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Shikathi Case System
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A vestige of Old-Shikathi declensions
This public article was written by Vulcanman, and last updated on 4 Nov 2017, 16:49.

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20. Verbs
Menu
1. Pronouns
2. Nominative Case
3. Accusative Case
4. Dative Case
5. Genitive Case
6. Instrumental Case

(DdModern Shikathi inherited its case system from  Old Shikathi. While Old Shikathi cases included: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Instrumental, Locative, Temporal and Vocative, only the first five of that list are preserved morphologically in Modern Shikathi... and then, only used in certain words.


[top]Pronouns



Most of the surviving declensions are seen in personal pronouns. In fact, the personal pronoun declensions technically predate Old Shikathi and is ultimately derived from Proto-Shikathi, where the case marker position depended on whether a noun was classified as animate or inanimate. While most case markers in Modern Shikathi are attached to the end of a word, the case markers for pronouns are attached at the beginning (except for the genitive case). This is due to the pronouns originally belonging to the animacy category. You'll notice an exception for the pronouns meaning "anything" and "nothing". As they were originally classified as inanimate, the case markers are towards the end.

Here are the pronouns and their declensions:


Case 1st person2nd person3rd person impersonal
(one / someone / something)
nobodynothinganythingreflexive / reciprocal
Verbal Prefixūm-il-indra-(masc.)
aea-(fem.)
kū-(neut.)
sen-tos- (obsolete: tōzn-)tos- (obsolete: tōzn-)krae- / kre- ne-
Nominative vlāmvlālvlāndra (masc.)
vlaea (fem.)
vlākū (neut.)
vlāzn vlaos (obsolete: vlatōzn)kraetō (obsolete: kreftō)krae (obsolete: kraefl)vlāne
Accusativeshūmshilshindra (masc.)
shaea (fem.)
shenū (neut.)
shenshenos (obsolete: shentōzn)kreshkraeshshāne
Dativeghūmghilghindra (masc.)
ghaea (fem.)
ghenū (neut.)
ghenghenos (obsolete: ghenōzn)kraezhakraeghghāne
Genitiveūmthī / ūmshpailthī / ilshpaindrāðī / indrāshpa (masc.)
aeāðī / aeāshpa (eāðī / eāshpa)(fem.)
ðī / kūshpa (neut.)
senthī / senshpa ðī / tōshpa (obsolete: tōzenthī / tōzenshpa)kretōðī / kretōshpakraeðī / kraeshpanethī / neshpa
Obsolete: Genitive (only preserved in ancient texts) mlndra (masc.)
daea (fem.)
kū (neut.)
zndatōznkraedakraedane


[top]Nominative Case



Except for the pronouns, Modern Shikathi words have no inflection for the Nominative case.

There are some words, however, where the nominative marker has been fossilized into the word. The marker no longer represents the nominative case itself.

For example:

vlāsh (from older: vlāche) = boy
derived from Old Shikathi: f’laender chaelem (man-child) (hypothetical modern equivalent: vlāndra chälm)

or

vlagrōfn (from older: vlal grōfinthī) = thank you
from Old Shikathi: f’lel geroen’f (you are a small piece of grace itself)


[top]Accusative Case



Just like with the Nominative case, except for the pronouns, Modern Shikathi words have no inflection for the Accusative case. Also like the Nominative case, there are some words that were once Accusative and still maintain the fossilized marker.

For example:

shorāsh = essence / spirit / life force
shorāsh akām = to exist / to be alive / to be / to live

These are derived from the Old Shikathi: sh’uura (or) sh’uora (accusative case of ‘the living fire’ / ‘the living flame’) from the expression: sh’uura kelakhuu (possessing/holding the living flame) an idiomatic expression meaning “to be alive”


[top]Dative Case



Except for the pronouns, Modern Shikathi words have no inflection for the Dative case.

Unlike the previous two cases, Modern Shikathi words derived from the Old Shikathi dative case are not readily apparent. This is mainly due to the nature of the Old Shikathi case system where the case markers could either go at the beginning (animate class) or at the end (inanimate class) of a word. Many words that maintain the fossilized Dative marker originate from the inanimate class of words, and so the marker will fall in the middle or the end of a word.

For example:

Modern: dōna (Old Shikathi: doona = worry / fear … donaagh = worry / fear in the Old Dative case)

Modern: dōngha from older dōnaghām = disfiguration / disfigurement

Related to:

Modern: dōnghaīm = undesirability

All from Old Shikathi donaazhi (a mutation of donaadghi) = an adjective describing something / someone who has given themselves over to fear/worry)


Special note on Dative Case usage (Dative of Victimization)


Besides the normal usage that one would expect from the Dative case, there is another usage that might not be so obvious. Shikathi will use the Dative case (or non-inflected word in the indirect object position) to indicate who is the "victim" of an unintended occurrence. English can approximate this construction using a prepositional phrase. Compare the two sentences:

I broke the pencil.

vs.

The pencil broke on me.

The first sentence implies that I acknowledge my role in breaking the pencil (perhaps I was writing too hard) whereas the second implies even further unintentionality (perhaps the pencil was defective and I’m the victim here).

Shikathi has a similar construction using the Dative case (or using the indirect object position in the sentence). Use the Dative case along with a verb in the Middle voice to indicate an unintended occurrence. For unintended occurrences, the object becomes the subject of the sentence. Compare the two sentences:

tōgn chōkintyr ūmtyrlātr. (I broke the pencil)
pencil break 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

vs.

tōgn ghūm chōkintyr torakām. (The pencil broke on me)
pencil DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
break PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
.




Here are some other examples of this construction that may or may not have English equivalents...


shilfämzā lator = to relocate
vs.
Dative + shilfämzā akām = to misplace / to lose


belyntor lator = to sabotage
vs.
Dative + belyntor akām = to mess up (something)


benghnaet lator = to steal
vs.
Dative + benghnaet akām = to take something by accident

... and lots more.

Most of these expressions will pertain to accidental events, but there is one that follows this same construction that doesn't necessarily mean "by accident". It's an idiom that means "make someone do something" (Gerund + DAT + thorān akām). Consider the following sentences:

("accidental" constructions)

I am made to sing. (literally: singing is energized on me)
inzāzhagrōshym ghūm thorān akām.
song-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
energy MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
.

He makes me sing. (literally: singing is energized on me because of him)
inzāzhagrōshym ghūm thorān akām indrarum.
song-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
energy MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-by.

vs.

(normal constructions)

I am motivated to sing (period). / I motivate myself to sing.
inzāzhagrōshām thorān ūmakām.
song-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
energy 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
.

I am motivated to sing (by someone).
inzāzhagrōshām thorān ūmekrō.
song-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
energy 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
.

He motivates me to sing.
shūm inzāzhagrōshām thorān indrālator.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
song-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
energy 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.




[top]Genitive Case



Genitive Case (Type 1)


The Genitive case is the most preserved case in Modern Shikathi and is used not only for pronouns but for all nouns. This case endures because it has also become an adjective / adverb marker.

Even in Old Shikathi, the genitive case of inanimate nouns became the basis for adjectivization and adverbialization. The genetive case in Old Shikathi was represented by daa / d' (animate) and -aad (inanimate), and the genitive case for adjectives and adverbs was -aadthi. The Modern Shikathi equivalent is -thī or -ðī for all adjective and adverbs.

As the case markers began to disappear, what was once the ADJ/ADV marker became the new GEN marker for all words.

Examples of the Genitive case used in Modern Shikathi.

My book.
tōgna ūmthī.
Book 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.

The book’s theme.
drōkāstha tōgnāði
Theme book-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.

Examples of the Genitive case marker used as an adjectival and adverbial marker.

The red book.
tōgna orarīðī.
Book red-ADJAdjectival
syntactic


The book is read quickly.
tōgna ekrō brethī.
Book PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
quickness-ADVAdverbial
e.g. English '-ly'



Genitive Case (Type 2)


A second Genitive case was used in Old Shikathi and survives intact in Modern Shikathi. The marker for this alternate Genitive case is -shpa-. Scholars are unsure as to the origin of this marker and theorize that this could be a carryover from Zh’khaarian (the language spoken by Zh’khaar himself) or Nyrii (the language spoken by Shikathi ancestors from the pre-Zh'khaarian era.)

In Old Shikathi, the two genitive cases were used interchangeably, but in Modern Shikathi, the second genitive case is used primarily with pronouns. The difference in meaning is similar to: my vs. mine.

It is my book.
tōgna ūmthī.
Book 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
.

The book is mine.
tōgna ūmshpa.
Book 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive



The second genitive form can also be used for other words to prevent ambiguity in meaning. For example the following phrase could be taken one of two ways:

The art of war
trashagrōsh ätīkthī
Art war-GENGenitive (case)
possessive


or...

War-art (the art depicting war)
trashagrōsh ätīkthī
Art war-ADJAdjectival
syntactic


To eliminate ambiguity, one might say,

The art of war
trashagrōsh ätīkshpa
Art war-GENGenitive (case)
possessive



Another case where the second genitive marker is used is if the first marker is already being used in a phrase as a true genitive, an adjective, or an adverb.


My art of war
trashagōsh ätīkshpa ūmthī
Art war-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive


or...

My art of war / My war-art (my art depicting war)
trashagōsh ätīkthī ūmshpa.
Art war-ADJAdjectival
syntactic
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive




[top]Instrumental Case



The Instrumental case is the second most preserved case in Modern Shikathi. In Old Shikathi, it was represented by -iin. The Modern Shikathi equivalent is phonetically the same -īn. Like the Genitive, it can be used for the majority of words. However this is the only grammatical case that is rarely used with the personal pronouns (which take the post-position/affix -rum).

This case preserves it's original meaning (method by which / because of / using / by):

I write using my hand.
tōgin ūmlātr klakīn.
pen 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
hand-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'
.

There are numerous cases where it's original meaning has changed over time, the most common modern meaning is (vehicular... or method by/on which one travels)

ghōgīn = car (land vehicle)
land-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


hōkaīn = airplane (air vehicle)
air-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


säharīn = boat (water vehicle)
water-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


shorazhīn = body / form (spirit vehicle)
essence-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'



Other examples of even greater semantic shifting include:


thōnīn = choice (literally: method by which one exerts their desires)
desire-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


drūalīn = compass (literally: method by which one gets closer to something)
proximity-GERGerund
verbal noun
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


trāshamīn = glasses / goggles / visor (literally: method by which one sees)
sight-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


azhīn = tongue (literally: method by which one speaks) (word vehicle)
word-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


... and there are lots more.


In older text (Late Middle Shikathi - Early Modern Shikathi), you might find the instrumental case being used to indicate the agent of a passive verb. Nowadays however, the post-position/affix -rum is used.

It is said by many.

azhā kūekrō vomthīn (Early Modern Shikathi)
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
numbers-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'


azhā kūekrō vomthirum (Modern Shikathi)
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
numbers-by


As mentioned earlier, personal pronouns always take post-position/affix -rum.


It is said by me.

azhā kūekrō ūmīn. (incorrect)
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'
.

azhā kūekrō ūmrum. (correct)
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-by.


Instrument of Time

In Shikathi, the Instrumental case is also used to identify the time frame something occurs. Use the instrumental case to say "on", "at", "in" + time frame.


the first day of the Shikathi week
dymgortn


on the first day of the Shikathi week
dimgortnīn


two o'clock
keāvk


at two o'clock
keāvykīn


the beginning
kaeazenyth


in the beginning
kaeazenthīn


For a more detailed explanation of time expressions, please go here.

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