The Bèshus Language: Nouns, Pronouns and Particles

This section describes the inflectional morphology of nouns and pronouns in Bèshus. Determiners and conjunctions will also be listed here. Verbs and postpositions will be covered in a separate section, please see the introduction for a menu.

Noun Declensions

Nouns are marked mainly for gender and case. Plurality can be marked on neuter nouns by converting them to mass nouns. This doesn’t apply for masculine or feminine nouns.

Cases

Bèshus has five cases:

  • The Absolutive case is the subject for an intransitive verb and the objects for a transitive verb.
  • The Ergative case marks a topical subject for a transitive verb. It can also be used as an adjunct to mark a cause.
  • The Accusative case marks a topical object for a transitive verb. It can also mark a comment to imply a result or completed action. It is also used with postpositions that refer to motion.
  • The Dative case represents an indirect object. It is also used with certain postpositions.
  • The Vocative case represents addressees.

There is no formal genitive case, as possessors are in the absolutive case followed by a postposition. In informal speech, however, a clitic, f’, may be placed before nouns which begin with either a vowel, a semivowel, or an l.

The Absolutive case is the unmarked form of a noun, so dictionary entries are given in this form.

Accented Declension

This declension is for nouns with accented stems. Dictionary forms end in -s (feminine) or -n (masculine or mass).

CaseFeminineNeuterMasculine Mass
Absolutive-s|-n-n
Ergative-san-sh*-nesh-nem
Accusative-sen-r*-nel-nen
Dative-san-l-nal-nem
Vocative-mes-m-men-men
* causes a preceding a to become e
| indicates a loss of segments at the end of the stem, after the bar in the dictionary form

Unaccented Declension

The following declension is used nouns that have no accent in their stems. Masculine nouns end with -nà and mass nouns end with -nè

CaseFeminineNeuterMasculine Mass
Absolutive-s|-nà-nè
Ergative-zan-sh*-nèsh-nèn
Accusative-zen-l*-nèr-nèm
Dative-zan-l-nàl-nèn
Vocative-mes-m-mnà-mnè
* causes a preceding a to become e
| indicates a loss of segments at the end of the stem, after the bar in the dictionary form

N Declension

For nouns with stems ending in -n. Dictionary forms end in –ndà for masculine nouns and –ndè for mass nouns. Accents and segments in brackets are dropped if the stem has accent.

CaseFeminineNeuterMasculine Mass
Absolutive-n|-ndà-n(dè)
Ergative-nsan-n-ndèsh-ndèm
Accusative-nsen-n*-ndèl-ndèn
Dative-nsan-n-ndàl-ndèm
Vocative-nmes-m-nmenà-nmen(è)
* causes a preceding a to become e
| indicates a loss of segments at the end of the stem, after the bar in the dictionary form

M Declension

For nouns with stems ending in -m. There are no feminine nouns for this declension.

CaseNeuterMasculine Mass
Absolutive|-m-m
Ergative-n-mnesh-mnem
Accusative-m*-mnel-mnen
Dative-m-mnal-mnem
Vocative-m-mben-mben
* causes a preceding a to become e
| indicates a loss of segments at the end of the stem, after the bar in the dictionary form

Irregular Nouns

The root han ‘thing’ is replaced with lèn in the plural. This also applies to any neuter nouns have a stem ending in the root han:

Case‘Thing’‘Things’‘Sheet’‘Sheets’
Absolutivehanlènplàhanplàlen
Ergativehanlèndenplàhanplàlenden
Accusativehenlèndemplàhenplàlendem
Dativehanlèndenplàhanplàlenden
Vocativehamlènmenplàhamplàlenmen

Pronouns and Determiners

Personal Pronouns

First and second person pronouns are marked for case, number and politeness. There is no vocative case for pronouns. Politeness is only marked in the singular number, there is no plural polite form.

First Person Pronouns

CaseSingularPolitePlural
Absolutivewóunoàwón
Ergativewóshwónashwóden
Accusativewórwónerwónem
Dativewólwónalwóden

Second Person Pronouns

CaseSingularPolitePlural
Absolutivememesmenè
Ergativemeshmesanmèn
Accusativemelmesenmenèm
Dativemalmesanmèn

Third Person Pronouns

CaseFeminine NeuterMasculineMass
Absolutivesadanànè
Ergativesandeshnàshnèn
Accusativesendelnèrnèm
Dativesandalnàlnèn

There are also reflexive pronouns: zhel in the accusative case and zhal in the dative case.

Demonstratives

Proximal (This)

CaseFeminine NeuterMasculineMass
Absolutivesansatsandàsandè
Ergativesansansandeshsandèshsandèn
Accusativesansensandelsandèrsandèm
Dativesansansandalsandàlsandèn

Distal (That)

CaseFeminine NeuterMasculineMass
Absolutivezeszetzenàzenè
Ergativezezanzedeshzenàshzenèn
Accusativezenzedelzenèrzenèm
Dativezezanzedalzenàlzenèn

Interrogative (who/What)

CaseFeminine NeuterMasculineMass
Absolutivehínhínhímhím
Ergativehínsanhíndeshhímneshhímnen
Accusativehínsenhíndelhímnelhímnem
Dativehínsanhíndalhímnalhímnen

Quantifiers

Quantifiers can either modify a noun as a determiner; or can be used as a pronoun (declined for case, person and gender)

Determiners

lè	None
tush	Few
yés	Many
pi	some	
zhányes	all
e	any
abá	each
híni	how many

None

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutivelèmulèmlènlèmlèm
Ergativelèmwoshlèmbeshlènsanlèmnetlèmnash
Accusativelèmworlèmbellènsenlèmnemlèmnar
Dativelèmwollèmballènsanlèmnetlèmnal

Few

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutiveshwóshumshusshunèshunà
Ergativeshwóshshumeshshusanshunètshunàsh
Accusativeshwórshumelshusenshunèmshunàr
Dativeshwólshumalshusanshunètshunàl

many

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutiveyésuyézamyézasyézenyézan
Ergativeyéswoshyézameshyézasanyézanetyézanash
Accusativeyésworyézamelyézasenyézanemyézanar
Dativeyéswolyézamalyézasanyézanetyézanal

Some

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutivepyevópyempyespyenèpyenà
Ergativepyevóshpyemeshpyesanpyenètpyenàsh
Accusativepyevórpyemelpyesenpyenèmpyenàr
Dativepyevólpyemalpyesanpyenètpyenàl

All

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutivezhámuzhámzhánzhámzhám
Ergativezhámwoshzhámbeshzhánsanzhámnetzhámnash
Accusativezhámworzhámbelzhánsenzhámnemzhámnar
Dativezhámwolzhámbalzhánsanzhámnetzhámnal

ANy

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutiveeavóeameaseateanà
Ergativeeavósheamesheasaneadesheanàsh
Accusativeeavóreameleaseneadeleanàr
Dativeeavóleamaleasaneadaleanàl

Each

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutiveabávabámabásabátabán
Ergativeabávoshabámeshabásanabádeshabánash
Accusativeabávorabámelabásenabádelabánar
Dativeabávolabámalabásanabádalabánal

How many?

Case1st Person2nd PersonFeminineNeut. Plural/MassMasculine
Absolutivehínyevhínyemhínyeshínyenhínyen
Ergativehínyevoshhínyemeshhínyesanhínyenethínyenash
Accusativehínyevorhínyemelhínyesenhínyenemhínyenar
Dativehínyevolhínyemalhínyesanhínyenethínyenal

Relative Pronouns

These mark the beginning of a relative clause and also existential clauses (see syntax for more information)

CaseAffirmativeNegative
Absolutivetebá
Ergativeteshbésh
Accusativetelbél
Dativetalbál

Conjunctive Pronouns

These pronouns act are placed at the end of a clause and act as the topic of the following clause:

CaseGeneralInfinitive‘Then’‘But Then’
Absolutivetoshekakadá
Ergativetoshsheshkeshkezhedá
Accusativetorshelkerkredá
Dativetolshalkalkladá

Conjuctions

There are two standard conjunctions that simply link two sentences together: akka ‘therefore’
and ekke ‘because’.

Most other conjunctions are correlatives, with each particle preceding a clause:

X and Y	 - he (h’) X he (h’) Y
X or Y	 - her (hr’) X her (hr’) Y 
X or Y?	 - hrané X her Y
X but Y	 - he (h’) X hadá Y
X but not Y	 - he (h’) X bá Y
X nor Y	 - bá X bá Y

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