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Sketch of Germanech 2/4: Nouns, adjectives and pronouns

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 4, 2001, 23:02
Morphology, part 1: Nouns, adjectives and pronouns

Nouns (_noms_)

Gender (_gens_, pl. _genres_) and Number (_numer_)

There are two genders, masculine and feminine.  The Latin neuter has
merged with the masculine.  The gender is indicated by the articles:

         Definite   Indefinite
         Sg.  Pl.   Sg.  Pl.
Masc.    il   ils   un   uns
Fem.     la   las   une  unes

The masculine definite article elides after prepositions that end in

a  `to, at'   + il -> a'l
de `of, from' + il -> de'l

The indefinite genitive plural is expressed by the preposition _des_,
e.g. _des homs_ `of men'.

Common nouns are always accompanied by an article, except mass nouns.

The noun is not inflected for case, only for number.  Numbers are
singular (unmarked) and plural.  Plural is marked by the suffix _-s_,
or _-es_ of the noun ends in a sibilant (s, z, tz, cj, dj, gj, tj).


brach `arm', pl. brachs
camer `room', pl. camers
cas `house', pl. cases
catz `cat', pl. catzes

Some words form their plurals irregularly:

corfs `body', pl. corfres
pfazer `father', pl. pfatres

Prepositons (_prepösizions_)

Instead of cases, Germanech distinguishes subject and object by word
order; other grammatical functions are expressed by prepositions:

a      to, at
ab     away from
cercem around
com    with
de     of, from
en     in
entzer between
pfer   through
sen    without
sub    below
sufer  above
tras   beyond

Adjectives (_adjectivs_)

Adjectives agree with their nouns in gender and number.  The feminine
gender is marked by the suffix -e; adjectives in -er, -el mostly form
their feminine in -re, -le.

Plural is marked the same way as on nouns.

Mostly, adjectives follow the noun; adjectives preceding nouns acquire
a figurative rather than literal meaning.  For example, _un hom grand_
means `a big man' (e.g., a very tall one), while _un grand hom_ means
`a great man' (i.e. one of importance, or of merits).

Comparative is expressed by the words _pflus_ `more' and _mens_

_pflus grand d'un elephant_ `bigger than an elephant'

Superlative is expressed by _il/la ... pflus_/_il/la ... mens_:

_il cas pflus grand_ `the biggest house'
_il tzor pflus altz de la cizaz_ `the tallest tower of the city'

Some adjectives form irregular comparatives:

bon   `good'   meljor `better'
mal   `bad'    pejor  `worse'
grand `big'    major  `bigger'
poch  `little' menor  `less'

Adverbs are derived from adjectives by adding the suffix _-mentz_.

Numerals and other quantifiers

Cardinal numbers (_numers cärdinals_)

 0 zero
 1 un    11 undech       21 ventz et un
 2 dos   12 dodech       22 ventz et dos
 3 tres  13 tredech      30 trentz
 4 cazer 14 cazerdech    40 carantz
 5 cinc  15 cinquedech   50 cincantz
 6 ses   16 sedech       60 sessantz
 7 seft  17 tredeventz   70 seftantz
 8 ocht  18 dodeventz    80 ochtanz
 9 nuv   19 undeventz    90 nuvantz
10 dech  20 ventz       100 centz
                       1000 mil
                    1000000 un million

Numbers precede the noun counted.

Ordinal numbers (_numers ördinals_)

 1st  preim
 2nd  sechend
 3rd  tertz
 4th  cartz
 5th  cintz
 6th  secht
 7th  seftem
 8th  ochtev
 9th  non
10th  dechem

All larger ordinals are formed by adding the suffix -em to the
cardinal, e.g. _ventzem_ `20th', _centzem_ `100th'.

Other quantifiers are _nul_ `none', _quidem_ `some', _multz_ `many',
_toz_ `all', and some others; they are used with the genitive plural,
e.g. _multz des homs_ `many men'.  The same construction can be used
with cardinal numerals (_tres des homs_), but with numerals, _des_ can
be omitted (_tres homs_), while it may not with non-numeral

Pronouns (_pronoms_)

Of the personal pronouns, the 1st and 2nd person pronouns have
different subject and object forms; the latter is used as a direct
object and after prepositions.

         Singular  Plural
        Subj. Obj.

1st     eg    me   nos
2nd     tzau  tze  vos

3rd masc.  is      ils
3rd fem.   sa      las

The possessives are inflected for gender and number of the possessee:

1st person singular      plural

       Sing.  Plur.      Sing.   Plur.

masc.  mo     mos        noster  nostres
fem.   ma     mas        nostre  nostres

2nd person singular      plural

       Sing.  Plur.      Sing.   Plur.

masc.  tzo    tzos       voster  vostres
fem.   tza    tzas       vostre  vostres

3rd person singular      plural

       Sing.  Plur.      Sing.   Plur.

masc.  so     sos        jo      jos
fem.   sa     sas        ja      jas

The demonstrative pronouns have different forms for masculine and

       Singular          Plural
       Mac.  Fem.        Masc.  Fem.

`this' is    sa          istos  istas
`that' ho    ha          hos    has

However, in contemporary Germanech, it is no longer common to say
_isto hom_ for `this man' or _ha cas_ for `that house'; more common is
to use _ci_ `here' and _la_ `there' after the definite noun:
_il hom ci_, _la cas la_.

The interrogative and relative pronoun is _qui_.  The relative pronoun
can be omitted when no ambiguities arise.

...brought to you by the Weeping Elf and the letter "ö"



Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>