The Genitive Cases (GEN, GEN1, GEN2, GEN3, GEN3.IN, GEN4, GEN1.OBV, GEN2.OBV, GEN3.OBV, GEN3.IN.OBV, GEN4.OBV)

-[i]pi, -[i]si, -[i]ti, -[i]gi, -[i]di, [i]ji, -[i]sisi, -[i]titi, -[i]gigi, -[i]didi, -[i]jiji

The genitive case marks a noun as modifying another noun insofar as the marked noun has a relationship with or pertains somehow to another noun. It often marks a noun as being the possessor of another noun. However, it can also indicate various relationships other than possession.

Genitives that come before the verb are found before the nouns they modify, and genitives that come after the verb are found after the nouns they modify.

The genitive case can typically be translated into English as of, or ‘s, or about, or in regards to, or pertaining to.

The term “the genitive case” always refers to the basic -[i]pi form, which is normally glossed as GENbut may sometimes be glossed as GEN0 (that’s a zero at the end; the font is kind of ambiguous-looking, I think. Sorry about that) for the purpose of disambiguation where one may feel it necessary. By contrast, the term “a genitive case” usually refers to one of the personal genitive forms (ie: anything besides GEN0), but does not strictly exclude GEN0.

The specific varieties of relationships that can be expressed through the genitive include:

  • Possession
    • Inalienable possession (Glegoripi ketto = Gregory‘s hand)
    • Alienable possession (Glegoripi miri = Gregory‘s cat)
    • Relationship indicated by the noun being modified (Glegoripi mäccy = Gregory‘s mother)
  • Composition
    • Source (pi lyty = a portion of the food)
  • Participation in an action
    • As an agent (Glegorivihjeivanen miråaško kodjjigi = Gregory [benefitted] from the love of his father)
  • Reference (mäläpi køvo = Capital city of the country)
  • Apposition (Fudjjipi vuoråa = mountain of Fuji)

It may be important to note that there are other features that genitives in other languages could describe, but these are covered by different cases or functions in Duojjin. Such functions include:

  • Composition
    • Substance—handled through compounding (vueirihuo = house [made] of stone (lit: stonehouse)
    • Elements—handled through compounding (mirigja = group of cats (lit: catgroup))
  • Participation in an action
    • As a patient—handled with the dative case (miriõhõl miråa = a love of/for cat[s]). Technically, a genitive construction is possible for this, but a dative construction is generally preferred.
  • Origin—handled through compounding or the eblative case (norgõduossa = [People] of Norway (literally: Norwaypersons)) (Seikänädäpõllõmin = I am of/from Canada)
  • Description—handled through compounding (kuhukøra = man of honour (lit: honourman)) (lamninet = day of life (lit: lifeday (means birthday))

Topicalization


When a genitive word begins a clause, it can be said to act as a topicalizer. This means that it establishes the marked stem as the topic pertaining to whatever is about to be said. In English, this would be like saying “in regards to [STEM], [STATEMENT].” If you are familiar with basic Japanese, it is similar to the particle wa, although it is not nearly as prominent in Duojjin as the Japanese particle. You won’t typically see a topicalizer in every other sentence like you do in Japanese.

Hänåpi heihisteijat.
hänåipi heihisteijat
dogGEN 3NOMfearADV
In regard to the dog, he/she [is afraid].
He/she [is afraid] of the dog.
(Lit: dogof he/shefearly.)

Miripi heipuhůnen.
miriipi heipuhuinen
catGEN 3NOMspeechdo.PAST.PLAIN
Pertaining to the cat, he/she [spoke].
He/she [spoke] of/about the cat.
(Lit: catof he/shespeeched.)

Personal Forms


The genetive case has many different forms that directly mark person. As a result of this, personal pronouns are not required in genitive constructions.

The -[i]si, -[i]ti, -[i]gi, -[i]di, and [i]ji forms all pertain to proximal pronouns, and the -[i]sisi, -[i]titi, -[i]gigi, -[i]didi, and -[i]jiji forms all pertain to obviate pronouns. Each morpheme in both sets pertain, respectively, to first person, second person, third person animate, third person inanimate, and fourth person. See the Pronoun section for more information on person and proximate/obviate distinction (at the time of this writing, that section does not yet exist).

Root noun vocabulary for the examples below:
miri, hänå, mäccy, kodjji, tukka, huo, net
= cat, dog, mother, father, desk, house, day

-[i]si (GEN1) First Person Proximate Genitive

The first person proximate genitive marks a noun as pertaining to the speaker.

mirisi, hänåsi, mäccysi, kodjjisi, tukkasi, huosi, netisi
= my cat, my dog, my mother, my father, my desk, my house, my day

-[i]ti (GEN2) Second Person Proximate Genitive

The second person proximate genitive marks a noun as pertaining to the listener.

miriti, hänåti, mäccyti, kodjjiti, tukkati, huoti, netti
= your cat, your dog, your mother, your father, your desk, your house, your day

-[i]gi (GEN3) Third Person Animate Proximate Genitive

The third person animate proximate genitive marks a noun as pertaining to a specific or known person besides the speaker or listener.

mirigi, hänågi, mäccygi, kodjjigi, tukkagi, huogi, netigi
= his/her cat, his/her dog, his/her mother, his/her father, his/her desk, his/her house, his/her day

-[i]di (GEN3.IN) Third Person Inanimate Proximate Genitive

The third person inanimate proximate genitive marks a noun as pertaining to a thing.

miridi, hänådi, mäccydi, kodjjidi, tukkadi, huodi, netidi
= its cat, its dog, its mother, its father, its desk, its house, its day

-[i]ji (GEN4) Fourth Person Proximate Genitive

The fourth person proximate genitive marks a noun as pertaining to an unspecified or unknown person.

miriji, hänåji, mäccyji, kodjjiji, tukkaji, huoji, netji
= (some)one’s cat, (some)one’s dog, (some)one’s mother, (some)one’s father, (some)one’s desk, (some)one’s house, (some)one’s day

-[i]sisi (GEN1.OBV) First Person Obviative Genitive

The first person obviative genitive marks a noun as pertaining to the speaker’s spouse or significant other, or the speaker’s twin, or a person in the company of the speaker besides the person being addressed.

mirisisi, hänåsisi, mäccysisi, kodjjisisi, tukkasisi, huosisi, netisisi
= my spouse’s cat, my spouse’s dog, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my spouse’s desk, my spouse’s house, my spouse’s day
= my twin’s cat, my twin’s dog, N/A, N/A, my twin’s desk, my twin’s house, my twin’s day
= the cat of this person who’s here with me, the dog of this person who’s here with me, the mother of this person who’s here with me, the father of this person who’s here with me, the desk of this person who’s here with me, the house of this person who’s here with me, the day of this person who’s here with me

-[i]titi (GEN2.OBV) Second Person Obviative Genitive

The second person obviative genitive marks a noun as pertaining to the listener’s spouse or significant other, or the listener’s twin, or a person in the company of the listener besides the speaker.

mirititi, hänåtiti, mäccytiti, kodjjititi, tukkatiti, huotiti, nettiti
= your spouse’s cat, your spouse’s dog, your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, your spouse’s desk, your spouse’s house, your spouse’s day
= your twin’s cat, your twin’s dog, N/A, N/A, your twin’s desk, your twin’s house, your twin’s day
= the cat of that person who’s there with you, the dog of that person who’s there with you, the mother of that person who’s there with you, the father of that person who’s there with you, the desk of that person who’s there with you, the house of that person who’s there with you, the day of that person who’s there with you

-[i]gigi (GEN3.OBV) Third Person Animate Obviative Genitive

The third person obviative genitive marks a noun as pertaining to the spouse, significant other, or twin of a person who is either in the company of both the listener and the speaker, or else in the company of neither the listener nor the speaker.

mirigigi, hänågigi, mäccygigi, kodjjigigi, tukkagigi, huogigi, netigigi
= his/her spouse’s cat, his/her spouse’s dog, his/her mother-in-law, his/her father-in-law, his/her spouse’s desk, his/her spouse’s house, his/her spouse’s day
his/her twin’s cathis/her twin’s dog, N/A, N/A, his/her twin’s deskhis/her twin’s househis/her twin’s day
= that other person’s cat, that other person’s dog, that other person’s mother, that other person’s father, that other person’s desk, that other person’s house, that other person’s day

-[i]didi (GEN3.IN.OBV) Third Person Inanimate Obviative Genitive

The third person inanimate obviative genitive marks a noun as pertaining to an inanimate noun which is itself a different thing than an already established inanimate noun that has been assigned a proximate form in the discourse.

mirididi, hänådidi, mäccydidi, kodjjididi, tukkadidi, huodidi, netididi
= the other one’s cat, the other one’s dog, the other one’s mother, the other one’s father, the other one’s desk, the other one’s house, the other one’s day

-[i]jiji (GEN4.OBV) Fourth Person Obviative Genitive

The fourth person obviative genitive marks a noun as pertaining to an unspecified person who is a different person from an already established person that has been assigned a proximate form in the discourse.

mirijiji, hänåjiji, mäccyjiji, kodjjijiji, tukkajiji, huojiji, netjiji
= someone else’s cat, someone else’s dog, someone else’s mother, someone else’s father, someone else’s desk, someone else’s house, someone else’s day

Verbal Derivation Implication


When a noun marked with the genitive case is derived into an action verb, it becomes a verb of ownership, and means that the subject has or owns the root noun of the derived verb. It can be said that to of means to have or to own.

Seimiripihin.
seimiriipiihin
1NOMcatGENdo.PRES.PLAIN
I [have/own] a cat.
(Lit: Icatofdo)

Mirijuttapihin.
mirijuttaipiihin
catNOMwaterGENdo.PRES.PLAIN
The cat [has] water.
(Lit: Catwaterofs)

When a noun marked with the genitive case is derived into a stative verb, it means that the subject (the green slot) pertains to the root of the derived verb stem (the teal slot). It could mean that the subject is about the root of the derived verb stem, or it could mean that the subject is the property of the root of the derived verb stem.

Hulurakåapimin.
hulurakåaipiimin
storyNOMloveGENis.PRES.PLAIN
The story is about love.
(Lit: Storyloveofis.)

Mirisipimin.
miriseiipiimin
catNOM1GENis.PRES.PLAIN
The cat is [mine].
(Lit: Catmeofis.)

Hänåhipimin.
hänåheiipiimin
dogNOM3GENis.PRES.PLAIN
The dog is [his/hers].
(Lit: Doghim/herofis.)

These various different genitive forms can be used together, so one can find multiple genitives stacked onto the same word. In every case, each new suffix modifies the entire stem it’s being attached to, not just the root.

Seihänåtisihin.
seihänåitiisiihin
1NOMdogGEN2GEN1do.PRES.PLAIN
I [am taking] your dog (with the implication that I’m keeping it).
(Lit: Idogyourofmedoing
(Imp: I [am mying] your dog)

The personal genitive suffixes cannot be used as topicalizers, and therefore require an additional GEN0 suffix on top of the personal suffix for topicalization

Mirigipi deitäläpälnen.
miriigiipi deitäläapalinen
catGEN3GEN 3.INNOMhereABLdo.PAST.PLAIN
In regard to his/her cat, it [ran away].
(Lit: Cathis/herof ithereawayed)

Page Published March 24, 2017
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