Contrastive Case (CONTR)

Noun Case > Non-Core Grammatical > Contrastive Case (CONTR)


The contrastive case, in short, draws a contrastive comparison with the subject. It topicalizes a noun, about which a statement is then uttered about a different noun (the subject) which is implied to be a thing with which the contrastive noun shares little or no commonality. Unlike the adverbial case -jat, which can draw attention to similarities, the contrastive case draws attention to differences. 

It can typically be translated into English as as compared to, or as contrasted by, or simply than.

The contrastive case stands out from all the other cases in that its epenthetic sandhi vowel does not come at the beginning of the morpheme. It is still triggered by the same conditions that would trigger it were it at the beginning like the other case endings. Phonologically, the epenthetic e of this morpheme behaves as though it were at a morpheme boundary, which means that when it is included, this case is pronounced with three syllables: [jaˈɛtː.ɐ].

The contrastive case ending is -jaetta.

Hänåohänåmin mirijatta.
hänåohänåimin mirijaetta
dogNOMbigdogis.PRES.PLAIN catCONTR
The dog is [big] compared to the cat.
(Lit: dogbigdogis catcomparedto)
(Imp: As compared to the cat, the dog is a big dog)
Hänå’ohänåmin mirijatta.

Duojjin seipuhuõhõn tjaetta.
duojjin seipuhuõhõn teijaetta
personlanguageACC 1NOMspeechdo.PRES.GNOM 2CONTR
I [speak] Duojjin, unlike you.
(Lit: Personlanguage Ispeechdo youcomparedto)
(Imp: I [speak] Duojjin, which is contrastive to you[, who does not speak Duojjin)
Duojjiŋ sei’puhuõhõn tjaetta.

Duojjin seipuhuõhõn hjeivåsojat tjaetta.
duojjinn seipuhuõhõn hjeivaisojat teijaetta
personlanguageACC 1NOMspeechdo.PRES.GNOM goodnessCOMPADV 2CONTR
I [speak] Duojjin [[better]] than you.
(Lit: Personlanguage Ispeechdo gooderly youthan)
(Imp: As contrasted by you, I [speak] Duojjin [[better]])
Duojjiŋ sei’puhuõhõn hjeivåsojat tjaetta.

Verbal Derivation Implication

When a contrastive noun is derived into an active verb, it typically means to contrast, or to differentiate, or to distinguish.

You are [differentiating] the dog [from] the cat.
(Lit: Youcatanddogcontrasting)
(Imp: You are dogcontrasting the cat)
Mirin tei’hänåjättähin.

Hänån heidjaettanen.
hänån heideijaettainen
S/he [differentiated] it [from] the dog.
(Lit: Dog s/heitcontrasted)
(Imp: S/he itcontrasted the dog)
Hänån hei’djattanen.

Kirin seistuttajaettåar.
kirin seistuttajaettaajar
I will [distinguish] the plant [from] the tree.
(Lit: Tree Iplantcontrastwill)
(Imp: I will plantcontrast the tree)

When a contrastive noun is derived into a stative verb, it typically means is/am/are different than.

The dog is different than the cat.
Dogs are different than cats.
(Lit: dogcatcontrastiveis)
(Imp: The dog is catcontrastive)

Women are different than men.
(Lit: Womanmandifferentis)
(Imp: Women are mancontrastive)

Page Published March 28, 2017
Page Last Updated on January 02, 2018