Genitive case

Genitive case (abbreviated as GEN) is the grammatical case that marks a noun/pronoun modifying another noun/pronoun. It is marked by postposition -ob for declension class I and by postposition -b for declension class II. It usually shifts the function of the noun from object to modifier/attributive/determiner. The most common function of genitive case is to indicate possession, so the term Possessive case is often used. As there are no special possessive pronouns in Nûrlâm, the genitive case of personal pronouns is used instead. However genitive case have a broader function than just the possession (compare “pack of wolves” with “wolf's pack”).

Functions of Genitive case

Typical functions of Genitive case in Nûrlâm include:

  • Possession or ownership (Possessive case), both alienable (current, temporary) and inalienable (permanent): compare “orc's knife” (= “kirm urukob”) with “orc's head” (= “kaz urukob”);
  • Origin or ancestry (pure Genitive): “orcs of Mordor” = “uruk Uzgbûrzob”;
  • Relationship of objects (“orc's father” = “krank urukob”);
  • Description or explanation of noun with another noun (“night of sorcery” = “fugh dushob”, “city of Gondor” = “goi Gunduzgob”), usually replaced with compound word (“dushfugh”);
  • Material or source (“knife made of steel” = “kirm krampuga yazgob”);
  • Reason (“I'm tired of hard work” = “Dakûbruz snagumob”, “He died of disease” = “Tamatuz gômob”)
  • Forensic/Judical Genitive (Latin “Genitivus forensis”, “Genitivus criminis”): “accusation of murder” = “slogurm dogurmob”;
  • with verbal nouns and participles:
    • Genitive of object: “lust of bounty” = “ghîr raunob”, usually can be replaced with Dative of purpose (“lust for bounty” = “ghîr raunûr”) or compound word (“raunghîr” = “bounty lust”);
    • Genitive of subject: “arrival of Morgoth” = “skâturm Morgothob”;
  • Quality: “man of honour” = “shra gormob”;
  • Comparisons (after adjective in comparative form): “larger than him” = “dauzar tab”, may be replaced with conjunction “snû” (than) with noun/pronoun in accusative case (“dauzar snû tash”);
  • Abundance or shortage: “Rivers full of fish” = “sîr gûk skabob”, “We have lack of food” = “Dakbrus stârz throkob1), “There is no need for water” = “Nar bolkurm nînob”.
  • Absence of something (usually in negative impersonal sentences): “There is no life here” = “Nar kîbob zin”;
  • Partitive functions:
    • element of set: “group of men” = “shalk tarkob”, “gang of orcs” = “lurg urukob”;
    • part of bigger object: “a piece of meat” = “ash naht âpsob”, “a sip of water” = “ash akr nînob”;
    • substance: “wheel of cheese” = “kirn gurthob”, “loaf of bread” = “gurn mazgob”, “barrel of ale” = “kralt hîmbob”;
    • fractions: “half of orcs” = “pir urukob”, “one third of fruits” = “ash krigûrz gaub”;
    • set or exact quantity: “three of orcs” = “krig urukob2), “pair of shoes” = “pur shkabob”;
    • together with indefinite pronouns and quantifiers to mark uncertain number from zero to all members of set/group: “many of them” = “mak takob”, “none of orcs” = “nar urukob”, “most of men” = “marm tarkob”, “all of elves” = “ûk golugob”, “some of fruits” = “mûd gaub”. May be omitted if noun already has possessive modifier: “many (of) our warriors” = “mak maub dakob” = “mak maudakob”.
  • to mark objects of certain verbs;
  • with certain adpositions (“ik”, “it”, “ithu”, “îzan”);

Genitive versus Ablative and Elative case

In many languages Genitive has functions of Ablative case. In Nûrlâm they are distinct cases. Compare “orc of Mordor” (orc born in Mordor, orc serving in Mordor) with “orc from Mordor” (orc came from Mordor, but not necessarily obeying to Mordor or not necessarily been born there). For example, in Russian preposition “из” (“from”) together with noun in Genitive case is used to denote material, but in Nûrlâm “from” is translated into Ablative (postposition “-bo”), Elative (postposition “-ah”) case, or preposition “ghâr” together with Elative case; therefore direct translation will be incorrect, so plain Genitive should be used, however Elative is also possible if transformation of one material into another is supposed (“make wine from blood” = “kramp gabh ghorah”).

lit. “We have little of food”
three orcs of larger group, compare with “krig uruk”, just 3 orcs or there are totally 3 orcs present
case_genitive.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/07 00:59 (external edit)