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Ythnandosian Nouns
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This public article was written by soup, and last updated on 4 Aug 2017, 07:06.

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1. Case and Number
2. Definiteness and Specificity

This article is more about the morphological side of nouns and doesn't describe in as much detail stuff like semantics or derivation.

Nouns are generally more morphologically simple than verbs in Ythnandosian, and don't have any classes like grammatical gender or animacy.

[top]Case and Number

Ythnandosian is an ergative-absolutive language with four cases and two number distinctions.

The absolutive and ergative don't really need elaborating. The dative and genitive cases, in addition to their "normal" functions, are the only cases that can be used with postpositions. Some postpositions may be accompanied by either case, with the dative generally giving a sense of destination or intention and the genitive giving a sense of origin or cause.

he ko
3S.DAT for
for him

hi ko
3S.GEN for
because of him

This example may have used a pronoun, but pronouns have all the same cases anyway.

The absolutive is unmarked, but the ergative, dative, and genitive cases use the suffixes -u, -i, and -a. Some nouns that end in one of the vowels i u ü add an -h- before the suffix to prevent the stem vowel from being pronounced as a semivowel. Others don't.

mi (absolutive) mihu (ergative)
(absolutive) püu (ergative)

Nouns only distinguish singular and plural, but most collective nouns are treated as plural. A singular collective noun is treated as "a drop/handful/bathtub of X".

The plural is marked by placing low tone on the last vowel in the noun (including affixes). Low tone is marked by a diacritic romanized as a grave accent. Nouns with low tone on the last vowel don't change at all when there is no suffix (in the absolutive). Only /e o ɵ ɑ/ can have low tone, so the vowels /i u ʉ æ/ become /è ò ɵ̀ ɑ̀/ instead of */ì ù ʉ̀ æ̀/. Those vowels are not respelled to reflect the change in vowel quality, but still take the low tone diacritic.

[top]Definiteness and Specificity

Nouns can take three semantic categories: indefinite, indefinite specific (specific), definite specific (definite)

The prefix k(à)- marks definiteness, and the prefix z(e)- marks specificity, meaning that something is unique in a given context. To put it in a more understandable way, the specific is used when the speaker has something in mind but the listener wouldn't know what it was given the context of the conversation.
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