Ad. objective grammar.

Ad. objective grammar.

The objective case is formed with the objective inflection -u- and is used only in the initial elements of some compounds (SD/429-30).

Objective Usage

Despite its name, the objective case is not used for the direct object of a verb. Such direct objects are left in the normal case (SD/428):

The objective case is only used for the initial elements of compounds, when the element is the object of a second verbal element (SD/429). It appears mainly in Adûnaic names:

The objective is often combined with a verb used in an agental-formation, in which case it is the object of that verb (SD/429):

Other times the objective is used with a noun that is perceived to have a verbal function (SD/429):

When nouns are combined without using the objective, the initial noun generally functions as an adjectival or possessive modifier of the second (SD/429):

The objective form is only used for singular nouns. When plural nouns (or collective-nouns) are in the same position, they are always considered to be in an object-relationship and therefore do not need to be declined into the objective (SD/429):

Where a plural noun needs to be in an adjectival or possessive relationship with another noun, it must be used in conjunction with the genitival prefix an- (SD/429).

Note the change in word order, as such genitive phrases appear after the noun, as opposed to the objective or adjectival formations which appear before.

Objective Formation

The objective is formed with the objective inflection -u- (SD/430). This inflection changes the last vowel of a strong-noun (those with a short vowel in the last syllable) and is added as a suffix to a weak-noun (those with a long vowel or diphthong in the last syllable).

In the last example, the suffix -u is absorbed by the final vowel according to the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations. The same would happen with a final vowel , so that the normal and objective forms would be identical in these cases. Masculine nouns often end in these two vowels, and such nouns do not have distinct objective forms.

Owing to the association of the vowel u with the masculine gender (SD/427), the objective forms of feminine-nouns often use the vowel i in the objective case by the time of Classical Adûnaic (SD/432). For the numerous feminine nouns ending in and , this variant objective suffix is absorbed by the final vowel so that (like masculine nouns) their normal and objective forms are the same.

Objective With Syncope (Strong I nouns)

Nouns ending in a consonant preceded by a short vowel (Strong I nouns) often use a variant form of the objective with the Adûnaic syncope and the objective inflection added as a suffixal -u (SD/435). Originally, such Strong I nouns with the short vowel u would have identical normal and subjective forms.

To better distinguish the normal and objective forms, such nouns could have an alternate objective inflection that suppresses the last vowel and adds the suffix -u. This followed the normal pattern for the Adûnaic syncope, and the discussion here use the term “objective with syncope” to refer to this formation.

Later, this formation spread to nouns that had the other short vowels as well. In the case of feminine nouns, the suffixal addition could be -i instead of -u, as noted above.

Both the “objective with syncope” and “feminine i-suffix” rules for the objective were optional, sometimes seen and sometimes not. Where the Adûnaic syncope was prohibited (such as for nouns with two different vowels), the objective with syncope was probably prohibited as well.

Archaic and Irregular Objective Forms

There are several objective forms that do not comply with the rules above, but Tolkien indicated that most of these formations were archaic.

Archaic Strong Objectives: Some weak-nouns could have a strong objective declension, replacing their last vowel with u instead of adding the -u as a suffix. This was because either (a) the noun was originally a strong noun, later becoming weak when its final vowel was lengthened or (b) it belonged to the small class of nouns (Strong Ib and Strong IIb) that were strong despite having a long vowel in the final syllable:

Archaic Objectives with Glide Consonants: Archaically, feminine-nouns ending in or would using the glide consonant y before the objective suffix -u. In the case of , this long vowel would decompose into -ây (or perhaps -ay), as discussed in the section on “Archaic Glide Consonants with and ” in the entry on the glide-consonant:

Archaic Feminine Objectives with -u: All of the archaic objectives of feminine nouns used the objective -u instead of the variant feminine suffix -i discussed above. This -u would not be absorbed by final feminine vowels. It is not clear whether the u-suffix has been entirely replaced by the i-suffix by the time of Classical Adûnaic, or whether u could still be used with some feminine nouns.

Adjectives in the Objective Case: There are a couple of examples of adjectives declined into the objective case as part of compounds:

It isn’t clear whether adjectives could generally be declined as objectives, or whether these two particular adjectives could also be used as nouns (as is the case with “all” in English).

Examples (objective)
izindu “true” [← izindi] adjective-in-objective izindu-bēth ✧ SD/427
#kathu [← katha] adjective-in-objective kathuphazgān ✧ SD/429
nimur- ← nimir strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
nithul- ← nithil strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
tamur- ← tamar strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
uruk- ← uruk strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
#Nimru [← Nimir] strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope Nimruzîr ✧ SD/389
nimru- ← nimir strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope ✧ SD/436
nithlu- ← nithil strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope ✧ SD/436
tamru- ← tamar strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope ✧ SD/436
urku- ← uruk strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope ✧ SD/436
nithli [← nithil] strong-I gendered objective-with-syncope fem ✧ SD/431
huzun ← huzun strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
khibul ← khibil strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
minul ← minal strong-I neut Minul-tārik ✧ SD/429
zadun ← zadan strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
#Balku “ship” [← #balak] strong-I neut objective-with-syncope Balkumagān ✧ PM/151
huznu ← huzun strong-I neut objective-with-syncope ✧ SD/430
rabu- ← raba strong-II gendered ✧ SD/437
#Aphanu [← *aphana] strong-II neut Aphanuzîr ✧ SD/389
azru ← azra strong-II neut Azru-bēl ✧ SD/429
azru ← azra strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
gimlu “a (particular) star” ← gimli strong-II neut gimlu-nitīr ✧ SD/428
gimlu ← gimli strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
nīlu ← nīlu strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
#Azru ← azar strong-II neut objective-with-syncope Azrubêl ✧ PM/373
#Azru ← azar strong-II neut objective-with-syncope Azrubēl ✧ SD/305
banāthu- ← banāth weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
bāru- ← bār weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
mīthu- ← mīth weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
nūphu- ← nūph weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
phazānu- ← phazān weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
zigūru- ← zigūr weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
banūth- ← banāth weak-I gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
phazūn- ← phazān weak-I gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
zigūr- ← zigūr weak-I gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
mīthi- ← mīth weak-I gendered fem ✧ SD/438
nūphi- ← nūph weak-I gendered fem ✧ SD/438
abāru ← abār weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
batānu ← batān weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
pūhu ← pūh weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
izrē ← izrē weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
mānō- ← mānō weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
nardū- ← nardū weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
izrāyu ← izrē weak-II gendered archaic-objective-with-glide ✧ SD/438
zōrīyu ← zōrī weak-II gendered archaic-objective-with-glide ✧ SD/438
anū- ← anā weak-II gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
naru- ← †naru weak-II gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
zinu- ← †zini weak-II gendered archaic-strong-objective ✧ SD/437
zōrī- ← zōrī weak-II gendered fem ✧ SD/438

References ✧ SD/428-430, 432, 435


Element In