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: \6 -r and \`B -i.
- Words ending in \`C \`B \`N \`M \`B`V -a, -i, -o, -u, -ië get \6 -r:
- `Cm# alda → `Cm#6 aldar (tree)
- 1~C7T tári → 1~C7T6 tárir (queen)
- `N2^ ondo → `N2^6 ondor (rock)
- 9R7U heru → 9R7U6 herur (lord)
- 1T`V tië → 1T`V6 tier (path)
- Words ending in a consonant get -i:
- `C7E5 aran → `C7E5% arani (king)
- t#aGj macil → t#aGj% macili (sword)
- Words on \`V -ë (but not \`B`V -ië) change the final \`V -ë into \`B -i:
- .D7R aurë → .D7T auri (day)
- j#,R lassë → j#,G lassi (leaf)
Following words are irregular:
- on \`V -ë:
- 7Y1R+ rotsë → 7Y1iR6 rotser (pipe)
- 1Î~CyR tyávë → 1Î~CyR6 tyáver (taste)
- t#j°$ mallë → t#j°$6 maller (street)
- 1ÎRj°$ tyellë → 1ÎRj°$6 tyeller (grade, incline)
- on \`C -a
- 9~B5# hína → 9~B5% híni (child)
- ~N5^5# ónona → ~N5^5% 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 form. But when we talk about eyes from different persons we use the plural form.
So that's why we translate the dual not simply by the number two but by "a pair of":
- q~V pé "lip" → q.F peu "a pair of lips"
- `Cm# alda "tree" → `Cm& aldu "a pair of trees"
- `C1;E q~V1T atta péti "two lips"
- `C1;E `Cm#6 atta aldar "two trees"
When the dual is preceded by the article `B i, it can also be translated to mean "both":
- `B q.F i peu "both lips / the two lips"
- `B `Cm& i aldu "both trees / the two trees"
The ending \`M -u is used when the word contains a d or t sound or when it denotes a body part:
- iD7E1 sarat "sign" → iD7E1U saratu "a pair of signs"
- ½j#6 hlar "ear" → ½j#7U hlaru "a pair of ears"
When the noun ends on -a, \`B -i or \`V -ë (with plural on -i) use the ending \1 -t:
- aG7ÎE cirya "ship" → aG7ÎE1 ciryat "a pair of ships"
- j#,R lassë "leaf" → j#,R1 lasset "a pair of leaves"
- 1E5nR tanwë "device" → 1E5nR1 tanwet "a pair of devices"
- 1~C7T tári "queen" → 1~C7T1 tárit "a pair of queens"
When these words end on \`C -a or \`N -o and are of the u-dual, the \`M -u of the ending replaces these vowels:
- `Cm# alda "tree" → `Cm& aldu "a pair of trees"
- 1.GaY tiuco "thigh" → 1.GaU tiucu "a pair of thighs"
When the word ends on a consonant this ending becomes \`V1 -et:
- `C7E5 aran "king" → `C7E5$1 aranet "a pair of kings"
Some words cannot take the \`M -u ending, they always take \1 -t:
- Words on \`M -u:
- aU2& cundu "prince" → aU2&1 cundut "a pair of princes"
- Words on \`B`V -ië:
- 1T`V tië "path" → 1T`V1 tiet "a pair of paths"
- Words on \`V -ë that form their plural on \6 -r:
- 7Y1R+ rotsë "pipe" → 7Y1iR1 rotset "a pair of pipes"
The word yR7U veru "married couple" is always dual.
The partitive plural replaces the words 'some' or 'a few'. The ordinary plural has the additional implied meaning 'all I am talking about'.
- `B aG7ÎE6 5#6 e~C5$ 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.
- `B aG7ÎEj% 5#6 e~C5$ i ciryali nar fánë "some/a few ships are white"
The partitive plural can also denote something that is part of a bigger entity.
- `B aG7ÎE 7Ef$ `N2^j%,R 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.
- `Vm#j% 5#6 `Cj1R 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...
- `Vm#6 5#6 `Cj1R 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.
- nR5Ì$ j#,Rj% 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)
- 7Tw#j%,R5 9Cj°$ rimbalissen hallë "on some/a few high walls"
The basic rule is to add the suffix -li to nouns ending in a vowel:
- j#,R lassë "leaf" → j#,Rj% lasseli
- aG7ÎE cirya "ship" → aG7ÎEj% ciryali
When the noun ends on \j -l, the same suffix is added.
- t#aGj macil "sword" → t#aGj°% macilli
The final letters \6 -r, \5 -n and \8 -s change into \j°% -lli.
- `C1E6 atar "father" → `C1Ej°% atalli
- `Vj$5 elen "star" → `Vj$j°% elelli
- aY8 cos "quarrel" → aYj°% colli
Nouns ending in 1 t, and sometimes 5 n, get an -e- in between to make \`Vj% -eli.
- iD7E1 sarat "sign" → iD7E1Rj% sarateli
Note: because of the -r, -n and -s changing to -lli- rule, it is possible that two entirely different nouns have an identical partitive plural:
- `C1E6 atar "father" / `C1E5 atan "man" → `C1Ej°% atalli "some fathers/men"
Further distinction between identical partitive plurals could be made by adding \`Vj% -eli instead of using assimilation:
- `C1E5 atan "man" → `C1Ej°% atalli → `C1E5$j% ataneli "some men"
- `C1E6 atar "father" → `C1Ej°% atalli → `C1E7Rj% atareli "some fathers"
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 should be learned, as they are the basis for forming words in Quenya.
Let's look at following examples:
- 9R5 - 9R2\ hen, hend- "eye" → 9R2% hendi "eyes" → 9R2& hendu "a pair of eyes"
- 1~Cj - 1Ej\ tál, tal- "foot" → 1Ej% tali "feet" → 1Ej& talu "a pair of feet"
- j#t#5 - j#t5\ laman, lamn- "animal" → j#t5% lamni "animals" → j#t5$1 lamnet "a pair of animals"
Note that the endings of the plural and dual are based upon the stem-form and not on the nominative singular:
- qTj%5 - qTj%2\ pilin, pilind- "arrow" → qTj%2% pilindi "arrows" → qTj%2& pilindu "a pair of arrows"
A separate page is dedicated to an overview of stem-forms.
I-stems are nouns with a nominative singular on \`V -ë but that use a stem on \`B -i in all other cases. In this document they are grouped together with four other classes of related nouns:
The Neo-Quenya nouns in \`V - \`B -ë/-i can be divided into these groups:
- Nouns in \`V -ë with plural on \6 -r
- t#j°$ mallë, 7Y1R+ rotsë, 1Î~CyR tyávë, 1ÎRj°$ tyellë
- Nouns in \`V -ë with plural on \`B -i but that keep the -ë in the singular
- Nouns in \`V -ë with a stem on \`B -i (real I-stems)
- Nouns in \`B -i
- Nouns in \`B`V -ië
More about these can be found on the page I-stems.
In the same way we can divide the nouns in \`N - \`M -o/-u into several groups:
- nouns that keep the \`N -o in all cases
- nouns with a stem on \`M -u but with a nominative singular on \`N -o (the real U-stems)
- nouns that keep the \`M -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: