Noun Cases

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Dothraki has five noun cases. Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Allative and Ablative. The declension of nouns depends on whether the noun is an animate or inanimate and for animate nouns it also depends on plurality.

Contents

Nominative

The nominative case is the basic form of the noun. This is most typically used when the noun is the subject of a sentence. This is also the dictionary form of the noun so when you see a noun in the vocabulary it is generally in the nominative case unless otherwise specified. There is also a plural form of the nominative for animate nouns (inanimate nouns are the same in singular and plural). For animate nouns the plural is marked with an /-i/ when the noun ends in a consonant and /-si/ when the noun ends in a vowel. For example the singular khalasar (horde) becomes the plural khalasari (hordes) and the sigular khado (body) becomes the plural khadosi (bodies).


Uses:

  • When a noun is the subject of the sentence
Jano ost hrazef."a dog bit a horse."
Lajaki tihish jolin fin ray move ifak."The warriors saw the pot that the foreigner had made."
Hash heffof ohazha?"Is the jug heavy?"
  • In zero copula sentences in present tense the predicate argument is in nominative case. As usual, so is the subject.
Anha koalak."I am a healer."
Havzi chil she okre."A cat was lying on a tent."
  • After zhey
M'athchomaroon, zhey ezok."Greetings, learner."
  • Often when nouns are not bound to a sentence syntax


Accusative

The accusative case is most typically used when a noun becomes the object of a sentence.

For inanimate nouns the accusative form is simply the bare stem of the word. In most cases, if the noun ends in a consonant, the word is the stem as-is. If it ends in a vowel, the final vowel is stripped off. In some cases, an /-e/ is added if vowel-stripped form is changed by epenthesis. Thus, the nominative os is also os in the accusative. The nominative jano turns into the accusative jan. The vocabulary often shows the accusative form of a noun.

For animate nouns the accusative case is denoted by the suffix /-es/ for singular nouns, regardless of what letter the noun ends in. For plurals the accusative is /-is/, if the noun stem ends in consonant, and /-es/ (the same as the singular), if the noun stem ends in vowel.

There is a rare irregularity that affects a few animate noun accusatives: if an animate noun stem end with two vowels, last of which is i, in accusative the i changes to y.

maimayes; leileyes


Uses:

  • When a noun is a direct object in a sentence
Hrazef ost jan."A horse bit a dog."
Lajaki tihish chiories fines ray zhokwe ifak."The warriors saw the woman whom the foreigner had kissed."
  • When a noun functions as a prepositionless adverb of time or place
Anha azigerek koholoon asshekh."I will need the bow today."

Genitive

The genitive case is mostly used when the noun has a possessorship over of something. For inanimate nouns the genitive case is formed by adding the suffix /-i/ to the stem of the noun. So jano would turn into jani.

For animate nouns the genitive is formed by adding the suffix /-(s)i/ to the end of the word. Plural and singular do not differ in genitive case.


Uses:

  • When a noun functions and a possessor of an alienable possession
Jano lajaki ost hrazef."Warrior's dog bit a horse."
Me adakh hadaen adrasi."It ate the food of the turtles."
Me kovara hatif yeri."He is standing in front of you."
Hrakkar if veri."A lion walked beside the wolf."
Jerak qaf hoshori."A merchant asked about the gold."

Ablative

The ablative case is mostly used to denote movement away from the noun. For inanimate nouns the ablative case is formed by adding the suffix /-oon/ to the stem of the noun. For animate nouns the ablative is formed by the suffix /-(s)oon/ for singular and the suffix /-(s)oa/ for plural.


Uses:

  • When a noun functions as a starting point of an action
Kisha jadi krazaajoon."We come from the mountain."
  • When a noun functions as a beginning of a time period
Anha ray ayol arrekoon kisha jado jinne."I have waited since when we arrived here."
Anha koalakoon."I was a healer."
  • When a noun functions and a possessor of an inalienable possession
Jano ost qoraes lajakoon."A dog bit warrior's hand."
Lajak addriv mae yomme chomoon."The warrior killed him despite of the respect."
Jolino nir chelsianoa."The pot was full of locusts."
Mahrazhkem asovahanaz lajakoa."The husband was the fattest of the warriors."

Allative

The allative case is mostly used to denote movement towards the noun. For inanimate nouns the allative case is formed by adding the suffix /-aan/ to the stem of the noun. For animate nouns the allative is formed with the suffix /-(s)aan/ for singular and the suffix /-(s)ea/ for plural.


Uses:

  • When a noun functions as a destination or goal of an action
Kisha veraki krazaajaan."We are travelling to the mountain."
  • When a noun functions as a limit of a time period
Anha vayolak arrekaan me jadoe."I will wait until she arrives."
Anha koalakaan."I'll become a healer."
Me dothra vi osaan."She rode along the road."
Rizhi chomi avesea."Boys respect fathers."
Dorvi fak zafraan."The goat kicked at the slave."

Declension Table

  nominative accusative genitive allative ablative
singular animate, stem -C // /-es/ /-i/ /-aan/ /-oon/
singular animate, stem -V // /-es/ /-si/ /-saan/ /-soon/
plural animate, stem -C /-i/ /-is/ /-i/ /-ea/ /-oa/
plural animate, stem -V /-si/ /-es/ /-si/ /-sea/ /-soa/
inanimate varies // or /-e/ /-i/ /-aan/ /-oon/


Example tables

Inanimate nouns

Sample words: qeso "basket"; os "path"; sondra "dragon glass"; mawizzi "rabbit"; jelli "cheese".

Sondra and mawizzi have accusative affected by epenthesis.

  Singular and plural
Nominative qeso os sondra mawizzi jelli
Accusative qes os sondre mawizze jel
Genitive qesi osi sondri mawizzi jelli
Allative qesaan osaan sondraan mawizzaan jellaan
Ablative qesoon osoon sondroon mawizzoon jelloon

Animate nouns

Sample words: rizh "son"; ko "bodyguard"; dave "rosemary bush"; mai "mom"

  Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative rizh rizhi ko kosi dave davesi mai maisi
Accusative rizhes rizhis koes davees mayes
Genitive rizhi kosi davesi maisi
Allative rizhaan rizhea kosaan kosea davesaan davesea maisaan maisea
Ablative rizhoon rizhoa kosoon kosoa davesoon davesoa maisoon maisoa
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