Declension classes

All nouns we learnt in one of the previous lessons were ending with consonant, so adding definite article “-um” wasn't a problem. But what if there were some words ending with a vowel? Then, definite article is changed to just “-m”, e.g. “slave” is “snaga”, and “the slave” is “snagam”. Groups of words that are changed similarly during inflection are called “declension classes”.

Nûrlâm has two declension classes:

  1. words ending with consonants (declension class I, majority of nouns belong to it)
  2. words ending with vowels (declension class II).

Declension class is very important, as not only the articles, but some other grammatical suffixes differ depending on declension class too.

New words

There are very few words ending with a vowel (declension class II) to learn. Probably more than half of them are listed here:

  • fau (snow)1)
  • gai (chain)
  • gau (fruit)
  • ghru (stick)
  • glu (piss)2)
  • goi (city)
  • hlu (clothes)3)
  • hrau (flesh, meat)4)
  • khlau (ear)
  • lau (year)
  • mau (warrior)5)
  • noi (bee)
  • poi (berry)
  • sau (skill, ability, craft)
  • shra (person, character)
  • slai (life)
  • snaga (slave, servant, thrall)
  • sru (seed, grain)
  • tau (forest)
  • zrî (joy, fun)6)

You may notice, that most of them actually end with a diphthong, so technically a semi-vowel, but nonetheless they all belong to declension class II.

All adjectives also have two declension classes depending on if the word ends with a consonant or vowel.

Declension classes in longer chains

Every addition of suffix or clitic should be done according to declension class of the previous part. For example the word “slave” (⇒ “snaga”) belongs to declension class II, adding adjective “dirty” (“dug”) to say “filthy snaga” changes the resulting word “snagadug” to class I. Thus “the slave” becomes “snagam”, but “the filthy slave” becomes “snagadugum”. On the contrary, “orc” (= “uruk”, declension class I) becomes “urukum” with article “the”, but adding adjective ending with vowel like “sta” (= “short”) converts it to declension class II: “urukstam”. Some suffixes are the same for both declension classes, like word “za” (this): “this slave” = “snagaza”, “this orc” = “urukza”.

Exercise 1

Translate into Nûrlâm. Join the words together whenever it's possible as in previous lesson.

  1. bring two strong slaves
  2. burn the city
  3. cut the long stick
  4. eat this fruit
  5. go and see some fun
  6. nice skills
  7. three redberries
  8. sleep all this year
  9. stop the large dragon
  10. the fat meat

show answers

show answers

  1. thrak krul snagabolg / thrak krul bolg snaga
  2. ghâsh goim
  3. grish ghrurodhum / grish za ghrurodh / grish za rodh ghru / grish rodh ghrum
  4. throkh za gau / throkh gauza
  5. ukh agh kin mûd zrî
  6. saunîr / nîr sau
  7. krig poikarn
  8. lor ûk za lau
  9. puzg lûgdaum / puzg dau lûgum / puzg za lûgdau / puzg za dau lûg
  10. hrautûrzum / tûrz hraum / za hrautûrz / za tûrz hrau

Exercise 2

Translate these words from Nûrlâm into English:

  1. faudugum
  2. gaibûrdum
  3. glum
  4. hludugûk
  5. khlaurodh
  6. maugûrzum
  7. shranîrum
  8. slairodhum
  9. srubhog
  10. taustam

show answers

show answers

  1. the dirty snow
  2. the heavy chain
  3. the piss
  4. all dirty clothes
  5. long ears
  6. the dead warrior
  7. the nice person / the beautiful person / the pretty person
  8. the long life
  9. nice seeds / good grain / nice grain / good seeds
  10. the short forest

See also

1) , 2) , 3) , 4) , 6)
note that “mauh” with the same meaning from previous lessons is preferrable variant
lessons/declension_classes.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/01 22:31 by morgoth