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Byvnish Nouns
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Overview of the 2 declensions, organic and inert, and case system.
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 11 May 2020, 20:27.

[comments] NOUNS (ANSASAN)

In Byvnish, there are two primary declensions of nouns: organic (nouns denoting animate/living things) and inert (nouns denoting inanimate things or all other types of nouns). Abstract nouns are typically inert, but sometimes organic (e.g. ondolvala ‘thought, idea’, ilsa ‘glow, warmth’, dóa ‘fire’, emma ‘mistake’). Organic stem words end with the final vowel -a/á in the singular, and -i in most plural cases: e.g. amsóa ‘elf’ > amsóit ‘elves’ (note that organic nouns do not distinguish singular and plural in the instrumental case only). Inert stem words end with the final vowel -e, and generally do not take a plural suffix except in the nominative and accusative cases: e.g. péye ‘day’ > péyán ‘days’.
Sometimes inert nouns are written as organic in literature as a form of personification.
Nouns are separated into 14 different cases, Nominative, Genitive (2 forms), Accusative, Dative, Lative, Allative, Locative 1, Locative 2, Ablative, Instrumental, Causal-final, Terminative, Translative, and Comitative, each having a singular and plural suffix (note that suffixes—listed in back-vowel form—will change according to vowel harmony, including u/ú):

-a; -e
-t; -an*
Loc. 2*
-s, -n*; -n*
-s, -n
-ai; -e
-an; -an
Loc. 1

The asterisk (*) indicates where the case suffix is (generally) directly attached to the stem in place of rather than inflecting the organic or inert final vowel (i.e. a/á/e or i); e.g. amsóne and amsónan not amsóane and amsóinan. There are rules regarding these cases:
--If the case suffix begins with a vowel (i.e. inert nominative plural, accusative, singular dative and lative), the suffix attaches in place of the final vowel: e.g. amsóa > amsóai; súre > súrús.
The other cases vary:
--Nouns ending in vowel + -a/e take the case suffix in place of the final vowel: e.g. amsóa > amsón; sáe > sán (exception: ae > aen, aene, etc.).
--Nouns ending in consonant + -a/e (with exceptions below) take the case suffix following the final vowel (e.g. asta > astaya; súre > súrenús)
--Nouns ending in consonant + -ya/ye take the suffix in place of the final vowel and onto the y: e.g. ainya > ainyne; stánye > stányshá (exception: in the plural dative and lative, the y becomes i: e.g. ainya > ainiya).
--Nouns ending in vowel + -ya/ye can be unpredictable, depending on the origin of y:
-----i-transformation: Nouns such as aye, fáyá, gaye, kaya, raya, sáyá are original nouns where the y derives from older í; here, the y becomes i and case suffix attaches directly to it: e.g. aye > ain; fáyá > fáiyá (most organic nouns and native female names take this transformation).
-----stem-transformation: Nouns such as péye, saye, teye are generally original nouns where the y is epenthetic; here the -n is attached directly to the root: e.g. péye > pén; saye > sasha.
-----zero-transformation: Nouns such as púye, róye, vaye, are originally derivations of verbs or adjectives where the y is epenthetic and the final vowel is a nominalizer; here, the -n is attached to the nominative form: e.g. púye > púyenús; róye > róyene.
--Nouns ending in vowel + -la/le takes the suffix in place of the final vowel onto the l for the n-genitive only (see Genitive for more): e.g. pela > peln; thíale > thíaln.
-----The following combinations cause these changes:
-----------óla/óle > -óun (e.g. vóle > vóun)
-----------élá/éle > -éin (e.g. helbéle > helbéin)
-----------ula/ule > -un (e.g. perule > perun)
--Inert nouns ending in vowel + -ne omit the final vowel for the locative 2 and ablative cases: e.g. áine > áinne, áinnús
-----This also applies to the locative 1 case: e.g. áinde.
-----This may occur with organic nouns as well (e.g. pana > pananus or pannus); however, this varies between speakers and, in some areas, is stigmatized as uneducated or improper (note organic nouns do not omit for locative 1).
-----Sometimes the final vowel of inert nouns is included in highly formal or written language (e.g. áinene).

The cases serve the following functions:

Nominative: marks the subject of the sentence. The nominative form is also used when part of a predicate using sunau/su; e.g. ‘Tan ísha amsóa su.’ ‘That person is an elf.’ The singular nominative form is the dictionary form for all nouns. Organic plural nouns receive the –t suffix (e.g. amsóit ‘elves’); inert plural nouns receive the –an suffix (e.g. ságán ‘branches’), although some speakers will only use the singular form, leaving the number ambiguous (e.g. ságe ‘branch or branches’).

Genitive: indicates an attribute, such as origin, relationship, quality, or possession. In the organic, it exists in two forms: s-genitive (i.e. “alienable”) and n-genitive (i.e. “inalienable”). The s-genitive typically only suggests possession, esp. of something external; meanwhile, the n-genitive typically suggests other genitive uses, esp. something that cannot exist independently from the possessor. For example, ‘amsóas kleníe’ for ‘the elf’s sword’ (‘amsón kleníe’ is unintelligible or vulgar); but, ‘amsón asta’ for ‘the elf’s father’ (‘amsóas asta’ is unintelligible). Sometimes usage can lead to semantic distinctions: e.g. ‘amsón ćoman’ for ‘the elf’s (own) bones’ vs. ‘amsóas ćoman’ for ‘the elf’s bones’ (as in chicken bones he is eating).
Inert nouns use only the n-genitive inalienable as they are considered incapable of alienating possession.
Other uses are illustrated by the following examples: ‘déleren káshe’ means ‘southerly wind’ or ‘wind of the south’; ‘sainígen byvnínguse’ means ‘Byvning in the summer’; ‘byvóin ársöne’ means ‘power of the gods’ or ‘the gods’ power’. Often translated as ‘’s’, or ‘of’, however translation will differ depending on the context and relationship between the first and second noun. To clarify ambiguous relationships when needed, the genitive case ending may also be added to the Locative 2, Ablative, Causal-final, and Terminative case endings (note: plurality is expressed in all case particles and noun inflection); e.g. kótteran ēcite ‘path to (lit. for) home’, álétirén lépúlshere ‘medicine for animals’. Other relationships are implied through context in normal use of the genitive case.
Occasionally in highly formal language, the n-genitive is rendered -nu/nú; however, this is generally regarded as overly stiff.

Accusative: marks the direct object; e.g. ‘Thíale látein.’ ‘I saw the mountain.’ This case also has some functions of an oblique case; i.e. it may also indicate a space in/on/across/through/along which there is movement; e.g. ‘Fúlden ēcitan ēcein’ ‘I walked along the stone walkways.’ Depending on its focus as a location or means, the Locative 2 and Instrumental cases may also be used in such cases.

Dative: marks the indirect object; e.g. ‘Sulan vóus lántéiyá.’ ‘I will/shall give them to her.’ Often translates as ‘to’ or ‘for’. This case also marks an agent or source in passive and causative structures and certain structures such as those using rásháu, -keró, etc.; e.g. ‘Ainyus sasóinein.’ ‘I was told by my mother.’; ‘Aurus esicein.’ ‘I made/let him eat.’; ‘Aramiya éyáne ráshesun.’ ‘I have received a gift from my friends.’; ‘Pranus ópetikeró.’ ‘I want my brother to teach/tell me.’ The ablative case is also used (except in causative structures); a comparison of the two is written there.

Lative: indicates direction to a location; e.g. ‘Kiisó tórfus ēcesu ékein.’ ‘I walked/went by foot to the small village.’

Allative: indicates direction toward a location; e.g. ‘Áúe byvníngett heráu.’ ‘flow toward Byvning.’ Often the allative and lative cases are interchangeable, however, the lative case has a greater focus on the marked noun as destination or point, while the allative case is ambiguous as to whether the marked noun is simply a direction or a destination.

Locative 1: : marks location of existence and time; e.g. ‘Adau malude tau nó?’ ‘Where is Adau?’; ‘Súlínde nóe elēsau.’ ‘The snow melts in spring.’ (note the final vowel -e of inert nouns ending in -ne is omitted, except in consonant clusters). Time-indicating counters such as -óe ‘o’clock, hour’ are rarely inflected and grammatical role is generally implied; e.g. ‘Aróue(de) caiya.’ ‘Let’s meet on the third hour.’) For some especially common words, the Locative 1 suffix is almost always omitted; e.g. épée ‘today’, ae ‘morning’. These words are listed with the adverbs. When the Locative 1 particle is optional, its inclusion generally places greater emphasis or focus on that time or period. Often translates as ‘in’, ‘at’, or ‘on.’
The locative case is also used to indicate the possessor in a sentence using existential verbs nau/tau or someone or something with a particular attribute: e.g. ‘Auridan sésú ídit tau.’ ‘They have two children.’; ‘Fēade kleníe nau.’ ‘The boy has a sword. (lit. There is a sword on the boy.)’; ‘Páléssháde came arancam su.’ ‘The queen’s hair is blonde. (lit. On the queen is blonde hair.)’ In many cases, the Locative 1 particle is omitted in favor of the nominative, and the meaning is clear from context (e.g. ‘Aurit ídit tau.’; ‘Fēa kleníe nau.’). The true nominative (i.e. subject) always follows the locative form.

Locative 2: marks location other than existence, including action, attribute, etc.; e.g. ‘Kólune dónulau.’ ‘We learn at school.’; ‘Twilíke batíusene lufecó’ ‘Twilik is violent in Bati.’ Locative 2 does not mark existence except for events; e.g. ‘Írybane naddó harce nein.’ ‘There was a great war in Iryba.’ Often translates as ‘in’, ‘at’, or ‘on’.

Ablative: indicates movement away from, as well as a concept, object, act or event originating from an object, person, location or entity; e.g. ‘Delyisenus virein.’ ‘I came from Delyis.’; ‘nús dásáu.’ ‘It starts from the second hour.’; ‘Herćanus kleníai ráshein.’ ‘I received a sword from the princess.’ Like the dative case, the ablative case can mark an agent in passive, and rasháu receiving and -keró structures (but not causative). The difference is that the dative implies psychological closeness to a living source, while the ablative does not. Because the speaker is psychologically distant from the princess in the above example sentence, it would be ungrammatical to use the dative case. Derived from the attributive form of nau ‘to be, exist’ and the conjunctive auxiliary -su.

Instrumental: indicates the means or manner by which an action is accomplished; e.g. ‘Byvníngóem sasóeten. ‘We were speaking in Byvnish.’; ‘Lóam ékein.’ ‘I went by horse.’ Often translated into ‘by’, ‘with’, or ‘in’. Note that organic nouns do not distinguish between singular and plural in this case.

Causal-final: indicates reason or purpose. It can express the cause of some sort of state or emotion, e.g. ‘Bóeskera kólus ékiriváín.’ ‘Because I was ill (lit. because of illness), I could not go to school.’ It may also express the goal or purpose of an action (e.g. Faisvalera eyaí kólau ‘I study hard for knowledge’). It may also mark a person or thing for which someone does something, e.g. ‘Tales ísha páléchá haliya.’ ‘He would die for the king.’ It may also be used with demonstratives to form phrases such as olera ‘because of that, and’, malera ‘for what reason, why’. Often translates as ‘because’, ‘for’, or ‘and’. Derived from the verb ráu ‘to advance, proceed’.

Terminative: specifies a limit in space and time; e.g. ‘Ícenlusha ékáu.’ ‘I’ll go as far as the church.’; ‘Súseshá álvásáu.’ ‘I sleep until dawn.’; ‘Méripéshá suluede taiya.’ ‘I will (probably) be there through Meriday (Thursday).’ Generally, this corresponds with English ‘until’, ‘as far as’ or ‘up to’; however, as exemplified in the last example sentence above, the terminative case implies the verb will last through the marked time frame; thus, Méripéshá does not mean ‘until Meriday’, but ‘through Meriday’ or, in other words, ‘until Eriday’ (Friday).

Translative: indicates a change of the state of a noun into another noun; e.g. ‘Zenkynu arókarón forgetósalu válesun.’ ‘Zenq has become a Wielder of the Trigem.’; ‘Páléchá sun íshit kófi sein.’ ‘The king made them (into) captains.’ The translative case is often paired with sau ‘to do, make (into)’, váláu ‘to become’, and other verbs of change. Derived from the verb lúnáu ‘to change’.

Comitative: denotes accompaniment, or indicates a reciprocal relationship with another noun, or make an exhaustive list; e.g. ‘Aramar ē (cenne) áús ékein.’ ‘My friend and I went (together) to the river’; ‘Adau regósar sasóec.’ ‘Adau is speaking with the governor.’ ‘Ae, kener kan esein.’ ‘This morning, I ate rice with bread (lit. breads).’ The standard position of the comitative noun (companion) is preceding the noun it accompanies (accompanier), as shown in the first and third example sentences. If the companion is placed after the accompanier, prominence is given to the accompanier in the sentence; e.g. the first example sentence can be rewritten as ‘Ē aramar (cenne) áús ékein.’ ‘I went (together) with my friend to the river’, wherein ē is most prominent. When used with reciprocal verbs, the reciprocity of the action is emphasized when the companion is placed after the accompanier, as in the second example sentence (which may be rewritten as ‘Regósar Adau sasóec.’ ‘The governor and Adau are speaking’). The adverb cenne ‘together, with’ is often used in conjunction with the comitative form to emphasize mutuality. Often translated as ‘with’ or ‘and’.

Letters will never double after declining. Thus, ‘to school’ using the Lative case of kólue ‘school’ is kólus, not kóluus.

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