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, accusative, genitive, and equative) and two numbers (singular and plural). Additionally, Vrkhazhian has three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine, and inanimate. The assignment of gender to nouns is mostly non-arbitrary and determined by common, though not exhaustive, sets of criteria.

Nouns that are often feminine:

  • female humans, spirits, and deities
  • domesticated/safe animals
  • seemingly animate things like rivers, oceans, and wind

Nouns that are often masculine:

  • male humans, spirits, and deities
  • wild/dangerous animals
  • seemingly animate things like storms and fire

Nouns that are often inanimate:

  • still-moving things like trees, mountains, buildings, and tools
  • abstract concepts, including actions and states
  • collective nouns regardless of animacy
  • etc.

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 accusative (ACC) case indicates the object or patient (receiver/target) of a verb ("Henry sees Sam", "Henry gave Sam a pencil", "John wrote to Mary").
  • The genitive (GEN) case indicates the possessor of another noun ("That is Sam's dog", "That pencil is mine").
  • The equative (EQU) case indicates likeness or equivalence to the marked noun ("these knifelike nails", "they stood tall like kings")
strong masculine noun
rēbim (man, husband)
Singular Plural
Nominative rēb-im rēb-īm
Accusative rēb-is rēb-īs
Genitive rēb-in rēb-īn
Equative rēb-ili rēb-īli
strong feminine noun
surgum (chicken)
Singular Plural
Nominative surg-um surg-ūm
Accusative surg-us surg-ūs
Genitive surg-un surg-ūn
Equative surg-uli surg-ūli
strong neuter noun
arśas (vessel)
Singular Plural
Nominative arś-as arś-ās
Accusative
Genitive arś-aḫ arś-āḫ
Equative arś-ali arś-āli
weak masculine noun
ezîm (boar)
Singular Plural
Nominative ez-îm
Accusative ez-îs
Genitive ez-în
Equative ez-îli
weak feminine noun
mazûm (sea, saltwater)
Singular Plural
Nominative maz-ûm
Accusative maz-ûs
Genitive maz-ûn
Equative maz-ûli
weak neuter noun
kapâs (drinking water)
Singular Plural
Nominative kap-âs
Accusative
Genitive kap-âḫ
Equative kap-âli

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 the removal of the case endings and a change or removal of the gender-marking vowel. The construct state is used when a noun is modified by another noun that is either in the genitive case or the equative case. 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-ē
Accusative
Genitive rēb-i rēb-ī
Equative rēb-eli rēb-ēli
surgum (chicken)
Singular Plural
Nominative surug surg-ā
Accusative
Genitive surg-u surg-ū
Equative surg-ali surg-āli
arśas (vessel)
Singular Plural
Nominative araś arś-ā
Accusative
Genitive
Equative arś-ali arś-āli
ezîm (boar)
Singular Plural
Nominative ezu ez-ê
Accusative
Genitive ez-î
Equative ez-êli
mazûm (sea, saltwater)
Singular Plural
Nominative mazi maz-â
Accusative
Genitive maz-û
Equative maz-âli
kapâs (drinking water)
Singular Plural
Nominative kapi kap-â
Accusative
Genitive
Equative kap-âli

Noun derivation

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