Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ćwarmin: The Noun morphology

Note: this post is prone to corrections as I find errors or change details.

Ćwarmin, as previously stated, has a multitude of cases. It also has three numbers, and a slight definiteness distinction.

With a few exceptions, all nouns use the same suffixes for the cases. The main exceptions occur in some family member terms, some animal terms, some child-speak terms, pronouns,

The indefinite nominative does not really have a particular suffix, although a fair share of nominatives do end in some similar suffixes, particularly -a or -kem. Not all nominatives ending in -a have an -a suffix though - the difference being that when inflected for other cases, the nominative ending is removed, and the non-suffix a is not.

The singular idefinite and definite are somewhat irregularly formed, as is the indefinite plural.



Nominative Complement
The nominative complement ends in -əcə|-ace or -əmćə|-amce in the singular. In the plural it affixes -ce to the plural marker -il|-ul. Paucal forms are mostly identical to plural, although a few pronouns and adjectives have a separate form formed by -imce|-umco.

No definiteness distinctions are made. (A few words exceptionally use the definite nominatives as complements too - jehir, 'king', among them, obtaining a situation where only the indefinite complement forms are distinct from the regular nominative for those nouns, but also where definite and specific nominative forms are used as complements.)



Accusative Complement
The accusative complement does not distinguish definiteness, nor does it have any paucal forms.
The singular and plural forms are -itće|-utćo, -wiće|-wuću

The same situation that applies for nominative complements obtains here, but both definite and specific accusative and nominative forms are attested as object complements for those.

Reflexively Possessed Accusative
This distinguishes singular, plural and paucal, but not definiteness.
-sin|-sun, -ijn|-uwn, -emwin|-umwun

Only has definite and specific forms, but distinguishes all three numbers:
Definite: -itite|-ututa, -ijte|-uwtu, -imməte|-ummota
Specific: -itəś|-utoś, -ijəte|-uwotu, -imməte|-ummota



General ablative
The general ablative distinguishes definiteness (but not specificness), and two numbers.


{towards, from, at}*{in, on, by} / {(towards, by)}
These do not distinguish definiteness, and paucal is not distinguished in the 'from' row.
The towards-cases are formed by combining the corresponding dative with -ka, -mu, -le (often realized -ek:a, -em:u, -el:e). The 'at'-cases are formed from the accusative by the same suffixes. The final set are obtained by affixing -ka or -mu to the general ablative. Vowel harmony is not as consistent in these as in the other case suffixes, but a tendency towards harmonizing them does exist. In harmonizing varieties they often come out as -kə|-ka, -mi|-mu, -le|-la.

The instrumental always is singular and does not distinguish specificness. Nouns that only have plural forms have an exceptional pseudo-plural instrumental.

Singular -ep|-ap
(Plural -erep|-orap)

The plural and paucal are merged in both comitatives. Unlike other mergers of plural and paucal, "morphologically paucal-like" forms are here used for plural referents. Two degrees of definiteness are distinguished, viz. indefinite contra definite (which incorporates specific).




The negative makes no definiteness distinctions.
Unlike other forms where the paucal-plural distinction is missing, the paucal here merges with the singular instead.
Singular-paucal: -istə|-usta
Plural: -itis|-utus

Marginal Cases
A few forms appear only with very specific nouns, and although they are used in case-like ways, are not really as important as the previously mentioned ones. Among these are a number of lexically limited locative cases. Another set are combinations of definiteness and number and case that usually do not appear in the language - some may actually have such forms extant for a limited number of words.

Most marginal forms that are not of the "unusual combination" type do not distinguish definitenesses.

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