Stonebreaker Language/Grammar/Nouns

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Nouns

Type

There are two types of nouns in Stonebreaker. Type I nouns are concrete entities - generally things you can touch like Barl (ale), Bõg (bow) professions like Perrak (miner) and items of clothing like Pedleddert (boot). These words denote things that exist only as items (or people); they do not exist as concepts. For these, Stomebreaker uses type II nouns. Type II nouns exist as both 'Head nouns' (the conceptual form) or 'Hand nouns' (the physical manifestation). Despite their name these are not always things you can touch! So, Felim is the concept of 'joy', while Felirt is a happy person.

There are three sub-types of type II nouns. In their Head state they end in -am, -em and -im. In their Hand state they end in -art, -ert and -irt. For example: Garam (goodness) gives Garart (a good thing). Urpem (warfare) gives Urpert (a battle) while Fjorim (life) gives Fjorirt (a life or lifetime). You can always recognise Type II nouns by these endings. Type I nouns can have various endings. Also note that type II nouns are used for materials that have indeterminate quantity. 'Some gold' would be expressed with the type II noun Geldem, while a piece of gold (a nugget) is Geldert. Similarly with Ferem is 'metal' while Ferert is an ingot of metal.

Plurals

These are always formed with the postscript -th. So 'good things' translates as Garartth (note the t is retained before the th ending). Happy people are Felirtth and Ferertth are ingots (or stock).

To aid pronunciation, words ending with a 'earth' letter (g, v/w, h, p, z, s, m, ng) take -eth in the plural. So the plural of Vig (road) is Vigeth, not Vigth.

Note that derived nouns that describe professions are special cases. The word Perrak literally means 'he cuts stone'. The plural is not Perrakth but Perrakith - 'they cut stone'. Similarly with Barlik - 'barman'. This means 'he serves ale', so the plural is Barlikith - 'they serve ale'.

Cases

Stonebreaker uses word endings to distinguish the case of the noun. A case is used to define how the noun is used in a sentence. In Stonebreaker there are only 4 cases: Nominative/Accusative (for the subject and direct object of a sentence); Dative (to express the concept of 'to' or 'towards'); Genitive ('of') and Ablative/Instrumental ('by', 'with' or 'from'). This avoids the kind of ambiguity that is sometimes found in English. For example, Glorwin gave Arka the Groffel would be expressed as Glorwin (nom) don Groffel (acc) Arkol (dat) or Glorwin gave (the) Groffel (to) Arka. Notice that Arka has been given an -ol ending - this means that we are using the Dative case. We could just as easily have said Glorwin don Arkol Groffel - while in English, Glorwin gave the Groffel Arka would mean something quite different. Having different cases means that the word order becomes less important as the cases of the nouns define the meaning. If we wanted to stretch the point we could say Glorwin Arkol don Groffel or even Arkol Glorwin don Groffel. As long as the subject precedes the verb and the object follows it in the sentence, the meaning is clear.

Noun Declensions

English Nominative/Accusative Dative Genitive Ablative/Instrumental
Joy Felim Felol Felor Felom
Fear Cram Crol Cror Crom
Warfare Urpem Urpol Urpor Urpom
Dwarf Dvert Dvertol Dvertor Dvertom
Dwarfs Dvertth Dvertolth Dvertorth Dvertometh
Way, road Vig Vigol Vigor Vigom
Roads Vigeth Vigolth Vigorth Vigometh
Blacksmith Ferak Ferakol Ferakor Ferakom
Blacksmiths Ferakith Ferakithol Ferakithor Ferakithom
Bar-tender Barllik Barlikol Barlikor Barlikom
Bar-tenders Balikith Barlikithol Barlikithor Balikithom