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 >Since my vampires are a rather proud group, I thought it would make
 >sense that they would tend not to ask direct questions, in the same
 >way that guys don't ask for directions when they're lost.

        A curious analogy.

        The great thing about languages that worry about politeness is
that it really gives you beautiful opportunities to also be
unspeakably rude. :)

        Technically there is no conculture to go with Vaior, but I
can't really create a language in a vacuum, so there are strongs hits
of a culture in it.  The Vaior speaker is very much hemmed in by
matters of politeness.  Directly addressing someone by name is a
little rude, for example, and there are a bunch of honorifics like
"-san" and "-sama" that are necessary.  The full list, from the
grammar on the web page:

----------------------------------------
     nath - the catch-all honorific, always used with colleagues,
acquaintances, people you're doing business with and strangers you've
just met. Often used even by friends. This is also appropriate to use
when trying to get someone's attention.

     nathamm - a more honorific form of the previous, used when you
wish to express respect at a particular moment. Using it all the time
is sycophantic: use it once then use just nath subsequently.

     ceirh - incredibly rude, directed at someone you've just written
off as useless or boring. If a speaker uses it with his own name, he's
being either humble or is trying to apologize for something. May even
be found with va in this latter use, though this is rather
over-wrought or humorous in any but the most private setting.

     -aihi - suffixed to any honorific, moderates or softens the tone
of an address.

     ahi - used with close friends or romantic involvements, but may
be suffixed to nath to express profound respect. Lovers may use
nathahi when feeling dramatic, too.

     anhai - used with someone being cared for, usually children but
couples may use it when one of the parners is feeling unwell or if
someone is feeling cutesy. For a doctor or nurse to use this with an
adult would be patronizing.
----------------------------------------

        So, you can't just say, "William, How are you?" but rather "e
Líam nath, han ciaro sa?"  The vocative particle, "e" is not optional.

        Vaior has several registers, and makes a careful distinction
between speaking *formally* and speaking in an *elevated* manner.  One
can also speak both formally and in an elevated manner, but it is by
no means required.

        Some words are different in the various registers.  For
example, standard register 'catho' "give" is 'díechto' in the elevated
register, and 'lorhmo' in the formal.  There happens to be a poetic
(also religious) register, too, for which there is yet another word
for "give:" 'naurho.'

 >                                                            A direct
 >interrogative form may or may not *exist*, but it would rarely be
 >used. "Where is the door?" would translate to something like, "If
 >you would tell me the location that is the door."

        This is how English speakers (American ones, at any rate) give
polite commands, by giving indirect questions or suggestions: "could
you close the door".

        I believe polite commands in Hindi use some sort of
multi-causative construction, implying, as I recall, that the person
you're asking to do something has armies of servants in a hierarchy
waiting to his bidding.

        Vaior allows a passive-causative construction along this line,
assuming the verb in question isn't already a derived causative.  This
is very polite.  You can also use the moderating particle 'úai' after
an imperative to tone down a command:

        fauni enen maven úai - "close the door please"
        faun-aunin-i enen maven úai - "please cause the door to be closed"

(-au- marks the passive, -nin- the causative).

 >                                                   I suppose it
 >wouldn't be *rude* per se to ask a direct question, so much as it
 >would seem like begging and you could lose respect.

        Hmm.  This is a little trickier.

        It seems to me that one option you could use for this is some
distancing expression rather than the word "I."  Vaior also allows
this sort of thing.  The generic pronoun "one," as in "one doesn't
spit on the sidewalk" is 'inna.'  This allows you to make comments
generally, or even to admonish someone somewhat indirectly, as in the
"one doesn't spit" statement above.  There is a form, 'uinna' from 'au
inna' "this one", which is a distancing first person pronoun.  For
your example, you could say:

  paituvorrh         uinna, so      mave thare
  pai-tuv-o-rrh      uinna, s-o     mave thare
 know-want-PRES-SUBJ one  , be-PRES door where
  "one may wish to know where the door is"

This is a little stilted in Vaior, but the basic idea may work better
in your own language.

        Vaior has a bunch of other politeness considerations, so that
I have separate section of the grammar devoted to that material,
though some of it is scattered throughout the rest of the grammar,
too.  For example, Vaior has optional evidence markers.  They become
un-optional in the formal register, with the exception that the 'of
course this is obvious' marker is dreadfully rude.

--
wm