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Re: Vaiysi grammar revised: nouns and adjectives

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 30, 2001, 20:46
I don't really have time to read through these posts in detail, but I just
wanted to say that I find Vaiysi very beautiful.  I like the
quasi-irregularities of the noun declensions too!


Mangiat wrote:

> Hi! > > Today it's time for nouns and adjectives... > > The Noun > Nouns are inflected for two numbers (singular and plural), and six cases > (ergative, absolutive, dative, genitive, locative and allative); there is no > gender. Nouns are listed in dictionaries in their singular absolutive form, > which ends with a short vowel. We have four declensions patterns, one for > each ending vowel: a, e, i, u (-o nouns merged with -u even before classical > Suimeni period). There are no differences between the various patterns, inly > the locative case presents different ending for each stem vowel. > Note: in these exemples we will use words with long radical vowel, to let > you see when the desinence contains a long vowel that can reduce it. > > Absolutive > Absolutive is the unmarked case. It is used with subjects of intransitive > verbs and objects of transitive verbs, but it is generally considered the > default form of every noun, used even for vocatives. The absolutive form > ends with a vowel, a, e, i or u, and each of these vowels has an indipendent > declension pattern. The ending vowel can be dropped in the singular form > even in the classical period , if it is preceded by /s/, /l/, /r/, a vowel > or a nasal (i.e. miyre 'sun' > miyr, douru 'mare' > dour, Leiye (name of a > town) > Leiy). The endings of the plural have merged: the old desinence of > the -e stem nouns is now widespread. > > When we talk about nouns, we will assume they are in their absolutive form, > which is that listed in dictionaries. > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kyemma kemmeiy > miyre sun miyre mireiy > eriynni wind eriynni erinneiy > douru mare douru dureiy > > *Ending -a has already been displaced by -o in vernacular Vaiysi, that is > caused by the same phenomenon which made Suiméni third singular person of > the present tense pass from -a to -o; this change is well accepted with > verbs, but is not completely accepted for nouns, because -a nouns usually > indicate male beings, and a change -a > -o could generate confusion with -u > nouns, generally indicating female beings. > > Ergative > The ergative case is used with subjects of transitive verbs. The ergative > form has retained, both in singular and in plural, the old -l ending (note: > in the older version of the lang the ending was -s) but, as in the > absolutive, the plural desinences merged with the -e nouns ending. > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kyemmal kyemmel > miyre sun miyrel miyrel > eriynni wind eriynnil eriynnel > douru mare dourul dourel > > Dative > The dative case is used with indirect objects of transitive and intransitive > verbs and with direct objects in antipassive constructions. The singular > form is characterized by the desinence -am, even in after e, i and u. > Actually the Suiméni ending -m caused the nasalization of the preceding > vowel, which turned out to be an -a. The plural ending is -mis (this doesn't > cause any vowel change because not in final position). > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kyemmam kyemmamis > miyre sun miyram miyremis > eriynni wind eriynnam eriynnimis > douru mare douram dourumis > > Genitive > The genitive case is used with the master in a master-subordinate > construction as in English possessive 'John's exercise book', and it is used > to mark any realationship between two nouns. The genitive is also a > prepositional case, i. e. it is used to mark the objects of prepositions. In > other terms, prepositions govern the genitive case. The singular ending > is -ni in singular and -eiyni in plural forms. > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kyemmani kemmeiyni > miyre sun miyreni mireiyni > eriynni wind eriynnini erinneiyni > douru mare douruni dureiyni > > Locative > The locative case is used with location statements, as in English 'at home', > 'in the town'. Locative hasn't to be confused with allative: the former > marks a state, the latter a motion toward something. The old Suiméni > postposition -ó was assimilated to the last vowel of the stem, causing > diphthongization or vowel lengthening. Plural generally adds -yau to the > usual -eiy, becoming -eiyau. Notice that in everyday's speech the locative > case can be replaced by prepositional constructions. > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kemmyau kyemmeiyau > miyre sun miryeu miyreiyau > eriynni wind erinniyo eriynneiyau > douru mare duryou doureiyau > > Notice that in the widespread desinence -eiyau the syllabification works > this way -ei+yau. Hence the retained long radical vowel in the root. > > Allative > The allative case is used to mark location toward someone or something. The > ending is -d in singular, -sti in plural forms. As the locative, the > allative case is sometimes replaced by prepositional constructions in > everyday speech. > > meaning Singular Plural > kyemma hand kyemmad kemmeiyti > miyre sun miyred mireiyti > eriynni wind eriynnid erinneiyti > douru mare dourud dureiyti > > The Adjective > We must distinguish two functions of the adjective: predicative and > attributive. Predicative adjectives are always followed by one of the > inflected voices of -yeo, 'to be'. Attributive adjectives usually end in -i > and decline as nouns. They generally precede nouns, but they can be placed > after them as well. > > Noun-adjective agreement > It has been already said that adjectives usually precede nouns, but they can > be placed also after them. It is important remember that adjectives are > bound to be put in the same case the nouns are. This unless they are in the > locative or allative case. In noun phrases with these cases, indeed, only > the last component of the phrase bears the case marker. This because in > Suiméi locative and allative were built with postpositions (ó and it) > governing the absolutive case. > > For istance: > > lyaskam samam > good.DAT man.DAT > to the good man > miylinini rinani > little.GEN town.GEN > of the little town > > but: > > hyene talou > beautiful house.LOC > In the beautiful house > > or: > > sile burmouved > sky cloudy.ALL > up to the cloudy sky > > Comparative and superlative: our- > The comparative and superlative constructions require in Vaiysi the use of a > proclitic augmentative particle, our-, fixed immediately before the > adjective. In the comparative constructions, the second term is introduced > by the preposition oulis, which means 'in front of / in relation with' The > superlative construction works the same as the comparative, but the > adjective is not followed by a second term, so the augmentative takes an > absolute value. > > Thus the general form of a comparative or a superlative is: > > our-adjective + first term + oulis + second term > Let's take a look at these exemples: > > Pulle ourvedyeo oulis yerke. > ox than cat > The ox is bigger than the cat. > > Vel houvo ourboinni langeiyni oulis ta. > me.ERG have.3s AUG.simple task than your > I have a simpler task than yours. > > Yeam ourhyeni punyeu oulis este. > be.1s AUG.beautiful village.LOC than you > I live in a nicer town than yours. > > However, with complex sentences, we may find other constructions: > > Ourlaskyeo vye yegam oulis vye yegad. > than go.1s than go.2s > It's better if I go than if you go.