Neo-Quenya nouns can be declined into 9 cases and 4 numbers, so each noun has 36 forms.
Paradigms of the standard declension of nouns without stem-forms can be found on following page: Declension Paradigms.
There are 2 possible endings that indicate the plural: -r and i.
- Words ending in -a, -i, -o, -u, -ië get -r:
- alda → aldar (tree)
- tári → tárir (queen)
- ondo → ondor (rock)
- heru → herur (lord)
- tië → tier (path)
- Words ending in a consonant get -i:
- aran → arani (king)
- macil → macili (sword)
- Words on -ë (but not -ië) change the final -ë into -i:
- aurë → auri (day)
- lassë → lassi (leaf)
Following words are irregular:
- on -ë:
- rotsë → rotser (pipe)
- tyávë → tyáver (taste)
- mallë → maller (street)
- tyellë → tyeller (grade, incline)
- on -a
- hína → híni (child)
- ónona → ónoni (twin)
The Neo-Quenya dual is used for expressing natural pairs. So when talking about the two eyes of one person, we use the dual. But when we talk about eyes from different persons we use the ordinary plural.
So that's why we translate the dual not simply by the number two but by "a pair of":
- pé "lip" → peu "a pair of lips"
- alda "tree" → aldu "a pair of trees"
- atta pér "two lips"
- atta aldar "two trees"
When the dual is preceded by the article i we translate it by "both":
- i peu "both lips"
- i aldu "both trees"
- The ending -u is used when the word contains a d or t sound or when it denotes a body part:
- sarat "sign" → saratu "a pair of signs"
- lár "ear" → laru "a pair of ears"
- When these words end on -a or -o, the -u of the ending replaces these vowels:
- alda "tree" → aldu "a pair of trees"
- tiuco "thigh" → tiucu "a pair of thighs"
- When the noun ends on -i or -ë (with plural on -i) we find following diphthongs in the dual:
- tári "queen" → táriu "a pair of queens"
- tanwë "device" → tanweu "a pair of devices"
- All other words use the ending -t:
- cirya "ship" → ciryat "a pair of ships"
- lassë "leaf" → lasset "a pair of leaves"
- When the word ends on a consonant this ending becomes -et:
- aran "king" → aranet "a pair of kings"
Some words cannot take the -u ending, they always take -t:
- words on -u:
- cundu "prince" → cundut "a pair of princes"
- words on -ië:
- tië "path" → tiet "a pair of paths"
- words on -ë that form their plural on -r:
- rotsë "pipe" → rotset "a pair of pipes"
The word veru "married couple" is always dual.
The partitive plural replaces the words 'some' or 'a few'. The ordinary plural has the additional implied meaning 'all I am talking about'.
- i ciryar nar fánë "the ships are white"
This means in fact 'all the ships I'm talking about, are white'.
But the partitive plural implies that there are also ships that have a different colour.
- i ciryali nar fánë "some/a few ships are white"
The partitive plural can also denote something that is part of a bigger entity.
- i cirya rancë ondolissë "the ship broke upon some/a few rocks"
This means that there are more rocks, but the ship didn't sail into them.
Sometimes it is used for a group that belongs to a larger group.
- eldali nar altë "some/a few elves are large"
So we mean that there also are elves that are not so large.
But in the ordinary plural...
- eldar nar altë "elves are large"
In this sentence we mean "every elf is large".
When a noun in the partitive plural is accompanied by an adjective, the adjective has the normal plural form.
- wenyë lasseli "some/a few green leaves"
But in the partitive plural the rule of the last declinable word is not applied. So the case-suffix is always applied to the noun even when there are adjectives or pronouns following behind the noun (see Inflected adjectives)
- rimbalissen hallë "on some/a few high walls"
The basic rule is to add the suffix -li to nouns ending in a vowel:
- lassë "leaf" → lasseli
- cirya "ship" → ciryali
When the noun ends on -l, the same suffix is added.
- macil "sword" → macilli
The final letters -r, -n and -s change into -l-.
- atar "father" → atalli
- elen "star" → elelli
- cos "quarrel" → colli
Note: because of this rule it is possible that two entirely different nouns have an identical partitive plural:
- atar "father"/atan "man" → atalli "some fathers/men"
Nouns ending in t get an additional -e-.
- sarat "sign" → sarateli
Lots of Neo-Quenya nouns have a stem-form that is used in almost all cases and number except the nominative singular. These forms can be found in the dictionary and have to be learned by heart.
Let's look at following examples:
- hen, hend- "eye" → hendi "eyes" → hendu "a pair of eyes"
- tál, tal- "foot" → tali "feet" → talu "a pair of feet"
- laman, lamn- "animal" → lamni "animals" → lamnet "a pair of animals"
Note that the endings of the plural and dual are based upon the stem-form and not on the nominative singular:
- pilin, pilind- "arrow" → pilindi "arrows" → pilindu "a pair of arrows"
A separate page is dedicated to an overview of stem-forms.
I-stems are nouns with a nominative singular on -ë but that use a stem on -i in all other cases. In this document they are grouped together with four other classes of related nouns:
The Neo-Quenya nouns in -ë/-i can be divided into these groups:
- nouns in -ë with plural on -r (mallë, rotsë, tyávë, tyellë)
- nouns in -ë with plural on -i but that keep the -ë in the singular
- nouns in -ë with a stem on -i (real I-stems)
- nouns in -i
- nouns in -ië
More about these can be found on the page I-stems.
In the same way we can divide the nouns in -o/-u into several groups:
- nouns that keep the -o in all cases
- nouns with a stem on -u but with a nominative singular on -o (the real U-stems)
- nouns that keep the -u in all cases
We again refer to a separate page for further details: U-stems.
Each of the cases is treated on a separate page:
- Nominative case
- Genitive case
- Possessive case
- Dative case
- Ablative case
- Allative case
- Locative case
- Instrumental case
- Respective case
Two special categories of nouns are:
>> Neo-Quenya >> Nouns