Adûnaic

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Is anyone here familiar enough with Adûnaic to shed some light upon declension?

The sentences in my question (as presented in Ardalambion) are:
Kadô Zigûrun zabathân unakkha... "And so / [the] Wizard / humbled / he came..."
...Anadûnê zîrân hikallaba... "...Númenor / [the] beloved / she fell down..."
...bawîba dulgî... "...[the] winds [were] black..." (lit. simply "winds / black")
...îdô kâtha batîna lôkhî... "...now / all / roads / [are] crooked..."


The noun form batîna is declined in plural normal case, and its singular (normal?) is batân (says Tolkien). So why does Helge Fauskanger (at Ardalambion) call bawîba a plural subjective case form, and yet reconstruct the singular as *bawâb? They appear to be phonetically built and declined in the same way. Semantically, "[îdô kâtha] batîna lôkhî" and "bawîba dulgî" seem like equivalent phrases [if you ignore the adverbs], so why are the nouns in different cases?

Likewise, "Zigûrun zabathân unakkha" and "Anadûnê zîrân hikallaba" seem to be semantically similar constructions, so why is Anadûnê in normal case, while Zigûrun is in subjective?

As far as my amateur understanding can tell, the Adûnaic case system appears to be ergative-absolutive... except in "bawîba dulgî" and "Zigûrun zabathân unakkha" where it seems to be nominative-absolutive instead. I think I must be missing something.

Is the distinction between Zigûrun (the wizard) and Anadûnê (Westernesse), and between bawîba (winds) and batîna (roads) a difference between relative animacy and inanimacy? Is Adunaic actually an active-stative languages? That would leave some confusion over:

Narîka 'nBâri 'nAdûn yanâkhim. "The Eagles of the Lords of the West are at hand."
Actually what case is Narîka in? It looks the same as both bawîba and batîna. Fauskanger doesn't call it subjective. That's an intransitive sentence but the Eagles should be considered just as animate as Sauron.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Hell what a question!

Honestly i am no philologist but maybe the problem with zigurun and anadune is how both names are constructed...

Zigurun is word by word "wizard-one" while anadune is " that western". Personally i think while anadune might be formally normal case it is treated as it it was subject in that sentence. Does this help a little bit? I mean, practically both names are the subject of their sentence.likewise both bawab and batan are the subject in the sentence.what do mean by "normal case" here?

is it this what you meant?
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
That isn't quite what I mean.

Adûnaic has three cases described here: https://folk.uib.no/hnohf/adunaic.htm
The cases are Normal, Subjective, and Objective. But those are kind of misleading names. Subjective and Normal are both used for subjects. Normal also has other uses, such as direct object. Objective isn't used for objects, except in compounds.

According to Wikipedia, a language with cases has a morphosyntactic alignment such as nominitive-accusitive, nominative-absolutive, ergative-absolutive, active-stative, tripartite, or etc.
I don't fully understand all of that, but my impression is that Adûnaic is neither nominative-accusative, nor nominative-absolutive. I don't think it has enough cases to be tripartite... In most of the corpus, the transitive sentences have Subjective subjects and Normal objects, while the intransitive sentences have Normal subjects. Zigûrun and bawîba are the only exceptions, both written in intransitive "equative" sentences. If it weren't for those two sentences, Adunaic would be an entirely ergative-absolutive language: all the subjects of intransitive sentences would be in the same case that's used for direct objects of transitive sentences.

Now Zigûrun is definitely in Subjective (-un is the case suffix) and I don't know why. But bawîba looks more like it's a Normal form to me.

As best as I understand the declensions, I think that if it's a Neuter noun (which is most likely) and its singular is *bawâb, then to my best understanding, it would decline like this:

________Singular__Plural___......or this: ________Singular__Plural__......or this: ________Singular__Plural__
Normal__*bawâb__*bawîb.......................Normal.__*bawâb_._*bawîb.....................Normal__*bawab__*bawîb
Subjective *bawâb__*bawâba....................Subjective *bawâba._*bawâba..................Subjective *bawâb__*bawaba


If bawîba is indeed the Subjective plural, then it seems to me that it couldn't have *bawâb as a singular. I think it would have to decline like this:

________Singular__Plural__..........or this: ________Singular__Plural__
Normal__*bawîb_._*bawîbî.......................Normal_._*bawîb_._*bawîbî
Subjective *bawîba__bawîba.......................Subjective *bawêb_.._bawîba
 
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