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Laní Ethika
Determiners I
Many languages, including Lilitika, include a noun marker for indicating a specific instance of a noun. This can be done with determinative pronouns, in constructs such as "this apple" or "that tomato," but in Lilitika it is far more common to use a definite article instead. English only has one definite article, "the." Definite articles in Lilitika can be translated directly as "the," and do not function as independent pronouns in the Sarasí lect.

Bare articles

By the time of the standardization of Sarasí, definite articles were formed exclusively by preposition of the gender and number markers from the Íomanazinení word forms:

"the" (cons.)FeminineMasculineNeuter

For example, "of the girls" would be "asa stiptiní."

This can be very useful in revealing the gender and number of words with ambiguous endings. Note that in the above example, stiptiní could indicate any children, and it is only by observing the article that we can identify the intended gender.

Definite articles cannot be used directly in front of words that start with vowels, and must instead be modified through the addition or removal of letters. Plural articles are generally contracted (with an apostrophe) to remove the final vowel, whereas singular articles are extended with an epenthic consonant. The typical epenthic consonant in Lilitika is <n>, so:

"the" (vowel)FeminineMasculineNeuter

Therefore the full specification is:

Not all texts contract plural articles, so you may see asan, ozon, and eten on occasion. In later lects of Lilitika, the terminal –í is often dropped from genitive markers, so contraction became more common to make the word forms more distinct.

Pronoun articles

Although the bare article system described above is based on Íomanazinení morphemes, the actual system of articles used in Íomanazinení consisted of suffixes derived from pronouns. These are important to recognize for the Sarasí student, as they are often invoked in formulaic language.

The pronouns su (I/me), ru (you), lu (he/she/it/they), stillu (deity), and sometimes stu (person) were most commonly used for this purpose, and would be hooked to the parent noun with a hyphen. For example, "stipta-la" could be used to mean "the girl," as could "stipta-sta."

Usually only the pronoun is inflected with the case ending, but it is also possible for the noun to bear the inflection, or even for both to be inflected. Newer coinages treat the pronoun article as part of the noun, and often do not inflect the root beyond indicating the singular gender (-a, -e, -o, and sometimes -é or -ú).

The names of deities are almost always written using this scheme (with -stillu), though the style fell out of use for other names (typically with -lu or -stu.) A reader can thus expect to see invocations of Úravéa-stilla, Zeltetéa-stilla, Neptarléa-stilla, and so forth. Omission of -stillu generally indicates the name has been bestowed upon a living person, which is an uncommon but known practice. Like the Lilitai themselves, the pantheon of Lilitic religion is entirely female. In Sarasí, it can be declined using the feminine -a scheme exclusively.

The indefinite article

Seen less frequently, the indefinite article in Lilitika is . It can be translated directly to English as "a" or "an," e.g. mí haira, "a cup." Like many indefinite articles, mí is literally a count word that means "one." Since count words obey the rules for adjectives (discussed in Unit II), you may also very rarely see mis after a noun complex, which is equivalent to mí. We will discuss this topic more thoroughly in Determiners II/Adjectives III.


  1. Assign definite articles to each of the following:
    • terror
    • sabloko
    • mokalva
    • soil
    • venatsha
    • cups
    • sinoa
    • cloud (of smog)
    • azidei

  2. Inflect the names of the following goddesses:
    • Poaléa (terminative)
    • Úvíha (vocative)
    • Litréa (accusative)
    • Alestéa (genitive)