Expressions of absence

Expressions of absence may be counted as a subgroup of expressions of possession, but are negated. They usually show that subject do not possess the object (which may be not a material object but an abstract quality). Absence in Nûrlâm may be expressed with three different constructions:

  1. Negated verb of possession + object in accusative case;
  2. Negation of object in comitative case;
  3. Object of possession becomes grammatical subject;
  4. Impersonal clause with object in genitive case (usually in subordinate sentences).

1. Verbs of possession

Typical verbs that express ownership in Nûrlâm are “tabz-” (to possess, to own) and “brus-” (to have [got]). To express absence they should be negated by prefix “nar-”. This way looks like calque from English and is mostly used in colloquial speech. Example: “You have no power here!” = “Finarbrus bal zin!”.

2. Negation of comitative case

Straightforward translation of English preposition “without” is done by adding negative particle “nar” after postposition of comitative case “sha” (with). Example: “Fikul balshanar zin” = “You're without power here!”

3. Raising object to subject

Object of (lacked) possession may be raised to grammatical subject the following way:

  1. Object is being put into nominative case, thus becoming the subject.
  2. Absence of possession is expressed by prefix “nar-” added to the verb “kul-” (to be) which is frequently omitted, thus often just by particle “nar”.
  3. Subject of possession becomes grammatical object being put into comitative case.

For example: “You have no power here!” = “Finarbrus bal zin!” ⇒ “Bal nar(kulâ) (zin) fisha!” (“Balnarfisha”, lit. “Power isn't (here) with you!”)

4. Impersonal clauses

Impersonal clauses may be used to translate English negative existential clauses “there is/are no…”:

  1. Dummy subject “there” is not used in Nûrlâm
  2. The verb “to be” (kûl) is usually omitted in present tense
  3. Object is put into genitive case.

Example 1: “He runs like there is no tomorrow” = “Takhîg oth nar ârshabob”.

Example 21): “Nar balob fisha” = “There is no power with you!”

 Please note, that English impersonal expressions of prohibition like “No way!” or “No smoking!” do not mean absence and are translated differently: “no way” = “nararz”2) = “nardabhaga”3), “no smoking” = “trim nardabhaga”4).

combined with variant 3
this is not how
not allowed
smoke is not allowed
syntax_absence.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by