A grammar of orcish

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by Yorick of Yew

This volume, and others in the series, are sponsored by donations from Lord Blackthorn, ever a supporter of understanding the other sentient races of Britannia. –

The Orcish tongue may fall unpleasingly ‘pon the ear, yet it has within it a complex grammar oft misunderstood by those who merely hear the few broken words of English our orcish brothers manage without education.

These are the basic rules of orcish:

Orcish has five tenses: present, past, future imperfect, present interjectional, and prehensile.
Examples: gugroflu, gugrofloog, gugrobo, gugrolu!, gugrogug.

All transitive verbs in the prehensile tense end it “ug.”
Examples: urgleighug, biggugdaghgug, curdakalmug.

All present interjectional conjugations start with the letter G unless the(y) contain the third declensive accent of the letter U.
Examples: ghothudunglug, but n azhbuugub.

The past tense can only refer to events since the last meal, but the prehensile tense can refer to any event within reach.

The present tense is conjugated like the future imperfect tense, when the interrogative mode is used by pitching the sound a quarter-tone higher.

Orcish hath no concept of person, as in first person, third person, I, we, etc.

Orcish grammar relies upon the three cardinal rules of accretion, prefixing, and agglutination, in addition to pitch. In the former, phonemes combine into larger words which may contain full phrasal significance. In the second, prefixing specific phonetic sounds changes the subject of the sentence into object, interrogative, addressed individual, or dinner.

Agglutination occurs whenever four of the same letter are present in a word, in which case, any two of them may be removed or slurred.

Pitch changes the phoneme value of individual syllables, thus completely altering what a word may mean. The classic example if “Aktgluthugrot bigglogubuu dargilgaglug lublublub(“) which can mean “You are such a pretty girl,” “My mother ate your primroses,” or “Jellyfish nose paints alms potato,” depending on pitch.

Orcish poetry often relies upon repeating the same phrase in multiple pitches, eve(n) changing pitch midword. None of this great are is translatable.

The orcish language uses the following vowels: ab, ad, ag, akt, at, augh, auh, azh, e, i, o, oo, u, uu. The vowel sound a is not recognized as a vowel and does not exist in their alphabet. The orcish alphabet i(s) best learned using th(e) classic rhyme repeated at 23 different pitchs:

Lugnog ghu blat suggaroglug. Gaghbuu dakdar ab highugbo, Gothnogbuim ad gilgubbugbuilug Bilgeaugh thurggulg stuiggro!

A translation of the first pitch:
Eat food, the first letter is ab,
Kill people, the next lette(r) is ad,
I forget the rest But augh is in there somewhere!

What follows is a complete phonetic library of the orcish language: ab, ad, ag, akt, alm, at, augh, auh, azh, ba, ba, bag, bar, baz, bid, bilge, bo, bog, bog, brui, bu, buad, bug, bug, buil, buim, bum, buo, buor, buu, ca, car, clog, cro, cuk, cur, da, dagh, dagh, dak, dar, deak, der, dil, dit, dor, dre, dri, dru, du, dud, duf, dug, dug, duh, dun, eag, eg, egg, eichel, ek, ep, ewk, faugh, fid, flu, fog, foo, foz, fruk, fu, fub, fud, fun, fup, fur, gaa, gag, gagh, gan, gar, gh, gha, ghat, ghed, ghid, gho, ghu, gig, gil, gka, glu, glu, glug, gna, gno, gnu, gol, gom, goth, grunt, grut, gu, gub, gub, gug, gug, gugh, guk, guk,

(Transcriber’s Note: The remainder of the orcish language is not present in this tome. To find the remainder, please read “Phonemes of the Orcish Tongue,” also by Yorick o’ Yew.)


Last modified: May 14, 2011

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