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Noun Phrases

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14.0 noun phrases

14.1 intransitive constructions

Nouns (or Noun Phrases) serve as arguments (S) of intransitive constructions.  Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in these constructions take the Absolutive case. 

i dais ergabdhel életh
The tiger pounced.
 
i tais -0     ergabdhel eleth.
S=AGT  :ABSOL                .
the tiger     pounce    did  .

1st and 2nd person pronouns take the Nominative.    

en derîel murmarth
she is sleeping.
 
(ellieth) en deriel -0   murmarth.
             S      :NOM         .
(is     )    she         sleeping.

14.2 transitive constructions

Nouns (or Noun Phrases) serve as arguments (A/P) of transitive constructions.  Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in A-function take the Ergative case. 

ir adanisse eliras im mastmŽar ervathîel
The boy is eating soup.
 
ir  adanis -e   eliras im mastmear ervathîel.
A          :ERG                             .
the boy         is        soup     eat      . 
 

1st and 2nd person pronouns in A-function take the Nominative case.

alan életh áni dais erechöiron 
He killed the tiger.
 
alan -0   eleth ani   tais  erechoiron. 
A    :NOM                             . 
He        did     the tiger kill      .

Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in P-function take the Absolutive case.

ir adanisse eliras im mastmŽar ervathîel 
The boy is eating soup.
 
ir adanisse eliras im mastmear -0     ervathîel. 
                      P        :ABSOL          . 
the boy     is        soup            eat      .

1st and 2nd person pronouns in P-function take the Accusative case.

i rîellisse életh an alanin erthendelon 
The girl kissed him.
 
i   riellisse eleth an alan -in    erthendelon. 
                       P    :ACCUS            . 
the girl      did      him         kiss       .

14.3 Ditransitive Constructions

Nouns (or Noun Phrases) serve as arguments (A/P/Obl) of ditransitive constructions.  Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in A-function take the Ergative case.  Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in P-function take the Absolutive case. 

i galdránne életh anir isilduran erhiron narnen 
Galdor told Isildur a story.
 
i galdran -e   eleth anir isilduran -0     erhiron narnen . 
  A       :ERG            P         :ABSOL         Obl    . 
Galdor         did        Isildur          tell    story  .

1st and 2nd person pronouns in A-function take the Nominative case.  1st and 2nd person pronouns in P-function take the Accusative case.

alan életh an nerin erhiron narnen 
He told me a story.
 
alan -0   eleth an ner -in    erhiron narnen . 
A    :NOM          P   :ACCUS         Obl    . 
he        did      me         tell    story  .

Nouns and pronouns in Oblique function use one of the oblique cases.

Note that this is the canonical form for all ditransitive verbs, (i.e A=AGT/P=PAT/Obl=REF).  Unlike English, the verb must undergo a voice transformation (see Applicative Voice) for the following:

 

alan narn ertholhirîen an neren életh 
He told a story to me.
 
alan  narn  er-  tol-  hirien an  neren   eleth. 
A=AGT P=REF      APPL:            Obl=PAT      . 
he    story      tell             me      did  .

14.4 Predicate Nominals

Nouns also function as predicates. ámman îar expresses predicate nominals using the comitative case and the verb atho (literally to attach, join, connect).

alan mina cosnarras athas 
He is a warrior 
(literally ?He is connected with warrior?)
 
alan  mina   cosnar -as  atho       -as  . 
                    :COM            :PRES. 
he    one of warrior with connected is   .

Predicate nominals may be either inclusive or equative.

14.4.1 Inclusive Predicate Nominals

 ir aldran mina tûitnarras athas 
Aldur is a farmer
 
ir aldran mina   tûitnar -as  atho      -as . 
                         :COM          :PRES. 
Aldur     one of farmer  with connected is  .

14.4.2 Equative Predicate Nominals   

ir aldran virner adrannas athas 
Aldur is my father
 
ir aldran virner adran  -as  atho     -as  . 
                        :COM          :PRES. 
Aldur     my     father with connected is  .

   

14.5 Predication of Place

In ámman îar, predication in relation to place can be expressed without a verb.  It is sufficient to use an adverbial noun with one of the locative cases.

mardar nerrîon i garassîar 
My house is in the town.
 
mardar nerrîon i   caras -iar  . 
                         :ADESS. 
house  mine    the town  in    .

NOTE: In the absence of a verb, negative predication is expressed by preceeding the noun or pronoun taking the Locative case with the negative particle or.

 

mardar nerrîon ori garassîar 
My house is not in the town.
 
mardar nerrîon or- i   caras -iar  . 
               NEG:          :ADESS. 
house  mine    not the town  in    .

 

14.6 Genitive Constructions

These are optional constructions that are used only rarely to make specific semantic distinctions that may not be clear from the context.  These constructions are often called possessives, but this label is surely inaccurate.  Only a fraction of genitive constructions in ámman îar actually express possessive relationships.  There are six distinct genitive constructions in ámman îar.

  Semantics Example
Possessive Describes an alienable possession relationship vir'authnar megil
warrior's sword
Inalienable Possessive Describes a permanent possession relationship cem i vardilan
Mardil's hands
Subject Genitive Describes a subject-like relationship narn ir ægnorannîon
Ægnor's story
Object Genitive Describes an object-like relationship ordagar i garasso
the city's destruction
Partitive Describes a part/whole relationship tilig i balagûo
the table's legs
Measure Genitive Describes a measurement relationship andar i rathîo
the road's length

Note: See the section on Associative Determiners for alternative periphrastic expressions.

Note that because of these specialized genitive forms, no ambiguity exists in the following examples:

vir'luthîel lorndel 
Luthiel's picture 
(Luthiel owns the picture)
lorndel i luthîel 
Luthiel's picture 
(a picture of Luthiel)
lorndel i luthîellîon 
Luthiel's picture 
(Luthiel drew the picture)

14.6.1 Possessive Genitive Constructions

Possessive genitive constructions describe an alienable, i.e. impermanent possessive relationship.  It is formed using a contracted form of the genitive determiner.

vir'ægnoran carsis orvaleg aras 
Ægnor's village is poor.
 
vir'(alan) ægnoran carsis   orvaleg aras. 
GENPOSS:                                . 
his        Ægnor   village  poor    is  .

14.6.2 Inalienable Possessive Genitive Constructions

Inalienable possessive genitive constructions describe an inalienable, i.e. permanent possessive relationship.  It is formed by juxtaposing the two nouns.  This formation is most used with body parts and kinship terms.

en cem i vardilan taldarth cöirvŽarîas onta 
Mardil's hands were covered in blood
 
en cem   i vardilan taldarth coirvearias onta. 
   hands Mardil's   covered  with blood  over.

 

14.6.3 Subject Genitive Constructions

Subject genitive constructions describe a relationship that is rather like the relationship of subject to predicate, e.g. Ægnor's story = Ægnor told a story.  It is formed by using the simple genitive case -îon.

életh eni nithnair narnen ir ægnorannîon lauilîar 
The children listened to Ægnor's story
 
eleth eni   nithnair narnen   ir ægnoran -ion  lauiliar. 
                                         :Gen          . 
did     the children to story    Ægnor   's    listen  .

 

14.6.4 Object Genitive Constructions

Object genitive constructions describe a relationship that is rather like the relationship of a direct object of the predicate, e.g. The city's destruction = Something destroyed the city.  It is formed using the special genitive in    -o.

ordagar i garasso omron areth 
The city's destruction was total.
 
ordagar     i   caras -o      omron areth. 
                      :ObjGen            . 
destruction the city  's      total was  .

 

14.6.5 Partitive Genitive Constructions

Partitive genitive constructions describe a part/whole relationship.  It is formed by infixing -û- before the special genitive inflection.

tilig i balagûo ordag areth 
The table's legs were loose. 
 
tilig i   balag -u    -o   ordag areth. 
                :Part :GEN            . 
legs  the table 's         loose were .

 

14.6.6 Measure Genitive Constructions

Measure genitive constructions describe a measurement relationship.  In these relationships, the measurement term is the head noun and the entity being measured takes the genitive inflection.  It is formed by infixing -î- before the special genitive inflection.

andar i rathîo 
The length of the road.
 
andar  i rath -i      -o  . 
                :MEAS :GEN. 
length the road 's        .

Note: The English gloss in the above example uses a periphrastic expression rather than the inflected genitive.  This is because English favors the periphrastic genitive when the noun being modified is inanimate.  Unlike English, ámman îar favors the inflected genitive in all cases.