Nûrlâm has a group of grammatical cases intended for marking locations and directions of movement (and also of sight and sound). They are collectively called Locative cases. They are similar to English prepositions such as “in”, “on”, “at”, “to”, “from”. Nûrlâm's system of locative cases is similar to that one of Uralic (Finno-Ugric) languages, but has one additional Intrative case (suffix -ri, similar to English preposition “between”) which is rare in real-world languages. Locative cases usually transform the role of noun from object into adverbial.
English and many other languages has confusing rules on using prepositions indicating position. In Nûrlâm they are used only literally according to the summary table above (except some abstract nouns). So the usage of locative words may differ from English. For example, if you want say “He lives in Mordor”, you should use suffix -or and not -ishi (both can be translated as “in”): “Takûl Uzgbûrzor”. There may be still ambiguities, specially with objects describing almost flat locations on Earth's surface (like forest, farm, city), but usually they are treated the same as objects with 3-dimensional border (like room, body). Locative cases may refer groups of people (words like army, gang, Rohirrim, etc.).
It should not be mixed with Elative case which has similar meaning (see below). Ablative is specially not used with geographical names.
Adessive case is formed by clitic postposition “-ir” for declension class I and “-zir” for declension class II. It can be translated into English with prepositions “on”, “on top of”, “at”, “in”. It usually marks static position of subject on the object, including:
Allative case is formed by clitic postposition -u for declension class I and -zu for declension class II. It can be translated with English prepositions “onto”, “upon”, “towards”, “to”. It's used to indicate general direction of movement with verbs like “go”, “come”, “return”, “bring”, etc:
Please notice, that phrase “One does not simply walk into Mordor” should be translated with Illative case (see below), because getting inside is meant there, not just to the borders of the region. “Fall into darkness” will be also translated with Illative case, while “Ascend to the light” with Allative.
Allative case can be also mixed with Adessive case, but difference is that “Takamduz dîlgir” means “He was already on the roof when he started jumping” and “Takamduz dîlgu” means “He was on the ground and then jumped to the roof”, while both can be loosely translated as “He jumped on the roof”.
Elative case is formed by clitic postposition -ah for declension class I and -zah for declension class II. It can be translated with English prepositions “out of”, “from”. Elative case usually marks:
Illative case is the only locative case found in known Tolkien's material. It is formed by clitic postposition -ishi for declension class I and -shi for declension class II. It is usually translated with English prepositions “into”, “inside”, “inwards”, “in”, “within”. Illative case always implies motion or transformation:
Inessive case is formed by clitic postposition -or for declension class I and -zor for declension class II. It can be translated with English prepositions “in” and “at”. Inessive case is used to denote:
Inessive case is not used for indicating purpose or receiving a benefit (“in order to” – gerundive; “in memory of”, “in loving memory” – dative case instead).
Intrative case is rarely found in languages of real world. It is formed by clitic postposition -ri for both declension classes. It has basic meaning “between”, “among”, “amidst”. If two objects are mentioned than “-ri” should be added to both nouns. Intrative case is used to express:
Please note that motion within the borders of location or surface of object is denoted with Illative case (see above).
Some grammatical and marginal cases may be confused with certain locative cases due to their usage in English.
As Elative case may be expressed with English compound preposition “out of”, it may be confused with Genitive case. Elative case is used when “out of” may be replaced semantically with “from” (so, almost always). Any of these two cases may be used when applied to some material. Example: “Rise from the ashes” ⇒ “Tulg hîshtah” = “Tulg hîshtob”.
Dative case may be confused with Allative as they are both expressed with English preposition “to”. For example, in Shadowlandian dialect Tolkien's ending “-u” was frequently used for Dative case (“-ûr” was used only with literal translation of preposition “for”).
In Nûrlâm these are two distinct cases. If “to” can be replaced with “for” than Dative case should be used. Usually dative refers to persons, while allative to places. However the sentence “Bring the ring to Minas Morgul” may be translated with dative case too, if “Minas Morgul” is considered as referrer to Nazgûl: “Thrak nazgum Dushgoizu” or “Thrak nazgum Dushgoizûr”.
English preposition “by” may refer to motion near or through the object, so it carries some locative functions. Static position near the object in Nûrlâm is expressed with Adessive case with additional postposition “mush” (next to, near). Motion near the borders of the object is expressed with Allative case with same postposition “mush”. Motion near or through the borders may be expressed with postposition “as” (across, along, through) with object in Accusative case. Instrumental case is used with locative function together with postposition “tuk” (through): “They will go through the forest of shadows” = “Takukhub taurzi tuk bathob”.
Comitative case may denote a very close proximity of object and subject but with a tone of alienable possession and without exact location. For example in “Tabrus ash kirm îmsha” = “He has a knife with him(self)”, suffix “-sha” shows primarily that knife is somewhere near the person's pocket or arm without stating exactly where, but also that person currently possess the knife but do not necessarily own it (may be borrowed or stolen).
Essive case is used in Uralic languages similarly to locative case but regarding to time (Finnish “maanantaina” = “on Monday”). Probably it was used as general locative case in ancient language (“kotona” = “at home”). In Nûrlâm the term “essive” used only for it's wider occurrence, while it's functions are closer to “similative” or “equative”.
Ancient Black Speech probably had a large number of locative cases expressed by postpositions, similar to Hungarian and various North-East Caucasian languages. Colloquial Debased Black Speech had none of them. The following stages of abandoning of locative cases occurred during transformation from Standard Nûrlâm to Colloquial: