So I was planning to post this stuff more often. Whoops.
Oh well. Time for nouns.
I have four declensions, with six cases, two numbers, and three genders. I’m going to be talking about all three, not necessarily in order.
Of the daughter languages I created for Pretistelen, this one probably has one of the more divergent morphology compared to the others, since it deletes or simplifies all the word-final syllables (that aren’t stressed).
Pretistelen has five cases, which I expanded into six in Hónskhardn, mostly because of some of the peculiarities of the aforementioned word-final elision and because of how possessives function.
The nominative is the zero case, with no special marking, used for the subject of a sentence.
The genitive is marked with –n, and is used for possessives and prepositions of originitve motion. However, possessives have additional suffixes after the genitive marker, so that the word agrees in person, number, and case with the possessed word. (EX. ro “fang” > rono garo “the puma’s fang”.)
The instrumental is marked with –t, and is used for instrumental functions (“with” or “by means of”) and prepositions of station.
The instrumental originally also had a dative function, but the preposition ros “toward” ended up fusing with the instruemental suffix to form a separate dative case, marked with –tros. This solely covers indirect objects.
Finally, the accusative case is marked with –m, and is used for the object of a sentence and for prepositions of approaching motion.
With all that in mind, for Hónskhardn I decided to split the genitive into a genitive and possessive, particularly because many nouns end up retaining their word-final vowel morpheme in possessives (and in the dative). (EX. sisa “water” > sis (nom), sisn (pos), sisan (gen), sists (inst), sisatrs (dat), sism (acc).)
However, I’m unsure if I should unload the prepositional uses of the instrumental onto the genitive, since all it’s being used for now is prepositions. And if I do that, should I also pull all the prepositions that require the accusative onto the genitive as well?
Gender and Number
I put these two together because in Pretistelen they’re all conflated together. Pretistelen had two numbers and three genders, and each combination had a unique vowel assigned to it.
Masculine singular: o
Masculine plural: u
Feminine singular: a
Feminine plural: é
Neuter singular: e
Neuter plural: i
However, due to the final-syllable elision, these vowels only appear in monosyllabic words and in the possessive and dative cases (granted, they also only appeared on nouns in one declension).
Gender assignment aside, the most interesting development from this has been that number is no longer marked.
While I solved this problem in other daughter languages by applying a gender-neutral plural suffix from another declension more broadly across the nouns, I kinda like the idea of having at least a few of these daughter languages losing plural marking on the noun itself?
That being said, unlike some languages around the world, plural marking is always obligatory, so I figured that the speakers of this language would attempt to create some way of continuing to mark number (and gender).
The third-person pronoun is a monosyllable and inflects just like an adjective, which inflects basically like a standard noun, so I basically turned it into a definite article (sae, sa, so). Sort of like how the German definite article carries more of a noun’s grammatical meaning than the noun itself.
Pretistelen has four declensions, which I’ve called 1st Declension, 2nd Declension, 3rd Declension, and 4th Declension.
Or, if you prefer, based on the letter each ends on, V-Declension, N-Declension, S-Declension, and M-Declension.
So far I’ve been talking just about the V-Declension (“V” for “vowel”), since it both covers the most number of nouns and it’s affected most by the phonological changes between Pretistelen and Hónskhardn.
The other three declensions each have their own dedicated plural marker, but don’t mark gender. I’ve anticipated, however, that a number of nouns in these latter three would be brought into the 1st Declension, since a number of these words have endings similar to the now vowelless V-Declension. Though, upon reflection, there’d also be some flow the other way, too.
Essentially, I’ve been putting any noun with a long vowel or a syllabic consonant in the final syllable into one of the latter three declensions, and putting all the others into the 1st Declension.
Which still manages to be tricky, cause many of the words with long vowels could work as 1st Declension nouns and some words without might maybe retain their original designation? (EX 1. ansuan “pearl” > ansún (nom), ansýn (gen-2) or ansúnn (gen-1)? EX 2. tircas “bird” > terks (nom), terkizn (gen-3) or terksn (gen-1)?)
I’m thinking I should maybe supply more vocab for examples and so that people don’t get lost, but I’m not sure if a small list at the beginning is helpful, or just bringing up an example or two per point.