<< Accent

Primal > Tutorial > Advanced > Requests

Special Phrases >>


This lesson covers questions (interrogative statements) and commands (imperative statements).

Asking Questions

Wherever the pronoun kr (kur, "what") appears in a sentence, the listener is being requested to provide a response that completes the missing information.  Here are some simple examples:

  • What?: kr. (kur, "what.")
  • What's happening?: kr ,ly. (kur lee, "what do.")
  • How's it going?: Ww su kr. (wooh s'kur, "it containing what.")
  • How are you?: Yw su kr. (yooh s'kur, "you containing what.")
  • What are you doing?: Yw ,ly su kr. (yooh lee s'kur, "you do containing what.")

The word kr (kur, "what") can appear multiple times in the same sentence, if more information is needed than a single fill-in.  Examples of common questions can be found throughout the Survival Phrases lessons.

Asking questions with "please" requires using krky (kur-kee, "what cute") as the question word:

  • Please explain?: krky. (kur-kee, "what cute.")
  • Please tell, what are you doing?: Yw ,ly su krky. (yooh lee s'kur-kee, "you do containing what cute.")

Seeking Confirmation

In English, questions like "Is it raining?" are asking for a yes or no response.  These questions usually start with a helping verb, like "is", "do", or "may".  In Primal, a yes or no response is requested by adding the phrase hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what") to the end of a statement.  This is similar to the English prompt, "...yes or no?"  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Oh?  Is that so?: Ww ,ly hwj kr. (wooh lee hoohch kur, "it do exclusive-or what.")
  • Okay?  Is that alright?: Wr ,ly hwj kr. (wur lee hoohch kur, "yes do exclusive-or what.")
  • Are you a friend?: Yw ,ly QCJy ,lIf hwj kr. (yooh lee dthauw-jee lilf hoohch kur, "you do similar-to maximal friend exclusive-or what.")
  • Please tell, do you enjoy music?: Yw qON su HBv hwj krky. (yooh thallng s'khhoiv hoohch kur-kee, "you enjoy containing music exclusive-or what cute.")

Notice that hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what") obeys grammar for conjunctions, as described in the (basic) Verb Phrases lesson.  If hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what") appears in a predicate, it applies only to the verb it modifies.  If it appears in the topic, it applies to all verbs--but this should only happen when a sentence has multiple verbs.  The generic verb ,ly (lee, "do") was added in the first three examples in order to satisfy this requirement.

Modifiers that are relevant to a question should be placed after a verb that is the target of hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what").  Notice that QCJy ,lIf (dthauw-jee lilf, "similar-to maximal friend") follows the generic verb ,ly (lee, "do").  This means that friendship is the concept being questioned.

If context is clear, a request may be made without using kr (kur, "what") at all.  This is more common in speech than in print, where inflection provides a clue.  For example, the sentence Wr. (wur, "yes.") may simply mean "Yes."  But in context or with special inflection, it may mean, "Do you agree?"

Ordering Commands

Commands are given with the pronoun zu (zuh, "imperative").  This word is very similar to Yw (yooh, "you"), except it orders the listener to make all the parts that include zu (zuh, "imperative") true:

  • Do it: zu. (zuh, "imperative")
  • Be mine: Wy mw zu. (wee mooh zuh, "me owning imperative.")
  • Jump over the dog: zu fim su Rcf. (z'fim s'ruof, "imperative jump-over containing dog.")
  • Make it talk to you: Ww ,lr pw zu. (wooh lur pooh zuh, "it talk to-target imperative.")

Making Requests

The difference between an order and a polite request depends on whether you leave a "way out" for the listener.  In Primal, any command can be turned into a request by adding Hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what") to each predicate that includes the command, or to the topic if there are multiple predicates.

This roughly turns the expression, "Do this," into, "Do this; yes/no?"  Examples:

  • Please do it: zu ,ly hwj kr. (z'lee hoohch kur, "imperative do exclusive-or what.")
  • Please be mine: Wy ,ly mw zu hwj kr. (wee lee mooh z'hoohch kur, "me do owning imperative exclusive-or what.")
  • Please jump over the dog: zu fim su Rcf hwj kr. (z'fim s'ruof hoohch kur, "imperative jump-over containing dog exclusive-or what.")

As before, sentences that lack a predicate (such as the first two examples above) require the addition of the generic verb ,ly (lee, "do") before hwj kr (hoohch kur, "exclusive-or what") can be added.

For requests, hwj krky (hoohch kur-kee, "exclusive-or what cute") is considered excessively polite, and is similar to the meaning "pretty please" in English:

  • Do it, pretty please: zu ,ly hwj krky. (z'lee hoohch kur-kee, "imperative do exclusive-or what cute.")

<< Accent

Primal > Tutorial > Advanced > Requests

Special Phrases >>