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Effects of Stand Structure on Stem and Crown Biomass- Juniper Publishers

Effects of Stand Structure on Stem and Crown Biomass- Juniper Publishers


Above ground biomass can be divided in two broad classes, according to its potential use: stem biomass used mainly for timber; and crown biomass used either for bio energy or to maintain and improve ecosystem services, in particular stand and site sustainability and fertility. The aim of this study is to evaluate the differences and similarities of stem and crown biomass in forest stands as function of species, composition (pure vs mixed), structure (even-aged vs multiaged) and the stage of development (young vs adult). The analysis was carried out for eight species in 255 plots, in Portugal. The results revealed stem and crown biomass proportion depends on the tree species ecological characteristics, especially if trees are in free growth. Stem biomass proportion tends to be higher in stands managed for timber regardless composition or structure while crown biomass is higher in stands managed as agro forestry systems.
Keywords: Composition; Stage of development; Species; Statistical analysis
Abbreviations: Qr: Quercus Rotundifolia; Qs: Quercus Suber; Pp: Pinus Pinea; Ppi: Pinus Pinaster; Cs: Castanea Sativa; Qru: Quercus Rubra; Bc: Betula Celtiberica; PE: Pure Even-Aged; PM: Pure Multi Aged; ME: Mixed Even-Aged; MM: Mixed Multi Aged; QRS: Quercus Suber; SP: Mixed of Pinus Pinea; SPP: Pinus Pinaster; PCR: Quercus Robur; RRB: Betula Celtiberica


From late 201,2] the direct and the indirect. The indirect method, the most frequently used, is mathematical functions, with one or more dendrometric variables at tree level (diameter at breast height and total height) as explanatory variables. The functions are species and site-specific, due to the development behaviour of each species, which is also related with the site quality. This results in a wide number of functions [3-6]. Most of the allometric biomass functions per species are developed per component. While functions are always developed for stem, in which regards the other components some are developed for branches or leaves, whereas others aggregate the latter components in a class, the crown. Above-ground biomass is the sum of the biomass of all components. Thus due to their formulation it is possible to divide it in two broad classes; stem and crown. These classes can be related to of each component utilisation; stem for timber and crown either for bioenergy or to remain in the stand to maintain and/or improve the stand and site productivity. The maintenance of biomass in the forest stand, especially the crown components, is suggested in the frame of sustainability of the site, stand and productivity [7], especially in the poorer sites, due to the amounts of nutrients in the crown [8]. Inversely stems are poor in nutrients thus their removal has less impact on the overall productivity and sustainability of the system [9].
Stand structure dynamics are determined by the interactions between the individual trees in a stand, which are also result of composition (pure 10]. As a result, above ground biomass as well as the stem and crown biomass are influenced by the aforementioned tree and stand characteristics.
The goal of this study is the evaluation of the effect of species and stand structure on the partitioning of above-ground biomass in two broad classes, stem and crown. The specific objectives are the analysis of species ecological characteristics, stand composition (pure vs mixed), structure (even-aged vs multiaged) and stage of development (young vs adult) on the proportion of stem and crown biomass.

Material and Methods

A set of 255 plots representative of the Portuguese forest area were selected (Table 1), to enable the characterisation of stem and crown biomass of different species and stand structures. In the field surveys, tree species were recorded and diameter at breast height, total height and height of the beginning of the crown were measured for all individuals with diameter at breast height larger than 5 cm [11]. Plots' composition (pure 12], and structure (even-aged vs multiaged) with diameter distributions using 2.5cm classes. Two stages of development were considered, evaluated visually in the field, young, pure even-aged plots (24 plots) and adult (231 plots). Many plots included young and adult trees, though in a small number in the even-aged plots and larger in the multiaged plots.
Stem and crown biomass were calculated with the allometric functions at tree level of Paulo and Tomé for 13] for 14] for Table 2) . Other species than the aforementioned with a very small number of individuals were not considered in this analysis, as the inclusion could originate bias in the analysis [15]
The stem and crown biomass was analysed considering species, structure and composition classes to enable further detail in the analysis. The species include

Results and Discussion

The stem and crown biomass proportion show a wide variability. It is derived, at least partially, from the differences between species (Table 3), decreasing in general from species managed as agro forestry systems (Qr, Qs and Pp) to those managed for timber (Cs, Qro, Qru, Be). This is probably related with the spatial arrangement of the trees. In the agro forestry systems stands have usually low density and trees are frequently isolated. However, the horizontal spatial distribution can be rather irregular with some trees isolated and others in clusters, which derives in a larger variability when compared with stands managed for timber where the horizontal spatial arrangement tends to be more regular. The proportion of stem biomass for adult trees is in average 64%, varying between 17% and 94%, with a coefficient of variation (CV) of 26%, while young trees is 63%, varying between 31% and 91%, with CV of 23%. The crown biomass for adult and young individuals has an average of 36% and 37%, CV of 47% and 38%, and ranges between 6% and 83%, and 9 and 70%, respectively. Noteworthy is the large variability of Table 3).
For all species crown biomass proportion when compared with stem biomass has a larger coefficient of variation (Table 3). Crown dimensions and consequently biomass are related to the species genetic characteristics, stage of development, epinastic control and shade tolerance. Different species have a wide range of crown shapes; 16,17]. The photo assimilates in young trees are primarily allocated to height growth while in adult trees are used predominantly for diameter growth, both stem and crown. Nevertheless, when available growing space is limiting, individual trees are not able to express their genetic characteristics due to the influence of the constellations of neighbours. Another determinant feature is the shade tolerance. Except for 18-20], consequently stand structure and aerial growing space, determine their lateral development. Also, shading results in the death of the inferior part of the crown, especially in the shade intolerant species, reducing their length. The differences between species are corroborated by the significant differences among species by Wilcoxon test Figure 1.
The analysis per composition, structure and development stage classes of the plots show wider range for crown than for stem biomass proportion (Table 4). In general, variability of biomass increases from pure to mixed plots and from even-aged to multiaged plots, except for stem biomass that has a larger CV for pure than for mixed plots, reflecting the difference in the stage of development of the plots. When discriminating plots per structure classes (Figure 2a,c) variability increases from even-aged (PE, ME) to multiaged plots (PM, MM), explained by the number of species and their proportions per cohort [21]. PE plots dispersion is due to the stage of development of the plots.
Further details can be attained when plots are analysed per composition classes. In general, stem biomass increases from agro forestry systems (QR, QS, PP, QRS, SP, SPP) to stands managed for timber (PPi, PCR, RRB), while the inverse is observed for crown biomass (Table 5 and Figure 2b,c). This is mainly due to stand management options. Agro forestry systems focus their management on bark and/or fruit production, thus promoting stem and crown diameter growth and trees with relatively short stems, frequently forked [22]. Contrariwise, in stands managed for timber the management focus is attaining a high straight stems, free of branches that optimise timber volume. The structure indices such as hd ratio, linear crown ratio and crown ratio [23,24] can bring some insights towards the understanding of the differences between the two stand types. Stands managed for timber when compared with agro forestry systems have higher hd ratio and crown ratio and lower linear crown ratio [25], in general resulting in a lower proportion of crown biomass in the former. These differences are corroborated by the significant differences of stem and crown biomass between the stands managed as agro forestry (QR, QS, PP, QRS, SP, SPP) and those managed for timber (PPi, PCR, RRB) 24-31].


Forest trees ecological characteristics determine the proportion of stem and crown biomass, particularly if they are in free growth. However, stand structure plays a key role on the above-ground biomass proportions. Composition, structure, stage of development and spatial arrangement, both horizontal and vertical, encompass a suite of interactions between individuals in a stand resulting in a wide range of variation of stem and crown biomass proportions per stand.
1n general, crown biomass proportion is larger for species with wider crowns, weak epinastic control, shade tolerant and in free growth. At stand level crown biomass is larger for stands managed as agro forestry systems, especially those in the adult stage of development, while for stands managed for timber stem biomass proportion is larger. Overall stem biomass increases from pure to mixed, from even-aged to multiaged and from young to adult stands, while for crown biomass the opposite is observed.


The work was financed by National Funds through FCT- Foundation for Science and Technology under the Project UID/ AG00115/2013.
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[Table] Fantasy: M'athchomaroon! My name is David J. Peterson, and I'm the creator of the Dothraki language for HBO's Game of Thrones - AMA

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Date: 2012-03-22
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Questions Answers
What is your opinion òf Tolkien and his created languages? There are a number of different things to say about Tolkien, so I'll see if I can hit all of them.
First, Tolkien is unique in that he created his languages because that was what he wanted to do. Most Tolkien fans know that his languages came first, and that he only sat down to write The Hobbit when he decided that in order for his languages to be authentic, they needed speakers and a land where they were spoken. Then, obviously, the books became famous, and so he was able to showcase his languages, but without the books, his languages likely would have been lost to history. For this alone, modern conlangers who create languages purely for the fun of it, or for the sake of art, or just because owe Tolkien a great debt.
In addition to, by the way, M. A. R. Barker, whom we recently lost. He's often referred to as the Forgotten Tolkien, and it's true. His creation was outstanding and just as expansive, but, obviously, the medium his work was attached to (paper and pen RPGs) were nowhere near as popular as The Lord of the Rings.
Regarding Tolkien's languages, I've not studied them as much as I probably should have. Part of this is due to the fact that I was one of those casual fans who knew about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but who had no idea that Tolkien created languages—let alone to what extent. As exasperation notes below, the languages themselves are incomplete, but the historical work that went into their construction was extensive—and I think this is a perfect model for how to create an authentic language now.
One of the things that, I think, sets some of the best naturalistic languages apart is their ability to convey realism with historical backing. It's easy to copy interesting phenomena from natural languages; much more difficult to evolve naturalistic phenomena that may not necessarily match any given natural language. In one of Tolkien's languages (I forget which; perhaps someone will remember), for example, certain plurals are formed by voicing the last consonant (e.g. k becomes g; t becomes d, etc.). In a word, this looks fake; it's not something you'd expect to see in a natural language. If you know the history, though, it's brilliant. The older plural suffix was -i, and that was lost along with all final vowels later on. Before that, though, voiceless sounds (like k) voiced intervocalically. So in the early form of the language, you might have mak~maki which later became mak~magi which later became mak~mag. That's brilliant. It's taking something that, on the face of it, looks fake, but arguing for its authenticity based on the evolution of the language.
One thing that Tolkien did not have that modern conlangers have, however, is a community. He didn't have people to bounce ideas off of—anyone to share with, or learn from. Even most of those interested in his books weren't interested in the languages. His languages suffered as a result, but it's not something he can be blamed for. It's difficult to put so much effort into something that no one sees and no one appreciates.
How difficult was it to get the actors to pronounce the words as you intended? With a character like Danaerys, did you want her to intentionally have an accent to sound more like she was in the process of learning the language? Having .mp3 files of all the lines helped a lot. Certain things didn't come across just right (will talk about that in a comment below). With Daenerys, though, the intention was to have her start off as completely foreign/non-fluent and to gradually build up her fluency. If you take a look at her few lines from the very early episodes and take down exactly what she's saying, first, they're not pronounced right at all, and second, they're ungrammatical—but they're specifically ungrammatical in the way that a Dothraki language learner would produce ungrammatical sentences. For example, in Episode 3 (from season 1), she says, at one point, Anha sekke nesa. She doesn't pronounce the h in anha, but in addition, that translates to, basically, "I really knows", whereas she intended to say something to the effect of "I just know". In this one, she got the verb right, but not the agreement (subject-verb agreement [and agreement in general, in fact] generally comes late), and she misplaces the adverb (and also uses the wrong one, but one which would be familiar to her).
At this point, Daenerys's character is fluent, but she'll always speak with an accent—as someone would who was her age and began to pick up a second language. (Or as most would. There are exceptional language learners out there, and I'm tremendously jealous of their abilities.)
Also, is the grammar of Dothraki similar to any existing language? Have you received requests from friends to make their names sound like the word for "awesome" or anything like that? (PS, if you still need to some up with a word for awesome, can it have the sound "rachel" in it?) See above for the middle question. As for the other two, the simple answer yes. The longer answer is that since Dothraki isn't related to any natural language—and since the universe itself isn't related to our universe—you can drop in references without fear of contamination—something that might not be appropriate for a language that was intended to be used in our own universe (like the one on The Interpreter). And, indeed, I've had some fun with it.
First, of course, I had to drop in my wife's name as the word for "kind", erin. Unfortunately, that word's pretty much never seen the light of day in the series (not too much kindness in the Dothraki scenes). Both of my friends here at the moment have Dothraki words: jano, "dog", comes from my friend Jon's name, because just before I started Dothraki he lost his dog of many years (had a large tumor). My other friend Kyn over here has the word chonge, which means "solid" (his last name is Chong). I made words based on the names of the people who asked questions at my presentation at WorldCon last year. And, of course, I had to have a word based on Stephen Colbert's name, so kolver is the word for "eagle" (mighty and proud). [Note that older Dothraki b became modern Dothraki v.] Dothraki has a few words for "awesome" or "excellent", but I think I'll have to find a word for the form rachel. Stay tuned; I'll come up with something good. :)
What languages (real world and created) do you speak personally, and how did you go about learning them? Responding to this and several comments below. I grew up with English and Spanish, and then studied (in a formal setting) German, Arabic, Russian, Esperanto, Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphs), French and American Sign Language—in that order. On my own, I studied, to varying degrees, Latin, Hawaiian, and Turkish. I did my field methods course on (and consequently learned quite a bit about) the Moro language. Beyond that, I've looked through and am familiar with the grammars of dozens of language to the extent that a conlanger regularly becomes familiar with dozens of natural language grammars. I can probably talk for hours about the structure of Swahili and give specific examples, but I can't produce anything in it beyond "Jambo".
My favorite language (and the one whose sound I like the best) is, without a doubt, Hawaiian. I love all the Polynesian languages, but Hawaiian is the one that has the perfect phonological balance (merging l and r into l; getting rid of ng; getting rid of t and s and f; it's perfect). For structure, Arabic is easily my favorite. Structurally, Arabic's grammar is exquisite, and made immediate sense to me. It's an incredible language.
With Dothraki, I wanted using the language to feel like using Russian, but beyond that, Russian didn't influence it much. A language of mine called Zhyler inspired the way I built the vocabulary, but Dothraki really has genders rather than noun classes, so it's not quite the same. Really, Dothraki was first time creating a fusional language, so I was just exploring how a language like that might work; it didn't draw on any specific language's grammar to a large extent.
The sound of Dothraki I've described as (Arabic + Spanish)/2, and I still think that's the best analogy. The word for "I" in Dothraki wasn't actually inspired by Arabic's first person pronoun: It was inspired by Middle Egyptian's, which we'd pronounce anak (which was the source of Arabic's first person pronoun). You'd spell it like this: 𓇋𓈖𓎡 (except that the one that looks like a river is stacked on top of the bowl. Not sure how to do that with Unicode...).
And, yes, the kh is supposed to be pronounced like [x]—like the "ch" in Scottish "loch" or the "ch" in German "Buch", etc. Often on the show it comes out as [k], but that's close. I believe there was a decision to pronounce "khaleesi" the way an English speaker would everywhere, whether they were speaking English or Dothraki on screen. And that's fine; it's recognizable. Perhaps I should've altered in Dothraki to be "khalisi" or even "kalisi", and changed "khal" to "kal". Live and learn.
Can somebody link me to something that allows me to see that symbol. All I see is a blank. Go here.
Out of curiosity, what's your beef with ng? It's definitely one of my favorite allophones. Along with [x] and the bilabial approximant. Just ng in Polynesian; no beef with it in general. That sound makes Tagalog; love it there. I like the simplicity of Hawaiian's phonology.
What are your favorite sounds? My favorite sound is [ʒ] (Dothraki zh), but I also like [p'] (voiceless bilabial ejective). It's fun to produce. :)
Agreed on Tagalog! That was my main point of contention, haha. And this is a pretty late response, but on the off-chance you head back, this is worth answering.
From what I remember, phonetically Hawiian has very few consonants (8?) and plenty of vowels and dipthongs. That's especially beautiful, in my opinion. I guess I haven't read much on the rest of the phonology though, so I should look into that. First, I come from an anti-Chomskyan tradition, and have never thought much of transformational grammar. I do have a background in it (as well as some experience with HPSG thanks to a good friend), but I don't buy it. So you won't find a series of transformational "rules" or anything (e.g. S > NP VP, VP > Spec V', etc.) in the Dothraki grammar and dictionary.
Also, I know this AMA is essentially over, but I do have one more question. Do you mind? Instead, most of the "syntactic" information is encoded directly in lexical items, and is phrase-based. Thus, you'll have an exemplar, and then a list of lexical items that fit that pattern. As a result, most of what you'd get from syntax comes directly from the lexicon.
I haven't seen anything about this in this thread (I hope I didn't miss it), so, what kind of syntactic rules does Dothraki have? I'm especially a fan of syntax, so I'd love to know. There are a few extra-lexical processes that I've written about on the blog that might prove interesting. This is a description of relative clauses which also touches on the older word order and topicalization patterns of the language. This one talks about adverbs and adverb placement, but also touches briefly on heavy-shift in Dothraki. And this one talks about the lack of a copula and how the modern system came to be. That's a start, at least! As the blog goes forward, I'll add more info (e.g. about coordination; have yet to do that).
The Dothraki do not have a word for thank you, but what words in Dothraki do not exist in English? (Which can be described in a round about way) Oh, there are a lot of those... Usually when I'm creating vocabulary, I sit down with a concept, and start conjecturing how it might be fleshed out in the language. Once I have it, I think of what words might be derived from it, how else it might be used, etc., and I come up with words that I realize will probably never see the light of day.
Time passes as he goes through his dictionary searching for words that one can't easily search for...
arrane (n.) a public dressing down (i.e. a word for when you lambast someone in public in order to shame them in the eyes of others; derives ultimately from a word meaning "merciful")
karlinqoyi (n.) the word karlin is the word for a horse galloping. This word is used to describe an even faster gallop—one that, if sustained for a prolonged period, would kill the horse (this one was actually inspired by True Grit, which I thought was a wonderful adaptation of the book).
kadikh (n.) an animal that's been captured but not yet tamed
ita (adj.) neither too warm nor too cool (suggests that whatever is being modified is exactly the temperature it should be in order to be used—so if it's a hot meal, it's appropriately hot; if it's a cold drink, it's cold, etc.)
fitteya (n.) an unnoticed and uncalled-for erection (think high school, like when you're in math class and unexpectedly called up to the board. Guys will know what I mean. Derives ultimately from the adjective for "short")
lanlekhi (n.) the feeling you get when you eat one of something, and suddenly you want more of it (think potato chips, M&M's, Skittles, where you eat one, and then you eat two, and then sixty potato chips later...)
There are more, but these are the ones I can find right now.
ita (adj.) neither too warm nor too cool (suggests that whatever is being modified is exactly the temperature it should be. I love this. Latin has an adverb ita as well, which can mean "thus," or abstractly "just so," almost "appropriate." Was this crazy coincidence, or inspiration? LOL Total crazy coincidence. That's funny; had never even run across that word in my own Latin meanderings.
How long do the characters have to practice to get the sounds right? And how often are they actually saying what you intended them to say as opposed to "ehh, close enough?" Which character does the best job of speaking how you envision it? In a best case scenario, the actors had a couple weeks. During the first season, I was often asked to get Jason's lines done early so he could spend time with them, and I think he did a really good job. He actually did something really cool: He developed a unique—yet realistic—accent. If you listen to any of his lines, everything that ends with the vowel /i/ he lowered to [e]—something like the way Robert Plante pronounces "baby" when he's singing (like "baybay"). It's totally consistent scene-to-scene, episode-to-episode, and it's a peculiarity that might have cropped up in any individual Dothraki speaker's speech.
I thought, personally, that Dar Salim did the best job with Dothraki (or at least the parts I'm remembering). He had the best-pronounced (or most authentically-pronounced) line of the entire first season—and he pronounced like almost seconds before he was killed off. So it goes. ;)
Both Elyes Grabel and Amrita Acharia are also really good, and both Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen are appropriate, in that they're faithfully pronouncing like a foreigner would.
Do I see a Slaughterhouse-Five reference? To Vonnegut (he's the man)! Here's another one (from one of my other languages).
How do you say "my hovercraft is full of eels" in Dothraki? The Dothraki would either borrow a word for "eel" or come up with a bizarre compound (they're not really a seafaring people). "Hovercraft" is out of universe, so I'd just use the Dothraki pronunciation, so maybe...
Hovakraft anni nira gezrisoa evethizi.
Lit. "My hovercraft is full of poison water snakes."
That's close to "eel", right? Maybe "bitey poison water snake"?
On top of that, how hard would you say it was for Tolkien to create his set of languages based on how much effort you had to put in for Dothraki? First, Tolkien, òf course, was sitting down to create an entire set of languages; he wasn't sitting down to write a series of books. As a result, all his constraints were self-imposed: He could go at his own pace and create what he wanted. With Dothraki, I had a couple months to go from the stuff that was in A Song of Ice and Fire to a stable grammar in order to be able to translate the dialogue in the pilot—and I was able to do that, but I lost a lot of sleep. With Dothraki, I did work with the same process as Tolkien, but I had to kind of speed it up. Dothraki is evolved from a language I called Proto-Plains. The ideal way to do that is to create the entire language and then work from there. With Dothraki, I had most of the grammatical ideas for Proto-Plains in place before working through the grammar of Dothraki, but a lot of the vocabulary was created simultaneously. It would be awesome to be able to sit down and create a fully fleshed-out language family like they're doing with Akana, but, obviously, there are external deadlines when it comes to translating dialogue for a currently-airing TV show. I try to do as much creation in advance as I can in order to ensure that the work is done authentically. As for how long it would take, honestly it would take as long as the conlanger wants it to take. A single language can be worked on for an entire lifetime—and many are. Just the sheer number of vocabulary items is daunting. It's one thing to go through an English language dictionary and coin a bunch of nonce forms for each of them (the process could probably be automated, in fact, and be a matter of minutes); it's quite another to create a set of stems from a basic proto-language and evolve it over the course of thousands of years—and attaching them to a people that live in some particular place and, perhaps, migrate to other parts of the world, meet others who speak different languages, intermingle, etc. We've learned some things over the years that help to shorten the process, but, really, to work on an authentic language is the work of a lifetime, unless the creator puts a shorter cap on it.
How long did it take to create Dothriaki? And did GRRM have any demands or preferences regarding how the language should sound/be built up? Answering this and the reply: All of the phrases that are in the book match up exactly with Dothraki as it exists today. So, for example, if you were to just go to the dictionary and look for how to say "A prince rides inside me", you'd get exactly Khalakka dothrae mr'anha. It's true that this language was for the show, but everyone involved in the production knows that there is a much larger fanbase that existed before the show, and we all have the idea that we're trying as best as possible to realize the vision GRRM laid down in the books.
Dothraki was created in various stages. It took about 400 hours to get it to stage 1, where I could translate the stuff in the pilot. After that, there was a lull while they filmed the pilot and the show got picked up for a full season. In that time, I took it to stage 2, where, for the most part, the grammar was set, and all that was needed was vocabulary. That said, Dothraki's still growing, and occasionally new verbs, in particular, will add new corners to the grammars by introducing a new paradigm for a particular set of verbs (to see a detailed explanation of how this works in English, take a look at Beth Levin's awesome book English Verb Classes and Alternations).
GRRM didn't, in fact, have any notes on the language. In his own words, when he needs a new word in some language, he makes it up on the spot. Ordinarily it would be difficult to make sense of that, but whatever he says about what he was doing, all the Dothraki names and words and phrases in the book seem (to me, at least) to fit a very clear pattern, and that made fleshing out the rest of the language much easier than one might expect.
It's interesting that you see a pattern in GRRM's spontaneously generated Dothraki words/phrases! Although it isn't explicit to GRRM, he has an innate understanding of Dothraki. Do you have examples of patterns you recognized in his made up words/phrases? Male names all end in -o; female names (just two) in -i.
Beyond that, though, g was overrepresented in male names (Jhogo, Oggo, Hago, Mago, Drogo, etc.), and there was a high incidence of doubled letters (Jommo, Irri, Cohollo, etc.).
It seemed to me that with the names specifically, the goal was to get the stress (for the most part) on the second syllable. This led to the Dothraki stress system, where words ending in a vowel are stressed on the first syllable unless there's a consonant cluster or doubled consonant (thus, Cohollo became Kohóllo and not Kóhollo).
The largest bit of systematicity is seen with the words khal and dothra. In the books, we have khal, khaleesi, khaleen (from dosh khaleen), khalakka and khalasar. With dothra, we have dothrak, dothraki and dothrae. It was up to me to figure out how the system should work, but clearly there's a system there.
Just with the various word bits, you can see Dothraki has a propensity for words beginning with complex consonant clusters consisting maximally of two consonants: mhar, rhaggat, Drogo, hrakkar, etc., but never something like Strogo or mrhanna.
Especially with the last bit, you can see even though there is (allegedly) not preset system, you can tell right off that Strogo doesn't look like a good Dothraki word—and all of this is just from the words from the books, and totally a part from the system I created. Again, if GRRM did this inadvertently, he did a brilliant job.
No one else has asked yet, so I will! What are your favorite words in the language and why? Also, does any word in particular have a story behind them and how/why they were created or why you made the choices you did? Give us details that the book wouldn't show! Lastly, what's the word you have said the most to this day? One of my favorite words is the word for man, mahrazh. It includes a couple of my favorite sounds (zh and post-vocalic h), and I basically recovered it. In the books, the jaqqa rhan are described as the "mercy men". That leaves jaqqa as "men", and I thought that would be way too difficult for the actors (for such a basic word), so I assigned that to something else (basically "executioner"), and won the right to coin the word for "man", so I thought I'd make it cool.
For sound, I like both jahak "braid" and jalan "moon". Both of those are words that are central to Dothraki culture, so I wanted to give them forms that were both simple and evocative, and I thought these worked (or at least to my ear).
For blossom (i.e. a blossom on a tree), I coined halah as my Hope Sandoval shout out. Don't think she's noticed. ;)
One of the expressions I came up with that I'm fond of is lekhaan, which is kind of like an adverb, although it's an inflected noun. If you want to say a sword is sharp, you'd say Arakh hasa. If you want to say a sword is sharp enough, you say Arakh hasa lekhaan, which means literally "The sword is sharp to the tongue". The expression comes from using verbs related to taste. So you can say something is salty, but to say it's salty enough, you'd say it's salty "to the tongue". That expression then generalized to other stative predicates.
Another one I thought worked well is the word for "to fix" or "to repair", which is arrissat. It's actually the causative of rissat, which means "to cut" or "to slice". Thus, to repair something is to "make it cut"—which is a good way of saying what needs to be done with a broken arakh.
I reserve the right to come back to this question. It's hard to find things like this on the fly (the dictionary's too big).
Where do you start with something like creating a language? Can you give us an idea of the process? Everyone approaches it in a slightly different way. I usually start with the phonology (the sound system) and the writing system, since writing systems are my favorite (was kind of a bummer that it's mentioned in the books that the Dothraki don't have a written form of their language). After that, I usually move onto grammar. I usually start with nouns and move onto the verbs, because verbs are difficult.
At this point, things start going back and forth. So, for example, using your phonology you'll come up with a system for noun cases (if your language has cases), and come up with some words to test them out, and then maybe you'll find that it's not sounding the way you want it to, so you go back and change the phonology, which in turn might change the morphology, etc. This is part of the fun. :)
Eventually, things start to settle down with the nouns and verbs, and you can move onto, for example, adpositions (if they're going to exist in the language), and discourse (questions, topicalization, etc.). All the while, you'll probably be coming up with vocabulary and expanding the lexicon as you go.
This is just how I do it—and the process above describes what I usually do with the proto-language. Once you have the proto-language, then you can evolve it over a thousand or so years and take it to whatever place you want to take it to.
Had you read A Song Of Ice And Fire before you were asked to create dothraki? Did you have any connections to the series before Game of Thrones? I had not. My wife had read them and told me about them, and then I started reading them while I was putting together my application. I'm now caught up and waiting for The Winds of Winter.
Is there a specific Dothraki word for "Doggystyle"? It seems to be an integral part of their culture. Kind of in line with what kwood09 said below, there's a word for woman on top: ijelat (v.). It's cognate with the word "to swallow". The general word for woman on top as a noun, then, would be athijezar, which is basically a synonym for "sex". Nothing for Dothraki-style in Dothraki: All the other languages fashion their word in the vein of "like a Dothraki". ;)
Could you post a quick intro to Dothraki? I'm not quite sure what you mean by "intro"... A good place to go is the fan wiki, or the Dothraki blog. Describing it linguistically, Dothraki is a language spoken by the fictional Dothraki people in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It was created specifically for the HBO adaptation Game of Thrones. The language is predominantly head-initial, with verbs coming before objects, adpositions coming before nouns, determiners coming before nouns, nouns coming before adjectives and relative clauses, and possessees preceding possessors. It currently has a vocabulary of 3,369 words, and is still being expanded.
Also, what's your favourite invented language (e.g. Quenya, Klingon etc.)? It's hard to pick just one favorite conlang... Some of my favorites are Doug Ball's Skerre, Sylvia Sotomayor's Kēlen and Mia Soderquist's ea luna (she doesn't have a site up right now). There are tons of other excellent languages. I mentioned a bunch in a blog post here, and right now our best multi-conlang resource is CALS, which is user-edited and has a ton of different conlangs on there.
Will you make more ASoIaF con-languages for HBO? I'd love to, but at this stage there aren't any official plans for seasons beyond the second. There won't be any discussions until (crosses fingers) there's a green light for season 3.
How many words do the Dothraki have for grass? Ha, ha. There are a few, but it actually turns out not to be very interesting. I mean, there are tons of words for "grass" in English: bluegrass, crabgrass, whatever you call that one type of grass that's kind of lumpy but looks like hair (I'm sure it has a name), etc. I came up with terms for all the grass words mentioned in the first book in one of the Dany chapters (I forget which), some of which are related to one another. The basic word is just hranna, which comes directly from the books.
I'm very much interested in more of the grammatical system you implemented in the dothraki language. What world languages inspired you to create the dothraki language? What case system does dothraki have? (e.g. nominative/accusative, ergative/absolutive, or something else?) What kind of morphology does dothraki have? (e.g. agglutinative, polysynthetic, etc.) Finally, where might i find more information on the created dothraki language? Dothraki is a nominative/accusative language that features quirky case periodically (e.g. the subject of the verb vekhat is marked with the genitive). The other cases are allative and ablative. So it's pretty light, as far as case systems go (just the five). Dothraki is inflectional with agglutinative elements. So it's more agglutinative than, say, Spanish, but it's mostly inflectional.
What is the dothraki word order? Word order was answered elsewhere. To do it the short way: SVO (older VSO), NA, NG, NR, DN, Prep.
Did you design the language as a snapshot at this particular time, or did you consider, and built in effects of how the language would have change over time, like Tolkien did with his elven languages? I mentioned this above, but it's worth expanding on here. I started with an older version of the language called Proto-Plains and then evolved it. That said, the Dothraki language described here is the one that's specifically used by Drogo's khalasar. As I envision it, there are probably several different varieties of Dothraki spoken by different khalasars all across the Dothraki Sea. They probably will not have diverged to the point of incoherence (after all, the various khalasars still meet up in Vaes Dothrak), but they will probably display particular lexical differences, and different accents. For example, I figured pretty early on that the sound change that merged f and p as well as v and b probably will not have occurred everywhere (kind of like the sound change that pushed t to k in Hawaiian. That t is preserved in certain dialects). So I did evolve the language over time, and I do have an idea about how this particular dialect of Dothraki fits into the synchronic state of the language. Personally, I think it'd be cool to see another dialect of Dothraki spoken by another khalasar that doesn't move in the same circles as Drogo's.
At this poiny, does Dothraki have the capacity for puns/jokes in general? Humor is an essential trait of human language, but have you included it, or is it written out following the current picture of the Dothraki people? Most of the humor I come up with ties directly to the insults. So some aren't really insults, but could be used for fun in the right company. So, for example, a group of riders together could joke around with each other and tease one guy for his arakh flech (dull arakh [i.e. flaccid penis]), and that's taken in the spirit of the jest, but the same phrase uttered by an ifak (foreigner): that's bad.
Oh no! I typoed and he didn't even answer my question... So most of the humor in the Dothraki I worked with is kind of braggadocious teasing—like trash talk. Not sure if you could pull off Seinfeld in Dothraki.
What's the hardest part about creating a language from scratch? For me, creating a realistic verbal system. Natural language verbal systems are incredibly complex. While something like English looks simple compared to, say, Spanish (-s, -ed and -ing will cover most of your bases), it gets used in crazy ways (e.g. "I would've liked to have eaten before arriving"). Considering that all of this has to be evolved (e.g. modern "would" being ultimately derived from the past tense of a word which meant "to want"), it's a lot to try to balance.
That is, of course, if you're creating a naturalistic language (one that's attempting to look and feel like a real, natural language). Others aren't trying to be realistic at all and face different challenges (check out Rikchik, by Denis Moskowitz, which is "spoken" by aliens with 49 tentacles, seven of which they use to sign).
Last updated: 2012-03-26 23:38 UTC
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