Neo-Quenya/Syntaxis

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This article isn't really an overview of Neo-Quenya syntaxis, but rather a list of topics that have to do with syntaxis and that didn't really fit on any other page.

Passive voice[edit]

The passive participle can in addition to being an adjective, also be used to form passive sentences.

In a normal sentence in the active voice, the subject is the one performing the action of the verb: "he reads the book". But we can make the object of the sentence (the book) the subject of an new sentence "the book is read" or "the book has been read". These sentences belong to the passive voice because their subject undergoes the action of the verb.

In English we recognize these sentences by the use of "to be" as auxiliary verb. The main verb is changed into a past participle.


In the page on verbal forms you can find how to form the passive participle and how to use it as an adjective:

  • `B aY`C aD65# i coa carna "the built house"


Quenya doesn't have a real passive voice but uses a construction with the verb 5~C and uses the passive participle as a predicate:

  • `B aY`C 5~C aD65# i coa ná carna "the house is built"


In the plural this becomes:

  • `B aY`C6 5#6 aD65$ i coar nar carnë "the houses are built"


By changing the tense of 5~C we can form the Passive Past and Passive Future tenses:

  • `B aY`C 5~V aD65# i coa né carna "the house was built"
  • `B aY`C 5.DyE aD65# i coa nauva carna "the house will be built"


But sometimes it is better to avoid a passive construction by using the indefinite pronoun zR5 quen:

  • zR5 a~C7E aY`C quen cára coa

Literally "someone is building a house", this can be used as an alternative for "a house is being built".


A passive sentence is related to an active sentence in the following way:

  • `B `Vm# 1Rf$ `B qE6t# i elda tencë i parma "the elf wrote the book"


The object `B qE6t# i parma becomes the subject and the original subject `B `Vm# i elda becomes the agent:

  • `B qE6t# 5~V 1~VaG5# `B `Vm#5$5 i parma né técina i eldanen "the book was written by the elf"

As can be seen, the agent is expressed by a noun in the instrumental case.


This also implies that in one passive sentence two nouns in the instrumental case can appear: an agent and a normal instrumental:

  • `B qE6t# 5~V 1~VaG5# `B `Vm#5$5 `B zR,R5$5 i parma né técina i eldanen i quessenen "the book was written by the elf with a feather"


When a passive participle is used as an adjective it can also have an agent:

  • `B qE6t# 1~VaG5# `B `Nm#5$5 5~V aD65$ i parma técina i eldanen né carnë "the book written by an elf was red"
  • `B 5$7T5$5 aD65$ aY`C6 `C1Ej1T`V6 i nerinen carnë coar ataltier "the houses built by the men have collapsed"


Wish constructions[edit]

Sometimes you only want to express a wish or a hope that something would happen. In Neo-Quenya this is expressed by a sentence beginning with the particle 5lD nai.

In English we this is expressed by sentences beginning with "may", but this not very frequently used in modern English:

  • 5lD 9B7UyEj´$8 nai hiruvalyes "may you find it"


In modern English we would rather use:

  • 5lD 1T7UyE4$8 nai tiruvantes "I hope (that) they see it/I wish (that) they see it"

Note: the verb following 5lD nai is always in the future tense.


In this way, we can make any sentence with a future tense into a wish:

  • 9B7UyE5 `B t#j1E hiruvan i malta "I shall find the gold"
5lD 9B7UyE5 `B t#j1E nai hiruvan i malta "I hope I shall find the gold"


  • aD7UyE4$8 caruvantes "they will do it"
5lD aD7UyE4$8 nai caruvantes "I hope they will do it"


  • `Vm# 1Rj&yE elda tuluva "an elf will come"
5lD `Vm# 1Rj&yE nai elda tuluva "I hope an Elf will come"


The word 5lD nai has an additional meaning of "probably", so when you use it, you assume that something will very likely happen.

Conditional sentences[edit]

A conditional sentence begins in English with "when" or "if".

The Quenya conjunction ~B7R írë means "when", so a conditional sentence with írë expresses a certainty that something will happen:

~B7R aR5%5Ì$j= 5#5 `Cj#,R írë ceninyel, nan alassë "when I see you, I am happy"


The Quenya conjunction a~V has the meaning of "if".

`C5 a~V t^ zR65$ aR2$j$ 5~Mt$5"#= an cé mo quernë cendelë númenna, "for if one turned the face westward,".
cé ceninyel, nan alassë "if I see you, I am happy"


It is also used with a future tense:

a~V aD7UyE4$8 cé caruvantes "if they will do it"


So by using a~V , we express that we have strong doubts whether they will actually do it.


It is also possible to express doubts over the other part of the sentence:

~B7R `V`C6 j&w^6= 5lD j%q1UyE írë ëar lumbor, nai liptuva "when there are clouds, it will probably rain"
5lD 1Uj&yE5= a~V `V`Cj aY`C,R nai tuluvan, cé ëal coassë "I shall maybe come, if you are home"

Postpositions[edit]

In Neo-Quenya we have at least two postpositions, they are the equivalent of prepositions but are put behind the noun to which they belong.

In English this also happens with the postposition "ago", e.g. "three years ago". In Neo-Quenya the word hÎ~C "ago" is used in the same way:

5$m$ j^`C6 hÎ~C neldë loar yá "three years ago"


Another postposition is qRj°# pella "beyond", in English this is however a preposition:

5~Mt$5 qRj°# Númen pella "beyond the west"


The noun can also be declined:

`Vj$5%j°^6 qRj°# elenillor pella "from beyond the stars"


In Old-Elvish apparently more postpositions existed, but these were assimilated into the cases (see Nouns), e.g. the postposition `C5# ana changed into the case-ending \5"# -nna.

Indirect speech[edit]

Indirect speech is the construction with "that" that is used after verbs that express that something is said, thought, hoped or wished, e.g. "I think that he comes", "you wish that he was here". In English the conjunction "that" is often omitted but this is not allowed in Quenya, so English-speakers have to be very careful when translating such sentences into Neo-Quenya.


The conjunction "that" is translated by iD sa:

t$7T5 iD 9C7ÎDj´$ `Cj#,R merin sa haryalyë alassë "I wish/want (that) you are happy"
`B81E5 iD `V`Cj´$ iG5^t$ istan sa ëalyë sinomë "I know (that) you are here"


The indirect speech can also be the subject of the sentence. In following example the entire word-group iD `V`Cj´$ iG5^t$ sa ëalyë sinomë is the subject of the sentence:

5~C t#5$ iD `V`Cj´$ iG5^t$ ná manë sa ëalyë sinomë "that you are here, is good"


Indirect speech can also appear with `VzR equë (see Special Verbs):

`VzR `Vj$2%j iD 1Uj°$8 equë Elendil sa tulles "Elendil said that he came



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