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Ádeyan Noun Morphology


3.1  Definiteness and Specificity


Nouns in Ádeyan are marked for definiteness and specificity.  Definiteness is marked by the presence (or absence) of the definite article, yu.  Specificity is marked by infixing th after the final vowel of nonspecific noun, optionally adding e if this results in a coda cluster.


Definite nouns refer to things that have already been mentioned in or which can be inferred from the context.  All definite nouns are marked, even ones that are names or proper nouns.  Without the definite article, names mean something like "a person named X" instead of just "X", whereas with the definite article they refer to someone who has already been mentioned in the context.  For example:


Yun Jan-rin
DEF.3P John-is

That is [a person called] John.







Jan thúnarice
DEF John leave.SIMP.PAST

John left.






Jan menanáce
John arrive.SIMP.PAST
[Someone else called] John arrived.






Specific nouns refer to specific things, while nonspecific nouns refer to general, theoretical, hypothetical, unimportant, or unquantifiable things.  For example:


Jeth yun lida fanaríce
Cat DEF.3P mouse eat.SIMP.PAST
A cat ate that mouse.  (Indicates that the speaker saw the cat, and can verify that it exists.)







Jeththe yun lida fanaríce
Cat.NSPC DEF.3P mouse eat.SIMP.PAST
Some cat or something ate that mouse.  (Indicates that the speaker did not see the cat(s) and cannot verify the quantity, etc.)







Jeththe lidath faríla
Cat.NSPC mouse.NSPC eat.GEN.PRES
Cats eat mice (generally).





Technically speaking, something cannot be both definite and nonspecific, but in Ádeyan marking a noun for both definiteness and nonspecificity is used to mean "all of the..", as in:


yu zíothne thúnarice
All the men left.





(See Verbal Morphology for explanation of the verb forms, and Basic Syntax for explanation of rin, and Pronouns for an explanation of yun and its gloss.)



3.2  Coda-Dropping Roots


Ususally, when nouns attach onto other nouns or verbs, they are unchanged in the compound - for example, the root nído attaches onto the -yan suffix to form nídoyan and likewise to the -ref suffix to form nídoref.  However, some noun roots that end with a consonant drop that consonant when they are put in front of another root that begins with a consonant.  For example, when zíon is put in front of nido, it drops the final n and becomes zíonido, whereas xún, a non-coda-dropping root, combines with it to form xunnído, with the n being pronounced twice.  The exception to this is when the noun precedes a classifier.


3.3  Classifiers


Ádeyan nouns are divided into a number of different classes, each of which has a classifier associated with it, which is sometimes appended to nouns in the assocated class.  Not all nouns in any given class have the classifier appended, and some have multiple classifiers (in which case they belong to the class associated with the last classifier).  The classifiers themselves are shortened forms of words or roots.  More basic nouns usually do not have classifiers; they are more common on compounds, and mandatory on most pronouns.  Some nouns can appear with or without a classifier, in which case the classified is usually either a proper name or is "stronger" in some way - for example, xun by itself means "moon", but the classified noun Xunra is the name of a goddess; thelas by itself means "river" as a generic noun, while Thélasra is the name of an actual river in Ádeya.  Sometimes a classifier of one class can affix to a noun whose meaning is associated with another class, which changes the meaning of the noun into something associated to the original meaning, but which semantically belongs to the new class.  For example, ade by itself means "desert", which is semantically a class -ra noun.  When it is given the -ra classifier (Ádera), it refers to the actual desert in the southern part of Ádeya; when it is given the -ya classifier (having to do with groups of people and cultures) it becomes Ádeya, or the people who come from the desert.


Ádeyan has the following classifiers:

Classifier Origin Semantic Group
-ra rámen (Ádeyan word for "nature") Natural phenomena, weather, geological formations, supreme rulers, or anything considered to be in the jurisdiction of gods, or seen as eternal or inherently true in some way.
-ya yadó (Ádeyan for "group") Groups of people, organizations, large-scale agreements, culture or cultural traditions, settled communities, races, governmental organizations and bodies.
-yen yehd (Proto-Wohaiehn for "man" or "person"; this root carried over into modern Wohaiehn as the -ieh suffix, but not into modern Ádeyan) -yen has a rather limited use and is usually reserved for people and names of people.  Older Ádeyan occasionally had -yen in place of the more common -zion suffix (zion is from the Syûzin word zyon).
-ke kécar (Ádeyan for "animal") Large, slow-moving animals, desert-dwelling animals, burrowing animals, body parts typically associated with them, things that last more than 10 years, large or heavy durable objects generally.
-ju dzyërû (Syûzin for "animal") Small, fast-moving animals, mountain-dwelling animals, tree-dwelling animals, flying animals, body parts typically associated with them, things that last less than 10 years or go bad quickly, small, light, easily replaceable objects.
-soc sócte (Ádeyan for "year") Annual things, yearly celebrations and events.
-ri rína (Ádeyan for "month") Seasons, seasonal things, months, large round or cyclical things,
-tha tha (Ádeyan for "day") Daily things, household items, easily discarded items, pleasantries and social niceties, meaningless or useless things, garbage.
-fi ficíth (Ádeyan for "hidden") Extremely small things, quickly moving things, very repetitive things (especially machinery), unreliable or untrue things, confusing things, hidden or disguised things, dishonest or generally bad things.


When -yen and -soc are affixed to a noun which has a coda, the initial y or s are dropped, leaving -en and -oc.


On to Pronouns.

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