Determiners are a grammatical category that
includes a number of rather different kinds of words.
Determiners constitute a closed class.
The class of determiners in ámman îar includes Definite,
Genitive, Quantifying and Interrogative
words are considered to be a single grammatical category because they always
occupy the same position in the NP.
Unlike in English, determiners in ámman îar are not positioned at the phrase level, but bind phonologically to the head noun. In so doing, they condition morphophonemic mutations, causing lenition of the head noun’s initial consonant and changing form before a vowel. Determiners appear in complementary distribution with each other, i.e. only one member of the class may modify a NP.
ámman îar definite determiners distinguish four levels of definiteness.
At this extreme, we have complete identifiability of the referent. This form may only be used when the speaker presupposes that the hearer can uniquely identify the entity being spoken of.
The identifiable definite determiner is formed using the particle i for singular nouns and in for plurals, thus
= the wolf .
Note that the singular form causes lenition of the initial consonant of the associated noun (i draug > i dhraug). This is because the original form of the singular determiner was ir. This original form persists when the associated noun begins with a vowel, thus
adar = the parent .
The vicious wolf pounced. i dhraug voramald ergabedhel eleth (drakir aromald alcapth) __________________________________________________________________________________________ i dhraug voramald i draug -0 ve- or= amaldo the wolf -[S] descr- compl= be.gentle iddet n -abs adj- pfx= v the wolf vicious ergabedhel eleth er- cabedho -e -l el- -eth do- jump -agt -actn assertive- -past agt- v -val -vc mood- -tense jump did
The identifiable definite determiner is always used with nouns used to refer to personal names, place names, clan names, historical periods, racial groups, religions, et. al.
Farther down the hierarchy, ámman îar distinguishes partial identifiability. This form may only be used when the referent of the NP has been delimited by specifying a certain set, which can be identified.
The definite superset determiner is formed using the particle a for singular nouns and an for plurals, thus
mina dhrug = one of the wolves .
Note that the determiner tends to cliticize with quantifiers such as min (min a > mina) and risa (risa a > risa). We will see subsequently that this phenomena is common with patientive particles as well
Like the Identifiable Definite Determiner, the Definite Superset Determiner causes lenition of the initial consonant of the associated noun in the singular. The original form of this determiner was ar and this form persists when the associated noun begins with a vowel, thus
= one of the men .
One of the wolves pounced. mina dhrug ergabedhel eleth (min drak alcapth) __________________________________________________________________________________________ mina dhrug ergabedhel min -a draug -i -0 er- cabedho -e -l one -some_of_the wolf -plu -[S] do- jump -agt -actn qty -ssdef n -num -abs agt- v -val -vc one.of.the dhrug jump eleth el- -eth assertive- -past mood- -tense did
This is clearly differentiated from the indefinite form.
One wolf pounced. draug bemin ergabedhel eleth min drak alcapth __________________________________________________________________________________________ draug bemin ergabedhel eleth 0- draug -0 be- min er- cabedho -e -l el- -eth a wolf -[S] count- one do- jump -agt -actn assertive- -past indef- n -abs adj- qty agt- v -val -vc mood- -tense a wolf one jump did
Farther down the hierarchy, ámman îar distinguishes relevant identifiability. This form may be used to suggest that the referent of the NP, while not immediately identifiable is important or relevant for the discourse as a whole. This form is often used to introduce new information into discourse. Once a NP has been introduced with a relevant definite determiner, a speaker or writer may use one of the other definite determiner forms or an appropriate pronoun to refer to this entity.
The relevant definite determiner is formed using the particle e for singular nouns and en for plurals, thus
= the wolf .
If a discourse started with:
Galdor saw the wolf. in i galdran e dhraugon henniarth (galdra ne drakir anhenath) __________________________________________________________________________________________ in i galdran e dhraugon in i galad =an -0 e draug -on agt.to.thm the galad =masc -[S] the wolf -[Obl] ptp det nam =gnd -abs rel/def n -dat agt.to.thm the Galdor the to.wolf henniarth henno -ia -rth see -pat/thm -state v -val -vc see
then we would expect the wolf to recur in the discourse.
The relevant definite determiner also causes lenition of the initial consonant of the associated noun in the singular. The original form of this determiner was er and this form persists when the associated noun begins with a vowel, thus
= the man.
4.1.4 indefinite determiner
At the bottom of the definiteness hierarchy, identification of the referent is neither possible nor relevant. The indefinite determiner is the unmarked form, therefore
megil may mean 'sword' or 'a sword' according to context.
ámman îar most commonly expresses associative relationships using the genitive case, e.g.
aran ammanîon , [Lord of ámman or ámman's lord].
However, if the first word of the construction is a modified noun or the last word is a common noun and not a name or proper noun the associative determiner may be used in what is sometimes called a periphrastic genitive construction, thus
great lord of amman vir amman aran vemairin (arra amarin ammano) __________________________________________________________________________________________ vir amman aran vemairin vir amman arro =an ve- mairo =in of.the amman rule =masc descr- be.excessive =favorable id/ass n v =gnd adj- v =nsfx of.the amman lord great
Lord or the soul vir vanim aran (arra mannairo) __________________________________________________________________________________________ vir vanim aran vir manim arro =an of.the soul rule =masc id/ass n v =gnd of.the soul lord
See the section on Genitive Constructions below for an alternative expression.
As with the definite determiners, the associative determiners exist at all levels of definiteness. While the genitive case construction implies identifiabilty, the associative determiners must be used to indicate identifiability lower on the scale.
eyes of the woman vir nardhiel hin (heni nallairo) __________________________________________________________________________________________ vir nardhiel hin vir narid =iel hen -i of.the person =fem eye -plu id/ass n =gnd n -num of.the woman eyes
eyes of one of the women min var nardhiel hin (heni min nallao) __________________________________________________________________________________________ min var nardhiel hin min var narid =iel hen -i one some.of.the person =fem eye -plu qty ss/ass n =gnd n -num one some.of.the woman eyes
eyes of the woman (where the woman is expected to recur in the discourse) ver nardhiel hin (heni nallairo il) __________________________________________________________________________________________ ver nardhiel hin ver narid =iel hen -i of.the(rel) person =fem eye -plu rel/ass n =gnd n -num of.the(rel) woman eyes
4.2.4 indefinite associative
For indefinite relationships, the associative ev’ is used for all numbers, e.g.
eyes of a woman ev nardhiel hin (heni nallao) __________________________________________________________________________________________ ev nardhiel hin ev narid =iel hen -i of.a person =fem eye -plu indef/ass n =gnd n -num of.a woman eyes
Demonstratives represent another type of determiner. ámman îar has three subclasses of demonstrative determiners,
ámman îar spatial deictic demonstratives locate entities in space and are divided into
that knife (somewhere) in the house merdha ristrad i vardharrar (dem megles ara mardha) __________________________________________________________________________________________ merdha ristrad i mer -da risso =rad -0 i that -spatial cut =tool -[S] the indef/dem -loc v =nsfx -abs det that knife the vardharrar mardo =dar -ar build =general -in v =nsfx -iness in.house
derda ristel i garassar
nerda ristel gammar nerrîon
ámman îar temporal deictic demonstratives locate entities in time and are divided into those of the 1st degree (Proximal) which indicate proximity to the present, those of the 2nd degree (Distal) which indicate distance from the present in either the past or the future and those of the 3rd degree (Indefinite) which indicate an indefinite or unknown temporal location.
an merla orrasen der ervectilîel
derla calend ithille ilorvinil
ámman îar demonstratives can be used anaphorically to refer back to an earlier NP or series of actions or events.
életh an parma erastincîel minthilaurre
Genitive Determiners precede the object possessed and are formed using the Identifiable Definite associative determiners vir- (singular) and vin- (plural). The 1st and 2nd person Genitive Determiners are deictic determiners. The 3rd person Genitive Determiners are used anaphorically.
virner garsis orvaleg vas
This is an example of a predicate adjective construction that does not require a verb. See Adjective Morphology
The Genitive Determiners are less commonly used then the simple genitive case. The former expresses a more formal register
carsis nerrîon orvaleg vas
ámman îar has three interrogative determiners formed using the root -aisa in the singular and -esa in the plural
eni gáldran laisa draugen henîarth
eni gáldran vaisa draugen henîarth
This latter may also be
expressed using the interrogative root in genitve case, thus: