Poswa irregular nouns
Poswa has a very large number of irregular nouns. Some short nouns can change their entire stem; for example, vwi "wood" changes, in its essive case, to džol. Likewise, blem means "bottle", but the word for "my bottle" is mio.
- 1 Syncopating nouns
- 2 Other irregular nouns
- 2.1 A
- 2.2 B
- 2.3 F
- 2.4 I
- 2.5 K
- 2.6 L
- 2.7 M
- 2.8 N
- 2.9 P
- 2.10 R
- 2.11 S
- 2.12 Š
- 2.13 T
- 2.14 TŠ
- 2.15 U
- 2.16 V
- 2.17 W
- 2.18 Ž
- 3 Nouns utilizing contracted forms of the membership infix -s-
- 4 Scrub
- 5 Notes
Most irregular nouns are syncopating nouns who drop a medial vowel that is present in the nominative form but not in any other forms. These generally end in a consonant in the nominative form, meaning that syncope is impossible. Some nouns behave differently in the possessive stem as compared to the oblique.
|Nominative stem||meaning||Oblique stem|| 1st person
Other irregular nouns
Some y¹ nouns are prone to syncope in their oblique form and forms derived from the oblique.
Syncope is not the only irregularity, however. Some nouns have other unusual quirks, and could be called the irregulars' irregulars. Some of them feature syncope in addition to their other changes.
The declension of baby "all, whole, entire" is below. This is an unusual word because, although it is considered a noun, it is almost always used immediately after another noun and therefore is seen as a modifier. Thus, it becomes unstressed. It thus has undergone the common sound change bVb ---> b in some of its forms but not others.
Note that this word is etymologically identical with the less common plural ending -by and with the pronoun baby meaning "we", but that the three words diverged long enough ago that the meanings have changed:
The declension of bivibos "skin" is below:
- Pisfufi bivibap bomby mabiub.
- I covered all of her skin with soap.
This word is historically a compound meaning "soft skin", where the original word for skin was bivi and was compounded with bos "soft object". Thus, it became irregular as it inherited the irregular declension pattern of bos. Bos is no longer used as a standalone noun, but it can appear as a suffix on other nouns, sometimes with the simple meaning "soft" and sometimes with the extended meaning "skin, peel".
The declension of bis "substitute, replacement" is below. Note that this word, like baby, was originally an unstressed form of another noun; in this case, biris, which was first syncopated to bris and then simplified to bis. These were both regular sound changes for unstressed syllables, but not for stressed syllables:
Note that the inflected forms of this word (that is, all but the nominative standalone form) do not have syncope, and thus retain the original /i/ as -e-, because another sound change happened first that removed the environment necessary for the syncope. Also, in some words, the sound change of bris --> bis did not happen, but these words decline the same way as the words ending in bis since the -r- had been removed in all of the inflected forms by another sound change anyway. Also, the full form of the word, biris, is still used as a word by itself, and it has a similar series of forms, the only difference being that the original -i- remains -i- instead of changing to -e-. Thus one can say
- Bamba mumbebap pypembaba.
- The baby is holding up her pacifier.
Below is the declension for blem "bottle":
Below is the declension for blub "milk":
Thus one can say:
- Tus,₁ bom₂ blwe₃ miom?₄
- Is that₁₂ your milk₃ in my bottle?₄
Note that another common, and very similar, word for milk exists: bub. Bub specifically denotes human breast milk. The two words are related at a very deep level, as blub was long ago originally a compound with bub as its second element, despite the fact that blub has a wider range of meaning. The two declensions are exactly identical save for the presence or absence of the -l- in all forms. Below is the declension for bub "breast milk":
Thus one can say
- Plefi!₁ Tus₂ nobellam₃ bufeba₄ bwul?₅
- Whoa!₁ This₄ ice cream₃ is₂ made from your breast milk?₅
The declension of fefappo "metal; hard firm object" is below:
- Puvapopi tallobi šaliašub fefappwiba.
- I opened the door with my metal key.
- Pwawam, swombyži potibemwop fefappwi.
- Please, buy me the hard candy.
The declension of kuvar "asymmetrical sphere; irregularly shaped bubble" is below:
The declension of labal "bed" is below:
- Lablies sentažwum boša.
- Your bed's pillows are soft.
The declension of mimap "clumsy person, cripple" is below:
This word is often used to denote someone with a disability. It originates from a term denoting something draped over a person, as if to imply that if that person could remove what was on top of them, they could be healthy again. Thus, mimap is often preceded by a word describing a disease or disability.
The declension of mipis "sweetheart, lover" is below:
The declension of mom "mom" is below:
For auditory precision, the 3rd possessive forms are often replaced with the otherwise archaic mia- stem, which is the original regular stem of the word. Thus one can say
- Mammas! Mias!
- His mom's! His mom's!
The mama forms were originally a formal word, and mom was a familiar term, but the two partially switched places when Poswa changed its grammar somewhat and the words for "my mother", "your mother", and so on became three syllables long. For example, the mia above that survives as an alternate form was, at the time, *mugwaba. Mama came to take over because it was a noun of such an old type that it had effectively monomorphemic forms for its possessives, not needing to take a suffix such as -abo.
The declension of mum "nipples (dual)" is below:
Because of their brevity, the possessed forms of this noun are convenient but can be easily missed in a conversation since the stem of the noun is reduced to a simple v-. They are also homophonous with several short words, although due to the grammar of Poswa, this does not often lead to confusion. Nevertheless, the possessed forms of this noun are often avoided in favor of using the compound noun mumblop "nipple eyes", or papom "breast nipples" (which declines in the same way as mum).
The declension of pamaš "winter" is below:
Thus one can say
- Swo, blob blubo nambvap pampos.
- I sleep with my window open in winter.
The declension of pes "hands; hand (plural)" is below:
This noun does not normally take a plural suffix since it is seen as plural by default.
- Pwopwa₁ pifas₂ plopum₃ pilabel.₄
- The children₁ dipped₄ their hands₂ in the paint.₃
Note that the verb is intransitive and that the word for "their hands" is in the possessive case rather than the accusative.
The declension of pešaf "book, poem, work of literature" is below:
Thus one can say:
- Pešiom₁ pwaefae!₂
- You're sitting₂ on my books!₁
Note that this is an intransitive verb and that there is no object in this sentence.
Pešaf is a variant of the more common peššaf, which is regular. There is also another variant, pepaf, which declines the same way as pešaf.
The declension of pfop "hips (dual)" is below:
Note that this is the dual form of the word, not the plural, and thus is only used to describe one person's two hips.
Many of this word's forms collide with those of the unrelated word pwap "buttocks" (see below). The primary verb for walking, puwap, is originally derived from pfop, as one walks by moving the hips, but because of the collision, it appears equally proper to relate it to pwap "buttocks" instead. Indeed, pwap is also an acceptable variant form of puwap, as it has been reanalyzed.
For further clarity, fep "side" can be added to specify the hips, which turns the word into a regular noun. However, this is mostly done with the singular word for hip rather than the dual.
Note that Poswa uses the dual form in many cases where an English speaker would expect the singular:
- Putšos mupawabub babužvabbi.
- My hip measurement is seven hands.
Using the singular form puvos would be generally understood but would imply that only one hip was measured.
The declension of pfwu "diaper" is below:
Thus one could say
- Bwumbom₁ pfwem?₂
- What's that₁ in your diaper?₂
The 2nd person possessed forms of this word collide with the free forms of the historically related word #pypae "hat". Though neither word is analyzed as a compound in modern Poswa, historically both were compounds, with the shared initial element indicating that hats and diapers are both articles of clothing worn to protect people from unwanted moisture. In modern Poswa, both pfwu "diaper" and pypae "hat" are used as standalone words, but compound forms such as plumpypae "rained-on hat" are not unknown. An example of an analogous form that is a synonym for diaper is pompwu. This word is difficult to translate into English morphemically because all possible English translations are euphemisms.
- note, they would just use pfwupop.
The declension of piraf "goal, planned victory" is below:
Note that piraf and pešaf do not follow similar patterns because the origins of their final /fʷ/ are different. Pešaf comes from Babakiam peišafu, and piraf comes from Babakiam pivafiu.
Note also that this word is often seen as the second element of the compound bespumpiraf which has the same meaning.
The declension of pobba "oak tree" is below:
Thus one can say
- Pupopi bipempupebi.
- I climbed up my oak tree.
- Lypel pobbam pwabapaba.
- The squirrel is hiding in an oak tree.
- Pampeftio pobbel.
- My arrow is made of oak wood.
The declension of pobbas "war" is below:
- Potibi pobbavas fub bibubbies.
- I fought in the war against the spiders.
- Bum pobbavopub waporbub!
- Let us win our war!
The declension of pop "bathtub, bathing area; shower stall" is below:
Thus one can say
- Bwumbebe₁ pwarbiep₂ poppem?₃
- What did you do₁ to the bubbles₂ in the bathtub?₃
The declension of poppel "pen for writing, especially one made from a feather" is below:
Poty can refer to either of two unrelated words in Poswa. One means "candy", the other means "soldier". Confusion does not usually present itself as the two meanings are very distinct. Both nouns are irregular and are irregular in the same way. They have been homophonous for more than 4000 years. Both are used primarily in compounds, either as the first or last element, although using them in free-standing form is not incorrect. The declension of poty "candy; soldier" is below:
This pattern would be considered regular if the noun were longer; the sound change /tʷ/ > /p/ is found regularly in longer nouns. However, in words of only one syllable, because the first syllable is always stressed, the expected change is /tʷ/ > /pf/. The discrepancy exists because the shorter form was generalized from compounds.
Pube is a stem-changing noun, like most nouns that end in -be. This is due to a very old sound change of /bi/ > /ž/ when followed by a vowel. The declension of pube "plant, plants in general" is below:
Thus one can say
- Pubes₁ beblalio₂ rappa,₃ bubum?₄
- What's₄ the name₃ for these plants₁ growing on me?₂
The declension of pumes "hip" is below. Pumes is a partly suppletive noun which also has a suppletive dual and plural form (listed separately):
Thus one can say:
- Puvo puvapwop sapwel.
- My hip opened the swinging door.
- Puvo pamwiržom bavbažel.
- My hip was injured by the wine glass.
Note that nonliving objects such as wine glasses are inanimate in Poswa, and thus cannot be the subject of a sentence even when they are in motion and would be considered the agent of the verb in languages such as English. Thus, a passive verb is needed. The sentence above translates literally as "My hip was injured on the wine glass," with the wine glass in the locative case.
The declension of pupu "round object" is below. Note that this word does not normally occur by itself, as it is homophonous with several other words. Rather, it appears as the second element of various compounds:
Note that the very common word pobby "wheel" uses this morpheme (technically, a related one) at the beginning of the word, rather than the end, and therefore does not follow this pattern of declension. Instead, it declines normally.
The declension of pwap "buttocks (dual)" is below:
Note that this is the dual form of the word, not the plural, which is pres (which is also irregular) or prebum (which is regular).
- Pintatšopi pwatšom pampam pebwebi.
- I placed my ticket into my back pocket.
Note that only pwatšom "butt" is marked with a possessive suffix, because the possessive does not carry over to modifiers, even if they are semantically also possessed.
The free forms of the word, except for the nominative, are the same as those of pfop, the dual form of the word for hips. This has led to the verb for "to walk", originally derived from pfop "hips", to be reinterpreted as having been derived from pwap "buttocks" instead, as pwap was a more common word and the two stems were homophonous. More recently, that verb, originally derived from the accusative, has been reinvented as a nominative stem by analogy with most other verbs, which overwhelmingly build from the nominative. But it is the nominative form of pwap, rather than the original pfop, which is used. Thus in Poswa both pwap and puwap are verb stems meaning "to walk", and have no significant difference in meaning.
The declension of pypae "hat, cap, protection from rain" is below:
Many of the forms of this word collide with forms of #pfwu "diaper". The two words are related, as they both describe articles of clothing that protect the wearer from wetness. This has led to the neologism plumpypae, by analogy with plumpapa "umbrella". The second morpheme in plumpypae declines identically to pypae except that it loses its -f- in all forms in which it appears in pypae. Thus one hears
- Plumpwepi swombebi.
- I bought a hat.
However, some speakers prefer to switch the other morpheme out in place of pfwu itself, effectively making the word for hat into a word that means "rain diaper". This has the advantage of being a syllable shorter in the possessed forms. Since both forms are acceptable, an individual speaker can vary between one and the other in the same sentence, meaning that the resulting hybrid word has suppletive possessives.
The declension of sabas "man, adult male human" is below:
The declension of tos "capable" is below:
The declension of tones "party, celebration" is below:
The declension of twu "water" is below:
Note that most of the forms of this word collide with those of #twub "urine". Thus one should be careful using sentences like
- Tšiopi bwurbub!
- Let me drink my water!
Without being mindful of the pissibility of alternative interpretations. Nevertheless, just as Poswobs generally do not have a problem with mentioning potty problems in polite company, they do not find coincidences such as this as disturbing as most of their neighbors do, and have happily gone on using a word that means both "water" and "urine" for hundreds of years (in the much longer history before the recent sound changes, the two words were still distinct, as they still are in Pabappa). Nevertheless, when clarity is needed, other words can be pulled into use, such as rumu, a synonym for water in general, or a compound with more specific meaning such as satwu "drinking water" or listwu "bathwater". There are some semantic differences here; for example, putting the two words in the locative case, twom means "wet", but rumom means "in the water", implying that the water is stably surrounding something.
On the other side of the divide, one can use a compound such as potwub "down-(flowing) urine" or replace the term entirely with a word such as pypo, which literally means water flowing downhill but has come to be used as another word for urine. Nevertheless, none of these terms have driven the tw- words out of their positions as the primary terms.
The declension of twub "urine" is below:
- Tšie poppu, vwom waebwos.
- My urine sample is ready for the lab.
Most of the forms of this word are identical to the forms in the same positions for #twu "water". This is a coincidence, as the two words are unrelated and are distinct in close relatives such as Pabappa, where the word for urine is wupur and the word for water is wap. The coalescence happened only a few hundred years ago, and although the Poswobs have alternate words available to express these concepts, they are generally pushed into use only when confusion could result. The situation is plain enough that it would be seen as strange to substitute one of the less-used words solely for the sake of euphemism.
Note that the corresponding verb forms are formed from the nominative, which is the only form wherein the two words differ. Thus, the verbs are distinct, and both are regular:
- Sambvabiepi₁ tuwebi.₂
- I watered₂ the flowers.₁
- Žuftam šoššam twirebi.
- I peed in the puddle on the floor.
The declension of wiwi "tooth; sharp object; to blow forcefully" is below:
- Tašepi₁ nabi₂ wiwiub.₃
- I carried₂ the apple₁ with my teeth.₃
- I need something sharp!
Note that the corresponding verb is regular.
- Džopfabbiopi wiwibebi.
- I blew on the candles.
The declension of wup "message, information, data" is below:
- Wupiopi puvebe, pa?
- Did you hear my message?
Nouns utilizing contracted forms of the membership infix -s-
Many nouns use contracted forms of this affix. For example, ta "human" does not become taso "I'm a human", but rather to. Thus, there exists a Poswa word with more morphemes than phonemes. However, this word is normally used as a suffix appearing at the end of a longer word such as sittuta "doctor". The necessary sound changes to make this contraction could not have happened in the standalone form, and were generalized from the much more common suffix form.
Most of these nouns are words for humans, since only humans could use the 1st and 2nd person forms of the resulting contracted verbs. However, some of the nouns that contract are words for animals, such as džimi "snail, slug":
- Mapsipufos džimpa pummatšem batia.
- My pet, a slug, is crawling up your leg.
Or even common inanimate objects such as wupe "book, learning resource". That is, someone writing a book on biology might title it something such as
- Peppapa wa pubebum pupipum: Wupa
- Animals and plants of the world: A book
Examples of nouns with membership contractions
Most nouns with membership contractions are those in which sound changes have silenced the -s- that normally marks membership in a class. Those that were irregular in other ways but retained the -s- tended to be quickly restored to a regular form. Words in which the bare form is obsolete in standard speech are marked in the left column with an asterisk; however, educated speakers may sometimes use them when context is clear.
|Noun stem||Meaning||3rd person form||Notes|
|mapo||girl||mappa||earlier maptsa --> mappsa --> mappa|
|ta||human; agentive suffix||ta||Used almost exclusively as the agentive suffix in words such as sittuta "doctor"|
|poty||soldier||potwa||Not usually applied to the homophonous word poty meaning "candy".|
|piššop||mouse||piššopwa||collides with theoretical verb "to mouse"|
|*sum||dolphin||sympa||The bare form sum is not normally used in general discourse|
|sumpapapa||dolphin||sumpapapa||sympa (see above) is more common|
|tabo||mollusk, that which has a seashell||tapwa||this is a fossil word, using infixed -a- instead of suffixed -a|
|*uma||woman||umpa||Not in dictionary; this word is rarely used in bare form|
|popa||child, offspring||popa||Not used in the sense "child; young person", but rather only to indicate descendants|
|wembapop||parent(s)||wempa||Membership contractions are independent of number, so the dual suffix -pop disappears|
|pwopol||mature, elderly||pwopa||-pui > -pol, but -puis- > -pes- > -ps- > -p-|
|pipa||toddler||pipa||behaves in many cases as a suppletive for pwopwa|
|pavy||student, trainee, recently enlisted soldier||panta||originally regular; Babakiam pa niu ----> pavy, but pa nius ba --> panysa --> panisa --> pantsa --> panta|
|baemu||nurse||baempa||This word might make more sense if it began with be-|
|*pib||man, adult male human||pipwa|
|wampa||babysitter||wampa||Implies a teenage girl; however, sometimes used by small children for their teachers|
|pappi||teenager (boy or girl)||pappa|
|tae||toddler||tapa||used primarily in the 2nd person|
|šyso||young adult (man or woman)||šyssa|
|pisa||young (said of animals)||pissa|
|šul||fish||šes||An example where -s is preserved|
In terms of address, membership contractions are so common that Poswobs have subconsciously selected for words that have them over words that do not. In some cases, the agentive suffix -ta has been added to words in order that they fit into this category. For example, the military ranks bapsata, sužata, and boprata were originally standalone nouns without the suffix -ta, in keeping with the terms for lower ranking soldiers such as poty and pavy, but because their phonetic shape did not allow them to change during the time when membership contractions were taking place, the speakers of Poswa added the -ta by mental association with other words and they therefore came to have membership contractions after all. Words ending with the suffix -ta are not listed above because they are considered to be accounted for in the entry for ta itself.
Use of terms of address
Poswobs of both sexes are more likely to use words for children to address others and to denote oneself than to describe third parties. This is largely because context allows a two-person conversation freer use of terms of address, including those that are not literally true.
In fact, one of the most popular terms of address for adults of both sexes is tae "toddler". This word is rarely used literally, appearing almost exclusively in membership words and in compounds such as taempom "playground, place where toddlers play". However, the word pipa, which also means toddler, is usually reserved for literal usage; calling out
- Hey, kid!
Could turn the faces of nearly an entire room around, but someone who says Pipe! instead will draw the attention only of the very young.
The only commonly used words for adults, uma and pib, are both obsolete as standalone terms, rarely appearing outside of compounds. However, unlike tae, they are still commonly used for third-person address:
- Pupsafos umpa kuva.
- My female boss is sick.
Use of tense markers with membership verbs
Membership verbs, like other verbs, conjugate for tense as well as person. Thus one can say
- Pipipies, pipepaži.
- When I was a toddler, I was blonde.
blank noun table:
The declension of NOUN " " is below:
- And no, it's not a loan from English.
- Seems to rely on a double sound change, which is impossible. The expected outcome is actually fefappytos, etc.
- earlier pfwop
- This is /popʷ/, not related to pop "couple, double, twins". Previously wrote ;DELETE THIS. IT CHANGES FROM STRONG O TO WEAK O, AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STRESS.
- This is actually a regular noun, although the declension pattern is found only in nouns ending in -pu. Also, this could possibly provide suppletion for pyp "insect", as that noun was found mostly as the second element of a compound, and in some compounds pupu ---> pyp anyway.
- From a previously existing pybžo. Normally, this would actually change to bybžo, but inflections that change the entire word are often analogized.
- If analogy kicks in. Previously, it would have been pfwu, which is also the word for diaper. But this collision would have happened more than 4000 years ago, so it would likely have been resolved at a very early date.
- Could be an error for tobwes. Since this is just ton with an infix, this word assumes the infix was regularized to treat -ui-- as a single unit, thus becoming a plain /e/ rather than /ʷe/.
- Earlier had umu, possibly a typo.
- However, it could be twurebi if we assume that the original form was retained instead of changing due to analogy with most other -ub verbs.
- Note that the theoretical standalone form of this would actually be pa, not *ta, because the earlier forms of these syllables were /psa/ and /tsa/, and Poswa had never allowed word-initial ts-, instead automatically replacing it with ps-.
- Help?! Where does this word come from?