Mirad Grammar/Nouns

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Nouns[edit]

Types of Nouns[edit]

Nouns in Mirad can be distinguished in these various ways:
  • common vs. proper
Common and Proper Nouns
COMMON PROPER
tam....house Emer....Venus
yagsim....bench Fransam....France
dyes....book Notre Dame...Notre Dame
tej....life Tot....God
  • concrete vs. abstract
Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns
CONCRETE ABSTRACT
tab....body ifon....love
mil....water oyman....coolness
deuz....song deuzen....singing
  • countable vs. mass
Countable vs. Mass Nouns
COUNTABLE MASS
pat....bird pattel....bird food
patayeb....feather patayebyan....plumage
meg....rock mil....water
  • gender-neutral vs. feminine or masculine
Gender-neutral vs. Gendered
GENDER-NEUTRAL FEMININE MASCULINE
tob....human being toyb....woman twob....man
edeb....royal person edeyb....queen edweb....king
ted....parent teyd....mother twed....father
  • singular vs. plural
Singular vs. Plural Nouns
SINGULAR PLURAL
dom....city domi....cities
gon....part goni....parts
jub....day jubi....days
  • inanimate (things) or animate (humans and animals, i.e. live, sentient creatures, not plants)
Inanimate vs. Animate Nouns
INANIMATE ANIMATE
mam....sky pot....animal
tom....building aut....person
job....time tobot....child
Nouns also include gerunds, i.e. abstract nouns which are nominalized derivations of verbs like deuzen....singing < deuzer....to sing or osexen....destruction < osexer....to destroy.
In Mirad, all common nouns in their singular dictionary lookup form end in a consonant. Proper nouns sometimes end in a vowel, such as Roma....Rome. Plural common countable nouns end in the vowel i (pat....birdpati....birds).
The above noun type distinctions are relevant in various parts of Mirad's grammar.

Pluralization of Common Nouns[edit]

A singular countable common noun always ends in a consonant and is made plural by suffixing the plural suffix marker -i. So, the plural of pur....car is puri....cars. In noun phrases, for example, where a noun is modified by an article and adjective, only the noun is pluralized, that is, there is no agreement across word boundaries as in many European languages (la belle fleur les belles fleurs).
Pluralization of Nouns
SINGULAR PLURAL
tam....house tami....houses
toyb....woman toybi....women
tej....life teji....lives
ha via dom....the beautiful city ha via domi....the beautiful cities

Articles[edit]

In Mirad, there is only a definite article, ha (the). There is no indefinite article like English a / an. A noun is considered indefinite or general unless modified by the definite article ha (which in reality is a definite deictic determiner, discussed with other deictic determiners in the later section on Mirad Grammar/Determiners#Deictic Determiners). The definite article ha is positioned, as in English, before the noun and before any other adjectives or modifiers of that noun. It does not vary for gender, number, or case as in German or Spanish. The definite article acts like its counterpart in English, as shown in the following chart:
The Use of Articles
MIRAD ENGLISH SPECIFICITY
tam a house indefinite, no article
ha tam the house definite
ha tami the houses definite, plural
tej life general, no article
fitejawa tej a life well-lived indefinite, no article
ha tej (...hu at ayse) the life (... that I have) specific
Fransad French language name, already specific, no article
Ivan Ivan person's name, no article
Iflu yivan! Cherish freedom abstraction, no article
Ha yivani hu yat ifie. The freedoms that we enjoy. abstraction specified
Yata yivani... Our freedoms... abstraction specified with possessive pronoun, no article
Speakers of French and other European languages should take note that general concepts like love, life, freedom do not employ the definite article unless they refer to a specific instance, such as in the phrases the love that dare not speak its name or the life well-lived or the freedoms we possess. The names of languages and countries are also considered already specific, and so as in English, they do not take a definite article as they might in some European languages. Names of persons do not take the definite article as they do in modern Greek, unless in a phrase like "the Ivan I once knew."


Proper Nouns[edit]

Proper nouns, such as names of people, places, languages, etc., are capitalized as in English. The formation of country names and languages will be discussed in a later section. It can be said here, though, that country names for the most part end in -am; the inhabitants of those places end in -at or pl. -yat; and the languages they speak end in -ad. Country names take a definite article only in a few cases like ha Anxwa Doebi....the United States, which is really composed of common nouns. Otherwise, a country name like Fransam does not take a definite article, just as it does not in English.


Noun Modifiers: Placement and Agreement[edit]

Nouns can be modified by various qualitative, quantitative, and deictic adjectives, which all precede the noun. These modifiers come in the same order as in English. There is no gender or number agreement between the modifiers and the noun, except that numeric adjectives, such as ewa....two naturally are followed by a noun in the plural number.
Noun Modifiers
Mirad English
ha ewa aga tami the two big houses
gla ifxea taxi many pleasant memories
hya fia tob every good man
ha yaga via mepi the long, beautiful roads
gra vua sexen too much ugly construction
ata aja teji My past lives

Noun Linkage[edit]

Nouns can be
  1. linked with a preposition or conjunction, where the prepositional/conjunctional phrase follows the head noun, or
  2. juxtaposed, where the modifier noun is separated by a space and comes before the head noun, or
  3. compounded, where the modifier noun is prefixed to a headword, or
  4. hyphenated, where two equal elements are joined by a hyphen.
Examples:
Noun Linkage
LINKAGE EXAMPLE CONSTRUCTION
Ivan ay Maria....Ivan and Maria nouns linked associatively by the conjunction ay (and)
ha tam ey ha par....the house or the car nouns linked associatively by the conjunction ey (or)
hyati oy ha toybi....all but the women nouns linked associatively by the conjunction or (but)
nyandras boy eta dyun....a list without your name nouns linked associatively by the preposition boy (without)
tej bi nasuk....a life of poverty nouns linked associatively by the preposition bi (of)
ha tam bi Maria ....Mary's house (the house of Mary nouns linked possessively by the preposition bi (of)
job bi aga ivan....a time of great joy nouns linked associatively by the preposition bi (of)
dyen ayv ha Ea Mira Dropek....a book about the Second World War nouns linked associatively by the preposition ayv (about)
dropek jaxeni....war preparations modifier noun dropek (war) juxtaposed with the head noun jaxeni (preparations)
dom yaudpur....a city bus modifier noun dom (city) juxtaposed with the head noun yautpur (bus)
tojvaf....a death wish modifier noun toj (death) compounded with the head noun vaf (wish)
jogatanyaf....youth league modifier noun jogat (youth) compounded with the head noun anyaf (league)
maj-moj....a day-and-night two or more equal, opposed nouns hyphenated
The X bi Y prepositional construction must always be used for possession by a named person, eg. ha tam bi Sam (Sam's house = the house of Sam). The methods of noun linkage otherwise follow the English pattern in most all cases. Pronominal possession such as his car is discussed in the section on personal pronouns. The preposition bi....of is used in partitive expressions like tilzyeb bi vafil....a glass of wine (but: vafil tilzeb....wine glass, where wine modifies the glass associatively). More about this and other prepositions or conjunctions can be found in the section on Mirad Grammar/Prepositions or Mirad Grammar/Conjunctions.
Details on how noun vocabulary is derived appears in the section on Mirad Grammar/Vocabulary Formation.

Noun Derivational Suffixes[edit]

Nouns can be divided into:
  • simple nouns such as pur....vehicle
  • compound nouns such as naadpur....train < naad....rail + pur....vehicle
  • derived nouns such as fabyan....forest < fab....tree + -yan, a suffix meaning collection
Derived nouns are formed by attaching nominal suffixes (and sometimes prefixes)to other words or roots. A list of nominal suffixes to form derived nouns is shown in the following table. More can be read about noun derivation in the section on vocabulary-building.
Noun Derivational Suffixes
SUFFIX MEANING BASE ONTO WHICH
SUFFIX IS ADDED
EXAMPLES
-ag big noun tam house → tamag....mansion
tyal....mealtyalag....banquet
tilar....spoontilarag....ladle
-an abstact quality, -ness, -hood, -ity adjective stem via....beautifulvia....beauty
yeva....fairyevan....fairness, equity
toba....humantoban....humanity, humanness, manhood
-ayg big and cute noun tam....housetamayg....cozy mansion
epet....dogepetayg....wolfie
-d language, speech, sound adjective and other stems Angla....EnglishAnglad....English (language)
Mira....of the worldMirad....Mirad (world speech)
apet....horseaped....neigh, whinny
-ef need of noun tel....foodtelef....hunger
iga....fastigef....emergency
til....drinktilef....thirst
-en present gerund, -ing, -tion, -ment verb stem ifier....enjoyifien....enjoyment
deuzer....singdeuzen....singing
axer....actaxen....action, acting
-es smaller counterpart thing noun tom....buildingtomes apartment
saun....kindsaunes....sample
dreuz....poemdeuzes....stanza
mek....dust, powdermekes....speck, gain
-et smaller counterpart person noun twob....mantwobet....boy
toyb....womantoybet....girl
-if love of, -philia noun tel....foodtelif....gourmandise
doab....homelanddoabif....patriotism
dyes....bookdyesif....bibliophilia, love of books
-ig sudden noun and verb stem man....lightmanig....flash
pyex....strokepyexig....swat
yopaper....dive, fly downyopapig....swoop
-im room, chamber various stems fyadiler....to prayfaydilim....chapel
mageler....to cookmagelim....kitchen
tofer....to dresstofim....dressing room
-in doctrine, dogma, -ism various stems tot....godtotin....religion, theism
otofa....nudeotofin....nudism
yufr-....terroryufrin....terrorism
-n abstract noun various stems ze....in the middle ofzen....center
za....in front ofzan....face
byi....since, starting withbyin....source
go....lessgon....part
-am house, building various stems nun- merchandise → nunam....store
til drink → tilam....bar, tavern
fyadiler....to prayfyadilam....church
-(e)m place various stems ho-? what-? → hom?....where?
yex....workyexem....worksite
ab....on, aboveabem....top, surface
kua....lateralkum....side
-im room various stems magel-....cookmagelim....kitchen
-um compartment, booth various stems teuzibar....telephoneteuzibarum....telephone booth
-yem enclosure, box various stems apet....horseapetyem....corral
b-....putbyem....position
-ud offspring, baby of noun apet....horseapetud....foal
-og little noun tab body → tabog corpuscle
apet....horseapetog....pony
tyal....mealtyalog....snack
gorbun....cutgorbunog....cutlet
-oyg little and cute noun tam....housetamoyg....cottage
apayt....chickenapaytoyg....chickadee
mimpar....boatmirparoyg....dingy
-ar
-ir
-ur
instrument, tool, machine, etc. usu. verb stem per....to gopur....car
drer....to writedrar....pencil
gobler....to cutgoblar....knife
yabler....to liftyablur....elevator, lift
yablar....lift, crane
dop....militarydopar....gun
dopur....machine gun
dopir....artillery, cannon
-s thing, something, object, the X one adjective aa first → aas....first one, first thing
otwa....unknownotwas....mystery, an unknown
tejea....livingtejeas....living thing
-(s)on abstract thing, issue various stems ifer....to loveifon....love
ov againstovon....obstacle
aza strong → azon....force
yika....difficultyikson....problem
-(s)un object, thing, result of an action various stems vyua....dirtyvyun....spot
tamber....settletambiun....settlement
gofrer shredgofrun....scrap, shred
hyo....not a singlehyosun....not a single thing
-t person adjective ea second → eat....second one, second person
fya-....holyfyat....holy one, saint
ujna....lastujat....last one, last person
Amerika....AmericanAmerikat....an American
-tun science of, -ology noun tot....godtottun....theology
tob....mantobtun....anthropology
vob....plantvobtun....botany
-tut scientist, -ologist, -ist noun tot....godtottut....theologist
tob....mantobtut....anthropologist
vob....plantvobtut....botanist
-uf hate of, -phobia noun mil water → miluf....hydrophobia
totin....religiontotinuf....hatred of religion
toyb....womantoybuf....misogyny
-ut, -uyt (f.) agent, one who Xes, -er, -ant, -ist verb stem beker....treatbekuyt....nurse
poper....travelpoput....traveler
aker....winakut....winner
-yaf ability to, power, -ability verb stem teater....to seeteatyaf....ability to see
texer....to thinktexyaf....cognition
tester....to understandtestyaf....comprehension
noser....to spendnosyaf....spending power
ter....to knowtyaf....conscience
-yag big and ugly noun tetwid....uncletetwidyag....dirty old uncle
toyb....womantoybyag....hag
-yan collection, grouping, -ary noun tob....mantobyan....mankind
mar....starmaryan....constellation
fab....treefabyan....forest
dyes....bookdyesyan....library
-yef duty to verb stem duder....to answerdudyef....responsibility
byoker....to achebyokyef....punishment
-yik difficulty to verb stem teeter....to hearteetyik....difficulty hearing
tiexer....to breathetiexyik....difficulty breathing, asthma
-yog little and ugly noun tam....housetamyog....shack
epat....duckepatyog....ugly duckling
kod....secretkodyog....little dirty secret
-yof inability to, disability verb stem teater....to seeteatyof....blindness
teeter....to hearteetyof....deafness
paser....to movepasyof....paralysis
tujer....to sleeptujyof....insomnia
-yuf fear of, -phobia noun lopyet....snakelopyetyuf....fear of snakes
mil....watermilyuf....hyrophobia
-yuk ease of verb stem peser to waitpesyuk....patience
kovyoxer to foolkovyoxyuk....gullibility, foolhardiness

Gender[edit]

Nouns in Mirad are gender-neutral, unless those relating to people, animals, and sometimes clothing, are altered to be specifically male/male-oriented or female/female-oriented. To create the male or male-oriented form of an otherwise gender-neutral noun, prefix the vowel of the semantically-significant syllable with the letter w. To create the female or female-oriented form, suffix the vowel of the semantically-significant syllable with y. If the noun is an agent noun with the suffix -ut, that is, a noun that means "one who does something as an occupation or behavior", the ending -ut is changed to -uyt for the female form, but the male form stays the same. The reason for this is that the addition of a w to the agentive ending could be confused with the verbal passive marker w (see the chapter on Mirad Grammar/Verbs. The chart below shows how this works:
Making Nouns Gender-specific
NEUTRAL MALE/MALE-ORIENTED FEMALE/FEMALE-ORIENTED
tob....human being, person twob....man toyb....woman
tobet....child twobet....boy toybet....girl
tad....spouse twad....husband tayd....wife
ejtad....step spouse ejtwad....step-husband ejtayd....step-wife
ajtad....ex-spouse ajtwad....ex-husband ajtayd....ex-wife
ted....parent twed....father teyd....mother
datif....sweetheart dwatif....boyfriend daytif....girlfriend
yapet....pig yapwet....boar yapeyt....sow
ideb....monarch idweb....king ideyb....queen
apat....fowl apwat....rooster apayt....hen
tiuv....underwear tiwuv....briefs tiuyv....panties
vapet....antelope vapwet....deer vapeyt....doe
deuzut....singer deuzut....singer deuzuyt....songstress
tud....child twud....son tuyd....daughter
For gender specification in pronouns, see Mirad Grammar/Pronouns, below).


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