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Lesson 2

Index

Lesson 4

Lesson 3: Case assignment

Gímiv has no need for prepositions because it has extensive case assignment. A ‘case’ is a form of a noun that implies a special function within a sentence. For example, ‘I’ (in English) shows that the speaker is the performer of an action, this is known as the nominative case. ‘Me’ shows that the speaker is the receiver of an action or a preposition, this is known as the accusative case. ‘My’ shows that the speaker has some sort of possession, this is known as the genitive case.

Since English has lost most of its case markings, English relies on word order and prepositions to understand the functions of nouns within sentences. In ‘the dog chased the cat in the house,’ ‘the dog’ is the subject of the verb (nominative case), ‘the cat’ is the object of the verb (accusative case), and ‘in the house’ shows where the action took place (locative case). This sentence can not be reordered without changing the meaning of the sentence. ‘The cat chased the dog in the house’ changes the functions of ‘the dog’ and ‘the cat.’

Gímiv has a total of 18 cases, 3 of which are determined by word order. The other 15 take what are called ‘case-markers.’ For those of you who are familiar with ‘X-bar Theory’ and ‘Government and Binding Theory,’ adjuncts ALWAYS take phonetically realised case markings, but complements NEVER take case markings because the verb assigns them case by word order. For those of you who are not familiar with these linguistic theories, to put it simply, the subject of a verb, the direct object of a verb, and the indirect object of a verb do NOT take case markings. Everything else does. Case markings are prefixed to the noun that they modify. Here are the case markings:

Motion spatial:

Pa-

to, toward, into

ERGATIVE CASE

This case indicates motion towards a noun. For example, ‘pasúnid’ means ‘toward a school.’

Ta-

at, on, in, around, through

CIRCATIVE CASE

This case indicates the location of a noun but with motion implied. For example, ‘tasúnid’ means ‘around a school.’ It can also mean ‘through a school’ with a verb of motion.

Ka-

from, away from, out of

ABLATIVE CASE

This case indicates motion away from a noun. For example, ‘kasúnid’ means ‘away from a school.’

Static spatial:

Ba-

to, near

PROXIMATIVE CASE

This case indicates location near a noun. For example, ‘basúnid’ means ‘near a school.’

Da-

at, on, in / with (a person)

LOCATIVE CASE

This case indicates the location of a noun or accompaniment with a person. For example, ‘dasúnid’ means ‘at a school’ but ‘dasánad’ means ‘with a teacher.’

Ga-

from, far from

DISTANTIVE CASE

This case indicates a distant location from a noun. For example, ‘gasúnid’ means ‘far from a school.’

Abstract:

Ma-

by means of, with

INSTRUMENTAL CASE

This case indicates means by which an action is performed. For example, ‘magimiiv’ means ‘with words.’ Nouns in this case are used to modify verbs only.

Na-

of (possession)

GENITIVE CASE

This case indicates possession. For example, ‘nasúnid’ means ‘of a school.’ Note that English still has a genitive case: ‘school’s.’ Nouns in this case are used to modify nouns only.

Nga-

by (usually with passive verbs)

AGENTIVE CASE

This case indicates the performer of an action. When used with a passive verb, it can be translated with the preposition ‘by.’ When used with an active or middle verb, it shows that the modified noun helped perform the verb. For example, ‘ngasánad’ means ‘by a teacher’ or ‘with help from a teacher.’ Nouns in this case are used to modify verbs only.

Static temporal:

Fa-

during, within

This case shows an unspecified time within a specified length of time. For example, ‘during a day’ indicates a point in time or a length of time within a day.

Sa-

at, on

This case shows a specific point in time. For example, ‘at noon’ indicates the specific point in time ‘noon.’

Kha-

for (an entire duration)

This case shows a specific length of time. For example, ‘for a day’ indicates the entire duration of a day.

Relative temporal:

Va-

before

This case shows time before a specified time. For example, ‘before yesterday’ means any time before yesterday.

Za-

since (when used with past) / until (when used with future)

This case ties the specified time to the present. When used with the past, it means ‘since,’ as in ‘since yesterday.’ When used with the future, it means ‘until,’ as in ‘until tomorrow.’

Gha-

after

This case shows time after a specified time. For example, ‘after tomorrow’ means any time after tomorrow.

Note that English employs the preposition ‘with’ in two senses: First, it can be instrumental, such as in ‘I fought them with a sword;’ second, it can be accompaniment, such as in ‘I fought them with my friend.’ Be sure to distinguish between these 2 meanings, as they are expressed by 2 separate cases in Gímiv.

The temporal cases have not been given examples in Gímiv since we have yet to learn any roots indicating time. Gímiv verbs can also take the temporal cases to show temporal relations between two (or more) verbs. We will deal with the notion of time in lesson 9.

Case prefixes are NEVER accented. For example, ‘pasúnid’ is accented on the ‘u,’ which is the first syllable of the root. ‘Pasuniid’ is accented on the long vowel (‘ii’).

Abstract nouns can also take case markings. For instance, ‘nasiinid’ means ‘of knowledge.’