Saturday, February 26, 2011

Verb Tenses, Accentuation, &c.

I think one of the things that I'm most concerned about w/r/t learning Solresol is verb tenses. They're expressed by adding either Dodo, Rere, Mimi, &c. (Typically denoted in writing as DO or RE instead of dodo or rere) before a verb, which is simple enough as far as conjugation goes - but the fact remains that many of the forms are utterly foreign to me (imperfect indicative? pluperfect subjunctive?). I suppose I'll just have to brush up on my grammar. I know some from Spanish (which I have a basic decent grasp on. It helped me learn more on imperfect vs. preterite &c), but I'll still have to learn quite a bit. Many different verb tenses are expressed by each of the 7 words, which is probably more helpful than it is confusing - it'll at least increase my chances of being right.

There's also accentuation, which is quite a bit easier than the various verb tenses. I think it's just stuff that takes getting used to, and reading Gajewski's book more carefully.
From what I gather (from Sudre and Gajewski) -

  • To indicate the feminine, one puts a horizontal line above the last syllable - this isn't a stress accent; it's pronounced by prolonging the vowel of the syllable "as if it were double" (Do-o, So-ol, Fa-a, &c)
  • To form the plural, one places an acute accent on the final consonant. This is also not a stress, one pronounces it by prolonging the consonant "as if it were double". (lla, ssi, &c. (no advice is given on how to prolong the sound of a 'd'. Just one of the awkward things with Solresol again I guess))
  • To indicate various parts of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, person doing something) one writes a horizontal line above the syllable in question (I assume above the vowel). This is a stress accent, as far as I can tell. Gajewski said to prolong it as if it were double, but I could see that causing confusion when also writing in a plural. Sudre, however, said it would suffice to rinforzando the syllable - a musical term meaning a sudden emphasis.
  • If a word is preceded by a word such as 'this', 'that', 'the', or really anything that introduces it, the accents and marks go on that descriptive word, and the other word is 'perfectly understood'.

I feel like that clears things up for me, personally; I had to write it down to really understand the differences.

While I'm on the topic of verbs, I dug up a list of what I deemed the most useful verbs. These should be the first verbs that one should learn in this language, in my opinion:

Faremi - to be
Silami - to dislike, hate
Famisol - to possess, to have (also as an auxiliary verb)
Remila - to give
Sollasire - to know (a fact)
Fasolla - to do, to bring about
Farefa - to go
Domilado - to say, to speak
Dosolre - to eat [EDIT - This is Gajewski's definition. According to Sudre, Dosolre means "Believe", so that's how I'm using it.]

I believe that a verb with no 'tense' word before it (dodo, rere, mimi, &c.) is interpreted as either the simple present tense or the infinitive, depending on the context.
I'll be working on memorizing these words and the two letter words that I still don't know -

(Also, it's worth mentioning that the word order in Solresol is subject-verb-object and noun-adjective. (courtesy of ))

I would say goodbye in Solresol, but I'm unsure how. (large lexical gap there, in my opinion. Perhaps I will discover it later)
Dore milasi dom´i!
(my attempt at putting an accent on a consonant - perhaps I'll just use an apostrophe henceforth.)

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