Instrumental case

Instrumental case (abbreviated as INS) is the grammatical case that marks tools and means of an action. In Nûrlâm it is marked with postposition “-irzi” for declension class I and “-rzi” for declension class II, which can be translated into English as “by”, “by means of”, “with use of”, “using”, “through (use of)”, “via”, etc. Instrumental case changes the role of nouns and pronouns into adverbial. Typical applications of instrumental case in Nûrlâm include:

  • to indicate instrument of an action: “I cut the tree with an axe” = “Dagrish orn pulkirzi”, “send by (messenger) raven” = “hîst kragirzi”;
  • to indicate the agent of passive action expressed by passive participle or verb (“The tree that was cut by me” = “Ornum grishaga darzi”) or gerundive (“The tree to be cut by me” = “Ornum (kulâ) grishat darzi”).
  • make distributive numerals: “one by one” = “ash ashirzi”, “stand by fours” = “bin hantirzi”;
  • locative function denoting motion through the object or some media (“they came by the sea” = “Takskâtuz kârshirzi”), may be further clarified by adding postposition “tuk” (through): “Takskâtuz kârshirzi tuk”; this function is sometimes called Prolative, Prosecutive or Vialis case;

Instrumental case is not used when translating preposition “by” from English in following cases:

  • locative function with stationary meaning “near(by)” (“house by the sea”) – replace with noun in Adessive case together with postposition “mush”: “ozdum kârshir mush”;
  • to denote ending of an action before/by some time – Accusative case is used together with prepositions “ik”, “ugil” or “zi”: “They all will be killed by the dawn” = “Takûk (kubû) dogat ik ânsh”1) = “Dogubâtulûk zi ânsh”2).

Instrumental vs. Comitative case

Comitative case may be confused with Instrumental case, as both of them may be translated with English preposition “with”. The difference is that either word “together” or presence of companion or emotion is implied in Comitative case, while Instrumental case means “with use of”, “using”. Compare: “He speaks with fear in his voice” = “Tagashn ufursha mogtabishi” (COM) vs. “He speaks with flattery” = “Tagashn glizgirzi” (INS), “He talks with elves” = “Tashugb golugsha” (COM) vs. “He talks with his mouth” = “Tashugb pugtabirzi” (INS), “Kill the orc with knife”3) = “Dog urukum kirmsha” (COM) vs. “Kill the orc with (use of) knife”4) = “Dog urukum kirmirzi” (INS).

The verb “gûk-” (to fill) requires indirect object (if present) to be in Instrumental case: “Fill the barrels with fish” = “Gûk kralt skabirzi”. But “kralt skabsha” means that fish is already in the barrels.

using gerundive
using impersonal sentence
order to kill orc that have knife with him
order to kill orc using the knife
case_instrumental.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/07 00:59 (external edit)