Nouns in Vrkhazhian

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Vrkhazhian nouns are called ğanūm (singular ğanum). They are declined for case, gender, and number. Specifically there are four cases (nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, and vocative) and two numbers (singular and plural). Additionally, Vrkhazhian has two grammatical genders: masculine and feminine. When referring to humans, deities, and certain higher-order animals, masculine refers to beings and animals of the male sex while feminine refers to beings and animals of the female sex. When referring to lower-order animals, masculine refers to wild animals (e.g. sammalim "crocodile") while feminine refers to domesticated animals (e.g. ḫuzum "horse"). When referring to plants and non-living entities, masculine refers to more inanimate entities (e.g. adgim "sand") while feminine refers to more animate entities (e.g. mazûm "sea").

Noun inflection

Imperial Vrkhazhian nouns are declined for all five cases. Cases are the forms and suffixes that nouns take when they occur in certain parts of a sentence. The six cases are thus:

  • The nominative (NOM) case indicates the subject or agent (doer) of a verb ("Henry runs to the store", "Henry sees Sam").
  • The vocative (VOC) case indicates a direct addressee ("Henry, what are you doing?", "the future is now, old man").
  • The accusative (ACC) case indicates the primary object or patient (receiver/target) of a transitive verb. ("Henry sees Sam", "Henry gave Sam a pencil", "John wrote to Mary").
It can also indicate the object of certain adpositions ("under the table").
  • The instrumental (INS) case indicates the secondary object or theme (given object/instrument) of a transitive verb. ("Henry gave Sam a pencil", "She showers him with love", "They peeled the apple with a knife").
rēbim (man, husband)
Singular Plural
Nominative rēb-im rēb-īm
Vocative rēb-ī
Accusative rēb-is rēb-īs
Instrumental rēb-ik rēb-īk
surğum (chicken)
Singular Plural
Nominative surğ-um surğ-ūm
Vocative surğ-ū
Accusative surğ-us surğ-ūs
Instrumental surğ-uk surğ-ūk
ezîm (boar)
Singular Plural
Nominative ez-îm
Vocative ez-î
Accusative ez-îs
Instrumental ez-îk
mazûm (sea, saltwater)
Singular Plural
Nominative maz-ûm
Vocative maz-û
Accusative maz-ûs
Instrumental maz-ûk

Noun states

Nouns are also considered to be placed into what are called "noun states". In Vrkhazhian, there are only two states: the absolute state, or status absolutus, and the construct state, or status constructus. This form of the noun is marked by a change in the vowel of the case endings or, in the case of the nominative and vocative singular, the removal of said vowel. The construct state is used primarily in possessive constructions to mark the head (modified or possessed) noun rather than the dependent (modifying or possessing) noun, but this form is also used in some predicative expressions. This is also the form the noun takes when possessive suffixes are attached. Nouns that that are not placed in the construct state are considered to be in the absolute state, which is the default state of all nouns.

rēbim (man, husband)
Singular Plural
Nominative rēb rēb-ā
Vocative
Accusative rēb-as rēb-ās
Instrumental rēb-ak rēb-āk
surğum (chicken)
Singular Plural
Nominative suruğ surğ-ā
Vocative
Accusative surğ-as surğ-ās
Instrumental surğ-ak surğ-āk
ezîm (boar)
Singular Plural
Nominative ezu ez-â
Vocative
Accusative ez-âs
Instrumental ez-âk
mazûm (sea, saltwater)
Singular Plural
Nominative mazi maz-â
Vocative
Accusative maz-âs
Instrumental maz-âk

Noun derivation

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