14.0 noun phrases
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.
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
Nouns, 3rd person pronouns and demonstratives in P-function take the Absolutive case.
ir adanisse eliras im mastmŽar ervathîel
1st and 2nd person pronouns in P-function take the Accusative case.
i rîellisse életh an alanin erthendelon
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
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
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
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
Predicate nominals may be either inclusive or equative.
14.4.1 Inclusive Predicate Nominals
14.4.2 Equative Predicate Nominals
ir aldran virner adrannas athas
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
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 .
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.
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)
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 .
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.
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 .
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 .
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 .
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.