Cases. Vaior has eight cases: nominative,
accusative, genitive, dative, locative, ablative, benefactive and
instrumental. These cases function as you'd expect in most
situations, with the nominative the subject of sentences, the
accusative the patient of focus of transitive verbs, etc. Of
course, the cases have other uses which I'll bring up as needed. The
instrumental in paricular gets quite a workout in Vaior. I give the
full list below, but I will save the explanation of some of the cases
for the next chapter.
Vaior has a single declension pattern. There are no
irregularities in the endings, and they're even used for both singular
and plural nouns.
Keeping in mind that illegal consonant clusters are
broken with a, the declension for all nouns and adjectives is
|Case ||Ending |
|Nominatve ||- |
|Accusative ||-n |
|Genitive ||-i |
|Dative ||-ste |
|Locative ||-ss(e) |
|Ablative ||-ll(e) |
|Benefactive ||-nte |
|Instrumental||-ul, but -vul for
V stems |
All nouns, pronouns and adjectives are declined this
way. The only tricky part comes in when you deal with plurals. As
noted in the last lesson, a noun is made plural simply by suffixing
-r to a word ending in a vowel and -ir to one ending in
a consonant: nal stone nalir; mave
door maver. When you add any case suffix, however,
the helping vowel -i- goes away in the consonant ending nouns.
So, the genitive plural of nal is nalri not
*naliri. Here are two fully declined nouns:
|mave ||maver ||nal ||nalir|
|maven ||maveran ||nalan ||nalran|
|mavei ||maveri ||nali ||nalri|
|mavevul||maverul ||nalul ||nalrul|
Note two things. First, keep in mind for words
ending in -e that ei is not a proper diphthong in Vaior,
so it is pronounced sort of like eh-ee. That means the
accent for the genitive singular of door is accented on the
syllable in upper case: maVEi. Since the e and i
glide together easily, this sounds like (in English pseudo-phonetics):
Finally, the locative and ablative may drop the
final -e. This is the main application of the rule that when a
word ends in a double consonant, it is accented on the last syllable:
mavelle mah-VEHL-leh and mavell
Pronouns take the case endings, too, so the
dative of va is simply vaste. There are a few
irregularities with a/au and ie we'll save for a later
Use of the cases. While the base meanings and
uses of the cases are quite straightforward, some of the cases have
multiple uses. For example, the accusative indicates not only the
direct object of a verb but indicates destination after prepositions
and verbs of motion (lerai va naren I went there).
We'll start with the basic meanings of the cases below, then the
meanings related to motion. The exotica I'll save for later.
Subjects of sentences use the nominative case.
Nouns of direct address are also in the nominative following the
vocative particle e:
Paio va. I know.
Arau, e Líam! Hi, William!
The accusative is used for the direct object of most
verbs. If some other case is required it will be noted in the
vocabularies. (This usually happens with verbs which have been
compounded with prepositions - these take the case required by the
preposition. More on this later.)
Tuaro va san. I see you.
Han paiai sa asen? Did you understand that?
Faunai vin asen maven. A child shut that door.
Notice that pronouns like ase, even when it
is being used with another word, must also take the case endings.
Since "that door" is the direct object of the last sentence of the
example above, both parts must be in the accusative, asen
maven. This principle holds for all cases and the pronouns. It
also holds for the singular/plural difference:
Faunai vin aseran maveran A child shut those doors
The dative is used for the indirect object of verbs.
In English, "to someone" when giving, offering or speaking. So:
Cathu va carmen naste I will give the book to him.
Evarai na asen miraste. She said that to us.
Evarai na miraste asen. She said that to us.
Notice that if you have both an object and a direct
object they may go in either order, though having the direct object
first is by far the most common.
carme - book
madathinte - pen, pencil; any writing implement which uses ink
AIST - open
CATH - give
EVAR - say; tell
FAUN - close, shut
LAIRH - know (a person, not facts and information).
madath - write (derived, not root stem)
TUAR - see
ach - "and" only connects nouns
Exercises 3a. Tersia 3a.
- Aisto na maven.
- Cathai sa asen carmen vaste.
- Han tuaro sa asun tathan?
- Faunu va maven.
- Cathai na carmen ach madathinten vaste.
- Evaru mir siraste úeru.
- Evarai va asen niraste.
- Han lairho nir san?
- Madathu sa then vaste?
- Han lu lairho asu rhon san? Lo, lairho na van.
- She will tell you soon.
- The woman opened the door.
- What did they write?
- They do not see that pen.
- Did he know that person?
More cases. When something is done on
someone's behalf, or for their benefit, the benefactive case is used:
Aisto va maven nante. I open (the) door for him.
Cathai asu rhon carmen vaste mirante
That man gave a book to me for us.
Both the locative and the ablative are used
primarily to indicate spatial (or temporal) location: the locative
indicates resting location (hence the name) and the ablative indicates
motion away from. As mentioned above, the accusative is used
to indicate motion to or toward something. Note that adverbs of
location, such as nare and thare, may take case endings,
though there is no need to use the locative with those. Some examples
(aldove - home, house):
Lero sa tharen? (To) where are you going.
Lero va aldoven. I'm going home
Lerai na tath narelle. The woman went from there.
Lerai na tath naren. The woman went (to) there.
Notice that whenever motion is involved you
must use the correct case marking. A sentence like *lerai
va nare would mean something like I went (while I was)
The default significance of the location adverbs in
-re is location without motion, so you don't really need the
locative with nare, viare and friends, but you can use
it in situations when you really want to emphasize the location:
Silhai va viaresse I stood here.
Prepositions of location and motion, such as
an in, into and auvi before, in front
of, will govern nouns in the appropriate motion case, too. So,
an milan means into (the) room, an milasse
means inside (the) room and auvi mevelle means
from in front of (the) door. Take care to use the correct
case forms with prepositions.
an milan into the room
an milasse in(side) the room
an milalle from in the room
auvi milan to the front of the room
auvi milasse in front of the room, before the room
auvi milalle from in front of the room
Notice an milalle, which might be surprising
at first. The preposition conveys the idea of "in, inside" but in
this case it has gone with the ablative, motion away from. Thus, it
means "from inside the room." Of course, there is another way to say
that, using ol which has the idea of "out of," but using
an with the ablative really emphasizes the the motion is coming
out from inside of something. So, always keep in mind the fundamental
motion meaning of the cases when you see them with prepositions of
location. If you only notice the preposition, then ignore the case,
you might assume an milalle means something like "into the
room" or "inside the room" which is incorrect.
aldove - house; home
hol - chair, seat (generic, anything for sitting in or on)
mil - room
penthimile - bedroom
apei- - sit down, seat oneself
SILH - stand, stay; remain
TAL - come
an prep. - in, inside of, into
apinu - today
auvi prep. - in front of, before
ei, eia - or
lervinu - yesterday
tavinu - tomorrow
One final note before the exercises: when you have
phrases describing both time and place, in Vaior the phrase describing
time will come first. So leru va tavinu naren I will go
there tomorrow, or, more literally I will go tomorrow
Exercises 3b. Tersia 3b.
- Silho ie hol viare.
- Talai nir tharelle?
- Silho na auvi aldovesse.
- Han silhu sa viare ei nare?
- Han lu talu na tavinu viaren?
- Lerai nir an milan.
- Pentho na asesse milasse. (ase-sse = in this)
- Leru vin penthimilen.
- Silho tha auvi aldovesse?
- Han talu sa viarelle?
- Han lerai vinne auvi holan ei tuhathan?
- Lu silhai va lervinu naresse.
- Talai mir tharen?
- Apeiai vin an penthimilesse.
- (From) where did you (pl) go?
- The man remained there.
- The girl went (to the) front of the house.
- The woman will go to that home tomorrow.
- He stands in front of the door.
- She came from the room.
- Is he here or there?
- We are sitting in a room.
- The boy went from there yesterday.
- Where are you going?
- That man stands before the door.
We'll discuss the uses of the instrumental the next
Derivational affixes. Vaior is quite rich in
derivational suffixes available to it. Most derivation takes place by
suffixes, which may pile up substantially, but there is a very
productive core set of prefixes. When defining these I will use 'X'
to stand for the base meaning of the word. For example, if
-sallac- is defined as "to suddenly stop X-ing", then
tuarsallacai va means I suddenly stopped
As you can see, Vaior derivational suffixes often
have quite complex meanings, at least compared to other languages you
might be familiar with, although the standard complement, causatives,
diminutives and the like, are also present.
From now on each lesson will include several
derivational sufixes. This one will start with the various ways of
switching between nouns, adjectives, etc, as well as a few more
interesting lexical derivations.
First, I have to discuss some of the rules for
when the suffixes need a helping vowel and when they do not. You'll
note in the example of -sallac- above that this suffix was
attached directly to the stem. In the case of AIST,
aistasallacai na she suddenly stopped opening, a
helping -a- is needed. The rules for when you must use a
euphonic -a- below all apply when the stem ends in a
consonant. In the future, we'll see some vowel-ending stems, and I'll
mention the rules for them at that time.
- If the suffix starts with a single consonant:
- if the stem ends in two consonants, use -a-
(aist- + -tuv- > aistatuv-)
- if the stem ends in p, t, c, b, d, g, h or v,
(ap- + -tuv- > apatuv-)
- If a stem ends in a liquid (l, r), a nasal
(n, m) no helping vowel is necessary
(tuar- + -sallac- > tuarsallac-),
- If the stem ends in a fricative consonant (s, rh, th, f,
ch), you don't need the helping vowel
unless the affix starts with b, g, d, h or
v, (madath- + -dim- > madathadim-, but
madath- + -tuv- > madathtuv-). For the
linguisticky types, this means fricatives may not join with
stops or fricatives of different voicing.
- If the suffix starts with two consonants you always
need the helping -a-
(tuar- + -mbov- > tuarambov-)
For a much more detailed look at the rules of
euphony, see this.
While nouns can end in various ways, derived and
compound nouns will almost always end in -e. Also, you can
tack -e to the end of a verb stem to get an action noun:
tuare (the act of) seeing. We'll discuss adjectives
Some nouns end in -e by default, for example,
mave. This is only because words are not allowed to end in
v, generally. When adding suffixes to these nouns, drop the
Derivational Affixes. Here is our first set:
-ati- - diminutive, "small." So,
mil becomes mil-ati-e small room. Notice how
you have to add the -e since this is a noun. You can suffix
this to verbs, in which case it means something like "a little bit:"
tuaratio va asen I saw that a little bit.
-om- - augmentive, "large." So,
aldovome large house, mansion. Again, you can use
this with verbs, meaning something like "a lot, greatly, very much:"
pionomai na carmen he read book greatly.
er- - intentional. This is a prefix. It
is attached to verbs and indicates that the action was performed
with intent. Thus tuaro va means I see but
ertuaro va means I look.
-tuv- - desiderative, "want/wish to X." This
will be strange for most people. Rather than using a separate word
to say "I want to go" Vaior uses a suffix in this case (when you say
"I want him to go" there is another construction): lertuvo
You can pile affixes up, so long as they make
sense: ertuaratituvai va enan I wanted to look (at) it a
er - tuar - ati -tuv -ai va enan.
INTENT- see - DIMIN-WANT-PAST I it.
The suffixes will apply their meaning to the
meaning of everything "to the left." So, ertuartuvatiai va
enan means I wanted a little bit to look (at) it.
Here are some examples of the affixes in use:
- Han lertuvo sa aldoven? Do you wish to go home?
- Piono na carmatien. She reads a booklet.
- Piontuvo va asen carmomen saste. I want to give this
tome (big book) to you.
dive - bed
tollatie - village
tolle - town
tollin - city
CORH - hear
Exercises 3c. Tersia 3c.
- Silhatuvo va viare.
- Ercorhu na vachiran.
- Madathatituvai va naste.
- Silhatuvo asu rhon an aldovomesse.
- Talai nir auvi milalle.
- Lertuvai va lervinu an tollinan.
- Penthatiu na vinatie úeru.
- Ertuarai asu tath then?
- Han lertuvo na ais naren?
- Han lairho sa asun rhonan? Seri, lairhatio va nan.
- Silhatuvo va apinu an divesse.
- Lu fauntuvai vinner maven.
- Cathtuvo va saste asen carmen ach aseran madathinteran.
- Lu ertuartuvo va asen.
- I wanted to listen to you(pl) yesterday.
- Did he go into the cottage (small house)?
- They wish to come to the town tomorrow.
- Do you wish to remain here now?
- The woman gave that man a booklet.
- Where did that person wish to go?
- I do not wish to sleep here now.
- The girl wishes to write to the boy.
- He didn't want to know me.
- She will want to read the tome tomorrow.
- The boys didn't want to sleep in that bed.