in violet. This letter is sometimes written as b, but always pronounced as v.
- g, which is pronounced kind of like a mix of g and w
- ch like cheese
- sh like sheet
- j like measure or lesion
- m like moon
- n like name
- r like red
- l like like
- s like saw
Because there is no native alphabet, there are also no conventional spelling rules. Expect inconsistencies, especially when reading the language from other sources. This is especially true with words that are composed of multiple parts. For example, the word for warrior is modoli, which is formed from mo "person", and doli "warrior". This word could also be written any number of ways: mo'dolli, mo-dole, mudouli, or moudhole, to list a few.
Stress and ElisionEdit
Taurahe has a particular rhythm in which syllables are preferentially pronounced in sets of three. Most content words (nouns, adjectives, verbs) in the language are three syllables in length: hakaji, kolovi, komapa, kathatha. However, some of these words are stressed on the first vowel and some on the second vowel. The distinction is important because it affects the middle vowel: if the first vowel is stressed, the middle vowel can be reduced or deleted. So for example, the words hakaji and kolovi are stressed on their second vowels, but komapa and kathatha are stressed on their first vowels, which means they can be pronounced and written as kompa and kaththa.
Nouns are always at least 2 syllables, but they typically aren't more than 5:
- θalo woman
- pehiji child
- rochi animal
- lavo wolf
- maro short
- korvi cougar
- ormi bird
- keliki flower
- θavi briarthorn
- alado feather
- talani stick
- kala small egg
- mago fruit
- rohifa red
- goma fat
- niko one
- sheni bone
- hakaji arrow
- kolovi earthenware object
- akalake man
- nosaθoki head
- shatohihaji many
- nohika milk
- tawohirajo campsite
Every noun also as a plural form
Words that end in final /-a/ or /-i/ or change the final stem to /-ahe/.
- pehiji > pehijahe child > children
- ichi > ichahe white
- kohidi > kohidahe shield > shields
- tauri > taurahe story > stories
- koravi > koravahe cougar > cougars
- sheni > shenahe bone > bones
Words that end in /-o/ change the final stem to /-ino/.
- alado > aladino feather > feathers
- maro > marino short
- θalo > θalino woman > women
- tawohirajo > tawohirajino campsite > campsites
Words that end in a consonant add the suffix /-ahe/.
- tokan > tokanahe object > objects
- soham > sohamahe two
- kakam > kakamahe strider > striders
- totem > totemahe totem > totems
There are a few exceptions.
- lapo > lapaho stone > stones
- chi > chake you (singular) > you (plural)
Counting in Taurahe is exponential rather than linear. Every number is part of a set of three.
- niko one
- soham two
- komapa three
- kohide six
- shatohihaji nine
- sohamihaji 18
- kavarantochi 27
- sohamitochi 54
- kavarandepi 81
Generally, when counting, the objects will be subitized into a few groups and counted as sets. For example, eleven arrows would be counted as komapa, kohide, shatohihaji ke soham three, six, nine and two. Larger sums would be approximated.
There are two versions of every verb, past tense and non-past tense. Verbs are composed of the root and the ending, which is /-o/ for past, and /-a/ for non-past.
- tifo/tifa saw/see
- wogaro/wogara ate/eat
- walo/wala swam/swim
- tekiho/tekiha walked/walk
- arago/araga did/do
In English, the subject comes before the verb and the object comes after, but in Taurahe, it is reversed. The subject comes after the verb, and the object comes before it. For example:
mago wogaro mosafiti fruit eat hunter The hunter ate a fruit.
In English, the word order is hunter-eat-fruit, but in Taurahe it's fruit-eat-hunter. When there is no object, the subject still comes afterwards.
walo go swam I I swam.
tekiha thalino walk women The women walk.
There is a plural particle /n/ that follows the verb if the object is plural:
magino wogara n mosafiti fruits eat PL hunter The hunter eats fruits.
lapaho kathatha n go stones collect PL I I collect stones.
wohime pawana n lawarahe
galino piyesa n fisaki
As mentioned, the past form of verbs ends in /-o/ and the non-past form ends in /-a/. The other tense in Taurahe is the future tense, which uses the non-past tense alog with the future marker /l/ after the verb.
morihero fisaki cried girl The girl cried.
morihera fisaki cries girl The girl cries.
morihera l fisaki cries FUT girl The girl will cry.
Taurahe doesn't have words for indefiniteness ("a(n)") or definiteness ("the"). Instead, these concepts are expressed via word order.
The default version, OSV, implies a definite subject and indefinite object.
moja ragano pehijahe tree climbed children The children climbed a tree.
kodo pawana koravi kodo bites cougar The cougar bites a kodo.
It is possible for both subject and object to be definite. In this case, the object moves to the end of the sentence and is preceded by the word a(nt).
wogara korasaki a tavara eats deer OBJ bark The deer eats the bark.
ragano pehijahe a moja climbed children OBJ tree The children climbed the tree.
If the subject is indefinite and the object is definite, the entire sentence is rephrased. The verb is preceded by the passive particle mowa and the object and subject switch places.
pehijahe mowa ragano n moja children PASS climbed PL tree Children climbed the tree.
There is no grammatical way in Taurahe to have both the subject and object be indefinit.
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.
- paternal grandfather: gorata
- paternal grandmother: agam
- father: sahakanagi
- brother: chiro
- sister: kosidi
- self: go
- son/nephew: galo
- daughter/niece: pisxa
- grandson: pirogalo
- uncle: kanagi
- male cousin: chiro
- female cousin: kosidi
- aunt/uncle's wife: sxraja
- father: sahakanagi
- 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
There are only three color terms: 'iche' white, 'orkwa' black, and 'rofa' red.