Spatial and motion cases in High Eolic

I’ve decided to provide a short summary of the forms and functions of the seven spatial and motion cases in High Eolic. Most of what follows is taken from my High Eolic Grammar (available as a PDF here), but in a compressed and (hopefully) more approachable form.

0. Summary of the spatial and motion cases

In addition to its seven “basic” cases (nominative, genitive, benefactive, accusative, essive, sociative, and vocative), High Eolic also has seven cases dealing with location and direction. Like all cases in High Eolic, these are marked by suffixes on nouns, and are as follows:

  1. antessive: -tan (vicinity; origin)
  2. elative: -ang (movement from, from under, or away from)
  3. inessive: -emec (location in or under)
  4. illative: -ettár (movement into or towards)
  5. delative: -acir (movement down from)
  6. superessive: -únin (location on or above)
  7. sublative: -evis (movement on or onto; distribution)

Although the core implications of these cases are spatial and directional, they also have other uses (including marking periods of time), as detailed in the sections below. Moreover, they can be combined with adverbs/particles in order to convey more specific meanings with regard to location and direction.

1. Antessive

The antessive case is marked by the suffix -tan. It denotes location in front of, along,
or near the marked nominal:

(1)    ríc már párund-a-tan-ut
kill.PERF.MID he/she house-0-ANTESS-DEF
“he/she was killed in front of [his/her] house”

The adverb carnat ‘near, nearby’ may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place near or in the general vicinity of, rather than directly in front of, the marked nominal:

(2)    ríc már carnat párund-a-tan-ut
kill.PERF.MID he/she nearby house-0-ANTESS-DEF
“he/she was killed near [his/her] house” [= somewhere in the neighborhood]

The adverb mbúrat ‘along, along the side of’ may be used to mark a process more explicitly as taking place along the length or side of a nominal in the antessive:

(3)    len nandára-c mbúrat lahess-a-tan-ut
we walk-IMPERF.1 alongside river-0-ANTESS-DEF
“we walked by the river”

The antessive is also used to mark the location (‘origin’) from which a directed action takes place, as in the following examples:

(4)   ngúrn-av nu-sangánd-ut callang-es curá-tan
see-IMPERF that-dog-DEF cow-ESS near-ANTESS
“That dog looks like a cow from here.”

(5)   ras racát-a cettá-s-am núm-a-lahess-a-tan
MIR enemy-INDEF shoot-IMPERF.NON1-TRANS other.side-0-river-0-ANTESS
“Enemies are shooting from across the river!”

This usage of the antessive may sometimes overlap with that of the elative (see below), although the antessive seems to be preferred in transitive clauses where the syntactic subject is not itself moved in the action, but merely directs or initiates the movement.

2. Elative

The elative case is marked by the suffix -ang. It denotes the subject’s movement from or from the underside or lower reaches of the marked nominal, and occurs most frequently in intransitive clauses:

(6)    ca-varánd-ut taranda-p trecá-ng-ut
my-father-DEF escape-PERF city-EL-DEF
“my father escaped from the city”

The adverb ráya ‘under, below’, also occurring as a nominal prefix ra-, may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place from the underside of or from ‘below’ the marked nominal:

(7)    racát-á lersá ráya cárt-ang-á (= ra-cárt-ang-á)
enemy-PL come.PERF under mountain-EL-PL
“the enemies came from below the mountains”

A secondary function of the elative is to mark reasons for processes:

(8)    linger-á narnatá-v sárt-ang
banner-PL flutter-IMPERF wind-EL
“the flags were fluttering in the wind” [= because of the wind]

Nominals in the elative are also used to mark continuous periods of time:

(9)    már sicánd-arav-am ngúyend-al rúleng-ang
he/she trade-ITER-TRANS wheat-ACC summer-EL
“He/she [always] trades in wheat during the summer [every year].”

This can also occur metonymically, i.e. to denote a status, role, or occupation in a way analogous to a time period:

(10)    lurcá-m mál mercand-ang carn-ur-a-láya-r
meet.with-TRANS he.ACC officer-EL time-GEN-0-two-GEN
“I met with him twice during [his time as] an officer.”

3. Inessive

The inessive is marked by the suffix -emec. It denotes location inside or under the
marked nominal:

(11)    ríc már párund-emec-ut
kill.PERF.MID he/she house-0-INESS-DEF
“he/she was killed in [his/her] house”

Again, ráya or ra- may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place under or below the marked nominal:

(12)    ríc már ráya mbuca-mec
kill.PERF.MID he/she under tree-INESS
“he/she was killed under a tree”

Nominals in the inessive are also used to mark single points in time:

(13)    lurcá-m mál ung-a-náh-emec-ut
speak.with-TRANS he/she.ACC day-0-second-INESS-DEF
“I spoke with him/her on the second day”

The inessive may also have an inceptive meaning when used with nouns that denote periods of time, leading to potential ambiguity that can obly be resolved from context:

(14)    már sáta lapá-rav Arandál-ettár rúleng-emec
he/she FUT go-ITER Arandála-ILL summer-INESS
“he/she will be going to Arandála when summer begins” OR “at some point in the summer”

For further specification of timeframes, additional particles or adverbs must be used. For example, to specify that an event happened “before X”, the adverb tayat ‘earlier’ must be used together with the appropriate noun in the inessive:

(15)    crunga tayat nandára-yis ettís-emec
today earlier walk.around-IMPERF.NON1 sunrise-INESS
“he/she was walking around today before sunrise”

As with the elative, metonymic use of the inessive is also possible:

(16)    lurcá-m mál essát mercand-emec
meet.with-TRANS later officer-INESS
“I met with him after [he had become] an officer.”

4. Illative

The illative is marked by the suffix ettár. It denotes movement to, into, towards, or towards the underside of the marked nominal:

(17)     ca-varánd-ut taranda-p rengáva-ttár
my-father-DEF escape-PERF
“my father escaped to a foreign land”

Yet again, ráya or ra- may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place toward the underside of or toward ‘below’ the marked nominal:

(18)   racát-á lersá ráya cárt-ettár
enemy-PL come.PERF under mountain-ILL-PL
“the enemies came under the mountains” [= to a place below the mountains]

A secondary function of the illative is to mark purposes for actions or changes of state of the subject of a clause. Note that such use implies strictly a change in the syntactic subject, rather than any other argument:

(19)     taná-p ma-ring-al-ut társ-ettár
abandon-PERF his-wife-ACC-DEF rich-ILL
“[he] abandoned his wife [in order for him [!] to become] rich”

Some verbs also take an indirect object in the illative, especially verbs that imply some form of movement towards the object:

(20)     nilissá-m tiral mattár
send-PERF.DITRANS something.ACC he/she.ILL
“I sent something to him/her”

(21)    már sind-am calend-al-ut cattár
he/she ask-PERF.DITRANS money-ACC-DEF I.ILL
“he/she asked me about the money” [= ‘conveyed to me’ a question about the money]

With the verb lersácam ‘arrive, come to’, the illative appears to mark the direct object, suggested by the use of transitive morphology on the verb while no other verbal argument (apart from the subject) may occur:

(22)    lersá-m trecá-tár-ut
arrive-TRANS city-ILL-DEF
“I arrived to the city”

5. Delative

The delative is marked by the suffix acir. It denotes movement down from, from the top of, or from above the marked nominal:

(23)    racát-á lersá cárt-acir
enemy-PL come.PERF mountain-DEL-PL
“the enemies came down from mountains”

The adverb yerang ‘above, high above’ may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place from the above of or from a place higher than the location of the marked nominal:

(24)    racát-á lersá yerang tassánd-acir-ut
enemy-PL come.PERF above fortress-DEL-DEF
“the enemy came down from above the fortress” [= from a place higher than where the fortress is located]

Some verbs also take indirect objects in the delative, especially verbs that imply an effort to keep a distance between the direct and indirect object on part of the subject:

(25)     rattás-á nú-rem-árte le-cunda-c-ut racá-cir
soldier-PL protect-ITER.NON1-IMPERF.DITRANS our-land-BEN-DEF enemy-DEL-PL
“Soldiers protect our land from [our] enemies.”

(26)     már mbá-rem-árte mbuttá-c marn-acir
he/she guard-ITER.NON1-IMPERF.DITRANS sheep-BEN wolf-DEL
“he/she guards sheep from wolves”

6. Superessive

The superessive is marked by the suffix únin. It denotes location on, on the top of, or above the marked nominal:

(27)   ríc már mbírand-únin
kill.PERF.MID he/she hill-SUPERESS
“he/she was killed on a hill”

Again, the adverb yerang may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place above the location of the marked nominal:

(28)   ríc már yerang trecá-y-únin-ut
kill.PERF.MID he/she above city-0-SUPERESS-DEF
“he/she was killed above the city” [= at a place higher than where the city is located]

7. Sublative

The sublative is marked by the suffix evis. It denotes movement onto, towards the top of, or to a place above the marked nominal:

(29)    racát-á lersá cárt-evis
enemy-PL come.PERF mountain-SUBL-PL
“the enemies came up to the mountains”

Again, the adverb yerang ‘above, high above’ may be used to more explicitly mark a process as taking place toward a place higher than the location of the marked nominal:

(30)    racát-á lersá yerang tassánd-evis-ut
enemy-PL come.PERF above fortress-SUBL-DEF
“the enemy came up to above the fortress” [= to a place higher than where the fortress is located]

A noun in the sublative with the prefix núm‘other, other side’ can mark a process as taking place over or across somewhere:

(31)    ca terang núm-a-crávind-evis-ut
I jump.PERF other.side-0-stream-SUBL-DEF
“I jumped over the stream”

A further function of the sublative is to mark distribution of the process across the surface of the marked nominal, within a context characterized by it, or among instances of it:

(32)   livárn-is súrev-ut cirn-evis
carry.MID-IMPERF water-DEF man-SUBL
“the water was carried ‘among the men’” (= “the men took turns to carry the water”)

This usage is especially frequent in poetic speech, often as an alternative to more conventional transitive constructions:

(33)   ríc máca rattás-evis
kill.PERF.MID they warrior-SUBL
“[some] of the soldiers were killed”

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