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Jáhkarrá: Noun cases
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The twenty-two cases of Jáhkarra
This public article was written by Hastrica, and last updated on 7 Jan 2019, 14:55. Editing of this article is shared with Conlanger.

[comments] [history] Menu 1. The grammatical cases 2. Adpositional cases
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Jáhkarrá has twenty-two cases. Of these, seventeen - fulfill the role that adpositions take in other languages, while the other five are grammatical.

A case suffix consists of two to four parts:
  • The case type marker. For the five grammatical cases, this is a null morpheme, which means they all start with a vowel that replaces a potential word-final vowel of the noun they attach to. The local case type marker is r-, which undergoes dissimilation to l- if the immediately preceding consonant is also /r/.
  • The case-marking vowel itself. This is the element that differentiates the cases from each other.
  • The direction marker, found only with the local cases. Jáhkarrá distinguishes three variants of a local case: one of movement towards a location (unmarked), one for static position at a location (-i) and one for movement away from a location (-n). The cases belonging to each dimension are referred to as to-case, at-case and from-case.
  • The number marker. For the gramatical cases, this is -i in the dual and -in in the plural. With the local cases, number is expressed by -id, -e and -na in the dual and -vvá for all three cases in the plural. In the plural, some further changes take place, with the at-case shortening the plural suffix to -ivá and the from-case undergoing metathesis with the outcome -vná.


[top]The grammatical cases


Nominative ( uhtadaŋŋa uhtadaŋŋa "pointing form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-
-i-in
Grade112


The nominative marks intransitive and transitive subjects alike, making Jáhkarrá a nominative-accusative language. It also marks the subjects of passive verbs. Its singular is the citation form of nouns.

Accusative ( siiskadaŋŋa siiskadaŋŋa "target form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffixea
-eai-eain
Grade123


The accusative marks a transitive object. Jáhkarrá uses accusative objects to a greater degree than English, expressing many English prepositional phrases with a simple direct object. As a general rule, object case assignment is governed by animacy hierarchy - animate nouns are much more likely to receive accusative marking that inanimate ones, leading to a characteristic secundative structure in ditransitive verbs:

Rievča áistamih-ea čirŋ-a-vv-a.
Rievča.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
book-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
read-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument).3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument)
"Rievča read a book."

Rievča Jearg-ea hoast-a-vv-a áistami-rru.
Rievča.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
Jeargá.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
give-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument).3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument) book-COMComitative (case)
'together with'
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity

"Rievča gave Jeargá a book."

Where English operates either with a prepoisiton on the recipient or two objects, Jáhkarrá treats recipients of ditransitive verbs the same as monotransitive objects.

Since more than a few Jáhkarrá nouns end in -ea in the nominative, the acusative singular is sometimes identical to the nominative singular.

Ergative ( čizzadaŋŋa čizzadaŋŋa "causing form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-e
-ai-ain
Grade123


The ergative is used with passive verbs. In a passive sentence, the subject (semantically patient) is marked with the nominative, while the semantic agent (which English would introduce with the preposition by) gets the ergative. Crucially, ergative-marked nouns are cross-referenced with ergative object suffixes on the verb.

Čoargŋu áistamih-ea stirgal-a-vv-a.
Čoargŋu.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
book-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
read-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument).3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument)
"Čoargŋu read a book."

Čoargŋ-e áistamis stirgal-u-vva-h-a.
Čoargŋu.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
book-NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
read-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument)
"A book was read by Čoargŋu."

Genitive ( hoadaŋŋa hoadaŋŋa "possessing form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix
-ái-áin
Grade123


The genitive indicates possession. Its main function is to couple noun phrases together, although Jáhkarrá often prefers compounding to multiple genitive-marked NPs, especially in the written language:

Rolbunja-madnjir-ehiilun
nation-security-department
“Department of National Security”

Another function of the genitive is to mark the subject in infinite verb constructions, which contrasts with nominative marking in finite clauses. Ergative and accusative markings remain:

Rievč-á hasp-u-l-vá rásppon
Rievča-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
lose-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-PCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
key
“the key that Rievčá lost”

Riič-a-i rásppon-á hasp-i-č-a Rievč-e.
know-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-1SGUnknown code key-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
lose-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
.PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
-POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
-3SGUnknown code Rievča-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity

“I know that the key was lost by Rievča.”

Riič-a-i Rievč-á hasp-a-j-a rásppon-ea
know-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-1SGUnknown code Rievča-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
lose-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-INFInfinitive (TAM)
non-tensed verb
-3SGUnknown code key-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

“I know that Rievča lost the key.”

Incorporated indefinite indirect objects also receive genitive marking, replacing the comitative which is the case an independent indirect object would normally take:

Rievča Jearg-ea áistami-rru stirgal-a-vv-a.
Rievča.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
Jeargá.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
book-COMComitative (case)
'together with'
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
read-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument).3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument)
"Rievča read Jeargá a book." (no incorporation)

Rievča Jearg-ea áistam-á-stirgal-a-vv-a .
Rievča.NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
Jeargá.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
book-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
-read-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SGUnknown code.OBJObject (argument).3SGUnknown code.SUBSubject (argument)
"Rievča read Jeargá a book." (incorporated indirect object)

Vocative ( čeajjadaŋŋa čeajjadaŋŋa "naming form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-i
-ii-iin
Grade112


The vocative has distinct forms in all numbers and is used for directly adressing someone. Its suffix is -i, with -ii in the dual and -iin in the plural. The dual causes no gradation; the plural triggers the second grade.

Ván-i-n-jo, orgŋ-i!
be_quiet-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-2SGUnknown code-IMPImperative (mood)
command
man-VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity

“Silence, man!”

Versp-a-n-áin-jo, Jáhkavarr-á jáhkk-iin!
listen-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.OBJObject (argument)-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.SUBSubject (argument)-IMPImperative (mood)
command
JUnknown codeáhkavarra-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
people-VOCVocative (case)
'O [addressee]'
.PLPlural (number)
more than one/few

“Listen to me, people of Jáhkavarra!”

[top]Adpositional cases


Of the seventeen adpositional cases, fifteen are local - they encode location and movement. Jáhkarrá distinguishes five categories of locality in its case system, with three cases for each local expression (movement towards, static position at and movement away from and the location). The other two cases, the abessive and the comitative, are grouped with the local cases mainly for morphological reasons.

Outer cases

Allative ( jieŋarádaŋŋa jieŋarádaŋŋa "to-outside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rá-ráid-rávvá
Grade133


The basic meaning of the allative is “to”:

Rožž-i-vv-i solliduha-rá.
walk-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-1SGUnknown code shop-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'

“I walked to the shop.”

Some verbs encode the recipient of the action in the allative. Most of these are intransitive (transitive verbs prefer to treat recipients as direct objects).

Ligg-i-je-rea čá-rá.
concern-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PROXProximal (proximity)
close to speaker
-NEGNegative (polarity)
not
2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'

“This does not concern you.”’

Hilloh-e siisk-i-le hurgiiva-rá-vvá.
law-PROXProximal (proximity)
close to speaker
target-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PROXProximal (proximity)
close to speaker
poor_person-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few

“This law targets the poor.”

If the direct object slot is already taken, for example with the verb hoassurčaid “to force someone to give something to someone”, the recipient is also in the allative:

Lean-ea orgŋo hoassurr-a-vv-a áistami-rru álli-rá.
boy-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
man force_to_give-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.OBJObject (argument).3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.SUBSubject (argument) book-COMComitative (case)
'together with'
girl-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'

“The man forced the boy to give the book to the girl.”

In adverbial participial constructions the allative has a temporal meaning. It replaces the conjunction “before”:

Dahc-i-l-á-rá-č-á bill-i-vv-i.
leave-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
-PRSPresent tense (tense)-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'
-POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
clean-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

“Before he left he cleaned up.”

Adessive ( jieharáidaŋŋa jieharáidaŋŋa "at-outside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rái-ráje-ráivá
Grade213


The basic meaning of the adessive is “at”:

Jarča-vva-s-ai solliduha-rái.
await-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
.OBJObject (argument)-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.SUBSubject (argument) shop-ALLAllative (case)
'to, onto'

“I awaited him at the store.”

The adessive is used in comparation to express “as… as” , where adjectives and adverbs are replaced by sematically related nouns in the adessive while the comparee is in the genitive.

Viekči Jerr-á máimma-rái-h-ea.
Viekči Jerra-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
size-ADEAdessive (case)
near/by
-be-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

“Viekči is a tall as Jerra.”

Viekči Jerr-á rehtoha-rái čarr-i.
Viekči Jerra-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.SGSingular (number)
one countable entity
speed-ADEAdessive (case)
near/by
run-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

“Viekči runs as fast as Jerra.”

Ablative ( jieharándaŋŋa jieharándaŋŋa "from-outside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rán-ránná-rávná
Grade233


The basic meaning of the ablative is “away from”:

Čilvist-i-n-jo állá-jo-rán!
make_space-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
-IMPImperative (mood)
command
woman-MEDMedial (proximity)
not too far from speaker; close to addressee
-ABLAblative (case)
away from

“Step away from that woman!”

Čárr-a-vva-n-á čorko-rán.
take-TRANSTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
.OBJObject (argument)-3PLUnknown code-SUBSubject (argument) war-ABLAblative (case)
away from

“They took me away from the war.”

Some stative location verbs also use the ablative to express their point of reference:

Vuolj-i ná-rán.
be_in_front-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
1SFirst person singular (person)
speaker, signer, etc.; I
-ABLAblative (case)
away from

“He is in front/ahead of me”.

Oall-i čá-rán.
be_behind-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
2SSecond person singular (person)
addressee (you)
-ABLAblative (case)
away from

“He is behind you.”

In adverbial participle constructions the ablative is used to replace the temporal conjunction “after”:

Bonj-á urgŋ-i-l-á-rái čilviss-i-vv-i.
own_mother-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
die-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PCPParticiple
adjectival form of a verb
.INDIndicative mood (mood)
a common form of realis
-PRSPresent tense (tense)-ABLAblative (case)
away from
resign-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-3SThird person singular (person)
neither speaker nor addressee

“After his mother died he quit his job.”

Inner cases

Illative ( sunarádaŋŋa sunarádaŋŋa "to-inside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-ra-ráid-ravvá
Grade133


The basic meaning of the illative is “into”:

Inessive ( suvaráidaŋŋa suvaráidaŋŋa "at-inside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rai-raje-raivá
Grade213


The basic meaning of the inessive is “in”:

Elative ( suvarándaŋŋa suvarándaŋŋa "from-inside form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-ran-ranna-ravná
Grade233


The basic meaning of the elative is “out of”:

State cases

Translative ( havnárádaŋŋa havnárádaŋŋa "to-across form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-ri-riid-rivvá
Grade123


The basic meaning of the translative is “turning into”:

Essive ( hanáráidaŋŋa hanáráidaŋŋa "at-across form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rii-rije-riivá
Grade111


The basic meaning of the essive is “as”:

Exessive ( hanárándaŋŋa hanárándaŋŋa "from-across form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rin-rinna-rivná
Grade233


The basic meaning of the exessive is “turning from”:

Upper cases

Supralative ( gaddirádaŋŋa gaddirádaŋŋa "to-top form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-reá-reáid-reávvá
Grade133


The basic meaning of the supralative is “going on top of”:

Superessive ( gaŧiráidaŋŋa gaŧiráidaŋŋa "at-top form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-reái-reáje-reáivá
Grade233


The basic meaning of the supralative is “on top of”:

Delative ( gaŧirándaŋŋa gaŧirándaŋŋa "from-top form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-reán-reánna-reávná
Grade233


The basic meaning of the delative is “down from”:

Lower cases

Sublative ( doigarádaŋŋa doigarádaŋŋa "to-bottom form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-roa-roaid-roavvá
Grade133


The basic meaning of the sublative is “going under”:

Subessive ( dojjaráidaŋŋa dojjaráidaŋŋa "at-bottom form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-roai-roaje-roavná
Grade213


The basic meaning of the subessive is “under”:

Subelative ( dojjarándaŋŋa dojjarándaŋŋa "from-bottom form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-roan-roanna-roavná
Grade233


The basic meaning of the subelative is “from under”:

Other cases

Abessive ( heareadaŋŋa heareadaŋŋa "not-existing form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rre-rje-revvá
Grade333


The basic meaning of the abessive is “without”:

Comitative ( sairiidaŋŋa sairiidaŋŋa "together form")

NumberSGDUPL
Suffix-rru-rrui-ruvvá
Grade333


The basic meaning of the comitative is “with”:

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Edit history
on 07/01/19 14:55+1602HastricaJHK names and JHK script labels
on 05/12/18 16:16+4Hastricatitle change
on 04/12/18 16:24+8Hastricaverb changed
on 21/11/18 14:42+8Hastricatypo
on 15/11/18 17:20+34Hastricafixed wrong case marking
on 13/11/18 13:09-64HastricaFormat
on 13/11/18 13:08+447HastricaSuffix tables
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