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Ansmacáit o „O“ iae „A“
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Differences between "O" and "A"
This public article was written by argyle, and last updated on 5 Sep 2015, 02:52.

[comments] Menu 1. Development of the Genitive Particles 2. Usage of o 3. Body Parts 4. Mental Processes and States 5. Family Members 6. Attributes 7. Parts of a Whole 8. Things Originating from the Possessor 9. Things Created by the Possessor 10. Things that Created/Had the Possessor 11. Usage of a o and a are the two genitive particles in Edievian. They have separate functions in the language and stem from different sources in Colian. A quick note before diving in, o becomes u when its object is plural.

[top]Development of the Genitive Particles

Edievian o/u stems from Colian un, a genitive particle. While Colian declined nouns for the genitive case, un was used also employed for emphasis. Like all particles and adpositions in Colian, it was placed before the noun phrase in question, which would still decline into the genitive.

As the case system eroded, un became entirely necessary to parse phrases as being genitive or not. When Old Edievian emerged as a language, the final /n/ had disappeared from the word, and due to a vowel shift, it became o. The change to u is possibly due to the singular-plural ablaut found in all nouns and adjectives, where singular words with /o/ change to /u/ in the plural.

a comes from the Colian dative particle án, which was originally used in a semi-locative function as well. It was used dialectally along with e, another dative particle (ancestor of Edievian ae/i). Much like un, án lost its final /n/ during its phonetic evolution. However, its meaning shifted to a similar construct as used in many Celtic languages, where "to (object)" changed to "belonging to (object)".

It is also worth mentioning that usage of both genitive particles requires the appropriate definite article (singular siáe(n) or plural sié(n)) before the possessed noun.

[top]Usage of o

o is the contemporary inalienable particle, meaning that the possessee is unable to be separated from the possessor. The following instances use o:

  • body parts
  • mental processes and states
  • family members
  • attributes
  • parts of a whole
  • things originating from the possessor
  • things created by the possessor
  • things that created/had the possessor


o is treated like any other adposition in Edievian, so it inflects for all pronouns, as well as the definite articles. Its inflection is:

gaedulenegaebdublinisiáesié
o ocotolonuamuapuiuinóisúis

[top]Body Parts

Body parts that are one's own are always possessed using o, e.g. my eyes, your hands, his leg, her fingers, etc. To use a, the alienable genitive particle, would be to insinuate that the body parts are disembodied and not really on anyone, or, with the advent of modern medicine, that the body part is a transplant and therefore not "truly" the possessor's.

Laernaen siáe laege sié 'máind o croc. The doctor healed a boy's legs.
Seran sién eb oc, do criniat. I closed my eyes in thought.
[top]Mental Processes and States
Emotions, thoughts, theories, and ideas are all possessed with o, as they are from the brain of the possessor.
Baen siáe tencaes o siâid baen tió loplon. That woman's opinion was so depressing.
Nafos gendriat siáe loptoc oc. I can't overcome my sadness.
[top]Family Members
Family is important in Edievian culture; consequently, family members are considering permanently bound to you, regardless of relation. Daring to use a with a family member is among the strongest of insults, and can serve as a way to verbally cut yourself (or the other person) off from the family. While stepfamilies are not very common in Edievian culture (a widow or widower is expected to remain as such, and divorce, if it happens, should never be followed by remarriage), stepparents or stepsiblings can be possessed with a, especially if one is trying to be disparaging. On the hand, using o with a non-family member, specifically a friend, is considered a honor. The switch from a to o in terms of friendship is considered to be getting a sibling and is not taken lightly - for the sake of comparison, it is not uncommon for in-laws to be referred to with a instead of o. It is not considered endearing to use o with many people, and those who frequently refer to friends as oc and not ac (inalienable instead of alienable, basically) are considered fake.
Aen ames obaen siáe tost ol? Where did her son go?
Dur gae'l "siáe pavaon oc", mag ga halcan ab le siáe mecs oc. I call her "my sister", but in reality she is my friend.
[top]Attributes
Attributes, or characteristics, are possessed by o. Attributes can be looked at as adjectives that are nouns in form, and therefore are inalienable.
Retalad so espre o cabaltroc. Conduct yourself in a spirit of brotherhood.
[top]Parts of a Whole
Parts of a whole, such as a block of a city, piece of a puzzle, student of a class, etc., are all considered to be bound as parts of that whole. As such, they are inalienable from the whole.
Um, scanto siâig, baocrunamaen re - báins sié cedancol óis esancsa dan. Ah, that's why it broke - the watch's gears are out.
[top]Things Originating from the Possessor
This can be a relatively broad category and sometimes ambiguous one. Anything where the possessor is the source is possessed with o, so one's sweat, blood, and tears; spit, dandruff, snot, eyelashes; sneezes, coughs, sounds, speech (mainly speech in terms of sounds produced, not written speeches; they fall under the next category); and plenty more.
Nomaen le'r gamiv fesiat, tac baéis siáe varos ol iaóis siáomort! She cut herself cooking, now her blood is on the food!
Ab siáe cos óis obsesaeg tióit tamanc. The president's voice is so beautiful.
[top]Things Created by the Possessor
This category falls into nuance and is driven entire by semantics. Many times, o and a are both acceptable in usage, but the choice lies in what is meant. For example, in English, "my book" can mean "the book that I possess because I bought it" (alienable), or "the book that I wrote" (inalienable). The same distinction is made in Edievian. Things such as paintings, books, food, recipes, speeches (prepared speeches, e.g. oral essays), acts, jokes, clothing all can be possessed with o assuming they were created by the possessor. Otherwise, they would be take a.
Aengiún laegran sié pendéis o Van Gogh gae. Van Gogh's paintings always fascinate me.
Varsiág siáe lebaer iol ol, ab sambraetales iae scevor op. I hate his new book, it's confusing and poorly written.
[top]Things that Created/Had the Possessor
While this sounds a bit backwards, this category comprises mostly things that are considered part of one's self. Things like one's schools (that were attended, such as an alma mater), home, native country, or even an old job. As these are part's of one's past, they cannot be separated from the possessor and therefore are considered inalienable. This also includes things that produced something else, such as the product of a machine or a meal cooked by a chef.
Locraedaen siáe langaeg óis tort so adrat. The cake's creator worked with passion.
[top]Usage of a
A is used whenever o would not be; basically, a has a much less restricted usage than does o. Much like o, a is inflected for all persons, numbers, and the definite articles (see table below), and otherwise precedes the possessor.
gaedulenegaebdublinisiáesié
a acatalanamapaiaináisáis
A is used for anything that could be considered alienable - if it can change possessors. Anything you bought, ate, owned, sold, rented, etc, all take a.
Selemblun siáe clomfon iol ac! I love my new cell phone!
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