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https://www.duolingo.com/mlamm

How do you tell apart accusative from plural additive?

For example, this sentence: Muñi riñī urnesi. Sounds to me like it should be "The mothers see the girls". But couldn't it also be "The mothers and the girls see"? It looks like riñī could mean either "and the girls" or "the girls (accusative form)".

Is it purely context based or am I missing something? Thanks!

Update: David Peterson has answered this on his blog here - https://dedalvs.tumblr.com/post/163228665722/hi-i-have-a-question-about-h-valyrian-the

The response is as follows:

"Unfortunately it could only be both as it’s written, as the two would be pronounced differently. Specifically:

[ˈmu.ɲi ˈri.ɲiː ˈur.ne.si] = “The mothers see the girls.”

[ˈmu.ɲi ri.ˈɲiː ˈur.ne.si] = “The mothers and the girls see.”

As you can see, there’s a difference in how the words are stressed. Stress isn’t marked in High Valyrian, because aside from conjunction and command forms, it’s predictable. Unfortunately this means there will be some sentences that are ambiguous purely due to how they’re romanized. This is one of those cases. Nice catch, though!"

1 year ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/LukasGroth
LukasGrothPlus
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Well, the paragraph on simple coordination in the notes to the first skill says: "One common strategy is to lengthen the final vowel of the last word in a list and shift the word's stress to the end."

So, technically, there is a difference in stress but it isn't represented in writing. Both interpretations should be considered correct, in my opinion.

EDIT: This is based on the assumption that riñī is otherwise stressed on the first syllable. But I don't really know that for sure since there is nothing on stress in High Valyrian in the tips and notes, and no audio.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tankki3

As far as I know, they are many times the same. So maybe it is based on context. At least every noun I've encountered has had the same additive plural as accusative plural.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mlamm

I asked this question to Mr. David Peterson and he has answered on his blog. The two sentences are written the same way, but pronounced differently (so, Duolingo should be accepting both translations). I have updated the OP with his answer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luke_5.1991
Luke_5.1991
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You can always tell singular from plural using the verb conjugation and keeping in mind the SOV (subject-object-verb) word order. The conjugated verb will match the number (singular/plural) of the subject.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mlamm

That's what I assumed, but when the verb matches the number of both subject and subject + object it can get a bit confusing. So much so, that I think Duolingo should accept both forms of the sentence (if they don't yet) as they are both valid translations of the sentence, even though they mean completely different things.

1 year ago