A Constructed Language
Declension and Related Inflections
This chapter covers the declension of nouns, adjectives, quantifiers,
determiners, and pronouns. It also covers other inflections of the same word
- Noun Declension
- Vocative Prefixes
- Adjective and Participle Declension
- Adverbial and Secondary Predicate Suffixes
- Adjective Conjugation
- Comparison of Adjectives
- Numbers and Quantifiers
- Quantifier Declension
- Pronouns and Determiners
- Contrastive 3rd Person Pronouns
- Possessive Pronouns
- Nouns are marked for number (singular and plural) and case, and have
implicit gender (animate and inanimate, but a few nouns are heterogeneous).
- The core cases are: ergative (-Erg), dative (-Dat),
and absolutive (-Abs).
- The other cases are: intrumental (-Ins), temporal
(-Tmp), genitive (-Gen), and partitive (-Par).
- Temporal forms exist only for time words (and their modifiers); these
are all inanimate. The time words include words denoting units of duration
and for number of occurrences as well as those for specific times.
- Inanimate nouns (and their modifiers) don't have dedicated ergative or
- The partitive singular exists only for mass nouns.
- The inflections vary according to the stem-type. Most nouns have either
vowel stems or consonant stems, but there are some others.
||Vowel Stem ||Consonant Stem
||Vowel + i Stem|
| ||S ||P ||S ||P
|-Abs ||- ||-l ||- ||-o
|-Dat ||-i * ||-li ||-i ||-li
|-Erg ||-r ||-la ||-a ||-or
|-Gen ||-m ||-lum ||-um ||-olum
|-Par ||-s ||-tsu ||-su/-is * ||-os
|-Ins ||-pe ||-lpe ||-(i)pe ||-olpe
|-Tmp ||-u * ||-lu ||-u ||-lu
- The ending -is is used after s (including
ts), x, c, j, and
- The ending -su is used otherwise, becoming
-tsu after n and l (with
- The dative singulars and temporal singulars combined with vowel stems
are as follows:
||-i ||-e ||-a ||-o ||-u|
|-SDat ||-i ||-e ||-ai ||-we ||-wi|
|-STmp ||-yu ||-yo ||-au ||-o ||-u|
- The vocative prefixes, indicating the person or persons addressed, are
used mainly on kinship terms and other nouns denoting relationships, but
are sometimes found on proper nouns and on other words.
- The vocative prefixes are ku- and o-.
- The prefix ku- is more familiar than o-.
- The prefix ku- becomes ki- before a voiceless
consonant, kuh- before u, and kw-
before any other vowel.
- The prefix o- becomes ot- before a vowel.
- The vocative prefixes are applied to otherwise absolutive forms.
Ku- and o- might be shortened forms of
kam and otum, respectively.
Adjective and Participle Declension
- Adjectives and participles used as adjectives are marked for gender,
number, and case.
- They also have adverbial and secondary predicate suffixes; these aren't
case markers because they don't vary for gender or number. They're
covered later in this chapter.
- Adjectives have only consonant stems; those with apparent vowel stems
insert h before the endings.
- The i's in the inanimate genitive plural and inanimate
instrumental singular are dropped after certain stems.
| ||Animate ||Inanimate|
| ||S ||P ||S ||P|
|-Abs ||-a ||-al ||-i ||-il|
|-Dat ||-ai ||-ali || |
|-Erg ||-ar ||-ala || |
|-Gen ||-am ||-alum ||-im ||-ilum, -lum|
|-Par ||-as ||-atsu ||-is ||-itsu|
|-Ins ||-ape ||-alpe ||-ipe, -pe ||-ilpe|
|-Tmp || || ||-yu ||-ilu|
Adverbial and Secondary Predicate Suffixes
- There are suffixes which make adjectives into adverbs and head-words of
secondary predicates. These suffixes can also apply to participles.
- Adverbs denote either the manner in which an action is carried out or
some other modification of the situation as a whole; they're formed
regularly with a couple of different suffixes. Adverbs formed in other
ways exist as well.
- One suffix is used for adverbs of manner when the basic meaning of the
adjective is adverbial; these include those denoting degrees of velocity,
competence, fidelity, randomness, and precision. It's also used for some
- The other suffix is used for all other adverbs of manner.
- There are two kinds of secondary predicates: resultatives and
depictives. Resultatives denote the state of the patient resulting from
the event, while depictives denote the state of some participant during
the event. There are two endings for depictives, depending on which
participant is referred to; one of these is shared with the resulatives
and the other is shared with one kind of adverb.
- The suffixes are:
||adverb of manner (second type)|
||adverb (first type) or depictive secondary predicate
denoting the subject's state|
||resultative or depictive secondary predicate denoting the
state of an object|
- In addition to being declined, adjectives are also conjugated, with the
verb stem formed using the suffix -(i)t (this conjugation is
used instead of copula + adjective). The verb forms and other information
are given in the Conjugations chapter.
- There are other adjective derivations which are also conjugated and
described in that section.
Comparison of Adjectives
- Adjectives denote qualities, or attributes that can be compared (words
for other kinds of attributes are usually verbs). Quantity can be
considered a quality in this respect.
- Since a quality can be compared, it has an opposite quality (with a few
exceptions, such as color terms). Words for the opposite of a quality are
never derived in Naisek . One of the two
words is taken to be the positive form (usually the one denoting a higher
degree according to some scale) and the other the negative form.
- There's also a neutral word for each quality, denoting something in
between the quality and its opposite. The neutral word is derived by
suffix from the positive word:
- This suffix is irregular; for one thing, it changes to -al
before the conjugational stem.
- With colors, the neutral derivation can mean a reduced version of the
|kloba sorgayi. ||- "a medium-sized house"|
|gofo kanaya. ||- "a reddish dog."|
- An adjective also has comparative and superlative stems:
|-Cmp ||-os(s) ||comparative|
|-Sup ||-amp ||superlative|
- The comparative form is conjugated more often than it's declined:
|Kesi sorgosti tep nesi.
||- "This one is bigger than that one."|
Numbers and Quantifiers
- The different kinds of numbers are the cardinals, the ordinals, and the
- The stems of the ordinals and fractionals are regularly derived from
those of the cardinals using suffixes.
- The cardinals and fractionals act like and are treated here like
quantifiers, while the ordinals are used as determiners.
|nelafa gofo ||- "the second dog"|
| ||Cardinal ||Ordinal ||Fractional|
|1 ||kwa ||kwarf |
|2 ||nel ||nelaf ||netse|
|3 ||ton ||tonaf ||tontse|
|4 ||pago ||pagorf ||pagose|
|5 ||uke ||ukerf ||ukese|
|6 ||sida ||sidarf ||sidase|
|7 ||sapa ||saparf ||sapase|
|8 ||nelgos ||nelgosaf ||nelgose|
|9 ||kugos ||kugosaf ||kugose|
|10 ||nelke ||nelkerf ||nelkese|
|11 ||nelkeku ||nelkekurf ||nelkekuse|
|12 ||nelkenel ||nelkenelaf ||nelkenetse|
|20 ||palke ||palkerf ||palkese|
|30 ||sirke ||sirkerf ||sirkese|
|40 ||nelgoske ||nelgoskerf ||nelgoskese|
|50 ||xif ? ||xifaf ? ||xifse ?|
- Quantifiers are marked for case. The number "1" is also marked for
gender. Number is, of course, implicit.
- Quantifiers, like adjectives and unlike nouns, may be conjugated.
Some Number Declensions
| ||1 ||2
||3 ||4 ||5
||8 ||9 ||10|
| ||Anim. ||Inan. |
|-Abs ||kwa ||kwi ||nel ||ton
||pago ||uke ||sida ||sapa
||nelgos ||kugos ||nelke|
|-Dat ||kwai || ||neli ||toni
||pagli ||uke ||sidai ||sapai
||nelgosi ||kugosi ||nelke|
|-Erg ||kwar || ||nela ||tona
||pagor ||uker ||sidar ||sapar
||nelgosa ||kugosa ||nelker|
|-Gen ||kwam ||kwim ||nelum ||tonum
||pagom ||ukem ||sidam ||sapam
||nelgosum ||kugosum ||nelkem|
|-Par ||kwas ||kwis ||netsu ||tontsu
||pagos ||ukes ||sidas ||sapas
||nelgosis ||kugosis ||nelkes|
|-Ins ||kwape ||kwipe ||nelpe ||tompe
||pagope ||ukepe ||sidape ||sapape
||nelgospe ||kugospe ||nelkepe|
|-Tmp || ||kuyu ||nelu ||tonu
||paglu ||ukyo ||sidau ||sapau
||nelgosu ||kugosu ||nelkyo|
- The words for "much", juk, "little (amount)",
pik, are inflected for case and are declined like singular
nouns. However, they have comparative and superlative forms which are
declined like adjectives.
- The words for "many", j, and "few", p(y),
are inflected for gender and case, and take plural endings.
- The word sw is also inflected for gender and case; when it
means "all", it takes plural endings and when it means "each" or "every",
it takes singular endings.
- The word for "any", sup, is declined like a singular
Many and Much
| ||many ||much
| ||Anim. ||Inan.
||Anim. ||Inan. |
|-Abs ||jal ||jil ||juk
||pyal ||pil ||pik|
|-Dat ||jali || ||
||pyali || |
|-Erg ||jala || ||
||pyala || |
|-Gen ||jalum ||jilum ||jukum
||pyalum ||pilum ||pikum|
|-Par ||jatsu ||jitsu ||juksu
||pyatsu ||pitsu ||piksu|
|-Ins ||jalpe ||jilpe ||jukpe
||pyalpe ||pilpe ||pikpe|
|-Tmp || ||jilu ||juku
|| ||pilu ||piku|
Pronouns and Determiners
- The pronouns consist of the personal, reflexive (Rfx),
reciprocal (Rcp), indefinite (Uns), negative
(Nul), relative (Rel), interrogative (Que),
possessive, and demonstrative pronouns; the last two kinds will be covered
- The roots on which the personal pronouns (1, 1N,
2, and 3) are based are also used for the possessive
pronouns and the demonstratives. The personal endings of the verb are
based on these as well.
- The determiners consist of the definite (Def), indefinite, and
negative determiners (or articles) and the demonstrative determiners (also
- There are additional masculine and feminine contrastive 3rd person
- The specific declensions of the pronouns are shown in the tables below.
- The indefinite, negative, reflexive, and reciprocal pronouns are
inflected only for case.
- The 1st and 2nd person pronouns are inflected for number as well as
case; S denotes singular and P denotes plural. The 1st
person inclusive pronoun (1N) can only be plural; the 1st person
exclusive plural is denoted 1XP.
- The basic 3rd person pronoun is inflected for gender, number, and case;
A denotes animate and I denotes inanimate.
- The relative pronoun (not shown) is also inflected for gender, number,
and case and consists of the stem d- + adjective endings.
- The interrogative pronoun (not shown) is inflected for gender and case
and consists of the stem c- + singular adjective endings.
Personal Pronoun Declensions
||1S ||1XP ||1NP ||2S ||2P
||3AS ||3AP ||3IS ||3IP ||Rfx ||Rcp
|-Abs ||ku ||ko ||bo ||nu ||no
||ta ||tal ||ti ||til ||fu ||fal
|-Dat ||ki ||koi ||boi ||ni ||noi
||tai ||tali || || ||fi ||fali
|-Erg ||ka ||kor ||bor ||na ||nor
||tar ||tala || || ||fa ||
|-Gen ||kam ||kalum ||balum ||nam ||nalum
||tam ||talum ||tim ||tilum ||fam ||falum
|-Par ||(kas) ||katsu ||batsu ||(nas) ||natsu
||(tas) ||tatsu ||tis ||titsu ||(fas) ||
|-Ins ||kape ||kalpe ||balpe ||nape ||nalpe
||tape ||talpe ||tipe ||tilpe ||fape ||
|-Tmp || || || || ||
|| || ||tiu ? ||tilu || ||
- The definite article is inflected for gender, number, and case and
consists of the stem h- + adjective endings.
- The indefinite determiner ot and the negative determiner
gaut are inflected like adjectives.
Contrastive 3rd Person Pronouns
- The contrastive 3rd person pronouns are used instead of the basic 3rd
person pronouns only when necessary. There are masculine (M) and
feminine (F) forms; note that these are chosen according to the
natural gender of the referent, unlike the animate and inanimate forms,
which depend on the lexical gender of some noun.
Contrastive 3rd Person Pronouns
| ||3MS ||3MP ||3FS ||3FP|
|-Abs ||ba ||bayo ||gya ||gyal|
|-Dat ||bai ||baili ||gyai ||gyali|
|-Erg ||baya ||baila ||gyar ||gyala|
|-Gen ||baim ||bailum ||gyam ||gyalum|
|-Par || ||bayos || ||gyatsu|
|-Ins ||baipe ||bayolpe ||gyape ||gyalpe|
- The stem of a singular possessive pronoun is formed by adding
h to the genitive form of the corresponding personal pronoun.
- The stem of a plural possessive pronoun is formed by deleting
u from the genitive form of the corresponding personal
- The stem of the indefinite possessive pronoun is otm.
- The possessive pronouns are declined like adjectives.
- As with other adjectives, there are verb forms; the stems of these are
formed by suffixing -it to the stems of the possessive
- The possessive pronouns are normally not used as possessive determiners,
the genitive forms of the personal pronouns being used instead.
|kamha (kam gofo) ||- "mine (my dog)"|
|talmi (talum kloba) ||- "theirs (their house)"|
page started: 2007.Jan.02 Tue
was modified: 2008.Jun.22 Sun
current page: 2011.Dec.29 Thu
content and form originated by qiihoskeh
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