From The Urban Dead Wiki
Zamgrh is the language spoken by zombies with Death Rattle. Unlike Zombish, Zombese, and Zomban, Zamgrh is not a code for representing English sounds-- instead, it is a unique language that can be used to express anything and everything that a zombie wishes to say. As Zamgrh is primarily a spoken language, it uses a completely phonetic orthography. Zamgrh bears strong resemblance to other human creoles. A dictionary can be found here:Guides:kiZombie-English Dictionary
- 1 Phonology
- 2 Syntax and Morphology
- 3 Corpus
- 4 Participants in the Zamgrh Project
Much like English, Zamgrh consists of a phonetic alphabet in which a letter or combination of letters may take several tones. Previously it was theorized that there were only 21 distinct phonemes available. In written language these can be denoted by the following characters: z, a, m, g, r, h, n, b, and ! serving as letters in the English sense, with -, ., ,, ?, and ! serving as punctuation. By combining the basic sounds the modern zombie is able to communicate additional sounds.
The use by zombies of the ! as a glottal stop or "i" sound does require the careful attention of humans to make sure that they're interpreting Zamgrh correctly. Some zombies have been found to inhale when making the !, making it sound more like an "I" in English would sound.
The following is a basic chart of possible sound combinations that a zombie might use when forming words. The yellow and blue colored squares offer additional meaning as "replacement letters" that zombies use to replace survivor sounds that they cannot pronounce. This chart is by no means complete. It does not take into account the other sound combinations that can be made such as "hra" or "ahz".
1. A vowel may never be pronounced in isolation. Any isolated vowel will have the sound "hr" prefixed. Most zombies seem to add an "h" after vowels, if they're trying to be clear to harmanz -- er --- humans.
- e.g.: a zambah --> hra zambah
2. Words ending in "r" will have "h" suffixed.
- e.g.: Gahgar Marr --> Gahgarh Marrh
3. "Clicks" or the English punctuation characters may never be uttered in isolation, and are always preceded by a consonant, vowel, or other click.
Given that most zamgrh is largely an adjustment on American English (AmE) or British English (BrE), field studies have yielded the following chart. It is hoped that the casual user of the internet in Malton will find this rubric useful in dealing with zombies in Malton. Mah zambah brazzarrz habganna zambahz ahn Marzan mag zah gab hab zam gab ah harmanz, arzah. (We want zombies in Malton to make this page help them talk to humans, also).
This table has been formulated using the Internatonal Phonetic Alphabet. A careful user will notice that the list occasionally has an "x" in two places, signifying the use of both sounds. For example; dʒ shows b and z as sounds to be used, thus the Zamgrh usage would be bz.
Any questions should be addressed to the Linguistics Department of Oxford which has spent specific effort on the Malton Zombie problem.
Recent field work has discovered that the "t" sound of English is sometimes associated to a "g" sound, and sometimes to a "z". If unsure, use "g".
Syntax and Morphology
Zamgrh follows a loose Subject-Verb-Object syntax. Questions can simply be suffixed with a ? or have the verb and subject inverted. Verbs can be conjugated, however a full lexicon of verbs is not available at this time (see Zombie Lexicon for up-to-date vocabulary).
A more advanced example:
Zombies are known to drop helping verbs at times when they can easily be inferred, yielding the following examples:
A more advanced example:
Adjectives precede the nouns that they modify.
Nouns can also be used to modify other nouns while being modified by the first-person possessive. This is a more complex example:
|Mah rabah||grabz||mah manbagz.|
|My lover||grabs||my testicles.|
Zombies may choose to address each other or survivors by name. Often a zombie will state a translation of his name in the "Real Name" field of his profile, but otherwise, the speaker must be creative, remember to capitalize, and try to match the letter of the English name with whatever is most similar.
Bab, am gaa habbah abah zah namrh ah Bh!rh!b? Bob, are you happy about the death of Philip?
A present tense verb can be conjugated into a question by adding the ? to the end of a sentence or by inverting the verb and subject.
Zah bang bang man ganna harm mah zambah? Will the Zombie Hunter attack me?
Verbs can hold opposite meaning when the word nah is used between the subject and verb.
Mah zambah nah harm brazzarz. I do not hurt friends.
Negative questions can be made to infer additional meaning:
Harman nah ganna harm mah zambah ? Are you not going to attack me, human?
Any verb can be conjugated into the future tense by adding the word ganna infront of the verb.
Mah zambah ganna gangbang harmanz zammarrar. I will rape humans tomorrow.
As a question:
Gaa am ganna gangbang harmanz zammarrar? Will you rape humans tomorrow?
Zombies have a hard time distinguishing between the past and the present, and the grammar of their language reflects this. Any verb not conjugated in the future tense refers to an action that began some time in the past and which may or may not still be going on at the present time.
Mah zambah barg harman bra!nz. I am eating human brains I ate human brains.
However, if an action has been completed the auxiliary haz may be preposed before the verb.
Mah zambah haz barg harman bra!nz. I have eaten human brains.
The imperative form of verbs is conjugated by adding arz as a suffix. Note that the sentence structure stays the same. This is different from English where the subject gets transplanted to the end of the sentence.
Hammarh zah barragazh, mah zambah brazzarz! Attack the barricades, my zombie brothers!
Advanced Sentence Structure
Contrary to popular survivor theory, zombies are capable of complex thought and communication in their own language. Here is an example:
Mah mama hammarh mah zambah ahn Gagarh Marrh, an mah zambah gab ah mama, -Mama am an bangbangman .- My mom attacked me in Caiger Mall, and I told mom, "Mom is a Zombie Hunter." Mah zambah am nah habbah, an mah zambah gab, -Graaaagh!- I am not happy, and I say "Graaaagh!"
This is an emotional zombie saddened by the internal rift of family by the survivor mentality of "kill zombies" where even mothers would attack their own children.
To help zombies in speech, some linguists have proposed a punctuation based number system.
Zamgrh would thus have a base 5 numbering system:
Note that due to the base 5 system, 5 is the first number that has two digits, and 25 (52) the first to have three digits. 125 (53) would be the first number to have four digits.
Efforts to spread this knowledge to Zombies has resulting in maulings and mostly death of any linguist crazy enough to give the zombies a lecture.
In Zamgrh, numbers are never spoken in isolation but always with a prefix.
The default prefix is [b]
manz b?!? z hrh
human.PL NUM.57 be here
'57 humans are here'
ah habh b!!.
1.SG have NUM.30
'I am 30 years old'
There are four prefixes for each of the cardinal directions: N (north), A (south), M (east), Z (west)
'Eat the humans six blocks to the north'
'Attack the barricades one block south and five blocks west.'
As a context-sensitive tongue, Zamgrh has a habit of making use of kennings, or highly-figurative descriptions meant to convey a point in an almost circumlocutory manner - see, for instance, agzbarn (lit. axe-house) for fire station, mrh-banana (roughly life insertion) for syringe, or nabra!nzbarg (lit. no brains eating) for vegetarianism (with the implication of life-culting perhaps rendering this a double-kenning). The use of these kennings lends further weight to the reliance of Zamgrh on context and lateral thinking, making it somewhat of a distinct creole language with a growing lexicon of concepts.
A corpus of zombie texts can be found at Texts.
Participants in the Zamgrh Project
If you're a participant in the Zamgrh Project, please use the following template:
|This user is a zombese linguist.|
We're looking for linguists, field reporters, and other membership to help us understand our undead brothers.