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Conlang Development With Multple Noun Cases

From:Arek Bellagio <zadar@...>
Date:Saturday, December 26, 1998, 6:56

I've begun developing my nouns in Maraso, a language which uses (at least) 4
noun cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive. So far, I've come
up with this:

Nominative Noun Ending: o, os
Accusative: a, as
Dative: e, es
Genitive: i, is

The second example is a plural ending.

I've also been very free in my rules for giving case to a nominative noun:
The noun presented in nominative (which is obviously the standard appearance
of words and is the most common case) is not required to end in o, so long
as it does not end in a, e, or i (which would lead to confusion between the
cases). However, when it is plural, the noun, regardless of its former
ending, requires 'os' for the plural.

For example:

Nominative: internet, internetos
Accusative: interneta, internetas
Dative: internete, internetes
Genitive: interneti, internetis

This, in my opinion, leads to a more 'natural appearing' language. Unlike
Esperanto, where all the nouns (that I know of?) end in o, Maraso only
requires an attached prefix for nominative when the noun is plural, as said
above. All nouns require the other case suffixes. I have done this in order
to preserve names. In my belief, a name (or proper noun) should not be
regularly declined, as it would take away from the noun's meaning. Names are
personal, and it would seem rather annoying to have my name constantly
declined to a case. So, I compromised.

Which leads me to my next question: those of you who have developed conlangs
with multiple cases, how do you further development of your language? How do
you create adjectives? Usually, nouns with cases do not require a specific
word order, right? (In my belief they wouldn't, since the case ending would
determine what role it plays in the sentence; otherwise it would just be
superfluous) Well, do you also decline adjectives? For example, I was
thinking of having adjectives end in on, an, en, and in. So far, I'm stuck
on whether or not I should decline adjectives to number as well as case. How
have you others done this in the past? I'm eager to see how you've tackled this.

If you also would prefer to simply give me URLs of your languages (so you
dont have to explain in detail), I'd also welcome those.


In conclusion,
~Arek  -

"The pessimist stomps and curses the wind. The optimist whines, but keeps
saying how everything can be better. The realist adjusts the sails and
doesn't complain."
        - Kyle Voiles

....Zephyr in the sky at night, I wonder: do my tears of mourning sink
beneath the sun?....