Nouns in Vrkhazhian

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Vrkhazhian nouns are called maḡimud (singular maḡimu). They are declined for case, gender, and number. Specifically there are five cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, allative, and ablative) and two numbers (singular and plural). Additionally, Vrkhazhian has three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. These genders are based on sex and strictly semantic, thus most nouns, such as inanimate objects, fall into the category of neuter.

Pallug Maḡimun (Noun inflection)

All nouns are declined in one of six cases, which are the nominative, accusative, genitive, instrumental, allative, and ablative.

The Nominative case marks the subject of an intransitive verb and the agent of a transitive verb while the Accusative case marks the object, or patient, of a transitive verb. The Accusative case is denoted with the prefix "tu" and shortened to "t-" before a glottal stop (which is phonetically omitted word-initially). Next, the Allative case is used to indicate movement towards the marked noun while the Ablative case is used to denote movement away from the marked noun. Lastly, the Genitive case is used to mark the possessor of an object such as "Mark" in the sentence "Mark's cat".

ʾuldə (soldier)
Singular Plural
Nominative ʾuld-ə ʾuld-ə-n
Oblique ʾuld-i ʾuld-i-n
xsat-ə (army)
Collective Singulative
Nominative xsat-ə xast-ə-ñ
Oblique xsat-i xast-i-ñ
šama (woman)
Singular Plural
Nominative šam-a šam-a-n
Oblique šam-u šam-u-n
lama (hands, arms)
Collective Singulative
Nominative lam-a lam-a-ñ
Oblique lam-u lam-u-ñ

Noun states

Nouns are also considered to be placed into what are called "states". There are two states: the governed state (taṗšišu), or status rectus, and the construct state (samlilu), or status constructus. The construct state is used in genitive constructions to mark the head noun (possessed noun), while the Genitive case is used to mark the dependent (modifying) noun or adjective. In Vrkhazhian, the head noun and the modifying noun/adjective are called malgigu and palgugu, respectively. Nouns that that are not placed in the construct state are considered to be in the governed state, which is the default state of all nouns.

When a noun is placed in the construct state, it is stripped of all gender marking. Additionally, some nouns who had original vowels that were elided have them restored in the singular, mostly if the removal of gender endings would result in illegal word-final clusters.

smuśə (boundary, liminal space)
Singular Plural
Nominative-Genitive səmul səml-ə-n
Accusative tu-səmul tu-səml-ə-n
Instrumental sa-səmul sa-səml-ə-n
ʾəgəra (stooks of wheat)
Collective Singulative
Nominative-Genitive ʾəgər ʾəgr-ə-ñ
Accusative tu-ʾəgər tu-ʾəgr-ə-ñ
Instrumental sa-ʾəgər sa-ʾəgr-ə-ñ

When monosyllabic nouns are placed in the construct state, the last consonant of the noun has inverse voicing; if the root ends in a voiced consonant it becomes voiceless and if the root ends in a voiceless consonant it becomes voiced. Examples of monosyllabic nouns in the construct state are below:

šada (mouth, language)
Singular Plural
Nominative-Genitive šat šat-ə-n
Accusative tu-šat tu-šat-ə-n
Instrumental sa-šat sa-šat-ə-n
təga (stones)
Collective Singulative
Nominative-Genitive tək tək-ə-ñ
Accusative tu-tək tu-tək-ə-ñ
Instrumental sa-tək sa-tək-ə-ñ

Noun derivation

Vrkhazhian nouns are mostly derived from verbs and there are numerous ways to derive nouns from them:

Dsuri / Dusri Dasrawi Padsuri Dassari

Dsira / Disra Dasraya Madsira Dasrira


dusri/daskar OR dusri/dasyar/desīr disra/duskur OR disra/daswar/dosūr