Noun phrase syntax
The canonical order of noun phrase constituents was as follows:
- (demonstrative) - (quantifier) - noun - (adjectives) - (possessives) - (obliques) - (relative clause)
|1||ke||liké, lasó||lōke||lo, keʔo||keyʔi|
- The reflex of zō "three" was completely replaced by the Habeo borrowing iyo except for a fossilised ordinal; this was almost certainly triggered by the numbers 3 and 10 becoming homophonous in XVA. The same sound change caused the compound formation ke ro to spread, resulting in an alternate word for "ten".
- Due to another major case of near-homophony (this time between the ordinals of 1-9 and the cardinal numbers 11-19), the ordinal prefix lu- was superseded by the emerging definite article.
- The initial /l/ of the number 6 originally appeared in the derived forms only, but was extended to the cardinal.
- The word for 1000 was borrowed from Adhāsth méıllə.
- The first three numbers possessed both regular and irregular ordinal forms. The latter were far more common; in addition to the numeral value they carried a connotation of ranking. The regular variants were more neutral; they were used mainly when listing inanimate things (e.g. in business).
- lasó < XVA *rē asu "the primary X, the leading X"
- likók < definite article + Yellow Habeo koko "two"
- loló < fossilised direct reflex of Ad. luzō
All numerals were nouns, and as such could take regular inflections for case and possession.
Numbers higher than 100 were formed as phrasal compounds with the conjunction on. Only the first element of such compounds could take case prefixes, and only the last element could take possession suffixes.
- yayʔi on poʔoman
ya-iʔi on poʔo-man
two-hundred and forty-seven
To express the quantity of a nominal constituent, a possessive construction with the numeral in the role of syntactic head was employed. The numeral took the appropriate inflection for case, and was marked for the noun in question with possession affixes. The noun itself was cast in the ablative-partitive case if it was indefinite, and in the direct case if it was definite.
- íyokaq akiʔlo
- omyaʔek lippáu
near the two lakes
An adjectivial construction in which the noun fulfilled the role of head for a postposed attributive numeral was also possible, but considered archaic literary style.
- likoyan lōto
the Fifteen Laws (of Zārakātias)
These quantifiers uniformly preceded their nouns; however, two semantically distinct constructions were possible. In the first one, the quantifier was an invariable particle placed immediately before the inflected noun, signifying its absolute quantity. In the second construction, which had a partitive meaning, the noun was cast in the ablative-partitive case (and usually in the definite plural as well), and the quantifier behaved like a noun which could inflect for other cases if necessary.
- pa alān
a few years
- nam assičīm
some of the men
Possessive phrases were formed by inflecting the possessed noun for the person and number of the possessor, and placing the possessor in the possessive slot of the NP, after any single-word adjectives but before locatives and relative clauses. The possessor usually received no overt case marking, though inflection for the ablative-partitive case was possible to specify non-congruent possession. Stacking of multiple possessive relationships was possible.
- liyopākiska liciska
the throne of the king
- limaʔlek likšéʔnakaq assikoyso
li-mal-ʔek lik-šenih-kaq a-lik-oyso
DEF.SG-ornament-3PL.INAN DEF.PL-armor-3PL.ANIM ABL-DEF.PL-soldier
the decoration of the armor of some of the soldiers
Oblique noun phrases
The oblique slot held all appositional noun phrases in a non-direct case. This included locatives, benefactives, partitives, and relationals, all of which were marked directly on the appositional noun, and adnominal phrases introduced by a free-standing preposition.
The allative-dative case (glossed as dat) was used for indicating targets of motion, directions, recipients, and beneficiaries. It was also used to demote direct objects to attributes of the subject.
- leqōsah ayl-Áʔlolo
the trade route to Akelodo
- liʔlakso elličaʔa
the taxes for the city council
- liyaqau ellipanî
the killer of the priest
The locative-temporal case (loc) indicated the location of an object in space or of an event in time.
- ličó onnicīya
the barley in the storage room
- liyáyolo om-Lātyo
the market at Midsummer
The ablative-partitive case (abl) was used to indicate source of motion, origin, material, unit of counting, and standard of comparison.
- linommo a-Kāʔan
the merchant from Kasca
- tayne ayceʔo
a tower made of stone
The instrumental case (ins) denoted instruments, tools, manner and circumstance. It could also indicate the causer or patron of an action, or the agent of a verb in the passive voice.
- poye atsōn
a wound from a spear
The relational-causal case (rel) was used to indicate reasons, characteristics, abstract goals, affinity or involvement, and other kinds of general association.
- īwo loʔišinelīte
a rest because of bad weather
- ołay loliʔleya allin
Ø-ołay lo-lik-leya allin
INDEF.SG-expert REL-DEF.PL-law Athalēran
an expert in Athalēran law
- állayo lo-Ánicay
a temple in honor of Anaitī
Kuyʔūn had turned the most common of Adāta's prepositions into case prefixes; however, some specialised prepositions remained, and others were borrowed from Habeo languages. All of these normally governed the direct case (with pronouns: the oblique case), but they could also be used in conjunction with the other cases to create more refined meanings.
|yo||as, like, while||< iu|
|pen||with (comitative)||< pen|
|yono||before, in front of||< īlanu|
|au||after, behind, except for||< uza "after" & al "without"|
|aʔi||above, on top of||< axē "upward"|
|īn||under||< ēna "downward"|
|pot||to the right of||< Y.H. put|
|mipi||to the left of||< Y.H. mipi|
|cocit||next to, outside of||< Y.H. cucit "near, close"|
|nitat||all around, throughout||< Pl.H. nɨtat|
|sēt||through, via, along||< R.H. si:te|
- litimo onnitolo
the child at the table (i.e. sitting at the table)
- litimo aʔi litolo/onnitolo
li-timo aʔi (om-)li-tolo
DEF.SG-child above (LOC-)DEF.SG-table
the child on top of the table
- litimo aʔi ellitolo
li-timo aʔi ayl-li-tolo
DEF.SG-child above DAT-DEF.SG-table
the child that is climbing on top of the table
| To Be Continued...|
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