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Accusative or not accusative; that is the question

From:Santiago Matías Feldman <iskun20@...>
Date:Monday, September 25, 2006, 3:19
Hello everybody!

I'm devising a Romlang for which I already have nearly
all cases defined.

The only real case in which I'm stuck is the
accusative (I still have some doubts as to one or two
more, but they are not so important for now).

In my Romlang, Laturslav, which is agglutinative,
cases are marked by agglutinating suffixes and
besides, they change according to vowel harmony.

For example, the genitive is marked by the ending -s
(if the word ends in a vowel) or -us/-üs (if it ends
in a consonant)


'la om'
the man

'la omus'
the man's

As you can see, the definite article is 'la', which is

The question is, I was thinking that the accusative
needed to be marked too, as any other case, but then I
realized that if that was the case, the language would
lose quite a bit of elegance as regards the way it
should sound.

So, I came up with a solution to this:

The accusative case can be marked by attaching the
definite or the indefinite article to the end of the
noun instead of it being a separate word in front of
the noun. The form of the article would change a bit
and would follow vowel harmony.

NOM   'la om'
      the man
ACC   omul   (om + the suffix -ul/ül)

NOM   'un om'
      a man
ACC   omun   (om + the suffix -un/ün)

This is a solution I like very much and one that I
haven't seen in another natlang or conlang. (Do you
know of any natlang or conlang with this

But, I was thinking that perhaps it would be better to
invert the ways of marking case for NOM and ACC.
So, this would be like this:

NOM   'omul'   (om + the suffix -ul/ül)
      the man
ACC   'la om'

NOM   'omun'   (om + the suffix -un/ün)
      a man
ACC   'un om'

This solution seems to be more natural to me, as I
connect this to the way Turkish handles this:
(and this is important because Laturslav is supposed
to be a lang with both Turkic and Romance origins)



NOM definite:        kalem
    indefinite (bir) kalem

ACC definite         kalemi  (kalem + -i/-ï/-u/-ü)
    indefinite (bir) kalem

As you can see, the definite article only appears in
the accusative case. This lead me to suspect that
perhaps the use of articles could have started only in
the accusative case in many natlangs... but I don't
know :P

So, the question is, I prefer the first solution just
for aesthetic reasons. However, I understand that the
second one may be more natural.

Summing up, the two options are these:


NOM   la om
ACC   omul
GEN   la omus
DAT   la om-???
ADL?  la omat   (to the man)
LOC   la oman
???   la omaš   (from the man)
???   la omsun (without the man)
etc (under construction!)    etc


NOM   omul
ACC   la om
GEN   la omus
DAT   la om-???
ADL?  la omat
LOC   la oman
???   la omaš
???   la omsïn

Which one would you choose?

NOTE: you may have noticed that the case endings don't
appear to be related to the Latin case system.
This is because, due to the agglutantive nature of
Laturslav, the endings could be thought of as
postpositions attached to the words and following
rules of vowel harmony.
So, for example, the ending -sin/-sïn comes from

Thanks in advance,

Santiago :)

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Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>