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The Praseo noun is inflected for case and number, across five different noun classes. There are six cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, instrumental, dative, and construct; and two numbers: singular and plural. The five different noun classes have a vague semantic basis, but with numerous exceptions and inconsistency.
- Nominal paradigms
- A-Class Nouns
The a-class nouns are characterized by the final vowel *-a* in the singular and the final vowel *-i* in the plural in most cases. The A-class nouns contain male humans, most female animals, and a few inanimate nouns.
Case Sg Pl
- Nom* eza ezi
- Acc* ezẽoa ezẽoi
- Gen* ezanda ezanzi
- Instr* ezõ ezẽi
- Dat* ezoa ezuśi
- Cons* ezei ezeira
- E-Class Nouns
The E-class nouns are characterized by the final vowel *-e* in the singular and the vowel
- -a* in the plural. The E-class nouns contain female humans, some abstract nouns, some
female animals, and a few inanimate nouns. It is notable that the plural desinence for this class is *-a*, same as the singular desinence for A-class nouns, and that this reversal repeats itself throughout the paradigm, most notably in the instrumental, for which the desinences are precisely reversed.
Case Sg Pl
- Nom* yiśe yiśa
- Acc* yiśẽoe yiśẽoa
- Gen* yiśande yiśanda
- Instr* yiśẽi yiśõ
- Dat* yiśoe yiśuśa
- Cons* yiśei yiśeira
- U-Class Nouns
The U-class nouns are characterized by the final vowel *-u* in the singular and the vowel
- -i* in the plural. The U-class nouns contain male animals and most inanimate nouns.
Case Sg Pl
- Nom* razu razi
- Acc* razẽo razẽi
- Gen* razanzu razanzi
- Instr* razõ razẽi
- Dat* razú razuśi
- Cons* razí razira
- N-Class Nouns
The N-class nouns are characterized by a final vowel *-ã* in the nominative singular, and a nasalized final vowel throughout the paradigm. They also have a high degree of homophony between the various forms. N-class nouns generally refer to humans and are derived from verbs or other nouns via an agentive suffix.
Case Sg Pl
- Nom* akã akẽi
- Acc* akãoa akãoi
- Gen* akanda akanzi
- Instr* akãoa akãoi
- Dat* akãoa akãośi
- Cons* akẽi akẽira
- I-Class Nouns
The I-class nouns are characterized by the final vowel *-i* and lack a plural form. They typically refer to animates which are neither human nor animal (such as fire, wind, lightning, and spirits) and to abstract nouns.
- Nom* jili
- Acc* jilẽoi
- Gen* jilanzi
- Instr* jilẽi
- Dat* jiluśi
- Cons* jilí
- Uses of the Cases
The following list gives only the most prototypical use of the cases with a few examples.
The **nominative** case is used for the subjects of transitive and intransitive verbs, as in most Indo-European languages. Additionally, it is the case used for the objects of a few prepositions. The **accusative** case is used for the patient of transitive verbs.
Example of nominative and accusative cases:
Yira čipẽo kazẽya Child-NOM jar-ACC breaks.
- The child breaks the jar.*
The **instrumental** case is used to indicate the tools or instrument by which an action occurs, the cause or reason for an action, or the agent of a passive verb.
Urhõ śeśyatsu. (I) hammer-INST crush-it.
- I crush it with a hammer.*
The **dative** case is used with reference to people to indicate the recipient or beneficiary of an action. With words indicating times or places, the dative indicates location. The objects of most prepositions are in the dative case, as well.
Nioa uyẽoa enzoe taomya. I-NOM fish-ACC sister-DAT give.
- I give a fish to my sister.*
Oirdazú dasu umya. Forest-DAT bird-NOM flies.
- The bird flies in the forest.*
The **genitive** and **construct** case are used together in the possessive construction. The possessor is placed in the genitive case, and the possessum is placed in the construct case. In this construction, any other case that the possessum would normally have due to its position as the object of a verb or of a preposition is ignored.
Nioa zulí ezande śenya. I-NOM house-CONS mother-GEN stay.
- I stay in my mother's house.*
Note in this example that the word *zulu* "house" would normally occur in the dative case, indicating location, but that due to the possessive construction the dative ending is replaced with the construct.