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.
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).
- 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."
- Some prepositions assign nominative
- 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
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.
- mai → mayes; lei → leyes
- 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."
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.
- 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."
- Some prepositions assign genitive
- Me kovara hatif yeri. — "He is standing in front of you."
- Some verbs assign genitive as a special object case
- Hrakkar if veri. — "A lion walked beside the wolf."
- Jerak qaf hoshori. — "A merchant asked about the gold."
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.
- 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."
- In zero copula sentences in past tense the predicate argument is in ablative case.
- 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."
- Some prepositions assign ablative
- Lajak addriv mae yomme chomoon. — "The warrior killed him despite of the respect."
- Some verbs assign ablative as a special object case
- Jolino nir chelsianoa. — "The pot was full of locusts."
- Mahrazhkem asovahanaz lajakoa. — "The husband was the fattest of the warriors."
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.
- 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."
- In zero copula sentences in future tense the predicate argument is in allative case.
- Anha koalakaan. — "I'll become a healer."
- Some prepositions assign allative
- Me dothra vi osaan. — "She rode along the road."
- Some verbs assign allative as a special object case
- Rizhi chomi avesea. — "Boys respect fathers."
- Dorvi fak zafraan. — "The goat kicked at the slave."
|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/|
Sample words: qeso "basket"; os "path"; sondra "dragon glass"; mawizzi "rabbit"; jelli "cheese".
Sondra and mawizzi have accusative affected by epenthesis.
|Singular and plural|
Sample words: rizh "son"; ko "bodyguard"; dave "rosemary bush"; mai "mom"