Ithkuil: A Philosophical Design for a Hypothetical Language

   

 

 

   
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Chapter 4: Case Morphology

  4.1 Semantic Role versus Positional Slot 4.5 The Associative Cases
  4.2 Morpho-Phonological Markers for Case 4.6 The Temporal Cases
  4.3 The Transrelative Cases 4.7 The Spatial Cases
  4.4 The Possessive Cases 4.8 The Vocative


In this chapter, we analyze one additional morphological category: Case. Like the seven categories analyzed in the previous chapter, and unlike other languages, the category of Case applies to all formatives in Ithkuil, i.e., to both nouns and verbs alike. However, the syntactical context in which Case operates is sufficiently dissimilar for nouns and verbs to warrant separate analysis. In this chapter, we will analyze the case morphology of nouns alone. The use of Case with verbs will be analyzed in Section 5.2.

Anyone who has studied German, Latin, Russian, Classical Greek or Sanskrit, is familiar with the concept of Case. Case generally refers to a morphological scheme in which a noun, whether via internal mutation of its phonemes or via affixes, shows what grammatical “role” it plays in the phrase or sentence in which it appears. For example, in the English sentence It was me she saw, the use of the word ‘she’ as opposed to ‘her’ and the use of ‘me’ as opposed to ‘I’ distinguishes the subject of the sentence (the person seeing) from the object of the verb (the one being seen). Similarly, in the German sentence Der Bruder des Knaben sah den Mann (= ‘The boy’s brother saw the man’), the words ‘der’, ‘des’ and ‘den’ distinguish the subject of the sentence ‘brother’ (nominative case) from the possessor ‘boy’ (genitive case) from the object ‘man’ (accusative case).

The concept of “case” can extend far beyond the notions of subject, object and possessor. Depending on the particular language, there may be noun cases which specify the location or position of a noun, whether a noun accompanies another or derives from another or is the recipient of another. In general, noun cases in those languages which rely upon them often substitute for what in English is accomplished using prepositions or prepositional phrases. The process of adding affixes or changing the phonetic structure of a word in order to show a noun in a particular case is known as declining a noun, and the various permutations of a noun into its cases are known as its declensions.

There are 96 cases in Ithkuil, comprising 72 main cases, and 24 Comparison cases. The Comparison cases serve specialized functions associated with the verbal category called Level and are discussed separately in Section 6.2.4. The 72 main cases are dealt with in this chapter.


4.1 SEMANTIC ROLE VERSUS POSITIONAL SLOT

In most languages, case operates at the surface structure level of language to signify arbitrary grammatical relations such as subject, direct object, indirect object. The deeper level of “semantic role” is ignored in terms of morphological designations. The notion of semantic role can be illustrated by the following set of sentences:

(1a) John opened the door with the key.
(1b) The key opened the door.
(1c) The wind opened the door.
(1d) The door opened.

In each of these sentences case is assigned based on “slot”, i.e., the position of the nouns relative to the verb, irrespective of their semantic roles. Thus the “subjects” of the sentences are, respectively, John, the key, the wind, and the door. Yet it can be seen that, semantically speaking, these four sentences are interrelated in a causal way. Specifically, Sentence (1b) results directly from sentence (1a), and sentence (1d) results directly from either (1b) or (1c). We see that the case of the noun ‘key’ in sentence (1a) is prepositional, while in sentence (1b) it is the subject. Yet, the key plays the same semantic role in both sentences: the physical instrument by which the act of opening is accomplished. As for the noun ‘door,’ it is marked as a direct object in the first three sentences and as a subject in the fourth, even though its semantic role in all four sentences never changes, i.e., it is the noun which undergoes a change in its state as a result of the act of opening. The noun ‘John’ in sentence (1a) is marked as a subject, the same case as ‘key’ in (1b), the ‘wind’ in (1c) and the ‘door’ in (1d), yet the semantic role of ‘John’ is entirely different than the role of ‘key’ in (1b) and different again from ‘door’ in (1c), i.e., John is acting as the conscious, deliberate initiator of the act of opening. Finally, the noun ‘wind’ in (1c), while marked as a subject, operates in yet another semantic role distinct from the subjects of the other sentences, i.e., an inanimate, blind force of nature which, while being the underlying cause of the act of opening, can make no conscious or willed choice to initiate such action.


4.1.1 Case as Indicator of Semantic Role

The case structures of Western languages mark positional slot (i.e., grammatical relations) only, and have no overt way to indicate semantic role, thus providing no way of showing the intuitive causal relationship between sets of sentences like those above. In Ithkuil, however, the case of a noun is based on its underlying semantic role, not its syntactic position in the sentence relative to the verb. These semantic roles reflect a more fundamental or primary level of language irrespective of the surface case marking of nouns in other languages. Thus Ithkuil noun declension more accurately reflects the underlying semantic function of nouns in sentences. Consequently, the Western grammatical notions of “subject” and “object” have little meaning or applicability in Ithkuil grammar.

The following semantic roles are marked by noun cases in Ithkuil. They correspond roughly to the “subjects” and “objects” of Western languages:

AGENT: The animate, (and usually conscious and deliberate) initiator of an act which results in another noun undergoing a consequent change in state or behavior, e.g., ‘John’ in Sentence (1a) above.

FORCE: An inanimate, unwilled cause of an act such as a force of nature like ‘wind’ in Sentence (1c) above.

INSTRUMENT: The noun which functions as the physical means or tool by which an act is initiated or performed, e.g., ‘key’ in Sentences (1a) and (1b) above.

PATIENT: The noun which undergoes a change in state or behavior as a result of an act initiated or caused by itself or by another noun, e.g., ‘door’ in all four sentences above.

 


4.1.2 Additional Semantic Roles

Additional semantic roles corresponding to subjects and objects in Western languages exist in Ithkuil as overt noun cases. These include the roles of ENABLER, EXPERIENCER, STIMULUS, RECIPIENT, and CONTENT, and are explained below using the following set of sentences as illustrations.

(2a) Mary hits the children.
(2b) Mary entertains the children.
(2c) Mary sees the children.
(2d) Mary tells the children a story.
(2e) Mary wants children.

Examining these five sentences, we notice that the noun Mary is in the subject slot in all of them and the children is the direct object (except in the fourth sentence), even though the semantic roles of both nouns are entirely different in each of these five sentences. Beginning with Sentence (2a) we see that Mary is an AGENT which tangibly causes injury or pain to the children who obviously function in the role of PATIENT. Thus (2a) is identical to sentence (1a) in terms of the roles portrayed by the subject and direct object.

In Sentence (2b) however, Mary entertains the children, there is a subtle distinction. At first we might consider Mary an agent who initiates a change in the children (i.e., the fact that they become entertained). But, in fact, the act of entertainment is not one whose result (enjoyment by the audience) can be guaranteed by the party doing the entertaining. In fact, the result of the act of entertainment is not Mary’s to determine, but rather the children’s, based on whether they “feel” a sense of enjoyment at experiencing Mary’s act. And so, Mary is more like a patient here, not an agent, as she is undergoing a change in her state or behavior (she is performing an attempt to entertain) which she herself has chosen to initiate and undergo, yet the act has the potential to cause a resulting change in the children, the success of this motivation to be determined by the children, however, not Mary. Such a semantic role as Mary here is termed an ENABLER. And how do the children make the decision as to whether they are entertained or not (i.e., what is their semantic role?). Can the children deliberately or consciously choose to feel a sense of enjoyment, or are they not themselves unwilling “patients” to their own emotional reactions? In case grammar, a party such as the children who undergo an unwilled experience are termed EXPERIENCERS. Besides emotional reactions, such unwilled experiences include autonomic sensory perceptions (e.g., parties that see or hear because their eyes were open and pointed in a particular direction or who were within earshot of a sound), and autonomic bodily reactions or responses as well as proprioceptive sensations (e.g., coughing, sneezing, perspiring, feeling hot or cold, feeling pain, etc.).

This notion of EXPERIENCER is likewise illustrated by Sentence (2c) Mary sees the children, in which the verb ‘see’ denotes an automatic sensory experience, not a deliberately initiated action. In other words, it is the nature of the sense of sight to function automatically whenever a person is conscious and his/her eyes are open. The verb ‘see’ does not necessarily imply a conscious or deliberately willed action of “seeing” (as would be implied by the verb ‘to look [at]’). Therefore, the “action” is automatic and uninitiated; it is, in fact, not an action at all, but rather an experiential state which the person doing the seeing undergoes. In other words, the person seeing is actually a kind of “patient,” as it is he/she who undergoes the experience of (and physical or emotional reaction to) the particular sight. Such undergoers of sensory verbs and other unwilled states (e.g., emotional states or reactions, autonomic bodily reactions such as sneezing, physical states of sensation such as being hot or cold, etc.) are categorized in the role of EXPERIENCERS. And what of the children’s role in sentence (2c)? Unlike the first three sentences, the children do not undergo any action. Certainly the process of “being seen” by Mary does not in itself cause a physical change or reaction of any kind in the entity being seen. Nor can the children be analyzed as “initiating” the act of sight, as they may be completely unaware that Mary is seeing them. As a result, the children’s semantic role is merely that of STIMULUS, a neutral, unwitting originating reason for the experiential state being undergone by the other noun participant.

In Sentence (2d) Mary tells the children a story, Mary is a patient who initiates the action which she herself undergoes, the telling of a story. The children do not undergo an unwilled emotional, sensory, or bodily reaction here, but rather are the passive and more or less willing RECIPIENT of information, the role of an “indirect object” in Western languages. The story, on the other hand, is merely a non-participatory abstract referent, whose role is termed CONTENT.

The role of CONTENT also applies to the children in Sentence (2e) Mary wants children, where they function as the “object” of Mary’s desire. Since no tangible action is occurring, nor are the children undergoing any result of change of state, nor need they be even aware of Mary’s desire, they are, like the story in sentence (2d), merely non-participatory referents. As for Mary’s role in (2e), the emotional state of desire, being unwilled, self-activating, and subjectively internal, creates a situation similar to an automatic sensory perception or autonomic body response; thus, Mary’s role is again that of EXPERIENCER.


4.1.3 Argument Structure

In addition to case being based on semantic roles, Ithkuil differs in another important respect from natural languages in that it does not have a default argument structure for its verbal formatives.  This is explained below.

The individual verbs of natural languages each have an implied argument structure, i.e., a pattern of how nouns (i.e., “arguments”) interact with the particular verb and what formal role (from a morpho-semantic perspective) each of those nouns plays in relation to the verb.  For example, the verb “hit” in English implies the existence of an agent (i.e., someone doing the hitting) and a patient (i.e., someone undergoing the effect/result of the hitting), as in “He hit the dog.”  A different argument structure is illustrated by the verb “give” which implies an agent doing the giving, a patient undergoing the receiving, and a noun functioning in the semantic role of content, i.e., the item being given/received.

The grammar of natural languages specifies the requirements of which arguments to a verb must be present for a sentence to be grammatical and which arguments are optional.  This is illustrated, for example, in the following English sentences (ungrammatical sentences are preceded by an asterisk): 

3a)    Sam gave the girl a book.
3b)    Sam gave a book.
3c)    Sam gave.
3d)  * Sam gave the girl.  (Intended meaning:  Sam gave something to the girl.)
3e)  * Gave the girl a book.  (Intended meaning:  The girl was given a book or Someone gave the girl a book.)
3f)  * Gave the girl.  (Intended meaning:  The girl was given something, or Someone gave something to the girl.)
3g)  * Gave a book.  (Intended meaning:  Someone gave a book.)
3h)  * Gave.  (Intended meaning:  Someone did some giving, or Giving occurred).

In sentence (3a), all three arguments to the verb “gave” are expressed, while in sentence (3b) the patient/recipient has been deleted.  Sentence (3c) deletes both the patient/recipient and the CONTENT argument.  In sentence (3d) however, when we try to delete the CONTENT argument of book while preserving the patient/recipient, the sentence requires syntactic restructuring into Sam gave [something] to the girl in order to remain grammatical (the asterisk * in front of the sentence indicates it is ungrammatical).  Likewise, sentences (3e), (3f), (3g) and (3h) are ungrammatical when we try to delete the agent, as well as either or both of the other two arguments as well, requiring paraphrasing to make the intended meaning grammatical).

Compare the above group of sentence containing the verb ‘gave’ with the sentences below featuring the verb ‘broke’:

4a)    Tim broke the window with a hammer.
4b)    Tim broke the window.
4c)    The hammer broke the window.
4d)    The window broke.
4e)    *The hammer broke.  (Intended meaning:  The hammer broke something.)
4f)    *Tim broke.  (Intended meaning:  Tim broke something, or Tim did some breaking.)

Notice how sentence (3c) above, Sam gave, is grammatical, but the similarly structured sentence (4f) Tim broke is not.  Conversely, notice in comparing sentences (4a) and (4d) that the patient window is grammatical in both object and subject slots, but similarly placing the patient girl from sentence (3a) into subject slot gives the ungrammatical sentence *The girl gave (with intended meaning:  The girl was given something or Someone gave the girl something.)

Other examples of constraints on argument structure in English are illustrated as follows:

Bill cut the cake with a knife can be shortened to Bill cut the cake, but the syntactically identical She put the book on the shelf cannot be shortened to *She put the book.

Treatment healed my wounds can delete its agent to give My wounds healed, but the similar Treatment cured my wounds does not allow agent-deletion to *My wounds cured.

As can be seen, languages such as English are very haphazard in the various constraints on argument structure applied to individual verbs.  Sometimes it is possible to delete arguments but at other times doing so results in an ungrammatical sentence, even though a semantically equivalent paraphrase exists. Ithkuil has no such constraints on its argument structure.  As long as a sentence makes sense semantically and the relationships between explicit or implied arguments and their verb can be determined or inferred, then the Ithkuil sentence will be grammatically permissible.  This is possible because nouns in Ithkuil are marked for semantically-based case, as well as the fact that verbs are marked for Function, a category we will explore Section 5.1.

 


4.2 MORPHO-PHONOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR CASE

Case is shown in different ways in Ithkuil depending on whether the case is being manifested in conjunction with a formative or a personal reference adjunct (explained in Section 8.1). For formatives, the 72 primary cases are shown by one of 72 forms of the vocalic affix Vc.


I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
(((Cv)
VL)
Cg/Cs)
Vr
(Cx/Cv
Vp/VL)
Cr
Vc
Ci +Vi
Ca
VxC
(Vf
(’Cb))
[tone]
[stress]

Phase +
Sanction
(+ Illocution)

Valence
Validation
OR
Aspect
(+ Mood)
Pattern +
Stem +
Function
Incorp.Root
OR
Phase + Sanction
(+ Illocution)
Pattern + Stem + Designation of Incorp. Root
OR
Valence
Root
Case
Illocution +
Mood
Essence +
Extension +
Perspective +
Configuration + Affiliation
Deriv.
Suffix
Context + Format
Bias
Version
Designa-
tion


The particular Vc suffix-values are given in the Table 7 below. The names and function of each case are explained beginning in Section 4.3 below.

 


Table 7: Values for Vc by Case
(for Cases 1 through 72. For Vc values for Cases 73 - 96 see Section 6.2.4)

1 OBL

a

13 PRP

î / û

25 PUR

e’

37 CMM

au

49 AVR

eu’

61 ALP*

oi’V

2 IND

u

14 GEN

ê

26 CSD

o’

38 COM

eu

50 CMP

ou’

62 INP*

ëi’V

3 ABS

e

15 ATT

ô

27 ESS

ea

39 CNJ

iu

51 SML*

a’V

63 EPS*

au’V

4 ERG

o

16 PDC

ëi

28 ASI

eo

40 UTL

ou

52 ASS*

e’V

64 PLM*

eu’V

5 EFF

ö

17 ITP

öi

29 FUN

41 ABE

ëu

53 CNR*

i’V

65 LIM*

iu’V

6 AFF

i

18 OGN

ae

30 TFM

oa

42 CVS

öu

54 ACS*

o’V

66 LOC*

â’V

7 DAT

ü / a’e

19 PAR

ia / ua

31 REF

oe

43 COR

ai’

55 DFF*

u’V

67 ORI*

ê’V

8 INS

ai

20 CRS

ie / ue

32 CLA

öa

44 DEP

ui’

56 PER *

ö’V

68 PSV*

ô’V

9 ACT

ei

21 CPS

io / uo

33 CNV

öe

45 PVS

ei’

57 PRO*

ü’/ ëu’V

69 ALL*

î’V/û’V

10 DER

ui

22 PRD

iö / uö

34 IDP

üa / i’

46 PTL

oi’

58 PCV*

ai’V

70 ABL*

ëu’V

11 SIT

oi

23 MED

a’

35 BEN

üe / ö’

47 CON

au’

59 PCR*

ei’V

71 NAV*

ou’V

12 POS

â

24 APL

u’

36 TSP

üo / î’ / û’

48 EXC

iu’

60 ELP*

ui’V

72 VOC
ë

* Cases 51 – 71: The V represents a vowel form whose default value is -a-. However, if the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV, then optionally, V takes the value of the Vr affix and the Vr affix is deleted from Slot IV, e.g., opral declined into the SML case becomes either opra’al or pra’ol.


For personal reference adjuncts, which correspond roughly to personal pronouns in other languages, case markers are dependent on various factors, as explained in Section 8.1.

We are now in a position to examine the different noun cases in detail. We will start with the group of cases which correspond to “subjects” and “objects” in Western languages.



4.3 THE TRANSRELATIVE CASES

The Transrelative cases refer to eleven cases used to identify nouns functioning as participants to a verb, what in Western grammatical terms would be referred to as “subjects” and “objects” and most likely marked as either nominative, accusative, or dative. It is these cases which more or less correspond to the semantic roles identified in Sec. 4.1 above. The eleven transrelative cases are the OBLIQUE, ABSOLUTIVE, DATIVE, ERGATIVE, EFFECTUATIVE, INDUCIVE, AFFECTIVE, INSTRUMENTAL, ACTIVATIVE, DERIVATIVE, and SITUATIVE. Following are explanations of the function and usage of each case.

Actual Ithkuil examples of these cases in use are provided in Section 4.3.12.


4.3.1
OBL
The Oblique Case

The OBLIQUE case is marked by the Vc value -a-. As described above in Section 4.1.2, the OBLIQUE identifies the semantic role of CONTENT, whether it is something given to a RECIPIENT, or the non-causal abstract content of an experiential state, e.g., a memory recalled, something desired, something feared. It would thus be used in translating sentences such as Sam gave me a book, The child likes cereal. It is also the case associated with existential identification, what in English would be the subject of the verb ‘to be’ when referring to the intrinsic identity or static description of a noun as in the English sentences That boy is blind or The house was built of wood. The OBLIQUE, being the semantically most neutral case, is also the citation form of a noun (i.e., the form in which the noun would be listed in a dictionary).

 

4.3.2
IND
The Inducive Case

The INDUCIVE case is marked by the Vc value -u-. The INDUCIVE identifies a noun which undergoes a self-initiated action, i.e., the noun is a PATIENT of an agential action in which the AGENT and the PATIENT are the same. Note that this does not necessarily imply reflexive action (i.e., doing something to oneself). It would be used in sentences such as The boy jumped, He sang, The dog barked all night, or She danced to the music, in which the party initiating and performing the action are one and the same.

 

4.3.3
ABS
The Absolutive Case

The ABSOLUTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -e-. As described in Section 4.1.1 above, the ABSOLUTIVE identifies the semantic role of PATIENT of an agential action, where the agent-initiator is a different party than the patient who undergoes the resulting action. Note that in sentences with patient subjects, the agent or instrument of agency need not be overtly expressed. Examples of English sentences translatable using the ABSOLUTIVE would be The boy hit the girl, She forced him to do it, The bird fell from the sky, The prisoner died during the gun battle.

 

4.3.4
ERG
The Ergative Case

The ERGATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -o-. The ERGATIVE identifies the semantic role of AGENT, i.e., a noun which initiates a tangible action undergone by another party (the PATIENT), as described in Section 4.1.1. Note that sentences involving an ERGATIVE agent need not overtly express the patient noun. Examples of English sentences translatable using the ERGATIVE would be The boy hit the girl, She forced him to do it, That murderer kills for fun.

 

4.3.5
EFF
The Effectuative Case

The EFFECTUATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ö-. The EFFECTUATIVE identifies the noun acting in the semantic role of ENABLER, as described in Section 4.1.2 above. This is the noun which initiates a causal chain of events, ultimately resulting in a final event. An example would be pulling out the plug of a filled bathtub thereby causing it to empty. This case should therefore be carefully distinguished from the ERGATIVE case. Ergatively marked nouns imply that the action undergone by the patient is the same action directly initiated by the agent, whereas EFFECTUATIVE nouns imply a chain or series of cause-and-effect actions. For example, in the Ithkuil translation of the sentence The clown emptied the blood from the tub, the clown could be marked either as an AGENT by means of the ERGATIVE case, or as an ENABLER using the EFFECTUATIVE case. The former would mean the clown poured out the blood himself, while the latter would mean he let it drain (i.e., by pulling the plug). Such case distinctions eliminate the need for Ithkuil to have separate verbs for ‘to drain,’ ‘to pour’ or ‘to empty.’ The Ithkuil verb used in translating the sentence would simply mean ‘to remove.’

Note that the EFFECTUATIVE case is commonly used with the ENB affix -ls to show the degree or nature of the enabling cause. With this suffix, sentences can be produced which specify whether the enablement is via giving of consent or permission, by persuasion, by subtle indirect influence, by removal of a hindrance, or even by inaction.

 

4.3.6
AFF
The Affective Case

The AFFECTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -i-. The AFFECTIVE denotes a noun whose semantic role is that of EXPERIENCER, as described previously in Section 4.1.2, the noun which undergoes a non-causal, non-initiated (and unwilled) experiential state, whether internally autonomic in nature or as the result of an external stimulus. Examples of such states would be automatic sensory experience; autonomic bodily reactions such as yawning, sneezing, coughing, blinking, itching, feeling sleepy, pain, feeling ill, feeling cold or warm; automatic reactions to external stimuli such as shock, flinching, ducking, raising one’s arms to avoid sudden danger; as well as any unwilled emotional state such as love, hate, fear, anger, surprise, joy, wistfulness, shyness, regret, anxiety, etc.

Example sentences requiring the use of the AFFECTIVE case would be The baby is coughing, The lightning startled her, Mortimer loves his vittles, Uncle Davey slept till noon, My back itches me.

Note that if the experiential state is willfully brought about by the noun undergoing it, the INDUCIVE case would be used, since the noun is deliberately initiating an action in order to induce the experiential state. For example, compare the sentence The children smiled with glee (marked using the AFFECTIVE) with The children smiled on cue (marked using the INDUCIVE).

 

4.3.7
DAT
The Dative Case

The DATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ü- or, if the Cr root ends in a -w or -y, it is marked by the Vc value -ae’-. The DATIVE has two functions in Ithkuil. Similarly to Western languages, it marks indirect objects of verbs of giving and telling, i.e., the semantic role of RECIPIENT of a noun transferred via an act of giving, donation, lending, or other transference of possession, or the hearer to who something is said, told, recounted, etc, as described in Section 4.1.2 above. Secondly, like some Western languages (e.g., Russian), Ithkuil uses a dative construction in lieu of any verb ‘to have’ in reference to possession or attribution. It would therefore be used in translating sentences such as We're giving you a present, Jason lent a dollar to his sister, Please grant me a wish, The student has three books, Those mountains have a mysterious quality.

 

4.3.8
INS
The Instrumental Case

The INSTRUMENTAL case is marked by the Vc value -ai-. As described previously in Section 4.1.1, the INSTRUMENTAL denotes a noun which functions as the INSTRUMENT or means utilized by an AGENT in accomplishing an action or bringing about a state. It is usually translated by English ‘with.’ Examples of usage would be She killed him with a knife, The man tripped over my foot, The password got him inside. The INSTRUMENTAL is also used to mark translations of an inanimate “subject” noun when its logical function is as the instrument of an unstated agent, e.g., compare I pressed the button with my finger with My finger pressed the button, both of which would be identical in Ithkuil except for the latter sentence’s missing agent, I.

Note that the INSTRUMENTAL does not translate ‘with’ in its meaning of ‘along with’ or ‘accompanied by’ (see the COMITATIVE case below in Sec. 4.5.20) as in She arrived with her father. Nor is it used to show the resources or materials consumed in performing an act. For example, in the sentence He cooks with tomatoes (see the COMPOSITIVE case in Sec. 4.5.3), it is not the tomatoes that cook the food, therefore the INSTRUMENTAL would not be used, whereas in He fueled the fire with wood it is the wood that fuels the fire, thus requiring the INSTRUMENTAL case.

 

4.3.9
ACT
The Activative Case

The ACTIVATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ei-. The ACTIVATIVE identifies a noun engaged in or subject to a mental or metaphysical state which, as a concurrent result, creates a hypothetical, “unrealized” situation which can potentially be made real by further action. Such unrealized situations can be illustrated by the sentence Frank must go to Chicago, in which no actual travel to Chicago has occurred and, in fact, may not occur. Similarly, in the sentence Mother needs to rest, no resting has yet occurred and may not. In both sentences, the event which would “fulfill” the state described remains an unrealized hypothetical, at least from the perspective of the speaker. Similar hypothetical events or states are found in the sentences The students want you to sing, Everyone expected you to laugh, or Joe will demand that I stay. Note that many of these constructions in English involve the use of “modal” verbs such as want, need, can, must, etc.

Notice that the subject of these English sentences (Frank, Mother, the students, everyone, Joe) are functioning neither as AGENTS nor PATIENTS, since the modal verbs of which they are the subject do not identify as-yet actualized events, only states of unrealized potential. These subjects are essentially EXPERIENCERS undergoing a mental or metaphysical state of wanting, needing, obligation, expectation, hoping, wishing, being able to, etc. However, such experiencers must be differentiated from would-be experiencers “within” the hypothetical situation. For example, in the sentence Sam wants Shirley to love him, it could become ambiguous if Sam and Shirley are both marked as EXPERIENCERS using the AFFECTIVE case. Consequently, Ithkuil uses the ACTIVATIVE case to mark the subject whose mental or metaphysical state creates a concurrent hypothetical, as-yet unrealized situation. All of the subjects in the example sentences from the previous paragraph (i.e., Frank, Mother, the students, everyone, Joe) would be so marked. In Section 6.1 we will see how the ACTIVATIVE is used in conjunction with a morphological category for verbs termed Modality to create such hypothetical states and situations.

 

4.3.10
DER
The Derivative Case

The DERIVATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ui-. The DERIVATIVE serves two functions in Ithkuil. Firstly, it identifies an inanimate FORCE of nature (as described in Sec. 4.1.1) or abstract causative situation which causes a PATIENT noun to undergo an action, as in The wind blew down the door, or Fame threatened his freedom. The use of the DERIVATIVE instead of the ERGATIVE or the EFFECTUATIVE denotes that such inanimate agential forces or abstract enabling situations cannot consciously or willingly initiate actions, but rather are merely circumstantial initiating causes. Therefore the resulting act, event, or state is seen more as having derived from this force or situation, as opposed to being willfully or consciously caused. In this function, a noun in the DERIVATIVE can often be translated using phrases such as ‘due to, owing to, on account of, because of, as a result of.’ Nouns in the DERIVATIVE can also appear in appositive constructions (i.e., in a noun-to-noun conjunction) where the noun in the DERIVATIVE denotes the abstract cause or reason for the other noun, e.g., the danger of fame, love’s heartache, wind song.

The second function of the DERIVATIVE case is to identify the non-agential, unconscious or non-deliberate STIMULUS of an affective mental state, emotion, or autonomic sensory experience, as in The coffee smells good, I saw her today, She hates that boy, Victor coughed from the gas, We laughed at his jokes, That song makes me cry. Ithkuil grammar views the stimulus of an experiential state as having a similar role to that of an abstract circumstantial or situational cause (as in the above examples); this explains why the DERIVATIVE case serves to indicate both functions.

 

4.3.11
SIT
The Situative Case

The SITUATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -oi-. The SITUATIVE identifies a noun as the background context for a clause. It is similar to the DERIVATIVE case immediately above, except it does not imply a direct causative relationship between the background context and the act, condition, or event which occurs. It is translatable into English by various circumlocutions, as shown in the following examples:

Because of war, our planet will never be able to join the Federation.
Given the presence of clowns, we must accept the corruption of our children.
Using my plan, we will defeat the enemy.



4.3.12 Examples of Transrelative Cases in Use

The following are examples of various Ithkuil sentences showing how assigning different transrelative cases to the noun participants (i.e., the arguments to the verb) allows for various changes in meaning, regardless of argument structure.  As can be seen, the English translations of many of these sentences often require word order changes, word-substitution, even outright paraphrase, all in order to accommodate the constraints on English argument structure.


Roots used: -zb-  informal Pattern 1, Stem 1 ‘anger; be angry/feel anger’               --  formal Pattern 1, Stem 2 ‘clown’

STA = STATIVE function                                  DAT = DATIVE case
DYN = DYNAMIC function                                 IND = INDUCIVE case
AFF = AFFECTIVE case                                 GEN = GENITIVE case
SIT = SITUATIVE case                                      ABS = ABSOLUTIVE case
DER = DERIVATIVE case                               OBL = OBLIQUE case
ERG = ERGATIVE case                                   LOC = LOCATIVE case

‘be angry/feel anger’    

‘I/me’

‘clown’

MEANING

Azbal
STA

ti
AFF

ekšóil.
SIT

             LISTEN 
‘I’m angry because of the clown (clown can’t help it, not at fault).’ / ‘I’m angry because there’s a clown.’ / ‘I’m angry at the presence of a clown.’

Azbal
STA

ti
AFF

ekšúil.
DER

‘The clown (unwittingly) makes me angry.’ / ‘I’m angry at the clown (something he’s done has made me angry).’

Azbal
STA

ti
AFF

ekšól.
ERG

‘The clown (deliberately) makes me angry.’

Azbal
STA

ti
AFF

èkšöl.
EFF

‘What the clown has (deliberately) started/caused makes me angry.’

Azbal
STA

ti
AFF

èkšül.
DAT

‘My angry state is directed toward/affects the clown (i.e., the clown notices/reacts to my anger).’

Azbal
STA


DAT

ekšíl.
AFF

‘I notice/feel that the clown is angry at me.’

Azbal
STA


EFF

ekšíl.
AFF

‘What I (deliberately) started/caused makes the clown angry.’

Azbal
STA

to
ERG

ekšíl.
AFF

‘I (deliberately) anger the clown.’

Azbal
STA

tui
DER

ekšíl.
AFF

‘I inadvertently anger the clown.’

Azbal
STA

toi
SIT

ekšíl.
AFF

‘My being here angers the clown.’

Azbal
STA

tu
IND

ekšóil.
SIT

‘I make myself angry at the presence of the clown.’

Azbal
STA

tu.
IND

--

‘I (deliberately) make myself angry.’

Azbal
STA

.
DAT

--

‘Someone is behaving angrily toward me.’

Azbal
STA

.
EFF

--

‘I’ve (deliberately) started/caused something that makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

to.
ERG

--

‘I (deliberately) anger someone.’

Azbal
STA

tui.
DER

--

‘I (inadvertently) anger someone.’ / ‘What I’ve done makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

toi.
SIT

--

‘My presence makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

ti.
AFF

--

‘I’m angry.’ /  ‘I feel anger.’

Azbal
STA

--

ekšúl.
IND

‘The clown (deliberately) makes himself angry.’

Azbal
STA

--

èkšül.
DAT

‘Someone is behaving angrily toward the clown.’

Azbal
STA

--

èkšöl.
EFF

‘The clown has (deliberately) started/caused something that makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

--

ekšól.
ERG

‘The clown (deliberately) anger someone.’

Azbal
STA

--

ekšúil.
DER

‘The clown inadvertently angers someone.’ / ‘What the clown does makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

--

ekšóil.
SIT

‘(The presence of) the clown makes someone angry.’

Azbal
STA

--

ekšíl.
AFF

‘The clown is angry.’ / ‘The clown feels anger.

Azbal
STA

--

--

‘There is a feeling of anger.’ /  ‘There is anger.’


Same sentences as above but with DYNAMIC Function to convey action rather than state, i.e., angry behavior or physical display of anger rather than mere internal feeling of anger.

Izbal
DYN

ti
AFF

ekšóil.
SIT

 
‘My display of anger/my angry behavior was because of the clown (with the clown being unaware of it and not its fault).’

Izbal
DYN

ti
AFF

ekšúil.
DER

‘My display of anger/my angry behavior was due to the clown (without the clown being necessarily aware of it).’

Izbal
DYN

ti
AFF

èkšül.
DAT

‘My display of anger/my angry behavior affected/intimidated the clown.’


More examples of transrelative case patterns:

-k’-  formal Pattern 3, Stem 2 ‘burn’                            -ph-  informal Pattern 1, Stem 1 ‘tree’

burn

1m

tree

MEANING

Iek’ás
DYN

to
ERG

phel.
ABS

         LISTEN 
‘I burn the tree.’

Êk’ás
STA

--

phel.
ABS

‘The tree burns.’

Iek’ás
DYN

--

phul.
IND

‘The tree burns itself.’ / ‘The tree makes itself burn.’

Iek’ás
DYN

to.
ERG

--

‘I cause something to burn.’ / ‘I burn.’ [meaning:  I cause burning to happen]

Iek’ás
DYN

.
EFF

--

‘I cause something to burn (through a chain of events).’ / ‘I burn.’ [meaning:  I cause a chain of events leading to burning]

Iek’ás
DYN

te.
ABS

--

‘I burn/am burning.’ / ‘Something burns me.’

Iek’ás
DYN

tu.
IND

--

‘I burn myself.’ / ‘I make myself burn.’

Iek’ás
DYN


EFF

phel.
ABS

‘I cause the tree to burn (through a chain of events).’

Iek’ás.
DYN

--

--

‘Something’s doing some burning.’ / ‘Something’s making some burning happen.’

Êk’ás.
STA

--

--

‘Something’s burning.’ / ‘There’s burning happening.’


Other patterns are possible.  For example, the following chart shows patterns that can be used to translate variations on English ‘I hit my leg with a rock’, or ‘I hit myself on the leg with a rock’, or ‘A rock hit me on the leg.’

-č-  informal Pattern 1, Stem 1 ‘physical contact’ + FRC1/7 -->  čalosk ‘hit/strike’
-pr-  informal Pattern 2, Stem 1 ‘leg (as physical body part)’
-kt-  formal Pattern 1, Stem 1 ‘(piece of) rock’
= ‘I’ in genitive case referring to owner of the leg; combines as a prefix ê- with the various transrelative case forms of ‘I’ such as to, tu, te, etc. to give forms such as êto, êtu, êti.

hit/strike

I

my leg

rock

MEANING

Ičalosk
 DYN

êto
GEN / ERG

oprel
ABS

aktáil
INS

         LISTEN 
Implies an intentional act against my leg, where my leg is seen as being an entity subjectively separate from myself, thus I am the agent while the leg is the patient.  Translation: ‘I (intentionally) hit my leg with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

opral
OBL

aktáil
INS

In this pattern, the leg is no longer seen as a patient separate from myself as the agent.  Rather, I am both agent and patient (i.e, I’m initating the action against myself), and the role of the leg is de-emphasized to being merely a referent for the act of hitting, i.e., it is I who got hit, not the leg; the leg is merely the part of me that got hit. Consequently, The closest English translation would be ‘I (intentionally) hit myself with a rock on the leg,’ using a locative construction “on the leg” not present in the Ithkuil sentence.  A stilted, but more accurate translation might be ‘I (intentionally) “leg-hit” myself with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN / ABS

opral
OBL

aktáil
INS

This sentence masks an implied agent, emphasizing myself as the patient/victim, while, as in the sentence immediately above, the leg is reduced to merely a referent for the hitting, its status as a patient and as the location/site of the hitting suppressed.  About the only way to show this suppression of agency in English is with a passive construction or a pseudo-passive construction using the verb ‘get’:  ‘I am/get (intentionally) “leg-hit” with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN / ABS

prâ’ol
LOC

aktáil
INS

This sentence is like the one immediately above except that the leg is the location/site of the hit.  Translation:  ‘I am/get (intentionally) hit on the leg with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

prâ’ol
LOC

aktáil
INS

Emphasizes that I am both agent and patient and that the leg is the location/site of the hitting.  Translation:  ‘I (intentionally) hit myself on my leg with a rock.‘

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

opral
OBL

aktáil
INS

Emphasizes that I am both agent and patient but with the leg reduced to merely the referent of hitting.  Impossible to translate accurately into English except with the contrived sentences ‘I “leg-hit” myself with a rock’ or ‘I (intentionally) get me my leg hit with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êti
GEN / AFF

prâ’ol
LOC

aktáil
INS

Suppresses the agency of the action, and emphasizes myself as unwilled/accidental victim of the hitting, with my leg as the location/site of the hit.  Translations:  ‘I (accidentally) am/get hit on the leg with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êti
GEN / AFF

opral
OBL

aktáil
INS

Like the example immediately above, exept with the role of the leg reduced from location to mere referent of the verb.  Translation:  ‘I am/get “leg-hit” (accidentally) with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

to
ERG

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘I (intentionally) hit something with a rock / I (intentionally do some hitting with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tu
IND

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘I (intentionally) hit myself with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

te
ABS

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘I am/get (intentionally) hit with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ti
AFF

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘I am/get  hit (accidentally) with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê opril
AFF

aktáil
INS

Here, the distinction between myself and the leg is suppressed, so that the leg is seen as the unwilled/accidental victim, not me: ‘My leg is/gets hit (accidentally) with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê oprel
ABS

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘My leg is/gets (intentionally) hit with a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê opral
OBL

aktáil
INS

This sentence reduces the role of the participant to the verb as merely an abstract referent for the hitting, with no implications of being the victim/target of hitting, or of me or the leg undergoing any tangible result of hitting.  This can only be approximated in English by contrived translations such as ‘“Leg-hitting” with a rock occurs’ or ‘An act of hitting with a rock involving my leg occurs.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê prâ’ol
LOC

aktáil
INS

Translation:  ‘There occurs a hit on my leg with a rock. /  A hit with a rock occurs on my leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

aktáil
INS

This sentence masks both agent and patient, as well as the location of the hitting, emphasizing only the instrument.  Possible translations:  ‘Hitting with a rock occurs,’ or ‘The rock hits something,’ or ‘Something gets hit with a rock.’


Note that all of the above sentences can be restated without the presence of the rock as instrument:

hit/strike

I

my leg

MEANING

Ičalosk
 DYN

êto
GEN / ERG

oprel
ABS

‘I (intentionally) hit my leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

opral
OBL

‘I (intentionally) “leg-hit” myself.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN / ABS

opral
OBL

‘I am/get (intentionally) “leg-hit”.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN / ABS

prâ’ol
LOC

‘I am/get (intentionally) hit on the leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

prâ’ol
LOC

‘I (intentionally) hit myself on my leg. ‘

Ičalosk
 DYN

êtu
GEN / IND

opral
OBL

‘I “leg-hit” myself’ or ‘I (intentionally) get me my leg hit.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êti
GEN / AFF

prâ’ol
LOC

‘I am/get hit (accidentally) on the leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êti
GEN / AFF

opral
OBL

‘I (accidentally) am/get “leg-hit”’ or ‘I (accidentally) get me my leg hit.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

to
ERG

‘I (intentionally) hit something.’ / ‘I do some hitting.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tu
IND

‘I (intentionally) hit myself.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

te
ABS

‘I am/get (intentionally) hit.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ti
AFF

‘I am/get  hit (accidentally).’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê opril
AFF

‘My leg is/gets hit.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê oprel
ABS

‘My leg is/gets (intentionally) hit.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê opral
OBL

‘“Leg-hitting” occurs’ or ‘An act of hitting involving my leg occurs.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

tê prâ’ol
LOC

‘There occurs a hit on my leg. /  A hit occurs on my leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

‘Some hitting occurs’ / ‘Something does some hitting’ / ‘Something gets hit.’


Patterns with the rock in the DERIVATIVE case are also possible, in which the rock is seen as a blind force of nature (e.g., it has been hurled at the leg by a strong wind or has fallen on the leg from above, or has hit the leg after being kicked up by a passing vehicle, etc.).

hit/strike

I

my leg

rock

MEANING

Ičalosk
 DYN

--

tê oprel
ABS

aktúil
DER

‘The rock hits my leg.’ / ‘My leg is/gets hit by a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN/ABS

prâ’ol
LOC

aktúil
DER

‘The rock hits me on my leg.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

ête
GEN/ABS

opral
OBL

aktúil
DER

‘I get my leg hit by the rock.’ / ‘I was/got “leg-hit” by the rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

êti
GEN/AFF

opral
OBL

aktúil
DER

‘The rock “leg-hits” me.

Ičalosk
 DYN

ti
AFF

--

aktúil
DER

‘The rock hits me.’ / ‘I am/get hit by a rock.’

Ičalosk
 DYN

--

--

aktúil
DER

‘The rock hits something.’


Possible Ithkuil translations for the English sentence ‘My back itches me.’

--  informal Pattern 1, Stem 1:  ‘itch’
-xn-  informal Pattern 2, Stem 1:  ‘back, dorsal bodily surface’
OGN  = ORIGINATIVE case

itch

I

my back

MEANING

Kças
STA

êti
GEN/AFF

oxnall
OBL

         LISTEN 
‘My back itches me.’  This is grammatically acceptable and the most neutral or vague.

Kças
STA

êti
GEN/AFF

xnâ’oll
LOC

‘I itch on my back.’  Emphasizes the bodily location of the itch.

Kças
STA

êti
GEN/AFF

oxnaell
OGN

‘The itching I’m feeling is coming from my back.’  Conveys the sense of the back being the place of origin of the itch.


Again, each of the above Ithkuil sentences could delete the affective patient “I/me” from the sentence to render equivalents to the English sentence ‘My back itches’ and ‘There’s itching on my back.’ 

Use of the ABSOLUTIVE case with DYNAMIC function conveys the idea of an unnamed external agent that is causing the itching.

itch

I

my back

MEANING

Ikças
DYN

êti
GEN/AFF

oxnell
ABS

‘Something is making my back itch me.’  Implies that the cause of the itching is an external unnamed agent.

Ikças
DYN

ête
GEN/ABS

xnâ’oll
LOC

‘Something is itching me on my back.’  Switches the patient role to me as opposed to my back, and implies that the cause of the itching is an external unnamed agent.


If we remove the personal reference adjunct ‘I/me’ from the above two sentences, the respective translations become ‘Something is itching my back’ and ‘Something itches on my back.’

 

4.3.13 Using Case to Achieve “Middle Voice” Semantic Effects

English (among other languages) allows some of its verbs to operate both transitively (i.e., taking a direct object) as well as intransitively (i.e., without a direct object), where the object of the transitive sentence becomes the subject of the intransitive sentence.  Furthermore, the intransitive sentence describes the same potential event as the transitive version does, except that no agent is expressed, the focus of the sentence being on the result, not the act which gives rise to the result.  Examples:


The manager opened the store at 8 a.m.
The store opened at 8 a.m.

Robert flies the airplane beautifully.
The airplane flies beautifully.

The engineer increased the pressure.
The pressure increased.

I molded the soft clay easily.
The soft clay molded easily.

Note that the second sentence of each pair above is semantically distinct from its passive voice equivalent (i.e., The store was opened at 8 a.m., The airplane is flown beautifully, The pressure was increased, The soft clay was molded easily) in that passives allow for the agent to be overtly stated (using the preposition ‘by’ in English, as in The store was opened by the manager) or, if absent, nevertheless imply the existence of the agent.  However, the intransitive sentences above (equivalent to “middle voice” constructions in languages such as Swahili or Turkish) do not allow for expression of an agent and are designed to supress the semantic relevance (or saliency) of the agent.

However, English is very haphazard and idiosyncratic as to what verbs it allows to operate this way, often having to resort to paraphrase and idiomatic structures to accomplish the same effects as in the four intransitive sentences above.  For example [ungrammatical sentences are preceded by an asterisk]:

 Father painted the fence yellow.
* The fence painted yellow.
(But:  The fence came out yellow.)

I noticed a storm on the horizon.
* A storm noticed on the horizon.
(But:  A storm came into view on the horizon.)

The owner keeps scissors with the sewing supplies.
* Scissors keep with the sewing supplies.
(But:  Scissors belong/stay with the sewing supplies.)

Fans buy beer a lot at baseball games.
* Beer buys a lot at baseball games.
(But:  Beer sells a lot at baseball games.)

Of course, many English speakers would simply use the passive voice or a construction using ‘get’ to accomplish the same thing (i.e., The fence was/got painted yellow, A storm was noticed on the horizon, The scissors are/get kept with the sewing supplies, Beer is/gets bought a lot at baseball games.) without worrying about the existence of an implied agent. 

Many languages utilize reflexive constructions to accomplish this effect, e.g., Spanish Se habla español aquí, literally “Spanish speaks itself here”, meaning Spanish is spoken here.

Ithkuil, however, can manipulate the assignment of case to verb arguments to achieve this “middle voice” effect for any verb where it is semantically feasible, without having to resort to idiomatic constructions or paraphrase.  For example:


Aikkaldhort  âļnoccaţ. 
‘chew’-easily   ‘snails’-ERGATIVE
Snails chew easily.  [meaning:  It is easy for snails to chew things.]          LISTEN 

 versus:


Aikkaldhort  âļneccaţ.  
‘chew’-easily   ‘snails’-ABSOLUTIVE
Snails chew easily.  [meaning:  It is easy to chew (on) snails.]          LISTEN 



4.3.14 Specialized Suffixes Used to Expand the Functionality of the Transrelative Cases

It should be noted that Ithkuil provides an array of suffixes specifically designed to work in conjunction with nouns inflected into one of the Transrelative cases to significantly expand their ability to specify the exact nature of the causal relationships between participants to a verb in an Ithkuil sentence. These suffixes include the Consent CNS suffix, the Reason RSN suffix, the Expectation XPT suffix, the Deliberateness DLB suffix, the Enablement ENB suffix, the Agency/Intent AGN suffix, and the Impact IMP suffix. These affixes are detailed in Section 7.4.12 and discussed further in Section 10.1.2.

 

4.4 THE POSESSIVE CASES

Those Western languages which have possessive cases usually have only one such case, often functioning in a vague and ambiguous way to show varying types of relationships between two nouns. For example, notice the differing relationships expressed by the possessive in the following English sentences:

the man’s hat = the hat belonging to him [alienable possession]
the man’s house = the house he legally owns [proprietary responsibility]
the man’s arm = part of his body [inalienable component]
the man’s brother = the brother related to him [genetic relationship]
the man’s happiness = he feels happy [affective experience]
the man’s rescue = he was or will be rescued [target of others’ purpose]
the man’s gift = the gift is for him [benefaction]
the man’s gift = the gift is from him [source]
the man’s world = the world in which he lives [inherent subjective association]
the man’s team = the team he is associated with [interactive mutual association]
the man’s story = the story about him [topical reference]
the man’s painting = the picture he painted [creation/authorship]
the man’s command = his being a commander [role or function]

In many instances, the English possessive is totally ambiguous, e.g., does ‘the man’s story’ mean the one he wrote or the one about him? Regarding ‘the man’s rescue,’ did the man do the rescuing or is he the one being rescued? Is ‘the man’s gift’ one he is giving or receiving? Ithkuil is more exact in specifying the nature of these relationships via case. Many of the above relationships are addressed by the seven Possessive cases.

The Possessive cases make a distinction between alienable versus inalienable possession or attribution, as well as distinguishing whether the possession is inherent to the possessor or imposed or caused from without. These distinctions are explained below. Like Western languages (and unlike many American Indian and North Caucasian languages), the case marking is on the possessor noun, not the possessed. The seven Associative cases are the POSSESSIVE, PROPRIETIVE, GENITIVE, ATTRIBUTIVE, PRODUCTIVE, INTERPRETATIVE, and ORIGINATIVE. Following are explanations of the function and usage of each case. Actual Ithkuil examples of the cases in use are given in Sec. 4.4.8.

 

4.4.1
POS
The Possessive Case

The POSSESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -â-. The POSSESSIVE is used to refer to a noun which has alienable (i.e., removable or severable) possession of another noun in the sense of having physical control or oversight of that noun, whether by chance circumstance or deliberate manipulation. The two nouns are not in any sense inherent parts of one another and the relationship between the two can be theoretically or actually terminated by an outside force or influence, or by decision of the possessor, usually by means of mere physical permanent separation of the possessor and possessed nouns. The possessive would be used to translate English phrases such as his coat (e.g., the one he is wearing, regardless of whether he owns it or not), the boy’s book (e.g., the one in his hand), Father’s chair (e.g., the one he happens to be sitting in, as in a restaurant).

 

4.4.2
PRP
The Proprietive Case

The PROPRIETIVE case is marked by the Vc value -î- or alternately -û-; following Cr stems ending in -w, the Vc value is -î-, while following Cr stems ending in -y, the Vc value is -û-; after other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. The PROPRIETIVE identifies a noun having alienable possession of another noun in the sense of quasi-permanent contextual control, ownership or oversight, whether by societal recognition, social convention, law, purchase or decree, which mere physical separation does not sever. The two nouns are not in any sense inherent parts of one another, however the relationship cannot be terminated except via an equally or more binding act, declaration, convention, law, process, etc. Using the same English examples used with the POSSESSIVE above, we can analyze the connotative difference: his coat (i.e., the one he owns, regardless of whether he is wearing it or not), the boy’s book (e.g., the one he bought), Father’s chair (e.g., the one assigned to him).

 

4.4.3
GEN
The Genitive Case

The GENITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ê-. The GENITIVE is used to refer to a noun which has inalienable (i.e., unremovable, unseverable) possession of or association with another noun in the sense of having that noun as an inherent or intrinsic attribute, characteristic, physical part, or genetic (i.e., familial) bond, e.g., my hand, the building’s doors, the child’s father, the essence of that woman.

 

4.4.4
ATT
The Attributive Case

The ATTRIBUTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ô-. The ATTRIBUTIVE is used to refer to a noun which inalienably experiences the effects of, or otherwise has an affective (see the AFFECTIVE case above) relationship with another noun, either as a temporary or permanent attribute, characteristic, or experience, whether physical or psychological, objective or subjective in nature. Examples: his pain, Mother’s guilt, the child’s cough, Dorothy’s mood, Davey’s happiness, the teacher’s stubbornness, my needs.

 

4.4.5
PDC
The Productive Case

The PRODUCTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ëi-. The PRODUCTIVE identifies the creator, author or originator of another noun, e.g., the girl’s poem, the clowns’ plan, my statue (i.e., the one I sculpted).

 

4.4.6
ITP
The Interpretative Case

The INTERPRETATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -öi-. The INTERPRETATIVE identifies a noun acting as the subjective interpretational context of another noun, that is the noun by or through which another noun is subjectively interpreted or described, as exemplified by the phrases Monet’s Paris, our world, life as seen by children.

 

4.4.7
OGN
The Originative Case

The ORIGINATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ae-. The ORIGINATIVE identifies a noun as being the literal or figurative source of another, or which is the native location, origin, or usual locational context for another. , e.g., the man’s story (i.e., the one he told), our gift (i.e., the one we are giving), water from the river, the fruit of the tree, Fix the kitchen sink! (i.e. the one found in the kitchen), Desert rocks are so beautiful (i.e., whether being spoken about rocks taken from the desert or rocks still present in the desert), Northern women are easy-going.

The ORIGINATIVE should be distinguished from the ABLATIVE in Section 4.7.5 below, in that the ABLATIVE position or path of motion away from, whereas the ORIGINATIVE merely presents a locational context as a means of description or to distinguish the noun from an otherwise similar noun.



4.4.8 Examples of Possessive Cases in Use


ultánļ  êmmâl
STA-‘page.of.writing’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/SEG/COA-FML    STA-‘male child ’-POS-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘the boy's book’ [i.e., the one he has in his immediate possession, not one he necessarily owns]          LISTEN 



ultánļ  êmmûl
STA-‘page.of.writing’-OBL-DEL/M/SEG/COA-FML    STA-‘male child ’-PRP-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘the boy's book’ [i.e., the one he owns]          LISTEN 



öpţal  àçtêl
STA-‘interior.corner’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    STA-‘room/chamber’-GEN-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML
‘corner of a room’          LISTEN 



xal  akţrôl
STA-‘see+thing.seen’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    STA-‘eagle’-ATT-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘what the eagle sees’          LISTEN 



Isval  êzguirs  èkšôt  âmmit.
DYN-‘fear’-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    STA-‘sound.of.laughter’-DER-NRM/PRX/M/CSL/AGG-IFL  STA-‘clown’-ATT-NRM/DEL/U/CSL/UNI-FML    STA-‘child’-AFF-NRM/DEL/U/CSL/UNI-IFL          LISTEN 
‘The sound of the clowns’ laughter frightens the children.’                                                                 


ultánļ  êmmëil
STA-‘page.of.writing’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/SEG/COA-FML    STA-‘male child’-PDC-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘the boy's book’ [i.e., the one he authored]          LISTEN 




Iolmámž  ûmmöil.
DYN-‘measure.of.music’-NRM/PRX/M/COA/CST-FML    STA-‘mother’-ITP-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘They’re playing mother’s song.’ [i.e., the one that is special to her]          LISTEN 




âmpafseč  êqael
STA-‘whiff.of.odor’-OBL-NRM/PRX/M/CSL/SEG-QUA1/3-IFL    STA-‘woman’-OGN-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘woman giving off a bad odor’ or ‘bad odor coming from/off the woman’          LISTEN 

 

4.5 THE ASSOCIATIVE CASES

The Associative cases refer to a large group of cases which modify a noun to show that it has some relationship to another, usually adjacent noun or that it functions in an adverbial relationship to a verb. Most of these cases correspond to relationships in which, in English translation, we find two nouns together in apposition or as a compound noun, as in cat box, schoolbook, peace march, mountain man, etc., or joined by the word ‘of’ in a non-possessive relationship, e.g., box of coins, dreams of youth, sounds of laughter, or as a modifier of a verbal phrase. Following are explanations of the function and usage of each case. Actual Ithkuil examples of the cases in use are given in Sec. 4.5.33 .

 

4.5.1
PAR
The Partitive Case

The PARTITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ia- or -ua-; following Cr stems ending in -w, the Vc value is -ia-, while following Cr stems ending in -y, the Vc value is -ua-; after other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. When used in conjunction with another noun, the PARTITIVE indicates a quantitative or content-to-container relationship between the two nouns, e.g., a cup of coffee, a box(ful) of books, a train(load) of refugees. When used alone, it signifies that the context of the phrase or sentence involves only a portion of the noun, rather than the whole noun, e.g., I ate some bread, Pour (some) water down my back.

The PARTITIVE is also used to mark a noun qualified by a specific number, e.g., three boxes, two clowns, twenty words. This usage is analyzed in detail in Chapter 12, where we will see that, in Ithkuil, numbers are formatives (i.e., full nouns and verbs), not adjectives as in Western languages. Additionally, a noun qualified by a number is not pluralized. In other words, one does not say ‘three boxes,’ but rather “a trio of a box” or perhaps more eloquently, “a box trio.”

The PARTITIVE case is also used in constructing words for Ithkuil numbers beginning with two hundred. This is also detailed in Chapter 12 on enumeration.

 

4.5.2
CRS
The Contrastive Case

The CONTRASTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ie- or -ue-; following Cr stems ending in -w, the Vc value is -ie-, while following Cr stems ending in -y, the Vc value is -ue-; after other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. The CONTRASTIVE identifies a noun which has been replaced by another or for which another noun has been substituted. This is translatable by the English phrases ‘instead of’ or ‘rather than’ or ‘as opposed to,’ or specialized uses of ‘not,’ e.g., Instead of rain, it snowed; They hired her as a cook, as opposed to a maid; I prefer peas to carrots; Rather than marigolds, let’s buy carnations; That's sugar, not salt.

 

4.5.3
CPS
The Compositive Case

The COMPOSITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -io- or -uo-; following Cr stems ending in -w, the Vc value is -io-, while following Cr stems ending in -y, the Vc value is -uo-; after other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. The COMPOSITIVE identifies a noun as being the literal or figurative substance or component(s) of which another is made, composed, formed, built or comprised. Example of usage would be That statue was carved out of marble, She owns three gold(en) coins, We were caught in a web of lies, I use a wooden ladder, It was a house of cards, Three suits comprise his wardrobe, Joe detests styrofoam cups.

The COMPOSITIVE is also used in conjunction with verbs to identify the material(s) or resources used up or consumed in performing or undertaking an activity. Examples of this usage would be She likes to cook with tomatoes, He reads by candle(light), That child goes through four sets of clothes a day, My uncle satisfied his sweet tooth with three chocolate bars.

 

4.5.4
PRD
The Predicative Case

The PREDICATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -- or --; following Cr stems ending in -w, the Vc value is --, while following Cr stems ending in -y, the Vc value is --; after other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. The PREDICATIVE identifies a noun which constitutes the non-causal basis, foundation, sustenance (literally or figuratively), or required existential condition for another noun or clause, translatable by the phrases ‘based (up)on,’ ‘dependent (up)on’ or ‘relying on.’ Examples of use are a book dependent on a publisher, a man relying on charity, laws based in reason, Can success supported by murder be sustained?

The PREDICATIVE should be distinguished from Transrelative cases such as the DERIVATIVE or INSTRUMENTAL, in that the PREDICATIVE does not denote a cause, merely the sustaining entity on which another depends, e.g., it would not be used to translate anxiety based on terror, as the anxiety does not ‘rely’ or ‘depend’ on terror, but rather is caused by it. Similarly, in the phrase an attitude fueled by greed, the attitude derives from or results from greed, but is not relying on it.

 

4.5.5
MED
The Mediative Case

The MEDIATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -a’-. The MEDIATIVE indicates the physical, psychological, or figurative medium through which another noun or event takes place. It would be used in translating phrases or sentences such as a radio announcement, arrival by water, a letter bomb, air mail, achieving ecstasy through sex, I showed her my love with chocolate. It should be distinguished from the INSTRUMENTAL case (see Section 4.3.8 above), which signifies the actual instrument or physical means used to accomplish a causative action. For example, in the sentence Call him on the phone!, translating the phrase on the phone into the INSTRUMENTAL case would signify ‘Use the phone (i.e., the one in the room) to call him,’ whereas inflection into the MEDIATIVE case would mean ‘Call him via the medium of telephony.’

 

4.5.6
APL
The Applicative Case

The APPLICATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -u-. The APPLICATIVE identifies a noun which represents the purpose for which another noun is to be utilized in a given instance. As such, it usually translates English ‘for’ when meaning ‘for the temporary or incidental use/purpose of.’ Examples of usage would be a cup for coffee (i.e., a cup being used incidentally to hold coffee), a box for tools (i.e., the box is only temporarily being used to hold tools), a room for changing. Note that the use of the APPLICATIVE can extend to usages beyond English ‘for,’ as in a “weapon” cat = ‘a cat used as a weapon,’ or a “projectile” book = ‘a book used as a projectile.’

 

4.5.7
PUR
The Purposive Case

The PURPOSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -e-. The PURPOSIVE identifies a noun which characterizes or defines the purpose of, or reason for, another noun. The PURPOSIVE is subtly distinct from the APPLICATIVE above, in that the latter names the actual use to which a noun is put on a given occasion or in given context, whereas the PURPOSIVE defines another noun’s general function or primary reason for being, outside of any contextual instance, i.e., what the noun is used for all the time (or at least its intended use). It generally translates English ‘as,’ ‘of’ or ‘for’ when meaning ‘for the purpose of’ or alternately an English noun-noun expression or a compound noun. Examples of usage would be a coffee cup, a toolbox, a litter box, a trashcan.

 

4.5.8
CSD
The Considerative Case

The CONSIDERATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -o-. The CONSIDERATIVE identifies a noun as the delimiting or defining context in which an act, state or event occurs or is considered. Thus, it translates English terms such as ‘according to,’ ‘pursuant to,’ ‘as per,’ ‘in the opinion of.’ Examples of usage would be In my opinion he’s a coward; He’s leaving town as per orders from the court; You were arrested pursuant to law; According to our teacher, humans are descended from apes.

 

4.5.9
ESS
The Essive Case

The ESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ea-. The ESSIVE identifies the role or name by which a noun is known or contextually identified. It translates English ‘as’ in the sense of naming or reference to the a nouns functional identity. It would be used in translating the English sentences They called him a clown, The woman entered the club as an equal of any man, We consider you our only hope.

 

4.5.10
ASI
The Assimilative Case

The ASSIMILATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -eo-. The ASSIMILATIVE identifies a noun used as a context for analogy or metaphorical comparison to either another noun or a verb. Thus, it translates English ‘like’ or ‘as’ in the sense of comparison or analogy between one thing and another. Examples of usage are She sings like a bird, As children they seemed to me.

 

4.5.11
FUN
The Functive Case

The FUNCTIVE case is marked by the Vc value --. It functions similarly to English adverbs ending in -ly or the adverbial use of with, identifying the manner in which an action, event, or state occurs or exists. More exactly, it identifies a noun used to characterize the manner of the act, state, or event, translatable most accurately by the phrase ‘in a manner characterized by….’ Examples would be: She dances gracefully (i.e., in a manner characterized by grace), The boys ate with gusto, That clown is speaking nonsense, Father speaks with such fortitude.

 

4.5.12
TFM
The Transformative Case

The TRANSFORMATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -oa-. The TRANSFORMATIVE identifies the outcome or final state of a process, often translatable by ‘to,’ ‘until,’ or ‘into’ in the sense of reaching a final state after having undergone some transformation. Example usages would be The house burned to ashes, The clown reached a state of tranquility, The clowns will turn our children into slaves, Her father drank himself to death.

 

4.5.13
REF
The Referential Case

The REFERENTIAL case is marked by the Vc value -oe-. The REFERENTIAL identifies a noun functioning as the general referent of the verb, translating such English terms as ‘about,’ ‘regarding,’ ‘concerning,’ ‘in regard to,’ ‘in reference to,’ ‘pertaining to,’ or ‘as for.’ Examples of use would be a song of love; As for those books, burn them!; Let’s talk about clowns; His attitude toward women.

 

4.5.14
CLA
The Classificative Case

The CLASSIFICATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -öa-. The CLASSIFICATIVE identifies a noun as a basis for arranging, sorting, classifying, or counting, translating various English prepositions and phrases used for this purpose. Example of usage are Place them in groups of three, The workers arranged the tables in rows, He lay down lengthwise, Can you count by fives?, I will sort them by color.

The CLASSIFICATIVE is also used to identify a noun considered in consecutively recurring increments as a means of describing the manner of an event. This is usually in conjunction with nouns denoting time periods, but can be used with any concrete noun to describe the repetitive nature of an event. Examples would be Month by month, their departure crept closer; Year after year, I see more and more clowns; Day in, day out, he’s always working; The fertilizer factory keeps rolling them out, bag upon bag; Patient by patient, the nurse administered injections.

Note that the CLASSIFICATIVE would not be used to describe a noun other than adverbially, e.g., it would not be used to translate the sentence One bomb after another fell on the city. Such a construction would utilize a suffix indicating sequential instantiations of the noun (see Sec. 7.4.4).

 

4.5.15
CNV
The Conductive Case

The CONDUCTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -öe-. The CONDUCTIVE identifies the meaningful or relevant context of another. It can be thought of as conveying the relationship signified by the expressions ‘having to do with,’ ‘as it pertains to,’ or ‘considered within the context of.’ Examples of English phrases translatable using this case are a circus clown, a mountain man, a feeling of loneliness, the Mafia’s world, a realm of fear, my life achievement, childhood memories, Let’s discuss the morality of war.

 

4.5.16
IDP
The Interdependent Case

The INTERDEPENDENT case is marked by the Vc value -üa- unless the preceding Cr stems ending in -w or -y, in which case the Vc value is -i’-. The INTERDEPENDENT identifies a noun which has a coordinated, tandem, complementary or mutually dependent relationship with another. The relationship between the two nouns can be thought of as reciprocal in nature, i.e., each noun implies the other or needs the other to exist within it’s natural context, e.g., the students’ teacher, an army general, the blood in my veins, the driver of the truck, the nation’s leader, his team (i.e., the one on which he’s a member). Note that this case does not imply a part-whole dependency as with the GENITIVE case above, e.g., it would not be used to translate the book’s pages, or the leaves of a tree.

 

4.5.17
BEN
The Benefactive Case

The BENEFACTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -üe- unless the preceding Cr stems ending in -w or -y, in which case the Vc value is -ö’-. The BENEFACTIVE identifies a noun for whose sake or benefit an action or event occurs or is done. As such, the BENEFACTIVE is similar to the DATIVE, except that the BENEFACTIVE implies a strong emphasis on the fact that the noun is more than simply the recipient or target of a dative action, but rather benefits in a tangible or consequential way from the action or event. It is usually translated by English ‘for’ in the sense of ‘for the sake (i.e., benefit) of.’ Examples of usage are a toy for the children, We threw him a party, Go to the teachers’ lounge.

The BENEFACTIVE also translates the English phrases ‘out of respect for,’ ‘for the sake of,’ or ‘in deference toward,’ identifying the noun to which deference is paid within the context for an act, condition, or event. Examples of usage would be He remained silent for her sake, They went on with the ceremony out of respect for the families, They dressed in robes because of tradition.

 

4.5.18
TSP
The Transpositive Case

The TRANSPOSITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -üo- unless the preceding Cr stem ends in -w, in which case the Vc value is -î’-, or the preceding Cr stem ends in-y, in which case the Vc value is -û’. The TRANSPOSITIVE implies substitution of one noun for another. It translates English ‘for’ in the sense of ‘on behalf of,’ ‘in place of,’ or ‘instead of’ (i.e., ‘as a substitution for’). Examples of usage are The boss made the speech for me, She went up into the attic for her brother (i.e., so he wouldn’t have to).

 

4.5.19
CMM
The Commutative Case

The COMMUTATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -au-. The COMMUTATIVE translates English ‘for’ in the sense of ‘in exchange for’ as in You paid too much money for that dress, She kills for thrills.

 

4.5.20
COM
The Comitative Case

The COMITATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -eu-. Similar to its counterpart in Uralic languages such as Finnish or Estonian, the COMITATIVE translates the English ‘with’ in its meaning of accompaniment (i.e., ‘along with’) as in The child went with the clown to the party. Like English ‘with,’ the COMITATIVE does not imply that the conjoined noun is necessarily engaged in the same activity or associated with the same verb as the head noun. For example, in the sentence My father was walking with a loaf of bread, the loaf of bread is not considered to be itself walking.

It should be noted, however, that the COMITATIVE is not used to imply mutually interactive or reciprocal activity between two nouns. Thus it would not be used in translating the sentences They danced with each other or Mother wants to talk with you. These would be translated using the RECIPROCAL valence of the verb, explained in Section 5.7. This distinction is illustrated even more clearly by comparing the following two sentences; the first would be translated using the COMITATIVE, the second would not: This man fought with my father (e.g., alongside him during the war) versus This man fought with my father (e.g., they had a fight with each other).

Note also that the COMITATIVE is not used to indicate instrumentality (English ‘with’ meaning ‘by means of’). Thus, it is not used to translate sentences such as I cut the meat with a knife. As previously discussed in Section 4.3.8, instrumentality is indicated by use of the INSTRUMENTAL case. Likewise, it is not used to identify the resources or material(s) consumed in undertaking an act, as in He catches his fish with worms for which the COMPOSITIVE case is used.

 

4.5.21
CNJ
The Conjunctive Case

The CONJUNCTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -iu-. The CONJUNCTIVE translates English ‘with’ in its meaning of ‘in conjunction with,’ i.e., to indicate that the noun is engaged in the same activity or a complementary activity as the conjoined noun. It should be distinguished from the COMITATIVE above, which indicates mere accompaniment. For example, in the walking with a loaf of bread example from above, it would be incorrect to use the CONJUNCTIVE case because that would signify the bread was walking, too. To further illustrate the usage, consider the sentence I’m with the brigade. Translating ‘brigade’ using the COMITATIVE would mean that ‘I’ve come along (e.g., drove) with the brigade to the scene,’ while using the CONJUNCTIVE would mean ‘I’m a member of the brigade.’ Additional examples where the CONJUNCTIVE would be used are They skate with the best team, That teacher works well with children.

 

4.5.22
UTL
The Utilitative Case

The UTILITATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ou-. The UTILITATIVE identifies a noun in the process of being utilized. This corresponds to the use of English ‘with’ where it refers to actual use in progress as in A man with a gun ran into the room. It should be distinguished from the INSTRUMENTAL (see Sec. 4.3.8) in that the latter indicates the implement used to accomplish an action, while the UTILITATIVE identifies a noun in use, but does not imply that the noun was the implement used to accomplish a stated action. For example, compare the sentence The man with an umbrella was pushing a stroller in the rain (UTILITATIVE) with The man pushed a stroller in the rain with an umbrella (INSTRUMENTAL). The first sentence implies the man was pushing a stroller with one hand while holding an open umbrella against the rain, whereas the second sentence has him using the umbrella to push the stroller. Another way to translate the UTILITATIVE would be to use an English gerundial construction as in A gun-wielding man ran into the room or An umbrella-toting man pushed a stroller in the rain.

Besides the INSTRUMENTAL, the UTILITATIVE should likewise be distinguished from the COMITATIVE case above, in that the COMITATIVE merely indicates accompaniment, while the UTILITATIVE indicates use in progress. For example, the sentence Go sit next to the girl with the book, if translated using the COMITATIVE would merely identify a girl who has a book in her visible possession, while with the UTILITATIVE it would mean the girl is actually engaged in reading the book.

 

4.5.23
ABE
The Abessive Case

The ABESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ëu-. The ABESSIVE is essentially the opposite of the COMITATIVE, translating the English ‘without’ or ‘-less’ in the sense of ‘unaccompanied by’ or ‘not having’ as in a day without rain or a treeless plain. As noted in the next section below on the CONVERSIVE case, it is not used to translate ‘without’ when it means ‘unless one has,’ referring to a hypothetical exception to a potential outcome as in I can’t go on without love.

 

4.5.24
CVS
The Conversive Case

The CONVERSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -öu-. The CONVERSIVE is used in conjunction with hypothetical or potential contexts to identify a hypothetical exception to a potential outcome or an actual circumstance which alters or has altered a potential outcome. This translates two different ways into English. Where it indicates an exception to a hypothetical situation, it is translated by the conjunction ‘unless’ in verbal contexts, and by the preposition ‘without’ for nouns (note that ‘without’ in this sense does not correspond to its usual ABESSIVE usage in Sec. 4.5.23 above). If applied to a real or actual situation, it is translatable by such expressions as ‘but for,’ ‘if not for,’ ‘if it wasn’t for,’ or ‘if it wasn’t on account of.’ Example of usage: Without peace, this society is doomed; If not for the rain, we would have had a good time.

 

4.5.25
COR
The Correlative Case

The CORRELATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ai’-. The CORRELATIVE is used to indicate an abstract relationship, association, or conjunction between a noun and another noun or verb, including subjective, contextual, metaphorical, or symbolic associations. It translates general phrases such as ‘relative to,’ ‘in relation to,’ ‘in correlation with,’ ‘in association with,’ etc. It would be used in translating phrases such as career goals, the soup of the day, the direction of that road, The elapsed time relative to the distance determines the winner, Our next topic is sex and (or in) art (i.e., the relationship between art and sex). Additional examples are years of wonder, the Clown Planet, life blood, city of evil. Note that the CORRELATIVE case would often be used to translate constructions for which English often uses an adjective, e.g., spatial coordinates, the political economy, a dangerous situation (i.e., a situation characterized by danger).

When used in contexts involving directional motion or spatial positioning, the CORRELATIVE signifies the directional orientation or position of one noun relative to another, i.e., a noun relative to whose position in space another noun is being described for purposes of spatial orientation. To an English-speaker, the function of this case makes greater sense once one realizes that, in Ithkuil, most one-to-one spatial relationships are described by verbs, not prepositions, e.g., ‘to be situated on the right,’ ‘to move beneath,’ etc. Consequently, this use of the CORRELATIVE case can be thought of as expressing the phrase ‘relative to.’ Examples of how it would be used are I’m standing four feet north of the desk, The one hanging above the boxes looks fresh, It lies at a 30° angle relative to the tree, He turned his back on me, The upstairs bedroom faces the yard, It’s alongside the desk (i.e., its lateral surface is oriented toward the desk).

As will be described in Section 5.4.2.3, the CORRELATIVE is used with verbal case-frames to convey the equivalent of simple relative clauses in Western languages.

 

4.5.26
DEP
The Dependent Case

The DEPENDENT case is marked by the Vc value -ui’-. The DEPENDENT translates the English phrase ‘depending on’ signifying a noun as the contingency on which the reality of a main clause depends. Examples of usage would be Depending on the rain, we’ll go for a picnic; She may show up, depending on her attitude.

The DEPENDENT should be distinguished from the PREDICATIVE case in Sec. 4.5.4, in that the former denotes contingency, while the PREDICATIVE denotes reliance.

 

4.5.27
PVS
The Provisional Case

The PROVISIONAL case is marked by the Vc value -ei’-. The PROVISIONAL identifies the noun, situation, or circumstance on which the factuality of the main clause of the sentence depends, i.e., the required condition(s) which must come into existence for the situation described in the main clause to occur. This is translatable by such English phrases as ‘provided (that),’ ‘on condition of,’ ‘only in case of,’ or ‘but only if,’ e.g., Provided [there’s] food, I will attend the meeting; We will fight only in case of war.

 

4.5.28
PTL
The Postulative Case

The POSTULATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -oi’-. The operates somewhat similarly to the PROVISIONAL above, except that the POSTULATIVE implies a causal or consequential relationship (not merely a circumstantial one) between the pre-condition(s) and the circumstances of the main clause. Specifically, it identifies the noun, situation, or circumstance whose factuality has not yet come into existence, but, should it come into existence, will result in the consequence indicated by the main clause. This is translatable by English ‘if,’ or ‘in case of.’ Note that it does not translate English ‘if’ where it means ‘whether’ as in I don’t know if it’s warm enough, i.e., where the clause is meant only to convey uncertainty or optionality (but not a causal relationship between a potential condition and its consequences). Examples of usage: If [there’s] snow, I’m not going out; In case of fire, flee; If friend, welcome them, if foe, kill ’em.

The example below is offered to further distinguish the use of the POSTULATIVE case from the PROVISIONAL case above:

PROVISIONAL: We’re packing umbrellas, but only in case of bad weather (i.e., umbrellas will not be packed unless the weather is actually bad).

POSTULATIVE: We’re packing umbrellas in case of bad weather (i.e., the umbrellas are being packed in preparation for the possibility of bad weather).

 

4.5.29
CON
The Concessive Case

The CONCESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -au’-. The CONCESSIVE case identifies a noun, situation, or circumstance which gives rise to an expectation of a certain result which, in fact, does not occur. This can be translated by various English prepositions, conjunctions, or phrases such as ‘despite,’ ‘in spite of,’ ‘notwithstanding,’ ‘although,’ ‘regardless of,’ ‘no matter what,’ etc. Examples of usage: In spite of his stupidity, he passed the test; The law notwithstanding, I will stand my ground; No matter how ignorant (they may be), they are welcome, Although foreigners, we will let them attend the meeting.

 

4.5.30
EXC
The Exceptive Case

The EXCEPTIVE case is marked by the Vc value -iu’-. The EXCEPTIVE indicates a noun, situation, or circumstance which is an exception, or is exempted or excluded from the main clause, translatable by English ‘except (for),’ ‘but (not),’ or ‘excluding.’ Examples of usage: She loves everybody except clowns; I like all animals, excluding dogs; He eats almost anything but (not) spinach.

 

4.5.31
AVR
The Aversive Case

The AVERSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -eu’-. The AVERSIVE identifies a noun as a source or object of fear and/or avoidance. With nouns, it translates expressions such as ‘for fear of,’ ‘in order to avoid,’ or ‘in avoidance of.’ With verb phrases (i.e., case-frames; see Sec. 5.2) , it would translate English ‘lest.’ Examples of usage are She finished her plate for fear of my wrath, I traveled by night to avoid the sun.

 

4.5.32
CMP
The Comparative Case

The COMPARATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ou’-. The COMPARATIVE identifies a noun being compared to another. It translates such expressions as ‘as compared to,’ or certain usages of ‘versus’ or ‘as opposed to.’ It is similar to the CONTRASTIVE case (see Section 4.5.2 above), except that it does not carry the sense of opposition, joint exclusivity, or either-or binary substitution of the CONTRASTIVE, but rather merely comparison/choice/preference from various options or along a spectrum or scale. With verbal case-frames (see Sec. 5.4) it would translate as ‘whereas’ or ‘while’ (in its synonymous usage to ‘whereas’). Examples are She chose the red one as opposed to the others, Sam drives a van versus Joe, who prefers a truck, You’ll find it in Room Twelve [as opposed to a room with a different number].

 

4.5.33 Examples of Associative Cases in Use



âkyuál  vlalêx
STA-‘coffee.bean.drink’-PAR-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML    STA-‘contain.via.gravity/basin’-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-SIZ2/3-IFL
‘cup of coffee’
         LISTEN 



âkniel
STA-‘pet.snake’-CRS-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL  
‘as opposed to the pet snake / rather than the pet snake’          LISTEN 



uçtál  ophiol
STA-‘wall.of.room’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML    STA-‘wood’-CPS-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘wooden wall’          LISTEN 



tharl  riöč
STA-‘law/statute’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/ASO/AGG-IFL    STA-‘reason’-PRD-NRM/DEL/A/ASO/UNI-IFL
‘laws based in reason’          LISTEN 



Opçav  ökcul  ödhá’šk.
DYN-‘(self).directed.motion.throughout.three.dimensional.volume’-NRM/PRX/N/VAR/UNI-IFL    STA-‘virus’-IND-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL     STA-‘drink.of.water’-MED-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/CST-FML
‘The virus spreads via the drinking water.’
         LISTEN 



âkyú’l  vlalêx
STA-‘coffee.bean.drink’-APL-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML    STA-‘contain.via.gravity/basin’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-SIZ2/3-IFL
‘cup being used for coffee’



âkyé’l  vlalêx
STA-‘coffee.bean.drink’-PUR-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML    STA-‘contain.via.gravity/basin’-DEL/M/CSL/UNI-SIZ2/3-IFL
‘coffee cup’          LISTEN 



esro’láun
STA-‘prepared/cooked food’-CSD-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FML-AGC2/2
‘according to the cook’          LISTEN 



Idawelar  êmmil  ukšeal.
DYN-‘nickname/label’-DIR-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-NA11/5-IFL     STA-‘male.child’-AFF-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    STA-‘nerd’-ESS-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘Don't call the boy a nerd.’          LISTEN 



las  almeodh
STA-‘voice’-OBL-NRM/PRX/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    STA-‘musical.note’-ASI-NRM/DEL/PRX/N/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘a voice like music’



eqtèöck
STA-‘degree.of.happiness’-FUN-NRM/PRX/A/CSL/UNI-FML 
‘happily /in a manner characterized by happiness’          LISTEN 



ˉSakč’a  tô  myicka  zboack.
CPT-STA-‘change.state’-NRM/GRA/U/CSL/UNI-IFL      1m/ATT      STA-‘sense.of.gratitude’-AFF-NRM/PRX/A/CSL/UNI-IFL  
STA-‘feeling.of.anger’-TFM-NRM/PRX/A/CSL/UNI-IFL

‘My sense of gratitude gradually turned into anger.’          LISTEN 



ultánļ  açkhwoeţ
STA-‘page.of.writing’-OBL-NRM/DEL/M/SEG/COA-FML      STA-‘porcupine’-REF-NRM/DEL/N/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘a book about porcupines’          LISTEN 



kpöal
STA-‘extent.of.spatial.length’-CLA-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘lengthwise’          LISTEN 

 



4.6 THE TEMPORAL CASES

The temporal cases deal with contexts relating to time. In many respects, Ithkuil analyzes time similarly to Western languages, particularly in the ability to spatially compartmentalize time as seen in such English phrases as ‘in 3 hours,’ ‘for 5 years,’ ‘day by day,’ and ‘per month,’ as well as in analyzing time as progressively linear using concepts such as ‘before,’ ‘after,’ ‘during,’ ‘until,’ and ‘ago.’ The fifteen temporal cases are the SIMULTANEITIVE, ASSESSIVE, CONCURSIVE, ACCESSIVE, DIFFUSIVE, PERIODIC, PROLAPSIVE, PRECURSIVE, POSTCURSIVE, ELAPSIVE, ALLAPSIVE, INTERPOLATIVE, EPISODIC, PROLIMITIVE, and LIMITATIVE. Following are explanations of the function and usage of each case. Actual Ithkuil examples of these cases in use are provided in Sec. 4.6.16.

 

4.6.1
SML
The Simultaneitive Case

The SIMULTANEITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -a’a-, or optionally -a’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The SIMULTANEITIVE identifies a noun signifying a time period simultaneous to the act, state, or event under discussion. Examples would be I was in class at the same time as his accident, I worked a side-job concurrent to the strike, She laughed simultaneously with my coughing fit.

 

4.6.2
ASS
The Assessive Case

The ASSESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -e’a-, or optionally -e’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The ASSESSIVE specifies the unit of time by which a contextual ratio of measurement is created, corresponding to English ‘by’ or ‘per.’ Examples would be My lawyer charges by the minute, He publishes several books each year, The clown drove the fun-mobile at 90 miles per hour.

 

4.6.3
CNR
The Concursive Case

The CONCURSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -i’a-, or optionally -i’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The CONCURSIVE serves as a “temporal locative” signifying the beginning and ending boundaries of time during or at which an act, state, or event occurs, the whole of which being considered a single contextual situation. Examples of usage would be He prays during lunch, She studied hard last night, I won’t visit until then (i.e., during that period in time).

 

 

4.6.4
ACS
The Accessive Case

The ACCESSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -o’a-, or optionally -o’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The ACCESSIVE is similar to the CONCURSIVE, except that the time identified is specific to a single moment or a brief, highly delimited period seen in context as one moment, i.e., the point in time at which something occurs. Examples of usage would be Dinner will be served at sunset; When (i.e., at the moment that) you hear his voice, call in the clowns; Upon impact, both cars were accelerating.

4.6.5
DFF
The Diffusive Case

The DIFFUSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -u’a-, or optionally -u’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The DIFFUSIVE is yet another temporal locative similar to the CONCURSIVE, except that the time period identified does not have explicit boundaries, only being centered on the period identified by the noun. It is best expressed by the English phrase ‘during the time surrounding….’ Examples of usage would be Most cars had tail fins in those days; I was abroad during that era; At the time of his death, the number of clowns was increasing; Over the past several seasons, your talent has matured.

 

 

4.6.6
PER
The Periodic Case

The PERIODIC case is marked by the Vc value -ö’a-, or optionally -ö’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The PERIODIC identifies the span of time at some point(s) during which, an act, condition, or event occurs. This case should be distinguished from the CONCURSIVE above, in that the CONCURSIVE signifies a contextually single holistic event, whereas the PERIODIC specifies a time frame in which separate events, repetitions, or durationally extended acts or states take place. Examples would be He wrote the novel in six months, These clowns can corrupt your child within a few days, The woman has been ill a lot this year, For the last several concerts, my voice has been deteriorating.

 

 

4.6.7
PRO
The Prolapsive Case

The PROLAPSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ü’a- (or -ëu’a- if the preceding Cr stem ends in -w or -y). Optionally the Vc value can be -ü’V- (or -ëu’V- if the preceding Cr stem ends in -w or -y), where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The PROLAPSIVE signifies the duration of an act, condition, or event, i.e., how long it takes or lasts. This case should be distinguished from the PERIODIC above, in that the PROLAPSIVE specifies the actual duration of the act, condition, or event, whereas the PERIODIC merely specifies a contextual span of time at some point(s) during which, an act, condition, or event occurs. Examples would be He prayed through lunch, While he was dying, the number of clowns increased, It rained all night, It took three days for the fever to break, She sang for an hour.

 

 

4.6.8
PCV
The Precursive Case

The PRECURSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ai’a-, or optionally -ai’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The PRECURSIVE identifies a point in time prior to which an act, condition, or event occurs. Examples would be This situation occurred before the war, It rained prior to his appearance, There will be a presentation preceding the banquet.

 

 

4.6.9
PCR
The Postcursive Case

The POSTCURSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ei’a-, or optionally -ei’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The POSTCURSIVE identifies a point in time after which an act, condition, or event occurs. Examples would be This situation occurred after the war, It rained subsequent to his appearance, There will be a presentation following the banquet.

 

 

4.6.10
ELP
The Elapsive Case

The ELAPSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ui’a-, or optionally -ui’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The ELAPSIVE identifies the amount of time that has passed between the contextual present and the time of the act, condition, or event being spoken of. It corresponds to English ‘…ago.’ Examples would be Four years ago I was a student; Going back three generations, women could not even vote.

 

 

4.6.11
ALP
The Allapsive Case

The ALLAPSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -oi’a-, or optionally -oi’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The ALLAPSIVE identifies the amount of time that expected to pass between the contextual present and the time of a future act, condition, or event. Examples would be Four years from now, I will be a student; Looking ahead three generations, clowns will rule the world; I will be home in three days; Little did he know that two months later he’d be a rich man.

 

 

4.6.12
INP
The Interpolative Case

The INTERPOLATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ëi’a-, or optionally -ëi’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The INTERPOLATIVE is used within the context of repetitive or iterative acts, states, and events and signifies the duration of each repetition. Examples of usage are We heard several five-second snippets of music; Between lightning bursts were intervals of several seconds; She gets recurring migraines, each lasting hours.

 

 

4.6.13
EPS
The Episodic Case

The EPISODIC case is marked by the Vc value -au’a-, or optionally -au’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The EPISODIC identifies a contextually recurring time-period. Examples of usage are The man talks with his mother every three days; Each year, I travel to the Clown Planet; He works nights; By day, she is an artisan; The clowns visit us on Sundays.

 

 

4.6.14
PLM
The Prolimitive Case

The PROLIMITIVE case is marked by the Vc value -eu’a-, or optionally -eu’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The PROLIMITIVE defines a point in time which signifies a temporal limit to further contextual activity, i.e., the time by which some act, state, or event occurs. Examples of usage would be By the time of your graduation, I want you out of the house; Please be on board by midnight; By the time of the raid, there was nothing left to steal.

 

 

4.6.15
LIM
The Limitative Case

The LIMITATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -iu’a-, or optionally -iu’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The LIMITATIVE signifies a event culminating an anticipatory context. It translates the English expression ‘in time for.’ Examples of usage are He arrived in time for dinner, Be inside the Big Tent in time for the clowns.

 


4.6.16 Examples of Temporal Cases in Use



ţkoi’al  żial
STA-‘three’-ALP-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNIIFL     STA-‘day (24-hr. period)’-PAR-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘three days from now’          LISTEN 



qô  teu’at’
ma-ATT     STA-‘life’-PLM-NRM/TRM/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘by the time of his death          LISTEN 



llau’atļuarl
STA-‘one’-EPS-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/DCT-CAL2/1-IFL
‘on Sundays’         LISTEN 



Igvarsukt  tu  ţkü’al  żial.
DYN-‘article of clothing’-NRM/PRX/M/CSL/AGG-DEF1/9-IFL     1m-IND       STA-‘three’-PRO-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL   
IFL-‘day (24-hr. period)’-PAR-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI

‘I’ve been (deliberately) wearing these clothes for three days.          LISTEN 



žô  chei’as
1m+2u+ua-ATT     STA-‘grief’-PCR-NRM/PRX/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘after our period of grief’          LISTEN 


_____

4.7 THE SPATIAL CASES

As noted previously, prepositions do not exist in Ithkuil. While various non-Indo-European languages such as Finnish, Hungarian, Basque and the North Caucasian languages accomplish the equivalent of prepositional relationships using noun cases, such relationships are usually accomplished in Ithkuil via verbal formatives (e.g., a verb translatable as ‘to be inside of’ instead of a preposition ‘inside of’). Nevertheless, there are six cases corresponding to certain types of spatial relationships. These are the LOCATIVE, ORIENTATIVE, PROCURSIVE, ALLATIVE, ABLATIVE, and NAVIGATIVE.

Also: see Section 4.5.25 above regarding the use of the CORRELATIVE case in sentences involving spatial direction or orientation.

Following are explanations of the function and usage of each case. Actual Ithkuil examples of these cases in use are provided in Sec. 4.7.7.

 

4.7.1
LOC
The Locative Case

The LOCATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -â’a-, or optionally -â’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The LOCATIVE signifies general static position in the same contextual place as the specified location, translatable by many English prepositions such as ‘at,’ ‘in,’ ‘on,’ or ‘by,’ depending on the context, e.g., in that building, by the wall, on the street, at my house.


4.7.2
ORI
The Orientative Case

The ORIENTATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ê’a-, or optionally -ê’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The ORIENTATIVE identifies the noun (usually a subcomponent or body part) which serves as the forward “end” of a spatially orientated axis aligned to a vector of motion. This is translatable into English using elements such as ‘-ward(s)’ or ‘-first’ in conjunction with portions of objects in a spatio-orientational context, e.g., He jumped in feet-first, The car rolled backward. The ORIENTATIVE allows for the extension of this concept to contexts which seem awkward in English translation, e.g., He walked “butt-ward” down the street (i.e., backward with his butt protruding frontwards, leading the way).

 

4.7.3
PSV
The Procursive Case

The PROCURSIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ô’a-, or optionally -ô’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The PROCURSIVE identifies a noun (often a subcomponent or body part) which serves as the orientational reference point, interactional surface or interface relative to the direction of interaction with, or position in space of, a second noun. This second noun usually appears in the ALLATIVE case (see below). Examples of use would be They collided sideways, She turned her back on him, The chair “faced” the doorway (i.e., The chair stood with it’s seat and back aligned toward the doorway).

 

4.7.4
ALL
The Allative Case

The ALLATIVE case is marked by either the Vc value -î’a- or -û’a-; if the preceding Cr stem ends in -w, the Vc value is -î’V-, whereas if the preceding Cr stem ends in -y, the Vc value is -û’V-; for other Cr stems, either Vc value is permissible. Optionally the Vc value can be -î’V- or -û’V- (under the same rules for Cr stems ending in -w or -y), where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

When used in the context of explicit or implied directional motion, the ALLATIVE signifies the direction of motion, translatable by ‘to’ or ‘toward(s)’ or the suffix ‘-ward(s)’ in English. Note that the ALLATIVE in no way implies that the object is intended as the final or intended destination or goal of the motion or movement, only the direction of the movement. Examples would be I wandered eastward, The little girl ran toward me, Throw the rock at that clown!, We headed for home.

 

4.7.5
ABL
The Ablative Case

The ABLATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ëu’a-, or optionally -ëu’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if both phonotactically and morpho-phonologically permissible (i.e., if it’s deletion does not violate phonotactic rules (see Section 1.4) and does not cause confusion or ambiguity in parsing the various consonants and vowels of the formative into their respective morphemes (i.e., their grammatical components).

When used in context of explicit or implied directional motion, the ABLATIVE signifies the general directional origin of movement away from or out of. It does not specify the actual point of origin or departure. Examples would be He came out of the east, She walked here from (the direction of) the river.

When used in contexts where directional motion is not implied, the ABLATIVE signifies a reverse directional orientation of one noun relative to another, e.g., He faced away from me.

 

4.7.6
NAV
The Navigative Case

The NAVIGATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ou’a-, or optionally -ou’V-, where V has the value of the formative’s Vr affix (from Slot IV); if choosing the latter value for Vc, then the formative’s Vr affix can be deleted from Slot IV if it is in word-initial position.

The NAVIGATIVE identifies the noun relative to whose vector, arc, or trajectory of motion an act, state, or event takes place. This is particularly important, as we will see in Section 10.3.3 that Ithkuil modes of positional reference are tied into the vectors of movement or the configurational axes of objects in the environment such as the sun or the length of a room. Example uses would be I looked down the street, We aligned it perpendicular to the path of the sun, He crossed the room diagonally (i.e., walked diagonally relative to the long axis of the room.)


4.7.7 Examples of Spatial Cases in Use


Ûb  eikkradwa  smou’olâxh.
EXN1/6     DYN-‘move.along.obliquely.vertical.path.between.two.points’-RPV/PRX/N/CSL/UNI-IFL      STA-‘valley’-NAV-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-SCO2/5-IFL
The path through the canyon is steep.
         LISTEN 

 


Ičatosk
 êti  prâ’ol

DYN-‘physical.contact’-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-FRC1/7-IFL        GEN-1m-AFF       STA-‘leg’-LOC-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL
‘I got hit on the leg.          LISTEN 

 


Uajatiuçkims  
ţê’al  qi.

DYN-‘downward movement’-NRM/DEL/U/CSL/UNI-PHY2/1-AGN1/1-IFL    STA-‘head’-ORI-NRM/DEL/M/CSL/UNI-IFL    ma-AFF
He fell headfirst to his death.          LISTEN 

 


4.8 THE VOCATIVE

The VOCATIVE case is marked by the Vc value -ë-. The VOCATIVE is used when a nominal formative is used in direct address. In modern colloquial English, there is no vocative form, and the base form of the noun, name, or pronoun is used, usually followed by an exclamation point if the vocative functions as its own sentence, e.g., Bill! or ‘Please come this way, sir or Driver, take me to 53rd and 3rd.’ However, in archaic, poetic, formal or dramatic contexts, English utilizes the vocative particle "o", as in O Time, thy pyramids!’ or ‘Why me, o lord?’


 

Proceed to Chapter 5: Verb Morphology >>

 

 

   

 

 

   
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