I exchanged <ǰ> for <ǯ> in this post only for the sake of making the example sentences look a bit cleaner. The official romanisation of /dʒ/ is still <ǰ>.
Nouns in Vechaprian are inflected for up to seven cases. Not all nouns are inflected for all seven of them, in fact, most nouns are only inflected for five cases, similar to how the Armenian locative case can't be used for animate nouns. A noun is declined by simply suffixing the case affixes onto the verb. Between a noun's stem and the case affix comes a theme vowel (e.g. the final <a> in večʼapruga
'Vechaprian' and Sajora
'Greece' is the theme vowel). Only one case deletes the theme vowel but more on that later.
Apart from case, Vechaprian possesses two genders and generally two numbers.
Grammatical number in nouns is for the most part not really noteworthy. The majority of nouns have a singular and a plural, but a small subset of nouns also has a distinct dual form. The dual mainly exists in nouns in body parts (e.g. xog
'eye') and some other nouns that come in pairs.
A noun's number is changed by changing its theme vowel to a different one (e.g. ikʼleši
'church' becomes ikʼleše
Like it has just been mentioned, Vechaprian nouns belong to one of two genders: masculine or feminine. The gender of each word has to be memorised as there is no way of deducing a noun's gender just by looking at it (except for recognising a derivational suffix of course), because both masculine and feminine are declined exactly the same. Grammatical gender and natural gender coincide for the most part and sometimes nouns in the same category (?) like month names belong to the same gender.
Vechaprian's nouns can be declined for up to seven cases as aforementioned. Those cases are the nominative, the accusative, the dative, the genitive, the prepositional, the locative and the ablative. The nouns that are declined for five cases lack the locative and ablative cases, as these two cases are only used with locational nouns.
Note: some cases get more functions added to them as I have just worked on the most basic uses of each case so far.
I do not have a lot of vocabulary yet, so I had some fun with the limited set of words I had available
The nominative in Vechaprian has no case affix, instead the bare noun is used to convey the nominative function. Thus, the nominative singular also functions as the citation form. As any other nominative-accusative language, the nominative case is used to indicate the subject of a sentence.
'A bull drinks.'
The nominative is also used for the subject complement in copulative verbs, most notably jẹ
Xvizni nevo 'n.
xvizn-i-∅ nev-o-∅ u-n
queen-SG-NOM kidney-SG-NOM be.PRS-3PS
'The queen is a kidney.'
Furthermore, the nominative also serves a vocative function. No example needed for that though.
The accusatives main function is to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The accusative is formed by suffixing an -n
onto the noun, nothing more. There are two types of nouns that do not have a distinct accusative form but more about that later.
Saxǯaza zanan aven.
/sɑxˈdʒɑ.zɑ ˌzɑ.nɑn ˌɑ.vən/
saxǯaz-a-∅ zan-a-n av-e-n
royals-SG-NOM small.intestine-SG-ACC sell-NFUT-3PS
'The royals sell a small intestine.'
Apart from marking the direct object, the accusative can also be found after some prepositions. This is getting continuously rarer as the accusative is replaced by the dative case in colloquial speech and historically has been replaced by the dative in a lot of instances already.
Čʼvara ti xmuvan en.
/ˈtʃʰvɑ.rɑ ti ˌxmɨ.vɑn ən/
čʼvar-a-∅ ti xmuv-a-n e-n
crane-SG-NOM through fog-SG-ACC go.NFUT-3PS
'The crane walks through the fog.'
The third case, the dative, is often used to mark the indirect object of a ditransitive verb, most common example of this would be the verb cʼare
'to give'. The ending for the dative case is -m
Večʼapru jorim balalaykan cʼarun.
/vəˈtʃʰɑp.rɨ ˌdzu.rim bɑ.lɑˈlɑj.kɑn ˌtsʰɑ.run/
večʼapr-u-∅ jor-i-m balalayk-a-n cʼar-u-n
Vechaprian-PL-NOM Greek-SG.F-DAT balalaika-SG-ACC give-NFUT-3PS
'The Vechaprians give a balalaika to the Greek woman.'
Furthermore, the dative can also be used to denote the purpose or the benefit of something. In some cases, both uses can be kind of ambiguous like in the following example in which it can be interpreted as doing the action for the queen as in 'gaining' the queen as a consequence or for the queen as in being ordered to do it by her.
'They fight for the queen.'
Probably the most notable function of the dative in Vecheprian is its use to denote the meaning of 'towards', in other words its use as an undercover lative case. It's this usage that is supplanting the accusative in a lot of cases. The accusative often denoted motion towards something in many prepositions, but the dative is taking that meaning over. This is a Turkic influence as that language family also uses its dative oftentimes for the lative case's typical functions.
Pʼil ib ikʼlešim en.
/ˈpʰil ib ikʰˌlə.ʃim ən/
pʼil-∅ ib ikʼleš-i-m e-n
elephant-NOM on church-SG-DAT go.NFUT-3PS
'The elephant goes up on the church.'
(what would be the best translation here? motion towards and onto the top of something)
The genitive case has two functions. It's main function is to mark the possessor in a genitive construction. This is done by suffixing -š
to the possessor. The possessor generally comes before the possessee in Vechaprian genitive constructions.
Sajoraš tʼažun pʼaltem.
/sɑˌdzu.rɑʃ ˈtʰɑ.ʒɨn ˌpʰɑl.təm/
Sajora-š tʼaž-u-n pʼalt-e-m
Greece-GEN tongue-PL-ACC fight-NFUT-1PS
'I fight against the languages of Greece.'
Additionally, the genitive is also one of the cases that can be found after some prepositions. The one used in the accusative example sentence is such a preposition. Used with the genitive, it's meaning changes into 'among' rather than 'through'.
Čʼara ti Salekʼaš xǯazeš šan.
/ˈtʃʰɑ.rɑ ti sɑˈlə.kʰɑʃ ˌxdʒɑ.zəʃ ʃɑn/
čʼar-a-∅ ti Salekʼa-š xǯaz-e-š ša-n
woman-SG-NOM among Poland-GEN king-PL-GEN be.PST-3PS
'There was a woman among the Polish kings.'
As the name of this case already implies, the prepositional case is used after prepositions to signify a stationary location for the most time. Locative would have therefore been a pretty fitting name, however, there is another locative case already, so prepositional it is. The prepositional case is a special case (huh, get it?) in Vechaprian noun morphology, because it is the only case that deletes the theme vowel of a noun and replaces it with a different vowel. Which vowel it gets changed to depends on the theme vowel of a noun, but we'll get to that.
Ib xoje kʼixem.
/ib ˈxu.dzə ˌkʰi.xəm/
ib xoj-ẹ kʼix-e-m
on egg-SG.PRP live-NFUT-1PS
'I live on top of the egg.'
The locative is the first of two cases which are only used for nouns denoting a place. It's used to convey the general sense of 'in/at/on X' when there is no need to specify it any further with a preposition for example. The suffix for the locative case is -t
'They pray in church.'
The seventh and last case is the ablative which is created by adding -can
to the noun. Just like the locative, it's only used with locational nouns and it is used to show a motion away from or out of a place.
'I will run away from the church.' or 'I will run out of the church.'
In colloquial speech, especially that of the Eastern parts, the ablative is starting to get used with nouns other than locational nouns. This is another influence of Turkic languages and their coincidentally very similar looking ablative suffix.
3.4. Case Syncretism
Some nouns in Vechaprian are rather special, because they do not have distinct nominative and accusative forms and share the same form for both of these cases. Most of these nouns are those that lack a theme vowel and therefore end in a consonant, such as irom
'name' or xǯaz
'king'. This rarely causes any problem with ambiguity, because oftentimes determiners, which do decline for the accusative, accompany these nouns.
The other instance of such nominative-accusative case syncretism is for some nouns that use the accusative form for the nominative as well, meaning that the nominative also ends with the suffix -n
. Those are comparatively rare and only exist for some inanimate nouns.
Nouns ending in -n
can belong to either one of these. The -n
in the nominative is either the accusative suffix or it is part of the stem of a noun without a theme vowel. For example:
'egg (nom./acc.)' > xojoš
'tooth (nom./acc.)' > xtʼonuš
3.5. Noun Class
Nouns in Vechaprian can be divided into different classes depending on the theme vowel they use. Apart from that, there is barely no difference between the classes as they decline the same and don't belong solely to one semantic category, etc. This just serves as an overview of what theme vowels there are, what their prepositional case looks like and what their regular plural looks like.
This class is for nouns that lack a theme vowel. For cases other than the accusative, -u-
is inserted between the stem and the case affix. The prepositional case is also formed with -u
. The plural for this type of noun is formed with the change to e
as a theme vowel.
The most common theme vowel in Vechaprian. Its prepositional case is formed with -e
and the theme vowel in the plural changes to u
In native words this class can only be masculine. Its prepositional case is also -e
and the plural's theme vowel is also u
Most of the i-class nouns are feminine but there are many exceptions to this rule. Here, the prepositional class is -ẹ
and the plural uses e
for the plural. For i-class nouns denoting a female nationality or job with a male counterpart, the same plural form as the masculine is used. Hence večʼapri
'(female) Vechaprian' becomes večʼapru
and shares this plural form with večʼapra
'(male) Vechaprian' whereas xvizni
'queen' becomes xvizne
because there is no male counterpart with this noun's stem.
This class is used for plural nouns only. The prepositional for this class is -ẹ
Another class used for plural nouns. For this class, -u
is the prepositional case suffix.
Davush wrote: ↑18 Aug 2021 10:32
I like the look of this! Looking forward to seeing some examples.
Thank you! I hope this post offered you enough examples