Ad. dual nouns grammar.
Adûnaic duals are much like Quenya duals in that they are used for “natural pairs” (SD/428). The dual is formed with the dual suffix -at for all classes of nouns. Unlike many other declensions, there is no general distinction between the duals of strong-nouns and weak-nouns (SD/429), at least not by the time of Classical Adûnaic. It does make a difference whether the noun ends in a consonant (Class I) or a vowel (Class II), however.
Nouns ending in a consonant: For nouns ending in a consonant (Class I):
Nouns ending in a vowel: For nouns ending in a vowel (Class II), the dual suffix -at combines with this vowel according to the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations:
Subjective duals: The dual may also be inflected for the subjective case. Since the dual generally has a short vowel in its final syllable, the strong subjective inflection is used. This means the subjective inflection -a- lengthens the last a via a-fortification: zadan “house” → zadnat “pair of houses” → zadnât “pair of houses (subjective)” (SD/430), nîlu “moon” → nîluwat “pair of moons” → nîluwât “pair of moons (subjective)” (SD/431).
Where the last vowel of the dual is already long, there is no change for the subjective: izrê “sweetheart” → izrêt “pair of sweethearts” → izrêt “pair of sweethearts (subjective)” (SD/438).
Archaic duals: Archaic Adûnaic had different dual formations in a few cases:
By the time of Classical Adûnaic, these formations had been replaced by the rules above.
Later duals: Duals of nouns ending in -a (azra → azrât) were so common that the dual suffix eventually was perceived to be -ât instead of -at. The duals of all nouns were formed with this new suffix, incidentally making the subjective dual indistinguishable from the normal dual (SD/431).
Tolkien stated that “in all nouns the N[ormal] and S[ubjective] of Duals was only distinguished in earlier texts” and that this change occurred “before the Exilic periods”, but it is unclear how soon the change occurred before the fall of Númenor and whether it applied to Classical Adûnaic. Most of Tolkien’s examples in Lowdham’s Report do not use this rule, so the discussion here assume this change occurred soon before Exile, in either Late Classical and Exilic Adûnaic.
Irregular duals: There are two curious dual forms that appear on SD/438: nardū̆wā̆t as the dual of nardû “soldier” and zōrī̆yā̆t as the dual of zôrî “nurse”. The short-or-long ā̆ appears in several examples, and seems to be shorthand for the two variations of the dual: normal (-at) and subjective (-ât). The short-or-long ū̆ and ī̆ are more difficult to explain. Given the base nouns, these vowels should always be long. Perhaps under some conditions, the dual suffix can cause a long final vowel to shorten, though what those conditions might be is unclear.
Another example of an irregular dual form is nuphrât as the dual form of nuphâr “parent” (SD/434). This is a weak-noun (Weak I), but its dual seems to undergo the Adûnaic syncope despite have a long vowel in its lasts syllable. This could be some kind of archaic or irregular strong declension of the dual. Alternately, it could be a slip or a misreading for the regular dual *nuphârat.
Like Quenya, Adûnaic uses the dual for natural pairs, such as two hands (pât) or two pillars supporting a single object (târikat). Where the two objects are unrelated, Adûnaic instead uses the number “two”: satta (SD/428). Two soldiers that are part of special unit might be nardûwat “soldier-pair”, but two unrelated soldiers would be nardû satta “two soldier[s]” (Adûnaic numbers follow the noun).
Unlike Quenya, the Adûnaic dual can also be used for two unlike nouns that were “contrasted or opposed” (SD/428): sun and moon (ûri and nîlu), heaven and earth (minal and dâira), Manwë and Varda (Amân and Avradî). Such duals can be expressed in two ways (SD/428):
In the second cases, an otherwise unique item in the dual would be understood to be pair with its natural counterpart. Since “pair of heavens” makes no senses as the meaning of minalat, it must be paired with the Earth. Similarly, ûriyat makes no sense as “two suns”. Where unclear, the second noun could be added in the singular: minalat dâira (SD/428).
[The discussion above assumes that minal does not undergo the Adûnaic syncope so that its dual form is minalat instead of minlat. Neither dual is attested, however, so either is possible.]
|Examples (strong-I dual)|
|huznat||← huzun||✧ SD/430|
|khiblat||← khibil||✧ SD/430|
|zadnat||← zadan||✧ SD/430|
|nimrā̆t||← nimir||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/436|
|nithlā̆t||← nithil||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/436|
|tamrā̆t||← tamar||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/436|
|urkā̆t||← uruk||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/436|
|tārikat||“two pillars”||[← târik]||strong-I-without-syncope||✧ SD/430|
|huznāt||← huznat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/430|
|khiblāt||← khiblat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/430|
|zadnāt||← zadnat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/430|
|Examples (strong-II dual)|
|azrāt||← azra||✧ SD/431|
|gimliyat||← gimli||✧ SD/431|
|miyāt||“(infant) twins”||[← #miya]||✧ SD/427|
|nīl(uw)at||[← nîlu]||✧ SD/428|
|nīluwat||← nīlu||✧ SD/431|
|ūriyat||“sun (and moon)”||[← ûri]||✧ SD/428|
|†azrat||← azra||archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/431|
|†gimlat||← gimli||archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/431|
|†nīlat||← nīlu||archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/431|
|rabā̆t||← raba||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/437|
|azrāt||← †azrat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|gimliyāt||← gimliyat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|nīluwāt||← nīluwat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|†gimlāt||← †gimlat (dual)||subjective archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/431|
|†nīlāt||← †nīlat (dual)||subjective archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/431|
|Examples (weak-I dual)|
|abārat||← abār||✧ SD/431|
|batānat||← batān||✧ SD/431|
|pūhat||← pūh||✧ SD/431|
|nuphrāt||“father and mother”||← nuphār||irregular-dual||✧ SD/434|
|banāthā̆t||← banāth||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/437|
|bārā̆t||← bār||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/438|
|mīthā̆t||← mīth||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/438|
|nūphā̆t||← nūph||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/438|
|phazānā̆t||← phazān||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/437|
|zigūrā̆t||← zigūr||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/437|
|abārāt||← abārat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|batānāt||← batānat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|pūhāt||← pūhat (dual)||subjective||✧ SD/431|
|Examples (weak-II dual)|
|anāt||← anā||✧ SD/437|
|izrēt||← izrē||✧ SD/438|
|mānōt||← mānō||✧ SD/438|
|†izrayā̆t||← izrē||archaic-dual-with-glide||✧ SD/438|
|†mānawā̆t||← mānō||archaic-dual-with-glide||✧ SD/438|
|†narā̆t||← †naru||archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/437|
|†zinā̆t||← †zini||archaic-strong-dual||✧ SD/437|
|nardū̆wā̆t||← nardū||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/438|
|zōrī̆yā̆t||← zōrī||normal-and-subjective||✧ SD/438|
References ✧ SD/427-431