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Nouns and Declension
Menzi ki Menzkaečak
Nouns decline for several cases, like nouns
in Latin, German, or Russian. Unlike these languages, though, Rhean does not
assign a 'gender' to nouns. Instead, a noun's declension class is determined by its final
can tell that
heliko 'helicopter' follows the -o model,
doku 'poison' follows the -u model, and
ürok 'dog' follows the consonant-ending model. Rhean has very few irregular nouns.
The five regular classes of nouns are:
1. consonant ending
2. -a ending
3. -o ending
4. -u ending
5. -i/-e ending
The noun cases are the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental. Full charts for the regular models of declension, and a couple of the irregular ones, are given below. Here is a short description of how each case is used.
The nominative singular is the base for all the other singular
case forms, and the
nominative plural is the base for all the other plural case forms. The other
forms all depend on whether the nominative ends in a consonant or a vowel.
This is the unaltered form listed in the dictionary. For example: jart 'uncle', baša 'aunt', vukro 'boat', maru 'thing', kai 'wife'.
The nominative plural of consonant-ending nouns is formed by adding -i. Soiz 'country' becomes soizi 'countries' with -i added to the end.
Nouns that end in -a drop the -a and add the plural -i. Nima 'time', nimi 'times' and baša 'aunt', baši 'aunts'.
Nouns ending in -o form the plural by dropping -o for -e. Nivelo 'floor, story' and čeno 'woman' become nivele and čene.
Nouns ending with -u never drop the -u to add anything, so they add -i as if they ended in a consonant: maru becomes marui 'things', and ibu 'olive' becomes ibui. All monosyllabic nouns ending in a vowel except -i or -e (eg. fko 'hole'), follow the -u pattern.
Very few nouns end in -i in the singular. Even fewer end in -e. These words also never drop their final vowel; the plural is formed by adding -r: kai 'wife' becomes kair, and the plural of ekzi 'station' is ekzir.
The accusative case marks the direct object of a sentence. It is also used with a few prepositions. It is formed by adding -n to vowels and nothing to consonants. Because consonant stems take no accusative ending, their accusative form is the same as the nominative.
otoǩ - otoǩ
but otoǩi - otoǩin
böz - böz but bözi - bözin
nivelo - nivelon and nivele - nivelen
ava - avan and avi - avin
taksi - taksin but taksir - taksir
Where there might be confusion about whether something is the subject or object, the preposition o can be used. This o translates to nothing in English, but it indicates the object of a verb:
(he/she) hates Dinam or Dinam hates (him/her) ?
O Dinam ǧala. (he/she) hates Dinam.
The accusative in use:
She sees the men.
She sees the taxi.
I see a fire.
Unmarked accusatives, like Ǧuf above, will be shown with (-ACC).
The genitive case indicates possession, or can be used with
prepositions for an ablative sense meaning "from" or "out of".
For all words, no matter whether they are singular or plural, the genitive case is formed by adding
-a to consonants and -r to vowels (except -i singulars, which add
The genitive may precede or follow the possessed noun. It is far more common for the genitive to come first; genitive-last constructions are found in isolation (i.e. not in a sentence) or with local nouns.
The President of the Republic
The genitive is also used as a partitive,
showing an amount of something:
myola čan yačoni
beer-GEN three glasses
three glasses of beer
a beam of light
Myola čan yačonin olamiom.
beer-GEN three glasses-ACC drink-1SG:PAST
I drank three glasses of beer.
Sometimes the genitive is used on its own to mean "any/none (of) ..." This is most commonly found in negatives and questions:
Kronor mu blova
time-GEN NEG remain-3SG
There is no time left.
żDvežabzir ču unažioz?
invited-PL-GEN QU appear-3PL:PAST
Did any of the people invited show up?
For possession, there is also a preposition ku 'of', used with the nominative. This is rare, appearing most often as an element in surnames:
vuneč soiz ku TolboriThe preposition la, an old variant of kra, is also found, particularly in Sharvo surnames: Ildrin la Harik.
the former nation of the Tolbor.
Mezüzemir Osikar e Ladrok ku Mušavit.
The President of Ossica, Ladrok ku Mushavit.
The dative case can be used for the indirect object of a sentence, as the recipient of something, or with prepositions. The dative is formed by suffixing -u to consonants and -t to vowels.
jart - jartu and
jarti - jartit
čeno - čenot and čene - čenet
taksi - taksit and taksir - taksiru
Dešot tai krod kudyet.
girl-DAT her book-ACC give-2SG:IMP
Give the girl her book.
Točetu vöst radyet.
father-DAT truth(-ACC) tell-2SG:IMP
Tell (your) father the truth.
This case gets a lot of milage: it is used to show where or how something is done, or where something is, among other uses. I put more about the instrumental in the section on prepositions, because this case is almost always used with one. All nouns form the instrumental by adding -om to consonants and -m to vowels in the singular and plural. So baša, šuz, mečo, mikro, kuduz are bašam, šuzom, mečom, mikrom, kuduzom in the instrumental singular and bašim, šuzim, mečem, mikrem, kuduzim in the instrumental plural.
SIMPLE SUMMARY OF CASES
nominative (suffix -) : subject
accusative (suffix - / -n) : object
genitive (suffix -a / -r) : possessive "-'s", "of "
dative (suffix -u / -t) : recipient "to", "for"
instrumental (suffix -om / -m) : method "with", "by", "using", "in/at" etc.
Compare this with the full summary here.
Here are the all the forms for regular nouns:
|-I / -E MODEL|
|-U MODEL||The -U model is also the model used for monosyllables ending in a vowel other than -I or -E. Some irregular nouns not ending in -U also use the -U model.|
There are irregular nouns as well; most of them fall into one of the categories below. There are a lot of -o nouns that follow the -u model, due to an older form which ended in u or w. Also in the -u category are all the verbal nouns in -o. There are also syncopated nouns, which lose an unstressed vowel when a suffix is added. These are listed in the dictionary with the syncopated vowel in brackets. For example: jar(a)b 'bone' is jarbi in the plural. Syncopated nouns that lose an o or an e form their plural in -e: ol(e)g 'eye' becomes olge. There are even a few one-syllable syncopated nouns that lose a vowel and gain another: sk(e)z 'number', skize 'numbers'. Very few take some sort of internal vowel change: draaz 'house' becomes driiz. Here are the models for some of these irregular nouns:
Pronouns decline for all the same cases as nouns, but they follow a different pattern (from an older declension model). The case forms for the pronouns are:
|1st person "I, we"||
|2nd person "(thou,) you"||
|3rd person "he/she/it, they"|
These are used just like the cases of nouns:
Ora loǩem palbaz.
about you-INST talk-3PL
They're talking about you.
Er yant kudye!
that(-ACC) me-DAT give-2:IMP
Give me that!
An exception: The genitive case of the pronouns is not used to show possession. Instead, special possessive adjectives are used.
The third person pronouns do not show gender, but there are gender prefixes ban- (male) jor- (female) and on- (neuter/inanimate) which can be prefixed to almost anything: banyuš 'bull', joryuš 'cow', banšuz, 'king' joršuz 'queen', Banas 'Mr/sir/gentleman', Joras 'Mrs/Miss/lady'. These can be prefixed to the pronouns when gender must be specified:
You could also say jorliz 'you girls', or banyen 'us guys'. All these forms still decline like pronouns: bantaǩem, jorlira, ontant, joryezem etc.
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On to prepositions.