I think the title of this post pretty succinctly summarises its content, which raises the question as to whether or not there is any purpose in writing it. But be that as it may, I will do so.
One of the interesting features of human languages is that there is a lot more flexibility than you would think in respect of even the most basic grammatical concepts. It seems almost impossible to believe for an English speaker, for example, but in Navajo many of the things we think of as nouns (apple, cigarette, rock, etc.) are verbs, and in Japanese, the concept of liking something is described by an adjective rather than a verb.
This seems to hint at there being something different in the way thoughts are structured from language to language (that hoary old Sapir-Whorf hypothesis). And it raises the question in my own mind: given that we know demihumans are supposed to think very differently to humans, what would this say about the structure of their languages?
Somewhat simplistically, I began thinking on my walk home from the office this afternoon about whether a language could be comprised entirely of verbs, nouns, or adjectives and, if so, which race would most appropriately speak the all-verb, all-noun, and all-adjective variants?
Elves would, I think, speak entirely in verbs. Picture a language in which everything is an action; every object would be described not as existing in a fixed state but in one of flux and potential movement, and always in relation to other objects/actions. A table would not be a 'table' but 'standing solidly on the floor so as to be available to be used for eating and drinking'; a window would not be a 'window' but 'standing perpendicular and presenting the outside to the inside'; a book would not be a 'book' but 'giving knowledge in the reading'.
In Elvish: 'I sat at the table reading a book' = 'Speaking-in-relation-to-the-past sitting at standing-solidly-on-the-floor-so-as-to-be-available-to-be-used-for-eating-and-drinking reading giving-knowledge-in-the-reading.' It's a good thing elves live for a long time.
Dwarfs, meanwhile, would speak only in nouns; their concepts are objects, and they live in a world of manipulable reality, not abstraction or movement. Hence, they have tables and chairs, no problem. When describing what we think of as an action, they instead describe objects juxtaposed against one another with the gaps filled in by context. One does not 'eat' a ham, but 'ham, inside-of-mouth'. One does not 'look' out of a window, but 'eyes window'. One then uses nouns to specify what we think of as tense: 'I looked out of the window' = 'I eyes window past'. 'I looked out of the window yesterday morning' = 'I eyes window yesterday morning'.
For orcs, meanwhile, everything that is worth saying is a command or an expression of submission or emotion; orcs are governed not by reason but by the natural hierarchy of might-makes-right and the incontinent desire for violence. They must in every word of their speech reflect this. Orcs do not sit at tables reading books or look out of windows (or, if they do, they do not tell other orcs about it). Instead, they simply assert dominance or subservience. An orc sees some food that it wants, and it barks at the nearest weaker orc and points at the food: 'Quick!' Another orc, bigger, objects: 'Presumptious!' The original orc sits back in its chair, murmuring 'Quiet.'
Your job is now to put these ramblings into effect by translating the first sentence of the King James Bible, 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth'. If you can put that convincingly into elvish, dwarfish or orcish as described here, you win a prize.*
*Probably a PDF of something I've made.