"Spare vale ābra urnes?"

Translation:Which man does the woman see?

August 28, 2017

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I'm just confused on sentence structure. Can anyone help?


My understanding is:

  • High Valyrian question words go at the start of sentences (mentioned in the tips and notes for the Questions skill).
  • spare acts like an adjective and precedes the noun it modifies.
  • This brings the object ( vale ) forwards from its normal position.
  • Which in turn pushes the subject ( ābra ) closer to the verb.
  • The verb retains its usual position in HV at the end of the word (generally HV is Subject Object Verb).
  • There is no confusion about which noun is the nominativesubject and which is the accusativeobject because HV employs different noun endings to mark these. The -a on the end of ābra is its nominative ending; the -e on the end of vale is its accusative ending.
  • This leaves us with the word order as given (which is similar to that of the English sentence if we were to omit the auxiliary verb does).


In the intro to this section, we were told that the words for "which", "spare"(animate) and "skore"(inanimate) agree with the nouns they modify. Hence "vala"(man) becomes modified to "vale", just as it would be in the accusative form. So the sentence translates exactly to "Which man the woman sees?", or as we would say with correct English grammar "Which man does the woman see?". Does that make sense?

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