Nouns II The -a declension
There are two categories of nouns normally found ending in -a in Sarasí Lilitika: feminine nouns and natural/supernatural nouns. These each follow slightly different inflection patterns, and to know which is which, you generally either have to see them in use or guess based on the meaning of the noun. Some words may be hard to pin down as one or the other.

Feminine nouns


'True' feminine nouns include:

  • female people
  • female animals
  • mass groups of people that are mostly female
  • possessions of females that would otherwise be mundane neuter objects
  • things designed with a deliberate female character (e.g. statues of women or clothing designed for women)
  • deities of the Lilitai (though debatably these are also supernatural)
  • variants of objects that are perceived as more feminine than their alternatives (e.g. a cup is a more feminine bowl)
  • certain possessions or expressions of natural phenomena (e.g. a musical instrument)

  • Natural and supernatural nouns


    These include:

  • weather
  • the universe
  • unnamed locations such as planets, stars, and moons (but note that any location can be given a masculine name, and its unnamed constituents or dependants would inherit that)
  • emotions and metaphysical concepts
  • plants
  • geographical features such as mountains, soil, rivers, oceans, caves
  • social constructs invented or discovered by the Lilitai

  • Forming a noun


    Lilitika exclusively uses a set of suffixes to mark case. In the dictionary, nouns starting in -a are definitely feminine in standard usage and fall under one of the above patterns; nouns ending in -u can usually be coerced into feminine. Note that the -u ending is not used in actual Lilitika and simply provides a placeholder. It is used in a pre-Lilitic language, called Oksí Lilitika, and is only retained in the dictionary for clarity. It should not be confused with the -e declension nominative ending, -ú.

    To form a noun properly, simply remove the current ending (in this case, either -a, -u) and add on the appropriate ending from the table below. Letters in (parentheses) should be omitted when following a vowel.

    -aFeminineNatural
    casemeaningsingularpluralsingularplural
    n.this does-a-ai-a-ai
    ac.do this-(a)ra-(a)nai-(a)ra-(a)nai
    v.addressee-(ê)-asa-éa-asa
    ab.from this-(a)van-(a)vin-(a)val-(a)vin
    l.at this-as-as-as-as
    d.to/for this-(a)kan-(a)kan-(a)kal-(a)kal
    g.of this-aní-iní-alí-ilí
    n. c.be this-ha-hai-ha-hai
    a. c.become this-(a)rha-(a)nhai-(a)rha-(a)nhai
    i.with this-(a)wa-(a)wa-(a)wa-(a)wa
    e.starting now-(a)pas-(a)pas-(a)pas-(a)pas
    tem.at/during now-(a)ta-(a)ta-(a)ta-(a)ta
    term.until now-(a)kas-(a)kas-(a)kas-(a)kas

    There is a version of this table with the duplicates removed in the reference grammar; you may find this easier to memorize instead, as it highlights repeated forms. (But note that it is organized differently.)

    Examples:

    -asa (I, me, etc.)shistoa (dream)
    casemeaningsingularpluralsingularplural
    n.this doessasaishistoashistoai
    ac.do thissarasanaishistorashistonai
    v.addresseesasashistoéashistoasa
    ab.from thissavansavinshistovalshistovin
    l.at thissassasshistoasshistoas
    d.to/for thissakansakanshistokalshistokal
    g.of thissanísiníshistoalíshistoilí
    n. c.be thissaha*sahai*shistohashistohai
    a. c.become thissarhasanhaishistorhashistonhai
    i.with thissawasawashistowashistowa
    e.starting nowsapassapasshistopasshistopas
    tem.at/during nowsatasatashistotashistota
    term.until nowsakassakasshistokasshistokas

    * Notice that s- + -ha has been written here as "saha" rather than the expected "sha" or "s·ha" as discussed in Basics I. This has been done to avoid bad form; it should be pronounced as an S followed by "ha", with the first A silent.

    Vocabulary


    Memorize the following feminine nouns:
  • sa: I (female)
  • ra: you (female)
  • la: she
  • ekhañka: leotard
  • sta: woman
  • stipta: girl
  • terbelía: flower
  • haira: cup
  • khríméa: hair
  • sinoa: musical instrument

  • Memorize the following natural nouns:
  • la: it (natural)
  • adía: gust of wind
  • akoa: moon
  • atsha: star/sun
  • pléa: planet
  • fa: light
  • hapla: soil
  • mokalva: dune
  • venakoa: night
  • atshogía: dawn
  • venatsha: daytime

  • Memorize the following ungendered nouns:
  • altu: information
  • olíu: here
  • elíu: there
  • olu: this
  • elu: that
  • dazéu: fabric
  • dazu: outfit
  • dazou: cloud
  • yeletshu: rag

  • Exercises


    1. Form the following in Lilitika (ignore "the"):
      • my
      • with the moon
      • from light
      • them
      • in the soil
      • at the dunes
      • your
      • since dawn
      • of the girl
      • me
      • until night
      • us

    2. Translate the following into English:
      • olía
      • altanai
      • haplê
      • hairha
      • sinonai
      • dazéïlí
      • venakopas

    3. Classify the following as feminine, natural, or undeterminable without context:
      • shistonai
      • altavin
      • farha
      • daziní
      • yeletshakal
      • a pebble
      • the sky
      • a tree
      • a dress
      • a woman's garden
      • music