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2.2  Cases/postpositions

2.2.1  Overview

There are several postpositions in Talmit that can be classified as cases:

short (for nouns)long or modified (for states)
 basiciambic basicshortiambic
 jaejácomitativejésse-jse, -jesejsé
   locativenótto (arch. nóho)-nto, -not
accusativenuonútemporalnóllo-llo, -nol
   stativenójo-njo, -nojanjó
genitivemoamóorigativemóno, mána-mno, -monamnó
dativemaemádestinativemére-mre, -meremré
instrumentalzoazómutativeméza (arch. zána)-mze, -mesemzá
themativelaelácomparativeláha-lka, -latelká
vocative-le (suffix)    

This juxtposition shows that there once were six original cases, namely nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental and themative (the latter answering to ’about what?’). The modified postpositions were likely formed by agglutination with other elements.

In any case, comitative jésse is most certainly formed from *jasə, with the general linking/conjunctional element *sə; and regular gemination of s after the stressed vowel.
Locative nóho was originally formed with *wə ’place’ (also the source of nominative wa), the historical form nówo then losing w between a vowel and o, with the general hiatus-breaker h (cf. 1.2.7) substituted: *nowə > *nowo > *noo > noho. However, nótto was ultimately substituted by analogy to temporal nóllo where l was regularly geminated after the stressed vowel. Similarly, méza was an invention in analogy to móno/mána, mére replacing earlier zána.
Stative nójo most likely contains nominative *jə or *ja.
The other modified postpositions seem to derive from *monə, *maRə, zanə, *laQə with evening-out (1.2.3) of the vowels and second elements of uncertain origin. It might also be that móno, mána, mére and zána are actually results produced by a single suffix appended to the short postpositions, with *R inserted as a hiatus-breaker (see 1.2.2) and later becoming r/l/n from which the particular forms above were selected in the later course of the language.

The iambic postpositions are used after a stressed ultimate syllable, e.g. méda-jar, but kas-ejár. The hyphen is written purely for aesthetic reasons – to indicate that the words are postpositions and modify the preceding word. The first variant of the short postpositions is used after vowels, the second after consonants: méda-njo, but kas-noj.

There are some simplifications in contact with nasals: ma, mo dissimilate to na, no after m; and the commonly appearing -mne-nójo is usually shortened to -m-nójo. For euphonic reasons, iambic azó is used after -s irresepective of stress, hence kas-azó instead of **kas-zo

2.2.2  Stative, origative, destinative and mutative

The stative postposition nójo is used to indicate that something is in a certain state, e.g. aϕálne-nójo ’in a state of high light intensity = bright’, twímne-nójo ’in a state of great speed = fast’. This also includes deverbal states describing ongoing action and may compared to the Welsh mae yn construction, e.g. Mae’r blodyn yn coch = Pekwór-ejár kawá-nójo ’The flower is red’, Mae’r adar yn canu = Antóspa-ja glánon-nójo ’The birds are singing’.
Nójo is also used in the sense ’in the capacity of’ after professions, e.g. hékar-nójo ’as a writer, in the capacity of a writer’, lit. ’in the state of a writer’.

Origative móno/mána, mutative méza and destinative mére (dial. méle) are used when a change of state is described. The original state is marked by móno/mána, the final state by mére, while méza describes how the change happened, the intermediate state: Bánat-wa aϕálne-mére twímne-méza ’The sun started to shine quickly’, lit. ’The sun changed into a shining state, changing quickly’ or Túlba-méza atálet-mére (péinun) ’It suddenly became summer’ (túlba ’a jump’, túblun ’to jump’ < √tubl).
No verb is required, although

can be added. Hence for example: pirús-mére gárun ’to fall down’, pirús-mére ϕéllun ’to lie down’.
Since changes of states are actions or events, they can also be expressed by verbs. However, when using verbs, the action is volitional; and when using states it is outside one’s control, hence spirússun ’to descend’ (with a destative verb, see 2.4.8).

Thus méza corresponds to an adverbial marker if the predicate expresses real change (’suddenly became’), while nójo may correspond to an adverb of a stative verb (’shine bright(ly)’).

2.2.3  Nominative

There are three kinds of sentences in Talmit:

  1. equations (’A is B’) where e plays the role of the copula:
  2. stative expressions (’A is in B’) where the subject is marked by ja (often shortened to j’ before vowels):
  3. actions/events (perfective in past & future, habitual in present) where the subject is marked by wa (often shortened to w’ before vowels):

2.2.4  Temporal and locative

Temporal nóllo is used with points of time, e.g. multát-nóllo ’now’, just like locative nótto is used with places, e.g. pelestámi-nótto ’in the town’ – not much surprise here (cf. the Hungarian temporal case -kor). Locative states can receive either nótto or nójo:

2.2.5  Themative and vocative

The themative case denotes the topic of a discourse, e.g. bamnekár-la juttaplendé ’talk about the weather’. When the topic is a whole clause or a direct quotation, it is framed by al …la, e.g. al bamnekár-j’apéa-nójo-la juttaplendé ’discuss whether the weather shall be good’.

Vocative -le is a suffix and thus leads to changes of final consonants: téat téakle!, téaχle! ’father!’, téhil téhille! ’mother!’.

2.2.6  Topic marking

Every prepositional phrase can be made topic by the addition of -r. Topic marking works just as in Japanese or Korean and is often similar to the usage definite/indefinite articles in order to separate known information from new.

Mére + topic marker becomes méler < *maRər.

2.2.7  Compounded and reduplicated postpositions

Talmit loves to compound postpositions among themselves and with states, up to the point that they actually remain an open class. It is a sign of eloquence to use diverse positpositions and to even invent some of one’s own. The commonest are:

The Proto-Tallic element ṇ- (= T. ni-) prefixed to postpositions expresses the permanentness of a state, or the extension in time and space:

The compound of (ni)nójo and genitive mo yields (ni)nóimo which can be used whenever a state is attributive:

Reduplication of some postpositions forms a couple of interjections (sometimes used adverbially):

2.2.8  Possession

Possession is expressed in many ways in Talmit, according to the animacy scale. The possessor is usually left out, if clear from the context:

  1. inanimate objects: with agó ’state of existence’
  2. animals: with aχál ’state of being alive’
  3. property: with tan, támpa, táχna ’(state of being) possessed’
  4. body parts: with the locative nótto
  5. other human beings: with comitative jésse

The first three constructions mark the possessor by nóima, a compounded postposition of stative nójo and dative ma (dialectal nóila with themative la is also found) which can be translated as ’with respect to, pertaining to’.

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