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Sith (language)/Ben Grossblatt email

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This page records an email from Ben Grossblatt, used in writing the article about Sith language. It is recorded here for historical purposes, and has been locked from editing.

Source:  EmailAttribution:  LelalMekha

Mr Grossblatt,

I'm user LelalMekha from Wookieepedia. I wanted to both congratulate and thank you for you "Speak Like a Sith" article, which was published in the Star Wars Insider 134. It's really refreshing when the Insider publishes something which isn't some kind of ode to the Clone Wars cartoons...

I recently gave the "Sith language" article on Wookieepedia an improvement drive. Since you now seem to have become a Wookieepedian (under the username "Dzunyâsh"' ('Big Leaf', that is), I wondered if you could take a look at this article (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sith_language). I put much effort into it, and I'd like to be sure I haven't misinterpreted anything that was written in "Speak Like a Sith" (English isn't my first language after all). I'd be honoured if you accepted to share your thoughts about one of "my" articles—the ones I've been working on, that is.

Best regards and linguistically yours, LelalMekha

Source:  EmailAttribution:  Ben Grossblatt

Hi, LelalMekha —

I found a few things in your very thorough article you might wish to change:

Morphology

Technically, the ablative marker in the example is -anjat. It shows up on the surface as -yanjat, but only because the y is epenthesized to eliminate hiatus. In Sith (as I've conceived it), glides get inserted when two vowels appear next to each other. In this case, the morphemes are kusk + ut + siqsa + anjat.

Known vocabulary

Dzunyâsh isn't really a word in Sith. It's just a compound of dzu ("leaf, leaf-shaped object") and nyâsh ("big, much, many").

The word for "small, few" is actually nwit. (Even though it does show up as nwi- in the word nwiqû.)

Many of the phrases in the list are rough translations. For example, Sutta Chwituskak doesn't mean "Bolt of Hatred" literally. Literally, it means "Flung spears" (from the word sutta "spear" and a participial phrase based on the root chwit "to throw").

Behind the scenes

You're completely right that "my" Sith is not consistent with things that had come before. It was handled as a separate entity.

You're right about this, too:

In fact, even some of the new words that were invented for Book of Sith—including "Grotthu" and "Zuguruk"—cannot be properly transcribed.

I did have "new" Sith words for those and other caste names, but they didn't make it into the book.

Thanks for taking such an interest!

— Ben

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