An Indo-European Language: Declensions (1)

So, I’ve been fiddling around with a language again. This one is a derivative of Proto-Indo-European; I don’t have a name yet. It’s not a complete thing, just some musings; but here’s a bit about first declension nouns:

Singular Plural Singular Plural
anûft (1e): dark of night fōnâ (1e): grain
Nominative anūft anûfte fōnâ fōnâya
Vocative anûft anûfte fonâ fōnâya
Accusative 1 anûftun anûftanš fonân fōnânš
Comitative anûfte anûftuphi fonâya fōnâphi
Accusative 2 anêvdun anêvdanš fēnân fēnânš
Instrumental anêvde anêvduphi fēnâya fēnâphi
Genitive anêvdeh anêvdon fēnâh fēnâyon
Dative anêvdei anêvdumah fēnâi fēnâmah
Locative anêvdi anêvdu fēnâ fēnâhu
  amūnš (1a): month amūnâ (1a): cheek, thigh, young woman
Nominative amūnš amūnše amūnâ amūnâya
Vocative amunš amūnše amunâ amūnâya
Accusative 1 amunšun amūnšanš amunân amūnânš
Comitative amunše amūnšuphi amunâya amūnâphi
Accusative 2 amānšun amānšanš amānân amānânš
Instrumental amānše amānšuphi amānâya amānâphi
Genitive amānšeh amānšon amānâh amānâyon
Dative amānšei amānšumah amānâi amānâmah
Locative amānši amānšu amānâ amānâhu
tum (1e): house tūmâ (1e): village, farm
Nominative tūm tume tūmâ tūmâya
Vocative tum tume tumâ tūmâya
Accusative 1 tumun tumanš tumân tūmânš
Comitative tume tumphi tumâya tūmâphi
Accusative 2 temun temanš tēmân tēmânš
Instrumental teme temphi tēmâya tēmâphi
Genitive temeh temon tēmâh tēmâyon
Dative temei temmah tēmâi tēmâmah
Locative temi temu tēmâ tēmâhu
irôk (1a): husband irōgâ (1e): authority, orderliness, spirit of law
Nominative irōk irôk irōgâ irōgâya
Vocative irôk irôk irogâ irōgâya
Accusative 1 irôkun irôkanš irogân irōgânš
Comitative irôke irôkuphi irogâya irōgâphi
Accusative 2 irâgun irâganš irāgân irāgânš
Instrumental irâge irâguphi irāgâya irāgâphi
Genitive irâgeh irâgon irāgâh irāgâyon
Dative irâgei irâgumah irāgâi irāgâmah
Locative irâgi irâgu irāgâ irāgâhu
xors (1i): implement of torture   tōrvâ (1e): wood
Nominative xōrs xorse tōrvâ tōrvâya
Vocative xors xorse torvâ tōrvâya
Accusative 1 xorsun xorsanš torvân tōrvânš
Comitative xorse xorsuphi torvâya tōrvâphi
Accusative 2 xirzun xorzanš tērvân tērvânš
Instrumental xirze xirzuphi tērvâya tērvâphi
Genitive xirzeh xirzon tērvâh tērvâyon
Dative xirzei xirzumah tērvâi tērvâmah
Locative xirzi xirzu tērvâ tērvâhu

The first declension is small but significant, containing many common words. All the first declension nouns feature alternations between two vowels – one used in the direct cases and one used in the oblique cases. In some cases, these alternations have been created through analogy, or recreated after sound-changes obscured the original alternation. Masculine first declensions ending with a stop also show a voicing alternation, in which the final stop or cluster is voiceless in direct cases but voiced in oblique cases – this alternation has spread by analogy from the final voicing in the nominative and vocative singulars. All first declensions – indeed, all nouns – show a vowel length alternation, with the nominative singular showing a long vowel and the vocative, first accusative and comitative singulars all showing short vowels. The remaining cases show either a long or a short vowel depending on the word – all first declension feminines show a long vowel, while most but not all first declension masculines show a short vowel.

The feminines of the first declension are often collectives or abstracts – but not always. The first declension is not normally productive, but the feminising suffix – is an exception. This suffix has spread by analogy from the derivation of tōrvâ (‘wood’) from toru (‘tree’), and is now used to derive substances from objects, particularly when those substances are to be used in craft or construction. Further examples include šnōurvâ (‘sinew-matter’) from šnēur (‘a sinew’), and ōšīnvâ (‘ash-wood’) from ōšinu (‘ash-tree’). The feminine paradigm shows an interesting reconstruction in the nominative and vocative plurals, which are identical to the comitative singular, by analogy with the same identity in the masculines.





Comments and corrections most welcome!

Sorry for not posting recently

Things I haven’t been posting:

– some mini-reviews of some more TV shows

– reviews of two books I’m reading: Craig Brown’s anecdote collection, “One on One”; and Margo Lanagan’s novel, “The Brides of Rollrock Island”

– reviews of Something Positive, which I’m rereading from the beginning, having not read it for a couple of years

– some stuff on a language I’m inventing derived from Proto-Indo-European. I was on the verge of sharing the noun declensions, but I’ve since been reading more about PIE diachronics, and I’m reworking it all


Hopefully some of this will actually be posted soon. But then again, me saying I’m about to finish something is usually the kiss of death…