Chapter 2: NOUNS

2.1....INFLECTING NOUNS: Goesk nouns are inflected for two numbers (singular and plural), two genders (common and neuter), and four cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative). Here are the flexional suffixes for nouns and most pronouns:

nominative accusative genitive dative
common -u -oo -oes -um
neuter (no suffix) -a -as -ai
plural -ue -uen -oesoe -uem

2.2....NUMBERS: Singulars and plurals are formed with the latter suffixes.

a) Non-count nouns such as "vodyr" (water) are singular, as in English.

b) Some English nouns that are ordinarily non-count take the plural to signify different types of their referents. For instance, we may speak of "a good selection of wines," or "the evolution of different soils." In Goesk, words for different types of non-count referents are compounds formed with "-koend." These compounds are always count nouns.

2.2-1 vain
(a type of) wine

2.2-2 bood
(a type of) soil

c) Goesk has no irregular inflection for number. For instance, English plurals "deer," "sheep," and "fish" translate as "hercue," "nanue," and "fecue" respectively. English "pants" always has a plural "s," but Goesk "hooz" denotes one pair of pants and "hoozue" denotes more than one.

d) Goesk collective nouns, which stand for collective entities or contingents thereof, are singular and are compounds formed with "-groep."

2.2-3 GOESK:
Dus poliesegroep lagit doer.
The police-group is here.
The police are here.

2.3....GENDER: Gender is assigned semantically to singular nouns. Nouns in common gender refer to intelligent beings and members of the human species. Nouns that refer to non-humans and non-sentients are neuter.

2.4....CASES: The nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive cases have their familiar functions in Goesk. To review:

2.5....LACK OF INDEFINITE ARTICLES: Goesk has no indefinite articles: no equivalents to English "a/an" or indefinite "some."

a) When a common noun is not preceded by an article or other determiner, the meaning conveyed by the indefinite articles is usually implicit. e.g.

2.5-1 hund
a dog
2.5-2 vodyr
(some) water
2.5-3 mencue
(some) people

NOTE: The optional "some" just shown in the examples is the indefinite "some," not the partitive "some." For instance, "mencue" without a determiner means "some (previously unspecified) people," and NOT "some people (as opposed to other people)."

2.6....PROPER NAMES: These are not capitalized. Given names take common gender; other proper names do not. Whether the name of a pet takes common gender depends on speaker choice.

a) A person's full name usually comprises a given name, and two subsequent names derived from the given names of the person's mother and father. Patronymics take the suffix "-gai," and matronymics take the suffix "-feu." The order of the matronymic and patronymic is not fixed--a person may use either order. Full personal names are hyphenated. Only the given name takes flexional endings.

2.6-1 stievu-helenefeu-polgai
Steve (Helen/Paul)

2.6-2 stievu-polgai-helenefeu
Steve (Paul/Helen)

b) Goesk speakers define parents as those who raise children, so adopted children have matronymics and patronynics derived from the names of their adoptive parents. A person raised by two men has two patronymics. A person raised by two women has two matronymics. Names of dead, missing, or unknown parents can be replaced with the names of gods, thus ensuring that all Goesk speakers have three names. The names of gods end in "-tru." For instance, since "vold" means "forest," "voldetru" is the name of the forest god.

2.6-3 johanu-johanegai-stelafeu
John (John/Stella)
raised by a man & a woman
2.6-4 johanu-helenefeu-stelafeu
John (Helen/Stella
raised by two women
2.6-5 johanu-polgai-stievegai
John (Paul/Steve)
raised by two men
2.6-6 johanu-voldatru-stelafeu
John (Forest God/Stella
raised by a woman
2.6-7 johanu-voldatru-polgai
John (Forest God/Paul)
raised by a man
2.6-8 johanu-voldatru-skuetru
John (Forest God/Sky God)
presumeably an orphan

d) Other proper-name suffixes include the following:

-byrg (for towns and cities) 2.6-10 siejadylbyrg (Seattle)
-jak (for foreign languages) 2.6-11 angyljak (English)
-lant (for countries & lands) 2.6-12 koolalant (America)
-vee (for animals) 2.6-13 faidovee (Fido)
-oo (for almost anything) 2.6-14 reenieroo (Mt. Rainier)

e) Phrasal proper names often comprise common nouns postmodified by the genitives of proper nouns.

of Mississippi
Mississippi River

of Mississippi
(State of) Mississippi


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