Dalcurian does not have a case system per se, which specifically marks subjects, objects and indirect objects (except pronouns which inflect for nom/acc). The language is predominantley word order based. However, there is a case for genitives, but, for the sake of this article, I feel it necessary to point out a traditional argument among grammarians worldwide regarding the difference between 'genitive' and 'possession'.
The argumant is that, if something is 'owned', then the term should be possession: my house, your dog, Jack's car. These can also be reformulated (albeit archaically) with 'of': the house of me, the dog of you, the car of Jack.
But 'of' can also be used when something is 'not' owned: a group of friends, a glass of milk, a bunch of flowers. This is what some would term as purely 'genitive'. I myself am only going to make small distinctions between 'genitive' and 'possession', since Dalcurian grammarians show little significance to this argument. The use of examples should make this clear.
Dalcurian possession is very straight forward in that it's formed with the preposition qve-of and an accusative pronoun (or simply a noun). The following examples equate to the use of a possessive adjective, such as my, our, your, the use of possessive pronouns such as mine, yours, hers, and the use of of such as in friends of mine, glass of milk:
- di abödä qve binöra my house
- di gadöraj qve diöra your dog
- di flästa vötöj qve mæöra his new car
- di didérämös qve Kála Kala's drink
- qömpalel qve binöra my friends/friends of mine
- ni didéragläj qve milecij a glass of milk
Possessive pronouns such as mine, ours, his etc, as with possessive adjectives do not exist in Dalcurian, thus one cannot say that's mine, it's ours etc; a noun will always be present in a possessive sentence:
- Vehiri?, máriÞ séÞa vötöj, gehör . TaÞ di vötöj qve binöra. Who's is this car? It's my car (or can be unliterally translated as it's mine)
For more on this example, see bottom of page.
There is also another possessive construct, as in: the dog's basket, the house window, a chair leg etc. Again, of can be used: the basket of the dog, the window of the house, the leg of the chair. With the exception of the dog's basket, which is clearly possessive, (but relevant here), it could be said that house does not own window and chair does not own leg. However, Dalcurian grammar DOES see this as a form of possession, since a window is a part of the house, and a leg is a part of the chair. THIS is what I would term genitive. However, all 3 translated into Dalcurian will use a 'genitive' case:
- di säj dis gadöraj the dog's bed
- di fenstanäj dis abödä the house window
- ni stötsérämös nisqu siötrij a chair leg
Here, the articles di/ni inflect; they add s when the following word begins with anything other than s, and squ when the following word begins with s.
dis/nis literally translate as of the. The rule here is quite straight forward: if you have to use the/a twice, as in the bed of the dog, a leg of a chair, then use the genitive case.
Double genitives are those such as: my dad's house, Lenny's girlfriend's car, her brother's wife etc. Here, the genitive case is used but the order of the nouns MUST be specific:
- di abödä dis parenöj (qve) binöra my dad's house
- di vötöj disqu siacömpéj (qve) Lenni Lenny's girlfriend's car
- di siavedéj dis beröj (qve) siöra her brother's wife
In the examples, the subject noun goes last: my, Lenny and her. The noun that follows dis is the 'possessor' of the noun that precedes it. This is why noun placement is important. The above examples literally translate as:
- the house of the dad (of) me
- the car of the girlfriend (of) Lenny
- the wife of the brother (of) her
As said, the order of the nouns is very important. Get these wrong and you change the whole meaning (sometimes amusingly):
- di parenöj dis abödä binöra my house's dad
- di siacömpéj dis vötöj (qve) Lenni Lenny's car's girlfriend
- di beröj disqu siavedéj (qve) siöra her wife's brother
NOTE 1: The preposition in brackets is omitted. qve is semantically embedded already with the onset of dis.
NOTE 2: There are 2 easy rules to help you translate a double genitive into Dalcurian (if translating from English):
1: use the of construction; it will be easier to determine the noun order:
- your computer hardrive-the hardrive of the computer of you
- Steven's son's friends-the friends of the son of Steven
2: simply look at your construct and work backwards:
- his wife's brother-Dalcurian order will be: brother-wife-his
About the example in the possessive section above:
- Vehiri?, máriÞ séÞa vötöj, gehör . TaÞ di vötöj qve binöra. Who's is this car? It's my car
The literal translation of the question being asked is: Who, with this car, belongs? It is very stylistic of Dalcurian to ask who belongs with what, rather than whom does this belong.