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Nominals in Cernelian are declinable word classes, including nouns, adjectives, numerals, or (demonstrative, personal, interrogative) pronouns. Unlike that of Finnish or Estonian that those have large number of grammatical cases (15 or 14), Cernelian has simplified it to 8 cases. Due to the influence of Slavic languages, Cernelian developed animacy.

Grammatical cases

There are 8 grammatical cases in Cernelian:

Grammatical cases Cernelian name Usual endings (singular) Usual meanings
Nominative nominatiw -∅ none
Accusative akuzatiw , -∅ (object)
Genitive genitiw , -y (of, 's)
Dative datiw , to
Locative lokatiw -so, -sie, -cho, -sze in, on
Ablative ablatiw -sto, -ście from
Instrumental instrument -nie from
Vocative wokatiw -so, -sie, -cho, -sze (calling, -!)

All of the grammatical case names has the alternative forms in -ę ptódziemo, e.g. nominatiwę ptódziemo.

Precise functions

  • Nominative:
The subject of the clause (Żoworz czelpiew "Żoworz[1] baths")
Used with numbers 2, 3, and 4 (in the case of plural) (kósz koło "two fishes")
The object of copulative verb oło "to bath" (iniemnię czelpiew ciesie óm Żoworz "the person bathing here is Żoworz")
  • Accusative:
The telic (completed) object of the clause (Żoworz czelpiew kirę "Żoworz completed bath with the shower")
  • Genitive
Possession (toło Żoworzę "Żoworz's house")
Before postpositions and after postpositions (poło óm piejdzię)
Used with numbers 5 and above (in the case of plural) (wisz kołedzię "five fishes")


  • 1st declension: Nominals ending in -o, and it is the largest group of nominal declension by number.
  • 2nd declension: Nominals ending in -e, also as the soft variant of 1st declension.
  • 3rd declension: Nominals ending in soft -∅.
  • 4th declension: Nominals ending in hard -∅, including sonorants.
  • 5th declension: Nominals ending in or (n-stem).
  • Irregular nominals: Numerous nominals that declined irregularly, like long stems, s-stems, and consonantic stems uncovered in 4th declension.

Declension names, are ordered according to corresponding Proto-Finnic stem types in alphabetical order.

Stem type Proto-Finnic Cernelian Finnish Meaning Corresponding declension
unrounded a-stem *kala koło kala fish 1st declension
rounded a-stem[2] *kulma kiełmo kulma summer


Adjectives, like nouns, correspond to one of the declension types, like toso would end in -o, so it must classified as declension type 1A. However, adjectives has both animate and inanimate declensions (anim. vs. inan. toso), as a result of Finnic syncretism in accusative and genitive cases further influenced by Slavic. Adjectives are also must agree in case and number with the noun they modify, for example nominative syrz toło "big house", but dative syrzę tołoję and plural syrze toło (nominative plurals are usually indistinguishable from singular).

Comparative of adjectives end in -ępo (-iępo after velars) in the 1st declension, -iępo in 2nd and 3rd, -ypo (-ipo after velars) in 4th. It placed to the weak grade (toso, tępo "rare, rarer"). Superlatives are formed by prefixing naj- to the comparative (tępo, najtępo "rarer, rarest"). The only adjective with completely irregular comparatives is iwie, porzępo "good, better", where the comparative is suppletive.


Singular Plural
Nominative syrz toło
"the big house"
syrze toło
"the big houses"
Accusative Inanimate syrz toło
"the big house (obj.)"
syrze toło
"the big houses (obj.)"
Animate syrzę mią
"the big man (obj.)"
syrze mie
"the big men (obj.)"
Genitive syrzę tołę
"of the big house"
syrzedzię tołodzię
"of the big houses"
Dative syrzę tołoję
"to the big house"
syrzą tolą
"to the big houses"
Locative syrzsze tołoso
"in the big house"
syrzysze tolocho
"in the big houses"
Ablative syrzsto tołosto
"from the big house"
syrzysto tolosto
"from the big houses"
Instrumental syrznie tołonie
"from the big house"
syrzynie tolonie
"from the big houses"
Vocative syrzsze tołoso!
"the big house!"
syrze toło
"the big houses!"

Specific alterations

  • In the 3rd and 4th declensions (except sonorant stems), last vowels -ę- and -o- becomes -ą- and -ó- (póch : gen. pochię "thick", chącz : chęczę "breath").
  • In some nouns that contain final Proto-Cernelian yers (ь/ъ), the vowel -(i)e- sometimes deleted (čьvь : čьvęczew : czwie "stone").
  • Endings containing initial -i- becomes -y- after consonants c, cz, dz, , rz, sz, and ż (icze : dat. pl. iczyję "age").
  • Like Estonian and Finnish, Cernelian exhibits consonant gradation. See more at Cernelian/Phonetics and orthography.
  • Palatalizations of stem's final consonant (jołk-o "foot" → jołdz-oso, jołc)
    • Unless noted, letters are palatalized as -Ci(V)- (/ʲ(j)/).
    • Letters orthographically containing acute accent (like ć, ź, ś, ...) are written as above, except the accent was removed (ś-si(V)-).
    • chsz.
    • ddź/dziV.
    • gcz used in endings affected by first palatalization, otherwise dz.
    • kcz used in endings affected by first palatalization, otherwise c
    • łl.
    • rrz.
    • tć/ciV.
    • Endings affected by first palatalization are in red, while affected by second palatalization are in green.
  • Before non-palatalized (including historically ones) consonants, and *e becomes a and (i)o (*jȅko : pl. *jȅjoko : je "time").
  • Cernelian exhibits final obstruent devoicing that not reflected in the orthography, see more at Cernelian/Phonetics and orthography.


  1. Żoworz in Cernelian is the counterpart of English George.
  2. By analogy, rounded a-stem simply dies