Ad. plural nouns grammar.

Ad. plural nouns grammar.

Adûnaic plurals serve the same purpose as English plurals: to describe multiple instances of the same noun (except for natural pairs, which use the dual instead). The plural is formed with the plural inflection -î- (SD/429). This inflection is added as a suffix to a weak-noun and replaces the last vowel of a strong-noun.

Plural Formation

The plural form of a noun depends largely on whether you are declining a strong-noun (whose last vowel is short) or a weak-noun (whose last vowel is long or a diphthong).

These plural formations are fairly consistent. There are only a few variations.

Weak nouns ending in (and ?): In the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations, a final long absorbs the plural suffix î, making the plural form identical to the singular: izrê “sweetheart” → izrê “sweethearts” (SD/438). To distinguish these forms, you can insert a linking-consonant n after the final : izrê “sweetheart” → izrênî “sweethearts” (SD/438). It is possible that the same thing can be done for weak nouns ending in , but Tolkien gave no such examples.

Weak nouns with archaic strong plurals: Sometimes a weak noun can use a strong plural (SD/435), especially in archaic writing. This can happen for several reasons:

All of the above examples could also use the ordinary weak plural, so these exceptions can be safely ignored by the time of Classical Adûnaic except for their use in poetry.

Subjective Plurals

In the subjective plural, Adûnaic distinguishes not only between the strong and weak nouns, but also between neuter-nouns (which use the subjective declension -a-) and gendered-nouns (which use the gendered plural subjective suffix -im).

Neuter Subjective Plurals: Neuter plurals in the subjective simply add the subjective inflection -a as a suffix to the plural form. If the plural suffix appears at the end of the word, it is separated from the subjective suffix with the usual glide-consonant y.

Gendered Subjective Plurals: Gendered plurals in the subjective add the gendered plural subjective suffix -im to the plural form.

By the time of Classical Adûnaic, most of these plurals ends in a vowel, and the suffix -im combines with the final vowel according to the Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations. In all such cases, the i in the suffix is absorbed by the preceding long vowel or diphthong, effectively reducing the suffix to -m:

The last example (izrê) has another plural form. As noted above, plurals of nouns ending in (and perhaps also those ending in ) can use a linking-consonant n to help distinguish the singular and plural forms. In such cases, the gendered plural subjective suffix -im is added to this variant plural form with the linking n:

Gendered Subjective Plurals with Syncope: The gendered strong-I nouns (those ending in a consonant preceded by a short vowel) are an exception to the above rules. Such nouns first undergo the Adûnaic syncope before the subjective suffix -im is added, so that the last short vowel of the noun is lost instead of being replaced by the plural inflection î:

Where the syncope cannot occur, the subjective suffix -im is added to the normal plural form, as above:

Irregular Plurals

There are several attested Adûnaic plurals that do not fit the plural formation rules described above.

Strong plurals with medial y: For strong nouns that have an isolated medial y, this y disappears when the last vowel is replaced by the plural inflection -î-, so that the plural inflection forms a diphthong with the second-to-last vowel:

This irregularity can be explained by the ancient phonetic development of Adûnaic, in which medial [w] and [j] vanished before [u] and [i].

Variant plurals with short i: In a few places, Tolkien has plurals with a short i where a long î would be expected from the rules above:

In Lowdham’s Report, these examples appear as regular plurals with a long î:

These variations may be remnants of Tolkien’s older conception of the Adûnaic plural, which frequently used a short i instead of a long one (see the entry on the draft-plural).

Examples (strong-I plural)
balīk “ships” [← #balak] ✧ SD/247
bawīb [← #bawab] ✧ SD/312
huzīn ← huzun ✧ SD/430
igmîl “stars, several stars, some stars” ← igmil ✧ SD/427
karīb ← karab ✧ SD/434
khibīl ← khibil ✧ SD/430
Nimîr [← Nimir] ✧ SD/388
Nimīr [← Nimir] ✧ SD/414
nimīr ← nimir ✧ SD/436
Nimîr [← Nimir] ✧ SDI2/Nimrî
Nimîr “the Beautiful” [← Nimir] ✧ WJ/386
Nimîr “Elves” ← Nimir ✧ WJI/Nimîr
nithīl ← nithil ✧ SD/436
tamīr ← tamar ✧ SD/436
Urīd “mountains” [← #urud] ✧ SD/251
urīk ← uruk ✧ SD/436
zadīn ← zadan ✧ SD/430
zāyīn ← zāyan ✧ SD/423
zâin ← zāyan irregular-plural ✧ SD/423
zāin [← zâyan] irregular-plural ✧ SD/429
zāin “lands” [← zâyan] irregular-plural ✧ SD/435
Examples (strong-II plural)
azrī ← azra ✧ SD/431
gimlî “stars, several stars, some stars” ← gimli ✧ SD/427
gimlī “stars” [← gimli] ✧ SD/428
gimlī ← gimli ✧ SD/431
kulbī “roots” [← #kulbu] ✧ SD/431
nīlī ← nīlu ✧ SD/431
rabī ← raba ✧ SD/437
Examples (weak-I plural)
abārī ← abār ✧ SD/432
bārī ← bār ✧ SD/438
batānī ← batān ✧ SD/432
bênî “servants” [← *bên] ✧ SD/357
mīthī ← mīth ✧ SD/438
nūphī ← nūph ✧ SD/438
pūhī ← pūh ✧ SD/432
banīth ← banāth archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
batīn “roads” [← batân] archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/435
phazīn ← phazān archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zigīr ← zigūr archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
Bāri “lords” [← bâr] irregular-plural ✧ SD/251
Examples (weak-II plural)
Adūnāi [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/305
Adûnâi “Men of Westernesse” [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/361
Adûnâi [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/388
Adūnāi “Anadunians” [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/429
Adūnāi [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/438
Adûnâi “Men of Westernesse” [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SDI2/Adûnâi
anāi ← anā ✧ SD/437
avalōi “Powers” [← Avalô] ✧ SD/247
Avalōi “gods” [← Avalô] ✧ SD/305
Avalôi [← Avalô] ✧ SD/357
Avalôi [← Avalô] ✧ SD/387
Avalôi [← Avalô] ✧ SDI2/Avalôi
izrê [← izrê] ✧ SD/424
izrē ← izrē ✧ SD/438
khôi ← khō ✧ SD/426
manôi ← manō ✧ SD/424
manôi ← manō ✧ SD/424
mānōi ← mānō ✧ SD/438
nardū̆wī ← nardū ✧ SD/438
pâi ←  ✧ SD/426
zōrī ← zōrī ✧ SD/438
anī ← anā archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
narī ← †naru archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zinī ← †zini archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
izrēnī ← izrē plural-with-linking-consonant ✧ SD/438
Examples (strong-I neut plural subjective)
bawība “winds” [← #bawab] subjective ✧ SD/247
huzīna ← huzīn (plural) subjective ✧ SD/430
khibīla ← khibīl (plural) subjective ✧ SD/430
zadīna ← zadīn (plural) subjective ✧ SD/430
Narīka “eagles” [← #narak] subjective irregular-subjective ✧ SD/251
Examples (strong-II neut plural subjective)
azrīya “seas” [← azra] subjective ✧ SD/247
azrīya ← azrī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/431
gimlīya ← gimlī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/431
nīlīya ← nīlī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/431
Examples (weak-I neut plural subjective)
abārīya ← abārī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/432
batānīya ← batānī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/432
pūhīya ← pūhī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/432
batīna “roads” [← batân] subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/247
batīna “roads” ← batīn (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/435
batīna “ways (are)” [← batân] subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ VT24/12
Examples (weak-II neut plural subjective)
Examples (strong-I gendered plural subjective)
nimrim ← nimir subjective ✧ SD/436
nithlim ← nithil subjective ✧ SD/436
tamrim ← tamar subjective ✧ SD/436
urkim ← uruk subjective ✧ SD/436
Examples (strong-II gendered plural subjective)
rabīm ← rabī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/437
Examples (weak-I gendered plural subjective)
bārīm ← bārī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
mīthīm ← mīthī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] subjective ✧ PM/151
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] subjective ✧ PMI/Nimruzîrim
nūphīm ← nūphī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
banīthim ← banīth (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
phazīnim ← phazīn (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zigīrim ← zigīr (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
bārim “lords” [← bâr] subjective irregular-plural ✧ SD/247
Examples (weak-II gendered plural subjective)
Adûnâim “westerners” [← #Adûnâ] subjective ✧ PE17/18
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] subjective ✧ SD/240
Adûnâim [← #Adûnâ] subjective ✧ SD/388
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] subjective ✧ SD/426
Adûnâim “Men of Westernesse” [← #Adûnâ] subjective ✧ SDI2/Adûnâim
Avalōim “Powers, gods” [← Avalô] subjective ✧ SD/241
Avalôim [← Avalô] subjective ✧ SD/387
Avalôim [← Avalô] subjective ✧ SDI2/Avalôim
izrēm ← †izrē (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
mānōim ← mānōi (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
nardū̆wīm ← nardū̆wī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
zōrīm ← zōrī (plural) subjective ✧ SD/438
anīm ← anī (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
narīm ← †narī (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zinīm ← †zinī (plural) subjective archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
khāwī(m) ← khō subjective irregular-subjective ✧ SD/426
izrēnīm ← izrēnī (plural) subjective plural-with-linking-consonant ✧ SD/438

References ✧ SD/427, 429, 435


Element In