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Adunaic case system

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Saturday, March 19, 2005, 1:23
JRR Tolkien describes the Adunaic case system as follows:

Nouns distinguish two forms or 'cases' in each number: 1. Normal 2.
Subjective.  In addition in the singular only there is an Objective form.

The Normal (N) shows no inflexion for 'case'.
It is used in all places where Subjective (S) or Objective (O) are not
obligatory.  Thus:
(i) as the object of a verb.  It never immediately precedes a verb of which
it is the object.
(ii) Before another noun it is either (a) in apposition to it, or (b) in and
adjectival or possessive gentive relation. . . .
(iii) Predicatively . .  .
(iv) As subject when it immediately precedes a fully inflected verb.  In that
case the verb must contain the requisite pronominal prefixes.  If the
Subjective is used the verb need not have any such prefixes. . . .
(v) As the base to which certain adverbial 'prepositional' affixes are added
. . .

The Subjective (S) is used as the subject of a verb. . . . The S also
represents the verb 'to be' as a copula. . . . When two or more nouns in apposition
are juxtaposed in Adunaic only the last receives the Subjective inflexion: thus
_Ar-Pharazon kathuphazganun_ = 'King Ar-Pharazon the Conqueror'.  Contrast _
Ar-Pharazonun kathuphazgan_ = 'King Ar-Pharazon is (was) a Conqueror'.

The Objective (O) form is used only in compound expressions, or actual
compounds.  Before a verb-noun, or verb-adjective (participle), or any words that
can be held to have such a sense, it is then in an objective-genitive sense.
Thus _Minul-Tarik_ 'Pillar of Heaven', the name of a mountain.  Here _minul_ is
the O form of _minal_ 'heaven', since _tarik_ 'pillar' here means 'that which
supports'.  _minal-tarik_ would mean 'heavenly pillar', sc. A pillar in the
sky, or made of cloud.
(Macrons omitted from Adunaic examples, as they don't affect the point at
(from _Sauron Defeated_)

I don't think I've run across anything quite like the subjective and
objective cases elsewhere.  (They're not much like nominative and accusative.)   Are
there natural language precedents?



Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>