Ad. subjective grammar.

Ad. subjective grammar.

The subjective case is very simple in terms of its function: it is used with the subject of a sentence (SD/429). In terms of formation, though, it is very complex. The proper subjective formation depends on whether you are declining strong-nouns or weak-nouns, a neuter-nouns or a gendered-noun, with further variations in the singular for masculine-nouns, feminine-nouns and common-nouns. There also are variations for dual nouns and plural nouns, which in the case of plurals again depends again on whether you are declining a neuter or a gendered noun.

A summary of these inflection rules is given here, with further details in the sections below. Discussion of any irregular subjective forms is deferred until the last section.

Singular Subjective
(Neuter Strong Nouns)
Change the last short vowel via a-fortification: aâ, iê, uô.
Singular Subjective
(Neuter Weak Nouns)
Add the suffix -a to the noun, merging with any final vowel ().
Singular Subjective
(Gendered Nouns Ending in a Consonant)
Add the appropriate gendered subjective suffix, -an (common), -in (feminine), -un (masculine). Apply the Adûnaic syncope if possible.
Singular Subjective
(Gendered Nouns Ending in a Vowel)
Add the reduced suffix gendered subjective suffix -n.
Dual Subjective Take the dual form and lengthen any short a in the final syllable. If there is no such short a, the subjective dual is the same form as the normal dual.
Plural Subjective
(Neuter Nouns)
Add the suffix -a to the plural form. If the plural inflection î appears at the end of the noun, it is separated from the suffix via the usual glide-consonant y.
Plural Subjective
(Gendered Nouns)
Add the gendered plural subjective suffix -im to the plural form, merging it with any final vowels according to the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations.
Plural Subjective
(Gendered Strong I Nouns)
If the Adûnaic syncope is possible, first apply the syncope before adding the suffix -im so that the last short vowel is lost instead of becoming the plural inflection î. If the syncope is not possible, add the suffix -im directly to the plural, as above.

Subjective Usage

For the most part, the subjective form is used for the subject of a phrase:

The subjective inflection is optional if the verb is inflected with the appropriate pronominal prefix:

If both the subjective inflection and the pronominal prefix is used, the result is emphatic. Compare the following, in increasing degrees of emphasis (SD/429):

The subjective inflection is also used in place of the English verb “to be” when joining a subject and predicate in a copula (SD/429). Such phrases have no explicit verb:

If the subject is a noun phrase consisting of several adjacent nouns, only the final noun is declined into the subjective (see the entry for the participle for possible exceptions to this rule):

If the subject noun is modified by an adjective or a prepositional phrase, only the subject-noun is declined into the subjective:

Weak and Strong Subjective Inflections

The basic subjective inflection is -a-, which is applied in different ways depending on whether you are making a weak or a strong inflection (SD/430). If the form being declined has a long vowel or diphthong in its last syllable, you use the weak inflection, adding the subjective inflection as a suffix -a. If the form being declined has a short vowel in its last syllable, you use the strong inflection, which modifies this short vowel via a-fortification:

Strong Inflections
a â
i ê
o ô

The most common situation where this basic rule applies are with strong nouns versus weak nouns, but there are other cases as well. The dual form of a noun almost always has a short a in its last syllable, so it uses the strong inflection when declined into the subjective. The plural form of a noun almost always has a diphthong or a long vowel in its last syllable (typically the plural inflection -î-), so it uses the weak inflection when declined into the subjective (but only for neuter nouns).

There are numerous special cases and exceptions, but it is worth remembering this basic rule when you consider the different forms of the subjective.

Subjective for Neuter Nouns

The neuter singular subjective form depends entirely on whether you are declining a strong-noun (with a short vowel in its last syllable) or weak-noun (with a long vowel or diphthong in its last syllable). If a strong noun, it uses the strong inflection, changing its last short vowel as above. If a weak noun, it adds the subjective inflection as a suffix.

The attested examples are:

There are no attested subjective inflections for Weak II neuter nouns (which end in a long vowel). The only possibly final vowel for nouns in this class is a long , as discussed in the entry on neuter-nouns. Presumably this final vowel would absorb the subjective inflection, according to the standard Adûnaic rules of vowel-combinations.

This means the normal and subjective singular forms are the same for such nouns.

Subjective for Gendered Nouns

In addition to neuter nouns, Adûnaic has three more genders: masculine, feminine and common, the last of which applies to creatures for which the male or female sex is unspecified. These gendered nouns do not use the subjective inflection -a- in the singular. Rather, they use one of three distinct subjective suffixes (SD/430): -an (common), -in (feminine) and -un (masculine). The application of these suffixes depends on whether the noun ends in a consonant (Strong I and Weak I) or a vowel (Strong II and Weak II).

Nouns ending in a consonant simply add the suffix to the noun. Any short vowel in its last syllable is lost via the Adûnaic syncope, unless the form of the noun prevents the syncope:

For common nouns, the masculine and feminine suffixes can be used when the subject is known to be male or female (SD/438):

The attested examples are:

For gendered nouns ending in a vowel, the subjective suffix is reduced to -n (SD/437-8). Most likely this reduction was originally because the vowels of the common, feminine or masculine suffixes replaced the short final vowel of the noun (the typical declension of strong-nouns ending in a short vowel) or were themselves absorbed by the long final vowel of the noun according to the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations (in the case of weak-nouns ending in a long vowel). In practice, the end results are the same:

The attested examples are:

For the archaic and irregular subjectives in this chart, see the discussion below.

Subjective Duals

The formation for the subjective dual is quite simple. It is independent of both noun class (strong or weak) and gender. First take the normal dual, whose formation is discussed under dual nouns. If there is a short a in the last syllable of the dual form, lengthen it to accomodate the subjective inflection. If there is no short a in the dual form, the subjective dual is the same as the normal dual (SD/430).

Tolkien gave no explicit examples of the case where normal and subjective duals are identical. In such cases, he simply listed the same dual form which served for both. Instances of such identical dual forms include:

For the cases where the normal and subjective duals are distinct, the explicitly attested examples are:

For many words with differing normal and subjective duals, Tolkien used the suffix -ā̆t to indicate both cases:

In later (Exilic?) Adûnaic, the process became even simpler, since the dual inflection became -ât in all cases, both normal and subjective (SD/431). See the discussion under dual nouns for mor details.

Neuter Subjective Plurals

The plural form of the subjective depends on whether the noun is neuter or gendered. For neuter nouns, the formation is straightforward. First, take the plural form, which in all cases will have a long vowel or diphthong in its final syllable, then add the subjective inflection -a as a suffix (SD/430-2). If the plural ends in a long or short i, insert the usual glide-consonant y between the end of the plural and the suffix:

The attested examples are:

There are no attested subjective plurals for neuter Weak II nouns (those ending in a long vowel), but presumably they follow the same pattern.

Gendered Subjective Plurals

The subjective plural of gendered nouns uses a special gendered subjective plural suffix -im (SD/430), which is usually added to the plural form (SD/437-8). If there is a final vowel in the plural form, it invariably absorbs the i according to the standard Adûnaic rules for vowel-combinations:

This inflectional rule applies to all gendered weak nouns (Weak I and II) and Strong II nouns. The attested examples are:

Archaic and irregular subjective plurals in the chart above are discussed in the Irregular Subjectives section below.

Gendered Strong I Subjective Plurals: Gendered nouns that end in a consonant preceded by a short vowel (Strong I nouns) are an exception to the rule given above. If possible, such a noun undergoes the Adûnaic syncope before adding the suffix -im, so that the short vowel in its last syllable is lost before becoming the plural form î:

If the syncope is prevented (because the two vowels are different, the second-to-last vowel is long or the vowel loss would result in a cluster of more than two consonant), the suffix -im is added directly to the plural form, as above:

The attested examples are:

Irregular Subjectives

There are a few peculiar Adûnaic subjective forms that deserve additional discussion.

Archaic Strong Subjectives (SD/437): A number of nouns that are weak in form (with long vowels in their final syllable) used to undergo strong inflections in archaic (or poetic) Adûnaic. These archaic forms follow the regular rules for strong subjective inflections rather than weak subjective inflections.

Narîka (SD/251): Attested in the phrase narîka ’nBâri ’nAdûn yanâkhim “The Eagles of the Lords of the West are at hand”, this is apparently the subjective plural of an otherwise unattested word #narak “eagle”. It is declined as if it were a neuter noun, but animals and people are generally declined as gendered nouns, so that the expected form should be *narkim.

Bârim (SD/247): Attested in the phrase Bârim an-Adûn yurahtam dâira sâibêth-mâ Êruvô “Lords of the West, they broke the Earth with assent from Eru”, this is apparently the subjective plural of bâr “lord”. Its regular subjective plural should have a long î, bârîm, as attested on SD/438. Perhaps this was a holdover from Tolkien’s draft of Adûnaic, which often had a short i in its plural forms, as discussed in the entry on the draft-plural.

Khâu, Khâwî(m) (SD/247): It is highly speculative whether these forms are even subjective to begin with. See the entry on the word khô “crow” for further details.

Full List of Examples

For reference, here is the full list of attested Adûnaic subjective forms in a single table.

Examples (neut strong-I subjective)
huzōn ← huzun ✧ SD/430
khibēl ← khibil ✧ SD/430
zadān ← zadan ✧ SD/430
zadān ← zadan ✧ SD/430
Examples (neut strong-II subjective)
azrā ← azra ✧ SD/431
gimlē ← gimli ✧ SD/431
nālō “shadow” [← #nâlu] ✧ SD/247
nīlō “moon” [← nîlu] ✧ SD/426
nīlō “moon” [← nîlu] ✧ SD/428
nīlō ← nīlu ✧ SD/431
Examples (neut weak-I subjective)
abāra ← abār ✧ SD/431
batāna ← batān ✧ SD/431
pūha ← pūh ✧ SD/431
zāira “longing (is)” [← zâir] ✧ SD/247
Examples (neut weak-II subjective)

Examples (common strong-I subjective)
nimran ← nimir ✧ SD/436
urkan ← uruk ✧ SD/436
Examples (common weak-I subjective)
nūphan ← nūph ✧ SD/438
núphin ← nūph fem ✧ SD/438
núphun ← nūph masc ✧ SD/438
Examples (fem strong-I subjective)
nithlin ← nithil ✧ SD/436
Examples (fem weak-I subjective)
banāthin ← banāth ✧ SD/437
mīthin ← mīth ✧ SD/438
núphin ← nūph fem ✧ SD/438
Examples (masc strong-I subjective)
tamrun ← tamar ✧ SD/436
Examples (masc weak-I subjective)
bārun [← bâr] ✧ SD/312
bārun [← bâr] ✧ SD/429
bārun ← bār ✧ SD/438
kathuphazgānun “conqueror” ← kathuphazgān ✧ SD/429
ar-pharazōnun [← Pharazôn] ✧ SD/247
Pharazōnun [← Pharazôn] ✧ SD/428
Pharazōnun ← Pharazōn ✧ SD/429
phazānun ← phazān ✧ SD/437
zigūrun [← Zigûr] ✧ SD/247
Zigūrun ← Zigūr ✧ SD/250
zigūrun ← zigūr ✧ SD/437
núphun ← nūph masc ✧ SD/438

Examples (gendered strong-II subjective)
raban ← raba ✧ SD/437
Examples (gendered weak-II subjective)
anān ← anā ✧ SD/437
izrēn ← izrē ✧ SD/438
mānōn ← mānō ✧ SD/438
nardūn ← nardū ✧ SD/438
zōrīn ← zōrī ✧ SD/438
narun ← †naru archaic-strong-subjective ✧ SD/437
zinin ← †zini archaic-strong-subjective ✧ SD/437
khâu “crow” ← khō irregular-subjective ✧ SD/426

Examples (subjective dual)
abārāt ← abārat (dual) ✧ SD/431
azrāt ← †azrat (dual) ✧ SD/431
batānāt ← batānat (dual) ✧ SD/431
gimliyāt ← gimliyat (dual) ✧ SD/431
huznāt ← huznat (dual) ✧ SD/430
khiblāt ← khiblat (dual) ✧ SD/430
nīluwāt ← nīluwat (dual) ✧ SD/431
pūhāt ← pūhat (dual) ✧ SD/431
zadnāt ← zadnat (dual) ✧ SD/430
gimlāt ← †gimlat (dual) archaic-strong-dual ✧ SD/431
nīlāt ← †nīlat (dual) archaic-strong-dual ✧ SD/431

Examples (normal-and-subjective dual)
banāthā̆t ← banāth ✧ SD/437
bārā̆t ← bār ✧ SD/438
mīthā̆t ← mīth ✧ SD/438
nardū̆wā̆t ← nardū ✧ SD/438
nimrā̆t ← nimir ✧ SD/436
nithlā̆t ← nithil ✧ SD/436
nūphā̆t ← nūph ✧ SD/438
phazānā̆t ← phazān ✧ SD/437
rabā̆t ← raba ✧ SD/437
tamrā̆t ← tamar ✧ SD/436
urkā̆t ← uruk ✧ SD/436
zigūrā̆t ← zigūr ✧ SD/437
zōrī̆yā̆t ← zōrī ✧ SD/438

Examples (strong-I neut subjective plural)
bawība “winds” [← #bawab] ✧ SD/247
huzīna ← huzīn (plural) ✧ SD/430
khibīla ← khibīl (plural) ✧ SD/430
zadīna ← zadīn (plural) ✧ SD/430
Narīka “eagles” [← #narak] irregular-subjective ✧ SD/251
Examples (strong-II neut subjective plural)
azrīya “seas” [← azra] ✧ SD/247
azrīya ← azrī (plural) ✧ SD/431
gimlīya ← gimlī (plural) ✧ SD/431
nīlīya ← nīlī (plural) ✧ SD/431
Examples (weak-I neut subjective plural)
abārīya ← abārī (plural) ✧ SD/432
batānīya ← batānī (plural) ✧ SD/432
pūhīya ← pūhī (plural) ✧ SD/432
batīna “roads” [← batân] archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/247
batīna “roads” ← batīn (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/435
batīna “ways (are)” [← batân] archaic-strong-plural ✧ VT24/12
Examples (weak-II neut subjective plural)

Examples (strong-II gendered subjective plural)
rabīm ← rabī (plural) ✧ SD/437
Examples (weak-I gendered subjective plural)
bārīm ← bārī (plural) ✧ SD/438
mīthīm ← mīthī (plural) ✧ SD/438
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] ✧ PM/151
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] ✧ PMI/Nimruzîrim
nūphīm ← nūphī (plural) ✧ SD/438
banīthim ← banīth (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
phazīnim ← phazīn (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zigīrim ← zigīr (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
bārim “lords” [← bâr] irregular-plural ✧ SD/247
Examples (weak-II gendered subjective plural)
Adûnâim “westerners” [← #Adûnâ] ✧ PE17/18
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/240
Adûnâim [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/388
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] ✧ SD/426
Avalōim “Powers, gods” [← Avalô] ✧ SD/241
Avalôim [← Avalô] ✧ SD/387
izrēm ← †izrē (plural) ✧ SD/438
mānōim ← mānōi (plural) ✧ SD/438
nardū̆wīm ← nardū̆wī (plural) ✧ SD/438
zōrīm ← zōrī (plural) ✧ SD/438
anīm ← anī (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
narīm ← †narī (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zinīm ← †zinī (plural) archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
khāwī(m) ← khō irregular-subjective ✧ SD/426
izrēnīm ← izrēnī (plural) plural-with-linking-consonant ✧ SD/438
Adûnâim “Men of Westernesse” [← #Adûnâ] subjective plural ✧ SDI2/Adûnâim
Avalôim [← Avalô] subjective plural ✧ SDI2/Avalôim

Examples (strong-I gendered subjective plural)
ēruhīnim [← #Êruhin] ✧ SD/247
ēruhīnim “Children of God” [← #Êruhin] ✧ SD/248
nimrim ← nimir ✧ SD/436
nithlim ← nithil ✧ SD/436
tamrim ← tamar ✧ SD/436
urkim ← uruk ✧ SD/436

Examples (subjective)
nimran ← nimir strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
nithlin ← nithil strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
tamrun ← tamar strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
urkan ← uruk strong-I gendered ✧ SD/436
ēruhīnim [← #Êruhin] strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/247
ēruhīnim “Children of God” [← #Êruhin] strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/248
nimrim ← nimir strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/436
nithlim ← nithil strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/436
tamrim ← tamar strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/436
urkim ← uruk strong-I gendered plural ✧ SD/436
huzōn ← huzun strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
khibēl ← khibil strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
zadān ← zadan strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
zadān ← zadan strong-I neut ✧ SD/430
huznāt ← huznat (dual) strong-I neut dual ✧ SD/430
khiblāt ← khiblat (dual) strong-I neut dual ✧ SD/430
zadnāt ← zadnat (dual) strong-I neut dual ✧ SD/430
bawība “winds” [← #bawab] strong-I neut plural ✧ SD/247
huzīna ← huzīn (plural) strong-I neut plural ✧ SD/430
khibīla ← khibīl (plural) strong-I neut plural ✧ SD/430
zadīna ← zadīn (plural) strong-I neut plural ✧ SD/430
Narīka “eagles” [← #narak] strong-I neut plural irregular-subjective ✧ SD/251
raban ← raba strong-II gendered ✧ SD/437
rabīm ← rabī (plural) strong-II gendered plural ✧ SD/437
azrā ← azra strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
gimlē ← gimli strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
nālō “shadow” [← #nâlu] strong-II neut ✧ SD/247
nīlō “moon” [← nîlu] strong-II neut ✧ SD/426
nīlō “moon” [← nîlu] strong-II neut ✧ SD/428
nīlō ← nīlu strong-II neut ✧ SD/431
azrāt ← †azrat (dual) strong-II neut dual ✧ SD/431
gimliyāt ← gimliyat (dual) strong-II neut dual ✧ SD/431
nīluwāt ← nīluwat (dual) strong-II neut dual ✧ SD/431
gimlāt ← †gimlat (dual) strong-II neut dual archaic-strong-dual ✧ SD/431
nīlāt ← †nīlat (dual) strong-II neut dual archaic-strong-dual ✧ SD/431
azrīya “seas” [← azra] strong-II neut plural ✧ SD/247
azrīya ← azrī (plural) strong-II neut plural ✧ SD/431
gimlīya ← gimlī (plural) strong-II neut plural ✧ SD/431
nīlīya ← nīlī (plural) strong-II neut plural ✧ SD/431
banāthin ← banāth weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
bārun [← bâr] weak-I gendered ✧ SD/312
bārun [← bâr] weak-I gendered ✧ SD/429
bārun ← bār weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
kathuphazgānun “conqueror” ← kathuphazgān weak-I gendered ✧ SD/429
mīthin ← mīth weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
nūphan ← nūph weak-I gendered ✧ SD/438
ar-pharazōnun [← Pharazôn] weak-I gendered ✧ SD/247
Pharazōnun [← Pharazôn] weak-I gendered ✧ SD/428
Pharazōnun ← Pharazōn weak-I gendered ✧ SD/429
phazānun ← phazān weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
zigūrun [← Zigûr] weak-I gendered ✧ SD/247
Zigūrun ← Zigūr weak-I gendered ✧ SD/250
zigūrun ← zigūr weak-I gendered ✧ SD/437
núphin ← nūph weak-I gendered fem ✧ SD/438
núphun ← nūph weak-I gendered masc ✧ SD/438
bārīm ← bārī (plural) weak-I gendered plural ✧ SD/438
mīthīm ← mīthī (plural) weak-I gendered plural ✧ SD/438
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] weak-I gendered plural ✧ PM/151
Nimruzîrim “Elf-friends” [← #nimruzîr] weak-I gendered plural ✧ PMI/Nimruzîrim
nūphīm ← nūphī (plural) weak-I gendered plural ✧ SD/438
banīthim ← banīth (plural) weak-I gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
phazīnim ← phazīn (plural) weak-I gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zigīrim ← zigīr (plural) weak-I gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
bārim “lords” [← bâr] weak-I gendered plural irregular-plural ✧ SD/247
abāra ← abār weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
batāna ← batān weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
pūha ← pūh weak-I neut ✧ SD/431
zāira “longing (is)” [← zâir] weak-I neut ✧ SD/247
abārāt ← abārat (dual) weak-I neut dual ✧ SD/431
batānāt ← batānat (dual) weak-I neut dual ✧ SD/431
pūhāt ← pūhat (dual) weak-I neut dual ✧ SD/431
abārīya ← abārī (plural) weak-I neut plural ✧ SD/432
batānīya ← batānī (plural) weak-I neut plural ✧ SD/432
pūhīya ← pūhī (plural) weak-I neut plural ✧ SD/432
batīna “roads” [← batân] weak-I neut plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/247
batīna “roads” ← batīn (plural) weak-I neut plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/435
batīna “ways (are)” [← batân] weak-I neut plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ VT24/12
anān ← anā weak-II gendered ✧ SD/437
izrēn ← izrē weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
mānōn ← mānō weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
nardūn ← nardū weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
zōrīn ← zōrī weak-II gendered ✧ SD/438
narun ← †naru weak-II gendered archaic-strong-subjective ✧ SD/437
zinin ← †zini weak-II gendered archaic-strong-subjective ✧ SD/437
khâu “crow” ← khō weak-II gendered irregular-subjective ✧ SD/426
Adûnâim “westerners” [← #Adûnâ] weak-II gendered plural ✧ PE17/18
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/240
Adûnâim [← #Adûnâ] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/388
Adūnāim [← #Adûnâ] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/426
Adûnâim “Men of Westernesse” [← #Adûnâ] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SDI2/Adûnâim
Avalōim “Powers, gods” [← Avalô] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/241
Avalôim [← Avalô] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/387
Avalôim [← Avalô] weak-II gendered plural ✧ SDI2/Avalôim
izrēm ← †izrē (plural) weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/438
mānōim ← mānōi (plural) weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/438
nardū̆wīm ← nardū̆wī (plural) weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/438
zōrīm ← zōrī (plural) weak-II gendered plural ✧ SD/438
anīm ← anī (plural) weak-II gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
narīm ← †narī (plural) weak-II gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
zinīm ← †zinī (plural) weak-II gendered plural archaic-strong-plural ✧ SD/437
khāwī(m) ← khō weak-II gendered plural irregular-subjective ✧ SD/426
izrēnīm ← izrēnī (plural) weak-II gendered plural plural-with-linking-consonant ✧ SD/438

References ✧ SD/425, 428-430, 432

Related

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